The Error of Decisionism

After Martin Luther’s reformed movement in which he declared the deadly “works” instituted by the Roman Catholic church such actions as confession to a Priest, keeping all the sacraments, indulgences, purgatory and declaring Mary the Mother of Jesus as being divine that the Roman Catholic church and indeed “added” to the Truth of Jesus and Jesus alone saves and that a human can bring nothing to the table to earn or merit God’s indescribable Grace and Mercy.

The Reformed Church however, drifted in their theology and doctrine such as infant baptism and declared they were basically “in” as far as heaven goes. As well as some other rituals that are not based in being saved by Christ alone.

Years later the western American Church kept a more Biblical accuracy in Salvation being in and through Jesus alone. Not baptism, not church attendance (although it was expected, and people were shamed for not going to church.)

The biggest mistake that the Church of the 19th and 20th century made was what is called “Decisionism.”  The fact that someone could walk down an aisle in church and pray the sinner’s “prayer” and that was it they were “IN” so to speak.

This preceded a huge non-effectual Salvation in that people did those “symbolic works”, but they missed out or did not allow their heart/life to be transformed by the Gospel of Jesus. They were NOT born again, and it caused a lot of guilt, shame and more than half of those were children and later completely rebelled and walked away from it all.

Decisionism happened to me. I am a Pastor’s daughter so at age 5 I felt conviction in my heart that I needed Jesus. I believed in who he was, yet the transformation did not take hold as it should. I just really didn’t understand yet the weight of sin and what it cost God the Father. It was quite a journey, but He was faithful through His Word and the Holy Spirit to finally break through to me that this regeneration was about breaking God’s heart and him giving me a new heart. It was about following Him and reading His Word because I wanted to. I wanted to know his voice and I wanted to have him call me his own and that is exactly what he did.

Remember Me

Photo by Meru Bi

Remember Me when you eat this bread and drink this cup.

When all your days have gone dark and lonely, Remember Me…

When the warmth of the sun greets you each and every morning

Or when the red sky above bodes of warning, Remember Me…

Remember me when your days are fresh like Spring.

When you get down on your knees to cry out your needs and dreams, Remember Me…

When I part the waters, so you walk on dry land

Or when the next path you cannot see you feel my leading hand.

Remember Me when your children thrive, and their children are alive.

When all their laughter and joy fill your cup, Remember Me…

When your body fails, I am the one who heals

Or when you can no longer walk, I will still lead you home, Remember Me…

“Remember Me when you eat this bread and drink this cup. For this is my body and my blood shed for you and for those that believe in Me…” Luke 22:19

Confusion has a Cost

yellow sphere illustration

Photo by Pixabay 

Confusion has a cost

Like skimming off the dross

It all goes swirling down a drain

Leaving oily globs of pain.

The Trojan horse is chaos

Now enters your thoughts

The battles swarm like bees

The Word of God cannot be defeated.

Take heart

Because you are not crazy

You are a warrior

The Battle is the Lord’s.

So, listen for the sounds of spring

Listen for the bells of victory

You will take flight on His Wings

Let your praises ring!

Take heart

Because you are not crazy

You are a warrior

The Battle is the Lord’s

Wash Line Wisdom

Holding up my hopes and dreams like clothes pins on a wash line.

My Faith is getting warmed in the bright day sun.

My Doubts are fluttering about in the sweet South wind.

My Love hangs there surrounded by old socks and sheets.

I ‘ve been thinking too much, been trying to hold on so tightly yet, all dreams must be washed clean.

They say, “let go and let God” and that is exactly what I do now.

I will wrap myself in my old quilt of Trust as soon as it is dry.

It is worn and tattered but still my greatest comfort in this Life.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  Hebrews 10:23

That place where we bleed

Photo by Lum3n

It is an early morning rain

blue crystals falling from the sky

Oh all the words won’t come my way

the search for them makes me high

I saw you sleeping in the candle light

coming round to that place where we bleed

Oh all your thoughts won’t come my way

each idea planted like a row of seeds

It is an early morning rain

a symphony falling from the sky

Oh all the dance steps are ours

or at least to give a try.

They Only Hear the Pretty Notes

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger

These children in my heart take my breath away.

So warm and wild in joyful play.

So strong yet gentle, with cheeks the color of the rose.

