The Associated Press reported today about a little-known loophole in the mortgage loan application process. Since I am right in the middle of selling my current place, getting a loan for a new house, and trying to move all within a week, I took notice of the story.
Basically, a person wanting to raise their credit score upwards of 200 points can buy into another person’s credit history by becoming an authorized user on their credit card accounts. In essence those with lower credit scores pay $1,000-$2,000 to those with higher scores, with a broker taking a cut of the payment, and the person with a lower score piggybacks their way to an instantaneous credit increase.
I laughed out loud when I read the story. It amazed me how simple the scheme is, and the fact that it is legal shocked me. All fears of stolen identities aside, some people will do anything to push themselves for that house that is just out of reach.
I then thought that some people within the church attempt to do the same thing with their spiritual walk. They think that they can piggyback their way to heaven by association. They go to church out of habit or ritual. They believe that the faith of their parents will by osmosis save them as well. They say “leading a good life” will lead them straight to heaven. Nothing is further from the truth. An eternity with the Lord Almighty is totally out of reach for humanity depraved to the core.
Holiness is not transferable. Faith is not inherited.
Estimates vary, but as many as 40% of current churchgoers may not be saved. A great mission field exists within the pews of churches on Sunday mornings.
This problem has eternal implications. Spiritual default risk is high because many may think that they are guilt-free by association. Being good isn’t good enough. Just because you aren’t as evil as the person next to you does not mean that God will release you from judgment. On the scales of life, our good deeds may outweigh our sin, but it does not mean that our goodness will tip the scales for our entry into heaven.
We don’t get scores or grades that differentiate our holiness before God. Holiness scores don’t exist. We are either saved or unsaved. Either we accept God’s grace on faith alone, or we do not. God isn’t keeping score – you can’t ratchet up your worth in the eyes of God by your good deeds. You may be able to rent your credit history, but we are all on borrowed time here on this earth without Jesus Christ. You may be able to trick the computers that calculate a credit score, but there is no fooling the King of the universe. You can’t piggyback into heaven.
God is a just God. As for us, there is none righteous, not even one. But God is also love. We all have a great debt, and Jesus Christ paid our ransom. We maxed-out our spiritual credit with our sin. But God sent Christ to pay it in full. So the next time you swipe your credit card think about the pristine report we have before God because of Christ’s great sacrifice for us on the cross.