Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Christian Fundamental Too

The author of Hebrews points to a quality of faith that in my opinion actually makes it functional: certainty. Faith is not reducible to a probabalistic scale nor does it arise in those who have nothing to lose. Faith is a conviction tangible enough to base proceeding on though proceeding could cost one his or her life. Paul calls such faith "belief in the heart" in the passage we've been looking at. Salvation requires it in those being saved.

I've said Christianity is based not on doctrine, but on an historical event. You weren't there, neither was I; nonetheless, in order to be saved we must be as certain that the event occured as if we had been there. As much as it would have been cool to be there, we miss no blessing coming along much later and believing despite not seeing. Let it be noted however, believing is not hoping. It's being drop dead certain. If one is not certain that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead, he or she cannot be saved, is not a Christian, and is still under the burden of sin.

Jesus doesn't stand at the threshold of his clubhouse and quiz potential members before they're allowed in the door, "Do you ascribe to the Sermon on the Mount?" "Do you accept the trinity?" "Do you acknowledge apocryphal and/or pseudepigraphal writings as canon?" He doesn't even ask if you've been good this year! That is not really the proper conception of what being the gate of the sheepfold is.

Yet, through the ages, that does seem to be the approach the church has taken. Is it any wonder the centrality of the resurrection has gotten lost in the shuffle? No one was ever saved by catechism, by theology, nor even baptism for that matter. Those that are saved, are saved because Jesus rose from the dead and they respond to that fact in an appropriate manner.

There is more to be said...