How do you get from unconditional election to salvation by grace without preaching definite atonement? Just ask Robert B. Selph, he knows. He says you do it by changing your behavior so you can justify God for having justified you.
Bad enough that Selph presents folks like Andrew Fuller as positive Baptist champions of the faith, but then he has to go and make things even worse by conditioning salvation upon behavior modification.
“The Bible way for a person to draw assurance that he has been saved is through self-examining questions – Do I love God more for who He is than for how He makes me happy? Do I love to read the Scriptures? Do I delight in the commandments of God? Is my soul comforted by God’s truth? Do I feel real conviction for my sin? Is my life marked by the ongoing pursuit of holiness? Is there a real distinction between myself and the world? Do I love to be with the brethren? Is the worship of God a priority in my life? Does sin grieve me because it grieves God? Is there a willingness to deny self for the glory of God and to serve Christ sacrificially? Is my soul found breathing regularly in secret prayer? Do I make it my life practice to carefully obey God’s word?”
– Southern Baptists and the Doctrine of Unconditional Election, Robert B. Selph, pgs 104-105
I don’t know. Sounds like there might not be enough navel gazing going on here. Let me add the lint from my own belly button to see if we can get this pile of crap just a little bit bigger.
Did I read my Bible today? Check. Did I pray today? Check. Have I loved my children enough? Do I love my neighbors enough? Do I love my wife enough? Did I floss my teeth? Take a shower? Put on some deodorant? Pick my dirty clothes up off the floor? Wash the dishes? Question: should I scratch my behind in public, or must I continue to walk with an itch?
I dunno. It’s a mystery.
By leaping over particular atonement in order to get from unconditional election to regeneration, Selph has presented his readers with a gospel that conditions the fulfillment of God’s demand for justice upon the future actions of the person justified.
In other words, according to Selph, God’s demand for justice is not satisfied by Christ’s death, but rather by an improved behavior on our part. And Selph sees it this way, because the last thing he wants is a Christ who only died for His elect. No wonder then he has to come up with a list of actions he must perform in return for assurance. What else has he got? Trusting that Christ accomplished everything which needed to be accomplished? Ha! Who needs Christ when you got a navel to look at.
What Selph gives us is Lordship Salvation with a Southern Baptist lemon twist. Imagine that, another Lordshipper. But hey, like a good Southern Baptist, at least he keeps the pews filled.