Category Archives: Others’ stuff

Did Your Child Just Come Out to You?

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Coming Out

In this, the second part of my mini-series on ‘coming out’ for young people of Christian parents, I want to share with you the wisdom of Susan Cottrell, of ‘Freedhearts‘.

In this piece, Susan gives sound advice to Christian parents whose child has just ‘come out’.

You think it might never happen to you? Well, how would you know? Because if your child is an LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning) person, they might not feel able to tell you, because they know your views on the subject!

I would recommend all Christian parents read this article – not only ‘just in case’ your child does ‘come out’, but also to give you a better understanding of how Christian parents of LGBTQ+ young people can continue to affirm and support their child once they ‘come out’ despite what they think ‘the Bible says’.

Click the graphic below to go to the article:

This is a real issue affecting real people, and we need to examine this, as a Church, in a Chrstlike manner.

I know a Godly couple whose daughter recently ‘came out’ and which caused much soul-searching in their congregation…and those people in that church have essentially been forced – by their circumstances – to learn how to continue in their acceptance of that precious young life. And, so far, they have done very well…they knew that child from a baby and nothing has changed, except that now they know something that God has known about all along.

So, I recommend you read the article – it will stand you in good stead should you need it!

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Traditional Christian Parents Reveal Changed Views on LGBT

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Coming Out

Like many other people close to the Father Heart of God, some years ago I ‘came out’ as a strong affirmer of LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning) people and their relationships. I’m writing this mini-series in order to help people whose children are part of the LGBTQ+ community, and to give you what I believe is a Christian perspective on the subject.

When the child of an Evangelical Christian ‘comes out’ as an LGBTQ+ person, all kinds of things could happen, from total acceptance right up to total rejection, and all shades in between. Personally, I don’t understand how a parent can ever reject their child, but tragically there are those who do. And the result of this rejection, for the LGBTQ+ child, can result in ruined lives – I won’t go into detail here but sometimes we are talking homelessness, suicide, severe emotional trauma – you get the idea. And that’s just with the parents – the person coming out has other social links too that could also bring suffering: church; school; friends; colleagues. It’s not easy by any means.

But today we’re looking at parents. In this short video from Facebook page ‘Christians Talk’, various Christian parents describe how they came to terms with their child’s sexuality, from the point of view of people who formerly had believed that LGBTQ+ was ‘wrong’. Also in this video are Rob and Susan Cottrell, whose work I have featured before in my blog, and will feature again over the course of this mini-series.

There we go. Meditate on that and hear what the Spirit is saying to you!

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Five Signs You’re Trapped In Legalism

My blogging friend Mike Douglas comes out with some excellent stuff on his blog. And this post is no exception. At the risk of giving a spoiler, Mike uses at the end of his piece the three most important words that Jesus ever uttered – “It is finished!” Jesus has done it all for you. All you have to do is to enjoy the freedom.

The essay is linked to here, but I will also reproduce below what Mike wrote. This is wholesome stuff and it is my prayer that it brings you into ever-increasing freedom:


“A response from one of my readers got me thinking… He wanted to know why some Christians could be so harsh in their views and be so willing to judge others faith and salvation when they don’t agree with them.

Here was my answer to him:

‘How do you explain the far Christian right? In a word, fear.

For some believers, they think salvation or acceptance by God involves saying the right things, voting the right way, supporting the right things etc. If they don’t, they live in fear of being judged and sent to hell. Being ‘right’ is all important.

Therefore, if you or I were to disagree with them, we are not saved and cannot be one of them. Because we are wrong and being right is everything.

And, sadly, they also feel that since they are absolutely right, any disagreement is persecution for their beliefs.

Rather than being angry with such people, it makes me very sad. Rather than living in the glorious love, acceptance and presence of a loving Father, such folks opt for ‘never to be sure’ striving to make them good enough for God. I don’t want that.

Thanks for writing. Reject the legalistic nonsense. It’s all about Jesus!’

What is legalism?

