Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Contradiction of Salvation

On Monday, Candy shared the happy news that her mother got saved. A few people found this curious, as Candy had previously mentioned that her mother was saved. Candy's reply:

I led mom through a salvation prayer over the phone about 10 or 12 years ago, but she never once attended church, or got baptized, and she never changed her drinking and partying. There was no visible change whatsoever.

Up until yesterday she had always questioned her salvation, and din't really know if she actually was saved. Yesterday is all "clicked," she got it, so she and I went up to the alter, where pastor spoke with her, then she got baptized. :-D

Now she says she KNOWS she's saved, and she's been different since.
Candy leads us through the salvation prayer process on this page:

If you are ready to be born again/saved, and you are ready to become a new creature in Christ, then pray the below prayer, or one similar... Just sit where you are, and say the below to God; He will hear you:

Dear Lord, Thank You so much for sending Your Son to pay for my sins, by dying in my place. I accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, and I believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead. Thank You for Your free gift of salvation, I gladly accept it. Amen

Now, go out and tell people what you did, and remember, don't be ashamed. :-) You did the best thing in the universe, and there is a party going on in heaven in your honor. God and the angels are rejoicing:

So, Candy led her mother through this prayer, and her mother said that she was saved. Candy felt sure enough of this to tell people on her blog that her mother was saved. Apparently, the clue that she wasn't really saved was that she felt unsure. Candy writes:

If you think you're a Christian, do you KNOW for sure - 100%, no doubt about it, that you are going to heaven when you die? If you aren't positive, then chances are high that you are not a Christian.

Further down the same page is where she writes of her mother's conversion:
Well, God provided me with new friends - Christian ones. He helped me tell the Gospel message to my mom, and she got saved and read through the Bible right away.

Candy lists as proof of her mother's salvation, that she read through the Bible right away. Let's look at this more clearly.

Candy's list of what you need to attain salvation:
  1. Pray the Sinner's Prayer.
  2. Produce fruits of your faith, i.e., read the Bible, change your life.
  3. Have a "feeling" of assurance of salvation.
I'm not sure where any of this is in the Bible. But my real question is, did Candy's insistence that you cannot lose your salvation put her mother's soul in danger? If you operate on the theology that "once saved, always saved" then her mother's drinking or partying could not lose her salvation. Perhaps it was "backsliding."

I think the danger to having a theology which makes salvation a given, is that you might not feel that urgency to confront someone, and talk to them about their actions. We really know very little about Candy's relationship with her mother. Maybe this is something they discussed, or maybe it wasn't. But Candy felt certain enough that she wrote about it as a done deal on her blog. It is only how that the doubts are voiced.

If we remember Phil 2:12, " . . . continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling," then we are more challenged to remember that salvation isn't a single emotional moment, which can fade over time. It is an ongoing carrying of the cross. A race to be run. A fight to be fought. We shouldn't be content to rest on assurance, or ourselves or for our loved ones.

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1 comment:

Tracy said...

Excellent Kelly, I was really hoping someone would address this, I had also read about Candy's mom being "saved" and had the same questions going round in my mind, thank you so much for putting words to these questions and answers as well!!