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Righteousness and Morality

Started by Supplanter, March 25, 2011, 08:48:11 am

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Supplanter

QuoteThat is why I resist the lectures that Christians give me about their being in grace so do not talk to them about sin. Their sin gives them away that they are not in grace as much as they testify that they are.


But why do you think it would be your place to talk to them about their sin? I find that most Christians very much know when they are sinning and that the Holy Spirit is more than capable of convicting them of it. Rarely have I actually heard a Christian excuse their sin because they are under grace and rarely have I seen a Christian in continual sin who had any peace at all. God knows how to discipline His children much better than I ever could. He loves them perfectly and sees them perfectly. How am I to rightly judge what he does with His own servants?

And I often find it suprising how different God deals with sin than I do. When I was in my worst sins as a Christian (I basically felt betrayed by God and I was hurting and didn't want to feel the pain so I intentionally tried to desensitize myself with sin. I could litterally feel the Holy Spirit hovering over me at night, telling me that He still loved me. My response was more anger.) yet during my attempt to absolutely reject God, He responded to me in love.

During all this someone crossed my path and I had to make a choice to share Christ with them ( as it was obvious that was what was needed) or walk away. I couldn't walk away. Even in all my rage and darkness, I still knew the truth and I couldn't deny it to someone else when given the opportunity to share, not because I was anything but because the work God had done and was doing in me was real.

For God to use me to share His gospel with someone else, to allow me to offer someone life when I felt so dead, was the kindest thing that could have been done for me. Never have I understood His love like I did in that moment and I had a repentance brought about by love rather than fear or obligation and there was no comparison. It took a long time for complete healing to occur, but I began to serve God in a different way. I realized that even though I thought I had grace, I was still spending time trying to earn it, trying to be good for God when what He wanted from me was entirely different than what I thought was right.

To be so filthy and yet be loved, was beyond what I could comprehend but to experience it when I knew I was deserving of punishment. To really know grace when I could see a glimpse of just how sinful I was, that stopped the sin in my life in it's tracks.

No one condemning me for my sins or telling me I was wrong was going to change me. No one telling me I should know better or be better would have helped.  I had done my best systematically eradicate sin from my life. I didn't see it as my own effort. I saw it as what God was deserving of from me since I had salvation. But in the end, my salvation had no substance even though others looked at me and admired me, admired my dedication and my righteous living, felt I had wisdom and knowledge to share. All of it was meaningless until I could really taste His love and grace.

Pete

Quote from: Yitzchak on June 27, 2011, 12:30:21 am
The more that someone really lives in grace , the less that they sin. When someone becomes a Christian and then lives in all kinds of sin it tells me that they are still in works rather than grace. they may have gotten a glimpse of grace. But they did not really receive it fully. Because had they ceased from their own works , they would also have ceased from sin. They would only do what The Holy Spirit leads them to do. As the song says ,  More of you and less of me.

That is why I resist the lectures that Christians give me about their being in grace so do not talk to them about sin. Their sin gives them away that they are not in grace as much as they testify that they are.


When you say, "The more that someone really lives in grace , the less that they sin", this scripture seems to indicate that maybe you've got that backwards;

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Romans 5:20-21 (NIV)
The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Some translations say where sin abounds, grace does MUCH MORE abound.  Does this mean people should just go on sinning because they're under grace.  Nope.  Romans 6 goes on to say the exact opposite;

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Romans 6:1-2 (NIV)
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

At some point, a change should be evident.  But we must be careful to not be quick to write people off because they still struggle with some type of sin.  Even Paul struggled with this;

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Romans 7:15 (NIV)
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

I think too often, the church tosses people aside who have the exact same struggle; they find themselves doing things they know they shouldn't do and not doing things they know they should do.  This is when grace should increase. But often it's the exact opposite.  We tell people they must stop sinning, and so they strive to "do better", yet never really have any kind of internal change.  They attempt to clean the outside of the cup to pass muster with whoever it is that is telling them how to behave, but they never really deal with the inside of the cup.

