“Christianese” and Eternal Security
A Christian Anti-perspective
By Stephen M Golden
Copyright © 15 May 1997
There are people who, in their own personal sense of piety, believing they indeed have God’s truth, are so lost in their doctrine of dogma, they spout out messages of hate in the name of love. These are bitter words “in the name of the Lord.” Critical words proceed from their mouths for such believers as wear the name “Catholic“ and “fundamentalist“, yet their very accusations lay heavily upon their own tongues as they are also guilty of the same errors.
They describe with disgust the rituals of other groups as though the rituals themselves were evil and the very performance of such procedures were an abomination to God. Toward the fundamentalists, they key on areas of their adherence to laws and rigidity of lifestyle. Yet these same people perform rituals in the way they pray and worship. They also hold to their own forms of rigidity of belief, such that if one is to state disagreement with these beliefs, suspicions of one’s salvation arise in their minds.
Some specifics in this area are:
The use of “Christianese” phrases like “born again Christian.” It is indeed true that the phrase “born again” can be found in scripture, but in scripture, it’s used to describe Christians. No one can be a Christian unless they are born again, and no one is born again without also being a Christian.
Another case in point is the phrase “found the Lord” or “met the Lord.” In a bible study session on John 3, a discussion arose about the man whom Jesus had healed from blindness. The statement was made that the man was healed, “and he hadn’t even met the Lord.” This is an absurdity that could only occur when a person is not thinking properly. Instead of using their minds, they substitute inappropriate “catch phrases.”
Of course the man “met the Lord.” The Lord had healed him! The Lord had probably even touched him. He had not yet become a Christian, but then, no one in the world had!
A third case of similarly abused jargon is the use of the word “Lord.” It is used indiscriminately to describe both God the Father, and Jesus Christ. This is especially noticeable in prayers. The praying person will say something like, “Lord we thank you for sending your son...”, and then say in the same prayer, “Lord, we know you are the son of God...”.
When one hears these sort of “Christianese” abuses, one wonders about the validity of the other beliefs of the individual — whether they have even logically considered what they believe at all!
Some doctrinally related problems are:
Eternal Security: The defense of eternal security rests mostly in a particular interpretation of a statement made by a particular apostle. From that one scripture, all other scriptures pertaining to this subject are ignored. Instead of taking all the scriptures on the subject and giving appropriate weight to each in an effort to make them all harmonize, scriptures which may seem to be in opposition to their doctrine are interpreted through the bias of the one scripture. They may say, “We know this is not really what it means because in such and such place it says . . .”
The very doctrine of Eternal Security, when taken to its logical conclusion, is in essence a doctrine of Mortal Insecurity. What I mean by this is, you can not be assured of your salvation while you are living on this earth because of the absolute nature of this doctrine. When one is a Christian, it is supposedly impossible to fall away or to ever become a non-Christian again.
Now this in itself would be a very re-assuring concept, except for a little fact which cannot be denied: people who have been accepted as Christians have fallen away.
This rigid doctrine asserts falling away to be impossible. Therefore, the only possible conclusion is that the person “must have never been a Christian in the first place.” If this is true, how do you know you will not fall away, and find to you amazement, “you were never a Christian in the first place“! Certainly, the person who believed he was a Christian and fell away thought he was a Christian during that time.
How do you know that you will not fall away some day? You can not predict the future! The only logical conclusion under the doctrine of Eternal Security is that you will not know you’re saved until you die. So much for Eternal Security.