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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by carpro, Apr 11, 2012.
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost Of Discipleship
Is cheap grace being offered in today's church.
The phrase "In Today's Church" is overly broad but it is happening quite a bit.
Lately, I seem to be hearing a lot from people who say they are Christian because they follow the words of Jesus, but refuse to accept Him as their savior.
The Cost of Discipleship is a great book, one every Christian should read.
Yes, there is cheap grace sold all over America. Those who point this out are most often scoffed at, laughed at, called names such as liberals, looks, crazies, radicals, etc.
Two other quotes from The Cost of Discipleship are:
And his words on "costly grace".
Not all liberals agree with Bonhoeffer and surely many fundamentalists and conservatives do not agree with him. My point here is that those who preach costly grace are often found to be very irritation to others.
Bonhoeffer's other books are also well worth reading.
Carpro - I do agree with you. I think we often give only part of the message - that there is nothing to do to be saved and then people are "saved" then do nothing else. I've seen it so often and I honestly don't see that there was never a regenerating work in the heart because there is NO change at all in them.
We do need to tell people that there is a cost. But I have also seen those who have been saved under this idea of cheap grace who have had an incredible life change and even without being told, they grow in the grace and the knowledge of Christ and do not live out a cheap grace salvation. So it really makes me wonder if those who live that way are truly saved.
It seems that people want the "grace" but want to keep their old life. I believe too many churches are merchants of this cheap grace.
Do we , as Christians, stay quiet about it? The Bible tells us to speak out against it.
I have found in my own experience that there are those lost in the ditch of cheap grace, easy believism, entertainment focused, country club 'christianity' on the one side of the road, but equally as tragic, and maybe less obvious, is a ditch of lost souls on the other side of the road who fall off into self-righteous theological intellectual elitism. They tend to become emotionless, legalistic, egotistical and judgmental. They can spell and define every theological attribute of God, but have yet to be truly enthralled by the Person Himself.
Having been in both ditches in my journey I'm not sure which is more damaging to our cause, but both are certainly tragic.
While I think you paint an accurate picture of the 2 ditches, I missed what that has to do with cheap grace. A thousand pardons.
My issue with those who practice or preach a cheap grace is that their message is so completely different from that preached by Jesus himself. Not only is the content vastly different (his message was "follow me" theirs is "trust Jesus to get out of hell"), but the motive behind the message is different. People who preach a cheap grace do so b/c many of them are not willing to follow Jesus to the extent that he calls his disciples. They may even go to the extent to justify (biblically or theologically) that salvation does not equal discipleship (foreign to Jesus according to the gospel accounts).
I wonder how much of the "american dream" has affected and effected this sad state in american churches?
It was just to say that there is more than one way to cheapen grace.
Gotcha! Great point...
I believe that Baptists, because of our belief in OSAS, are particularly vulnerable to accusations of selling "cheap grace". Why follow Christ when we are already assured of salvation?
OTOH, other denominations that depend on frequent confessions to be forgiven of each individual sin run the same risk. Why follow Christ when one can be assured of unlimited forgiveness for the sins he willfully continues to commit?
Jude 1:4 states,
When we understand God, understand the Cross of Christ and understand just how "well" we measure up, it humbles us to understand that there is nothing that we have done to deserve such grace. Our next thought should be "Praise God for the great things He has done in me!! I want to live for Him because that is all I CAN do. I don't WANT to throw my sin in His face. I don't want to cause Him any pain. I want to live to please my Father but know when I fail, He loves me. I also want to let others know just how amazingly awesome God is and have them be a child of God too!"
You are right - there are the two extremes and when we go to either side, we forget God. Instead, we walk in His grace. Walk and grace. Together.
The Omega Ministry
One must be willing to turn from sins or commit one's life to Christ to be saved.
The price of true grace is everything you are and have. Give it all to Christ.
In your last post you quoted Bonhoeffer:
It triggered a memory.
A few years ago, during a mission trip to Romania, one of the pastors there told us what it was like to be a Christian (he called them "repenters") under Communism.
He said when someone would come to them, expressing a desire to confess Christ as Lord, they did something which shocked me: They tried to talk him out of it.
He explained: They asked the new believer "do you understand what may happen once it becomes known you have become a repenter? Do you understand that you could lose your job, your family, you could be thrown in jail, you could be beaten up. Or the Communists might kill you. Now, do you still want to publicly confess Christ?"
The pastor said, "if he's still willing, then we are pretty sure his conversion experience was real."
There was no cheap grace in Romania under Communism.
I think the day is coming in America when the idea of cheap grace will fade away. Already, even today, we are getting glimpses of what it's costing some believers.
That reminds me of a quote I heard, but I can't remember who said it or exactly how it was stated, but it was something like:
'The problem with Christians in America today is that there is not enough people trying to kill them.'