This is my concern with people who focus too much on performance.  It's true that God desires our obedience, but not because it's what the preacher told us we have to do, but rather because it's our desire to be pleasing to Him.

There is a WORLD of difference between doing something out of obligation vs. doing something out of desire.  I believe that more often than not, the church today teaches a religion of obligation instead of a relationship of desire.

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

Supplanter

QuoteThere is a WORLD of difference between doing something out of obligation vs. doing something out of desire.  I believe that more often than not, the church today teaches a religion of obligation instead of a relationship of desire.


I like the way you worded this, Pete. It made me think of my relationship with John as my husband. We have a relationship of desire with one another. We desire to please one another and though we want to do special things for each other, our pleasure in one another comes more so from who we are and actions that stem from who we are on a daily basis. Neither one of us is perfect and sometimes we do wrong to one another, but the first rule of our relationship is that we must treat each other with mercy and grace.

Does this commitment to grace no matter what mean we take liberties to wrong each other and then say it doesn't matter because the other person will show grace and forgive? Of course not, we love each other. We feel the sting when we disappoint or inflict pain on each other, not because I am obligated by my husband's love to be kind to him and treat him well, but because I desire to love him and show that  because I know how deeply he loves me.

Even as I love God because He first loved me. God loves me for who I am ( as amazing as that is) on a daily basis, not for the special things I set apart for Him. I do wrong, but the fact that that is met with grace is all the more humbling and at the same time that there is a comfort, there is also a bit of a sting that I have hurt my beloved who loves me down to the very dregs of my soul.

pastorzzub

For the last three week I have had different people from the church receive the offering.  All of them have said the same thing: the thing I love about offerings at this church is I used to give because I should, now I give because I love.  It has moved from fear to love.

That is such a blessing to me.  I don't want people to give out of a sense of duty, but out of a sense of love.  God is our Father, not our employee.  I don't want my sons helping me out of a sense of obligation or of "what can I get out of this" or out of earning my love (they can't earn my love, I already love them).


Yitzchak

Quote from: Pete on June 27, 2011, 09:34:06 am
When you say, "The more that someone really lives in grace , the less that they sin", this scripture seems to indicate that maybe you've got that backwards;

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Romans 5:20-21 (NIV)
The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Some translations say where sin abounds, grace does MUCH MORE abound.  Does this mean people should just go on sinning because they're under grace.  Nope.  Romans 6 goes on to say the exact opposite;

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Romans 6:1-2 (NIV)
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

At some point, a change should be evident.  But we must be careful to not be quick to write people off because they still struggle with some type of sin.  Even Paul struggled with this;

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Romans 7:15 (NIV)
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

I think too often, the church tosses people aside who have the exact same struggle; they find themselves doing things they know they shouldn't do and not doing things they know they should do.  This is when grace should increase. But often it's the exact opposite.  We tell people they must stop sinning, and so they strive to "do better", yet never really have any kind of internal change.  They attempt to clean the outside of the cup to pass muster with whoever it is that is telling them how to behave, but they never really deal with the inside of the cup.

This is my concern with people who focus too much on performance.  It's true that God desires our obedience, but not because it's what the preacher told us we have to do, but rather because it's our desire to be pleasing to Him.

There is a WORLD of difference between doing something out of obligation vs. doing something out of desire.  I believe that more often than not, the church today teaches a religion of obligation instead of a relationship of desire.

O0




  I think that the verse you mentioned means that as sin increases , there is more grace made available because God does not run out of grace. Our receiving that grace is another story.

   I agree with you that we should not judge too quickly. God does frequently surprise me on how patient he is. Two people could have similar actions but one is headed towards God and one is headed away from Him. This can be true of religious works as well. I have had Jewish friends who spent a long time considering Christ. When they testify of their conversion , they stayed in works for quite a long time after accepting Christ before they were o.k. to drop keeping the Sabbath and eating Kosher and stuff like that without feeling condemned. They needed a lot longer transition time than I thought they would. It was a change of identity and it took time for their thinking to change.

