Just a year or so ago a friend made a comment that some church gatherings, or bodies are known as grace churches.
I had never heard the term, so he explained it is a jab toward churches that only present warm and cosy messages about God, that they avoid many hard truths about the dark parts of the Bible.
The idea, he explained, is that we should not be given the sugar, without the salt. I can understand the argument, yet I do have my thoughts on this. Our world generally is in a constant state of turmoil and degradation. We see daily news reports of injustice, persecution, prejudice, discrimination and general mayhem all around the planet.
Christians and Christianity are being attacked from every corner of society. Many are leaving their home churches due to scandals, the lure of money and fortunes. Families are fragmented as parents work only to get by. Jesus is not welcome in many homes, because He is not introduced or even allowed in schools. What we know as traditional marriage is brushed aside for a union of convenience.
So with all of these pressures and attacks, I think there is a very secure place in our society for some grace churches. I would rather end my week with a message from the pulpit that reassures me that God knows my name, that He surrounds me with His grace, and He will never forsake me. I want to hear that His invitation to come near to Him is open to everyone and that Jesus died for me and that if I believe in Him I will have a place in eternity with Him. I want to live in the security of knowing that each of my days has been planned by someone much greater than any boss or company. I need to understand that Jesus is always at my door and at my side when I fail, fall, or flourish. I wish for more of His good news in my life and in the lives of everyone who call on His name.
I pray that my children and grandchildren will reject the invitation to experiment with their sexuality by those who scream for a free for all against morals of our family life. I also expect that yes, we will have messages shared at church that let us know the repercussions of not heeding the warnings in the Bible.
You see, there must be a balance, for sure, but it doesn’t hurt to have someone like Jesus speak love into our ears and hearts. Is it really so bad to leave a church service with a full cup of God, rather than a heavy load of despair?
For me, I choose the sugar, because the Lord knows there is more than enough salt being rubbed in our wounds.
Mike Shindruk is with Master’s Hand Ministry.