Salvation

I usually don’t post twice in a day, but here I go, because it is on something important.

In my first post, I was writing on what I saw as essential and non-essential in matters of faith. One one of the essential things I wrote is that I believe that salvation comes through Jesus alone. I do believe that but I want to explain exactly what I mean by that (and what I don’t).

I believe that God created the world through him (John 1:1) and that he is with us always (Matthew 28). And I believe he gave himself for humanity giving us a way to live and opening the door to eternity. I also believe Christ is a part of God who presents himself in all cultures and at all times that are well beyond our full knowing and traditional understanding. So, I absolutely think that Christ is not just involved but is integral for the salvation of, not just Christians, but for everyone in every culture.

But I also believe that there are many people on this planet who grow up in different cultures and different faith traditions that will never call themselves Christians, subscribe to the belief that Jesus was the son of God, will ever read a Bible, or attend a Christian worship service. I do not believe our God of grace automatically looks at all these beloved children and damns them to hell for eternity. That is not the graceful God, or the just God, that I know. Our faith tradition, for most people, comes from the families they grow up within and that is outside of a child’s control.

I do not understand it all by any stretch of the imagination, but I believe our faith calls us to love our brothers and sisters, advocate for what is right, build for the future, and alleviate the suffering in this world. And then to trust in God what happens after that. I do not believe we are called to judge our fellow human beings but instead to respect the traditions that people hold sacred (even if they sometimes run counter to our own beliefs).

I have Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and even non-believing acquaintances and friends whom I have been honored to know even if our respective faiths have differed. And if I, with my little finite mind, see great value in them all, so I believe our God does much more so.

And this might sound like it then doesn’t matter what one believes about Jesus. For me, it has made all the difference in the world. I truly believe such belief can be of great aid for others as well. But for those who choose differently out of tradition or thought, I respect that and am alway ready to engage with them on what we agree is the right thing to do.

Salvation is never won by our own protestations of belief. Salvation comes through God.

Until next time,

Tom

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