They only hear the pretty notes.

These days together are short and tender

I just smile up to heaven and surrender,

Then breathlessly, I hear all the pretty notes…

Human Nature

Photo by Ethan Jones

Four days ago I turned sixty-five. I always think and ponder life at this time of a new year. My sixth-five years of attempting to be a student of my human nature and yours have been interesting to say the least.

TRUTH: Humans are scared of what we don’t know, especially if it changes life as we know it.

Godly Wisdom: Change and failure MUST occur so that humans will grow. Most of us stop growing in our early twenties. Can you believe it? Ephesians 4:15-16 – But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ.

TRUTH: Parents desire things for their children that perhaps they missed or lost when they were children. Or worse, parents have the illusion of controlling their child’s happiness when it is simply a lie.

Godly Wisdom: Children are a gift and parents have a responsibility to raise them without resentment. Children are ours for a season in which we are to do our best to pour Truth into them. This can only be done in faithfulness to God’s Word and Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:13 “and you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit… “

TRUTH: Grown humans often still “desire” something we did not get in childhood.

Godly Wisdom: Childhood is filled with wonder but just as well it is full of disappointment trauma, abuse and hurt. These must be recognized, named, worked on but according to God’s Word the do NOT define us. John 3:16. ” For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will have everlasting life. ”

TRUTH: Fear about what might happen is completely useless to us humans. 2 Timothy 1:7 ” for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and a sound mind. “

Conclusion: I am a feeble student at best. I have more questions than answers the longer I sojurn. I have seen the evil and the good. I have embraced God’s Holy Spirit pursuing me, and pointing me to Jesus Christ always! I have rebelled, stumbled, disobeyed, fallen, and I have been hated and have hated. I have seen the Transformation from dark was to light. I stand on the I infallible foundation that God is absolutely Good and their is no evil in Him whatsoever. I know this because humans are well acquainted with evil and there is none Good but God.

1 John 5:20 “We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”

Carrying on. ..

The Reality of Inaccurate “feel good quotes” …

crop person hand in broken mirror

Photo by Bruno Pires 

Sometimes as I scroll my Facebook and Instagram I see what seems to be a fabulous and profound quote…but then…but wait…I saw one that said, “rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.” Another one I saw said, “Nothing is worth it if you aren’t happy.”  Well, while this might sound like accurate loquaciousness in the emotional sense, it is not accurate in the journey of life, at least not in my experience of 64 years on the planet. A storm is defined in the dictionary this way, “a violent disturbance of the atmosphere with strong winds and usually rain, thunder, lightning, or snow OR a tumultuous reaction; an uproar or controversy.”

And happiness has nothing to do with some situation or someone’s worth…there are limitless relationships, and situations that are totally worth it and totally hard!

The Truth is that you are born into a storm, into a world of tumultuous reaction, uproar, and controversy. It is called a “Fallen World of Sin and therefore broken.” I see no way that a human being can “rise” above any storm on their own.    See Romans 6:23.

Some might see my outlook as discouraging which is not my goal. However, if you believe God’s Word and you read and understand what occurred in Genesis chapter 3 then you will also understand that if you read the whole Bible there is good news and a solution to “THE STORM”…and He, Jesus, is the provider of Joy.

That is because happiness is an emotion in which we “experience feelings ranging from contentment and satisfaction to bliss and intense pleasure,” whereas joy “is a stronger, less common feeling than happiness.”  (Dr, Hud McWilliams). We experience joy when we achieve selflessness to the point of personal sacrifice.”

In the storm of an abusive childhood, or a miscarriage, a broken marriage, a health battle, an addiction, a mental illness, financial destitution, a death of your most beloved, and on the list goes…there is not a way around this storm! This storm touches everything and everyone from sunrise to sunset…There is no place in scripture where it says that we, in and of ourselves, will rise above anything. “Jesus said, without me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Many places in scripture we are promised, by God, that he will go with us through the storm, the suffering, and His Spirit will not leave nor forsake us. It does not tell us that we will be relieved from the lonely unlit path of the storm or that we will not get hurt by the storm. Again, the promise is that God will be with us through the pain.

In a time when Bible illiteracy in and outside of the Church is evident, I believe words of encouragement need to be accurate more than ever.

2 Corinthians 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.