According to the institutional church, particularly Charismatics, Baptists, and other denominations where sin is prevalent among the membership, these folk have an explanation. The explanation is that carnal Christians are saved. They love the Lord but since they are carnal, or worldly, they are justified but not sanctified. they have accepted Jesus as Savior but have not submitted themselves to Him as Lord.
This perspective also contends that carnal Christians can remain so for the rest of their lives. Even though throughout a lifetime of faithful church attendance and service, it is believed that carnal Christians will certainly get into heaven but so as by fire, or by the skin of their teeth.
I have excellent recall of the choir in the church where I began as a member in 1979. These folk were faithful, always in church. some of them were heavy tithers. I recall that they were also the most demonstrative worshipers, shouting, crying, falling slain, testifying of the Lord’s goodness, leaping up in the Holy Dance, etc.
Yet, the elders habitually sinned, particularly fornication. Their daughters were constantly getting pregnant, proudly wearing their choir robes with their bellies sticking out for all to see, with no husbands in sight. The choir pianist was a gay drug user, beloved of the entire church. He died in his 40’s, never having changed his lifestyle.
Regularly, unwed mothers held baby showers in the church, like there was nothing wrong with this sort of behavior. I understand that nothing has changed among them.—in fact a tolerance of sin has so increased, that it goes more unnoticed today than it did 40 years ago. simply put, no change in character or in their values.
The explanation is that they love The Lord but that they are simply carnal Christians.
In our private blog, RESCUE members had some interesting things to say about this subject:
I have been around these type of people the majority of my life. Growing up, I was raised in a Baptist church, where basically people just do certain things to claim they are sorry for their sin and want to be saved. Then, after they are so called, “saved,” they try to justify their sin by using works of the flesh to try to keep from sinning. But they can’t do it, so they make excuses for their sin, and say, “Well, since I am saved, I am under grace, so God will forgive me as a “christian,” for doing this sinful thing. Then, they live their lives as if they are in so many trials and tribulations, and God is supposed to do everything for them. Not once do they even consider that God is not sitting at the throne waiting to give them their every need and desire because their motivation for trying to change is “getting into heaven.” These people live their lives one way in front of certain people, and behind closed doors live another way. They are the worst sinners I know! lol I used to always wonder why people were saying they were christians, but their lives did not reflect a love for living a holy life. Honestly, I used to laugh at them, because I knew it was fake. How can you claim to love God in one breath, and act like the devil in another? Yet, the minute somebody calls you on it, you say, “God knows my heart.” PULEEEZZE!!! Yeah, he knows your heart alright! He knows that it is wicked! They came up for every excuse in the book. These type of people would always focus everything on the Prodigal Son parable, implying that you can leave God and then come back to him and still be saved. Hmmm…..
Yes, I was one of those carnal Christians, but realized that this is wrong. Almost everyone I know is either a carnal Christian or they claim that their sins are not serious ones. So, I’ve seen either total acceptance of sin, or the condemnation and hyper critical judging of it. The greed, the politics, the discrimination, and the exclusion of others due to the fact that these others sin differently, is hypocrisy. I knew I wasn’t right, and found out why, but who knows how many are out there that do not know, and will never know the Truth. I am just glad that God has been showing me the Truth, and pulled me out of that nonsense. Now, I know I am not born again. With that knowledge it explains why I’ve not been able to overcome the flesh or sin on my own. It is impossible to do. When I am born again, I know the slate will be wiped clean and I will have the Holy Spirit to help me overcome the flesh and sin.
I was carnal and did my best to hide it behind a religious mask in fear of judgement. I always felt very guilty inside and wondered why I could never break free. I would see others who didn’t exactly drink or smoke or engage in sexual sin but they instead were controlling and abusive to a very sinful degree which was quite acceptable. It was my constant carnality that finally helped me realize I wasn’t saved. My carnality was drinking, smoking and depression. Had my carnality been religiosity or jezebelliousness (lol) I would still be in her! No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t keep up with them. I relapsed into drinking after close to 4 years again to ease the pressure of a very controlling Holiness church…I can trace a lot of problems occurring after going to that church including a botched suicide attempt. This is where I seen the image of sananda etched on a pew. I had seen an image of him before even reading Pams book. That’s why immediately I knew Pam was speaking the truth and was like this huge revelation. I didn’t want to accept that I was not immediately unsaved, but the truth and proof was there,,,,,,there are no carnal Christians those who are truly born again. I am sure sin will come for those born again but to be in that same sin for 6 years straight is a strong clue of a false conversion.