    There was a woman in the Assembly of God church where I used to attend. She was Mennonite back round and she was thrown out of the Mennonite church because she spoke in tongues. So she started coming to the Assembly of God church. She sang in the choir and was always at the altar calls praying and worshiping and the Holy Spirit moved powerfully upon her. But it took her two years before she let go of the Mennonite traditions that she had grown up with. Some of those traditions were works centered. God did not wait two years until she really understood grace in order to start moving in her life.

   The old saying that if we take one step towards God , he take two towards us is true. that is the meaning of the verses that speak about more grace being available.

    It can be the same way with giving up our sinful works. God understands all of this. I think it is valid that some people take a long time to change. The grace is there to keep someone who stumbles a thousand times or more.

   
To know him and to make him known

Yitzchak

June 27, 2011, 01:46:19 pm #25 Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 02:03:26 pm by Yitzchak
Quote from: Supplanter on June 27, 2011, 08:16:01 am


But why do you think it would be your place to talk to them about their sin? I find that most Christians very much know when they are sinning and that the Holy Spirit is more than capable of convicting them of it. Rarely have I actually heard a Christian excuse their sin because they are under grace and rarely have I seen a Christian in continual sin who had any peace at all. God knows how to discipline His children much better than I ever could. He loves them perfectly and sees them perfectly. How am I to rightly judge what he does with His own servants?




   I realize that not everyone feels that Christians can live in sin and it does not matter. But I was responding to posts in this thread that were making the point that they think that God has already forgiven Christians for their future sins ,no matter what they do. While the grace is there for that , I believe we need to stay in faith in order to receive the promises because this is what the Bible says and whether it is healing or salvation or financial prosperity, we receive it all on the same basis. I don't think God separates it into categories and we receive salvation on one basis and healing and prosperity on another. The church has no problem teaching tithing , but it has a problem teaching accountability when it comes to salvation. The blessing is there and no one can take it from us. But we have to stay in a place of faith in order to receive it. That always involves actions because God tests our faith by placing us in a situation that requires action. I suppose it is debatable whether someone has immature faith or has no faith when they fail the tests of faith that God sends heir way. But I say that the Bible teaches that there will eventually be actions if faith is real. If we fail enough tests of faith , we can be like the nation of Israel in the wilderness. God can decide that we are in unbelief and not allow us into the promised land. The key word there is promise. God promised it and God is faithful and yet they did not enter.

    Also there are options other than just the two opposite extremes that God is either 100% pleased with you no matter what you do versus the opposite extreme that God is always angry at you. The scripture speaks about the chastening of The Lord. It counsels us to be gentle and lift up someone who is beat down under the rebuke of The Lord. Even a small rebuke from God is hard to endure.

QuoteHeb 12:5  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Heb 12:8  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Heb 12:9  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
Heb 12:10  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
Heb 12:11  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Heb 12:12  Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;



   To answer your question
. I believe that God works with someone gently at first. I am glad to hear that your heart softened and God dealt with you gently.

       But oftentimes people in church harden their hearts , and there is a time when the rebukes can be stronger and less gentle. Sometimes God uses other people to preach to someone and to help bring correction to them. Not everyone who brings correction to another person is on a power trip or judgmental. It is God's choice who he uses for this purpose and some people handle that task better than others.

   This passage is one of the keys to understanding some of the apparent contradictions in the Bible. On many issues , God does teach both. There is a time to speak and a time to be silent. There is a time to be gentle and supportive and a time to  rebuke and correct. If a person is a parent long enough , they figure some of this out by life experience.

     
QuoteEcc 3:1  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
Ecc 3:2  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
Ecc 3:3  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
Ecc 3:4  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Ecc 3:5  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
Ecc 3:6  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
Ecc 3:7  A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
Ecc 3:8  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.



