Saturday, August 28, 2010

But for the Grace of God...

One of the, if not the most important teachings of Christianity is the ideal of Grace. Paul taught it, St. Augustine expounded on it and helped to use it to shape Christianity into what it is today and Christians everywhere profess to believe in it. It is the core belief of the faith; that no matter what sin we commit, from the most vile rape and murder to the most simple covetous or lustful glance, God's grace is enough to cover it and to redeem us from it with no questions asked and no remembrance of the sin. Paul was a persecutor of the early church to such an extent that after his
conversion believers were still terrified by him, yet he believed in this ideal so strongly that he was able to say that as Paul, he had not sinned. Grace is not something that allows the believer to sin with the intent to repent only to go back to those sinful ways and repent insincerely. Even the most wretched sinner can be saved, if his heart is truly set on repenting and receiving forgiveness and grace for his sins, and this is the subject of the hymn "Amazing Grace," which is universally recognized for both its power and truth. With grace, our fears are relived. We no longer worry about our eternal destiny. Those fears are gone, nothing more than powerless shadows deserving of nothing more than our scorn. It is the Grace of God that allows the believer to exist in the fallen state that he is in and still perform his duties for God here on Earth. That divine Grace, totally beyond our comprehension in every way is the cornerstone of the Christian faith and what separates the faith from so many other beliefs and what truly allows for one's life to be freed from bondage and to live as God would have them live on this Earth. It is something to remember for when one feels like they are nothing more than a wretched sinner undeserving of any respite, which is a feeling that everyone has had at some point. When sin crouches at your door desiring you and you open it and are taken by it do not waste time in self-condemnation rather offer your sin up to God and receive the grace that was bought and paid for by pure and righteous blood and it is in that blood that we find our solace and our redemption and our strength and it is but for this Grace of God that we will go into His kingdom instead of eternal damnation and separation from His presence and Love.


  1. Josh - As a Christian I wonder what your views are on the lamentably stupid and oxymoronic Dove World Outreach Center and their plan to hold a public burning of The Koran on the anniversary of 9/11?
    It makes me mad that such wilful ignorance is allowed to prosper in today's dangerous world.

  2. Well, here's my thoughts, in a nutshell. If you're not a Christian, don't take this is me trying to force my views on you, these are my honest opinions.

    What this "pastor" is doing is moronic, insane, dangerous, inflammatory and uncalled for. Not only is he doing the exact opposite of what Christians are called to do to their fellow man, he's putting Americans everywhere (not just Christians or military) in danger. Gen. Petraeus(sp?) asked this guy not to do it, because of that reason and he's been denied a burn permit...yet he's still going ahead with it.

    While I don't agree with Islam in any way nor do I hold any respect for the Koran and it's teachings, this is absolutely not the way to go about making a stand against Islam. This is nothing but a publicity stunt, and one that will endanger every American and non-muslim in the middle-east and probably the rest of the world.

    All that isn't to say I don't love and pray for Muslims. I do. I don't agree with their religion one iota but I don't hate them.

    However...the contrasts in protesting styles by Christians and Muslims is interesting. While we're just burning books (which I DO NOT agree with) they kill people and post videos on youtube. It makes it hard for me to have much sympathy for the other cause when on a daily basis they murder Christians and other non-Muslims. It doesn't excuse whats going on here...but it does put things in perspective a little.

  3. My thoughts exactly...well almost.
    I come from a Christian background, but would at best describe myself as lapsed. I like to take a Humanist viewpoint, and do not subscribe to the view that any one religion is "right" or "wrong". All religions have the same basic tenets anyway.
    Hearing of this STUPID plan on the news this morning made so mad I just had to blog about it altho' I'm supposed to be working.

    Remember I was raging a bit when I wrote this!

    Your last para is interesting. I agree that Islamic extremism today is of a more violent nature than Christian extremism, but maybe that's because their homeland is either occupied by or threatened with invasion by the West? There are no easy answers here, but a little tolerance for those we don't agree with goes a long way.

    Have a good day :)