Recently a friend wrote to me about a church in which the well-meaning elders choose to believe anyone who claims to be repentant, even those who have been living a double life (such as a well-respected church person who turns out to be a secret abuser or adulterer). She said,
“They say they want to believe the best and take people at their word. They would rather err on the side of grace.”
Continue reading ““Erring on the side of grace” when it comes to repentance?”
How was it that I had begun to take certain wrongdoing so lightly? How was it that I could justify theft?
I was a graduate assistant at Bob Jones University. That meant while I was taking my grad classes, I was also working thirty hours a week at Bob Jones University Press to pay my school bill.
Except there came a point where I wasn’t working. I don’t know how it happened, really, Continue reading “Airing my dirty laundry at Bob Jones University”
Jesus cried out, “Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
A couple of years ago I posted on Facebook a question about the Greek word translated “repentance.” (It’s metanoia and its variants.) Yes, I admit, it took me a long time to get back to all the links and ideas people sent me, but here I am again, studying repentance.
It’s because three things happened at about the same time. First, I was praying for pastors and other Christian leaders (the ones who have treated and counseled sexual abuse victims as if they were pariahs) to repent about their wrongdoing. Second, I’ve been praying for revival for a long time, and in the context of that, having a discussion with a Christian leader about whether or not repentance is necessary for salvation. Third, I’ve been studying II Corinthians, where Paul talks about repentance in chapter 7.
I always used to hear repentance being taught as a change of mind. That very sterile, academic definition vaguely dissatisfied me. It seemed to accompany the academic, intellectual acceptance of Christ embodied in the “sinner’s prayer.” Continue reading “What is repentance, really?”
No, all sins are not equal.
Corollary: Some sins are worse than others. Our entire justice system is built on this concept.
But Christians have been conditioned to think that it’s false. Continue reading “Are all sins really equal?”