Sin and Grace

As I mentioned in my post last week on “Hate the sin…”, there seems to be a backlash among Christian writers. Everyone is up in arms over survey results showing that the church is primarily known for its judgmentalism and hypocrisy. In an effort to repair the damage and improve our image—and hopefully move closer to the truth—a number of noted authors are coming out with books proclaiming God’s grace and acceptance of everyone and everything. The problem is many of them are ignoring the reality and consequences of sin. Here are my thoughts on three recent reads:

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Throwaway People – Redemption

Here is the conclusion of this 3-part series on discarded friendships. Shortly after our friend wrote the last article, expressing his pain at being summarily cut off from two meaningful relationships, he wrote this:

It’s both funny and sad, how human emotions wax and wane. One moment we’re utterly convinced our ruin is at hand, and in the next we’re dancing in the streets because some small thing has gone our way. … Last night I wrote of a month-long tension which was eating away at me from the inside out, and I couldn’t have meant it more. Today, however, just minutes after waking up, my heart was relieved and my resolve strengthened. All was well in the universe, mostly.

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Throwaway People – When Silence Speaks Volumes

Last time I mentioned that I would post a guest blog about how it feels to be “thrown away.” This was actually written at the end of 2008. Next time I’ll post what happened in these relationships, and what our friend learned from it all.


Someone—actually, two people now—about whom I genuinely care has apparently decided to write me off entirely and close their world to me because of an argument we got into over a month ago. An argument in which neither one of us was entirely right or wrong.  And the sad thing is that even when we were at our most heated, I had taken my time to very carefully choose my words, calling them out not through insults, but instead attacking the double standards and hypocritical views which they portray on a daily basis. Even in the midst of this letter I went out of my way to say that while I knew my words would hurt my friend, my intent was to illustrate the truth in love, and that I would rather cause pain with honesty than encourage delusion. I later wrote a follow-up email in which I apologized explicitly for my own faults in the prior argument, which I detailed to emphasize that I knew and admitted to exactly how I was wrong.

Perhaps worse yet is the case of the other friend I mentioned, to whom I let slip a light-heated and superficial sarcastic quip to which they took immediate and serious offense. Sadly, this person (much like any other who knows me at all) is fully aware of my barbed sense of humor…. The remark which upset her was never intended at all as an insult, and it was made at a time during which there was no disagreement between us. She simply misinterpreted my words as a harsh jab, took offense, and hasn’t spoken to me in weeks. …

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Andrew @PaintMines-CalhanCO 20090530 LAH 497Lately, instead of blogging about being “Mom,” I got to be “Mom.” Our son-in-law’s brother, Andrew, came to stay with us for nine days. Since I was busy enjoying his visit instead of writing, I think it only fair that I let him be the guest blogger this week. Here are his thoughts, inspired by his flight from Phoenix to Denver:


I’d missed the metaphor the first half-dozen times I’d flown over Colorado. Somehow it had been staring me in the face for years, but it didn’t click until Thursday afternoon. Waking from a nap as we approached Denver International Airport, I glanced out the window of the plane just in time to see the wings tear free of the thick cloud cover obscuring the ground beneath me. From above the earth looked like a patchwork quilt sewn in agriculture, geometric and surgically precise. To the East, as far as I could see, there were squares, rectangles and “Utahs,” divided neatly from one another by rigid boundaries marking one territory’s end and the beginning of the next. From the ground one would never realize that the state had been so neatly segregated, but from my perspective it was equally difficult to perceive it simply as a whole.

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