In short, legalism is adding anything to the gospel. Legalism takes the words “Follow me” and adds rules, clauses, and rituals. It’s WRONG, and, over time, you believe its lies. The ultimate lie being Jesus wasn’t enough. Legalism shifts the end goal from Jesus to something else.

Here are 5 signs you might be trapped in legalism.

  1. You believe God loves you. But you don’t believe He LIKES you.

Right now, what God look like? Is he smiling? Frustrated? For much of my adult life, I pictured God with a slow, disapproving, puzzled head shake. Don’t get me wrong. I believed God loved me. But I didn’t believe he LIKED me. But He only loved me in the global sense that He loved everybody.

And we all know loving someone and liking them are two different things. When you like someone, you enjoy their presence. You welcome their company. You ask them over to watch the game or go to the movies.

And here’s what legalism does. If you don’t believe God likes you, you won’t draw near to Him. Legalism never allows you full access to God’s presence. At some point, the “I’m not good enough” or “God isn’t pleased with me” voices will speak to your heart, forcing you to retreat.

If you’re a follower of Jesus, God is pleased with you. And, when you suck at life, that doesn’t change. You can blame Jesus for this.

  1. You have never been sure about your salvation.

I can’t tell you how often I have asked Christians and others, “On a scale of 1-100, how sure are you that you will go to Heaven when you die?’ I have got many answers covering the full range of possible answers. But the least common answer is 100.

Here’s the rub. There are only two possible correct answers: 0 or 100. How we get to Heaven and the only way we get to heaven is putting our faith in Jesus. Either we have [100] or we haven’t [0].

Isn’t it awesome we can all answer 100! But so few of us do. We have doubts. Despite what the Bible tells us. We have doubts because we think we must measure up, there must be more we must do, or we think we might blow it. That’s legalism.

I have asked many Christians and others where they would go tonight if they died. Most aren’t sure. They might even tell you they’re sure, but if you asked their heart, you would receive a different answer. Do you believe in Jesus? In what He has done for you? Then your answer is 100. Learn to rest in what Jesus has done, not what you did.

  1. You compare yourself to other Christians.

Legalism rarely celebrates others’ successes. It says only the best get in. With legalism, Jesus isn’t the standard. The standard is the Christian beside you. If your life looks better than Jim or Jill, you’re good.

When you make God’s approval a competition with other Christians, you secretly hope people fail. Rather than walking with people through struggles, you give yourself a silent fist pump. Instead of celebrating with people who accomplish great things, you silently hope they fall.

And it leads to an exhausting life, one where you ride an emotional roller coaster because you’re worth and acceptance are tied to other people.

  1. You believe outsiders must behave before they belong.

This is the core of legalism. There’s a standard outsiders must meet before being accepted. Legalism says you worked hard to get to this point. You’ve been in the church game for a long time, and until others get to your level, they’re on the outside looking in.

If you don’t allow people in, whether it’s in your worship, your home, or your life, you’re making a declaration over them Jesus never made. You’re declaring some sins are worse than others, and certain behaviors are too ugly or distasteful for God. Praise God that’s a lie!

  1. You believe in joy and peace, but you’ve never experienced them.

Legalism lets you see God, but it does not experience His grace, joy, and peace. The church today is filled with people who are deeply spiritual, but distant from God.

If your spiritual activities aren’t producing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, you’re likely on the road to spiritual legalism. When you’re in God’s presence, you WILL bear the Spirit’s fruit (Galatians 5:22).

Is your heart increasing in joy and peace or cynicism and unrest? Does God appear more like a grumpy old man or a life-giving Father?

God knows you can’t live up to His standard. We sin every day. He doesn’t condemn you. He’s FOR you. Embrace the simplicity that Jesus did it all. Rest in the security of your salvation. Jesus has accomplished everything. It is finished! Nothing to add!”


This is excellent stuff. If I might add just a couple of observations: firstly, I mentioned above that ‘It is finished!”. When Mike says in his piece that for the legalist ‘Being ‘right’ is all-important’, I would agree entirely.

And one of the reasons why they feel so threatened by Grace, and those living under it, is that it threatens their ‘rightness’ and their carefully-constructed legal paradigms. One small puff of the wind of the Spirit and the whole house of cards comes crashing down.

