Keeping “Short Accounts”

There are a select handful of verses that any fundamentalist worth his sanctified salt can quote by heart. Among these is Psalm 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”

The fundamentalist interprets these words to mean that even though a person is saved and has God as his Heavenly Father that any misstep will shut God’s ears to him and leave him without aid or succor in his time of need. Keeping “short accounts” with God is the only way to be sure that He’s listening when we call. (I recommend trying this with your kids too, it’s loads of fun to ignore their cries for help until they remember why you’re mad at them and apologize. Take that, kids!)

Did you fail to walk a mile to return the sixty-three cents that a clerk accidentally undercharged you? Don’t even think about praying for your daily bread until you confess and forsake. Did you have a moment of weakness and curse at a crazy motorist on the freeway? Good luck invoking Divine help if you should crash your car!

The rules of this breakdown in communication are unclear. If a person commits a sin at sixteen and then forgets about it, will God not hear him when he is sixty? Must each sin be named specifically and be brought for forgiveness or is a blanket request of “forgive us for all the other stuff we forgot” sufficient? Best to hedge your bets and repent as much as possible just in case.

The old account may have been settled long ago but according to fundamentalists, we’re still running up quite a tab. Confess  early and often.

56 thoughts on “Keeping “Short Accounts””

  1. Yeah, the old account was settled; but they got you on the NEW account, with 0% APR for the first two years (about the time it takes to become fully indoctrinated). Then it’s ONE LATE PAYMENT, and they cancel your card!

  2. Man, I remember thinking that was the Christian life – an angry God hovering over me just waiting for me to screw up. Then I started hearing about this foreign concept called “grace.” That got me going for a while, until I started learning about languages and the difference between words indicating a pattern of life vs. words indicating a one-time or occasional action. Put the two together and I found that being a Christian actually was pretty liberating! Whaddaya know, those fundy evangelists who screamed at people that they should be happy were right all along!

  3. Yeah. . honestly, this one still scares me from time to time, even though I now know that the original language indicates that “regarding iniquity” means a consistent lifestyle of unrepentant sin. . .I had that verse quoted to me WAY too often as a kid.

  4. The impression I always got was that Christ’s death on the cross paid for the sins I committed before salvation, but not those committed after. It was up to me to confess those sins or God would not hear me. I don’t know if it was ever explicitly taught that way, but that WAS the very clear implication of everything I was taught. This is, hands down, one of the most spiritually damaging things I learned growing up in fundamentalism, and it remains one of the biggest things I struggle with even now. I recently read Steve Brown’s _A Scandalous Freedom_ and was totally blown away by the realization that Christ has paid for my sins and that I am completely forgiven and can do nothing to make God angry at me again. Darrell, I needed the reminder. Thanks.

    1. They gave me that impression, and rather strongly, too! They also loved quoting 1 John 1:9, but with a big IF. Implying that IF you forgot to confess even one sin, or IF you died before you confessed it, you would be saved, but “saved as by fire” and God would still “hold you accountable” or “judge” (punish?) you for it. And yet they claimed not to believe in Purgatory!

      I love the Anglican prayer from the Reconciliation of a Penitent:

      “I confess to Almighty God, to his Church, and to you, that I have sinned by my own fault in thought, word, and deed, in things done and left undone; especially _______. For these and all other sins which I cannot now remember, I am truly sorry. I pray God to have mercy on me. I firmly intend amendment of life, and I humbly beg forgiveness of God and his Church, and ask you for counsel, direction, and absolution.”

      No wiggle room, no excuses, but no “gotchas” either.

    2. Well said, Amanda. This is the route I have taken before really enjoying my Saviour’s wonderful gift of life in Him.

  5. What got to me was the paranoia that came along with it. Between God striking you with lightning and looking over your shoulder all the time wondering if you’re a stumbling block to the unsaved or a young believer. After a while the brain starts to do funny things……..


  6. ha! I remember praying at the OFA (old-fashioned altar) that God would restore my memory of forgotten sins so that I would be able to properly confess them. And to please not hurt me nor any of my family until he answered the first request.

