Friday, May 22, 2009

"Here's How Not To Live" and How Helpful That Is

Sometimes I wonder why I still attend the Men's Breakfast.

The only real benefit I find for myself is learning a little more about right-wing Christianity (as if I don't know enough already) each meeting.

This morning we discussed "Carnate Christians." The whole discussion was essentially the phrase "salvation by grace alone" repeated over and over. "If a person believes in God, they go to heaven." Apparently we didn't feel like talking about how to live, just how not to live.

Or maybe we just wanted to feel more comfortable in knowing that no matter how lazy our faith is, no matter how cheap our grace gets, we still go to heaven. Wow. Can't you tell I feel better?

Here's my response.

1 comment:

WES ELLIS said...

"Stay with the church that hurt you..." That quote by Stanley Hauerwaas is what kept me going back to the church I went to in college (yours)... not that IT really hurt me but the tradition to which it was committed.

Why stay with the church that hurt you? well one reason might be because they need you, your voice, your loving example of commitment to true discipleship, your hope, your challenge to their ideas, etc. But perhaps the real reason is simply because by leaving you might be giving in. By leaving you might be giving up on any hope of ever really being able to "do church" the right way. If we leave when it gets hard or when we start to disagree with folks, we'd might as well live alone in the hills because that'll happen everywhere if we're really trying to do community.

The reality is that church just hurts, community just hurts. But resurrection's on the other side. See if you can't stick around...
(but leave if it's just impossible for you to be yourself there).

And, by the way, is "Carnate Christians" like "incarnational ministry"? And what does "salvation by grace" have to do with belief... in Jesus? "Grace alone" would exempt someone from the necessity of belief, wouldn't it? But wasn't it Paul who said that we're saved "by grace through faith" which is "dead" (according to another well known author) without "works"? If we're gonna take Paul seriously, doesn't that mean that we're saved by grace through a faith which is alive and soaked in good deeds? So shouldn't we be spending some time talking about what those "works" really are if salvation is really what we care about?

Thanks for reading this short response, Mark... now go read my blog...