“In a town of boredom called Mundane, there was a great announcement. It was the announcement of a race. A great race that all could enter. A race that would rescue them from boredom. Most people did not believe that such an event would be held in Mundane so they scoffed. Others immediately prepared with great enthusiasm and joy.
Both the scoffers and the enthusiasts arrived at the appointed place on the day of the race. The scoffers sat and watched while the others prepared to run by stretching and making sure their shoes were tied. They lined up looking ahead with the intensity, fear, and excitement that accompanied such an event.
The gun sounded and off they went. Yet something very curious and unexplainable happened. They all stopped running after they had passed the starting line. Not only this, but they acted very peculiar. One person fell on his knees crying, thanking God that he crossed the starting line. Others gave each other high fives and hugs shouting, “Hooray, we are now race runners, we are now race runners.” Some shook hands and congratulated each other. One group relaxed and complemented one another on how well they crossed the starting line. Five or six others all gathered together and formed a prayer circle. They prayed that others would cross the starting line as they had.
Many others wanted to experience this joy so they decided to start the race as well. They were immediately stopped by the well-wishers who had started before them. They decided to stay as well. After a few days, there were people handing out pamphlets along with a certificate to all those who crossed the starting line. The pamphlet told them that once they had started the race they were guaranteed to finish. The certificate was to recognize their achievement in finishing the race even before they finished.
After a month or so, there were so many who had crossed the starting line that they decided to build a town right there. They called this town “Starting Line.”
The spectators were confused. “I thought a race had to be finished,” they said to one another. They interviewed the people of Starting Line. “Why did you start the race and not continue?” they would ask. This made the people of Starting Line very uncomfortable. They would immediately show their certificate saying that they were guaranteed to finish. When people would encourage them to run the rest of the race, they would be ridiculed for not trusting God. They were called legalists and were accused of trusting too much in their own ability to finish the race.
Finally, many in the crowd became fed up with those in Starting Line and began to run the race without them.”
Friday, February 01, 2008
Parable of the Race
In an article expressing concerns about properly applying the doctrine, "once saved, always saved," C. Michael Patton at Parchment and Pen tells this memorable story: