Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Opus 2014-40: Justice, Grace and Mercy

One of the common mantras you hear in church involves justice, grace and mercy.  It proposes that justice is getting what you deserve, grace means getting something we don’t deserve and mercy is not getting something we deserve.  Cute, but it doesn’t work for me. 

First of all, justice is not always a bad thing.  I know the context of the statement has to do with trying to earn our salvation.  I know that we are all sinners and under the condemnation of God for our sins.  I know that we don’t want to get what we deserve.  Justice, however, is more than just a statement about salvation.  It involves how we live and how we relate to other people.  It involves making choices and setting priorities.  It is a rich term, not just part of a jingle.  We are expected to give justice not just focus on avoiding it.

Grace is also bigger than salvation.  It is any kind of favor or extension of God in our lives.  There are places where God extends His grace as a reward for something we have done.  There are times when His grace answers prayers.  Grace has the idea of gift built into the Greek word.  I always liked the definition of grace being God’s love in action.  We are expected to extend that grace to others. 

Mercy may not be deserved but that is just focusing on our inability to save ourselves.  God does not extend His mercy to everyone.  We are not to extend mercy to everyone.  There is a place for the sword that punishes evil.  There is a place for expulsion from the church.  There is a place for reproof and rebuke.  I also understand that sometimes harsh discipline is the best extension of mercy because it brings repentance and revival. 
(2Co 7:9 KJV)  Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
The mantra is useful.  I have quoted it.  Don’t stop with the cute.  Look deeper and bask in the complex truths of things like justice, grace and mercy.

homo unius libri


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.