Most of our conversations are light and encouraging. Brace yourselves, this is a bit of a heavier topic, but still so important.
This week has been a wild week of various emotions! I’ve witnessed “grace teachers” from around the world take a firm stance against sinful, hurtful, and damaging teachings / behavior that was causing real pain in the body of Christ. These men and women took time and care to privately address these things, but it got to the point where a public statement needed to be made.
On the one hand, I’m saddened about the situation causing such pain. More and more stories are surfacing of real heartache from those that have sat under these teachings. On the other hand, I’m proud of those that came forward and brought the correction that was needed.
This really contradicts a common narrative in the body of Christ. The raging addicts to religious performance and self-improvement programs often hurl insults at ministers like me who emphasize the grace of God. They label us “grace teachers” and propose that we are somehow giving people a “license to sin” because of how strongly we emphasis grace. I’ve watched throughout the years as the character assassins have launched smear campaigns and written books, verbally assaulting my friends and me in the public sphere. When in reality, I’ve never actually heard ANY minister encourage sin.
Just the opposite! Living in sin is like drinking gasoline! It’s nasty and gassy. No. We believe that the supernatural power of God’s grace empowers us to live free from sin’s influence, to live liberated from darkness, and to rest in the marvelous light of Jesus.
I am tired of people accusing ministers who focus on the love and acceptance of God, as somehow “supporting sin.” Simply put, “grace teachers” are misunderstood, then judged. I suppose we are in good company, however. Paul emphasized the grace of God so heavily that his listeners were continually wondering “should we sin then, so that we can have more grace?” Paul found this absurd and continually wrote to clarify.
The message version puts Romans 6 this way “Keep on sinning so that God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house?” It continues, “We entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!” (Rom. 6:1-3, 15; 1 Peter 2:16; Gal 5:13)
If you preach the gospel as Paul preached it, then you may find people misunderstanding it as he did. To this day, people hear the gospel and misinterpret it. It’s true that we emphasize the radical grace of Jesus, and we regularly highlight the inclusivity and acceptance of Christ. But people have wrongly mistaken this message for permission to smoke weed in their mother’s basement, have sex with their girlfriend/boyfriend, or get loaded on the weekends.
So I thought I would simply highlight an example of a time where the leading voices who are preaching grace and acceptance, also have the wisdom and discernment to expose dangerous doctrines and hurtful behavior. This “grace camp” really does walk in the gift of holiness, purity, and righteousness. This is simply the best way to be human.
Until we drink again,
To read more about the issue that was addressed, click here .