Monday, January 12, 2009

My Christianity--Holiness (Intro)

Generally, my blogs are about the everyday joyful occurrences of being a Mom and a wife, but for some time now I have been mulling on going a different route for a while, as much for my own study as for your information. So get ready—things are going to be a little bit different around here…

About a month ago, I added the traffic tracker thing to my blog, which shows where people who visit my page are from. I also have the map gidgit, which shows where in the world (no pun intended) the most visits come from. I’ve noticed I have had a few hits from other countries. I wonder about these people in other countries who read about me, if they see me as being different from what they perceive as the stereotypical American citizen. That is, rich, materialistic, immoral, worldly and greedy. Thus, I want to share that I am different from your average American, a little “peculiar” as the Bible describes a true Christian, and why I am this way.

It seems that in this present age, everyone claims to be saved and on their way to heaven. Stop anyone in Wal-Mart and ask them, “Are you a Christian?” and it’s oh, yes! As if being an American citizen, which is a “Christian” nation (backslidden), gives a person an automatic ticket to heaven. Most people repeated a written, memorized prayer as a young child and believe in the false “once saved, always saved” doctrine. I believe the Baptist church is going to have a very hard time at judgment, when it is held accountable for all that have believed this lie and are now burning in hell. But I won’t go down that rabbit trail. Maybe that’s another blog for another day? Have patience with me. I am going somewhere with this.

It is obvious, just by looking at me that I am not your typical “evangelical” Christian. That is Baptist, Methodist, or even Nondenominational. I was once asked if I was a Mormon (?!). I still haven’t figured out what gave that impression! Upon first glance, the impression is “Pentecostal”. Oh! She’s Pentecostal. And, yes, I do believe in and have an experience like the one at the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). But where I am different from most Pentecostals is that I do not believe this experience saves me, but rather that it keeps me. So, yes, I am Pentecostal, but first and foremost I am Holiness. In order to have that Pentecostal experience, I must first be holy—clean, sanctified, living free from sin. Often times I want to shake my head and reply, “No, I’m not Pentecostal, I am Holiness.” But I find here in Louisiana, that confuses people, and I really don’t want to get into a deep theological discussion in the bread aisle at Wal-Mart.

I am saved by the grace of God, believing in the only begotten son of God, Jesus Christ, that by His death and the shedding of His blood, my sins have been washed away. I believe this is the only way to Heaven.
John 14:6—Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

The simplest way to explain my beliefs is to say I believe in the doctrine of entire sanctification (through a progressive work). Sanctification--the act of God's grace by which the affections of men are purified, or alienated from sin and the world, and exalted to a supreme love to God; also, the state of being thus purified or sanctified. Please note, I believe this sanctification is progressive, that as one grows in maturity and strength spiritually, so he grows in sanctification.

You can read a more formal, structured account of my beliefs by clicking here. To address every aspect would take a lot of blog space, so I am going to highlight a few areas, (if there are any questions, feel free to ask in comment and I will do my best to answer, with scripture basis provided).

For me, Holiness is not just a set of “dos and don’ts”, or as some might say, a legalistic way of trying to earn my way to heaven by works, but it is a way of life, a lifestyle that is not binding, but liberating. Later, I will be posting about this lifestyle, and why I believe it is mandated in God’s Word that we live thus. Until then, have a great and blessed day!


Dutch said...

Even though I don't understand or agree with everything you believe, I think you have chosen a beautiful way of life and commend your faith. However, I wouldn't be so quick to dump an entire denomination in hell. We are all deceived to some extent, some more than others. It's not our place to draw the line. I look forward to reading more.

Natural Mama said...

I think what Amy is saying is that so many of the said denomination are deceived into thinking that a "Repeat after Me" prayer that they prayed at age 5 is getting them into Heaven, no matter how they live 'now'. When the Workman comes, will He find people *resting*, saying, "But I worked for you for 45 years, please let me receive my wages!" They may receive wages (death) but not the gift (ETERNAL life). Only those who are found *working* (read, saved) will receive the gift when the Workman comes back. It's not about what you've *done*, but about what you're doing *now*.
There are some Baptist that believe that if someone comes to get Born again, again, that they weren't really saved the first time, and I do believe that in some cases, that's true. Some people really don't *believe and receive* the free gift. They may shed tears of guilt, but not repentance. Immediately, they go back to their ways. They don't *backslide*, they just never took this free gift. But, there are some who have *laboured* for Christ for years and then have grown *cold in their souls* (from lack of prayer, and lack of sanctification). Are they going to receive the "Well Done, enter in to the Joys of the Lord" based on what they did in the past--no matter how they are living now? I don't think so, based on scripture.
Anyway, I may do a blog on this too. BTW, Bro. Jamey preached an *awesome* message on this Sun morn. I will try to get you the CD. I want one for myself! :o)
Also, I don't think we all are deceived to *some extent*. Please explain this if you would. God will reveal Himself through His Spirit and His inerrant Word. This Christian life takes a dedication and a Dying Daily to self--living a Holy life--what Amy is talking about when she says Holiness. One cannot have a casual attitude about Christianity (of course, I'm speaking in general and not to the commenter).
The problem with those deceived *to some extent* is that they are *seeking out their own salvation with FEAR AND TREMBLING*.
Well, better do my own blog...anyway...I love the LORD--He had done such a work in me!!
Love ya,

Natural Mama said...

