02 October 2004

Cheap Grace

Look at this, a weekend post. (Don't get used to it.) ;-)
The Ethics and Public Policy Center's Web site has an excellent article about Madonna's never-ending search for what's missing in her life.

The Ethereal Girl's Cheap Grace

I've always heard it said (and I believe it to be true) that there is a 'God-shaped hole' in everyone's life. Some people try to fill it up with money, others with sex or alcohol, you get the picture. I've always said that's why every single 'Behind the Music' is almost always the same. A person thinks being rich & famous will fill the void then finds it doesn't satisfy. Maybe drugs will do the trick … not that either. Women, nope. Money, nu-uh. Cars, jewelry, all the riches of the world, not exactly.
Many people (myself included at times) fall into this trap. 'Maybe there's something else out there that will fill this empty feeling I have inside,' we say. The lure of temptation offers a cheap, easy fix to our problems. I know, I've fallen prey to its charms on many an occasion.
The author of the story seems to suggest that 'religion' is the way. I can appreciate where she's going with that line of thought but I thinnk a daily, personal relationship with God and a close relationship with God's people is the best path.
Here is a key few graphs in the story about Madonna's newfound faith in Kabbalah, a strain of Jewish mysticism. It fits so well with more people than just her, however.
Like so many Americans today, Madonna has turned her back on traditional religion and morality, opting instead to make her own rules. Her meandering spiritual search suggests that her self-referential beliefs have repeatedly failed to satisfy her. But like legions of her fans, she is unwilling to fully embrace a religious tradition that makes real demands -- demands that go beyond wearing a new bracelet or making a brief quasi-pilgrimage overseas.
Madonna wants spirituality without religion and salvation without repentance. She wants cheap grace. And try as she might, she cannot find it.
She cannot find it because authentic spirituality is always rooted in conversion, commitment and community. (emphasis mine) It always comes with strings attached -- not the strings of a bracelet donned for good luck but the strings of objective moral standards that require the believer to conform her life to God rather than the other way around.

I pray that I don't make God's grace cheap today (or any other day).

Story via Beliefnet's conservative blog, Loose Canon by Charlotte Hays

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