Friday, June 09, 2006

Spiritual Communists?

The following post was originally posted on September 24, 2005 on my old blog. I don't know if I articulated myself as well as I could have. My basic point is that some believers act like communists, in essence. In the communist system, everyone gets the same thing, so there really is no real incentive to be productive. I know people that have immigrated to America from Cuba, and it is sometimes a culture shock to them.

"Spiritual Communists" believe that once they become a Christian and are part of the family of God that it no longer matters what they do. However, let us be reminded that we will "all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil" (2 Cor. 5:10, ESV).

That having been said, I hope the following post is put in perspective. Also note that the post has been slightly edited and revised. May it spur you to consider how you serve the Savior.

Spiritual Communists

One of the most challenging things I find in Southern Baptist life is the way in which most of us ponder our conversion experience. We tout the doctrine of "Eternal Security" or "Once Saved Always Saved" (both of whose titles can be misleading) so strongly that we have a tendency to "secure" those that have no basis of security whatsoever.

In fact, I have seen that testimonies and conversion stories simply become a man-centered basis of assurance and a reason to take pride in our eternal destination without spurring us forward in Christian service. It's almost a ticket to "take it easy" in the Christian life, knowing that our destination is secure. Personal lives tend to play out this attitude, for as long as one has said a prayer in the past, there's really no impetus for future service. We simply become the Christian version of the Communists, for in their system it makes no difference how hard you work or how dedicated an employee you are. The fact remains that you end up in the same place with the same benefits, and you are a communist no matter how little you work. The same is not true of the Christian world, for a true Christian will show the fruits of Christian character. And, although every Christian will arrive in heaven one day, we will not receive all of the same benefits and rewards.

Unfortunately, this “take it easy” view of "Eternal Security" is skewed and my Arminian friends (who believe salvation can be lost) are often right when they point an accusing finger and say, "Eternal Security leads to lazy Christianity." They simply are not always wrong. Take a look at your average Southern Baptist who claim to have had a genuine conversion in experience in the past. Chances are, if it's a Sunday morning when you're looking at them it's because you're blocking their view of the TV.

Let's be clear, a conversion experience that changes the heart of the believer will lead that believer to be a part of God's people, the Church, which is His Body. And Heb. 10:24-25 reminds us that anything less is sin.

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