When your security is in your Rules for who’s included and who isn’t, your security is not in the Finished Work of Christ. “It is finished!”

Secondly, and I find this really sad, but you will have met evangelists who say to their victims, ‘If you died tonight, do you know where you would be going?’ And Mike clearly demonstrates in his blog post that even once someone joins the Church, they still don’t know for sure, if they’re under legalism. Because they still don’t know if they ‘measure up’.

How sad is that? Jesus has done it all. All that is necessary for our acceptance with God, Jesus has done. God has given us everything we need for godliness (2Pet 1:3) However you believe that happens, just get hold of it.

Once again, let me write it: Jesus said, “It is finished!”

Wow!

 

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Kirk Leavens on the ‘Nashville Statement’

In a superb response to the notorious and insensitive ‘Nashville Statement‘, released upon a hurting world by out-of-touch-with-reality Evangelical leaders at the end of August this year, other Christians – “…some of the queer, trans, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, gender-queer, asexual, straight, single, married image-bearing Christians at House for All Sinners & Saints (Denver, Co)” – wrote the ‘Denver Statement’; a point-by-point rebuttal of the Nashville Statement.

The Denver Statement was posted on the Patheos blog – and it is quite simply a breath of fresh air.

One of the replies to the blog post particularly caught my eye, from Kirk Leavens, a man of wisdom and compassion whose contributions to the Patheos blog are always well worth reading. Here is the quote; I think you will like it:

“The Nashville Statement on human sexuality is the latest attempt by the Religious Right to position male-female complementarianism, patriarchy and gender stereotypes as the Biblical norm for today, thousands of years from the culture in which male dominance and female subservience was the norm. One of the main problems with the belief that the Bible gives us a clear picture of “one man, one woman,” is…that it does not. The truth is conservatives must carefully pick and choose their verses to support their thesis, conveniently overlooking the much more numerous passages that portray the ugly side of complementarianism and submission.

“Contrary to most evangelical thinking, while the NT gives us excellent advice on loving our enemies and our neighbors as ourselves, the Bible, as a whole is a mixed bag on the issue of “Biblical Marriage.” With Biblical marriages involving polygamy, concubines, maid servants, spoils of war, sisters-in-law, rape victims, etc., conservatives must do a lot of cherry picking to come up with a definitive view of marriage.

“I am sure most of this is coming from the hard right of evangelicalism, the Southern Baptist fringe that grew into the dominant voice in conservative evangelicalism in the 80s and 90s during the takeover of SBC [Southern Baptist Convention]. What most evangelicals don’t know is that during this time period the moderates along with female teachers at Baptist universities were all forced out by the fundamentalist wing of the SBC. Evangelicalism has never recovered.

“This shift among the majority voice in Evangelicalism does not just condemn “homosexuality,” but would push a strong, hyper-Calvinism as the only “truly biblical” understanding of atonement, would severely limit divergent views such as Arminianism and Pentecostalism and has forced out moderates and postconservatives from teaching at their seminaries, as well as severely limiting women from teaching or using their spiritual gifts. This is not a group of people open to the work of the Holy Spirit. They are fundamentalists, period.

“The tragedy of the Nashville Statement is that it closes the door to dialogue about human sexuality, and attempts to rigidly compartmentalize gender stereotypes, ignoring the realities of gender and sexuality. It also closes the door to further understanding and reform amongst evangelicals. The door has been shut on careful consideration of the Biblical passages themselves, preferring a inerrant, literal hermeneutic that does not take into consideration a great many things: culturally bound materials, story as opposed to historical facts, and a general inability to differentiate Kingdom principals from cultural mores.

“In all of this we are to be schooled on marriage by a group of people whose heterosexual marriages end in divorce 50% of the time, differing little from the culture they pride themselves as being superior to. It has sadly become all too apparent that fundamentalists favor law over Grace, continuing over a century of vigorously defending indefensible attitudes towards race, women, violence and sexual minorities. This needs to stop.”

