Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I have a lot of thoughts and opinions pent up inside of late.

It seems like this grace stuff has messed me up. I'm not sure where I stand on the whole "identity" issue... I never really cared much for the identity thing, honestly.

If I renounce my faith in Christ, then I'm not saved. I hear a lot of people in this identity movement saying it doesn't matter if you deny him or not, you still have the identity as a child of God-- bull shit. The requirement for salvation is to persevere in the faith. It's not a one-time deal, It's an ongoing process. "The one who endures to the end will be saved."

And this whole self-righteous attitude of the identity crowd toward the legalistic crowd (ironic, isn't it?) is extremely irritating to me. I daresay a legalist is saved, though he doesn't fully understand God's once-for-all forgiveness.

But as far as a universalist, or someone who abandons all sound doctrine because he believes grace covers him... that person is out of their mind. Paul never says that a person has the freedom to believe heresy. Never. That person is free from the demands of the law, but he or she is not free to believe another gospel or whatever the hell they decide to conjure up with their own imagination.

I don't mind atheists or agnostics or pagans who spout bull shit. I can befriend them and enjoy their company even though they poke fun at my beliefs; I expect it from them-- but not from believers who know the Scriptures.

Grace does NOT give you the freedom to embrace heresy and still maintain your 'identity'. No where is that in the Scripture. God requires obedience, and that of faith. I'm laying no burden on anyone here. I'm simply entreating them to come under God's kindness through trust in Jesus Christ alone. I'm not spreading hate or disunity. Disunity is spread by those who willingly preach lies. Am I a someone who causes disunity because I speak the truth?

I've had enough. I think I'd rather go back to hanging out with the "legalistic" crowd.


Anonymous said...

Matt. I loved the post. Very well worded and insightful. I was into the whole grace thing for about a year. It is a liberating to see the full implications of grace on our faith. However, that is just the beginning of our faith and growth.

Many Grace followers (not all) are just as legalistic as the legalists. Just in a different way about different things. Legalists think less of those that do not look, act, talk, live a certain way. Grace-Fanatics think less of those that have not come to the same conclusions they have about grace. They won't necessarily say it but they think they are more enlightened. They think they have a better understanding of biblical principles...

I had a friend once tell me that they could not change any faster than God was changing them. They were doing things that were hurting those around them and their relationships. Things that were in their power and ability to change...but they refused because of grace. They did not want to "do" anything. They did not want to have the appearance of "earning their faith". This is not what grace is all about. We cannot ignore all of the commandments in the Bible that ask us to do certain things, to live a certain way, etc.

My realization has changed. Grace is just the beginning. Yes, it is true that most legalists do not fully understand the principle of grace. But, it is equally true that most grace-fanatics are not living the biblical model of obedience to the teachings of Christ.

I do not claim to fully understand how these two work together. I trust that one day it will all make sense. I doubt that will be on this earth, in this body, and with my flesh still trying to drag me down. But I trust in the perfect plan of God. I trust that the reason I cannot fully understand it is that it is divine beyond my human reasoning. I trust in His plan in me. I trust is Christ. Sometimes that means leaning on Grace...other times leaning on obedience. thankfully, the two are not mutually exclusive in my christian walk.

Matthew Campbell said...

I wish I knew who you were, because you just spoke volumes to me.

Socoteanu said...

Sorry...that was me...I was around for a bit a year or two ago...had a blog that is now deleted. I still have my google reader and your post caught my eye.

Forgot to sign in.

The Lewis Family said...

I just read this post. I understand what you are saying about the universalism etc. The only part that confuses me is what you mean by identity and people who take grace as an application rather than Christ dying so that we might have life. Is there a lot of people saying that you will be saved some other way under the term 'grace'? Is this why you are so frustrated? Maybe I am a little out of it all. Will you explain in a little more detail when you have a moment.

Cheers my dear (as them english would say)

Anonymous said...

Its sounds to me like you want to control people and you cant stand that grace walkers are free .None of us need a licence to sin ,we all do it well without one . so go back to your legalism , go ahead insult the spirit of grace . oh, and go ahead and forget about loving me , judge me and label me self rightious .

Matthew Campbell said...

I do not desire to control people.

I'm well aware of the meaning of Hebrews 10. I understand going back to works-righteousness is insulting the spirit of grace.

I'm not talking about legalism. I'm talking about faith. Faith isn't just a one-time belief. If we do not continue in faith, as Paul says, "You believed in vain."

It did you no good to believe once and after that to leave the faith. So a one-time faith does not result in an unchangeable spiritual identity that could keep the believer from hell even if he later on denied Christ.

If you knew me at all, you would understand I am in no way legalistic.

Anonymous said...

If someone renounces their faith in Christ it probably meens one of a coulple things .They were not saved in the first place or that they don't know who Jesus realy is . They may have been taught the fire and brimstone way and think that he is a angry god . and they don't want anything to do with that kind of god ,so they get into budism or somthing like that instead .

The differce between that legalistic crowd and the identity crowd is that the identity crowd has it right . and the legalistic crowd has not a clue Why? because they are not saved .God says that anyone who lives under the law is not saved .People who are not saved cannot understand the word . the legalistic crowd walks around self rightious towards EVERYONE because they think its all what they do. Smart People rebell against their legalistic religion because they can sence that its not the true god . god is not impressed with the legalist religious efforts . The identity crowd only "comes across" as being self rightious (which is not true) to the legalist because the legalist are trying to keep people under the bondage of the law .We, the identity people are only fighting for them and defending the truth . Which or course only pisses the legalist off and causes more division in the church .However ,I know quite a few legalist who finaly got out of that bondage and are free just in my little circle .

You say in your blog that you are a new christian so its gona take time for god to reveal all what he has for you. However , That was a realy well writen article and made me think alot . Jesus be with you !

Free Spirit said...

Just my $.02 - I decided to leave the whole grace thing alone and focus on the love thing. I don't care if I ever get grace figured out. If I don't "get" His love, I ain't got nothin'. Somehow I feel that grace is to be found inside of Love, and not necessarily the other way around. I appreciate your voicing your struggle.