Does preaching grace make people lazy?

Posted: July 25, 2011 by limabean03 in Christian Theology, Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life

The letter copied below, titled “Dear Mr. Antinomian” (anti-law), is an amusing little bit of satire with quite a serious point. Because of our emphasis on grace here at Trinity, I will occasionally have to deal with church member fear that our Gospel focus will make people serve less, give less, and just be generally lazy. My experience is that this fear is typically unfounded. Rather, I’ve found that the Gospel, when it truly grips someone has quite the opposite effect. Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed this letter so much.

Dear Mr. Antinomian,

Forgive me for writing to you in such an open forum but I’ve been trying to meet you for years and we just never seem to connect. While it’s true that I live in a little corner of the States and while it’s true that I am, well, a woman, I did assume that I would meet you at some point in my decades old counseling practice. But alas, neither you nor any of your (must be) thousands of brothers and sisters have ever shown up for my help… So again, please do pardon my writing in such a public manner but, you see, I’ve got a few things to say to you and I think it’s time I got them off my chest.

I wonder if you know how hard you’re making it for those of us who love to brag about the gospel. You say that you love the gospel and grace too, but I wonder how that can be possible since it’s been continuously reported to me that you live like such a slug. I’ve even heard that you are lazy and don’t work at obeying God at all…Rather you sit around munching on cigars and Twinkies, brewing beer and watching porn on your computer. Mr. A, really! Can this be true?

So many of my friends and acquaintances are simply up in arms about the way you act and they tell me it’s because you talk too much about grace. They suggest (and I’m almost tempted to agree) that what you need is more and more rules to live by. In fact, I’m very tempted to tell you that you need to get up off your lazy chair, pour your beer down the drain, turn off your computer and get about the business of the Kingdom.

I admit that I’m absolutely flummoxed, though, which is why I’m writing as I am. You puzzle me. How can you think about all that Christ has done for you, about your Father’s steadfast, immeasurable, extravagantly generous love and still live the way you do? Have you never considered the incarnation, about the Son leaving ineffable light to be consigned first to the darkness of Mary’s womb and then the darkness of this world? Have you never considered how He labored day-after-day in His home, obeying His parents, loving His brothers and sisters so that you could be counted righteous in the sight of His Father? Have you forgotten the bloody disgrace of the cross you deserve? Don’t you know that in the resurrection He demolished sin’s power over you? Aren’t you moved to loving action knowing that He’s now your ascended Lord Who prays for you and daily bears you on His heart? Has your heart of stone never been warmed and transformed by the Spirit? Does this grace really not impel zealous obedience? Hello…Are you there?

Honestly, even though my friends talk about you as though you were just everywhere in every church, always talking about justification but living like the devil, frankly I wonder if you even exist. I suppose you must because everyone is so afraid that talking about grace will produce more of you. So that’s why I’m writing: Will you please come forward? Will you please stand up in front of all of us and tell us that your heart has been captivated so deeply by grace that it makes you want to watch the Playboy channel?

Again, please do forgive me for calling you out like this. I really would like to meet you.

Trusting in Grace Alone,
Elyse

Go read the whole thing here

Comments
  1. Stephen Holmes says:

    Elyse:

    Ever heard the phrase,”judge not, lest ye be judged?” Your letter has the tone that you are judging someone else’s actions, and not leaving that up to the Lord. You are no better than the Pharisees who “gave lip service to the Law, but whose heart was far from the Lord.”

    Better you leave judgement unto the Lord and be thankful that your sins are erased by the blood of Christ and the GRACE of God.

  2. limabean03 says:

    Stephen,

    Not really sure you understood the letter. Maybe go back and read it through once more.

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