Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Fall to grace: The Aftermath, part 1

For the whole story, read this, beginning with Part 1. The condensed version can be found in Part 6. Links to the entire series can be found on the blog sidebar.

While the joy I experienced as a result of my newfound understanding of grace was profound, it wasn't exactly as if I'd suddenly entered some sort of "happily ever after" fairy tale existence. In the midst of that joy, I still had many questions and issues that needed to be worked through.

Date: 1/29/99 08:57

BTW, my husband and I have been going through your lessons together. Last night I had to officially concede the Sunday Debate. We discussed what this means on a practical level and it turns out that Sundays won't turn into the wild debauchery that I had feared. The funny thing is that we really won't do a whole lot of things differently---I just won't be trying to impose some sort of deep, spiritual meaning on them. We'll still eat off the nice dishes, for example, but I won't be trying to pretend that they are somehow more sanctified than the every-day motley assortment and that using them magically sanctifies Sunday...etc. We won't be agonizing over every little activity to see if it's in keeping with our latest idea on what is or isn't proper Sunday behavior. Hey, Sundays might even become fun! The wonderful thing is that, for the first time in our marriage, we really agree on this topic and don't feel like we're both compromising.

We also realized that it would be a good idea to have [Eldest Son], the budding legalist, read your lessons. [Husband] told me about one Sunday when he was furtively sweeping up some mess in the garage, only to be discovered by
[Eldest Son], who gasped in shock, "But, Daddy! It's SUNDAY!"

I tell you, this freedom stuff is still kinda wild and exhilarating. It seems as if I'm constantly facing the realization, "Oh, Christ set me free from this too!" Just last night I realized an area where I had long been quite Gothardish---and it was so joyous to be rid of yet more shackles.

The sad part of all this is contemplating what this means in terms of our church. It's not like we were ecstatic and you blew it for us by infecting us with your heresy. (Hey, my husband was already infected!) The irony is that a few weeks ago, I was complaining that our pastor wasn't covenantal enough in his theology and now I'm complaining that he's *too* covenantal! There's simply no pleasing me, especially since I keep getting swept away by every wind of doctrine.

Seriously, I'm not sure what we will do or where God will lead us. And it's OK, we don't need to decide anything at this point, because it's not like we have to do anything right now.
An interesting aside of all this is that I would never baptize my babies today. But I'll leave that whole discussion for another time---because I do have some related questions!


  1. "Oh, Christ set me free from this too!"

    Some of those actually made you happy? So far, it has been like God is just taking away all my favorite toys. Maybe that's why it took Mike so long to convince me that I was actually in bondage. I liked my bondage!

    "Seriously, I'm not sure what we will do or where God will lead us. And it's OK, we don't need to decide anything at this point, because it's not like we have to do anything right now."

    I think this could apply to some areas of my life right now, but I'm a little too anxious and want to figure everything out all at once. I shall try to take a lesson out of your book -- tomorrow! -- I have too much to learn today!

  2. Jen, the "Christian Sabbath" idea was really, really hard to let go of. I tried to make light of my struggle through humor, but it was a major thing for me. Part of it was having to face the fact that my "convictions" and practices weren't really based on how the Law commanded Sabbath to be observed.

    Once that struggle was over, it felt rewarding. My husband was helpful in this regard; he was so relieved that I finally understood his Biblical freedom to regard one day as another.

    After that, I began to appreciate freedom more. I wasn't really losing things; I was gaining so much more in terms of Biblical understanding, obedience, closeness to Jesus, harmony in our home, etc.

  3. I continue to maintain that the only Christians who really do enjoy the Lord's Day fully are those who understand that while the Lord's Day is a day for dedicated religious activity -- it is NOT SUBJECT TO RULES. Apart from that understanding, one is doing what he does on that day out of fear -- and that is bondage.

  4. Rebecca, I ran across your blog from a comment you made about intimacy on another site. I like your writing. Isn't it amazing all the things we learn as we begin to focus on God/Jesus and His teachings. Also amazing all the lies we have accepted in the past for accepting "stuff" we thought was biblical. I would like to use your response to intimacy in a book I am writing but would need to know how to credit you. Please respond to me. Thanks and God bless you and your family.