The Dark Side of ‘Once Saved Always Saved’


#1

“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Gen. 3:5 (KJV).

Malcolm Smith (a charismatic Episcopal priest) used to call the words of this verse, “ye shall be as gods”, ‘The Lie’. The idea being that wanting to be ‘like God’ is the foundation of Original Sin. And what could be more ‘being like a god’, than having the knowledge of who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell.
The ‘doctrine’ of ‘once saved, always saved’ (OSAS), otherwise known as ‘eternal security’ was a teaching I found hard to abandon when I crossed the Tiber. It is an enticing philosophy that attracts people into a web that is hard to get out of. Behind the doctrine, of course is the teaching that you and I can ‘know for sure’ that our destiny is Heaven. Or as fundamentalist preachers love to put it: ‘you’re as sure for Heaven as Jesus Himself!’ Catholics shrink from such statements as they smack of the sin of presumption.
But this doctrine has a dark side. If I can ‘be sure’ who is going to Heaven (those who repeated a sinners prayer), than I can also be sure who is going to Hell (those who have not). This ‘knowledge’ of who is destined for Hell not only plays into the ‘Lie’ (using Malcolm’s language), it also plays into a destructive psychological pattern.
A former Pentecostal pastor once recounted a strange service he attended once. The preacher was giving a sermon on Hell and began to name those he was ‘sure’ are either in Hell, or headed there. “They’re going to Hell! They’re going to Hell! They’re going to Hell!” the crowd began to chant over and over in a bizarre fashion.
There is a strange and sick satisfaction people have in ‘knowing’ their enemies are ‘burning in Hell’. It gives them a feeling of ‘justice’.
When some of the writings of Mother Teresa was made public, it revealed she had gone through (as St. John of the Cross did) a ‘dark night of the soul’.
Fundamentalists had a gleeful feeding frenzy. I remember one fundamentalist almost giddy with excitement: “See! This proves it! Mother Teresa is in Hell!!”. It is extremely important to fundamentalists that Mother Teresa be in Hell. If Mother Teresa is not burning in Hell, that would make their belief/doctrine false; hence she must be burning in Hell.
For extreme Calvinists, this gets into their theology that a portion of humankind is ‘predestined to Hell’. A recent survey found 60% of born-again Christians say people were going to hell because they didn’t have the “right beliefs.” Whose beliefs are right is dependent upon the person you are talking to. Catholics are told (many times with glee) that it is ‘certain’ they are going to Hell.
It reflects a lack of compassion, hope, and love. It feeds into a person’s unforgiveness and bitterness toward another. In dehumanizing them with the curse of “They’re going to Hell,” it relieves them of any responsibility.
The Pharisees of Jesus day had a saying (from ancient Jewish writings): “There is joy in Heaven when a sinner drops into Hell.” Jesus turned that around and said: "There is joy in heaven when a sinner repents."
The Pharisees believed in a kind of ‘OSAS’. Obviously Jesus did not.
“ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
The Lie.


#2

The doctrine of “eternal security” or “once saved, always saved” is a dangerous one because it will lead many people straight to the pits of Hell. So many people have already been deceived by this doctrine that the early Church fathers certainly did not believe in. In fact, take a look at these quotes:

"And pray ye without ceasing in behalf of other men; for there is hope of the repentance, that they may attain to God. For ‘cannot he that falls arise again, and he may attain to God.’ " Ignatius of Antioch,To the Ephesians,10(A.D. 110),in ANF,I:53-54

"Watch for your life’s sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ye ready, for ye know not the hour in which our Lord cometh. But often shall ye come together, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if ye be not made perfect in the last time. " Didache,16(A.D. 140),in ANF,VII:382

“And as many of them, he added, as have repented, shall have their dwelling in the tower. And those of them who have been slower in repenting shall dwell within the walls. And as many as do not repent at all, but abide in their deeds, shall utterly perish…Yet they also, being naturally good, on hearing my commandments, purified themselves, and soon repented. Their dwelling, accordingly, was in the tower. But if any one relapse into strife, he will be east out of the tower, and will lose his life.” Hermas,The Shephard,3:8:7(A.D. 155),in ANF,II:41-42