  7. And now we’ve reached the most central of all the issues, imo. The bizarre, seemingly unnoticed equivocation on the nature of Christ’s atonement. Fundies aren’t typically credited for their intellectual prowess, but this one just baffles me every time I hear it. I honestly wonder if some preachers listen to what they say sometimes. It goes something like this:

    “If you have repented and believed on Christ, then His blood covers ALL your sin. . . . So you can be sure that God will forgive you every time you sin, but only if you ask!”

    Wait, what?

    My only conjecture is that it’s one of those things that, if you hear it enough, you’ll start to repeat, despite the obvious contradiction. If you’re one who’s spent significant time Fundy subcultures, this belief in recurrent forgiveness comes naturally, so it’s pretty easy to ignore the critical fallacy. I think Amanda got it exactly right. This self-contradictory idea is not (nor can be) explicitly taught, but it’s the underlying assumption regarding most Fundamentalist dogma.

  8. Brandon – exactly right. This is why we have so many kids in Fundamentalism of IFB churches for that matter so messed up with a total lack of understanding of grace. Knowing that God has removed my sins as far as the east is from the west is the most freeing feeling ever, and I never felt that way before.
    I have a family member who always prays for her sins of commission and omission to be forgiven at the beginning of her prayers, and I think to myself, I am glad I don’t have to try to remember; God has already forgiven me!

  9. I’m re-reading (third time) “Transforming Grace” by Jerry Bridges. It is a book that has totally changed my perspective after 20+ years of trying to be a performance-based Christian. I agree with Brandon, in many IFB circles there is a total lack of understanding of God’s true grace, and it is something many IFB preachers neglect to preach (perhaps because they themselves don’t understand it either). To them, it seems, grace is only available at the OFA (thanks Josh!).

  10. How does “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us…” square with some of the comments here? There does seem to be an “if/then” statement here – action/reaction.

    1. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

      Seems to me to be talking about salvation. The Bible talks many times about how all of our sins are gone when we are saved. God won’t stop forgiving us just because we sin and neglect to confess that certain. Goodness, we’d be going on all day.

  11. The “sins” that I have the hardest time with are my thoughts. Because the Bible says we should not even regard iniquity in our hearts. So even when I don’t flip someone off who suddenly cuts into my lane, if I call him an asshole in my head, that is just as bad as if I had rolled my window down and yelled at him. And I don’t think that there is any way that men and women could go to the beach without thinking about some sins. And my church taught that if Jesus were to return in some interval in which your head thought some sin, but before you asked for forgiveness – well you would just be left behind (sounds like a good book title) with all the regular sinners.

  12. Great post. This reduces fundies to an organic prayer wheel. Not to mention all the other psychological issues mentioned above. This one got me until I went to college and learned what RJW learned. God is awesome. Has anyone done a study to compare fundyland to Buddhism??

  13. I have been thinking about doctrines that should never be taught if you want people to stay fundamentalists. One would be to NEVER teach them sola scriptura, another I had thought of that Darrell has laid out is Grace. Grace is unmerited favor, but IF Grace is taught in fundamentalist circles it is taught as earned favor, which still blows my mind that the very definition of Grace is ignored.

    As to Marsh’s question, you have already fallen down the path of leaving fundamentalism if your question is first, what does Scripture say rather than quoting another fundamentalist. There is nothing more dangerous to a fundamentalist than to start asking what Scripture is actually saying. The first thing to check is the context.

    1 John 1:5-10 (KJV)
    5This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
    6If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
    7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
    8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
    9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    Where in the context does it say that a repetition of petitions for forgiveness is necessary? Or does it say that after salvation we still need to confess new sins? When in verse 9 it says that we will be cleansed from all unrighteousness, is it referring only to the unrighteousness before salvation? If so, are we really being cleansed from ALL unrighteousness, or just past ones? What is the theme of these verses as a whole? Let Scripture answer your questions and mine…Sola Scriptura, Brother.

  14. I thought that a reckoning of deeds wasn’t part of the fundie system. I was under the impression that all one needed to do was “accept Jesus into one’s heart” and then manifest this change by being a dickhead to anyone who has not.

    If that’s not the case then what do all these bumperstickers about how your deeds can’t get you into heaven about?

