Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Reason for Salvation

"The reason we're Saved is not to have a better life here, it's because we broke the holy laws. We stand guilty before Him and we don't want to go to Hell." ~Pastor Roberson, Calvary Baptist Church-Redbank, TN.

I was hoping for something a bit more uplifting and "Christ-like" than saving our own necks from Beelzebub's boiling stew as I sat on the edge of my seat for the reason why people yearn for salvation. Is salvation really all about divine justice and avoiding Hell? What if you don't believe in either, what then? I do believe in justice but the divine justice portrayed in Christianity and Islam (they are quite similar, you know) sounds immensely unjust.

Why the need for punishment in the afterlife anyway? Why must sins be paid with blood? Is there no other way, a more compassionate way? Why must God demand sacrifice, human sacrifice, from its flawed creation to laws God put into place? Is there no other way in approaching the divine without blood as the ticket to dwelling in the presence of the holy?

The reasoning in Christian theology sounds reasonable at first: the price we pay for giving into our carnal nature is the destruction of life. This speaks to our desire to survive, and if we want to survive and honor the gift of life we must redeem ourselves. But to us in the 21st century there is a disconnect. We (the Nones, SBNR, the secularist, etc.) feel that sacrifice is unnecessary to connect to each other and to the divine (however you may define that). Not only does distancing ourselves from the sacrificial interpretation relieve ourselves of unnecessary self-created fear and guilt this gives us all the more reason to honor life in THIS world. There is no stick and carrot prompting us to love our fellow man, we love from an inner desire to do so. Is this not more genuine than love propelled by the fear of hell? I do not love to save my own skin, I love to honor the skin of my neighbor. Does this redefinition of the Crucifixion devalue the good news of the gospel? This depends on your views on theology. A brief study into the history of God shows that our views of God has evolved and continues to do so. Maybe it is time to review the popular beliefs of God. There is a growing trend that people are becoming dissatisfied and disconnected with the traditional views since spirituality has not declined only the religious envelope in which it is presented. I believe that humanity is on the verge of a global awakening, we are becoming aware that the old notion of 'every man for himself' is not going to cut it anymore. We are aware of the humanity of our global neighbors and it's becoming increasingly difficult for us to hate Them when we know Them. How can we damn our neighbors to eternal hell fire when the lines between Us and Them are blurring?

22. Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, "These nursing babies are like those who enter the (Father's) kingdom."

They said to him, "Then shall we enter the (Father's) kingdom as babies?"

Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom]." [Gospel of Thomas, Logia 22]


Don said...

Sam- I borrowed your video from YouTube. It's too good not to share with others. Thanks for finding it. HEY! I'm still getting thru! Hooray!!

Eruesso said...

Don- Love that video. I first saw on Andrew's site, Hackman's Musings, earlier this year and thought it would fit well with the article.

captron52 said...

I'm with you. Why should we think we will be punished in the afterlife? I mean we are punished enough in this life I would think!

samantha said...

I don't agree with the pastor at all. However I don't agree with the live free and die hard philosophy either. I think our salvation is about a love we can't even fathom in our lifetimes. It makes me really sad to see you missing the big picture. If you continue to nitpick others misguided viewpoints, you fail to see the beauty in Christ. You, my dear husband, only see the narrow minds of the few. I am glad I have an intelligent husband who questions things without accepting them outright. The thing about faith is that it is just that, a matter of faith. You either have it or you don't. I continue to pray daily that one day you will see.

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