Robotic Christians

I recently came across an article about “How to become a Christian.” The following section troubled me deeply: “In order to go to Heaven, the Bible says that you must repent (turn from) your sins and personally believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Jesus died for all your sins, past, present and future, but unless you personally accept His death as payment for YOUR sins, you will have to pay your own sins when you stand before God. You can pray to accept Jesus today! If you genuinely believe in Jesus as Lord, you will become a Christian and can be assured that Heaven is your final home!” Not only is there a total lack of Biblical citation behind this claim, the author of it removed my comment regarding his sola fide doctrine within minutes of me posting it:

“You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.” James 2:24. The sola fide argument is based on one specific verse in the New Testament that is taken out of context. In fact, the entire book of James shuts down the sola fide doctrine so hard that Luther tried to have it removed: further proof belief alone doesn’t grant salvation: “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” James 2:19. It’s common sense that Demons believe who Jesus is. Are they too saved? There is, in fact, no scripture anywhere in the Bible, OT or NT, any translation that says “believe in Jesus” and you will go to heaven. This is a distortion of Christianity and according to Paul: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!” Galatians 1:8. This is further echoed in Timothy: “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:16. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17. You didn’t provide a scripture to back up your claim about belief granting salvation because that scripture doesn’t exist. According to God’s word, because of this, you will be under God’s curse. Also according to God’s word, the scripture can be used to simultaneously rebuke you and correct you. We as Disciples are called to hold each other to God’s standard through His word. As you profess to be a Disciple of Christ, I use His scripture to rebuke you and your teachings and encourage you to study what Jesus commanded of his Disciples: “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20. Jesus here gives explicit instruction to make Disciples of all nations. In the same breath he tells us HOW to: Baptism. Baptism is the only way to salvation. (Romans 6:3-4) (Ephesians 4:5) (Colossians 2:12) (1 Peter 3:21).

Consider Saul’s conversion to Paul: In verse 10 he calls Jesus “Lord.” Does he not believe, then? He does. Is he saved? The story would end there if he were. In verse 18 after regaining sight, he immediately gets Baptized. If belief was all that was required, why did God lift Saul’s blindness and he immediately decide to be Baptized? Because he understood to be saved and to follow Jesus as Lord he had to submit to His will and obey. Jesus is very clear through the scriptures that Baptism is the only way to gain salvation and He is also clear on the punishment for not accepting his word, but also by preaching something different. “There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.” John 12:48. You have now heard His word, what you do next is completely up to you.”

I’m not mad. I’m sad that someone who professes faith in Jesus Christ can be so closed to His word. He has not rejected me, he has rejected God. I only engage with others about their faith if they’re willing, and by posting his opinion on what salvation is, he opened himself to debate. His actions, however, prove otherwise. His actions prove he’s not open to discussion, debate, and ultimately God’s word. Might I add this is a Pastor. As a Christian, this troubles me deeply that this generation of Christians are learning from Pastors such as this who are so close minded to their own faith. How then can we know that they’ve questioned any aspect of their faith, tested the validity, or have even considered alternatives. Before becoming a Christian I studied many worldviews and tested all of them. I’m confident in my faith because I’ve tested every aspect and it’s held up. I wasn’t told what to believe, I was taught how to critically think about theology. This generation of “Christians” are going to be taught what to believe instead of reading the information available and making an informed decision on their own. I feel like sometimes the Christian community is about making obedient robots instead of teaching people to fall in love with Jesus. And if you’re a Christian who isn’t following Christ because you love Him, you’ve missed the whole point.

About jasonderfuss

I love writing film, poetry, short stories, and novels.
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