Remember Bob Newhart's routine about the bus driver's school? The part about keeping a woman in doubt about catching the bus?
Bob says, "You pulled out too fast. She gave up in the middle of the block. Pull away slowly. Keep holding out hope."
As funny as this was, it is a terrible way to treat Christians. Holding out hope, I mean. It is as if the powers in the corporate church say, "Keep 'em in suspense. It's a good way to control 'em."
It is commonly taught that if someone believes they are saved and that they can't lose their salvation, they will relax, stop trying, maybe even act up. We can't have that now can we?
The terrible problem with this, of course, is that the Bible's message of The Security of the Believer (Romans chapter eight for instance) is not believed to be a good way to manage peoples' behavior. And managing behavior crowds out the Bible's assurance of salvation.
This is not just a theory on my part. I was a member of such a church. My father told me, "I believe we're saved day by day." I heard a Presbyterian minister, a friend of mine, say the same thing, though this is not Presbyterian doctrine.
How wonderful to live for Christ, not out of fear, but of love and assurance.