And I couldn’t agree more with what he said. Quite often you hear the phrase, ‘What is the world coming to’, and I often think the same thing about Christianity. It’s high time people professing Jesus as Lord began to confront the really serious issues of our time instead of wanting to install video cameras in other people’s bedrooms! Seriously, these people seem to think that the number-one big problem of our time is that some people have a ‘different’ sexuality. It’s not poverty, not North Korea’s nuclear program, not Donald Trump’s divisive presidency, not global warming; no, it’s what people do in the privacy of their own homes that is the number-one issue.

How twisted is that?

Anyway, enough of my ranting 😉 I’d like to also point my readers to Kirk’s complete article in which he expands on the points he makes in the quotation I have given above. Although you will recognise some of the paragraphs from above, there are some new and interesting points that he makes as well. Here’s the link.

Finally, a word of explanation. My blog purports to be, on the whole, me doing what I see the Father doing; me saying what I believe the Father is saying. That’s what my header is all about and it’s the mission statement, if you like, for my blog. In these times, I see the Father doing a great work amongst and through the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning and Intersex ‘community’. These people are going to play a major part in the next Revival; indeed, they are already doing so.

To quote Rabbi Gamaliel, in Acts 5:38-39, “Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

Yep. Please consider this post prayerfully and hear what the Voice of the Spirit is saying to you 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Dwelling Places

This entry is part 18 of 18 in the series Fiona

The heart of worship is to draw near to God; to see more of Him; to desire strongly His Presence, to kneel (literally or figuratively) before Him and tell Him how much we love Him.

It’s eleven months since we lost my lovely wife Fiona. And Fiona’s heart was always that of a worshipper. Worship was our way of life, staying close to God and singing His praises whenever the opportunity presented itself 🙂 As I said here, basically if there was any excuse for us to break into song, we’d be singing and making music in our hearts to Jesus.

As I have already shared in that article above, Fiona gave me this lovely Scripture from her favourite Bible translation, The Message – because she said it reminded her of me!:

“Don’t drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.” (Eph 5:18-20 (Message))

And I love that – ‘Any excuse for a song….’ and that’s just what we were like together.

Fiona is, of course, now in that place where she can worship with the full, yet still increasing, knowledge of what God is really like. She is in His Dwelling Place – the place where He is – and likely worshipping her heart out. It’s what she did, and I have no doubt that it’s what she does. Worship is not only what keeps me going, but it’s what I believe Fiona has gone to. Have you any idea what a tremendous comfort that is to me in my bereavement?

And so, once again, the brilliant Terry MacAlmon comes to my aid. As I listen to this beautiful worship song, Dwelling Places, once again I am transported into God’s Presence. How lovely indeed is His Dwelling, because that’s where He is. So in a very real sense, as my heart rises up in worship with this song, I am worshipping with the angels and with Fiona in the Throne Room of Heaven. And there’s no place I’d rather be. Sitting at Jesus’s feet and basking in His Presence.

So, here’s the lovely song ‘Dwelling Places’, by Miriam Webster, sung by Terry MacAlmon, Shauna Chanda and Ruth Ann Johnson. Be blessed:

Lovely are Your dwelling places
Thirsty I come after You
Jesus, my joy, my reward
Your love’s restoring my soul
Now I’m Yours and You are mine
And from my heart a song will rise

I love You, I love You, I love You
I love You, I love You, I love You
I love You, I love You, I love You
And my heart will follow wholly after You

Jesus, there is none beside You
Righteous, ruler of the earth
Nations will come and bow down
Name over all names
I sing You praises
And all that I can say to You is

I love You, I love You, I love You
I love You, I love You, I love You
I love You, I love You, I love You

And my heart will follow wholly after You

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Cycle of Grace/Cycle of Law

My regular readers will be familiar with my strong emphasis on Grace. Grace is the undeserved, unearned favour of God; not that we don’t deserve it because of stuff we’ve done, but undeserved because we have not earned it – and indeed we don’t need to earn it! It’s entirely because of God’s Love, generosity, favour and just because He likes us that He showers – lavishes! – His Presence, His Love and His favour on us.

