[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

False Believers

by Matthew

I am sure that Antonio gets tired of explaining that those of us who are Free Grace do recognise the existence of false believers. Some critics seem to think that Free Gracers recognise as a Christian anybody who calls herself that.

There are just two kinds of false believers:

1) Those who believe a different gospel.

You cannot get saved believing a different gospel. There is only one message of good news that can save.

It is not just those in liberal or sacramental churches who may be believers in a different gospel; no doubt there are many in Evangelical churches who are believing a lie. In so many Bible-believing churches there is only weak teaching and the great truths of Scripture are never really brought out. Then there are the Arminians who deny that Christ has given them a genuine gift of eternal life. And there may be many Calvinists who have never been assured of posessing eternal life. These do not believe the Gospel.

2) Those who pretend to be believers for their own reasons.

We might think that these would be rare in the West. In far away countries it is easy to imagine secret policemen posing as believers. However, here in western churches there are no doubt people who profess to be believers, but who are not.

Many children of Christian parents may well make professions of faith. It is natural to want to please one's parents. Or to please one's peers. I have known many young people who have made temporary professions of faith in order to fit into a crowd of Christian teenagers, either in a Christian school or a church youth club. For some teenagers, being part of the incrowd.

Or older people may come into this category. It is easy to attack seeker-friendly methods, but they do have their problems. In the UK, many Evangelical churches use the Alpha course. Non-Christians attend a series of meetings over dinner where they are taught (not necessarilly in sound terms) the basics of Christianity. Part of the attraction of this method is the fellowship element. The would-be converts are exposed to such wondeful, loving,caring people. They want to join because they see such lovely kind Christians. The problem is that they have never come to the point of trusting in Christ for eternal life.

These people may want to believe. They think that it is very likely that Christ is the saviour of the world. They may think that Christianity is probable. They may hope that salvation is found in Christ. But this is not true faith.

What Free Gracers do not accept as a spurious non-saving faith is a faith that acknowledges Christ as one's personal guarantor of eternal life, but which is supposedly deficent because- 1) it is only an intellectual faith and/ or 2) it is only a temporary faith. The Bible places no qualifications on the nature of a faith that looks to Jesus Christ for eternal life.

15 Comments:

  • Matthew, please re-read and re-write your last statement. If you read your own words carefully, you will see that the last paragraph was worded poorly. You made it sound like FG rejects temporary faith and the term "intellectual faith" as being saving. You meant to say the opposite, but it sounds like you are agreeing with Calvinism. So re-write that last paragraph.

    By Anonymous danny, at Thursday, August 23, 2007 6:22:00 PM  

  • Thanks for the feedbakc, Danny.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, August 24, 2007 12:34:00 AM  

  • I only spent about ten minutes writing that post, so it is bound to have a badly worded bit somewhere.

    Anyway, I edited it.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, August 24, 2007 12:38:00 AM  

  • Uh, temporary faith is a saving faith?

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Friday, August 24, 2007 6:58:00 AM  

  • How long does your faith have to last before it becomes saving faith?

    If we drink the water that Jesus gives, we shall never thirst again.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, August 24, 2007 7:07:00 AM  

  • Hello Matthew,
    great post. It is good to clarify these things. I would not think this would NEED to be spelled out, because it really seems so very basic, but as we know, there are some really different views of faith. I have learned that since coming to the blog community.

    I still haven't figured out the difference between an "intellectual" faith and a "heart-felt" faith ...still scratching my head. When the Bible says the "heart" it is not speaking of the organ, so what would it be speaking of?

    I looked up the word "heart" from Romans 10:10:

    G2588
    καρδία
    kardia
    kar-dee'-ah
    Prolonged from a primary κάρ kar (Latin cor, “heart”); the heart, that is, (figuratively) the thoughts or feelings (mind);

    So what is so deficient about "intellectually" understanding that Christ has done it all that is necessary for me to be accepted by God? Not enough feeling? Not enough passion?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, August 24, 2007 7:27:00 AM  

  • Yes, this idea that the intellect is deficent stems either from Romanticism or else from Seventies touchy-feely culture.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, August 24, 2007 7:29:00 AM  

  • Jazzycat - you are so cute and cuddly! Can I ask you, where does the Bible use this wording or this idea of "temporary faith"? Where is this doctrine spelled out in the pages of holy Scritpure?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, August 24, 2007 7:29:00 AM  

  • Matthew,
    I agree that when one drinks of this water he has been regenerated. He is a new creation. He has been born again. He has been made alive in Christ, and he is led by the Spirit of God. (2 Cor. 5:17, John 3:3, Eph. 2:4-5, Rom 8:14)

    However, you did not answer my question. Does a momentary moment of a false temporary faith save one to eternal life?

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Friday, August 24, 2007 11:41:00 AM  

  • Rose,
    There is no temporary true faith. There is a false faith that is temporary in duration. The parable of the sower (Mt. 13) is an example of this kind of false faith. Also see……..

    James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?

    1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Friday, August 24, 2007 11:53:00 AM  

  • 'Does a momentary moment of a false temporary faith save one to eternal life?'

    If it is faith in Christ, it is not a false faith and would secure the gift of eternal life, even if it was only temporary.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, August 24, 2007 12:01:00 PM  

  • Here is the point of difference. You affirm a temporary true faith and I say that temporary faith is a false faith and I appeal to the Scripture passages that I cited to Rose directly above.

    The parable of the sower asserts directly that a temporary faith is a false faith.

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Friday, August 24, 2007 12:25:00 PM  

  • (Wow, I never read any of those verses before, Wayne. I guess you must be right)

    Sorry.

    Wayne, could you explain how those verses prove that a temporary faith would not receive eternal life?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, August 25, 2007 2:42:00 AM  

  • Matthew,
    I am aware of the hoops that FG must jump through to explain away the parable of the sower and the false faith of James 2:14. We have debated it at length. See my post here on James 2:14 and here parable of sower

    I would just ask any that are not sure to just read the parable of the sower for themselves and draw their own conclusion.

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Saturday, August 25, 2007 9:32:00 AM  

  • I am sure readers will appreciate the links, Wayne.

    I would also suggest to readers that they should bear in mind the absence of any reference to hell or eternal life in that parable.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, August 25, 2007 10:25:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home