Archive for the 'Jesus' Category

04
May
09

Grace in the 21st century part 3

Continue reading ‘Grace in the 21st century part 3’

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01
May
09

Grace in the 21st Century

The church has a substantial problem at present in the institutions of Churches in the 21st century. The Christendom toolbox that the church has been left with is not going to suffice in this age called post-Christendom. Christians are left with a church that is rapidly declining and the church structure that has been left is simply not going to work.[1] In the struggle to grasp the new realities of concepts, the church feels lost and unsure of itself. Some churches have retreated into the safety of its building. Some of these churches have huddled together reminiscing about the days gone by and grieving over the days when the church was in a stronger position.

Christianity in the words of Leonard Sweet in his forward to the Forgotten Ways says, ‘the Christianity has undergone untold crashes and clashes in the past two thousand years.’[2] Sometimes our hard drives need defragmenting. Data entered onto hard drive is not always entered cleanly and then more files have to be added to keep computers up to date. The more files added the more the hard dive gets scrambled and confused. It therefore slows right down. Many people procrastinate over the defragging process and leave this until the computer is basically ground to halt and crashes, stalled programs and power outages are happening all to often to complete this process. Once complete however the computer is back up to speed and becomes a full speed processor again. The church is at a point in time where the defragging process is taking place in its understanding and dispensing of grace.

While I spent a year in a church in Columbia, Maryland, I was struck by a certain instance that enlightened me to a major flaw in the church’s 21st century understanding of grace. In our youth group there was one child who was so full life and energy, but he was so full of energy and life that he was sometimes too much for people and annoyed and upset certain members of the Church. I heard one of the more elderly members of our church telling the young boy, “God only likes good little boys.” Although this evidence is anecdotal it points us to the truth that we as a church in the 21st century are unsure of how to dispense God’s grace because we do not fully understand it.

 


[1] A Hirsch, The Forgotten Ways (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2006) p.17

[2] A Hirsch, The Forgotten Ways, p.11

[3] M Lucado, In the Grip of God’s Grace: You Can’t Fall Beyond His Love (London: Word Press, 1996) p.19-20

[4] C Swindoll, The Grace Awakening (Milton Keynes: Word Publishing, 1990) p.8

[5] C Swindoll, The Grace Awakening, p.9