“In answer to your inquiry, I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.” — William Booth
This is something that has bothered me for a long time. I think it is one of the things that leaves me questioning my beliefs in “Common Christianity” and puts me outside my circle of friends a lot.
We like the idea that if we say a prayer and ask forgiveness, our sin doesn’t matter anymore. While in a sense this is true, it’s not that simple. It’s not OK to say “Yes, God, I know I did this bad thing, but I’m sorry and I ask you to forgive me,” as we get ready, walk out the door and do whatever it was all over again. It’s not OK to claim Christianity while ignoring the parts of the bible you don’t like, whether it is to love everyone equally, or to give to the poor, or other more controversial things.
It’s OK to accept anyone into the church, but it’s not OK to allow them to serve in ministry when they have sin they refuse to acknowledge or address. It’s OK to teach about the wonder of heaven, but it has to go hand in hand with the risks of the other option.