I am now blogging at a new blog: erdman31.com

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

"Work out your salvation"


A major preoccupation of mine for the next month or so is Philippians 2:12-18.  There is a fascinating thought in verse 12:

“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

The above article speculates on why people are leaving church and asks if churches may be succeeding in reaching people with the Christian message, succeeding in plugging people in to service, but failing to feed those who have been in the faith for a while and are desiring to explore their faith in a deeper and more personal way.

While I’m not sure I have the answers to any of the questions raised by this article I have to ask the serious question:  Are churches providing an environment where believers can “work out” their salvation?

Do churches provide programs and classes and even small group fellowship that are geared towards producing one “type” of Christian?  Are churches so developed and organized that they begin to turn out Christians that are all cut out of the same mold?  Are churches viewing Christians like cookie dough with only a few cookie cutters?

It is natural to think that all other Christians will have pretty much the same Spiritual experience as me.  I mean, after all, all I’ve got to go on is my own experience.  It’s scary to try to give the “answers” to someone who is going through a faith crisis that I have never experienced or even thought was possible.

In the Sunday School class that I teach, am I providing an environment that is conducive to asking any question or raising any thought pertaining to Christian growth?  What if someone shares they struggle with homosexual pornography on the internet?  What if someone shares that they haven’t been to Sunday School for a while because they have been getting wasted on the weekends?  What if someone is silently struggle with doubts about the existence of God?  Or hasn’t felt the presence of God in so long….

Is the church a place where Christians can work out their salvation?