Heartbeat of Grace

I hear something on a daily basis that is confusing. The statement is repeated in emails from thousands of Americans, and echoed by people all around the world. “I’ve searched for a GRACE CHURCH in my area, and there is none to be found."

That’s like saying, “I went to the beach in search of sand, and there was none to be found.” Or, “I visited the cemetery, and there were no graves.” 

Grace is all we have. Jesus died to deliver it freely into our hands. There is no purpose for organizing a local fellowship, designed to worship Jesus, without the exclusive message of Grace, and yet, I find this statement to be so ironically true.

In 21st Century America, organized Christianity has majored in every topic imaginable but remained strangely, and for the most part, devoid of Grace. How is this possible? Jesus once said that He had not come to unite us, but to set brother against brother, son against father, and so forth. I never understood that until I saw the world from the perspective of Grace. NOTHING on earth will divide the family of God more quickly than the message of Grace. 

You can stand in any pulpit in America with a message of division, hate, or slander and be cheered to a place of overwhelming popularity. Preach GRACE, and you will be scorned, mocked, ridiculed, and labeled a heretic that has lost his way. Talk gloom, doom, and end-times, and you can fill an arena. Tell of GRACE, and the absolute freedom we have in Jesus Christ, and the church is uninterested.

This universal void explains why America has fallen into the ditch of division, slander, and mistrust for the world. The mandate we have adopted pretends to be Christian while being nothing more than a continuing platform of Pharisee Law. We have come to believe that America is God's nation while ignoring the fact that nothing on which this country was built, or continues to operate in is even vaguely representative of the heart of Jesus. When the heart of Jesus does speak, the religious mandate that established, and strives to “run” this nation quickly rises to cry, “liberal, and heresy.” 

America operates on a Pharisee mentality. "Work very hard to prove that you are worthy. Help those who help themselves. If a man strikes you on one cheek, pull out your Colt 45 and shoot him with a bullet. If you come to America – learn THE language. If you came here wearing a turban, take it off and put on a John Deer cap." 

This exclusive "club mentality" is our mode of operation. Things we once only whispered behind closed, redneck doors, NOW, we have retooled this lunacy as the pride of America. Pharisee Law is something our ancestors etched into the fabric of our nation. So much so, we often say, “If you don’t like it, then go back where you came from.”

Many years ago, the late comedian, Red Roxx, was speaking to a group of high-browed, white folk at a ritzy country club. He told them that all of his life he had heard, “Send em' back to where they came from – send em' back to where they came from.” He said, “If you want to send me back where I came from, send me to St. Louis, Missouri!”

The point being, we are all from somewhere by way of our true heritage. We are all privileged immigrants. If you want to put this nation in the hands of those, it belongs to you’ll have to visit a Native American reservation. It’s amazing how quickly we forget “who,” and “what,” we are. To hear the propaganda, you would think that God tapped us on the shoulder while WE, rather than Jesus were preparing to die for the sins of the world, and plopped us right in the center of this 200+-year-old, baby nation. Appropriate, when you consider the childishness of our mandates, and the blind ignorance of our rhetoric. 

"Come to Me, all of you, who are burdened down with Law and encouraged to labor for your salvation! I am the Way - the Truth - and the Life!"

Believe it or not, there is a better way than the way of America. The same goes for Germany, Australia, India, China, North Korea, or any other country blessed by God, and covered by Grace. That way is Jesus. 

The words of Jesus don't fit with the American mandate. That's because His words aren't political. Grace rests on the heartbeat of individuals, not on the drumbeat of our politically, religious agenda.