July 26th, 2006

Crying Man

The injustice of grace

Excuse me while I indulge in some gross generalisations

I was thinking about God’s grace this morning, and it struck me as kind of ironic that it is the liberals who complain about the injustice of God’s mercy. “It’s unfair,” they cry, “that God should show favour to some and not others.” But it is the liberals who tend to prefer mercy over justice. On the other hand, the conservatives, who tend to prefer justice over mercy, don’t seem to have a problem with the injustice of grace…

I guess it just shows how determined we are to think that we’re not really that bad. The liberals like to think that everyone’s nice, so God should save everyone. Hence, it’s unfair if he doesn’t. The conservatives, on the other hand, like to think that they’re nice, so God should save them, but it’s entirely right that God should punish the evildoers.

Of course, we’re both wrong, liberals and conservatives. The injustice is that God should save any of us. We think because it takes us so much effort to do good, we deserve a high-distinction grade. But the reality is that even in the odd moments when we manage to get it right, we’re just scraping a pass. The wonderful injustice of it is that God offers to give us a high-distinction, even though we haven’t earned it. He lets us hand in Christ’s exam paper, with our name written on it. He did the work, and we get the good grade.