Our friend Dick Martin posted again, if you follow the recent comments. On an OCF post, he wrote:
“One day we shall joyfully greet him/her again when the love of Christ, which conquers all things, destroys even death itself.” This sounds like something coming in the future. These events have already taken place.
What has yet to take place is the reunion between those who have died and those who are still alive in this world. It is important when people of different beliefs, especially when suspicion abounds (fundamentalists who don’t trust Catholics, conservatives who don’t trust liberals, believers and non-believers, and vice-versa) to carefully attend to the words people use. The care is not really to catch someone in a gotcha! thing. But to understand the other better.
The context is a funeral: when people suffer grief at the separation between loved ones.
Dick proceeds to cite Scriptures that many Christians, including Catholics, have heard quite often. He offers this conclusion:
These scriptures are in reference to Born again believers only. if your IN CHRIST. Born Again and being in Christ means you’ve had a heart change . You are not in God’s sight the same person you were born of physically.
This statement is an interpretation. The interpretation itself is not in the Bible. Romans 8:37, 6:9-11, and John 5:24 do not in themselves use this interpretive language. And while we are still in this life, we continue to sin. As physical beings, we continue to decay as we age. We never quite are free from the shadow of death, even though we might try to stave it off with good diet, exercise, and various health products. Or claim it doesn’t count because we are saved/born again/whatever.
From the beginning, Christians have struggled with sin. Dick has rather avoided my suggestion in the past that this was a huge problem for early Christians and remains so today. Self-professed born-again Christians have committed monstrous sins now and then.
“They weren’t really born again,” one might snipe. But I might say in turn that’s a rather convenient argument. A person is born again if they claim a “changed heart.” But if they committed fraud or adultery or abuse, it was all a big fib. Maybe.
Maybe Christians continue to be sinners, and they can’t help it, avoid it, fix it, or change it.
Bring your discussion over here, Dick. Let’s have at it with anyone who wishes to join it.