Thursday, August 28, 2014
Christ Did Not Die For You To Go Around Saying "Christ Did Not Die For You To..."
There are some true things that are just not worth saying. One such thing is "Christ did not die for you to do keg stands", the title of an article by Kevin DeYoung at The Gospel Coalition, written as college starts back up. It is written in typical blog fashion, with five bullet points. And those bullet points are all mighty fine, as is the way he introduces them: "Here are a few suggestions on how to begin formulating a Christian response to drinking on our college campuses." Super. Super duper. Binge drinking, which is what DeYoung is concerned with, is a legitimate social problem, and is a problem for Christians and the Church when Christians are doing it.
But let us reject the phrase "Christ did not die for you to x." It is true, my Lord Jesus did not die for me to sin all the more. But need we put it in such puritanical terms? (No offense to actual Puritans, whose men wore earrings, drank beer, wrote poetry, and boinked their wives with religious fervor.) If ever there was a thing that a scold would say, this is it. "Christ didn't die for you to not wash up before dinner!" "Christ didn't die for you to go play at the neighbor's without asking me!" Alas! that we are such scolds. Scolds are not gracious.
And lack of grace really is the big problem with this phrase. Hey, Californians, stop wasting drinking water during the drought by doing the ALS challenge and just donate! Hey, everyone, while you're pouring buckets of fresh water on your heads there are villages all over the world without access to clean water! Hey, Christians, Christ did not die for you to do keg stands! We've got a limited supply of grace over here and you're spilling it all over the ground!
Do not do the works of the flesh. Bear the fruit of the Spirit. But let's not guilt trip each other over grace. Is it sin? Urge your brother to reject it. Is it unChristlike? Pray that by grace he be able to cast it out. Is it of the world, the flesh, and the devil? May God's grace abound to him. But let's not worry about wasting this grace. There is no reservoir of grace. It is in God's nature to show and give it; to be it; grace for us is relational to God, and God is infinite. There is no drought. Christ did not die for you to doubt, nor did he die for you to keep accounts. He died for you.