Comment on One reason why the debate about origins is relevant by Sean Pitman.
Salvation is based on Love, not knowledge
The fact is that salvation is not based on learned knowledge at all, but upon the Royal Law of Love that is written upon the hearts of all from birth. Upon this single Royal Law hang all the Law and the prophets. Matthew 22:37-40 NIV
Paul himself notes that even if someone had “all knowledge” that it would mean absolutely nothing without love. 1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV Paul goes on to point out that, “He who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8 NIV – even without having “all knowledge” or understanding anything else about God or the plan of salvation or the life of Jesus. This is why Paul says that, “When Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them. This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.” Romans 2:14-16 NIV
But how is it possible to love God if one doesn’t know God? Isn’t love predicated on some kind of knowledge of that which is loved? Jesus answered this question when He said, “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'” Matthew 25:40
Clearly then, it is possible to “know” Jesus through the person of our neighbor, even the humblest or weakest or most unlovable of our neighbors, and how we treat that person.
In short, having an honest incorrect understanding of various truths is not a moral wrong. If honest and sincere ignorance, despite one’s very best efforts to know the truth, were a reason to exclude a person from Heaven, we’d all be in big trouble. None of us know all Truth.
What then is the benefit of knowledge? After all, doesn’t Hosea say, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge”? Hosea 4:6 NIV
Those who quote this verse usually do not quote the rest of it. The rest of the passage reads, “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.”
In other words, God is not talking about honest ignorance of truth, or even honest confusion regarding the truth when it is actually heard so that it is not recognized for what it really is. God is talking about deliberate ignorance of what is known to be true – a form of deliberate forgetfulness due to impure motives. In other words, God is talking about deliberate rebellion against the known Law of God. God is not talking about an honest ignorance of various doctrinal truths.
So, I ask again, what is the importance of doctrinal truths if they are not the basis of salvation? Their importance, as David Read suggests, is that they are the basis of a more solid hope in a bright future as described in the Gospel Message that we Christians have to share with the world. They give a clearer picture of God and His character to the world – a picture that has the power to make peoples lives brighter and more hopeful, more bearable, here and now. They also have the power to give people courage to “fight the good fight”; to not become discouraged and give up on the fight during times of severe darkness.
I’d say that’s something worth striving for – wouldn’t you?
Recent Comments by Sean Pitman
After the Flood
Thank you Ariel. Hope you are doing well these days. Miss seeing you down at Loma Linda. Hope you had a Great Thanksgiving!
Thank you Colin. Just trying to save lives any way I can. Not everything that the government does or leaders do is “evil” BTW…
Only someone who knows the future can make such decisions without being a monster…
Pacific Union College Encouraging Homosexual Marriage?
Where did I “gloss over it”?
Review of “The Naked Emperor” by Pastor Conrad Vine
I fail to see where you have convincingly supported your claim that the GC leadership contributed to the harm of anyone’s personal religious liberties? – given that the GC leadership does not and could not override personal religious liberties in this country, nor substantively change the outcome of those who lost their jobs over various vaccine mandates. That’s just not how it works here in this country. Religious liberties are personally derived. Again, they simply are not based on a corporate or church position, but rely solely upon individual convictions – regardless of what the church may or may not say or do.
Yet, you say, “Who cares if it is written into law”? You should care. Everyone should care. It’s a very important law in this country. The idea that the organized church could have changed vaccine mandates simply isn’t true – particularly given the nature of certain types of jobs dealing with the most vulnerable in society (such as health care workers for example).
Beyond this, the GC Leadership did, in fact, write in support of personal religious convictions on this topic – and there are GC lawyers who have and continue to write personal letters in support of personal religious convictions (even if these personal convictions are at odds with the position of the church on a given topic). Just because the GC leadership also supports the advances of modern medicine doesn’t mean that the GC leadership cannot support individual convictions at the same time. Both are possible. This is not an inconsistency.