“[T]hat eternal fire has been prepared for him as he apostatized from God of his own free-will, and likewise for all who unrepentant continue in the apostasy, he now blasphemes, by means of such men, the Lord who brings judgment [upon him] as being already condemned, and imputes the guilt of his apostasy to his Maker, not to his own voluntary disposition.” Justin Martyr,fragment in Irenaeus’ Against Heresies,5:26:1(A.D. 156),in ANF,I:555

“Now, in the beginning the spirit was a constant companion of the soul, but the spirit forsook it because it was not willing to follow. Yet, retaining as it were a spark of its power, though unable by reason of the separation to discern the perfect, while seeking for God it fashioned to itself in its wandering many gods, following the sophistries of the demons. But the Spirit of God is not with all, but, taking up its abode with those who live justly, and intimately combining with the soul, by prophecies it announced hidden things to other souls.” Tatian the Syrian,To the Greeks,13(A.D. 175),in ANF,II:71

"Christ shall not die again in behalf of those who now commit sin, for death shall no more have dominion over
Him; but the Son shall come in the glory of the Father, requiring from His stewards and dispensers the money
which He had entrusted to them, with usury; and from those to whom He had given most shall He demand most. We ought not, therefore, as that presbyter remarks, to be puffed up, nor be severe upon those of old time, but ought ourselves to fear, lest perchance, after [we have come to] the knowledge of Christ, if we do things displeasing to God, we obtain no further forgiveness of sins, but be shut out from His kingdom. And therefore it was that Paul said, ‘For if [God] spared not the natural branches, [take heed] lest He also spare not thee, who, when thou wert a wild olive tree, wert grafted into the fatness of the olive tree, and wert made a partaker of its fatness.’ " Irenaeus,Against Heresies,4:27:2(A.D. 180),in ANF,I:499

"But some think as if God were under a necessity of bestowing even on the unworthy, what He has engaged (to give); and they turn His liberality into slavery. But if it is of necessity that God grants us the symbol of death, then He does so unwilling. But who permits a gift to be permanently retained which he has granted unwillingly? For do not many afterward fall out of (grace)? is not this gift taken away from many?"
Tertullian,On Repentance,6(A.D. 204),in ANF,III:661

"Confession is the beginning of glory, not the full desert of the crown; nor does it perfect our praise, but it initiates our dignity; and since it is written, ‘He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved,’ whatever has been before the end is a step by which we ascend to the summit of salvation, not a terminus wherein the full result of the ascent is already gained. " Cyprian,Unity of the Church,21(A.D. 251),in ANF,V:428

"Therefore, my beloved, we also have received of the Spirit of Christ, and Christ dwelleth in us, as it is written
that the Spirit said this through the month of the Prophet: --I will dwell in them and will walk in them.Therefore let us prepare our temples for the Spirit of Christ, and let us not grieve it that it may not depart from us. Remember the warning that the Apostle gives us:–Grieve not the Holy Spirit whereby ye have been sealed unto the day of redemption. For from baptism do we receive the Spirit of Christ … And whatever man there is that receives the Spirit from the water (of baptism) and grieves it, it departs from him until he dies, and returns according to its nature to Christ, and accuses that man of having grieved it."
Aphrahat,Demonstrations,6:14(A.D. 345),in NPNF2,VIII:371-372

“Thou art made partaker of the Holy Vine. Well then, if thou abide in the Vine, thou growest as a fruitful branch; but if thou abide not, thou wilt be consumed by the fire. Let us therefore bear fruit worthily. God forbid that in us should be done what befell that barren fig-tree, that Jesus come not even now and curse us for our barrenness.” Cyril of Jerusalem,Catechetical Lectures,I:4(A.D. 350),NPNF2,VII:7

“For what the Word has by nature, as I said, in the Father, that He wishes to be given to us through the Spirit
irrevocably; which the Apostle knowing, said, ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?’ for ‘the gifts of God’ and ‘grace of His calling are without repentance.’ It is the Spirit then which is in God, and not we viewed in our own selves; and as we are sons and gods because of the Word in us, so we shall be in the Son and in the Father, and we shall be accounted to have become one in Son and in Father, because that that Spirit is in us, which is in the Word which is in the Father. When then a man falls from the Spirit for any wickedness, if he repent upon his fall, the grace remains irrevocably to such as are willing; otherwise he who has fallen is no longer in God (because that Holy Spirit and Paraclete which is in God has deserted him), but the sinner shall be in him to whom he has subjected himself, as took place in Saul’s instance; for the Spirit of God departed from him and an evil spirit was afflicting him.” Athanasius,Discourse Against the Arians,3:25(A.D. 362),in NPNF2,IV:407

"Clerics who are guilty of the sin unto death are degraded from their order,but not excluded from the communion of the laity."
Basil,To Amphilochius,Letter 199:32(A.D. 375),in NPNF2,VIII:237

"This temple is holier than that; for it glistened not with gold and silver, but with the grace of the Spirit, and in place of the ark and the cherubim, it had Christ, and His Father, and the Paraclete seated within. But now all is changed, and the temple is desolate, and bare of its former beauty and comeliness, unadorned with its divine and unspeakable adornments, destitute of all security and protection; it has neither door nor bolt, and is laid open to
all manner of soul-destroying and shameful thoughts; and if the thought of arrogance or fornication, or avarice, or any more accursed than these, wish to enter in there is no one to hinder them; whereas formerly, even as the Heaven is inaccessible to all these, so also was the purity of thy soul."
John Chrysostom,To the Fallen Theodore,Letter 1(A.D. 378),in NPNF1,IX:91

"But these sins were not after Baptism, you will say. Where is your proof? Either prove it–or refrain from condemning; and if there be any doubt, let charity prevail. But Novatus, you say, would not receive those who lapsed in the persecution. What do you mean by this? If they were unrepentant he was right; I too would refuse to receive those who either would not stoop at all or not sufficiently, and who would refuse to make their amendment counterbalance their sin; and when I do receive them, I will assign them their proper place; but if he refused those who wore themselves away with weeping, I will not imitate him
Gregory of Nazianzen,Oration on the Holy Lights,39:19(A.D. 381),in NPNF2,VII:359


#3

Continued from above…

“These are capital sins, brethren,these are mortal.” Pacian of Barcelona,Penance,4(A.D. 385),in JUR,II:143

“Let us admonish each other. Let us correct each other, that we may not go to the other world as debtors, and then, needing to borrow of others, suffer the fate of the foolish virgins, and fall from immortal salvation.” John Chrysostom,Concerning Statues,21(A.D. 387),in NPNF1,IX:363

"Some offences are light, some heavy. It is one thing to owe ten thousand talents, another to owe a farthing. We shall have to give account of the idle word no less than of adultery; but it is not the same thing to be put to the blush, and to be put upon the rack, to grow red in the face and to ensure lasting torment. Do you think I am merely expressing my own views? Hear what the Apostle John says: 'He who knows that his brother sinneth a sin not unto death, let him ask, and he shall give him life, even to him that sinneth not unto death. But he that hath sinned unto death, who shall pray for him? ‘You observe that if we entreat for smaller offences, we obtain pardon: if for greater ones, it is difficult to obtain our request: and that there is a great difference between sins.’ " Jerome,Against Jovianus,2:30(A.D. 393),in NPNF2,VI:411

"And, consequently, both those who have not heard the gospel, and those who, having heard it and been changed by it for the better, have not received perseverance, and those who, having heard the gospel, have refused to come to Christ, that is, to believe on Him, since He Himself says, ‘No man cometh unto me, except it were given him of my Father,’ and those who by their tender age were unable to believe, but might be absolved from original sin by the sole layer of regeneration, and yet have not received this laver, and have perished in death: are not made to differ from that lump which it is plain is condemned, as all go from one into condemnation."
Augustine,On Rebuke and Grace,12(A.D. 427),in NPNF2,V:476

"The faith of these, which worketh by love, either actually does not fail at all, or, if there are any whose faith fails, it is restored before their life is ended, and the iniquity which had intervened is done away, and perseverance even to the end is allotted to them. But they who are not to persevere, and who shall so fall away from Christian faith and conduct that the end of this life shall find them in that case, beyond all doubt are not to be reckoned in the number of these, even in that season wherein they are living well and piously. For they are not made to differ from that mass of perdition by the foreknowledge and predestination of God, and therefore are not called according to God’s purpose, and thus are not elected"
Augustine,On Rebuke and Grace,16(A.D. 427),in NPNF2,V:478

