Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Friend of Sinners
I have been trying to explain some changes I have been making in my application of the gospel of grace as I teach through the book of Galatians. Part of it has to do with our attitude toward “sinners”, “the unchurched”, “those with life damaging issues”, like addictions, or lifestyle differences. I find many people with traditional views seem to see all sin as the sinners fault, or delight, or choice, and the attitude I feel is that the gospel is sort of like a threat or a timed test. “You better get yourself through that narrow gate that leads to life you rotten sinner, or there’s hell to pay”. That’s a caricature, but I feel that in our attitudes sometimes, and I think it repels rather than attracts.
Since I began to study the doctrines of reconciliation and adoption, especially from those espousing a theology of Trinitarian relational theology. I began to realize that Christ sees our sin problem as a part of our Adamic nature, and He had compassion on sinners. The primary image that comes through then, is seeking the lost with a sense of identity for our own weakness, a realization that but for the grace of God we too could be in a lot worse shape. It is that way of thinking about humanity I see more clearly than I did when I was in a system that flattened the distinctions between the old and new covenant. Like a Micheal Spencer, the Imonk said, Instead of law then grace, many Christians actually have law, then grace, then law, and inadvertently begin to condemn and judge and be prideful that we have cleaned up our act so well. Be an ambassador, tell people God has reconciled Himself to them in Christ, be reconciled is an invitation to a banquet of love and presence and finally power to begin to change.
On a lighter note, I bought a remote detonator, uh, I mean, a camera remote so I can get in my own tripod pictures and take family shots without running across the room and telling everyone to smile for 8 seconds until the timer goes off.
This shot also shows our new living room furniture and the lengths we are going to to keep our cats from scratching the furniture. We have invisible cat repelling tape on all the seams, and covers when we are just lounging. My sinner cats have a fallen nail sharpening urge and I love them too much to get them declawed at the ages of 12 and 10. Repent and sharpen no more!