Saturday, September 15, 2012

Church: The Place Where People Have It All Together?

I stumbled across this post over at "The Christian Curmudgeon" and it struck me as a pretty poignant observation, especially since I wrote in the same vein just recently.

TCC observes:

"While the church requires honesty, it may show it does not know quite what to do when there is transparent honesty.

Honesty is particularly dangerous when Christians admit to two struggles – struggles with doubt and struggles with sin."

It is a sad irony that awkwardness should characterize the church in its two chief mandates: orthodoxy and orthopraxy. But I believe the concession lies in one key realization that must occur both on the part of the church leadership and the church members, i.e., the realization that both parties still struggle with sin and that though biblical ideals are in place, the substantial fulfillment of them is reserved for the future age.

In other words, the church leadership should extend more grace to the members, and the members should extend more grace to the former when they fail to extend more grace to them.

The overarching unity in all of this is that we have been saved by grace, through faith, in Christ. As John Owen alludes to in his work on temptation, it is the patience of Christ (Rev. 3:10) that keeps us all together:

A soul acquainted with the gospel knows that there is no property of Christ rendered more glorious therein than that of his patience. (Overcoming Sin & Temptation, eds. Kelly Kapic & Justin Taylor [Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2006], 204)

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