The Doctrine of “Self-Safety”

Saturday Morning Musing
Christianity is Not Safe.

Sacrifice (Mother Teresa)Christianity is not safe because Jesus was not safe. He sent his first disciples out into the world “like lambs in the midst of wolves” (Luke 10:3) and He hasn’t changed. He still sends us out to give testimony to Him at the risk of us. He knows that living for Him will bring hardship to us. If your faith involves no risk to your status, power, respect, comfort, even, your life, you aren’t doing it right. 

That is why the apostle Paul wrote that “all who desire to live godly in Christ will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Paul was simply working out the word of Christ, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all manner of evil against you because of Me” (Matthew 5:11).

Ours is not the only age to struggle with the insecurity of Christianity. In an old microfilm newspaper copy from World War II I found this while studying one year for a message:

“Christianity has for its common symbol a cross, signifying the glory and divinity of a Life-laid down” for a cause. Selfish footprints all lead away from Calvary, and not toward it. Everyone who follows In the Way of Jesus, the Teacher of the laid-down life, is prepared to go with Him even to the cross-crowned heights of Golgotha. . . .

The first Christians out-lived, out-suffered, out-loved, out-served, out-died their pagan neighbors. They developed a passion and a capacity for enduring hardship for the sake of the Name. What no mortal would do for his own sake, they did for Christ’s dear sake. Like Him, they had something for which they were willing to die.”

—-William T. Ellis,
“The Doctrine of Self Safety is Opposed by the Teaching of Scripture”

The Binghampton Press (England), Friday Evening, June 27, 1941 (page 8)

We need a new generation of Christians who will . . .

out-live,
out-suffer,
out-love,
out-serve,
out-die, . . .

… a decaying and rotting civilization for the glory of our King out of love for our King and our neighbors.

Our generation, the people living right now all around the world, needs a Christianity that is so enthralled with the person of Christ that no sacrifice for Him and those He places around us is too high. Only when our neighbors see us laying down our lives for their good (rather than our own) will they believe the gospel we proclaim. Only when we lean on and into the Spirit of God to empower us, will such a lifestyle be entered. And only that lifestyle should expect to be blessed with the smile and help of God in such a time as this.

It is exciting to live in interesting times.


4 thoughts on “The Doctrine of “Self-Safety”

  1. We also need Christians of moral courage to call out the enemies of Christianity in our now toxic Western culture, Can Christians overcome this false teaching that faith alone saves them? Can they actually live the Christian principles? We need better than the 2 hour a week Christians who do worship and then fellowship, and then go home until next Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would not bet my soul on that Marty. Antinomianism is a false interpretation. Holy or moral living is required for salvation. There are those who will cry out “Lord, Lord . . .” But, if they have not lived moral lives, their cries will not be heard.

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      1. My view is not antinomian. it is the view of the Reformers. The reformers put it this way, we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone, but the grace that saves is never alone. It is accompanied by a transformed life. Faith in Christ is more (much more) than mere intellectual assent.

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