  15. @Thomas: It really is paradoxical, but then the fundy is fully capable of dismissing paradoxes with little to no effort. Some are scripturally based and are necessarily accepted by faith (ie. the Trinity: it makes no sense, but we accept it because the Bible speaks of three distinct persons). Others aren’t (ie. the “short accounts vs. grace” topic above), but they’re accepted because … well, “that’s what we’ve been preaching from this pulpit all along, and God burn this building if we’re gonna remove the ancient landmark now!”

    The “ask Jesus into your heart” deal is more an evangelical pitfall, but it’s common in fundy circles too. What many fundies are discovering is that having their kids ask Jesus into their hearts usually results in them jumping straight off the deep end when they finish high school or college (an understandable result of all the anxiety that accompanies questions like “Did I ask Him into my heart the right way?” or “Did I use the right words?”), so they’ve been forced over the last decade or so to rethink their approach to salvation. I suppose the cause is as good as any if it moves the movement to a more sound soteriology, because I know deacons’ kids in the youth group of my parents’ IFB church who have no clue what it means to be saved. It really is sad.

  16. Hi, i’m a long time reader, first time poster. First off, let me say that I’m not a fundamentalist and that I think that fundies have really messed up theology. Secondly, I don’t believe that God requires us to remember and confess every individual sin (as if we ever could!), for I believe that we have already been saved by grace. However, I am struggling with 1 John 1:9 on this issue. The forgiveness is conditional on our confession in that verse and the word for “confess” is in the present active subjunctive. In Rogers and Rogers’ _Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament” they say that the present indicates “a repeated acknowledgment of sin” or as I have learned in my Greek class, it indicates a continuing action. In other words, “If we continually confess our sins.”
    Now I do not have much Greek. I admit that I only know, in the words of my professor, “Enough to be dangerous” so take it for what it’s worth. I’m willing to accept correction on this by more knowledgeable brethren. However, it does seem that some sort of balance between “we never have to confess our sins again, YIPPEEE!!!!!!” and “we must confess every individual sin or God won’t here us!!!!!!!!!” is required.

  17. Wow. I REALLY appreciate all the comments everyone has made. This is one area that I have apparently been extremely confused on. I guess it would be attributed to the fact that, while growing up (youth group even), I was told I must forgive my sins, or else God won’t hear me (as the post goes), or I must ask repentance over and over again. And, get this. I even remember being told that if we continually ask forgiveness for the same sin over and over again, God doesn’t like that. (That might be a new one here…) Regardless, it’s been pounded into my head over the years, and I’m just realizing it. Basically what Brandon(1) said about repetition. We’re told it over and over again and it just becomes the standard for our beliefs. All this to say, thank you everyone for your comments so far. Even with these few, it’s helped me understand this concept better. (The post didn’t even make sense!) But now it’s becoming clearer. Thanks again for everyone’s wisdom on this!

  18. I was in grad school when I first heard in an informal Bible Study, that the I John 1:5-10 passage J Leslie mentioned was talking about Salvation rather than repeatedly asking forgiveness after your saved. My first reaction was disbelief; I had heard I John 1:9 touted as the “Christian’s Bar of Soap” for much of my college career. However, once I started actually looking at the context of the verse, my entire perspective on the Christian Life changed. One of the saddest aspects of Fundyism is their emphasis on grace of justification, but works for sanctification. This perspective lends itself to a frantic Christian life that ultimately results in disillusionment and despair. Thank God His grace extends far beyond our own abilities to earn his favor.

  19. @Mac

    You’re on the right track! Your instinct to research the issue is very commendable, and the looking up the Greek word for “confess” was a good place to start. However, I don’t think the verb tense is as important as the semantics in this case. Did you notice that John later uses the same word in the phrase “every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God”? The word “confess” is more in the sense of “admit” or “acknowledge.” In chapter 1 verse 9, we’re reading our modern understanding of “confession” (asking for forgiveness) into the text.

    Now look at the context. John is using an extended metaphor of light and dark. His basic propositions are these:

    a) Light = Truth
    b) Darkness = Deception

    In verses 6 through 9, John establishes a second set of propositions:

    c) Those who walk in the light have fellowship with God (i.e., are saved).
    d) Those who walk in darkness do not have fellowship with God (i.e., are not saved).

