Contending for the faith...

I've been meditating on the Book of Jude lately. When I first opened my Bible, the Book of Ephesians was my destination, but it was in Jude that I landed.
Twenty-five verses in only one chapter is a quick read. But between the tender greeting (vs 1-2) and the glorious doxology (vs 24-25), there's an urgency in the message and a command: "contend for the faith."
Sandhill Cranes
Eugene Peterson puts it this way in The Message:
"I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish."
"Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven."
The problem? Some in the church were promoting "cheap grace."
"Their design is to replace the sheer grace of our God with sheer license—which means doing away with Jesus Christ, our one and only Master."
Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance.
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
Are you my mother?
It's not politically correct to "not be soft on sin." A double-negative, I know. What I mean is that the prevailing culture would have us believe that being hard on sin - calling evil "evil" and sin "sin" - is hateful.
Baby Mockingbird
Even some believers have been persuaded to think it's wrong for the church to call those "stinks to high heaven" ways of living exactly what they are.
It is love, not hate, that longs for a politically correct culture to know the costly grace and mercy and the kindness that leads to repentance.
For the church, the urgent command is to contend - to fight, if you will - to go after those who wander and be "tender with sinners, but not soft on sin."
Photos: A baby rabbit, a baby mockingbird, and mid-June rural Florida wanderings.