Taken from COAS’ ‘Religious Legalism and the Army Chaplaincy’ (mainly my questions on Grace)
“Jesus forgives ALL sins of those who place their faith in Him alone. Grace would not be grace if God ever took it away.” (Brad)
Grace would also be quite useless if it forgave intentional sins of the magnitude we are discussing.
For example, let’s say a kid goes to war and has to kill others – no problem – he’s trained to do that. Then they capture some stronghold and start raping women – just because some of that old ‘isolation mentality’ kicks in. Then they torture the crap out of someone to get them to speak – like an Abu Gharib scenario.
At which point in that scenario does one’s faith become absolutely useless?
Grace is good – but if grace is used as a cover for responsibility – then one is no longer serving God but serving their own appetites – which to me makes one’s faith utterly a point of non-value anyways.
“Once confronted and made aware of their sin, all of them repented and turned towards God.” (Brad)
True, I cannot speak for the Tanakh literature (that would be dishonest of me) – but as for Saul – he converted and still faced the consequences of his actions. I speak of the idea no one can die for intentional sins – this is in Hebrews also.
Heb 9:7 & Heb 10:26 – which is an allusion to an idea from Numbers 15:25
The idea there is that sins committed in ignorance can be atoned for – but the sins committed in willful disobedience there was no atonement for. It is not to say they were screwed – but that they had to go and deal with their sin both in judgment and with trying to make situations ‘right’ again (ie: charity or repentance)
To be honest, the Jewish system that we take this atonement idea from is a lot more responsible when dealing with issues of atonement than our own. This is my personal opinion – but from my basic studies on the issue – I would say they have a way more well rounded system (which I tend to believe is taught by Jesus).
“Grace is never meant to be taken advantage of (Rom 6:1-2). If it is, then there is a critical lack in understanding what grace is” (Brad)
Or maybe even worse, there is a critical lack of understanding by mainstream theology on what the role of grace really is (its limits and strengths). Grace is good – I agree – but to me it seems to function as God’s mercy in the way it is used. Maybe grace is not just mercy – but an idea that Gentiles were added into the community if God. The identification with that community is on the individual to make. I figure someone can as easily lose salvation as they can gain it.
“I’d say that they are definitely linked, as salvation empowers and strengthens morality. As a result of God’s saving Grace (salvation), morality changes from something we should do to something we want to do” (Brad)
Thus the reason I point to the idea Christian responsibility has weak moral foundations. Following the teachings – and I mean everything Jesus taught – is simply – a choice. It has no links to nothing in terms of one’s salvation (which is something outside them altogether). Nothing they do will mean anything – since it only matters what Christ did for them. That is the type of responsibility no parent would dare teach their child. It means your actions mean very little in the large scope of life – they are taken care of ahead of time (and are not important because of someone else’s righteousness being added to you – which is vicarious in nature). If we started teaching children this level of responsibility (to be vicarious) – this world would go to hell in a handbasket.
It is not enough to rely on choice or ‘want’ in this matter – this is a matter of correct standards being taught to everyone so they can rightly take their place in the kingdom of God. We teach people a ‘cop-out’ – well you call this a ‘sin stained world’ – it will only get worse.