Did you notice in my last post? I did get caught up in the language of politics. As I wrote the post I tried to maintain a spirit of grace but found it hard to do because I was talking about the lack of grace. Assertiveness and argument (it may even be good argument) does not seem to be the best friends of grace.
Christianity is not about grace only, but it seems to me that it begins with grace. Help must be given, protection and nutrition offered before laws and regulations can be introduced and followed. The subject (person) needs to experience love/grace from the Objective (most likely through other subjects that has experienced this love/grace themselves and become a living part of the Objective) before he/she takes the leap of faith and enter into this living relation with the Objective.
I think the Church is in a “crises” because the Church often starts with rules and regulations when it approaches the suffering people of this world (both rich and poor). “You have to believe this to get our help”, “You have to follow those rules to be a Christian”. Grace is given after a statement of faith has been said (and this of course is not longer grace because grace can not be “bought”, it is given freely without any demands). I think secularism is spreading because we have taken a to much of an academic, assertive approach when we explain Christianity (or other matters, check this article http://www.canada.com/life/Analytical+thinking+undermines+religious+belief+study+suggests/6525014/story.html)
Secularism tries to define everything in formula. If Christianity is going to be understood as a life changing journey it needs to be more than formula, systematics and argument, and it is. It needs to present itself as a journey that begins with grace, not demands and argument. The secular argument, that there is no spiritual reality, crumbles upon its own absurdity when the physical and the spiritual works together. When grace (a spiritual attitude) is implemented in the worlds physical needs. I can argue with great assertiveness all day long (and argue well) but the secular person won’t be touched by anything less than the physical manifestation of my spiritual belief. If this wonderful spiritual reality that I’m talking about is not displayed by my actions how can anybody start to believe in what I say? If grace is not shown from me as a Christian to a secular friend how can I hope to display the love Christ has for this person?
Grace is not the full story but I do believe that the Church (which I am a part of) would be recognized for what it is supposed to be, if she can approach people (secular or not) with the attitude of Christ Himself, which is grace towards mankind.
I think U2 caught it pretty good in their song “Grace”
“Grace She takes the blame, She covers the shame. Removes the stain, It could be her name.
Grace, It’s a name for a girl. It’s also a thought, that changed the world.
And when she walks on the street You can hear the strings. Grace finds goodness in everything.
Grace, she’s got the walk. Not on a ramp or on chalk. She’s got the time to talk. She travels outside of karma. She travels outside of karma.
When she goes to work You can hear her strings. Grace finds beauty in everything
Grace, she carries a world on her hips. No champagne flute for her lips. No twirls or skips between her fingertips.
She carries a pearl in perfect condition. What once was hurt What once was friction. What left a mark no longer stings. Because grace makes beauty out of ugly things. Grace makes beauty, out of ugly things .”
Finally a quote: