David's blog at DebateNation takes issue with some comments I've made regarding salvation. I've answered here just because it's easier for me to format. His comments are highlighted.

I'm sure he did all that out of love too, not because he wants you to do something.

Wrong. Yes, He did it because He loves you. AND He did it because He wants you to do the same. He doesn't want you to have an excuse when you say, "But I can't," because He came to this earth in the same kind of body you have and did it. He proved that we can be perfectly loving to anyone, even those who persecute us.

Why does He want us to do the same? So we don't cause pain to anybody that He loves. Look at the commandment, "Thou shalt not murder." Think how much that commandment PROTECTS YOU. It doesn't restrict your behavior; no, it guarantees your freedom. So does every other commandment. It is to protect your peace, joy, and security.

Has anyone reading this ever known anyone that has become like [Jesus]?

In my limited circle of friends/family/acquaintances, I can't say that I have. I've probably only known less than one-tenth of one-percent of everybody who lived, so I'm probably not a good indicator. Regardless, doesn't mean it can't be done (Jesus, human being in every way, God in title alone, with no resources to which we are not privy, did it as our example). Just means that we make it more difficult than it probably really is. I'm still going to try because I love how Jesus treats me. That's how I want to treat others.

Nobody has ever run a 3:50 mile, but that doesn't stop them from trying! Nobody has ever run a 9 second 100-meter sprint, but they keep training for it! Imagine the quality of Christian I'd be today if I were to train for it as hard as a sprinter trains... Have mercy on me, Lord, and help me do better! (The Bible has a lot to say about the training of a Christian, because that's what it is. Training.)

If either [acceptance of Jesus as Savior or declaration of Jesus as Lord] are lacking? What does that mean? Everyone is lacking aren't they? Nobody is perfect, right?

Let's break it down: 1) acceptance of Jesus as Savior. Doesn't require any action, and we've already agreed that most "Christians" accept this. Okay, 2) make Jesus Lord. What does that entail?

When you make someone your Lord, you agree to abide by their commands. (Notice we have not discussed works yet, thinly veiled or not.) WHY you make them Lord is irrelevant at this point. The key is, you've given your allegiance to that Lord and will attempt to do with all your power what he says.

It is an agreement. In this case, the "commands" your Lord (Jesus) gives you are the Ten. You've made Him Lord, so you are going to do those things. But, initially, you can't. The Bible parallels the growth of a Christian with that of a baby. An "infant" Christian is on wobbly legs. GOD KNOWS THIS AND ACCOUNTS FOR IT. It is NOT THE BEHAVIOR that is key. It is the fact that 1) the person has declared Jesus Lord, and 2) the person is walking in that way as best they can.

Even when we stumble or fall, as long as we are on the path, God 1) covers it and 2) gives us power (we need only ask for it) to overcome and not do it again.

Ellen White says one of the most important and awesome things about this:

"When it is in the heart to obey God, when efforts are put forth to this end, Jesus accepts this disposition and effort as man's best service, and He makes up for the deficiency with His own divine merit."

Oh. My. Lord! Best. Quote. EVAR. Can you not get more hope from this? When it is in the heart to obey (we've made Jesus Lord), and you put forth effort to this end (the works of a servant, not a slave), when you "fail" Jesus makes up for the deficiency!!! So that, when we are seen by the Father, HE SEES PERFECTION IN US because of Jesus. Thank you, Jesus!

Please see this page for a more in-depth discussion of this issue.

When Jesus says, "Go, and sin no more," He means it. But He's not a harsh Father. Jesus understands our frailties because He is one of us. He understands the temptations we face because He faced those same temptations. Only difference is He never gave in.

God is more patient and loving and kind and desiring our success than we are... so He works with us until that great day comes when, sure enough, we are just like Jesus.


Here's his original post, in case you missed it:

Religious Double-Speak

I love when Christians tell you you have to act a certain way or do a certain thing to get to heaven, but when they can't do the things they say are required, they still say they get to get in. What's up with that?

Someone I know is a Seventh Day Adventist and if you ask him, he'll tell you that 'works' don't get you to heaven.

Then we read stuff like this:

There are two prerequisites for being called "righteous" in the eyes of God.

1. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. Jesus paid your debt for sin by dying on the cross. By accepting and acknowledging that payment, you are justified in the site of God.
2. Make Jesus Christ Lord of your life. Having justified you by His death, and having made the way for you to be peaceful and joyful throughout eternity in paradise, you determine to make Him your Lord. (Someone who loves you like that has got to be worth following.) In making Him your Lord, He gives you power to become like Him. In making Him your Lord, you submit your life to Him and agree to do what He says, because you know what He requires of you will be in your best interests.

If either of the above are lacking, you are not considered righteous in God's eyes.

Ok, that's what was written. Now let's dissect it.

Right off the bat we find that there are two requirements for getting to heaven.

There are two prerequisites for being called "righteous" in the eyes of God.

Most Christian groups believe the first:

1. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. Jesus paid your debt for sin by dying on the cross. By accepting and acknowledging that payment, you are justified in the site of God.

But it's this second part, carefully worded to hide the fact that you have to perform works to get to heaven, that I have an issue with.

2. Make Jesus Christ Lord of your life.

Ok, and how do we do that?

Having justified you by His death, and having made the way for you to be peaceful and joyful throughout eternity in paradise, you determine to make Him your Lord. (Someone who loves you like that has got to be worth following.)

Wow, you're right. Someone that would do that for me must be worth following. I'm sure he did all that out of love too, not because he wants you to do something.

In making Him your Lord, He gives you power to become like Him.

Hmmm. Be like God huh? Has anyone reading this (all 5 of you) ever known anyone, any Christian that is, er, any Seventh Day Adventist, that has become like Him? I mean, if he gives you the power, why hasn't anyone taken him up on that?

In making Him your Lord, you submit your life to Him and agree to do what He says, because you know what He requires of you will be in your best interests.

What he requires of you. Most SDA's will simply tell you the Ten Commandments are what you have to follow. Not just try to follow, but actually and physically follow. Numerous Ellen G. White quotes (that's their Prophetess that never claimed to be one) even tell you that you can't have any sin in your life if you want to get to heaven. None. One spot of sin, you won't be going to heaven.

I'll ask again. Any SDA's out there (all two of you reading this) ever known anyone that has been able to remove sin from their lives completely? In other words, gotten rid of sin to the point where they don't need a savior anymore? One person? Jesus? Ah.

Here's the stickler though.

If either of the above are lacking, you are not considered righteous in God's eyes.

If either are lacking? What the hell does that mean? Everyone is lacking aren't they? Nobody is perfect, right? I mean, the Bible even says that if you claim to be without sin, you're a liar! (The argument for this of course is they say that the Bible is saying that if you claim to never have sinned, then you're a liar. It doesn't read that way, and it's a stretch to even assume that, but they must believe that to make their doctrine work.)

But let's get back to lacking. How much 'lack' can you get away with? Is Ellen right when she says you can't have any sin in your life to get to heaven? It's obviously not correct unless we assume that the thief on the cross magically got rid of all his sin the day he died. Jesus said he would be in heaven. Why? Is it because he followed step one?

I think that's what the bible is saying.

Logic can apply to fictional writing as well.

2005-05-05 at 00:00:00 | Comment...
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