this is an excerpt (by Mark Driscoll) from “The Power of Words and the Wonder of God”.
The look on my face as I read the following was most likely humorous. Brace yourself for ownage.
Therefore, the Bible uses graphic and disturbing imagery to show how vile to God are religion and self-righteous works done in vain effort to make oneself acceptable in the sight of a perfectly holy and righteous God.
One example from the Old Testament is Isaiah 64:6, which says, “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.” The Pulpit Bible Commentary says that the literal meaning of the language in this verse is “as a menstruous garment.”
Our study takes us to the verse in the New Testament that should have a wick attached to it for all the debate that has blown up around it. Speaking of his religiously self-righteous way of life before meeting Jesus, Paul says, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Phil 3:8). That little word “rubbish” has been the source of big controversy. Various English translations use words such as “rubbish,” “garbage,” “filth,” “dung,” “refuse,” “worthless trash,” and “dog dung.” Making the entire issue more difficult is that the word is a hapax legomenon, which means it appears only once in the entire New Testament.
Greek scholar and expert Daniel B. Wallace has studied this word in great detail, and he explains: “In Phil 3:8, the best translation of skuvbala seems clearly to be from the first group of definitions [that is, meaning (human) excrement]. In hellenistic Greek it seems to stand somewhere between ‘crap’ and ‘s**t.'”
What Isaiah and Paul are pointedly declaring is that the good works of everyone from devout Oprah followers to the Jehovah’s Witness grandmas who knock on doors so that they will be good enough for God to love them—along with the family who thinks they are better than everyone else and able to stand before God on the day of judgement because they avoided alcohol and tobacco and had a lot of kids they homeschooled well and shielded from all television by keeping the girls busy knitting denim jumpers and the boys active learning the trivium–are as cherished a gift to God as a bloody tampon or a pile the dog leaves in the yard. Why? Because any effort to justify oneself in the sight of God rather than depending solely upon the person and work of Jesus as the grounds for our righteousness is a bloody mess and a steaming pile.