Monday, August 25, 2008

Are Christians saved?

Over at The Reformed Gadfly, Tim Brown attempts to explain why us "former Christians" now turned non believers, don't really exist. In other words it's the tired mantra of once saved always saved = not saved now, never was saved then.

In his post Once a Christian, Mr. Brown explains, using his reformed theology (surprise!!!) that "Becoming a Christian isn't a matter of saying a few words and asking Jesus to become part of your life." Well Mr. Brown, I, as a former Christian, agree completely with that statement. And I think that the vast majority of Christians will agree also. Why? Because the vast majority of them actually believe that Jesus died to save them from their sins. They do not think that you can simply mouth the words and that makes you a Christian. You have to actually agree with the words you are uttering. It's not rocket science Timbo.

Now, does Tim tell us exactly how to become a Christian?




Answer - NO.

You would think that a post explaining why those of us who claim to be former Christians were never actually Christians in the first place, would perhaps sneak in a little instruction on how one actually becomes a Christian. Nothing. All he does is explain why we never were.

What is so apparent from reading his comments is this: He is actually glad that we were never "saved". If you are among those that left the faith, and are actually glad you made it out, and have the nerve to vocalize your joy, Tim Brown is happy that you will spend eternity in hell with your father the devil. Yep, he is. That my friend, is the hallmark of the "Reformed Christian". Just read his post, hell, read his entire blog and you will soon realize that Tim is angry at you for being so unashamed of your unbelief that he can hardly wait to look down from heaven and see the flames begin to lick around your naked, blistering body. Is it any surprise that he holds to the Calvinistic mindset?

I have gotten pretty good at discerning the religious leanings of believers before they even mention their denomination. Baptist, Pentecostals, Church of Christ, and Reformed almost have their key beliefs stamped on their foreheads.

"To know a person's religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance."
~Eric Hoffer

Tim became a Christian 10 years ago. In 1998 I was nearing the end of my 25 year journey as a Christian. Feel free to read my first post in this blog and tell me what is in it that would give you any indication that I was never a (here goes...we have heard it before) "True Christian". I can tell you in a sentence what Tim will answer - he will simply say "You were not a Christian then because you are not a Christian now.", and he will use bible verses to back up his accusation. Imagine that - using the bible to tell a former bible believer that he didn't believe the bible. My head hurts. It is comical and frightning at the same time. Christians get to decide who is a Christian.

Let me see if I can explain it to him: Tim, being a Christian means one thing, and one thing only - a Christian believes in the Jesus of the bible. That is it. It doesn't matter to what degree they follow the teachings of the bible. They could be a murder, child rapist, embezzler, racist. The only thing that makes a person a Christian is if they believe they are a Christian. If a person, when asked what religion they are, honestly answers "Christian", they are in fact a Christian. You can point your knobby finger at them as you scream from the pulpit, frothing at the mouth as you try to yell your theology into them, but they will still be Christians as long as they believe they are Christians.
Did I believe this when I was a Christian? Absolutely not. You may be able to see from my initial post that I was, (even though not completely sure) of the "once saved always saved" mindset.

Let me reiterate; A Christian, a "True Christian", is a person who honestly considers themselves to be a Christian.

How hard is that? Well, very hard in the mind if the reformed believer. There is a very long hoop you have to jump through. This hoop is the size of your entire life. And while floating through this hoop, you are expected to be virtually "sinless" and always looking toward the end of the hoop.

I won't bore you with all of Tim's explanations and bible quotes. Suffice it to say, his explanation (accusation?) is just his religious belief. It is his belief based on what he has been taught from the bible. And when it comes to ones religious beliefs, every ones belief is correct except the other guys.

I will now offer a not so profound thought. This is my conclusion, after many years of experiencing Christians, both from inside the club and now from without - Christians, every one of them, are Christians. But Christians, just like non Christians, are not "saved". Why? Because there is no such thing. There is no biblical salvation. There is no "sins" to be saved from, no hell to avoid, no heaven to attain.

So, when a person, any person honestly claims to be a Christian, they are in fact a Christian. Tim Brown is a Christian. Jerry Falwell, Benny Hinn, they are Christians. My elderly next door neighbor lady who smokes like a chimney is a Christian. My girlfriends aunt who will not vote for Obama because he is black, is a Christian. I was a Christian. All you have to do to be a Christian is believe in what Christians believe in, namely Jesus Christ.

The world is full of Christians who will tell other Christians, (or at least think it and keep it to them selves) that they are not "True Christians" because of something they have done or neglected to do. As long as we have Christians, there will always be Tim Browns.

You know, what is so funny is that there are Christians who actually think Tim Brown is not a Christian. Wow! Does that blow your mind or what?

1 comment:

yunshui said...

Having had a flick through Reformed Gadfly, it appears that anyone professing to be Christian who is not Tim Brown is not actually a Christian. Tim Brown is, in fact, the only Christian that exists. So if you're name's not Tim Brown, you might as well pack the whole Christianity thing in - you're doomed to failure and, oh yes, eternal damnation as well.

It's enough to make one become an atheist.