I discovered that the Bible was not the life, but that it declared the life. I used to be in bondage to a book, but the book tells me that I am not in bondage to anything! I also discovered that Jesus is The Word of God. source
Is my savedness proportionate to my understanding and belief?
Hey Jim. I was thinking a lot about this mixed up process we teach to christians in regards to faith. Faith and well, belief seems to be the sole responsibility of man. If you are in unbelief-truly you are mad out to be something: unloved, unacceptable, unclean and disobedient. Here's the train of thought: unbelief is what Jesus preached against so its bad...you have trouble believing everything-whether its the resurrection one day or the grace message the next day or ......the worthiness seems to come from our FAITH being stellar. My savedness is in direct proportion to my understanding and believing-quite literally. I mean directly as in one IS the other! Your thoughts and considerations? Adam
Hello my brother! Sorry for delays in getting back with you but I'm still trying to catch up on some backlogged email questions that really need in-depth answers. Your questions and considerations are very excellent and they hit at the heart of what I've approached from a few different angles. As a matter of fact, the Shoveletter mini-series called The Redefining of Faith (all the way through and including the Abiding subsection) was written to stimulate a reconsideration of how the miraculous reality of faith has been perverted through long-held fallacies of the Christian Church. Actually, if you take that whole train of thought and start expecting to see it in what I write you should see a very definite trend. For it is that big of a deal to me. It drove most of what I wrote in the free will and surrendering post as well as being an influence in many other seemingly unrelated comments. This stuff has been built into most doctrines and teachings in such a way we will read the Bible, both OT and NT, especially the words of Jesus, and miss the sense of absolute grace at the mention of believe or faith. Ironically, Calvinism rightly describes saving faith as being the work of God but then fudges it as bad as the opposing theologies they have denounced as having made faith into a work! But you are absolutely correct in recognizing the train of thought etched into most contemporary Christian teaching about faith and/or belief. As long as we keep trying to figure out our part of the miraculous reality of Christ we will come up with another modification of the same old BS that is older than Adam and Eve's sewn fig leaves for clothes! And that whole concept of the sin of unbelief (which is something I've addressed before but I'm also addressing in one of the outstanding questions waiting for me) has been latched onto by many grace folk as an easy answer for those who are trying to systematize the by grace through faith alone message. And so like you said, one day we're having trouble believing some important fact of the Christian faith and we relate it to a weak faith, or unbelief. Geez, no wonder we go up and down like a roller coaster!! We are STILL thinking of understanding and faith in terms of a thing that we can increase or a choice we make or an intellectual process we've achieved - instead of as something we have miraculously received in Christ and that we grow in despite how well we think we're doing or believing. We have been taught to ignore the living reality of Christ because of the fear of not meeting up to our responsibility. In the systematizing of grace we make sure to reject the legalism of law-based responsibility because we know that our life revolves around faith, but we have often fit this faith into that old void of performance - because under it all we want to know what to DO and how to do it!! The problem is not found with the words like faith or belief, but with the logic that is built upon the same old principles upon which we were all raised in this world. We simply did not learn Christ according to the stinking logic we try to force him into. And yes, we have been subjected to a Christianity that demands that my savedness is in direct proportion to my understanding and believing!! By the way, that is an excellent statement of the fallacy we've been taught, my friend! Anyhow, I was just going to write you a quick note - but got carried away!! Love, Jim