    Then notice the parallelism in verses 6 and 8 and also verses 7 and 9:

    e) Walk in the darkness = deny your sin
    f) Walk in the light = admit your sin

    So we put propositions c and f together, and now we see the clear meaning of the passage. The “if we confess” in verse 9 is indeed a conditional–but it’s a conditional that’s already been met. If you’re walking in the light, you always admit that you sin–if you’re like me, you probably sin a lot! But of course that’s why John wrote this book (“so that our joy may be complete”, v. 4). God is faithful and just! He’s cleansed us from ALL unrighteousness (wrong standing with Him), and He’s not gonna back down! You can count on it!

    So that’s what the verse is saying. It’s a promise that God is faithful to those he’s forgiven, not a threat that God won’t forgive you if you forget to apologize for one of your sins. That it has been turned into that is indeed a tragedy.

  20. So, let me make sure I’m getting this straight – at salvation (either a formula prayer that is really, really meant, a regenerative process or from before the foundation of the world – however you like it), a person admits to their sin. Boom. Forgiveness. You’re good to go, both for past and future sins. As you commit those future sins, you’re not required to mention anything to God, as you’re covered. No prayerful acknowledgement of your guilt (see also, a lot of the Psalms) is really needed, as God has forgiven you. Is that what’s being said here? Just curious.

  21. “You’re good to go, both for past and future sins.”

    It’s like a fully paid up insurance policy. You could commit the most horrific acts, and you’re covered.

  22. Hebrews 10 is a fantastic exposition on what the forgiveness and grace of Christ’s sacrifice means for the Christian:

    v. 10 – “And by that [doing away with the Law; cf. 9b] will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE FOR ALL.”
    v. 14 – “For by a single offering he has perfected FOR ALL TIME those who are being sanctified.”
    v. 18 – “Where there is forgiveness of these [sins and lawless deeds; cf. 17], there is NO LONGER ANY OFFERING for sin.”

    Since I’m at work I can’t spend a whole lot of time studying this out, but in my mind there’s a difference in asking for forgiveness and confession of sins. When I was saved, I confessed my sins and asked forgiveness (in keeping with 1 John 1:9, which I also believe is specifically talking about conversion). Now, today, 22 years later, there is no *need* to ask forgiveness because that forgiveness has already been granted. But hands up, who has ever confessed an ill deed towards a loved one knowing that you don’t have to and that whether or not you do, that person will still love you? So why do you do it? Because you love that person! It’s a natural human response when we know we’ve done something to hurt a loved one.

    On the other hand, and I don’t have time at work to flesh out the details, but the Lord’s Prayer comes to mind, where a believer is prompted to ask for forgiveness of his sins when he prays.

  23. Yep, you got it. That’s the gospel!

    Think about it. If we’ve been ransomed by Christ’s blood, why would God “require” (as you say) us to mention our sins to him? God already did the hard part–forgiving our sins even when we didn’t want him to! He forgave us while we were rebels against Him. How much more now will he lavish his grace and forgiveness upon us who are His children!

    “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”
    Romans 5:10

  24. @ Marsh
    The way I think of it is like this:
    Prior to coming to Christ our relationship to God is that of being criminals before the Judge. We are guilty and stand in danger of God’s punishment. After we receive Christ and His punishment on our behalf, our relationship with God changes. We know stand as God’s children. Now suppose any human child messed up in some way by ignorance and his/her human father beat the child if they did not remember and confess it. Would we consider that father abusive? I think that the answer (if we are sane) would most definitely be “yes.” So if we would find that trait abusive in a human father, should we apply it to God, our heavenly Father? I should say that the answer is an emphatic NO! However, just as any human parent is grieved when his/her child disappoints him/her, so to is God grieved when we sin. However, that does not mean that he stops loving us or will punish us or will stop hearing our prayers. We no longer confess as criminals before a judge under threat of punishment but as children towards a parent out of love.
    Thank you very much for your additional insight. I did check that word again and the acknowledgment aspect does fit better in the context (especially with the parallelism with vs. 8). We do still have a sinful nature that will lead us into sin and we still acknowledge that. Thankfully, we no longer walk in the darkness as a habitual lifestyle!

  25. Not sure a tongue-in-cheek (sometimes) parody site is the best place to get your theology… Of course, serious Christian blogs, on the other hand, are pretty much infallible…

    (I know “pretty much infallible” is an oxymoron – but I’ve got to leave wiggle room for typos and spelling errors!)

