January 27, 2006

Exposing Sin, Applying Grace

From the Reformation 21 blog, quoting Sinclair Ferguson:

Truth to tell, exposing sin is easier than applying grace; for, alas, we are more intimate with the former than we sometimes are with the latter. Therein lies our weakness.

I think this explains why so many Christians do what they do. Why we leave our wounded on the battlefield. Why we'd rather find reasons to separate from each other than find ways to work together. We'd rather expose sin.

Sometimes I think it's simply because we like to know that other Christians are sinning -- even doing things worse than what we do ourselves. We'd rather expose the preacher down the street for his financial problems than deal with the fact that we cheat on our taxes. We'd rather hear about how the televangelist was caught in sexual sin than deal with our own addiction to pornography. It makes us feel better if someone else is doing it, too.

We also do it because we get hurt when people are exposed. We're angry when our favorite preacher is exposed as a mere human, dealing with temptations daily. We feel let down, we're hurt, and we want them to pay. So we pile on. And we hunt others that have the same problem. We don't want to extend grace.

And we do it because we've been attacked ourselves. I see this in many of the comments on the IMB/Wade Burleson controversy: former Southern Baptists who are feeling vindicated now that the dogs have been loosed once again. Many of them are trying to keep their "Told ya'"s quiet, but it's clear from reading that the sentiment is there.

It's a self-perpetuating thing. We don't show grace, we aren't shown grace. We aren't shown grace, we don't show any. Somewhere, the cycle has to stop -- but we aren't willing to stop it.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 08:19 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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