When did the evangelical church begin to cozy up with the shitty seductions of moralism and give away our spiritual scandal of the cross in exchange for good behavior we pray will save us? That is what we have done. Dress it up as best you like, it’s still dead works we are trying to prove our salvation by. We have bought into some lie that Jesus’ death gives us a moral zero with God and now it is up to us to keep our accounts clean. We may not be going back to the Jewish law as our means of sanctification, but we sure as hell have thrown grace – true grace – out with the bath water.
What a shitty Christianity this makes.
The entire book of Galatians is about this very thing: leaving behind the grace by which we are saved and clinging to law as if that could some how make us righteous and holy enough for salvation.
Don’t leave behind grace.
Grace is not simply the means by which God accepts the dirty ol’ bastards we are. Grace is the entirety of our salvation through faith. It’s by grace we are adopted by God. By grace we are perfected by God. It is by grace alone we are saved by God. Not by anything we can, could, or would do, so no one can boast in some superior spirituality or spiritual discipline. Grace through and through, from start to finish.
So stop pretending that some sort of moralism is going to make you more liked or better saved by God.
Especially when your moralism is mostly just about sex.
Sex Obsessed Law
My penis is not sinful.
Her breasts and vagina are not sinful.
Our human bodies are not inherently sinful. Yet this new law that is laid at our feet is mostly about sex, modesty, LGBTQ sex, lust, and did I mention sex? As if sex and lust were the biggest sins we could ever commit. As if sex and lust could steal us from the saving hands of Jesus.
I’m not naïve. I get that sexual issues can cause a whole lot of hurt and pain. I know that sin will twist sex into something that can wedge us away from properly loving our neighbor as our self… but sex isn’t some big sin.
I was preached this sex obsessed law, told to never be a sexual being apart from the magic of marriage. I was told that my body and my desires were inherently sinful. Girls were told worse. We were all lied to.
Look, if Jesus, the cross, and the resurrection are really about grace, and if sin is something that has broken and wounded and marred the entirety of our humanity, then why the hell are we being so laser focused on modesty, sex, LGBTQ marriage, masturbation, lust, and anything else we can drum up to deal with sexuality? It’s like we are some sort of moralistic voyeur, halfway interfering where we shouldn’t and halfway getting off on the interfering.
I don’t want to talk about sex and morality any more people. I want to talk about Jesus and grace. This is the hope you and I and she and he and they and them and we all need. We don’t need a new law. We don’t need a new regulation of how we are to dress, to interact, to speak, to behave. We need a god who has embraced us and nailed our sin to his flesh on the cross that we might die to the issues of sin and moralism and be raised to life to the way of the Spirit.
One Spirit One Grace
See, we are being transformed from the inside out, and it’s not by our keeping of moral dictates or ceremonies or modest attire or purity balls. We are being transformed because the Spirit – the same Holy Ghost that raised Jesus up from the dead – produces fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. These are the things that the Spirit brings about through nothing of ourselves save surrender.
Jesus didn’t die so we could work super hard to keep ourselves right with God and be forgiven where we screw it up. NO! Jesus died so that we would be forgiven once and for all for all our trespasses and he rose again so we would be reconciled once and for all with God. Once and for all: these are words of grace given to you and I as a free gift. No law to keep. No sex to obsess over. No hoops to jump through. Once and for all we are forgiven and made right with God, and once and for all we are all being transformed.
Don’t give this hope up for a shitty imitation in some new moralism. Grace is too big and powerful and dangerous a thing to trade in for a small life lived within the man made confines of religious laws. It may be difficult navigating the freedom we are given because of grace, but I would rather see us fuck up that freedom and know we are still embraced and accepted by God than trade it in for hopeless life of moralistic thinking.
Grace is dangerous. Let it be dangerous. It’s God’s thing anyways, and if we know anything about God it is that he is not safe but he is good.
Grace and more grace to you.