No Grace For Liberals
By: J.J. Jackson
My wife, who I always run my weekly articles by, said this article sounded preachy. That is sort of the point. If you are one of my regular readers, you know that I have no qualms about being blunt â€“ which also happens to sound “preachy” at times. But maybe, considering this week’s article is about aspects of the Christian faith it may be a little more preachy than usual. If you think it is too preachy, then oh well! If discussion of Christianity bothers you, then double oh well.
According to the gospels, Jesus implies that it is deeds and not just words that are required to enter into the kingdom of Heaven and that to generate â€œgraceâ€ one must do good works and do so freely. Some modern day sects of Christianity disagree, preaching instead an unconditional grant of this blessing by God just by virtue of the fact that all of us are his children and that by simply claiming to believe in Jesus Christ we shall enter into Heaven. I strongly disagree. God and his only son, Jesus Christ, are not the â€œdo as I say, not as I doâ€ types and I find it very hard to believe that God would except such as a valid excuse from those awaiting entrance into the hereafter.
People who deny the need for good works will quote passages like Ephesians 2:8-9 ,”For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
But the truth is that believing in Christ itself imparts an inherent duty to follow his teachings and to do as he did to the best of our human ability. Christ helped people. He himself did good works. You cannot say to God, â€œBut I believe in Christ and his teachings,â€ when you did nothing to show that you really do believe in such things. Words are great. But deeds are the ultimate proof of concept and your faith.
Our faith, if it is true, dictates that we do indeed do good works. What passages like Ephesians say is that simply doing good works is not enough. You must be doing them with a faith in Christ and accepting him as your savior.
When I talk to liberals who fancy themselves as Christians while promoting their big government ideas, forced wealth redistribution plans, and other socialist programs, the reasoning that they often give to me as to why they believe in such things is that they are just being â€œgood Christiansâ€. They just see themselves as doing Godâ€™s will and that they are doing good works. They believe that far too many are not capable of doing these good works without their guidance. They believe that by levying taxes on Americans, including themselves, and using that money to help others that they are doing Godâ€™s work and are doing good deeds that they will be rewarded for. Well, they may want to go back to their Bibles and get out of their left wing Churches because, I am sad to say, nothing could be further from the truth.
Often those on the left cringe at having their â€œChristianâ€ credentials challenged and will hurl the typical admonishment about not judging others less I also be judged. I have often proudly said that I am very secure in my relationship with God. So with that said once again, I say very confidently to let that judgment of me be swift and true and that I certainly do not fear it.
As a Christian, but a non-denominational Christian because I have grown to distrust so many of the organized churches over the years, I believe that, like my liberal acquaintances, generating grace is the means to entering Heaven. But for me, grace is generated by not only professing a belief in Jesus Christ as oneâ€™s savior, but by also doing as he and those that followed him in life taught us. This includes doing good deeds to others.
A reader to my website recently reminded me of one particular admonishment that Christians, particularly liberal â€œChristiansâ€ who think that by using taxes and government to â€œhelpâ€ through coerced â€œgivingâ€, should take note of. This admonishment comes from 2 Corinthians.
â€œEach man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.â€ 9:7
Let us remember this. It does not say God loves, and gives grace to, those that are coerced to give or those that force others to give. It says that God loves those that have decided in their hearts to give. This means that if you are a liberal who thinks that you will be rewarded in the next life because you promoted high taxes and wealth redistribution plans to force yourself and others to give, then think again. You have not done the right thing in Godâ€™s eyes.
This is not the only example of how Christians are commanded to act when it comes to charitable giving and helping others. Proverbs 11:24-25 tells us once again that those that give freely, without coercion, are favored by God.
â€œOne man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.â€
Once again, nothing about being forced to give, forcing others to give or being forced to give is seen here as being a means to gaining favor with the Almighty. Also, we are told clearly again that good works do indeed reward us.
And there is another passage of which I am reminded of from Matthew which speaks of the same ideals. But this passage goes even further. It tells us that those that give not for the recognition of having given and helped their fellow man, but that give in private are the ones that are truly blessed with Godâ€™s grace.
â€œBe careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.â€
I would say this is pretty clear and that if you are one of those â€œChristiansâ€ that are constantly running around promoting enforced giving through wealth redistribution and social welfare programs and on top of that running to the microphones (like our elected officials so often do) to let everyone know that you are doing these things and talking about how you are doing them in Godâ€™s name, then you have received your own shallow reward. But you are gaining no favor with our Father in Heaven.
Now, I understand that all of this that I have talked about this week is meaningless to some. They will continue to believe that they are â€œâ€™good Christiansâ€ just like Nancy Pelosi will continue to believe that the issue of when life begins has not been settled by her church of choice, the Catholic Church, even after being shown to be wrong and told so very bluntly by those in positions of authority within the church itself that she is wrong. That is basically the definition of a liberal though; one that will believe what they want to believe even in the face of all logic and reason.
Just remember that God is all knowing and all seeing. And you cannot scrub that which is shameful from your resume come judgment day. And if you coerced others into giving as you decide they should, force yourself to give because you cannot bring yourself to do so freely in your own heart and above all else do so for the public recognition of having given then just please remember that you are not quite as â€œChristianâ€ as you believe yourself to be.
Author’s Note: This article has been updated to further address the claims by some that good works do not generate grace even though I have cited several passages that dispute that fact.
J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at Liberty Reborn.
J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com. He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts The Right Things. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at Liberty Reborn.