   Discerning what the Holy Spirit wants us to do in a given situation is crucial. I am not saying that we should always be correcting and always confronting people. But if we build a doctrine that we are never to correct or confront we can find ourselves in a place where we resist the Holy Spirit when the occasion for that arises.

   There is a very popular teaching in the church today that God is never displeased with any Christian ever. That God never corrects or rebukes or rejects anyone. This carries over into a lack of balanced preaching and proper church discipline by the church leadership since they think it is never right to correct anyone. I can list at least three churches in our city that I know of for sure that teach that. They have people in the church living in public known sinful lifestyles. These people actually boast about their sins.They live together outside of marriage and have rants about how dare anyone judge them and no one has the right to tell them what to do. Then they add that God is a God of grace so even if it is a sin , so what. The leadership agrees. They figure God has forgiven them because they prayed the sinner's prayer.

   As for the part of your question of how we are to rightly judge his servants.

QuoteMat 7:5  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.


QuoteMat 18:15  Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16  But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Mat 18:17  And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.


QuoteGal 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.


Quote1Co 6:1  Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
1Co 6:2  Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
1Co 6:3  Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
1Co 6:4  If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
1Co 6:5  I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
1Co 6:6  But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers


Quote1Co 5:1  It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.
1Co 5:2  And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
1Co 5:3  For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
1Co 5:4  In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Co 5:5  To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.



Quote1Co 5:12  For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
1Co 5:13  But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.



   This is why it is so important to have a balanced teaching on things. There is a time to refrain from judging and a time to judge a matter. The Bible gives lots of instructions on how to properly judge or take action in those situations where it is the right time to do so. I am sure you know that there are also a lot of scriptures which give us instructions on how to act when God is calling us to mind our own business and refrain from judging or taking action about someone else's sin.

   A legalistic mindset leads churches to make up rules to govern these matters rather than being led by The Holy Spirit. A Dangerous practice that leads many churches into error. Years ago we heard a sermon by Joyce Meyer and she suggested that if we feel led to correct someone , we should only do so after we spend at least a day or two in fasting first.  She said first of all , we should take time to seek God about it. Second , if it costs us something , that will help us to not get involved with an attitude that does not care from the heart.

     My wife follows that advice. How blessed am I ? I know if she ever comes to me to correct me about something , she has fasted at least three days and spent time humbling herself before God to remove the plank form her own eye. I tend to want to listen more because I know she is not just taking a pot shot. She has sought The Lord because she really believes there is something in my life that needs corrected.

   I have also discovered over the years that the ratio is about 10 to 1 that she does her fasting and decides to say nothing and lets God handle it. I am very thankful that she has the maturity to allow for both and be led by The Holy Spirit. I remember one time when God corrected me about something that I had been doing for years. When I asked my wife if she noticed I had that problem she said she had noticed it six years earlier and that she had it on her daily prayer list for me for six years. Never said a single word to me. Now that is grace.

      When the world looks at the church they should see grace because Christians show grace. One thing that perverts the message of grace is when we hear Christians talk about how grace means that they can get away with doing stuff wrong. Instead of seeing Christians who actually believe in grace and show it to others.


Here is a link to the story of dale Lang , an Anglican Priest who publically forgave the person who shot and killed his son.

http://www3.telus.net/st_simons/cr0207.htm

   People who have nothing to do with that situation , flock to his church now because they want real grace. They have confidence that they will receive grace there and it is amazing how many respond to that. They believe Dale Lang because they saw him show grace. They say if God is like that , Then I want him too.