And this leads to freedom. The freedom of knowing that there’s nothing we need to do – indeed nothing we can do – to ‘make’ God love us any more than He does already. He already accepts us and loves us completely.

In this article, Mike Douglas explains how the ‘Cycle of Grace’ is the exact opposits of the ‘Cycle of Law’, and how it takes a mental attitude shift in order to enact this in our lives. I have heard that sort of ‘changing of the mind’ as being called ‘Repentance’; this is indeed what it is.

Click this link or the image below to go to the article:

 

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10 Reasons Why The Rapture Must Be Left Behind

The Rapture.

The supposed end-times event where millions of “True Believers” are whisked away in the twinkling of an eye, to be with Jesus. Those left behind have to pick up the pieces of a world left in chaos, and are subjected to terrible tribulations under a despotic ruler, known as the Antichrist. Then Christ returns (again) and destroys all the ‘evildoers’ left alive on the earth.

Well, it makes for good reading, and some great adventure stories. But it also panders to the religious fad of wanting to feel terror, a bit like watching a horror film. A Christian horror story, maybe.

You see, surely the Gospel is about peace and hope, not terror and destruction?

The whole thing smacks to me of money-making, fear-mongering religiosity. Many people have a dichotomy of fear: they know about a Loving God, and yet this Jesus who is supposedly so loving and turned towards sinners will suddenly become the most powerful destructive force in the Universe.

Of course, I don’t buy it. This is not the Jesus I know. Now, I have read the ‘Left Behind’ series in its entirety, and like I said, it is a great adventure story. But it needs to be left in the Fiction section of the library. The scenes at the end of the series where Jesus destroys people by shouting Bible verses at them (yes, really!) is blasphemous in the extreme (and I don’t use the word ‘blasphemy’ lightly), although if you read it as a fiction story it doesn’t feel so bad, but it’s still uncomfortable to read for someone who loves the real Jesus, not the fictional one!

The entire concept of the Rapture and what follows it is a fairly recent addition to Church theology, the earliest mention being in the sixteenth century. It does not appear to have been part of the belief system of the early Church – but it is certainly part of popular theology today and it hosts some of the most destructive, fear-mongering rubbish that it is possible to hear. The Rapture, if you really think it through with all its ramifications, is about as anti-Gospel as you can get. It omits Grace, majors on fear and worldly judgement, and paints a dreadful caricature of God as one who destroys rather than one Who heals and reconciles. Sounds more like the enemy to me.

Anyway, enough of my ranting. The book, “10 Reasons Why The Rapture Must Be Left Behind”, by Stephen D Morrison*, is a short, well-researched and highly readable book which dismantles the destructive Rapture doctrine with sound reasoning, proper Biblical exegesis, and historical and theological research. This is, in my opinion, the ‘go-to’ book on this terrible doctrine, both for people who would just like to know what it’s all about, and also the more serious theologian who wants it all set out properly.

This is not a book for people who are still in a theological rut, where you know exactly what you believe and are unwilling to change your mind (that’s called ‘Repentance’, by the way!) about things you are sure you know.

But if you have an open mind, a mind open to the teachings of Holy Spirit and also a mind for properly reasoned ideas (God likes that sort of thing!) then it’s for you.

Oh, did I mention it’s free? Ah, that got your attention… 😉 At the time of writing, the Kindle version of this book is free for download from Amazon.

Read it. Enjoy it. Live it. This is yet another book that contains pure freedom within its pages. Release from fear, release from a terrible image of god, release from the horror of the fear of the end-times. God is Good. This book states that clearly.

Click the relevant link below to go to the Amazon page for this book. If you’re not in the UK or the USA, just search ‘reasons rapture left behind morrison’ (omitting the quotes) on your country’s Amazon site. You should find it easily enough.

Link to the book on Amazon UK

Link to the book on Amazon.com


*Yes, I am sure the ‘Left Behind’ part of the title is a play on words 😉

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Wendy Francisco on the Prodigal Story

Here’s the brilliant Wendy Francisco on the Prodigal Son story:

“The story of the prodigal son is one of the most wonderful things on the planet. It asks us to have a little faith in humanity, and to think again if we feel our job is to judge and exclude. The dad knowingly provided funds for his son. His son left and the dad did not follow. When the son came back, the dad still said nothing about anything that happened. Some argue that the dad said nothing because the son had repented and come home, but they miss the point that while the son was out sowing his wild oats, the father was silent and un-intrusive.

