Main Street Grace – Pt 2

29 Jan

The word Grace is used 127 times in context to the Grace of God, 89 of which occur in the letters of Paul.  The gospel is described as the message of his grace (Acts 14:3). The Scriptures are the word of his grace (Acts 20:32).  And Grace originated through Jesus… “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came about through Jesus Christ.” (Jn 1:17)

Interestingly, Jesus introduced Grace to us 2000 years ago and it has always been available since then.  A few people seemed to ‘get it’… maybe one of the most notable was Martin Luther.  But by-and-large most people continued to live under a slightly new and improved bondage to the law of works… expressed in many levels of our lives.  This poor mindset has been so long entrenched into our basic fabric of Christianity that we’re having trouble understanding and coming to terms with Biblical Grace.  O, we’re familiar with the basic concept and verses supporting Grace but Grace hasn’t revolutionized our hearts.  (If we’re unsure of that last statement, just take listen to our internal self-talk and how sin-conscious we are.)  And to compound our lack of reality in Grace, along comes these peripheral beliefs and positions that say they are associated with Grace… only on opposite sides of Grace.  As a result of not being familiar with those peripheral doctrines, we’ve become tenuous in our embrace of Grace… and even our conversations about Grace.  The vociferous opposing sides have intimidated even the average believer… making us think we must yield our loyalty to one or the other of the sides.  

But now-a-days, God is causing a resurgence of Grace to flood many different streams across the church world.  Revelations of Grace are proliferating in many camps.  It’s like a wholesale grace for Grace is being poured out from Heaven upon the whole earth.

BTW, here’s some more good news, there are more than just two camps in this issue.  There is at least one more camp which I call ‘main street’ Grace.  It runs smack dab right down the radical middle of the whole business.  And it’s an awesome place to “live and move and have our being”! 

Here are some of the peripheral doctrines on either side of Grace.  Even though some of these doctrines or practices are without a doubt heretical, this is not to say that all of them are automatically bad.  The question of whether they can be associated with Grace is the issue.


Inclusionism

Universalism / ultimate reconciliation
No hell / graduated hell / annihilationism
No confession or repentance necessary
Emerging church – deconstruction of institutional church
Lawlessness/sin is OK
Social justice emphasis / social gospel
New lens – homosexuality OK

Libertinism Side

————————————————-
>>>  Main Street Grace  >>>  The Radical Middle >>>
————————————————-

Legalism side

Self discipline / spiritual disciplines
Saved by Grace plus works
Holiness/sanctification
Radical revivalism mindset only
Dietary laws
Ceremonial laws
Jewish roots/Messianic practices
Moral laws

Now, it may take 10 years for the ‘Grace-talks’ to expose the obvious theological errors on each side of ‘main street Grace’.  Of course, this will be fueled by those who love a good controversy… it just seems to charge their batteries.  And sadly, there’ll be lots of blood-letting and even some causalities as ‘missiles’ are shot from each side… right over the top of Grace’s ‘main street-ers’.  O, it will be a little disconcerting for a while when we hear the scream of ‘missiles’ overhead… especially if they’re fired from or land in close proximity to us.  But, we’ll just let ’em ‘duke it out’ because there WILL be spoils for those who keep their nose clean.  The truth will be distilled out of the fray.   

As for me, I see no need to embrace any peripheral doctrine as a prerequisite to enjoy this exceedingly-abundantly-above-all-you-can-ask-or-imagine Grace.  Grace has already begun revolutionizing my heart.  I found it in the Word of God… and I now have my own experience.  Everyday Grace is upgrading my reality.  It’s a good life.  It really is.  God is so much better than I ever thought… and so much better than I was taught.

In the meantime, for us ‘Main Street-ers’, it’s full steam ahead right down the Radical Middle of Grace!!!

 — MLH

See Main Street Grace – Pt 1

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2 Responses to “Main Street Grace – Pt 2”

  1. Jenny Sullivan January 30, 2014 at 2:25 PM #

    We’re right behind you on Grace street, or at least trying to be and staying as far away from the law tar baby! OH & BTW, on our way to Mexico 2/8 with a one way ticket. Grace to you and yours

    • marklhen February 1, 2014 at 4:08 PM #

      It’s fun to be on the same team. Much grace to you and your adventure!!!

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