tornados and Lutherans

I am sure everybody has seen John Piper’s post about Providence, Tornados, Lutherans and Homosexuality. If not, hie thee hence and get after it.

6. Conclusion: The tornado in Minneapolis was a gentle but firm warning to the ELCA and all of us: Turn from the approval of sin. Turn from the promotion of behaviors that lead to destruction. Reaffirm the great Lutheran heritage of allegiance to the truth and authority of Scripture. Turn back from distorting the grace of God into sensuality. Rejoice in the pardon of the cross of Christ and its power to transform left and right wing sinners.

There is a disturbing distortion that is disturbingly common among people who claim to be Christ followers. it is the confusion of the unconditional love with which God loves us and the license that comes from thinking of God’s grace as a cheap get out of hell free card and nothing more.

here is how David Powlison put it.

There is something wrong with you! From God’s point of view, you not only need someone else to be killed in your place in order to be forgiven, you need to be transformed to be fit to live with. The word ‘unconditional’ may be an acceptable way to express God’s welcome, but it fails to communicate its purpose: a comprehensive and lifelong rehabilitation, learning ‘the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.’ Seeing with New Eyes. (pp.168-169)

and here is Todd Buru’s followup to the Powlison quote:

But even further than this, I think that by referring to God’s love as unconditional we have begun importing the cultural understanding of this concept into our Christian practice. We are tolerant of all sorts of devaint behavior and sin, especially our own, and so is “God”. We want to be able to pray a prayer and then go back to business as usual and so that’s what “God” commands. We have trouble speaking up about the Bible’s comments on gender roles and sexuality and so we find inventive ways to change “God’s” mind on them. From all of this we get things such as easy believism, free grace theology, and even Christian universalism, which in my mind is the next big conflict rising within the church.

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