I get into a lot of theological discussions. Some of them are more fun loving and light-hearted; some not so much. Something I was thinking about last night and discussed it with a couple of my friends is the Law of Grace in regards to the cross of Jesus and His suffering and how we should then live. Something important to consider is how do we ride the straight and narrow without going to extremes on issues.
A term that gets thrown around jokingly at times is "Greasy Grace." Basically meaning you can do basically whatever you want and there will always be grace there... just repent and get on with life. The word 'repent' alone seems somewhat a taboo topic. You dare not say that to someone or you might be judging them! :: Gasp:: "Oh no brother, we believe in grace around here. You don't dare mention repent because it might offend someone.." Let me say this: as far as I know, the gospel message is going to be perhaps the most offensive message to some out there.
If you look at the law of Grace, it holds you to a higher standard than the Ten Commandments! It's saying "ok, there is something going on in your heart here that needs to be dealt with." It addresses the root cause moreso rather than just telling you not to do something. Hate your brother? In your heart, you already have done something wrong to him. Looked at someone of the opposite gender with a lustful thought? Guess what... no good there.
It's amazing what happens if you preached repentance in certain churches and/or groups nowadays... "oh my goodness, your a legalist!" "No, actually, I'm just following what the Bible says." Look at the woman caught in adultery in John 8. "Let him who has never sinned cast the first stone." Everyone leaves and then Jesus says "Go and sin no more." He didn't condone the sin but He said "sin no more." I've heard stories from friends of mine who minister in prisons that the harder you rail against sin in prisons, the more whoops and hollers of agreement you get. But it seems like a taboo thing to do in churches across America... that seems a little strange to me....
So what about discipline and grace? Let me put it really simply here: It shouldn't be "I can't go see that movie or participate in the event" but it should be more like "no, I don't want to because I wouldn't enjoy it." It goes from "can't" to "don't want to." Why is that? I think it has to do partly with its about a relationship that you have with someone. And you don't want to do something to that person that will hinder your relationship with them. I believe there is an awesome balance between the reverence of God and His grace. As a matter of fact, I think those two work hand in hand! When you live by grace, you're going to want to be reverent in His presence. That's not to say you always have to be stone cold serious, but in your heart you want to be careful when your in God's presence. You won't want to do something to grieve His Holy Spirit.