Broken-down Poetry: Grace vs. Truth (Part II)


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Friday, November 16, 2007

Grace vs. Truth (Part II)

I don't know if I really want to glorify Grace over Truth. I mean, yes, I believe everything I have said about Grace: that it is the message of the New Testament and that Christians tend to de-emphasize it, but I guess there's more to it than I had originally anticipated.

And I can go on a soapbox and talk about the ways Christians have forgotten Grace and have been hateful bigots (but I won't). But I do want to talk about a thing called Obedience.

Almost everyone has a historical figure that they idolize. Mine is George MacDonald. He was an incredible thinker, almost like a philosopher, but a preacher as well. I love reading his stuff, but what I realized about him is that he has a strong belief in obedience. I'm reading an anthology of some of his writings right now and there seems to be an overarching theme of, and I'll use his words here: "Go and do it."

Obey God.

Do what you're supposed to do.

And I know I just said how Grace is so important (it is!) but God wants us to obey Him too. Not to the point that we think we can deed our way into heaven, but God wants us to obey. MacDonald said, "It is simply absurd to say you believe, or even want to believe, in Him, if you do not do anything He tells you."

And sin? Well, its hard to bypass. I mean, the Bible says that if you know the good you ought to do and don't do it, you have sinned. (Talk about a standard!) I know I should be reading Annie Dillard right now instead of facebooking, so am I sinning?

That's a lot to ask of someone, I know, especially since we've established that the Church seems to emphasize morality over anything. But there's some good behind that. God wants us to obey. But should that be top priority?


(Yes, I just turned around and started walking in the other direction)

A balance. I love to believe that God has a think or "happy mediums." To paraphrase from a RELEVANT podcast, it's good to have everything lukewarm 'cept your faith.

And I've talked about this before, the way extremes are bad. I really mean that. It says in I Corinthians not to be mastered by anything. To be all this or all that isn't balanced. God wants us to strive to be obedient in all situations, but rely on Grace.

I don't think churches should emphasize Truth over Grace (in fear of breeding hateful Christians) but I don't think Truth should be ignored either.

We can't get to God without obeying Him or, you know, putting forth a good effort. (But that's for another day)


1 comment:

Aaron Lewis said...

This is a good post for me to read. I have been looking at grace the last couple of days trying to wrap my mind around it. The question I am asking though is can someone just say the “sinner’s prayer” and then continue on in their sinful behaviors and still be saved? If you have time, I would love to know what you think.