Matt Walsh is a refreshing voice in the conservative movement. He is not afraid to re-assert the preeminence of Christ in the public square. If we want to Make America Great Again, we need to Make America Godly Again, and Walsh has repeatedly addressed that concern.
But I had to respond in thoughtful criticism to his latest article in The Daily Wire: “One Terrible Lie That Is Destroying Christianity In America And Leading Souls To Hell”.
Great title, definitely eye-catching. There are many lies corrupting churches today. They do not stand for the Biblical (and ultimately biological) definition of marriage. They promote abortion, gun control, and a host of other anti-Biblical, culturally Marxist talking points.
What was the specific lie that Walsh targeted in his latest article?
A Christian ought to always think positive and be optimistic. He shouldn’t think about his sin or worry much about repentance.
First of all, Christians are called to be positive, no matter how fallen the world is around us, and we can expect a wonderful future:
“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4).
“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4:18)
Paul the Apostle even urged his fellow Christians to think on things lovely (Philippians 4: 8).
But my greater difference with Walsh is on the subject of repentance.
He defined it as a repeated confession of one’s sins:
“But the first step is to repent. And then to repent again, and again, and again, every time we sin. This is not the easiest or most comfortable road to walk. Indeed, it is the hardest and narrowest road of all. It is also the only road that leads to life.”
In the New Testament, the Greek word rendered my “repentance is “metanoia”, which means “to change one’s mind”. It doesn’t mean to acknowledge one’s sins, especially over and over.
In fact, we need to change our mind about God, to stop seeing Him as out to punish us for all our sins, but to believe that God’s wrath against all sin—including ours—has been paid for.
Paul preached the fullness of the Gospel below:
“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man [Jesus] is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13: 38-39)
This idea of repeatedly confessing one’s sins is not just hard: it’s impossible! Martin Luther tried that, and it nearly drove him insane. Same with Pastor Joseph Prince of Singapore. I have been there myself, as I was trained in this “confessionary” approach to keeping short accounts with God.
Sin is so deep in man, that he can’t even keep up with it in himself. Ironically, those who claim that we must confess our sins are making light of sin. David—the man after God’s own heart—himself acknowledged that he had sins he couldn’t confess—because he wasn’t aware of them!
“Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.” (Psalm 19:12)
“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51:5)
David didn’t ask God to forgive his gross perversions so he could try harder next time. He pleaded plainly: “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10).
Sin is deeper than what man does. It defines his very being:
“[S]in entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12).
Saying sorry and trying harder isn’t good enough. No one can keep up with his sins. The Christian receives a redeemed spirit, but he still has his flesh to contend with.
But we shouldn’t fear or worry:
“And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2)
Notice here that John does not tell his readers to confess their sins to be forgiven. He reminds them that Jesus is our propitiation for our sins—and for the sins of the whole world! The song writer wasn’t kidding when he wrote “There is power in the blood!”
And that’s precisely what Christ Jesus provided for everyone who believes in Him. Jesus died for us—and as us—to grants us His life, His standing (Ephesians 2:4-6).
Furthermore, condemnation does not set people free, but being free from condemnation enables us to be free from sin. (Romans 7:24-25, 8-1). In fact, it’s the grace of God that teaches us to reject sin and live godly lives in Christ (Titus 2:11-14). That’s the beauty and the wonder of the Gospel! Even when we sin (verb), God will never again impute our sins to us ever again (Isaiah 54:9) because they were imputed to the body of Another (1 Peter 2:24).
Does that mean I want to go out and sin, since I will never be punished by God for my sins? Paul the Apostle answered: “God forbid!” (Romans 6:1-2). God’s grace actually gives us power to overcome sin:
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:14)
Repentance is ongoing, no doubt. There is so much that we need to learn about what Jesus did at the Cross for us. However, it’s untenable to expect Christians to confess all of their sins every day in order to be forgiven. Such views also diminish the Finished Work of Jesus on the Cross. It’s the blood of Jesus that sets us free from sin, for it cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). If there is confession of sins, it’s because we are forgiven!
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.