What I meant is they *aren't* seeking out their own salvation with Fear and Trembling! :o)

Should've proofed for the 3rd time, instead of the 2nd!

Amy said...

In no way was I implying that the entire Baptist denomination will be "[dumped] in hell". I have known and been close to many Baptist Christians in my life and believe with all my heart that they are saved and on their way to heaven. But I have been to too many funerals and sat and listened to the preacher preach a person right into heaven because they prayed that prayer when they were a small child, but never lived a godly life. I was referring to the Baptist church as a whole, as in their leaders who teach this doctrine to untold masses. People take this as a license to live their lives however they want, that their sins are forever covered and NOTHING can pluck them out of God's hand. Were they ever there in the first place? That's between them and God. The Bible says that you will know a good (spiritual) tree by its fruit, and if the fruit is rotten, that tree will be hewn down and cast into the fire. I don't believe that a person bearing rotten fruit will make it to heaven. Jesus did not shed his cleansing blood so that we could go right back out and splash around in the mud of this world. He made us pure so that we may be like Him, "Be ye holy as I am holy". But I'd better stop now or I will be taking away from my blog :).

Dutch said...

I agree with your point about once saved always saved. I think it's a terribly dangerous teaching. But that's not the point. The point is that you've at least implied if not directly stated that those deceived by this teaching are going to burn in hell. We are to judge what's right and wrong, we are not to judge our brothers.

As far as being deceived, who is willing to claim that they have it all figured out? Who is willing to claim that they have all the answers? And if none is willing to step forward why? It is because they know that for the rest of their life, they have to fight to overcome deception. Our teachers deceive us, our parents deceive us, our friends deceive us. They don't intend to, but they can't help it because they have been deceived also. Our relationship with Christ is a walk in which we are ever drawing closer to him, and in so doing uncovering the deceptions of this world. There is a time when all will be revealed, but that time is not now.

Natural Mama said...

But, isn't there a 'right way'? If everyone is deceived, then we are all lost. Right? Satan is the Ultimate Deceiver. But to say we are *all* deceived in some way?

There is a way that *seemeth right* unto a man, but the end thereof is the ways of death.

I don't want the way that *seems right* to me. There is a right way and that is the way of a purified, Holy, and sanctified life, wholly commited to Christ. A life "led by the Spirit" Who will lead you and guide you in the paths of righteousness.
Sure everyone thinks their way is the 'right way'--well, some of the "new Agers" think that whatever you think, no matter what, that it IS right-- But there is a *way*.

6:16 (KJV) Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

Psalm 25:12 (KJV) What man is he that feareth the Lord? him shall He teach in the way that He shall choose.

Psalm 32:8 (KJV) I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way
which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

The Bible is our Roadmap, it will guide us; but not it only--the Holy Spirit will lead us in all truth if we allow Him. He will reveal sin in our lives (he has me lately!) and do a great work if we commit ourselves to Him.

"Be not deceived, God is not mocked...."
God Bless!

Autumn said...

Ok well I guess I better put my two cents in so you will have someone else's opinon on here besides my husbands and natural momma so here it is. I don't know if you meant for your post to come across the way that my husband and I must say myself saw it, and I am going to assume since I am baptist and your friend you are not seeing me burn in hell especially because I am a baptist that doesn't believe in once saved always saved, and I am not the only one. It is very dangerous for anyone to speak of a donomination as a whole believing the same thing. How many times have we spoke about the untrue ways that people sometimes percieve pentecostles, choose to be better than them because I know you are. Yes the bible does give us the truth and the way for how we should live, but it sounds to me like natural momma believes that she has it all figured out and I would never go so far as to assume that "let he who is perfect throw the first stone." I learn everyday, I find that things that I believed with all my heart have became clearer to me as I have studied more. I believe that it is dangerous to think that you are at a place of complete understading because it closes you off to what learning you still have to come.

Either way, agree or disagree it is good conversation!
I love yah!

Dutch said...

Suffice it to say, that the measure of being lost or saved is not the amount of knowledge you have acquired. Thank God for His grace, because if I have to know it all to be saved, then I'm in trouble. But I'm glad you feel so confident in your state of understanding.

Natural Mama said...

I do not have it 'all figured out', but I believe God will reveal it to me if I keep praying, earnestly desiring to walk in His ways. (Did ya read the scriptures???)
Anyway, if one DID have it all figured out (I believe they can) one darest not admit it in this day! I believe that may be one reason Last Day Christians will be persecuted--for their firm belief and stand on issues that make them look like they have it 'all figured out'. Don't be offended with me--I'm just telling you, there IS a way! I'm 'asking for the Old Paths' and striving to 'walk therein'.
Reread my post if you are misunderstood--especially the Scriptures.
That's all I'll comment now, Amy! :o) Sorry if I've stirred up anything. :o)
Love ya

REAL ME said...

Wow, very interesting. I appreciate your post. I also admire your ways. I being a "pentecostal" understand where you are coming from on the Holiness. I have seen the "pentecostals" dress and have the walk down pat but still don't have that holiness in the heart fully. :)

Brandy said...

Oh My Oh My!! Amy did you let the cat out of the bag. I very much enjoyed reading this, I do understand both sides. Many times we are put into one denomination although we might be different. All denominations are judged based on the over all whole, while we as people might not belvie the same way. I really don't know what I am trying to say.