Monday, June 06, 2011

Saved by Grace through Faith Alone? Really?

Yes. But...

Saved by faith,
Saved for works.

You CANNOT separate those two. Please stop trying. Stop preaching that all salvation is is faith in Christ. Please stop reducing the gospel to fire insurance, or even to an abundant life for the believer only.

"Our Christian habit is to bewail the world's deteriorating standards with an air of rather self-righteous dismay. We criticize its violence, dishonesty, immorality [homosexuality], disregard for human life [abortion], and materialistic greed. 'The world is going down the drain,' we say with a shrug. But whose fault is it? Who is to blame? Let me put it like this. If the house is dark when nightfall comes, there is no sense in blaming the house; that is what happens when the sun goes down. The question to ask is 'Where is the light?' Similarly, if the meat goes bad and becomes inedible, there is no sense in blaming the meat; that is what happens when bacteria are left alone to breed. The question to ask is 'Where is the salt?' Just so, if society deteriorates and its standards decline until it becomes like a dark night or a stinking fish, there is no sense in blaming society; that is what happens when fallen men and women are left to themselves, and human selfishness is unchecked. The question to ask is 'Where is the Church? Why are the salt and light of Jesus Christ not permeating and changing our society?' It is sheer hypocrisy on our part to raise our eyebrows, shrug our shoulders, or wring our hands. The Lord Jesus told us to be the world's salt and light. If therefore darkness and rottenness abound, it is largely our fault and we must accept the blame." [insertions, mine]
--John Stott

So we look down on the homosexuals as gross sinners and we shame the abortionists (or worse, those who have had abortions) as murderers and miss entirely the plank of apathy and self-righteous judgement that is in our own eye. What are we doing to be light and salt? Going to church? Inviting others to church? Hrm. How well is that working for us?


Tammy said...

Thank you for this thought-provoking post, Jenny. Wake up, church!

Hillary 2.0 said...

Bravo! I feel the EXACT same way. The number one problem? It seems to me that there is a SEVERE shortage of teaching where there is a balance of salvation AND sanctification. It is either "There is NOTHING you can do! It's all belief!" which leans tons of room for licentiousness. OR it's a blip about grace and then a ton of laws and rules that lead to self righteous legalism which beats people up so badly that they end of leaving the church. Grrrr!!! Makes me so mad when I hear an unbalanced sermon on either extreme!

mutating missionary said...

and... to think that we move in and out of our lives with believers, when there are those that are dying daily - those that don't know - or have no one that cares to share?????? Oh God prick hearts!!!!!

Bettie said...

Salvation is so much broader than just "going to heaven". We are called to work together with God in His vineyard, and proclaim and live the Kingdom of God on earth as in heaven. What a privilege! Good post!