    This principle is true about many things and not just grace. The Prosperity message has gotten a lot of bad press because most of what people hear is someone talking about how God is going to bless them. Now the prosperity message is true. But how would it look if instead of that , people would see in the news that the local word of faith church was giving generous things to people again. We have a word of faith church in town that is actually doing that now. The pastor got this idea after prayer one day. If we are blessed to be a blessing , then people in the city when they talk about his church should say things like " that's the church where they are always giving people stuff and blessing them." instead of " that's the church where they are always trying to get something. " People are responding to it now. They are changing their reputation in the city. There are actually unsaved people who will stick up for them now when someone criticizes them as being the church that is all about money. They think of them as the church that gives and loves people that they do not even know or agree with.

   My biggest problem with the message of grace that I hear a lot of church people preaching today is it is selfish. I understand that there is this part of it that people need to receive grace in order to be able to give it. But in 28 years in the church , I have seen 99% receiving , receiving ,receiving with little evidence of change , and 1% giving grace. My wife is an exception to that. I am sorry if it is hard to hear. But that is my honest observation. We were part of a church in the town where we used to live and in 22 years as a church the most that the church had helped someone was a 20 dollar food card. There was a family there who needed more help than that. They were going to be evicted. The church leadership wrangled and had meetings and there was all this suspicion about whether the family was doing their part and did they deserve the help. After 22 years of receiving grace and talking about how God wants to bless us as a church and as individuals , we had such a struggle being generous and showing grace to this family. The end of the story is that the family left the church feeling unloved. They said if God is like the people at our church , then they do not want anything to do with him. Life is hard and they did not like this God who showed favor and grace to some and others were given guilt and a lecture. They received help from their unsaved relatives who gave them help with conditions that pulled them even more away from God. To my knowledge , they are still away from any church.

   In my view , the problem was that the church was caught unprepared. All the pride and prejudice and selfish thinking came out. We even had as our slogan , blessed to be  blessing. God sent that family to test us and we failed as a church. I had to ask blessed to be a blessing to whom ? The way I read the Bible when it speaks of grace is we show it to those who least deserve it. To me that means we help the one who has not budgeted , who has wasted their money , been lazy , etc. This family pushed our buttons because they had made a bunch of mistakes and did not show much hope of changing. We figured they would be right back in the same situation six months later if we helped them. Their suffering was real. But we figured it was self induced.

      The funny thing is the biggest argument against helping the family in the meetings that we had about it was the fear that they would take advantage of us and the thought that nothing would change . It would be pouring money down a hole. We kind of thought we had earned it our stable situations by tithing , praying , being responsible , etc.  Bottom line, our decision as a church was the amount of grace that God had for this family was a 20 dollar food card. I think that we made a mistake. I think it is possible that God was at least a little bit angry or displeased with us.

   I started another thread and asked the question who has ever helped someone else in a large way. The implication was that they did not deserve it or could not pay it back or were likely to take advantage of it. Or we did not know them that well. The real question is how much grace in all the years as a Christian has been shown to others in a a tangible way ? A toonie (two dollars for you non canadians ) for the homeless guy does not count. I am talking about 10,000 dollars , a car , a place to live... In other words , my observation of 28 years in the church is we want a million dollars of grace from God and want to show a toonie or a twenty dollar food card for others.

   The bottom line for me of this whole discussion about God's anger and grace is the parable of the great debtor. I know that the parable speaks about forgiveness. In the parable , the Lord who forgave the great debt is God. In the parable it says he gets angry when he finds out that the servant refused to show grace to his fellow servant but had no problem receiving grace from the Lord. In the parable God takes back his grace and reverses his decision and instead deals with the servant harshly. In my view this answers the question of the opening post. Can God get angry at someone he has forgiven and shown grace to ? In the parable it says he does.

QuoteMat 18:21  Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Mat 18:22  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Mat 18:23  Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
Mat 18:24  And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
Mat 18:25  But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
Mat 18:26  The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:27  Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
Mat 18:28  But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
Mat 18:29  And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:30  And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
Mat 18:31  So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
Mat 18:32  Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
Mat 18:33  Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
Mat 18:34  And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
Mat 18:35  So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.




