This is part 2 in a 3 part series.
There’s a rising trend among churches today. It’s not multi-colored flashing lights or fog machines during worship. Nor is it small groups meeting at someones home for food and fellowship. It’s the coddling of sin. Whether you attend a small church of a few hundred people or go to a mega-church with two services on Saturday and three services on Sunday-willful sinning is running a muck among the church masses.
There are a few reasons why I think the abusiveness of grace seems to have taken top-shelf in the lives of some Christians today. They are:
- The lack of discipleship in the local church body
- Holiness isn’t preached or practiced
- The fear or reverence of God is gone
For the purpose of keeping the article short, the list is limited to what I believe to be the most important. Let’s look at each one individually.
The Lack of Discipleship: Discipleship takes time. It takes giving of yourself as a leader getting to know someone and building a relationship. Allowing someone into your life so they can shadow you and learning how to become a Christ-follower involves sacrifice. Leaders don’t want to make the sacrifices anymore because they’ve been burned in the past or they’re too busy, so they shuffle new converts off to someone less qualified to mentor them. Current discipleship programs, not all, but many are broken.
Holiness isn’t Practiced or Preached: A dear friend of mine, Rodney Bayer, puts it best when it comes to the idea of holiness vs. grace:
“We’ve picked up grace as a license to sin, thus laying down holiness, because someone said that the real problem is legalism.”
Holiness has to be exemplified in the life of leaders in order for it to be carried out by you and I. Often, the mindset of “Do as I say, not as I do” scenario takes center stage, blowing the door wide open for legalism to march in.
“The lack of repentance as a lifestyle falls short among Christians today”, says Chad Dickens, another good friend of mind, hungry for the true development of discipleship programs infused in today’s church culture.
“Holiness should be all about God and nothing about us, which is hard in a culture that makes everything about individuality”, said CJ Songer, a friend who takes the complexities of God’s wisdom and makes them understandable.
The Fear of God is Gone: Reverence for the Almighty has dissipated to new level lows because of the relaxed attitude towards sin. “I’ll just cover it with grace later” seems to be the justified reasoning for running back to the same old sins. Scripture warns us of the dangers associated with reoccurring sins.
“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? Romans 6:15-16
Sin leads to death-it’s just that simple. But more importantly, we need to understand that God loves us so much and we need to rely more on His love if we’re going to make in this world until it’s time for eternity’s call.
Living a lifestyle of repentance suggests that you are very much aware of the awesome power of God, that the closer you get to Jesus, the more you know how delicate and short life really is.
God bless you and keep you,