Ukraine Ponderings on "Cheap Grace"
He thought for quite a time. Then, he said, "Cheap grace. You American Christians have cheap grace. You think that once you're saved, you're always saved no matter how you live. There is no seriousness about how you live your lives before God. In Ukraine, we think our daily life shows whether or not we are truly saved. We have to persevere in obedient living in order to have confidence that we belong to God. It's not that we believe we lose our salvation, but that, in obediently following Jesus, we show that we have true salvation. There is no 'cheap grace'."
Somehow Sasha's comments have an apostolic ring to them. We in the USA present a "bar code"gospel (according to Dallas Willard), believing we'll be scanned into heaven when we die--no questions asked. The idea of seriously persevering in the faith (as a good tree bears good fruit) is optional for us because we have a glib "eternity security" rider on our salvation insurance.
Plus, Sasha went on to say, we in America have so many places to go to church. If a church is not to our liking or confronts us because of our sin, we just go down the street to a church that fits our tastes. We can live any way we want. In Ukraine at present, to be called to a holy life is a serious matter because biblically faithful, believing communities are hard to find. Sadly, with the McDonaldization of the church in Ukraine, this will fade. Sasha laments this inevitability.
Perhaps we leaders and congregations in the USAmerican church need to take the warnings, the very real warnings, of the Book of Hebrews to heart.
It's worth pondering.