Christians and Cheap Grace Concerning Sexual Sin
That editorial approaches sexual sin they way I think of it, if approaching it from a Christian context.
I’m a little tired of Christians who are so hyper sensitive to the feelings of fornicators or sexual abuse victims that they have started to teach that Christians should ignore or downplay the Bible’s teachings about virginity until marriage (which is a form of sexual purity – which I mention because a lunk head at another blog said the two are separate issues altogether).
(Disclaimer: consensual sexual sin and sexual abuse (and rape) are two separate categories. I do not hold victims of rape or sexual abuse responsible for having been violated; never the less, it is incorrect for anyone to want to neglect the Bible’s standards on sexuality, or to say such standards do not matter, all to spare the feelings of anyone who may have been either sexually abused or guilty of consensual sex.)
It’s all well and good to tell people God will forgive them of sexual sin (and again, I’m talking about consensual sexual acts), but the end result of all this hyper-leniency in regards to sexual sin is to pretty much abandon any expectation or defense of biblical standards of virginity and related matters. Which in turn is a big insult to Christians who have literally walked the walk and have not caved in to sexual temptation and who remain virgins into their 30s and older.
Excerpts from Carlos Danger and Cheap Grace: No Road to Respectability
- By Eric Metaxas, Christian Post Contributor
- August 2, 2013|10:01 am
As I record this, former congressman Anthony Weiner is staying in the race for mayor of New York. In case you forgot, he’s the one who resigned in 2011 after sexually suggestive tweets he sent to virtual strangers became public.
He’s staying in the race, despite reports of serial sexting under the nom de thumb “Carlos Danger.” He joins disgraced former governor Eliot Spitzer, who is running for comptroller, on the ballot.
It isn’t only New York: recently, South Carolina voters returned Mark Sanford, who ruined the phrase “hiking the Appalachian Trail” for the rest of us, to Congress.
These and other instances of politicians “falling from grace” and then being restored to a measure of respectability, are usually explained by the statement “Americans are a forgiving lot.”
As a Christian, I am all for forgiveness, as I’m sure you are. But what’s on display in these instances isn’t so much an example of forgiveness as it is of “cheap grace.”
That’s how David French put it at National Review. The expression “cheap grace” comes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Cost of Discipleship.” “Cheap grace,” Bonhoeffer wrote, “is the grace we bestow on ourselves [and] the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance.” Ultimately, it is “grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”
As French pointed out, “the pattern is familiar and depressing: Public stumble, public apology, public rebirth-and then the next public stumble follows with depressing frequency.” Some politicians “opt out of scandal” by “marrying their mistresses and prancing in front of cameras with their latest adoring spouse,” but the end result is the same: a parody of forgiveness and grace that makes the real thing increasingly unrecognizable.
I agree with French that the allure of “cheap grace” is easy to understand. “We want to close the worst chapters of our lives as quickly as possible and just get on with living on the same trajectory as before, minus the embarrassment.”
But grace and true forgiveness are supposed to alter the trajectory of our lives, not preserve it. They are supposed to make us better as well as wiser.
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