Grace and Truth; Friends for life or until we get a hold of them.

I grew up a fundamentalist.  There were rules and then there were the rules we made to make sure you didn’t get close to breaking the rules that were there.  Of course these rules came with the weight of scripture and biblical authority.  Here are a few rules from my early days.

Hair – could not touch the collar or ears.  It was explained that hair was a symbol of identity and could be used for rebellion and that God’s word tells men not to look effeminate.

Shirts – Button down or collared during the day, in the evening t-shirts were acceptable.  No jeans or shorts on the lower campus (college) before 5:00pm but okay on Saturdays all day.

Music – Nothing loud, Rock – n – Roll, Christian Rock and certain songs with irregular beats invited rebellion and sometimes worse.  I never knew why country music was okay, maybe because when you play it backwards you get your dog back, your truck back and your farm back.  I do remember getting busted for listening to Keith Green and the Imperials.  (I have always been a bit wild)

Bible – KJV or NASB but never the Living Bible or the NIV.

Doctrine – Just go with Calvin (John Calvin not the one with Hobbs)

Other Christians – must be like us… no hand raising, dancing, movie watching, card playing (unless they were Rook Cards) liberal believers accepted.

Preaching – verse by verse by verse by verse by verse… no topical teaching allowed it weakens the mind, leads Christians to biblical illiteracy and self centered Christianity.

Politics – When Jesus started the Republican Party he taught us that if being a republican was good enough for James, John, Peter and Paul then it is good enough for me.

End Times – Jesus is coming back to get us and if you are not ready then he WILL get you but in a bad way.

Sound fun?  There were a lot more but let me be clear, this was not how my family was and my church was only a bit like this, but the small private Christian school I attended for 9 years was like this and bible college was even more so.

How in the world did we get all this?  Simple, we made rules to make us be good and then more rules to help us keep the rules that are making us good.  As I write these words two emotions that run strong in me.

Gratitude.  You bet!  I am so grateful for the people who loved me enough to care about my character and life.  I am so grateful for the biblical knowledge I gained during this season.  I am so grateful that somewhere along the way Grace entered and eventually caught up with truth.   .

Sadness.  I know so many people whose lives were and are shipwrecked on the rules because they never understood or were taught GRACE.  It was not that grace was not a word we used, we did use the word and we even said we believed in it, but we were afraid that too much grace would make people go wild.  I remember hearing so many times, if we preach too much grace people will believe they have a license to sin.  (I want to go on record that I have been sinning for close to 50 years and never had one of those licenses, I am no expert, but I think you can still sin a lot without one.)

When Jesus came to earth, the bible says that He fully represented the Father and that He did so by being FULL of grace and FULL of truth.  For the next couple posts, I want to sift through some thoughts about GRACE and TRUTH.  Thanks, Off… we go now.

~ by OFF we go now on September 29, 2010.

4 Responses to “Grace and Truth; Friends for life or until we get a hold of them.”

  1. Thank you God for Grace!

  2. Love the words, LOVE the picture…

  3. Hey – I was there with you and remember it well. I too am grateful for the truth which I learned during that time, and the grace which was preached and which I knew/now know after my college days.

  4. Makes me think of my own Catholic upbringing. Many I know who grew up Roman Catholic and then left later complain that they never learned about God there. That they had to leave the RC Church to find Jesus.

    I found Jesus there. He was there, it’s just that a lot of people weren’t listening. I’m TREMENDOUSLY grateful for my Catholic upbringing, and for the Roman Catholic Church.

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