Over at TGCA Andrew Moody is displaying an example of a selective reading of scripture. I think this will only turn people further away from the biblical truth about the identity and behaviour of those who will be finally saved and what believers are to keep on doing to ensure we are of that group.
His post is titled, ‘Are you good enough for God?’. I suspect he anticipates people to answer in the no and be disinclined from thinking doing good is necessary for receiving eternal life.
But, what does the scripture say? For readers of scripture Paul the apostle might answer saying the question, ‘I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day’ (Acts 23.1) and ‘I am not aware of anything against myself’ (1 Cor 4.4). Am I good enough? I have no idea, but its not my decision nor is it Moody’s. Its Jesus’ decision and Jesus has already indicated some people who do good will receive eternal life (Mt 12.33-37; Jn 5.28-29). I’m sure they are good enough.
The body of the post begins with the Parable of the Tax collector. I’ve blogged on it here. Moody attempts to class all people as either the tax collector or the Pharisee. Personally I neither class myself as the tax collector or the Pharisee. The parable is introduced saying Jesus told this to people who trusted in themselves and treated others with contempt (Lk 18.9).
Moody comments that we often compare ourselves to others. I note this is true of the authors of scripture as well. Sinners and the righteous (Lk 15.6-7). The evil and the good (Lk 6.45). The unhealthy and the healthy (Mt 7.15-19). Darkness and light (2 Cor 6.14).
Moody says of believers, ‘We habitually refuse to trust God and stubbornly go our own way as if he didn’t exist.’ Which is to say, for the most part believers are characterised by unbelief and sin. He therefore classes believers and unbelievers together as sinners.
Moody says, ‘The sober verdict delivered by the Bible is that we are all in the same boat’. I beg to differ, Moody has misrepresented the verdict of the bible.
It seems to me Moody has no interest in portraying the distinction made in scripture between sinners and the righteous in their identity or their behaviour (Mt 12.33-37; Jas 2.18-26; 1 Jn 3.4-10).
Jesus and the apostles say good people who trust in Jesus and do good will receive eternal life.
This is why scripture encourages us to do both (Mt 25.31-46; Rom 2.6-11; Gal 6.7-10; 2 Pet 1.5-11; Rev 14.12).
I written about this in my page on Future Judgment and Salvation.
Moody rightly encourages us to be mindful of our sin. To humble ourselves before God. To recognise our sin is only atoned for by Jesus’ death on the cross.
But he is setting up a false alternative between forgiveness and judgment according to works. What concerns me is that Moody seems to betray, like many reformed, an unbalanced and very selective portrayal of scripture. He treats believers and unbelievers as if they are all in the same boat.
This is simply a rejection that Christ’s work on the Cross and the Spirit have made a difference in the lives of believers before God.
Many will simply read his post without ever knowing what scripture really says. I sadly no longer expect TGCA to really present the whole counsel of God faithfully in a balanced manner.
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