Merit Badges

Many are extolling honor and proclaiming accolades upon the Eagle Scout in Southern California for his accomplishment of earning 131 merit badges. The young man has been hard at work at the task for well over a decade. He has invested countless hours earning each one, which demonstrates discipline in many different areas, and in part, reveals his character. As a partial reward he is recognized as only one of two kids, who have ever received all of the merit badges offered by the Boy Scouts of America. Wow, Kid! Pretty cool.

We look at this and can certainly appreciate this feat, but most of us would cringe at the thought of putting in such effort. Yet, don’t we often feel this needs to be done to “earn” the grace of our God? Don’t we feel at times that we need to earn our salvation? Don’t we “work at it” just a little too often thinking we can merit anything? It seems to us that’s just part of our nature. Continue reading “Merit Badges”

Salvation A La Mode

I heard some disturbing news recently involving a survey of “evangelical Christians.” It seems that of 3000 people surveyed, 83% responded that the “way” to “make it” to Heaven was by being good, by doing good works. And another 54% stated that they believe good people of other faiths can go to Heaven, as long as they are “good.” Now, I don’t know what defines these evangelicals, but that news disturbs me on several levels.

First, I am afraid we have equated the acquisition of God’s grace with the standards of the world; that if we are good little boys and girls we will receive eternal life in Heaven. That is in no way even close to the true gospel of Jesus Christ. The Christian Bible nowhere promotes this theology. Continue reading “Salvation A La Mode”