We're done with it. The worn out, tired, legalistic approach to the Christian life that many of us have known for most of our lives has been tried in the balance and found wanting. Some of those legalistic habits have become a part of the doctrine of the modern church by simple osmosis.
Particular practices have been so embedded in the culture of the contemporary church world that it has become almost impossible for many to know what is a legitimate part of the church and what is man made tradition that has been added on along the way. When something is done long enough and has been sanctioned by the religious powers-that-be again and again, those things reach a place of privilege where it almost seems blasphemous to question them, but they must be questioned if the grace revolution is to succeed.
Over time it isn’t unusual for sacred cows to disguise themselves as sacred doctrines and to question them risks accusation and attack from those who find great comfort in the familiar and don’t want the predictable world in which they are well vested to be knocked off kilter by the silly nuisance of truth. The truth is that sacred cows aren’t sacred doctrines, but are idols. Grace revolutionaries are those who are willing to pull the mask off these sacred cows, exposing their hideous faces to the light of biblical truth. We don’t do it out of malice, but because we love our God, His Word and His church. They don’t die quietly, but they must die if the grace of God is to have free reign in His church again.
Change is coming to God’s church. It must and it is. The growing grace revolution will gain momentum as we each come to grip with our own understanding of God’s grace and see it be clarified and fortified by the Spirit of Grace Himself.
My goal isn’t to tear down, but to build up. I have no desire to be negative, but what are we to do when the threat of graceless discipleship sentences multitudes of Christians to a lifelong struggle accompanied by the constant self-condemnation inevitably joined to that struggle? Religion causes people to keep working to reach a destination they don't know they've already been miraculously transported to by grace.
Don't tell me I sound unloving. That used to work on me, but I'm past that now. I've seen too many massacred saints loved by Jesus and yet martyred by legalism. My love for them trumps my admitted displeasure at being criticized and misunderstood. So you can keep it to yourself. We grace revolutionaries are done with trying to play nice with the Pharisees. Lives are in the balance and we don't have time or interest in those silly games anymore.
I don’t want to be known for the things I’m against, but for the things I am for, but . . . A person who loves flowers will hate weeds. A person who loves health will hate disease. A person who loves grace will hate the things that take its place. That’s not unloving. That is love in action. Grace isn't a sicky-sweet expression on our face and a lilt in our voice and a wimpified attitude that turns us into religious pushovers. Our Jesus turned tables over in the temple and then used a whip to drive out those who desecrated God's house. So don't let anybody lay some false sense of guilt on you because you have the gall to show holy boldness. Religion will remind you to "stay in your place" but grace will turn you loose on the world.
The very nature of revolution is the uprooting and overthrowing of existing ruling powers in order to establish a new authority. That’s what must happen in the modern church world if we are to continue to make an impact on the world with the gospel. Legalism must be uprooted and supplanted with the message of pure grace. We're not going to do the goose-step march of the godzis anymore. Like it or not, we are going to walk in grace and all the freedom encompassed in that walk.
There has been an undercurrent of change that has been rising to the surface in the hearts and minds of many Christians lately. A generation of believers is emerging who believe that the performance based, let’s-just-rededicate-ourselves-and-try-harder, approach to the Christian life has had its day in the sun and its time has ended. We believe the chance of injecting life into the dead corpse of legalistic religion is a hopeless cause and believe that God’s answer is to restore grace to the center stage of His true church. We're here and want to be clear: we aren't going away.
Here we stand and we can do no other.