Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cheap Grace vs Costly Grace ?

from SHUTUPNSING SUNDAY MORNING TUNE-UP
 
“Where’s the love…to leave me this way…not a soul to lean on.
Goin’ down for the last time my friend…Lord I’m down on my knees.”

- Chip Murray/Wonder Why

Today’s piece is dedicated to an American Clergy that has become a silent body when their voice is needed most. I would ask you to please pass this along to any pastors, priests and rabbis you may know.

                                                            The Costly Grace

“This is not right.”
Have you ever stood alone? I’m not talking about the countless times you may have been alone, or stood alone at a bus stop. I’m talking about knowing in your heart that something is wrong…that something is not right, and standing up to speak your heart when every other person in your family, and your office, and your community not only defend the wrong…they condemn and abandon you!  
I wish I had a dime for every time I’ve been told that “I’m not helping myself.”…or, “Everyone is worried about you.”! The supreme irony in my standing alone is that I spent most of my life trying to fit in. And I did a pretty good job of it too…until one day I just couldn’t set my foot down and fall into that line any more. I knew in my heart and soul, “This is not right.”  
Cheap grace can wear the robes and fill the seats with a decent house band. Cheap grace can read scripture and sing the good hymn. But perhaps the greatest sin of cheap grace lies in the intention of distracting the soul from the suffering it was meant to bear. In other words, where the mission of the soul is to bear witness, the Clergy has become the Anesthesiologist!
Costly grace knows the price it has to pay, and pays it willingly because it trusts the source and perceives the value…where cheap grace becomes its own source and perceives only its want of survival. In a sense, the Anesthesiologist has anesthetized himself!  
In 1945 Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hung naked and alone for standing up to condemn the very same wrongs that threaten the church and the community of man today! How do we honor him by falling asleep…again?

“Cheap grace is the mortal enemy of our church. Our struggle today is for costly grace.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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