Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Faith Questions

The other thing that made me want to blog concerned something our guest speaker said.

The guest speaker on Sunday gave part of his testimony. He made sure to say that he had been brought up in church, but there was a moment that he knew that he was saved. He went on to say that we should examine our own lives to make sure that we could pinpoint the moment that we were saved.

I have a real problem with this idea.

I was brought up in the church. I publicly accepted Christ at age eight. I see my conversion experience as more of a spiritual journey than a Pauline conversion experience (remember the road to Damascus?). When I was about twelve years old, a revival speaker scared me so much with this idea of "knowing the exact moment or you are not saved" that I publicly accepted Christ for the second time and asked to be rebaptized. But that second baptism was a mistake.

An eight year old accepts as an eight year old knows how. And I am confident that I was saved at eight. The fear that the revival speaker placed in my heart was something else. It was meant for that person that was never saved. This idea of knowing the moment you are saved went hand in hand with something else that was said that night--you had to know without a doubt that you were saved. Now doesn't that notion make me laugh these days? There is no one who does not doubt at some point in their life. Even Mother Teresa had her doubts. A statement like that, to impressionable girls of twelve years (as my friend and I were that age), to girls who are trying to be the devout followers of Christ...let me just say that it was poison to our souls.

Who is able to analyze our faith and decide if it is genuine?

And so, I had some disagreements with what happened in our worship service last Sunday. As I prepare and deliver the sermon this coming Sunday (our pastor is on vacation), let me be conscience of my words and true to the message of Christ.


April said...

I remember being terrified in seventh grade that I wasn't saved when I befriended a Pentecostal who kept explaining the "peace that had come over her heart" when she was "saved." I prayed the sinner's prayer over and over trying desperately to get that peace. Didn't happen.
I'm not real fond of the word, "saved" for that reason. For those of us who have grown up in the church, with Christian families, it often seems like we've never been anywhere else than in the love of God. Never, even in my stumbles and falls, and there have been many, have I ever, ever felt removed from God's love. Perhaps that's arrogance on my part, or perhaps that's just what happens when you are told about God's grace your whole life.
Well, now I've hijacked your blog.
Thanks for sharing -- it obviously resonates with me!

Lowell said...

I grew up in a Pentecostal-style home, but thankfully wasn't made to believe there had to be that crucial second. 2 Timothy 3:15 shows how Timothy grew into a relationship with God from an early age. I'm sure there was a first time that I asked Jesus to forgive me of sin, and it certainly wasn't the last, but we knew each other even before then.

Musings said...

I totally know what you mean. I don't like the whole "Do you know the moment you were saved?" speech. Salvation is a much larger and more beautiful process.