“It is, indeed, to be wondered at, and greatly to be wondered at, that to some of His own children–whom He has regenerated in Christ–to whom He has given faith, hope, and love, God does not give perseverance also.” Augustine,On Rebuke and Grace,18(A.D. 427),in NPNF2,V:478

“Let the inquirer still go on, and say, ‘Why is it that to some who have in good faith worshipped Him He has not given to persevere to the end?’ Why except because he does not speak falsely who says, ‘They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, doubtless they would have continued with us.’ Are there, then, two natures of men? By no means. If there were two natures there would not be any grace, for there would be given a gratuitous deliverance to none if it were paid as a debt to nature. But it seems to men that all who appear good believers ought to receive perseverance to the end. But God has judged it to be better to mingle some who would not persevere with a certain number of His saints, so that those for whom security from temptation in this life is not desirable may not be secure.” Augustine,On the Gift of Perseverance,19(A.D. 429),in NPNF2,V:531-532

“The manifold mercy of God so assists men when they fall, that not only by the grace of baptism but also by the remedy of penitence is the hope of eternal life revived, in order that they who have violated the gifts of the second birth, condemning themselves by their own judgment, may attain to remission of their crimes, the provisions of the Divine Goodness having so ordained that GOD’S indulgence cannot be obtained without the supplications of priests. For the Mediator between GOD and men, the Man Christ Jesus, has transmitted this power to those that are set over the Church that they should both grant a course of penitence to those who confess, and, when they are cleansed by wholesome correction admit them through the door of reconciliation to communion in the sacraments." Pope Leo the Great[regn A.D. 440-461],To
Theodore,Epistle 108:2(A.D. 452),NPNF2,XII:80

“The branches of the vine. Thus there are branches in the vine, not that they may bestow anything upon the vine, but that they may receive from it the means by which they maylive…And by this it is an advantage to the disciples,not to Christ,that each have Christ abiding in him, and that each abide in Christ. For if the branch is cut off, another can sprout forth from the living root; but that which has been cut off, cannot live without the root.” Council of Orange,Canon 24(A.D. 529),in DEN,79-80

"And they who mourn their transgressions certainly cast forth by confession the wickedness with which they have been evilly satiated, and which oppressed the inmost parts of their soul; and yet, in recurring to it after confession, they take it in again. But the sow, by wallowing in the mire when washed, is made more filthy. I And one who mourns past transgressions, yet forsakes them not, subjects himself to the penalty of more grievous sin, since he both despises the very pardon which he might have won by his weeping, and as it were rolls himself in miry water; because in withholding purity of life from his weeping he makes even his very tears filthy before the eyes of God."
Pope Gregory the Great[regn A.D. 590-604],Pastoral Rule,30(A.D. 591),in NPNF2,XII:62

“The remission of sins, therefore, is granted alike to all through baptism: but the grace of the Spirit is proportional to the faith and previous purification. Now, indeed, we receive the firstfruits of the Holy Spirit through baptism, and the second birth is for us the beginning and seal and security and illumination s of another life. It behoves as, then, with all our strength to steadfastly keep ourselves pure from filthy works, that we may not, like the dog returning to his vomit, make ourselves again the slaves of sin. For faith apart from works is dead, and so likewise are works apart from faith. For the true faith is attested by works.” John of Damascus,On the Orthodox Faith,4:9(A.D. 743),in NPNF2,IX:78


#4

Thanks.
The sin of presumption swings both ways. If I am ‘sure’ I will go to Heaven, I can be equally ‘sure’ who will not.
When I let go of ‘eternal security’, it felt very freeing.


#5

OSAS is inherently flawed logically when compared to scripture…

IN Fact, for OSAS to be true, parts of scripture have to be wrong…

Example.

  1. Scripture says we can test ourselves and know if we are in good graces (IE if I died right NOW it is possible to know my fate), Nothing wrong with that as it says nothing about the future.

  2. Joe M Omma begins going to a typical spirit filed OSAS teaching (and I firmly believe that these churches can be just as spirit filled). After going for a while with his friend, Ben Wan Ting, he begins to feel the call of the HS and responds…He makes the ‘commitment to Christ’

  3. He tests himself against scripture, and finds that hey… you know what… I am going to heaven…

  4. Several years go by and Ben Wan Ting becomes involved with a group of evil scientist bent on ruling the world through the use of carrots, modified fish sticks, and cat fur. Ben turns to evil and starts stealing everyones left shoe…

  5. Since Ben and Joe are such good friends, this disturbs Joe greatly… it disturbs him so much that he turns to abusing pixie sticks. His habit gets so bad and controlling over his life. Homeless, and hungry and hooked, he takes to a life of crime to pay for his pixie stick habit.

