Jumping from Grace: The Mechanics of Apostasy

Pertaining to our discussion(s) below about “falling” from grace I would like to ask a few questions to clear the matter up for me. An observation first.

First, I for one (and I don’t know of anyone who would deny this) do not deny that it is POSSIBLE for a Christian to so “apostasize” and be lost in eternity. I do not believe “once saved always saved is biblical.” Nor do I believe “Once saved, BARELY saved!” is biblical either. Christians should be SECURE in the grace of God because of the Cross of Christ.

Second, I do not think the issue is of IF one can fall but what constitutes JUMPING from grace. You see in Scripture apostasy seems to be more a matter of deliberate rebellion than slipping even though the person was sincerely following God (the terminology of “falling” clearly leans more to the latter understanding rather than the former). When I look at scripture I find a few things that seem to lead one outside the fold:

A) Gross Immorality
B) A denial of a fundamental tenet of the gospel
C) Attempting to be justified by law

In the first instance we see the example in 1 Cor 5. Gross immorality is not to be tolerated among the saints. Our intramural squabbles over opinion and inferences I do not see any where falling into a denial of a fundamental tenet of the gospel. I have however seen in my life a number of Christians attempting to be justified by law.

Which of our issues is a foundational truth of Christianity? Our debates over Post-, Pre-, and Amillennialism? Cups? supporting orphan homes? versions? singing Stamps – Baxter Gospel Songs (we literally had church splits over this in the 20s and 30s!)? Singing solos? (it is interesting that we frequently had solos and duets in the 19th and early 20th centuries among us). Four part harmony? Unison singing? Sacred Harp singing? Shaped notes? Round notes? Notes period? kneeling in prayer? sitting in prayer? lifting hands in prayer? authority of elders? located evangelists? traveling evangelists? instrumental music? pitch pipes? tuning forks (I attended a congregation where pitch forks and pipes were not allowed because they were “instruments”)?

A fundamental, foundational truth by its very nature would not be INFERENTIAL!! It is stated point blank (the Apostles “Creed” does a nice job I believe of stating the core doctrines of Christianity — nothing is based on inference). I do not see how one can “jump” from grace by not agreeing with an inference but embraces all the stated facts and commands of scripture.

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