Monday, 23 May 2016

The Irony of Assurance

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the doctrine of assurance and it's importance. I understand the brilliance of the psychology of justification and sanctification: that it is when we are assured of God's love for us that we can face our sin and fearlessly pursue our sanctification out of returning love alone. I understand the centrality of this spiritual process in the Protestant understandings of Christianity and indeed wherever Orthodox Christianity is found in any time or denominational place. 

Yet I am reminded of the Jewish Hasidic master the Baal Shem Tov, who said to God "I do not care for your world to come, I only want you!" This would be my advice to those who doubt their own assurance. Follow God anyway! Follow Christ  anyway! If you say to Jesus, "Saved or not, I will exalt you. Justified or not, I will celebrate the Word made flesh!" If you say, "I will follow you, whether you accept me or no", then How could you not be among God's beloved children?