When We’re Shocked to Find Sinners at Church

ChurchLeaders | 8/13/2018 | Staff
fufu-fefefufu-fefe (Posted by) Level 4
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I have made no secret of how impactful—yes I know that’s not a word—Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together has been in my life. I have read it a few times over the last several years, but the first time I read it was in the context of a men’s small group in my church where I was still hiding my sin, my pain, my shame, my brokenness and trying my best to maintain the illusion that I had it all together. I fooled everybody in that group. Which means I was a bigger failure than I had even feared.

Life Together painfully but helpfully served to dislodge my self-sufficiency and challenge my fear of being really, truly known. Below is one part that especially did me in:

HE - ALONE - WITH - HIS - SIN

HE WHO IS ALONE WITH HIS SIN IS UTTERLY ALONE. IT MAY BE THAT CHRISTIANS, NOTWITHSTANDING CORPORATE WORSHIP, COMMON PRAYER AND ALL THEIR FELLOWSHIP IN SERVICE, MAY STILL BE LEFT TO THEIR LONELINESS. THE FINAL BREAK-THROUGH TO FELLOWSHIP DOES NOT OCCUR, BECAUSE, THOUGH THEY HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH ONE ANOTHER AS BELIEVERS AND AS DEVOUT PEOPLE, THEY DO NOT HAVE FELLOWSHIP AS THE UNDEVOUT, AS SINNERS. THE PIOUS FELLOWSHIP PERMITS NO ONE TO BE A SINNER. SO EVERYBODY MUST CONCEAL HIS SIN FROM HIMSELF AND FROM THE FELLOWSHIP. WE DARE NOT BE SINNERS. MANY CHRISTIANS ARE UNTHINKABLY HORRIFIED WHEN A REAL SINNER IS SUDDENLY DISCOVERED AMONG THE RIGHTEOUS. SO WE REMAIN ALONE WITH OUR SIN, LIVING IN LIES AND HYPOCRISY. THE FACT IS THAT WE ARE SINNERS!

BUT IT IS THE GRACE OF THE GOSPEL, WHICH IS SO HARD FOR THE PIOUS TO UNDERSTAND, THAT IT CONFRONTS US WITH THE TRUTH AND SAYS: YOU...
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