Grace, Give it to Them, All the More

Posted: June 24, 2015 in Blog, Pastor's Corner
Tags: , , , ,

Complaints are levied against the church constantly. Hang with me, I will eventually get to the grace part. At any rate, people complain. They often complain to the un-official complaint department, which is the church secretary or pastor’s wife. More often than not, complaints are handed to anyone who will give an ear.

A mere fact of life is that church-folk and non-church-folk alike grumble against the church. It has actually become hip to be against “organized & formal religion”, as celebrity Christians bellyache against the church and all her imperfections; acting as though the organic church, a formless blob, will simply ooze Jesus.

Oddly enough, if critics were asked what do they expect, or even what should be done in light of their critique, they’d fail to give biblical reasoning or a sustainable reality for an answer. And for you doubters, I’ve asked and found the reply less than satisfying.

Maybe the naysimagesayers expect the church to be unorganized and nebulous, floating about doing churchy things, without any structure. Maybe the church is to be composed of individuals sitting at home, thinking thoughts about Jesus, while watching Sports Center, mowing the lawn, or worshiping at their favorite sporting event. Sadly enough this ‘church’ sounds like a horror movie from 1958, The Blob—no one can identify what it is, and it all ends with a question mark. Look it up on Wikipedia and you’ll see what I mean.

Another common cultural trend is church shoppers. Organized church isn’t the problem for them, this parade of complainers float from church to church seeking to consume her best commodities, never satisfied, showing their discontented hearts by floating away to the next best thing. The level of criticality here is amazing. People unashamedly enter the church putting it on the judgment seat, effectively grumbling against more than an organization, but against the people of the church.

Why bring this up? Grace. What do I mean? In the midst of complaint, naysaying, gainsaying, criticism, and sitting upon the shelf waiting to be consumed & discarded, we need to love them all the more. This isn’t easy, the faith filled response is to give them the grace we’ve been shown in Jesus Christ. Even as easy as it may be to say, it is nonetheless a tremendously difficult to carry out. There is a tendency to rail against such behavior as a member of the body of Christ. But it is grace they lack, and we must give it to them all the more.

Grace is not permissive and passive, like the parenting on many sitcoms, rather grace is speaking the truth in love. Grace is accepting people where they are and yet calling out their sin. Grace means to love someone in the Word of God, giving them what they do not deserve and cannot earn.

To be Continued…

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