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The people, who in my opinion, were the most confused about today's topic were the Puritans and any other immediate descendants of John Calvin.
Because, according to them, you really couldn't do anything to make God like you any more or any less. Grace was irresistible. Salvation was unconditional. So theoretically, you could be a total reprobate and still have your soul preserved in heavenly bliss, while the guy down the street, a veritable Ned Flanders of virtue, got nothing.
But that theology didn't really set people free. It made them anxious. I mean, probably you should act like you're saved, just so people don't go around saying, based on your cruddy behavior, that you couldn't possibly be saved. There were was kind of a neurotic notion of good works.
All of us struggle with the question of how to be righteous, whether we think God is watching or not.
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