“Does it really end up with the better person, though?” (OSS)
I would say, from personal observation, yes (in general). The people I know that attend church and claim some form of Christian faith do not get into trouble very much (as per the law I mean). Now even if they started with a fear of God – they embraced the teachings of Jesus and live for the better in the long run.
Now this ain’t everybody in Christian circles – but in general – they don’t committ crimes and to me that’s my biggest concern. If they are not being hauled in front of courts then I think their behaviors are tolerable – if not decent. I agree their theology of ‘human depravity’ and ‘God’s grace’ may actually allow for loopholes on behavior – but most of the time this isn’t even exercised and it’s quite anathema to even think that way. I would contend the fact a loophole exists for excuse for their behavior does make it easier to justify a bad behavior and ‘write it off as being human’.
I have written about this before but thought I’d re-visit it. I tend to find people that attend a church are pretty good in the sense of behavior – albeit – even if their stances on grace contain loopholes about doing whatever they want and still being covered. I find this is not something they teach in churches – in fact – they teach against it in churches and behavior is something of prime importance in churches (even if it is not acknowledged as such).