Friday, November 13, 2009
The Ending and The Beginning
Martin Luther, in the first of the 95 theses, said, "The whole life of a believer is repentance". That makes us consider this question: what role does repentance have, if any, in the life of a believer, one who has already repented of their sins and been saved by Jesus Christ? If we have already been forgiven, then how or why would repentance be an ongoing thing? Does the Bible teach a repentant lifestyle?I was floored when I read that last question. To me it read like "We need to develop proof texting for breathing." The question had a vanity to it that seemed to defy the necessity of repentance itself. Of course, he is trying to develop a case for continuing repentance, not just repentance, but still, "prove to me I have to repent," strikes me as a dangerous, dangerous thing - kind of like praying for humility - it's going to leave a mark.
The very idea that once saved, repentance becomes unnecessary is a straightforward denial of the realities of our daily lives. Who can honestly evaluate themselves as Christians and not be overwhelmed with the reality of sin in their daily life? That would be a dose of unreality bordering on the delusional.
And then, to require "proof" that repentance is the correct response! - Nothing short of hubris.
I am not bagging on Hatfield here, I am expressing my utter shock that he wrote what he wrote for very good reasons - because people really do think that way.
God save us from ourselves.