I am using your statements as talking points Katie. They made me think.
katielangston wrote:I agree that grace vs. works is the great tightrope/pretzel (love the pretzel image) of Christianity. An emphasis of one over the other is damaging indeed. Is one more important than the other? I don't think so. But is there a better place to start? I think there might be.
Yes. Grace is more important than works. Grace saves everyone. Works are the gravy. We get a free ride on grace. That gives us the freedom to explore this sandbox and build our perfection through trial and error. Grace is the foundation we set to start building our exaltation (a different thing than salvation).
So I say Grace is more important -- just a thought.
katielangston wrote:But do the works of the gospel profit anyone who doesn't do them for love?
Yes. If a wicked person helps me in a time of need, even for imperfect reasons, I still profit. A "good" is still enacted in the world. The giver doesn't benefit in that example. Doesn't the recipient still profit?
Good works for impure reasons just don't give power to exalt the doer spiritually.
katielangston wrote:Because our BECOMING doesn't happen on its own; it doesn't happen through sheer willpower, grit, and determination; it happens through our surrendering to God. It's an act of opening up, of turning to Him, of allowing Him to work THROUGH us (receiving His image in our countenances, as Alma so beautifully puts it). This, like the gift of salvation itself, is not something we earn; it's something God has already given us, if we will only allow Him to work in our lives.
Beautifully said. Thanks!
katielangston wrote:The "easy grace" we've talked about is a cheap substitute. Because grace changes you, fundamentally. Grace *is* the mechanism through which we DO and BECOME. It is the enabling power that makes it happen.
Agreed. Grace is a perspective and a quality of being, not a reward.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.