“What shall I do…?”

I asked a question yesterday in the “You know you’re a baptist when…” group on facebook.

“What are some things that Christians hold on to for dear life that, in all reality, have no effect on whether or not they’re saved…?”

Or in other words, “things that are not a requirement to obtain for salvation.”

I remember a man in the Bible asked a similiar question (ish) once. He came to Jesus and thought he had his act all together. He was a good man… a moral man… an upstanding citizen. This guy did EVERYthing right. He followed all the rules; probably made up a few rules of his own; preached them by his lifestyle; and yet, he was as lost as he could be. He was depending on all his works to get him to Heaven one day. And we know that’ll never fly.

“Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” ~ Mark 10:17b

Turns out a lot of Christians today have the same kind of attitude about salvation. Trying ever so hard to appear spiritual and earn Jesus’ favor on their lives, they robotically do the same things day after day without really knowing why they’re doing them. It’s all pointless.

Here’s some of the things people said in response to my question:

  1. Bible translation preferences.
  2. Preferences in music.
  3. The way we dress/dress standards.
  4. The “label” on your church or school.
  5. Who your parents are.
  6. Whether you come to church in a bus or car.
  7. Whether or not you’re a baptist (!! LOL)
  8. Personality and cultural differences.
  9. Wearing pantyhose to church vs. coming with bare legs.
  10. The “women don’t” rules that vary widely depending on the church.
  11. Not attending every single church outing/activity.
  12. Refusing to take your child with immune issues on visitation or to church during the flu season.
  13. Who your favorite preachers are.
  14. Which pew you sit in at church.
  15. If men have facial hair.
  16. If women wear makeup.
  17. The level of godliness you achieve based on the length of your hair.
  18. The way you pray or sing too loudly… or maybe you don’t sing loudly enough.
  19. Whether or not you volunteer to clean the church.
  20. Keeping a clean house as the example of Christ so that you may open the door no matter who knocks or when.
  21. Whether or not you mow the church’s lawn every Saturday afternoon so it looks good one Sunday.
  22. Holding the preacher’s family under constant scrutiny.
  23. The looks, ages, health, social status, height, weight, family background of those you choose to associate with.

I am thankful that I don’t *need* to hold to or follow ANY of these rules to ensure I have a spot in Heaven. There is only one thing that will ever get me there one day:

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” ~ Acts 4:12

What are some other things that people cling to for dear life?
What have you heard people say are requirements for Salvation?

Advertisements

Posted on September 2, 2011, in Questions in the Bible and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I think its the notion that Christ has saved them just for a spot in heaven. 🙂 Seriously I think in some circles this prevents Christians from being transformational within the framework of our own communities,

    The real big one that I think has been missed is the issue of the tithe…. in many circles that is a huge problem of guilt if peeps don’t tithe.

  2. Wow. Sorry I missed this yesterday. I have a few to add.

  3. The tithe issue is a big one with me, also. As I have heard it argued, 9.8% will knock you out of fellowship with God. Riiiiight. But that’s a whole, big, different deal.

  4. I remember neighbors who went to “The Jesus Church” asking me if I’d been baptized. When I said, “Yes,” they asked, “What words were used?”

    What words? To be honest, I had know idea what they were even asking. They clarified. “Did the preacher say, ‘In the name of Jesus,’ or ‘In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost’?”

    They wanted to make sure I was saved by the words. I knew better. I was saved by the Word!

  5. I remember neighbors who went to “The Jesus Church” asking me if I’d been baptized. When I said, “Yes,” they asked, “What words were used?”

    What words? To be honest, I had no idea what they were even asking. They clarified. “Did the preacher say, ‘In the name of Jesus,’ or ‘In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost’?”

    They wanted to make sure I was saved by the words. I knew better. I was saved by the Word!

  6. We’ve been doing a study through a book called “The Gospel-Centered Life” in my small group. One of the chapters that I found particularly relevant was about how we often ‘shrink the cross’ (either by minimizing God’s holiness or elevating our own righteousness) through ‘pretending & performing.’ Here’s an excerpt:

    “Pretending minimizes sin by making ourselves out to be something we’re not. Performing minimizes God’s holiness by reducing his standard to something we can meet, thereby meriting his favor. Both are rooted in an inadequate view of God’s holiness and our identity.”

    All the items you’ve listed fall into either one of these categories, as they all instill a false sense of righteousness and value that isn’t rooted in God’s acceptance of us through Jesus Christ.

    Personally, I’m still working through this, as it’s a bit of a tough concept to grasp. So much of our life revolves around trying to gain people’s approval, whether it be parents, teachers, friends, employers, etc. I often find myself falling into a ‘performance’ mindset, feeling that God is disapprovingly shaking his head when I screw up and wishing I were a ‘better Christian.’

    Thankfully, not only is Christ’s sacrifice the only thing we need in order to be saved (as you’ve mentioned), but once we are saved, we’re heirs of God (Gal 4:7). Due to what Christ has done for us, when God looks at us he’s completely satisfied. Thinking that there’s anything we could do to *improve* God’s opinion of us, diminishes Christ’s sacrifice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: