I recently listened to a local Southern Baptist pastor describe salvation as akin to “inaugurated eschatology.” His point was that although we are already justified by the blood of Christ, the born-again believer must continue to walk with God and serve in obedience to Him. Is this any different than the Catholic position?
Where Southern Baptists say that we may differ is on the issue of whether we can lose our salvation. The faithful SBC-follower claims we can’t. But at the same time, they question the salvation of those who have received Christ and yet continue to backslide in their sin (hence the suspicion of Catholics - who say they are Christians, but yet worship idols, worship Mary, etc.). The Catholic would say those who continue to sin are separated from God. The SBC-follower would say those who continue to sin lose their joy and bring discipline upon themselves. Is there really a difference here? If someone loses their joy, are they not separated from God?
Isn’t this just semantics?
As a former SBC-follower, my firm belief is that Southern Baptists actually subscribe to many Catholic beliefs (or at the very least are much closer to Catholic doctrine than Reformed doctrine), but out of spite for “Rome,” Baptists desperately cling to the Reformation in an effort to distance themselves from their Catholic brethren.