Being saved doesn’t make you a decent person. The very idea that salvation comes through faith is a sure-fire road to an ill-potentialed [sic] life of self-excuse. In evangelical circles, sinners celebrate their weakness, often publicizing their sin as some sort of faith virtue. I’ll call it “integrity signaling”. Drawing attention to yourself, aligning to a groupthink attempt to appear human.
Remember Jimmy Swaggart, the Assembly of God televangelist “I have sinned” confession. “I have sinned against you,” he said, looking directly at Frances, his wife of 35 years, and then turned his apologies to his son Donnie, daughter-in-law Debbie, his parishioners and his God. “I have sinned against You, my Lord, and I would ask that Your precious blood would wash and cleanse every stain until it is in the seas of God’s forgetfulness.” His audience, plainly moved by his copious tears, wept with him, interrupting him twice with standing ovations. It is part of evangelical culture.
This type of sinner virtue born again belief is a disgusting display of false remorse, but a badge of honor to release your guile publicly. Somehow this integrity signaling is supposed to make you a decent person. It doesn’t. Good behavior and personal responsibility is what makes us all tolerable. Look here, pretending justification by pretending to be forgiven doesn’t make our problems go away. Sometimes it takes a little effort, and we all could use some of that.