“And then there was that other son. Are we that other son? The stay at home son wanted to exclude his brother from the blessing of his father. He was the one who cited all his brother’s faults and failures. He was kind of a hurtful jerk. And HE was the one whom the father gently corrected, for the purpose of uniting him with his wild brother (who he was probably jealous of). (In fact I like to joke that the stay at home son was probably why his brother left).

“This is a story that approaches life as if God is able to know and be God to everyone He created, without the interference of the stay at home son. It never crossed the father’s mind to reject either of his sons.

“The son who went out experienced all on his own, the poverty and shallowness of the world, and he was hurt by it to near starvation. Had the big mouth brother followed him pointing his finger as so many Christians do today, perhaps he would never have come back.

“The mistake we make is thinking that the Father is like the stay at home son. We are indoctrinated to think this, but nothing could be further from the truth.

“If the stay at home son had rejected his father’s words and summoned all the servants and proclaimed, “Whoever supports my prodigal brother and attends his party cannot stay in this household”, then that would have been the perfect mirror of the Nashville Statement article ten, a heartbreaking and terrible call to organized rejection and scapegoating. No wonder Jesus called the religious leaders of His day ravenous wolves.

“People are saying that we believe anything goes. Yes and no. When the Father handed his prodigal the funds to leave, it was anything goes. But when the people pleasing brother judged him, it was NOT anything goes.

“All of us are… both… brothers”.

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Grace Changes Everything

Grace changes everything.

Whereas most people of religion believe – or at least, act as if they believe – that there’s something they need to ‘do’ in order to ‘obtain’ God’s favour, Grace says that we already have God’s favour! It changes the way we relate to God, and to life, and to each other. It’s huge and incomprehensible, and yet it’s also so simple. All we need to ‘do’ is accept it in order to gain all its benefits.

The word ‘Grace’ has been watered down in Christian circles to the point that many in Christian circles don’t realise its true meaning any more. Grace is in fact the completely undeserved favour of God – undeserved in that we didn’t do anything, nor do we need to do anything – to deserve it. He likes us, loves us, thinks the world of us, dotes on us, and, well, He’s just thrilled with us. Ignore anyone who tries to tell you otherwise! I’d call that Good News! It’s counterintuitive, so much the opposite of what Religion has told us for centuries. It’s free, bought, paid for and credited to our accounts.

“Grace is irrational to the thinker. It is unfair to the judge. Grace is foolishness to the achiever. It is a waste to the selfish. Grace is a mistake to the disciplinarian. It is shame to the religionist. But it is a stream of water to the thirsty. It’s freedom to the imprisoned. It is life to the dead. Grace is rest to the tired. It is another chance to the failed. It is hope to the despondent. It is a way out for the lost and a way in for those who can see the Door.”

-Steve McVey

I am spending much time in exploring Grace and what it means. Fortunately, I am in a Facebook group where we do that quite a bit too. Here’s what my friend Mo Thomas wrote recently, and also some comments from his readers:

“Cheap” grace. “Hyper” grace. “False” grace.

I’ve heard these and other derogatory terms tied to grace…fairly often in the past few years. Please note: It’s NOT grace that needs to be labeled as “cheap”, it’s the person’s cheap perspective that is evidently causing the perceived abuse.

When grace is misused, it doesn’t and can’t, in any way shape or form, lessen the Father’s heart in freely and lavishly giving it to us as the means to conform us into His image.

We sin just fine “without” His grace, after all.

Calling grace “cheap” as a result of its misuse is akin to calling electricity bad when you electrocute yourself. Think about this!

What I’ve seen most often is that we quickly agree that it’s God’s Grace that brings us to the point of salvation . . . but then we rely heavily on law, rules, obedience, sin-management, and diligent effort in order to bring us into maturity – rather than continuing to rely on His Grace to grow us up into His image. It’s the substance that allows us to live out a holy, set-apart life . . . in Christ.