   I guess I have revealed one of my issues where I have been wounded. I don't see very much grace in the church and I am skeptical of most church people who talk about grace , grace , grace and show evidence of the opposite in a hundred ways. I guess you are getting to know me a little through my posts.

   But besides my own personal issue , I think the scripture teaches a balanced message. God proved his grace was real by Jesus dying for his enemies. But he does not like hypocrisy.
 


     
To know him and to make him known

Yitzchak

     By the way , I do not think that righteousness is internal and morality is external. I think that morailty is one way of showing righteousness but it is only a part of righteousness.
To know him and to make him known

Supplanter

I understand that your view is filltered through your expeience just as mine is. I honestly don't find a lot of churches around here that preach about grace. Every Sunday all I hear about is what horrible sinners we are and how we need to do this and that and this "if" we are really saved and how we need to "get right." It bother's me that we are focused on sin rather than Christ and all Hs attributes, not just grace wen I am in church. There is no celebration of how good He is. And yes, I agree if you believe then you do something about it, you don't just continue on as you once were.

Pete

Quote from: Yitzchak on June 27, 2011, 01:46:19 pm
The bottom line for me of this whole discussion about God's anger and grace is the parable of the great debtor. I know that the parable speaks about forgiveness. In the parable , the Lord who forgave the great debt is God. In the parable it says he gets angry when he finds out that the servant refused to show grace to his fellow servant but had no problem receiving grace from the Lord. In the parable God takes back his grace and reverses his decision and instead deals with the servant harshly. In my view this answers the question of the opening post. Can God get angry at someone he has forgiven and shown grace to ? In the parable it says he does.


This should show us how important it is for us to offer forgiveness for others.  I started a thread on this very topic last May (Forgiveness; a debt we could never repay on our own).

As I said earlier in the thread, I don't debate the fact that God can get angry with us.  However, I think it's wrong to use the anger of God to try to get people to respond.  I believe at best it falls short of the Love relationship that He desires with us and at worst it is a form of manipulation.

With that said, I recognize that some people may have responded and chose God out of fear and obligation and then transitioned over to a relationship based on desire.  I would even concede that for some people, that may be necessary.  But it seems like many times, it's just an unnecessary detour.

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

Yitzchak

Quote from: Pete on June 27, 2011, 02:25:18 pm
This should show us how important it is for us to offer forgiveness for others.  I started a thread on this very topic last May (Forgiveness; a debt we could never repay on our own).

As I said earlier in the thread, I don't debate the fact that God can get angry with us.  However, I think it's wrong to use the anger of God to try to get people to respond.  I believe at best it falls short of the Love relationship that He desires with us and at worst it is a form of manipulation.

With that said, I recognize that some people may have responded and chose God out of fear and obligation and then transitioned over to a relationship based on desire.  I would even concede that for some people, that may be necessary.  But it seems like many times, it's just an unnecessary detour.

O0



   I have to admit that Dale Lang , the Anglican Priest who publically showed grace by forgiving the person who shot his son , has accomplished more in a short time than many churches do in a lifetime.

   I sometimes wonder what would happen to people who are hardened in sin if everyone in the church showed them grace , grace , grace. They probably would have their heart softened faster.

    I have to agree with you that we , as a church , myself included , are way too focused on pressuring people.
To know him and to make him known

Yitzchak

Quote from: Supplanter on June 27, 2011, 02:16:45 pm
I understand that your view is filltered through your expeience just as mine is. I honestly don't find a lot of churches around here that preach about grace. Every Sunday all I hear about is what horrible sinners we are and how we need to do this and that and this "if" we are really saved and how we need to "get right." It bother's me that we are focused on sin rather than Christ and all Hs attributes, not just grace wen I am in church. There is no celebration of how good He is. And yes, I agree if you believe then you do something about it, you don't just continue on as you once were.


   It sounds like you and I have the same problem. We are seeing way too much of the people showing themselves and not enough of the people showing who God is.

