Devastation of Works
When this framework of salvation is adopted into a congregational or discipleship setting, the product is the very expressive individualism that has wreaked such great havoc to the souls of modern Christendom. When a person is given the opportunity to hide beneath and behind what is sold as good works and what is perceived as produced (versus imputed) righteousness, the consequences are detrimental. Timu Nisula summarizes Augustine’s view in this way:
“The human mind was created invisible and immaterial. Therefore, it assumed itself to “be of same nature as its Creator, thus cutting itself off by pride from Him to whom it ought to be united by love.” Pride is therefore an illusory wish to be divine, in the sense of absolute independency. Finally, man’s desire to be his own master and to become a self-sufficient person results in his disobedience to God and His laws. The more this desire is manifested, the deeper one is separated from the Divine Being… ‘Thus, the farther the mind departs from God, not in space but in fondness (affectione) and greed (cupiditate) for things inferior to Him, the more it is filled with foolishness and misery.’”
Augustine argues that the very affections that sprout sin through its layers is an extension of this perception of salvation. As such, despite the numerous churches that may be quantified as advocating for a salvation modeled by the previous model, the reality of the damage in doing so is, in effect, an evangelism and perpetuation of the very essence of sin itself, causing Christians to simply teeter in-between one type of soil and onto another, never truly experiencing a liberating tilling that confronts humanity’s natural addiction to works righteousness for fear of confession.