Rom 6:14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.

Ephesians 1:6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.

WE are the ones who attempt to cheapen grace by not allowing it to complete it’s work in us. But, our attempts don’t and can’t take away from its Eternal Value.

Selah.

Comments:

Free is too humbling and confusing for some people. Some people enjoy the pride of earning what they have. Some people resent the unfairness of free” – Maureen

The people who use those labels are just jealous ” – Anthony

They really are, [they] can’t abide the freedom we walk in” – Sara

When people talk about abusing grace my thought is – isn’t that the point?” – Al

I do think that those who oppose the current Grace thinking are offended that there’s nothing that anyone needs to ‘do’ in order to ‘earn’ God’s Grace. No amount of good deeds or observance of Rules makes us any better off before God; conversely, nothing we can do will make Him love us any the less. This is offensive to the Law-dependent believer, because it means that all their best and all their worst makes no difference, and this is a huge blow to their pride. They think they are doing so well, but actually it makes no difference at all! And that’s offensive to those who rely on their own good works. I understand that. Like I said above, it’s counterintuitive.

How to tell if you’re walking in Grace? Easy. If you’re feeling the need to ‘do, do, do’, then that’s not Grace. Grace says it’s ‘done, done, done’; there’s nothing left for you to do!

All you need to ‘do’ is to access it; accept it; agree with it. It’s yours for the taking! Don’t be put off by those who speak against ‘The Grace Movement’ as if it’s something dangerous. Also, like everything else in Christendom, the word ‘Grace’ has been hijacked again and again; the chief danger of this is that it causes people to miss its full and true impact. But I have explained in this post what it means; you have seen its hallmarks in the Steve McVey quotation above, and I’ve even given you a simple method of how to distinguish real Grace. To recap: if it relies on you having to do, conform or earn, then it’s not Grace, because Grace is by definition unmerited. There’s nothing you can do to improve on that! And that in itself is such a release!

For more on extravagant Grace, check out this article on my blog. It’s more of the same but rom a different angle. And once you walk in Grace, don’t let Law dilute it. Read Paul’s letter to the Galatians with the lens of Grace in place and see what he had to say to those people where people of the Law were trying to take away their freedom. Read it like that and it’s a real eye-opener!

Be blessed 🙂

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Love Keeps No Record of Wrongdoing

A superb and moving piece by my friend Dan Shaffer, a man of great wisdom and insight:

One of the most beautiful majestic words ever written, were from Paul:
‘Love keeps no record of wrong doing’ [1Cor13:5]

Yet Christianity strangely forgets these words when grappling with Salvation and Judgement.

We forget these words were not from a man who was the epitome of righteousness; rather a man who embarked on a murderous quest to rid the world of Christians. A man, with whom Jesus literally intervened and asked “why are you persecuting me?”

Ironically, we could ask many Christians the same question today. Those who “have discovered the error of their ways” and then enthusiastically pick up the banner of the Law and condemnation. Then proceed to rid the world of sin, or so they think.

However, Paul realized something different than so many Christians. He discovered who God really was. God was love and Grace.

You see, God doesn’t just extend love, or act in Love, He is Love. God doesn’t just extend Grace or act graciously, He is Grace. Love has never kept a single record of wrong doing, but the Law does!

Those who believe in the God of Law struggle with forgiveness and mercy.

Because the Law demands retribution as justice. It demands payment for wrong doing.

Love, on the other hand, desires restoration and completeness. Love’s agenda is to see you restored to the image of your loving Father.

This is your true identity.

Love is not interested in your past or your mistakes.


It keeps no record of wrong doing, therefore doesn’t remember your failures and transgressions.

There will be No big movie screen in the sky to judge and review your life.

When your body reaches its end, the corruptible has put on incorruptibility, you are changed in the twinkling of an eye.


Your soul and spirit are free of their hindrances.


Love has won, and your spirit reunited with it’s giver.


Love keeps no record of wrong doing.

Thanks, Dan! 🙂

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