Reflections on life, marriage, and a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Views: Seasoned with Grace?

Recently, I have been thinking about the relationship between my Christian/Conservative views and a compassionate, understanding approach to presenting and applying them. I want to firmly state what I believe to be true, whether or not others agree. But I want to state it in a way that is respectful, helpful, and thought-provoking, rather than intended to offend.

The article which I quoted below has some good points about this, though it is too short to fully explore all the implications. I appreciated Marvin Olasky's reference to how Paul approached the people and issues of his day. I am reminded of how he addressed the people in Athens, using reference points from their own culture to present Christ in a spirit of humility and concern for their salvation.

These days, being a South Park conservative is in, and the working definition seems to be: Hit hard and don't worry about hitting below the belt, because there is no belt. If you counter the left's sputum with your own, talk-show appearances and book contracts will follow...

Conservative, maybe (although if South Park is our future, there won't be much to conserve). Clearly not Christian, though. Those who follow the Bible are to be firm but courteous—as the saying goes, hating the sin but loving the sinner. Christians should not adopt the bipolar belief that either you're (Michael) savage or you're a wimp.

The Christian way is to practice what New Jersey pastor Matt Ristuccia calls "earnest grace, the reassociation of sensibilities that we moderns have judged to be beyond association: specifically, passionate conviction and profound compassion. . . . [The apostle Paul was] so wonderstruck by the way God brought justice and judgment for human sin together with forgiveness and hope in the death of this Jesus, that Paul's earnestness could not help but be seasoned with grace."

Read the full article here.


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