There are many churches that exist today across our country. They range from small bookstore/backyard gatherings to large mega churches, with schools and programs, with hundreds of in between. However, each fall into one of three categories.
One category would be churches that preach Truth only. They are the churches that go to the extreme to preach what is right, looking to convict everyone coming down the pike. Some would call them “old school,” or closed off in today’s genre. They are usually smaller in size, but not always, because many do not want to be accountable.
Then, there are churches who preach nothing but Grace, which is the second category. They preach all about grace and forgiveness. They hide from conflict for the sake of being seeker friendly, drawing numbers, yet have no accountability. These churches are larger and are easy to slip in and out of because it’s fluffy. The sad truth is this-many go because there is no challenge.
Then there is the last church- what I call the hybrid. It is a mixture of Truth and Grace. This church type is the John 4 model of church. In John 4, Jesus meets a lone Samaritan woman at a well. She was there to gather water and Jesus engaged her in conversation. He shared with her about giving her living water that would never run dry. He was talking about Salvation. Jesus was offering Grace.
He then engaged her in Truth, by challenging her to go and get her husband. She claimed to have none and yet she was having relations with other men. Jesus challenged her. He challenged her to change and because she did, not only her life changed as she believed on Jesus as Messiah, but so did many others.
The point of this is to cause us to pause and decide how we must be in life. If we are to be Christ followers, or Christ-ones as the name Christian implies, then we need to be about both Truth and Grace. We need to challenge sin, but we need to forgive others and show them love. What church do you go to? Are they all about truth? Are they all about grace? Or do they operate in both. Love and accountability are the staples of good, righteous, Christian living, and Jesus modeled that for us. Let us be about both in our walk with Christ. And, if you have no church, come and see, just as the Samaritan woman challenged others, come and see us… We’ll tell the truth and love you as well.