Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Cheap talk, cheap grace

Matthew 5:46-47 (ESV)

46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?


There are lots of folks in the church who love to quote their favorite bits of Scripture from 1 Peter or the Sermon on the Mount about how nice we should be to everybody.

Yet, in practice, they are only nice to other nice guys—as they define nicety. They are only nice to people who are nice to them.

But the moment somebody rubs them the wrong way, they kick and scream and bite and scratch.

They only like people like themselves. People they approve of. One shudders to think how they would react if they had to share a jail cell with someone who wasn’t nice to them all the time.

Take the current flap over the suspension of Peter Enns. I’ve read a number of comments on a number of blogs. And it’s very revealing to see the way in which the his groupies savage Lillback and the board.

Now let’s suppose, for the sake of argument, that Enns has suffered a grave miscarriage of justice. In that event, here’s a sterling opportunity for his groupies to turn the other cheek and go the second mile. To love his enemies and bless his persecutors. To refrain from judging others before they remove the beam from their own eyes. To be gentle and respectful.

What have the critics done to show their love for Lillback or the board members who voted to suspend Enns?

Instead, their actions are completely and predictably one-sided. They only love their own kind. Enns is one of them, so they back him to the hilt—but where Lillback or the board is concerned, it’s an eye for an eye.

Isn’t this what Jesus called pagan piety?

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