Sunday, April 09, 2006

More Bad Slogans

I'll exercise some self-control and skip over "God Is My Co-Pilot"; it's just so laughable that it hardly deserves comment....

But one cliche that is particularly bad -- though rarely recognized as such -- recently came to my mind when I was preparing to teach on the seventh chapter of Hebrews:

"Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven."

Now try to stick with me here, as this argument is rather eschatological in nature. The whole problem with the Levitical priesthood, according to this chapter, is that it could not bring about perfection in its worshipers. In other words, Old Covenant saints gained a measure of forgiveness by means of the Levitical law, but that law was "useless" in bestowing the perfection that its subjects needed. This is why another priest was needed who would minister according to another order than that of Aaron.

By contrast, the Melchizedekian priesthood of our great high priest, Jesus Christ, not only offers us forgiveness, but more importantly, perfection. Sure, we haven't actually received this perfection in full measure yet, but regardless, we are completely qualified to enter the Holiest by the blood of the Perfect One, Jesus Christ, who is both priest and sacrifice.

So the bumper sticker should read thus:

"Old Testament Saints Weren't Perfect, Just Forgiven."

But in its current form, this popular slogan betrays a drastically under-realized eschatology.