  26. MA,

    No no no – I feel really good about myself now! I used to feel the need to apologize to God for my sins, but now life is more efficient. I’ve pre-apologized! Good to go!

  27. @Ministry Addict

    If it’s on the internet, it must be true, right? ;P

    Seriously, though. Satire is often the most poignant way to convey a message. It breaks down emotional objections and predispositions, which clears the way for honest intellectual inquiry. I think that’s exactly what we’re seeing here.

    If we’re pointing out errors in one system, I sure hope we’re able to articulate the truth to counteract it.


    You can keep apologizing for you sins too. God will still love you.

  28. Brandon,

    Scenario – you cheat on your spouse. You feel remorse. Do you apologize to your wife and ask for her forgiveness? Do you apologize to God and ask for His forgiveness? Is it even worth bringing it up to either? Just trying to figure out the thought process here.

  29. I stand corrected. The only place better for getting your theology than a poignant parody site is the comments section of a poignant parody site. Let’s break down our emotional barriers and have a good seriously-satirical laugh/cry.

  30. @Marsh

    I don’t have all the answers, but I’ll do the best I can. 🙂

    Should you apologize to your wife? Absolutely! Jesus talked a lot about forgiveness between individuals. In Matt. 18:22, Jesus said you should forgive your brother seventy-seven times. So not only should you apologize, you’ll likely have to pay some consequences. That’s why the Bible is chock full of do’s and don’ts (like don’t commit adultery). God loves you so much, he wants you to know not to do stupid stuff. When you do stupid stuff, people get hurt and bad stuff happens to you, and no father wants that for his children.

    Should you apologize to God? Well, you can. If you want. But it won’t earn you any merit with Him. If you’re a child of God, He’s gonna say to you, “You did something really bad, and I could never accept you on the basis of what you just did. But that’s why I went to the most extreme measure to reconcile you to myself. If I didn’t even spare my own Son to ransom your soul, what makes you think I’m going to withhold my forgiveness from you now?”

    “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
    Romans 8:32

  31. Brandon,

    I appreciate your response. If we don’t need to mention our sins to God in any way as a child of His, then why do we find David’s gut-wrenching confessions to God in the Psalms – specifically, his remorse over his adultery with Bathsheba?

    As a father, I love my children. I can’t think of anything that they could do that would extinguish my love for them – even if my heart is torn over some future actions. However, if they do wrong by me (let’s say they steal from my wallet – provided that there’s something there to take), then confession is in order. I guess I’m missing why acknowledging it to God is any less important than acknowldedging it to man.


    Nah, not getting my theology from the web – just asking questions and making comments.

  32. “Should you apologize to God? Well, you can. If you want. But it won’t earn you any merit with Him.”

    I think this is the key element right here. The Davidic model of extreme remorse over one’s sins is valid because it keeps our sins in the proper perspective (ie. the extreme lengths God went to redeem us from sins). However, it is *also* important to remember that repentance doesn’t earn us any brownie points with God. Our forgiveness is only possible through Christ’s atoning death.
    (Sorry, was this too theology-soaked a post?)

  33. @Marsh


    At this time, David’s knowledge of the Messiah was but a promise. His understanding of substitutionary atonement was, in fact, one of recurrent forgiveness. Okay, I’ll stop talking and let the Bible speak for itself. 🙂

    Hebrews 10:1-2 (NIV)
    “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.”

    That’s the Old Covenant. But Christ changed everything! Here’s the truth that we as Christians can enjoy in the reign of grace:

    Hebrews 10:15-22
    “The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
    ‘This is the covenant I will make with them
    after that time, says the Lord.
    I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them on their minds.’
    Then he adds:
    ‘Their sins and lawless acts
    I will remember no more.’
    And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

    Amazing. I don’t think I could add any insight to that if I tried.


