As a former Baptist, I can honestly say that I had no comprehension of the cost or price of everyday sin to my soul, let alone those extraordinary sins that we may fall into, that we as Catholics call mortal sin. We had this idea, although not really one that was explicitly taught ver batem, that sin was not something that a true Christian sought out but that it was nonetheless covered and not to be fretted over. But what lies behind that, and is therefore dangerous, is the fact that sin destroys the soul and that fact (or what needs to happen to remedy this) is not really ever addressed satisfactorily.
Even if we believed that by faith alone all our sins, past, present and future, were already forgiven at the moment of spiritual awakening, (or the born again experience of faith in Christ) what we failed to grasp was that all sin, whether of the flesh or of the soul, destroys the soul, irregardless of the “eternal punishment of hell” issue.
I could never quite understand how, if my sins were mainly spiritual in nature, and not the typical sins of the flesh, how was the death of my body going to remedy the decay of my soul? How was I going to instantly be transformed into a sinless being when a lifetime was not producing the desired result? I knew that Satan’s sin was purely spiritual, his body had nothing to do with his fall. What was going to keep me from my propensity toward spiritual sin after the death of my body?
This is something that always bothered me, even though I could not articulate it without causing great concern in those around me. You see, my conscience was telling me that something else needed to happen, but my theology didn’t require it. And to be honest, living a life that was pleasing to God was always stressed, and being transformed into the image of Christ was believed and taught, but we were very careful to not say it was required apart from faith alone, for salvation.
So, my soul was becoming polluted and destroyed by sin, and my theology told me not to worry, my faith in Christ’s atonement alone was sufficient. Needless to say, I don’t believe that dangerous doctrine anymore, and have found what Christ had intended for me from the beginning, a means to cleanse my soul from the affects of sin along with the future salvation of the whole person, all being done through Christ’s precious blood and the grace he bestows through repentance and reconciliation.