True Christians Are NOT “Under Construction”
It is one thing to be wrong about the gospel, but it is yet another to be wrong about your understanding of the gospel you identify with which is also an errant gospel to begin with. I guess you could call it double wrongness or something of the sort. This is where Catholics are far less wrong than Protestants; they have a clear understanding in regard to their orthodoxy, though wrong. Most Protestants misunderstand the orthodoxy that is errant to begin with, so they are wrong about what they are wrong about. This is why the world deems Protestantism as stupid…because it is. Nobody respects double wrongness.
And this meme is yet one more example. It is popular because Protestants think the law is the ground of justification, and of course, no one can keep the law perfectly, so this meme is a Protestant lame attempt to explain to the world why professing “Christians” are not “perfect.” Supposedly, we are “under construction,” viz, we are growing in the Lord and learning to keep the law better and better as we grow.
Well, that is wrong, but also, that’s not Protestantism. So Protestants are wrong about the law being the ground of justification, but they are also wrong about the idea that Protestant orthodoxy holds to a progressive maturity of the believer. NOT. “I” is not under construction; that’s not Protestantism at all.
True Protestant orthodoxy holds to the idea that the “believer’s” ability to merely perceive or “see” a Christocentric metaphysical reality is under construction, but that excludes any possible good work done by the so-called believer. The meme suggests that the believer’s life-testimony improves according to Protestant orthodoxy, but nothing could be further from the truth.
What is in view is an ability to see a greater and greater need for our original salvation and thereby magnifying the gospel. Hence, we are supposedly more and more saved by “seeing” a greater and greater need for the same gospel that saved us. This perception supposedly increases our “gratitude” for salvation which moves our progression of salvation closer and closer to final salvation or what is known as “final justification.” According to authentic Protestantism, what is really under construction is our salvation while many assume the meme is referring to sanctification. But in Protestant thought, sanctification has been redefined to mean progressive justification. The often used term “progressive sanctification” in Protestant circles is a lie.
Some contend that gospel contemplationism increases our gratitude for salvation as we seek to see our sinfulness more and more, and this motivates us to good works. The gratitude supposedly purifies our otherwise evil works. In other words, all of our truly good works must be motivated by our gratitude or else the works are moralistic attempts to justify ourselves. So, whenever we do a deed joyfully, by this we know that the deed flows from gratitude and is not works salvation accordingly.
This idea may give some credence to sanctification by justification, but that’s not Protestantism either. Protestantism excludes the possibility of any good work performed by any human being whether saved or unsaved. The only difference between a lost person and a saved person is worldview/perception. This increased perception increases the “glory of the gospel; not our own glory” which would supposedly be works salvation. According to Martin Luther’s 97 Theses, 95 Theses, and the Heidelberg Disputation; the three foundational documents of the Protestant Reformation, any belief that any individual can do a good work is mortal sin (unforgivable and beyond the scope of salvation).
Therefore, salvation is really under construction and that is defined by an increased ability to see one’s own evil and thereby increasing their salvation. It’s salvation by glorifying the cross, not anything we do as a result of being new creatures. This is the crux of Martin Luther’s Theology of the Cross defined by the cross story versus the glory story. Only two things can receive glory: the cross, or man. Any belief that glorifies man; ie., man can do a good work, is a false gospel. That’s Protestantism plain and simple; nothing more or less.
The following illustrations were taken from a book on Protestant orthodoxy:
Note that non-salvation and salvation are defined by “realms” not a personal state of being. The person does not change; only one’s ability to see realms which are only experienced. Our own efforts are works of the flesh while the works of the Spirit are manifestations that we only experience. The “death” we partake in is an endeavor to see how evil we are resulting in a resurrection that increases the glory of the cross.
Seeing the glory of the cross more and more which necessarily demands that you see yourself as more and more evil results in one getting closer and closer to final salvation. Salvation is what is under construction, not the person. This is the Protestant doctrine of mortification and vivification (death and resurrection) which is a redefinition of the new birth. Instead of the new birth occurring once and justifying us by a transformation of our being, one partakes in perpetual deaths and rebirths to gain more and more salvation. In essence, finding joy in finding our evil.
Per the usual, a true understanding of Protestantism is Clintonian; it depends on what you mean by the word “is” when you say something “is.” In the case of this meme and all other words used by Protestants, you must know the actual Protestant definition. In this case, what is under construction?
Well, it depends on what you mean by the word, “I.”