George Barna of the Barna Group (which conducts polling of those calling themselves Christian) wrote the following:
[W]e ... drew out seven particular elements that seemed most central to their perspective. Those include the accuracy and reliability of the Bible, the sinless life of Christ, the existence of Satan as an influential spiritual being, the importance of sharing one's faith in Christ with others, that a person cannot earn their way into Heaven, religious faith is very important in the person's life, and that God is the omnipotent and omniscient creator and ruler of the universe. The NAE has more components in their statement, but these seemed pivotal, and would give us a good grip on where a person was coming from, theologically." (by Zack. Revolution in Jesusland. Wednesday, February 13, 2008.)
Now, the biggest hurdle for most people is the so-called Protestant Reformation notion that a person cannot earn his or her way into Heaven. That's nonsense. Anyone who does everything Jesus instructed will have earned his or her way into Heaven. Doing everything Jesus instructs includes having the spiritual make-up he taught. That spirit gets into Heaven. In fact, Heaven is that spirit. It dwells within each person of that spirit. It has earned itself. The hang up is semantical and stems from the spirit that doesn't want the requirement of love in action. That would be too unselfish. That would require giving and sharing all as Jesus taught and demonstrated.
Jesus made it perfectly clear that souls are and will be judged on works. He also made perfectly clear that works come directly out of the heart. They come directly from the spirit that resides within.
Jesus called upon people to change their behavior to change their spirit and to change their spirit to change their behavior. You don't get consistently good fruit from a corrupt tree. The works define the tree. What comes forth from the tree determines the spirit of that tree. It is why the fig tree whither and died. It didn't bring forth. It didn't do the good work. It didn't make it into Heaven. It didn't earn it. It earned its way into another place.
Deeds or works and faith and grace are all inextricable. We do the works as we are given by God to do them. God gets the credit. It is God within doing the works. God doesn't close the door upon himself.
- Accuracy and reliability of the Bible
- Sinless life of Christ
- Existence of Satan as an influential spiritual being
- Importance of sharing one's faith in Christ with others
- A person cannot earn his/her way into Heaven
- Religious faith is very important in the person's life
- God is the omnipotent and omniscient creator and ruler of the universe
The concept of biblical inerrancy of the self-styled Fundamentalists is unclear. They don't make clear where the line is drawn between the literal and figurative. Nevertheless, they insist they are literalists even though Jesus was not. Jesus taught in both the figurative and the literal. That's fundamental.
We are spirit. The Satanic spirit is manifest in human beings, just as the spirit of God is manifest.
God is wherever goodness is. God is not where goodness is not. That is absolute. Satan is the creator and ruler of the evil world. Satan is the god of the worldly world that is the selfish world. The greedy, the violent, and the depraved worship that Satanic spirit regardless of whether or not they claim to profess God. They don't know God. They confuse Satan with God.
Harmlessness and beneficence are required by the divine law in one's heart.