Selfish, Spoiled, and Entitled

Best Thing We Can Do for America is Cleanse the Church: Selfish, Spoiled, and Entitled

A popular meme on Facebook displays a split screen with a picture above and below. The top picture shows brave young men during World War 2 facing impossible odds yet courageously storming a beach in order to protect the world. The lower picture shows several college students who have decorated themselves with purple hair, outlandish outfits, and other counter-cultural symbols of self-expression. A caption reads, "1944: 18 year olds storm the beach of Normandy into almost certain death. 2016: 18 year olds need a safe place because words hurt."

Another meme shows a great mass of professional protestors blocking a city street. The caption reads, "This is what happens when you give children a trophy for losing."

Q: Is it possible that we, the church, are directly responsible for empowering these selfish attitudes of entitlement? 

One more meme: The picture simply shows a sign in front of the St. Arnold Community Church. It displays the following schedule of worship services:

Classic Service 8 AM
Contemporary 9 AM
Mid Century Modern 10 AM
Post Modern 11 AM
Boomer Service Noon
Millenials 1 PM
Blended Service 2 PM
Happy Hour Service 4 PM

When grace is taught as an entitlement package (Reformed Theology - Calvinism redesigned) rather than an investment exchange (God and us, John 3:16), the younger generation grows up treasuring their desires and opinions over all other authority standards - including the Word of God. 

The Condition of Christendom

Far too often, this is the sad condition of Christendom in America today. "Worship services" are filled with self-gratifying entertainment, "sermons" are filled with ear-tickling feel-good stories, "fellowship" is filled with all the freedoms of a "lost in the crowd" anonymity, and the salvation doctrine of transformation through death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4) is reduced to "the sinner's prayer." We have tolerated the entitlement values of a failed culture and even brought them into the church. Someone needs to call out the false teachers!

A friend once challenged me to explain why I am so relentless in my attacks on Calvinism. Below is my response:

Let me ask you a question? Do you believe that grace comes because God unconditionally elects us? Do you believe He pre-selects us to either go to Heaven or to Hell? (That is the second pillar in the 5 core teachings of Calvinism which leads to Reformed Theology.) Before you answer, please understand what that means. 

According to the first pillar, you are totally depraved. You have no positive energy, not even the ability to ask God for help. 

According to the second pillar, "Unconditional Election," you were born a sinner and God pre-chose you for damnation or salvation without giving any consideration to the choices you would make.

Then there is the third pillar of Calvinism, "Limited Atonement." If some are unconditionally elected, it stands to reason that the rest are unconditionally rejected. No matter what they do in life, they are pre-damned by God. Given their hopeless condition, God chooses not to waste His Son's blood on them. Atonement is limited to those who God pre-chose for salvation. 

Of course, when a person believes that atonement is limited by God's pre-choice, it naturally follows that grace is also irresistible (the fourth pillar of Calvinism). In other words, grace is not a gift, it is an assignment. 

Finally, because grace is assigned not accepted, the last pillar also follows, "Perseverance of the Saints." This is the infamous doctrine of "once saved, always saved." If you had nothing to do with accepting grace, why would you have anything to do with maintaining it?

And there's the rub! The doctrine of grace without responsibility leads to entitlement conclusions and human assumptions that preempt biblical authority. 

Example: Reformed Theologists do not believe that baptism saves. How could they? Baptism requires a responsible choice on the part of the sinner to accept grace. Yet, notice what Peter said in the very first invitation of the very first sermon on the very first day of the church. Remember, he is speaking to folks who just found out they killed the Messiah and are frantically searching for a solution. "Then Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'" (Acts 2:38, NKJV)

Notice, Peter did not say you are unconditionally elected or rejected. He said make a choice. He said that remission of their sin was possible if they made the right choice. He said that the gift of the Holy Spirit was dependent upon them choosing to accept God's grace.

I challenge you! Go to your preacher or pastor, show them Acts 2:38, and ask them this question, "Does a person have to be baptized in order to be saved?" I promise you, if they are truly a Calvinist, they will begin to dance. They will not give you a direct answer. They will dodge and weave, bringing up unnecessary assumptions about the thief on the cross or Cornelius in Acts 10, all the while circumventing the clear command of Peter in Acts 2:38 as well as their personal responsibility to teach the whole counsel of God. They will undoubtedly answer with human reasoning. Why? Because even though the Bible plainly teaches that baptism saves (John 3:5, Acts 2:38, Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:11-12, 1 Peter 3:21, etc.), they would rather embrace the entitlement doctrines of Reformed Theology than submit to the Divine doctrines of Scripture. 

When Calvinists promote the human doctrines of the T.U.L.I.P. ("Total Depravity," "Unconditional Election," "Limited Atonement," "Irresistible Grace," and "Perseverance of the Saints"), they set up a very dangerous chain reaction. If election is unconditional and grace is irresistible then eternity is outside the realm of my influence. If I am called to respond to grace without the freedom to accept that grace, then I am responding to an assignment not an invitation. At the end of the day, I have no gift for the King. Even if I do respond to His grace it is not because I chose to respond, it is because I have been pre-conditioned to do so. He gets nothing back that wasn't already under His control. There is no gift for the King!


Unfortunately, the cancerous doctrine I have just described has found its way into every major group within Christendom today. Remember, Reformed Theology (Calvinism repackaged) is not a denomination, it is a dynamic. It is a value system, a religious world view. As such, it threatens all of us, especially the young. Grace without the responsibility to choose it or maintain it makes the perfect complement to the entitlement values at work in the world. It is the perfect promotional ad to draw in a younger generation that has been conditioned to expect something for nothing.

May we never forget, Satan is perfectly happy to allow and even promote all religions that teach a convenient conversion that leads to a self-satisfying system of human opinion. As long as Divine doctrine is always filtered through human doctrine, God's will will always be second. We can build the biggest buildings and erect the highest steeples, we can draw the biggest crowds and claim the greatest humanitarian efforts, but if God is not first, Satan wins.

That is why we must cleanse the church!

Missed the first two lessons in this study? Check it out!
The Best Thing We Can Do for America is Cleanse the Church!: "Illegal Aliens Among the Church"
                                                                                                       "Draining the Swamp"

Want to continue this study? Go to:
The Best Thing We Can Do for America is Cleanse the Church!: "Building a Wall, Part 1"
                                                                                                       "Building a Wall, Part 2"

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