Any person familiar with the meaning of ordinary words must know that salvation “by faith alone” means salvation without obeying the Christians ordinances, without holiness, without moral conduct, without respect for any Christian duty, without the church and without the new birth or anything else. Such is the meaning of the word “alone” or its equivalent “only.” The only religious error ever known which rivals that of so-called salvation “by faith only” is the Christian Science proposition that there is no pain, sickness or death!
(James Burton Coffman New Testament Commentaries: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, Volume VIII, P. 14, Paragraph 3, ©1977, A.C.U. Press)
When it comes to displaying godly behavior, the ways of doing so are numerous. In the latest issue of Gospel Minutes the following point was made after noting Joseph’s willingness to stand-up for his brother Benjamin during his incognito interaction with the rest of his brothers:
This is one of our principle duties as Christians. We are not here to just go through the motions of worship and religious activities. We are here to protect the weak. We must act when we see children abused. We must act when we see domestic abuse. We must act when we see people at risk or in danger of maltreatment and do all we can to protect them. In the process, we may (like Joseph) discover what it is in the hearts of others. In the meantime, we will be rescuing a helpless victim. (Taking Responsibility by David Thurman – Gospel Minutes – Volume 66, No. 16)
The social justice movement abuses the essence of the gospel, but the essence of the gospel comes with the responsibility of societal justice. In other words, we have a responsibility to love our neighbor, and that includes not only doing right ourselves but also helping others when they are wronged. This responsibility can be seen in the lessons of the Good Samaritan, the woman taken in adultery and even in the interaction between Jesus and Simon the Pharisee (not to mention Jesus’ crucifixion and everything that surrounded his injustice).
As Christians, we cannot “fix” the world but we can help others by being a light that reveals the difference between right and wrong.
“But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.” (Ephesians 5:13 NKJV)
“We have no system of our own, nor of others, to substitute in lieu of the reigning systems. We only aim at substituting the New Testament in lieu of every creed in existence; whether Mahometan, Pagan, Jewish, or Sectarian. We wish to call Christians to consider that Jesus Christ has made them kings and priests to God. We neither advocate Calvinism, Arminianism, Arianism, Socinianism, Trinitarianism, Unitarianism, Deism, or Sectarianism, but New Testamentism.”
Alexander Campbell, Christian Baptist, Vol. 1, No. 5, 1 December 1823
Can’t say I know everything about his politics, but I can say this quote by a former popular American politician is worth quoting:
“If the Bible had said that Jonah swallowed the whale, I would believe it.” – William Jennings Bryan
“A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is… A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.” [C.S. Lewis].
“If you were to take the sum total of all authoritative articles ever written by the most qualified of psychologists and psychiatrists on the subject of mental hygiene–if you were to combine them and refine them and cleave out the excess verbiage–if you were to take the whole of the meat and none of the parsley, and if you were to have these unadulterated bits of pure scientific knowledge concisely expressed by the most capable of living poets, you would have an awkward and incomplete summation of the Sermon on the Mount” [Psychiatrist, J.T. Fisher]
“More Evidence That Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell, page 162].
An article from the Amarillo Globe News: http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2011-03-13/local-churches-expand-membership-falls
A quote from the article: “What we need to give people is an experience of the holy, allowing them to come as they are.”
Question: Is allowing folks to “come as they are” giving people an “experience” of the holy?