Prayer of the Consistent Synergist
Synergism is one of the greatest errors run amok in modern evangelicalism. Erroneous, because it takes our eyes off of the fullness of salvation found in Christ alone and turns our hope partially onto ourselves, leaving room for boasting. While most, I believe, do not consciously think they are boasting, yet their theology gives space to that last bastion of pride, which is to believe that faith itself and the humility to believe, was not a gift. It asserts that we were the originators of our faith, apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. But the full counsel of Scripture declares that a true work of grace has taken place when we come to an end of ourselves and recognize that we have nothing apart from God's mercy. We have faith, not because we were more spiritually sensitive than our neighbor, but because of God's mercy to us.
Here is a prayer that would be consistent with the synergist's theology if he really believed that faith is a product of our unregenerated human nature and not the result of grace alone:
"God, I give you glory for everything else, but not my faith ... This is the one thing that is my very own that I produced of my fallen natural capacities. For this little bit the glory is mine. So I thank you Lord that I am not like other men who do not have faith. When you extended your grace to all men some did not make use of it, BUT I DID. While You deserve glory for all I have Lord, my faith was the one part that I contributed to the price of my redemption, apart from and independent of the work of Your Holy Spirit."
Doing something independent from the Holy Spirit does not sound like synergism, does it? But this is what synergism amounts to in the end because when you ask them why one person believes the gospel and not the other, the answer is never, "it is grace that made the one to differ from the other", no, instead it always points to some virtue (humility perhaps) that one unregenerate person has and another does not. So technically, it is not synergism but human monergism. But because in synergism God gives the kind of grace that is not effectual, they call themselves synergists. But ultimately this theology looks to something one person does that another (the unbeliever) does not have the capacity to do. And thus the danger of synergistic theology.
While the prayer recited above no one would dare pray, but it is what a synergist would pray if he were consistent in his theology. But instead of glorying in yourself for you own faith ...give glory to God for all that you have.
"Who has ever given to God, ...........that God should repay him?" For from him and through him and to him are all things. ........To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Rom 11:35-36)
For "What do you have that you did not receive?" ...Believe the Scriptures when they say, "no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:3)... and no one can believe the gospel unless God grants it (John 6:65) Won't you, then, also glorify God for the Holy Spirit who works faith in you as well?