     The word of faith church in our town which decided to start showing works of grace to the community is being noticed. People who are usually against church are softening a bit. I think that it is funny to watch people respond. Because they find out they are word of faith and their first reaction is they want my money and then they get that stunned silence when they find out they are looking for opportunities to bless people with no strings attached. Then some of them ask , " why are they doing this ?" It does not make sense. The answer given is to show what God is like.
To know him and to make him known

Yitzchak

     Some thoughts that came to mind this week.

      I walk by this church on the way to some of the places I like to shop at a couple times a month. One of the churches that I walk past is the most liberal church in town. If it is not , it is at least in the top three. They are pro choice , they have discussed allowing the Muslims to use their building for their Muslim worship services , This particular congregation does not have a homosexual minister , but their denomination allows it and they have homosexual couples who have gone through homosexual marriage ceremonies who are members of their church

   My point is not the specific issues. My point is they are liberal. Extremely liberal. to the point to where they do not think the Bible is perfect and they believe in Jesus but not neccesarily that he is the only way to heaven.

   I was thinking about these threads on here lately as I walked by the other day and there was a woman outside of the "soup kitchen" entrance smoking  a cigarette and swearing about something.  I thought to myself , how different these people's Christian experience is from mine.

       They are definitely not into preaching morality unless you count a few social and environmental causes they support. They are big on being vegetarians and against cruelty to animals and save the earth. They are big on feminism and women's rights to get abortions. They are o.k. with couples living together as long as they love each other. Drinking , cussing , smoking , etc. No big deal.

    Anyway , I bring it up because they are a Christian church. Very few other churches in town give them much respect. The Baptist church probably uses them as an example in one of their sermons on compromise, without mentioning their specific name , of course.

  So what is the bottom line here ? How far is too far ? Does it even matter as long as they love God in their hearts ? is it just cultural expectations to expect morality from Christians ?

   I am so used to churches that preach righteous behavior that I am wondering if I should go visit this church once just to see how they act at their services. Would I find it devoid of any anointing ? Or will I be surprised at what I find ?

     I have to admit , I have a difficult time putting myself in their shows and understanding where they are coming from. Back in my Mennonite days , I discovered that there were two types of Mennonites. Those who embraced the lifestyle with all the rules and considered it a  blessing from God to have that structure and community. And the other ones who were waiting for their chance to get out. Wondering if they will gather their courage enough to just leave someday. The first group were at peace and the other were in inner turmoil.

   I wonder if Liberals are the same way. Some it expresses the real them and they love that kind of community. Others are in inner turmoil. I have met the angry ones before. I worked with an angry lesbian who was angry at the world. I also worked with a lesbian who seemed at peace with who she was. I am not sure what makes the difference.

     
To know him and to make him known

jiminpa

Quote from: Pete on June 27, 2011, 02:25:18 pm
This should show us how important it is for us to offer forgiveness for others.  I started a thread on this very topic last May (Forgiveness; a debt we could never repay on our own).

As I said earlier in the thread, I don't debate the fact that God can get angry with us.  However, I think it's wrong to use the anger of God to try to get people to respond.  I believe at best it falls short of the Love relationship that He desires with us and at worst it is a form of manipulation.

With that said, I recognize that some people may have responded and chose God out of fear and obligation and then transitioned over to a relationship based on desire.  I would even concede that for some people, that may be necessary.  But it seems like many times, it's just an unnecessary detour.

O0
For me it is the opposite.  I met God because He opened my eyes to as much of His love as my finite self could handle, and have now learned that fear has it's legitimate place too.  I see that being a similar argument as "can the God who is love be angry?".  It seems to me that to the non-Christian sin should be illuminated to offer grace, just as anger to love.  For the Christian in sin it is written that we should restore our brother, (or sister), who is in sin, so yes there are times to confront sin in Christians, as Paul did, but it must always be in love.  If you aren't more concerned about the other person than you are about yourself in the situation, shut up and pray, for  your own repentance first. 
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.