When man comes to the point when he realizes that belief in God is impossible without Him, when he sees himself to be so small in the eyes of God that he must cry out for help, when he is enlightened to the fact that he is nothing, then God gives the grace to believe. Here man is a willing recipient because he knows that, what little faith he receives, it is from God. Because the grace to believe is given to man in such a lowly state, the second one begins to deviate from this state, the battle for faith begins. Once man starts to give reason for faith or justify it in a way that he can comprehend it, living faith begins to die. If man should start to tell himself that his faith is strong, the opposite is true and his faith is dying-for it is faith based on human rationality and not God-given. It is this battle between living faith and dead faith that a true Christian must always battle and it is this battle that causes a true Christian to have such a weak, wavering faith. God does want a man to justify his belief for in doing so man takes away from God the grace He has bestowed upon us. This justification of faith leads to self-righteousness. Self-righteousness battles God for the hearts of men. Self-righteousness steals from God what is rightfully His and gives credit to man, who is an all-to-willing recipient. Faith based on self-righteousness is strong and unwavering for it rings true in the minds of men and man comprehends it. -- OALCer
So if I recognize my relative "nothingness" in relation to the majesty and glory of God and I feel him respond to me (I "believe"), do I have "living faith?" Am I as "saved" as an OALCer? Am I as welcome in heaven as you are? Do you think you (or any OALCer, preacher or other) KNOW if I or any of us truly has "living faith" or "dead faith?" I KNOW you don't know and I also KNOW (from personal observation in the OALC) that your OALC preachers speak as if they at least do. Rubbish. Arrogance. Self-righteousness, masquerading as humility. -- MTH
Monday, February 05, 2007
Faith, Alive or Dead
Time for a new thread, so you don't have to wade through the torrent of comments (172!) on the OALC topic. Thanks to all of you for keeping the discussion civil (if not always coherent, heh). Here is an excerpt from our OALCer's definition of living faith, followed by a rejoinder from MTH.