In "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", what does Edwards seem to feel about those who maintain a "a form of religion" or who seem "moral and strict"?

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missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This question specifically addresses the hypocrisy of the church. It is easy for people to attend a church on Sunday morning. It is much more difficult to live out and practice the tenants preached throughout the week.

Edwards demonstrates this opinion in these words:

However you may have reformed your life in many things, and may have had religious affections, and may keep up a form of religion in your families and closets, and in the house of God, it is nothing but his mere pleasure that keeps you from being this moment swallowed up in everlasting destruction.

Here Edwards notes that the people make efforts to put their faith into practice somewhat well, but using the diction of a form of religion suggests that it is not enough. This agrees with the biblical principle that all people fall short of God's expectation of perfect behavior (Rom. 3:23, Matt. 5:48). Because man cannot be perfect, Edwards uses this message to point out that it is God's PLEASURE that keeps man from being dropped into the pit of hell. The only way to guarantee that man can spend eternity with God instead of infinite pain and suffering in hell is to accept Christ's gift of forgiveness because perfection is unattainable. 

Edwards points out that living a moral and strict life is good, but difficult, and not enough to earn heaven. It is also hypocritical.

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Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

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