If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
(1 John 1:8-10)
Anyone who has reached this point will be certain that I am in complete opposition to postmodern Christianity. My criticisms of this movement are both extensive and deep. I have taken to task Presbyteries as institutions and individuals by name. It would be natural to assume that, because of this disapproval, I consider myself to be morally superior.
But, this assumption is wrong.
How could this possibly be so? After all, we live in a culture in which 90% of winning a debate is the establishment of who in it occupies the moral high ground. We are thus almost all of us on a lifelong quest to find and occupy that position of moral superiority. Postmodern Christian partisans often rely on an intricate ideology of victimhood to elevate this or that group into positions of moral authority (or almost as good, act as the spokespersons for those groups). Evangelicals tend to claim that their adherence to Biblical authority places them in the morally superior position.
No, as an orthodox, Reformed Christian I believe that there is zero possibility for a valid claim of either an inherent or earned righteousness for myself. Rather, I give all the glory to the sovereign act of grace by which Jesus Christ saved me from my bondage to sin and death. I accept, with the consequent implications to my human pride, that all I have of righteousness is an undeserved gift from a merciful Savior. Let the Apostle Paul explain from where our righteousness originates (Philippians 3:7 9).
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith;
Also, let him remind us what of ourselves we can claim as the source of our salvation and good works (Ephesians 2:1-10).
And you he made alive, when you were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. Among these we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of body and mind, and so we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God— not because of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.