Cheap Grace

Blog - Joyful Curmudgeon - Blog

Cheap Grace - 28 Jan 2006

As I mentioned in yesterday’s Blog, an awful lot of people of every denomination try to use Bible passages to excuse their failings instead of letting the conviction of the Bible lead them to higher ground.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) seems to have struggled with the same concepts, accusing the Protestant churches and especially the Lutheran Church of "gathering like eagles 'round the carcase (sic) of cheap grace' ". In a nutshell, "Cheap grace preaches forgiveness without repentance."

I remember a woman who tried unsuccessfully to “convert” me way back when I was “searching” spiritually. She seemed typical of the “cheap grace” variety of Christian evangelical. Her pitch went something like, “Say the sinner’s prayer and all your sins will be forgiven: past, present, and future.” That’s it! No wonder there are huge churches filled with “Christian rock” and “fans” jumping up and down! It seems as though cheap grace has come down even further in price.

There is an interesting passage in the Bible (John 14:12) that points us toward the perfection (another unpopular word in many circles) mentioned in Matthew 5:48.

48. “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

In John 14:12 Jesus is quoted as saying;

12. “Truly, truly I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.

Here Jesus uses the word “works,” a word that so many folks who claim to be “born again” believers find so distasteful. They go around emphasizing the “free gift of salvation” (true) but leave out the “repentance” and “go and sin no more” also preached by our Lord.

I’ve often thought about this passage. Surely, if we are to do “greater works” than Jesus did, would just being more compassionate toward all of His creation be such an impossible goal?!

True born again believers in Jesus have the Holy Spirit residing in their hearts. Then, shouldn’t they be living according to Galatians 5:22-23?

Galatians 5:22-23

22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23. gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Even simple common sense would inform a person that the recipients (believers) of this spiritual fruit are to distribute it liberally among all of God’s creation (humans, animals, and the environment) and not to limit it to humans (or certain humans!) only.

Also see:
http://all-creatures.org/heart/5dec98.html 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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