Where Grace Goes To Die

Does Grace matter in current western culture, that doesn’t think anything we do/feel/believe is wrong?

Grace according to Merriam Webster: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification.

In my experience, our lives are cloudy and fruitless when we just pretend we’re not doing anything wrong, or put someone’s feelings about their morality above the reality of morality. I’ve started equating “moral” with “healthy” when I chat with people. There is something that is best for us as humans. It is obviously not best for us to eat McDonalds every single meal, though I often want to try. It’s not best for us to binge watch TV to the extent we accomplish nothing productive in our day and have no deep relationships. Right? So why wouldn’t there, in our biology, our psychology, our spirituality, be a best for us when it comes to sexuality and how we interact with others? This MUST be so, especially if you acknowledge God as Creator, Lord, and that He’s given His Word to us.

There’s a best. We haven’t lived up to it. We’re actively hurting ourselves and others. The best was revealed, through the Law, through Jesus’ teaching and even more than that, he became sin for us, and offered us redemption and restoration to right relationship. We can’t be cancer patients that just walk around pretending we don’t have cancer! We can seek treatment and direct others to treatment. It’s not about us or judging…it’s about acknowledging our OWN sickness and brokenness and pointing to the Doctor. The unmerited favor and divine assistance of the Creator God of the universe for U S.

I’ll tell you from a personal standpoint, freedom wasn’t found in pretending I wasn’t a sinner. I never had the luxery of being in a community that told me what I was doing sexually was ok. Even now, I’ve confessed my story to people and had them offer me the empty reponse of “oh, I don’t think that’s that bad/a sin.” “It’s really just important you’re accepting yourself.” I poured over scripture and couldn’t find a get-out-of-jail-free scripture. Freedom was found when I hit rock bottom and faced my sin. I found grace and freedom when I confessed to others…sometimes because I had wronged them by lying to them and not living with integrity…sometimes just admitting what I had sinned against God and against this other person. Their grace proved God’s grace to me.

 

Culture says:

Pretend you aren’t sinning

Hang out with people who will also pretend you aren’t sinning

Live trapped by your “nonexistent” sin

Rinse

Repeat

Bible Says:

You’re a sinner.

Repent

Receive God’s Grace (bought for you at the Cross via Jesus Christ)

BE FREE

Freedom In the Age of Trump

After getting my heart ripped out in the two elections I’d previously been very invested in, 2008 and 2012, I approached 2016 with apprehension and disinterest. Well, I’ll correct that. I was very excited about Carly Fiorina. (I’m still hoping she’ll have a role in the new Administration!) She was such a great presence and voice for Conservatism. And she was a genuine Jesus-follower, who spoke about her faith in an authentic and compassionate way. I was on the edge of my seat, cheering for her as she debated her fellow GOP candidates. Her taking on Trump was glorious. Her dismantling of Clinton was legendary. Watching Trump get through the debates made me long for Fiorina in a bad way. But all that is now water under the election bridge, right?

Here we are in the Trump era. I am counting down the days to Obama’s departure. I cannot wait for that spineless embarrassment to be a distant memory. (Granted, he’ll stick around D.C. putting his  $0.02 in everything so…) I went into Election Night 2016 a lot differently than the previous two elections. I didn’t like Trump, I REALLY didn’t like Clinton. I thought his win was a longshot, I had basically resigned myself to Clinton drop kicking us down the path Obama had set us on. Nothing like an election like this to really acknowledge that my hope is not in a U.S. presidential election, right?

So where are we? God in His soverignty has allowed some of the most historic world leaders in history. In Romans 13 and other places, it says that leaders are placed by God…he ordains or at least allows even horrific leaders…the Hitlers, Maus, Pol Pots, Stalins, Lenins, Putins, and Kim Jung Uns…(I’m not saying Trump is numbered with these folks.) God is still good and in control even when our political lives are in upheaval and turmoil. Christianity is nearing the chopping block in our country…but we’re seeing a stronger faith than the previous generations in Millennials who identify as Christians. It’s because there’s no cultural advantage anymore. A teen who says he/she is a Christian isn’t doing it for cool-pts. Something is shifting in our country and I’m hoping and praying the result is a more genuine faith, more equipped to take on the problems and questions of the day. It won’t be in the public square in a position of power, but rarely in history has it been so! Think, our leader was murdered and all his followers squished and scattered. And yet, the rise of his followers has changed all of history. It’s exciting.