UnChristian Quotes on Grace ~ BitterSweetLife

Sunday, October 14, 2007

UnChristian Quotes on Grace

Over the last week I've been reading a unique book. UnChristian, by David Kinnaman, is an attempt to identify and quantify the negative perceptions that outsiders have about Christians. Kinnaman is president of the Barna Group and used extensive polling data to form his conclusions.

A review is on the way, but I thought I'd throw out some quotes to whet your appetite. UnChristian also features brief how-to-fix-the-church responses from Christian leaders, including the ones below. (You can assume that the anonymous guy I quote last is not one of those leaders.) So, UnChristian grace quotes. Feel free to respond.

Porn stars or preachers, gay or straight, Republican or Democrat, it doesn’t mean a rip to God. We are all his children, and we are all in need of this stunningly beautiful thing called grace. - Mike Foster, UnChristian, 203

Christianity’s main export has been co-opted by nonbelievers. Forgiveness, compassion, and second chances are common occurrences as demonstrated by several recent high-profile cases. Whether it is a movie star’s addictions, a beauty queen’s indiscretions, or a run-in with the law, grace seems to be flourishing in the secular arena. A quick trip to rehab or a heartfelt apology is payment enough in secular society. When Donald Trump becomes the poster boy for second chances and the church is viewed as a place of judgment…we have a serious problem. - Mike Foster, UnChristian, 202

I think many of the judgmental people we know are trembling, guilty, sick. I was. I couldn’t extend grace because my own reserve was so low. What did I know of grace? Sure, it was my middle name, but I didn’t really need it. It was for those other people who slip up all the time. [My husband] taught me that we cannot give out something we’ve never received. – Jonalyn Fincher, UnChristian, 204
“Yeah, I know what you mean about stereotypes. When I see a person who is tattooed or pierced up, I try not to judge them based simply on their outward appearance. I realize that their appearance is probably just a symptom.” - dude left anonymous for obvious reasons, UnChristian, 187
Question: Based on your experience, how common do you think that last perspective is among believers? Nontraditional/alternative appearance = symptom of deeper problems?



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5 comments:

Dustin said...

I honestly think the final perspective related in your post is symptomatic of generational differences more than a secular versus faith dichotomy. And I don't mean simply age difference as the key factor differentiating the two--rather I see it as generational mindsets which can be possessed by people regardless of age.

Some of my friends would be lumped in as tattooed, pierced hippees, but their faith is stronger and more heartfelt than many church-going, sit in the pews every Sunday, "Christians."

[hope] said...

Oh yah...piercings and tattoos are such obvious symptoms of deeper problems because, only people with 'problems' would ever dare to get piercings or tattoos. Okay, that cemented the decision: a year from the last day I ever cut, I will go get a tattoo. And then on that day I will only rock out bands such as Anberlin or Thrice or Stellar Kart. And why not--at least I won't be the only one whose spirituality (I'm sorry, I meant traditional Christian beliefs) has been brought into question. [rolls eyes]

Ariel said...

Dustin, that's a good observation. I'll bet you're right, that older generations would have a more negative view of alternative appearances...kind of a generational treadmill, in a way: I wonder what my generation will dislike in our kids.

a year from the last day I ever cut, I will go get a tattoo... I won't be the only one whose spirituality (I'm sorry, I meant traditional Christian beliefs) has been brought into question.

I know plenty of tattooed people who love Jesus... I like to point out, ala Mark Driscoll, that in Revelation Jesus has his name "written" on his leg. Sounds like a tattoo to me! Hang in there.

Jeffrey said...

How common the last quote is varies greatly based on which crowd of Christians you are with. ATI, for instance, pretty much teaches this attitude and calls it "discernment."

But my Christian friends in college were far more understanding, or in some cases, one of them. The coolest tattoo I've seen was my Life Group leader's crowns of thorns around both his wrists.

Carrie E said...

I think it is very common, and a very bad symptom of a cold church. If all our time is being wasted on being taught what we should look like, what do you think will be going on underneath?

"Porn stars or preachers, gay or straight, Republican or Democrat, it doesn’t mean a rip to God. We are all his children, and we are all in need of this stunningly beautiful thing called grace. - Mike Foster, UnChristian, 203 "

God DOES care about what we do. About what we say. How we treat people. And if people would take the time to stop looking for scripture to defend their personal beliefs about tattoos and piercings and just prayed for once, maybe they'd find that God has a better use of their time.

God cares about the spirit. The mind. He DOES care about the body. But we are making way too big a deal of this. It truly is a generational thing. We will not reach any generation by telling them they look like devil worshippers... (looks has nothing to do with anything people!!! AArrrrggghhhh)

 

Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife