I hope you have read something of Alcorn’s The Grace and Truth Paradox. Here are some quotes that stood out to me in chapter 2.
- “Our churches try to make sinners comfortable. How? They never talk about sin. Never offend anyone. They replace truth with tolerance, lowering the bar so everyone can jump over it and we can all feel good about ourselves.” (page 20)
I find that quote interestingly true. If you are replying, what do you think about that? Do you agree or disagree? What is wrong with this, if it is true?
Alcorn also writes:
- Something’s wrong if all unbelievers hate us.
- Something’s wrong if all unbelievers love us.
- John 15:20: they persecuted Jesus. (page 20)
- When we offend everybody, it’s because we’ve taken on the truth mantle without grace. When we offend nobody, it’s because we’ve watered down the truth in the name of grace. (page 20)
The church Alcorn pastored was picketed for their stance on abortion, so the church served donuts to the picketers. This is grace and truth. They stood on truth but gave gifts. (page 24)
“On the morning we were picketed, some street preachers with signs shouting hell and damnation showed up to take on the abortion activists. Their message contained truth, but their approach lacked grace. One of the street preachers barged between my daughter and me and a few of the Lesbian Avengers just as we finally had an opportunity to talk with them. The door of witnessing was slammed in our faces…by Christian brothers. We tried to reason with the street preachers, After all, this was our church, and we didn’t want them screaming at our ‘guests’—even if they were screaming the truth. Most cooperated, but a few decided we were waffling on truth and it was an abomination for us to offer doughnuts to people who needed to be rebuked.
- The following Sunday two street preachers picketed our church, scolding us for our “pathetic” attempts at doughnuts and coffee evangelism.
- So after twenty-one unpicketed years, our church was picketed two weeks in a row.” (page 25)
Do you agree that this is an example of “grace and truth”? Please post comments.
Truth and love have to walk hand in hand to be effective.
I found Alcorn’s quote about lowering the bar so that everyone can get over it very interesting as well. I thought that it felt true about a lot of our Christianity in our churches today. It’s often disguised as politically correct Christianity, but, I think Alcorn is right in describing it as Christianity that lacks truth.
I’m pretty sure it was in this chapter that Alcorn said the early Apostles were easily spotted as Christians just like his friend was spotted as an American in Britain. And I began to wonder, as I have often wondered before, if people can spot me as a Christian, if they don’t know that I go to church or that I am a youth director. I hope so. But I wonder if so, how do they know. And if not, why not. I want people to know.