Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Reviving A War?!
The reason for this Evangelical spiritual decline is not solely due to the influence of a Leftist sitting President or moral-less reality TV culture, as several analysts would say. The problem is not just politics. Nor is it merely secular society. No, I am sorry to say that the causation of the Evangelical identity problem is unraveling within the walls of our own sanctuaries.Correct diagnosis, but not sure she has the causes down correctly. This is not an either/or thing. We must gracefully tell people of the problems associated with same-sex marriage, etc.
Out of fear of being falsely dubbed "intolerant" or "uncompassionate," many young Christians are buying into the theological falsehoods from popular liberal Evangelical writers and preachers. However, their "feel-good" theology sidesteps all Biblical principles that are exclusive or constricting. In order to market their distorted version of Christianity to the masses, liberal Christian elites stress the importance of salvation from poverty, inequality, and oppression rather than forgiveness of sins through Christ.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian whose Christian convictions against the Nazis cost him his life, called this type of Christian theology "Cheap grace." In his book The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer wrote, "Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession."
Although this new brand of liberal Evangelicalism deters young Evangelicals from engaging in the contentious culture wars, there is still hope.
The lesson to take away here is, I think, that the church has failed, but pointing fingers and decrying, "They did it," will not correct the failure. Rather we must ask where we have failed to confess, where we have failed to be disciplined. There is no "you need to," there is only "We need to," and we have to take the initiative and model that.
The cheap grace she decries is one side of a two sided coin - the other side is the Pharisaical declaration of everyone else's sin.
The answer is to quit flipping the coin and spend it.
church grace judgement