The guy in the audience was pretty rude about it: He stopped me in the middle of a seminar I was leading on the Good and Noble Heart and said, "I think you've badly misunderstood the Gospel, sir." His interjection was not simply an attempt to engage me in a meaningful dialogue. It was an indictment. And it nearly derailed the seminar for the other participants. As soon as the event was over, he brushed by me with a scowl that said plenty.
Convictions are like armor: well-plated, protective, and hopefully durable. People don't give up their convictions easily. Nor should they. But you no longer need that armor if Someone stronger is standing between you and your fear.
Why is it so difficult for many people to embrace the message that their heart is no longer "prone to wander: that while they can sin, their most true and authentic self no longer wants to? Why so staunchly deny that Jesus is more interested in freeing their good and noble heart than in pressuring them to be better?
Here's the reason: People are strongly motivated to avoid fear. If they leave behind the 'gospel' of pressure, at best they'll no longer have a checklist to follow that legitimizes their attempt to feel they've done enough; and worse, they fear betraying the pastors who have spiritual authority over them. Nor would they want the exposure of swimming upstream while their church friends are swimming downstream; exposing themselves as a spiritual defector, standing outside the group.
But worst of all, they dread betraying God Himself. And nothing tears at the soul like the belief that you've betrayed "the one who died and gave up his life for you."
A pointy finger warns the questioner, Don't ever betray your spiritual shepherds; and never question God. At the very least, a rebuke will await you; at the worst, Hell will swallow you whole.
Not many are willing to pull the pin on the grenade. The reluctant man has already had too much blow up in his face. But ignorance is not bliss, it's ignorance; and God welcomes a hearty, even heated, discussion; even if it means you have to question the life raft you've been floating in since you were 12. Sometimes you have to leave the life raft so that the Captain can pull you up into the security of his Coastguard Cutter.
Bottom line: Is it worth it to you to risk exposure as a spiritual defector, in order to find out that what you've believed about your heart has been sabotaging it all these years?
*My book, Recover Your Good Heart, carefully examines the biblical argument for the good and noble heart, which a Christian receives immediately when they come to Christ. I also demonstrate that this is not a new teaching, showing the reader there's good reason to take it seriously.