From the ages of 10-23 or so, I struggled with faith. I struggled with knowing that the god that my family and community followed just did not seem likely to exist. I struggled in my conviction to believe what is real despite the fear of Hell waiting for me. Well, I shouldn’t have worried about Hell. Not because it doesn’t exist, but because I’ve been saved through my faith in Christ Jesus. Mom should be proud.
Let me explain. My family is Baptist, and they have these five wonderful beliefs that they don’t always talk about often:
1. Sola scriptura. That is, “scripture alone”. All doctrine must be in unity with the Bible as the divinely inspired word of God. In other words, you can believe anything you want as long as you can find scripture to support it.
2. Sola fide. That is, “faith alone”. A person is saved only by his trust in Jesus. In other words, if you can believe the minimum requirements, you can avoid Hell!
3. Sola gratia. That is, “grace alone”. Again, salvation is based on what you believe, regardless of anything you do. In other words, you can act however you like.
4. Universal priesthood. This doctrine says that all believers have a personal relationship with God. There are no credentials that can make any believer closer to Jesus than another. In other words, you’re not accountable to any other human.
5. Eternal security. This means that salvation cannot be lost. In other words, if you meet the religion’s minimum requirements at any instant in your life, you are free forever.
This is great stuff, right? I definitely believed in Jesus as a 9-year-old. That’s good enough. Now I can ride that sweet eternal security to Heaven. That’s what the Bible says. Now I will continue to do whatever I want to in life. Nobody has the authority to tell me otherwise.
If you too want to feel the warm embrace of being a Christian without any particular obligations, join me in the Association of Lazy Baptists. The only requirement is to believe in Jesus. You can define this however you want. The Bible and John 3:16 supports you. Get drunk or sleep-deprived if that’ll help. Once you have an instant of believe, you win forever. That’s how great faith is, you perfect saint. Don’t let anybody tell you any differently. You don’t have to do anything or go through anybody to reach the god that Moses made up three thousand years ago.