What a Protestant Would Say to the Mentality Disabled Guy
A close friend of mine shared something with me witnessed in a residential care facility that happened recently. My gig in the world of home health care (HHA) is not in the realm of mental health, but I enjoy hearing how our trade applies there.
At any rate, a lot of God-happenings occur in both realms. As readers here at PPT know, one reason among many that I chose this career is to facilitate a greater knowledge of Christian living (sanctification) which is devalued in Protestantism by design. Protestant orthodoxy dismisses the idea that Christians have a separate life that is Christ-like-in-kind because we have the same Father, and propagates the idea that we have NO life apart from Christ’s life. In other words, Protestantism redefines biblical new birth and is therefore a false gospel.
As the children of God exit the church and begin fellowshipping in a home setting; i.e., family-of-God setting, viz, “household of God” setting, we will see people actually being saved not the reshuffling of sheep within the denominational/institutional church. It’s all about Christ’s mandate to make disciples.
This is where the event shared with me is apt in furthering this point. As the friend walked through a mental health facility, one resident said to another: “You aren’t going to come over here where I am because you know I will kick your ass.” It is not uncommon for some mentality disabled persons to be aggressive in nature. According to my friend who witnessed the event, the other resident responded, “No, no, I prayed to God this morning that He would help me be perfect today. So, I am not paying you any mind; I am not going to get sucked into your sin.”
This event is barely less than a perfect opportunity to illustrate the difference between the Protestant false gospel of progressive justification and the true biblical gospel. The Protestant would show this precious soul a “better way” as follows:
No, no, God is not going to HELP you be perfect because it is impossible for any person to be perfect—saved or unsaved. But, in fact, you must be perfect in order to be accepted by God. You must be perfect to be justified. This is why Christ came to die: to pay the penalty for our sin. ALSO, He lived a PERFECT life according to the law so that your imperfect life could be substituted for His.
Therefore, you must presently live life by faith alone in what “Jesus has done, not anything you do.” You must be faithful to church and its sacraments, and other faith-alone-works that fulfill the law through what Jesus has done, not anything you do…except faith alone works. Whatever works Christ wills to do through you will then be manifested according to His will…Not yours.
At this point, we may imagine for illustration purposes that a truly born again believer joins the conversation. It might go something like this:
Excuse me, but I must object to what the Protestant has just told you. First of all, he has redefined the word “perfect” as defined by the Bible. In the Bible, “perfection” is not defined by flawless law-keeping, but rather means, “maturity.” It also pertains to those who are already justified/righteous/saved. So, you were actually praying to be something that you already are; you are already perfect. This is why the Bible calls believers “holy” in many places…because we are.
Let me show you a better way to pray—pray that God would help you to love Him with all that is in you and love others the same way as well. We obtain reward in this life and the life to come for doing so. Unfortunately, we also reap consequences for failing to love because we are “weak,” but not “wicked.” We do not remain as “sinners” which is the biblical definition for the unregenerate. This is where the Protestant has also redefined “sin.” He interprets the word “sin” from a single perspective. Sin is the same for the saved or the unsaved: it condemns according to the law’s “righteous demands.” In contrast, the believer has a willing spirit to love, but the flesh is “WEAK” not inherently sinful. This is why the believer can use their bodies for holy purposes or what the Bible calls living sacrifices acceptable to God.
Because the believer has been literally born again, he/she has died with Christ and is no longer judged by the law. There is now no condemnation for the believer. A continual imputation of Christ’s payment for sin and good works are not needed for the believer because there is no law to judge him or her. Christ died to end the law and its condemnation for all those who believe.
The believer is also resurrected to new life with Christ, and this results in a different relationship to the law. Instead of being under its condemnation and therefore needing the continual imputation of Christ’s death and obedience to the law via “the means of grace” according to Protestant orthodoxy, the law is now something the believer is endeared to for purposes of wisdom in loving others. What was previously used by the Spirit to condemn is now used (in cooperation with the believer) to mature or perfect the believer in love.
Your goal is not perfection according to the law; your goal is maturing in love. You are under grace NOT under law and a perpetual imputation of Christ’s love in substitution for your obedient love is not only unneeded—it is a FALSE gospel that denies the new birth. Protestants remain as “sinners” yet under law and therefore need to continually return to the cross for “double imputation.”
One does well in asking God for perfection according to mature love, but not a love that is substituted for the fulfilment of a law that is ended.
We are under grace, not law. You don’t fear the law; you love the law. That doesn’t mean there is no law in grace it means that it is a law for love NOT condemnation.