Janet Perreault

Grace vs. Power

If you are not familiar with Philip Yancey’s book, “What’s So Amazing About Grace,” I highly recommend it.  It’s been out a while, since 1997 to be exact.  I actually read it when I was much younger, but for some reason it didn’t resonate with me the way it has recently; most likely because I am less of a “pretty sure I know this stuff” and much more of a “I have so much more to learn about this stuff” kind of person.

Because it is an election year and we are bombarded with debates, debacles, and decisions surrounding social, moral, and separation of church and state issues, I have been particularly impacted by Yancey’s insights on the state of our society.  “Our real challenge should not be to Christianize the United States (always a losing battle) but rather to strive to be Christ’s church in an increasingly hostile world,” states Yancey.  And, “The church has allowed itself to get so swept up in political issues that it plays by the rules of power, which are rules of ungrace.  In no other arena is the church at greater risk of losing its calling than in the public square.”  And finally, “In all the talk of voting blocs and culture wars, the message of grace – the main distinctive Christians have to offer – tends to fall aside.  It is difficult, if not impossible, to communicate the message of grace from the corridors of power.”  Remember, his  observations are 15 years old. 

These words may pique your curiosity or raise your blood pressure, whichever reaction is okay, because there is so much more to this book and to this topic than I could ever encapsulate in this inadequate blog; the words are really meant to encourage you to read the book and perhaps open a dialogue among people (Christian and otherwise) as to the role of Christians in today’s political arena.  I will reassure you that Yancey is not advocating that Christians should not involve themselves in politics.  He does advocate, however, that we not let the rules of power displace the command to love.

The rancor displayed among the candiates, people who want to be in a leadership position for our country and who purport to be of the same “party,” often plays out more like the folks who promote death by firing squad in a circle.  Yet, the “spin” is that such rancor is good for us as we drill down to the nitty gritty and figure out who is left standing.  I’m not so certain.  I readily admit to my ignorance as to many of the nuances of politics.  My husband knows by sight most of the legislators, their party affiliation, their voting records; such information does not come easily to me because, up until this election, I have remained pretty passive about the process and the politicians.  Not this time.  I really want to search my heart, as well as my ballot, as to who can lead and how they will do it.  I find it trickier and trickier to separate the wheat from the chaff, but I also find myself digging deeper and deper into the process of how I make my determination relative to whom I will vote.

I do believe we should stop demonizing others who do not hold the same beliefs; I do believe we need to find ways to work together because this polarization thing sure isn’t working for us.  But most of all, I would like to see the church restored to its rightful place in the community, a living organism that reaches out to meet the needs of the people and show the world what Jesus was all about.  Read the book and then let’s talk about what spoke to you. 










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Janet Perreault


Contact Info:

Janet Perreault
Speaking from Experience
P.O. Box 49787
Colorado Springs,CO 80949-9038
Cell: (719) 339-8991
Office (719) 531-0190

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