Friday, April 03, 2009

community of performance or grace

An interesting post by Tim Chester on being a community of performance or a community of grace. Too often the church says we are about being a community of grace, but it looks too much like a community of performance - which, I would argue, is not really a community, it is closer to being a club or simply a group of like-minded people.

M. Scott Peck, in his book, The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace, argues that true community begins to be formed when people realize that differences cannot simply be ignored. Chaos looks counterproductive but it is the first genuine step towards community building.

Communities of Performance

  • People talk about grace, but communicate legalism
  • Unbelievers can't imagine themselves as Christians
  • Drive away broken people
  • The world is seen as threatening and 'other'
  • Conversion is superficial—people are called to respectable behavior
  • People are secretly hurting
  • People see faith and repentance as actions that took place at conversion
  • The gospel is for unbelievers

Communities of Grace

  • People can see grace in action
  • Unbelievers feel like they can belong
  • Attract broken people
  • People are loved as fellow sinners in need of grace
  • Conversion is radical—people are called to transformed affections
  • People are open about their problems
  • People see faith and repentance as daily activities
  • The gospel is for both unbelievers and believers

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