    Well… not to sound trite, but… it’s not even a fair comparison. God is a completely righteous being who cannot tolerate even one single sin. When we come to God, we have to come on someone else’s merit, otherwise the situation is hopeless for all of us. Christ has provided that for us. Take this example:

    A man was enjoying a nice holiday by a river. While he was there (unknown to him at the time), a dam opened up a few miles upstream, and a rush of water was unleashed. When the rush finally reached the area where the man was standing, he looked out into the raging river to see a small boy whose boat had capsized. The boy was clearly drowning, and the waters were extremely dangerous. The man heroically dived into the water to save the young boy’s life. Struggling, he fought against the water and grabbed the boy; finally, with his last ounce of stamina, he lunged toward the shore and landed safely there with him. The boy had been saved from imminent danger–but he was not yet home. After regaining his strength, the man set the boy in his car and was about to set off. The boy stopped the man and said, “Sir, I’ve never done anything for you; I don’t deserve for you to drive me home.”

    Obviously, this isn’t a real story. What would the man say to that?

    “Boy, I just risked my very life to save you. Are you suggesting it’s any trouble for me to take you the rest of the way home in my comfortable vehicle?”

    God paid the ultimate price so that your sins could be cleared from your record. We rejoice in salvation, but then for sanctification we come to God in contrition saying, “Please, oh please, God, will you take me the rest of the way home?” Of course He will. How could He not?

    And that’s the difference. No mere man has paid the price for your sins. God declared you righteous in His sight. No man has done that, nor can.

  34. Ack! Curse you, HTML element tags! The first angle brackets is the quote

    “why do we find David’s gut-wrenching confessions to God in the Psalms – specifically, his remorse over his adultery with Bathsheba?”

    The second is is the quote:

    “I guess I’m missing why acknowledging it to God is any less important than acknowldedging it to man.”

  35. Wow this went deep and got off track.
    Folks Darrell made a point about how the IFB programs and brainwashes people with the idea that if you don’t keep prayed up and keep a running tally on your sins then when it comes time to call on God during a crisis… God won’t hear you. The IFB is teaching works sanctification as if Galatians was not part of New Testament Scripture. I have heard this preached all my church going life. God will not hear you, and you will be unable to get to God by prayer unless you keep “Short accounts.”
    This is performance Churchianity.
    Darrell nailed it… take it for what it is folks without the doctorial dissertations. 🙂

    1. Don’t, I think you hit the bullseye. We all sin. All the time. We won’t be perfect this side of eternity. We do need to admit to God when we mess up, ask forgiveness and learn from our mistakes. But we need to move on. God will not stick his fingers in his ears and ignore us, if we forget to spill our gut about something we did years ago, or even recently. That is a cruel teaching. Jesus did it all at Calvary. We don’t need to help him.

  36. @Don

    That’s cool. I’m sure Darrell would be willing to give you a refund since the comments were not to your liking. 😉

  37. @Don. You’re right. Especially about the Galatians idea. But I’m gonna say I’m glad for the discussions earlier. Helped me think about justification more. So in a way, the off-trackedness helped me! Anyways… 🙂

    1. Me too. I still struggle with it. I sometimes wonder if jesus I should be doing more, more, more. Maybe I don’t want to admit that I wonder if Jesus actually did enough for me, which sounds like heresy, but yeah, I guess that’s what I do, sometimes. A lot. Grace can be hard to accept when you are proud.

  38. @Darrell: Amazing post. Do the book! :picketing:

    @Forum: Guess I haven’t really given this topic much thought since studying Keswick theology (Oh yea, I grew up in a church that taught works sanctification: Lady in pants? We must pray for her.) I think the best way to sum it up for my mind (pardon the Calvinistic bent) is to realize that repentance is for MY benefit. It does absolutely nothing for God.

  39. Oh, and I couldn’t help laughing when reading all this dialog (guess old fundies never lose their fight!).

  40. this argument is a really good way to answer the question, “why didnt god help me”. This kills 2 birds with one guilty stone, blaming the victim, and keeping god blameless and soverign.

  41. I’m just now reading these posts … @Brandon and others, your patience and sweetness in explaining this concept to what might have just been fundy trolls touched my heart. Great stuff.

  42. When my daughter was younger, we were in church and the minister asked as we were about to pray for us to ask God to show us whatever sin in our hearts stood between us and Him so we could confess it (or something like that). Afterwards my daughter told me that she prayed that but all she could see was a clean white heart with Jesus in it. At first I thought she was being sacreligious but now that I know better I realize that “out of the mouths of babes…”

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