Amazing Grace

Tonight I was over at Stephen and Misty’s. As I was about to leave, the topic of me
joining the Baptist church we attend came up. I have been delaying this because I am
not overly certain about the move from the Methodist denomination to Baptist. As we talked,
they said that the main difference that they know of between the two is the
idea of “once saved, always saved”. I really am not sure how I feel about that.

On one hand, I have a very hard time accepting the fact that someone could accept Christ,
and then immediately go on a shooting spree killing hundreds of people, yet they would
still be accepted by God. Had this person really been saved in the first place?
As soon as I ask that question though, I have to start asking the tought questions about
myself. Are the sins that I’ve committed since I came to know Christ enough to make
mean that I was only feux saved? I have a really tough time believing that as well.

On the way home though, I had an idea which makes all of this make at least a little bit
more sense to me. Christ is constant. He is there no matter where we go or what we do.
The act of being saved is not the be-all, end-all. Instead, it is the act of us finding
the way at least for that one moment in our lives. Even though we may stray, Christ will
always be there ready to guide us back, no matter how far off that straight and narrow
path we may wander.

As I was driving I started to sing:

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now am found
Was blind but now I see

And as I sang that song, I realized that the words of the song captured not a doctrine
or anything of that nature, but more simply a simple faith. Though completely unworthy,
through God’s ‘amazing grace’ we are saved and shown the way to come out of the
wilderness.

To Stephen and Misty, thank you for talking with me about this tonight. Even more so,
thank you for letting me talk the ideas out of my head rather than beating me over the
head with yours. I know that both of you must have a lot of ideas of your own on this,
but you saw that I needed to think on this for myself.

8 thoughts on “Amazing Grace”

  1. I’ve been thinking of this a lot lately too, since we talked about it last weekend. And what has been going over in my own mind is that everyone is going to stray at some point or another. Maybe not at the extreme of killing people, but really, is one sin truly worse in God’s eyes than another? The fact is that everyone will stray, even if they were saved at one point. If you feel that you need to make that public statement again, that’s where rededication comes in. But it is really between you and God from that point.

    I don’t know if that made any sense, and it may not help you any in deciding what you think about this. Just my thoughts on the issue. Of course, I was raised baptist. 😉

  2. Those were the exact things that I was thinking this morning as I continued thinking about this. I started to ask that question… why are my sins any less wrong than someone else’s? The answer is that they aren’t. Thankfully though, all of us, no matter what we’ve done, can turn to Christ and He’ll be there waiting for us, ready to forgive.

  3. 1. Not all baptists believe in “once saved always saved”.
    2. I think the answer to the question can be found in Matthew 13:1-23.

    (Of course, from an eternal, outside of time perspective, “once saved always saved” is the most expedient way of looking at it; in fact, it almost becomes a tautology.)

  4. First and foremost: never let it be said that I pass up an opportunity to give Rick crap, but frankly … as long as you’re going, I don’t much mind where. No pastor is 100% correct, no doctrine perfect.

    The Wesleyan response to “perseverance of the saints” is two-fold:

    First, if the choice to accept grace is a truly free choice, one presumes, then, that the choice to reject is also entirely possible at any one time.

    2. While the counter argument is easily made that accepting grace does change one, there’s a whole body of work in the New Testament that persuades the believer to avoid backsliding. If backsliding were impossible, there would be no need for such phraseology.

    Regarding John’s point, yes, “once saved, always saved” is a tautology from an eternal perspective.

    Where my Calvinist brothers get it wrong, I believe, is in seeing the language of God to man as the whole language of God. Why would God use eternal language to man if man could not understand it? What is the concept of “predestination” to a God who stands outside of time?

    Of course, you could accuse me of reading far too much Boyd and all that, and you’d probably be right.

  5. 1. Not all baptists believe in “once saved always saved”.

    Certainly not, though it is a generally-accepted doctrine. “Not all Baptists believe…” is in general a true statement regardless of what follows; if Baptists of most any stripe have had an overarching creed throughout the years, it’s been, “Ain’t nobody gonna tell me what to believe.”

    And, Rick, we’re always glad to talk, listen, or give space as needed.

  6. We’re always glad to listen. I’m glad that you felt you could share it with us. If it’s any consolation to you, I always have questions that don’t have answers. My list is long, and I hope to have an extended session when I get to heaven with The Big Guy to find out all the answers.

  7. Yeah, Stephen, like those Baptists running around now saying that Reformed theology is the “background and home” of the Baptist church. *snicker*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.