Monday 4 March 2013

Jeff Turner Speaks on Hyper Grace Horror Stories

Recently there have been postings by prominent writers and speakers concerning "hyper grace horror stories", in which they lay out their case against the "grace message" by sharing some terrible tales of lives and hearts that have gone astray after believing the message of Grace. As a "hyper Grace" preacher myself, I can relate to and sympathize with this man's concerns. I too have seen a handful of folks become loose and careless in their morality after embracing this message.

However, as I've traveled here and there, delivering this message, and as I've read countless emails and messages from listeners and readers, the great bulk of the "horror stories" actually seem to emerge from the "hyper holiness" side of things. I will not share these publicly, but trust me when I say that I've heard my share of "horror stories" from that side of the river. In fact, I have quite a few of my own to tell...

I remember the HORROR of regularly having panic/anxiety attacks throughout the day, as I desperately would pray "Wash me, Jesus! Wash me, Jesus!", believing that this repetitive mantra would some how cleanse me from my sins. I remember the HORROR of thinking that every little action, from walking past a straw wrapper on the ground at McDonald's, to accidentally looking in the direction of an attractive female, was a nearly unpardonable sin, which would cause God's presence to leave me, and would require that I beg for mercy for at least an hour.

I remember the HORROR of making my wife, and everyone within a thousand miles of me, feel inadequate and unacceptable to God. I remember the hopelessness that my former message and way of life helped to create in those under my leadership, and in my sphere of influence. I remember the HORRORS of suffering under depression in secret, calling it a "burden from the Lord", or some other fancy spiritual term, when the truth is that it was good, old fashioned hope deferred (Prov 13:12). I remember what strong a hold sin once had on me, as I thought on it day and night, desperately trying to concoct ways to overcome it - all to no avail. I also remember the HORROR of fearing that I was never good enough, and that every little misstep could earn me a front row seat at God's eternal barbecue pit...

I remember, I remember, I remember...

And I also remember the joy, freedom, life, and light that filled my life when I finally accepted the truth of Grace! I had heard it and believed it, but did not apply it, as it seemed to good to be true. However, after coming to the end of myself, I had no other choice. I remember the darkness fleeing, and life flooding my veins! Oh, do I remember that!

I also know that this message has done NOTHING but produce godliness, character, and discipline in my life. Before, I never felt that I was doing good enough, and so would regularly think, "Who really cares then?", and would sort of "punch out" for a few days. Because of that, my "walk" was up and down, down and up, and there was no real stability to it. However, the truth that I'm accepted in the beloved, and "as Jesus is", frees me to live everyday for the sake of Christ, knowing that I am never NOT measuring up! I measure up in Christ, and so I do not need to "punch out" from exhaustion and hopelessness.

Yep, I'll tell you right now, Grace has produced some "horror stories" in my life. I'm sure the devil and his defeated buddies are HORRIFIED at what has taken place in my life as a result of believing this Gospel, but I for one couldn't be happier.
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