Friday, October 22, 2010

Are Protestants Watered-down Christians?

I had the opportunity to speak at length with a reverend at the Eastern Orthodox Church in Charlotte recently. I was interested in Eastern Orthodoxy as I knew very little about it. I think my knowledge of religion began with the break of the Catholic church.

He spent a good deal of time explaining to us that Eastern Orthodoxy is the original church of Christ. That Catholicism broke off from Eastern Orthodoxy, and, after Martin Luther and Henry VIII, the Anglican and Protestant sects were created. I know I didn't realize that they were the original faith.

One assertion he made really had me thinking, however. He felt that Protestants have taken the responsibility out of Christianity. That being a protestant meant a one stop shop for salvation, and then one can continue on his/her way. That there is very little or no accountability for action post salvation. Just pray a little prayer, take Jesus in your heart, and poof you’re saved! Now, please understand, he was neither flippant nor disrespectful. I’m paraphrasing. However, the meaning was clear.

So, is this true? Do the churches emphasize salvation without putting an emphasis on accountability? Are we not expected to walk the Christian walk once we have accepted Jesus as our savior, or do many Christians feel that that one act alone is sufficient without any further responsibility on their part?

Personally, I feel like if you’ve been truly saved, if you’ve truly taken Jesus into your heart, then you will really try to walk the Christian walk. Not that we’ll all be perfect, far from it, but that we will be internally convicted when we choose to do things unpleasing to God. That inner voice will make us want to repent and to fix what we have done wrong.

However, I see Christians every day not demonstrating that internal conviction. So, are they not really saved? Or, is the Reverend correct? Is our salvation tentative based on our lifelong walk rather than on a moment of conversion?

This is a question I’ll be pondering for quite some time. What are your thoughts?

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