Noutetiese berading van persone met piëtistiese mistastings oor lewensheiligheid
Rousseau, Pieter Abraham
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In the rich diversity of forms of the Christian Church, there are different perspectives on how believers ought to live holy lives and how their sanctification should progress. As such, the piety and sanctification of Christians entail every facet of our lives and the possibility of misunderstanding is ever present, because humans are fallible and at risk to "work" with the Bible in their own fashion. A wrong understanding of sin inevitably leads to error as regards piety. Pietism or mutations /forms thereof may therefore stifle, rather than promote real piety coram Deo, in the Christian faith community and in conducting our everyday lives. The aim of the study is, therefore, to advance genuine piety with Christian believers. The doctrine of successive works of grace and the style or approach in which proponents of the doctrine treat Scripture, were critically examined in the first section of the basis-theory. A hermeneutical position from the reformed perspective was stated. The sovereignty of God and the acknowledged authority of Scripture are both the centre and periphery of the reformed perspective, and from a grammatical-historical paradigm augmented by historical-cultural information, the construct of sin in the understanding of the first New Testament audience was examined. The juxtaposed construct of piety, as the logical opposite of sin, was correspondingly explored. The doctrine of so-called successive works of grace was reviewed analytically in the second phase of the basis-theory and the conclusion was stated that this doctrine is a form of pietism. The usage of Scripture and the terminology utilized by pietistic groupings to establish their doctrine was evaluated from a grammatical-historical point of departure. The aim of the study was to render pastoral assistance to someone who was, or is involved with the successive works of grace variation of pietism. For this reason, the meta-theoretical facet of the study did not focus on an academic study of sources to explain the phenomenon of pietism, but instead believers' experience of the successive works of grace form of pietism was investigated by means of a narrative empirical study. This investigation took place within the margins of the religious experience of three groups of participants in a church that embraces the particular doctrine. The three categories were believers that advocate the doctrine of successive works of grace, believers that abandoned the same and those that disagree with such a doctrine. From the basis-theory and the interpretation of the empirical results, an uncomplicated hermeneutical counselling strategy was put together with due emphasis on the correct understanding of Scriptural information on the topics of sin and piety/sanctification. The aim of the strategy is to educate believers from a Scriptural position and perspective on the indicative-imperative aspects of reconciliation and sanctification in Christ. The perfection of what Jesus has done and our reciprocal faith response is stated and conveyed in the strategy. A model consisting of a number of counselling sessions are suggested to guide believers not to adopt the particular belief or, otherwise, to provide a pastoral, remedial support to assist believers in finding liberation from the doctrine of successive works of grace.
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