Monday, March 12, 2007


I feel like rambling like a lunatic. I've felt like this since Josh went home. There is an urgency. There is a need.


But you can't. You can't shout it out. If you do, you are a religious nut. You are a smelly man wearing animal skins, crying out in the desert; a lonely baptizer.

Last night, we watched an interview with Bono of U2. He wasn't wearing animal skins. I don't know if he smelled.

In the interview, Bono spoke of his faith; His love of Christ. He was sincere on how he felt about the church. He never liked church people. I could relate to that. As he has matured and thought things through, he has grown to know the concept of "the body of Christ", and can now love his brothers and sisters a little more.

I can relate to that, too.

In the interview, Bono calls out Christians on their inability to grasp the concept of grace. He is absolutely right.

In fact, the whole conversation got me thinking.

Because we cannot grasp the concept of Grace:

- The church is full of believers who live in bondage to a "works for works sake" mentality. They do not understand the concept of obedience in response to grace and love.

- The church is full of believers who live as if they have to control grace; that somehow God designed a kind of love that the average person can't responsibly manage. They believe they have to constantly remind people that "works are important, too."

- The church is full of believers who live in fear of grace and freedom.

- The church has cheapened faith and reduced it to rules, "feel good" theology, or wide-spread acceptance of sin.

- The church is irelevant to the world. "If church is about being good, giving money and singing songs on Sunday, I'd rather go to the beach".

- People on the outside misunderstand the call of the Gospel; that it is not about taking away freedom, but giving a new concept of freedom beyond their imagination.

Unfortunately, very few are the people who will listen.

The vast majority of those who believe will continue to live their faith out by looking for the latest "Purpose Driven Life" or "Your Best Life Now" trend offering tips on how to live a fulfilled life.

Conversely, the vast majority of those who don't believe will continue to hide behind excuses from their list of "reasons why I believe in God my own way" booklet, which they keep close to their hearts, lest they should be captivated by Truth.

In the end, grace is an irrefutable concept. You cannot oppose it, because it will always come back to you with overwhelming love. Grace cannot be defeated, because it has already won. Grace cannot be limited, because it will always get bigger than your grip can stand.

All you can do is not understand it. In that lack of understanding, grace waits patiently, lovingly, for you to "get it".

It saddens me that so many turn away from grace, finding it unbelievable. But what saddens me the most is how many Christians fear the reckless nature of grace.

"What can I give back to God for the blessings he's poured out on me? I'll lift high the cup of salvation - a toast to God!"
-Bono, during U2 concert in an intro to "Where the Streets Have No Name"-

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