Thursday, January 12, 2012

P4E.228 Love = Self Sacrifice Part 5

Let's acknowledge that greater minds than yours and mine have debated the virtues and drawbacks of Calvinism and Wesleyanism. But, I'll write about it anyway. As you will see, I tend towards Wesleyanism. Calvinism is a little (lot) too fatalistic for me. It leaves too much wiggle room for lazy Christians if you ask me. Calvinism doesn't seem to account for the conditions and verbs in The Book of John. Such as, "if you abide in My word..." "unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins." "he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life..." "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life..." "men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil."

The other aspect of Calvinism that I find difficult is the idea that one is "saved" once, instantly and forever. That the simple profession of faith, one time, verbalized and so often in the heat of passion, is the ticket to everlasting salvation. No deeds, actions, permanent change of heart required (because no works that one does has any effect on one's salvation status). You're either in or out. Once in, always in. But, I'm not an adamant Wesleyan, nor am I ardently opposed to Calvinism. That's the whole point of this series. The tenets of these religious theologies are a diversion from The Message of Love = Self Sacrifice. But, one final point about Calvinism is the idea that a person is sort of instantly changed when he "accepts Christ" into his heart.

The idea that you are changed in the blink of an eye is absurd for the majority of people. Sure, there are a few people who get off drugs cold turkey or are able to make a quick major change in their life. But, for most of us "accepting Christ" is the first step in a life-long journey. Our growth, the production of Spiritual fruit, depends on how diligently we pursue Christlikeness.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's start with the premise that it's taken you a heck of a long time to get to the place where you are now. You've been a selfish bastard your whole life. What makes you think you're gonna change overnight because you became "born again?" You're not! We know that it is NOT going to be easy to effect a change because your self-preservation  instincts will kick in. Our natural human instinct is to move away from God, towards darkness. Since God is love, this means that we naturally move away from love and towards selfishness. It's not going to be easy. It's going to be WORK.

Have I sold you on this plan? Are you ready?

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