  6. One day, while attempting to steal used ball point pens so that he can sell it on the black market to “Lethal Spitball Guns R Us”, he is busted by a 90 year old cop in a walker. swearing and screaming at how he just needs his next fix, he is convicted and sent to jail for 26.785 hours… ( a life time for a May Fly)

  7. While setting in his jail cell, equiped with the latest in plasma screen TVs, playstations, and unlimited access to ChimpsInBikinis.com, he has time to think about his life…

  8. Just like tommy pickles pulls out a screwdriver from his diaper, Joe pulls out his old trusty KJV revised standard edition for south American Swedes… and compares him self against scripture… He finds that he is going to hell…

  9. After his long stint in prison, he goes to his old pastor confused… “Pastor Hugh G. Leewrong, I thought I was saved for all time, how come scripture says I am now going to hell”

  10. Pastor responds… “Well, that just means you were never saved to begin with…”

  11. Joe, confused, “But I tested myself earlier in life… It said I was saved… Wouldn’t that mean I was still saved?”

  12. Paster Hugh… stumbles for a second…" Well, you see, because you weren’t really saved, you couldn’t read scripture properly… therefore, you couldn’t test properly…"

  13. Joe… now somewhat angry it Hughs response… “But Scripture says I CAN test… How am I to know if my testing is correct if I will unknowingly delude myself… Doesn’t that therefore mean that CAN’T know I am saved?”

  14. Hugh… "… Well… um… you see if you … "

  15. Joe “If your statement is true… then that means scripture is false… because scripture says you CAN know…”

  16. Hugh …“Hold on there…”

  17. Joe… “Now that I think about it… The ONLY way for OSAS to be true is if scripture is wrong…”

  18. Hugh … " Have you been talking to those poor misguided, hell bound Catholics…"

  19. Joe… laughing leaves Christianity all together because of his confusion… and becomes an Umpa Lumpa…

In Christ


#6

That is pretty much what happened to me, until I ran into an old fat bald priest named Fr. Groschel. He got me interested in Christianity again.


#7

And all of this, in direct opposition to scripture: 2 Peter 2:20
If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.

Consider Judas: he was “saved”. He travelled with our Lord, preached, healed, cast out demons. A perfect example of being bound for Heaven. However, his end was: “Woe to him by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for him if he had never been born”. This is not OSAS! Christ knows where Judas is. It does not sound good. All this by becoming entangled in the world (of the Pharisees and their power), and overcome (by greed). Clearly, Judas is worse off than before.

A tough one for OSAS proponents to explain.

Christ’s peace.


#8

One of the most intriguing paradoxes of OSAS has to do with infants. I don’t think there are many Protestants who will say that an infant, who has never committed personal sin, will go to hell if it dies. But only those who are saved will go to heaven. That must mean that every person is saved at the moment of conception. So the OS of OSAS happens at the moment of conception. But no Protestant believes that, AFAIK. :eek:


#9

You’re welcome. :slight_smile:


#10

Okay, I’m wiped after two hours of exercise, meaning my brain ain’t working.:wink:
What is AFAIK?:confused:


#11

Just so we don’t get off track.
I know OSAS has been hashed to death here.
This is the flip side of OSAS, being ‘sure’ who ends up in Hell.


#12

As Far As I Know :slight_smile:


#13

Xxxxxx


#14

:rotfl: :bigyikes:


#15

OSAS is always a bit disturbing. Just this evening I had dinner with my non-denominational “Bible Doctrine” church going brother. He’s very much into OSAS. Although I pointed out and he agreed that we are indeed judged by our actions, that doesn’t, to his way of thinking affect salvation. :eek: I asked him, “so, I believe in Jesus, but decide to murder a bunch of folks. And I still get to go to Heaven?” “Yes!” is the reply. His reasoning is that the thief on the cross. (Of course he was repentant).

Anyone else see a problem with this line of thinking? (I"ve gone round and round with this I feel I’m on a spinning wheel).

(My brother goes to a church (Berachah) that was started by R. Thieme that is rather cultish.)


#16

Fundamentalists had a gleeful feeding frenzy. I remember one fundamentalist almost giddy with excitement: “See! This proves it! Mother Teresa is in Hell!!”. It is extremely important to fundamentalists that Mother Teresa be in Hell. If Mother Teresa is not burning in Hell, that would make their belief/doctrine false; hence she must be burning in Hell.
For extreme Calvinists, this gets into their theology that a portion of humankind is ‘predestined to Hell’. A recent survey found 60% of born-again Christians say people were going to hell because they didn’t have the “right beliefs.” Whose beliefs are right is dependent upon the person you are talking to. Catholics are told (many times with glee) that it is ‘certain’ they are going to Hell.
It reflects a lack of compassion, hope, and love. It feeds into a person’s unforgiveness and bitterness toward another. In dehumanizing them with the curse of “They’re going to Hell,” it relieves them of any responsibility.

The Pharisees of Jesus day had a saying (from ancient Jewish writings): “There is joy in Heaven when a sinner drops into Hell.” Jesus turned that around and said: “There is joy in heaven when a sinner repents.”

OSAS is one of the most harmfull doctrines that came out the Refomation and the reason why I`ll never be a Baptist or Calvinist.

It does lead to a Antichristian uncharitable cattyness. I’m saved you are not, I’m saved you are not. And to the Idolatry of the self.
I know I’m saved because I know Jesus mind. So I’m a bit of a God too. And to a passive agressive glee of you are going to Hell, you are going to Hell. Dadadadadada.


#17

Ask him about Judas Iscariot. Judas travelled and preached with Christ for three years. He was given power to cure and to cast out demons. By any definition, he was “saved”. However, he turned his back on Christ, selling Him out to the Pharisees. What was it that Jesus Himself said about the situation:

Matthew 26:24 “The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

Mark 14:21 “The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

Luke 22:22 “The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him.”

This goes rather well with:

2 Peter 2:20: If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.

And why did Saint Paul constantly preach:

Philippians 2:12 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,”

None of this scripture supports OSAS, and the scripture that OSASers put forth makes sense only when taken out of context, which is the failing of SS.

To assume salvation is to put your God to the test, essentially daring Him not to save you. Christ made it very clear, speaking to the evil one, that we shall not do that.

Matthew 4:7 Jesus answered him, "It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ "

He may have some pat answers to this, but it will all be out of context.

Best of luck and Christ’s peace.


#18

This is the area of OSAS I wanted to focus on, ‘You’re Damned, I’m Not’ (YDIN). It wasn’t until Mother Teresa died that this became crystal clear to me.


#19

How many times has the following played out in OSAS communities?

  1. A brand new youth minister comes aboard, on fire for the Lord.
  2. He invigorates the youth ministry, drawing more and more young people to the congregation.
  3. Something happens which causes the elders to question whether or not the youth minister has “really been saved.” This can range anywhere from the rumored holding of unorthodox theological views to minor private conduct issues (had a beer at the ballgame) to major personal tragedies (divorce, stricken with disease) to major misconduct.
  4. The youth minister is driven from the congregation, either founding his own congregation somewhere else (and taking a good chunk of the congregation with him, especially the younger portion) or leaving the denomination altogether.
  5. The elders and the pastor see attendance dwindling, particularly among the youth.
  6. They hire a brand new youth minister, on fire for the Lord…

#20

No fair, Holly—if you’re going to start quoting the Early Church Fathers, you’ll completely destroy the notion that the Catholic insistence on our response to grace through the good works God created us to do is a late medieval innovation.

“You’re damned, I’m not” is a very succinct way to put something which has bothered me ever since my initial exposure to Calvinism—the notion that in this allegedly Invisible Church one can spot the Elect, and therefore the non-Elect, and that since Christ allegedly died only for the Elect, it is obviously unnecessary to treat the non-Elect with charity.

This divisive distortion explains nicely how Jean Calvin could mercilessly hunt down Michael Servetus and watch him burn.

It is why we see so little of Christ in Calvinism.

Moreover, every OSASer is rife with stories about how they thought this pastor was “really saved” but he turned out not to be after all. This never seems to lead them to question their discernment of The Elect and the Damned, however.


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