Five Thoughts on Grace – #2, Salvation
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved
the purpose of the enfleshment of God!
A word morphed
from a real-time on the spot help
(like when the cavalry shows up in a western),
to a metaphysical concept
for avoiding the fires of hell
A salvation from the evils of the world,
to a salvation from the wrath of God?
Do we even need it–this salvation,
whatever it is?
I thing the real question is,
do we need to be saved from God?
Frivolous question? I don’t think so!
Specious argument? Not on your life!
Especially if there is a wrath of God
from which to be saved.
Things from which I need to be saved are:
hatred and violence of others, and myself;
sickness, suffering, and fear;
minds that conceive war, torture, and distrust,
but a God of wrath and eternal torment?
I don’t think so!
This God I worship is a God of Grace, not desolation!
This God I worship is a God I can trust, not fear!
This God I worship is a God of hope, not horror!
I’ll bet my eternity on this God to care for me!
For this God is my salvation,
not my destruction.
Salvation is a given. We tend to think of salvation as being saved from the fires of hell, the wrath of God, or some kind of eternal destruction, because we are trained to think of God as a psychopath who lurks around for a chance to get us. We are wrong!
Many ministers and theologians have tried to paint a picture of a God of whom we should be terrified, who has invented a special place where those who pique the godly ego get to be tortured forever. They base this on their interpretation of scripture, and so convince many people they are correct. But I just do not believe them for one heartbeat. They are either pathological, terribly misinformed, or outright manipulating lairs. However, I do believe there are things from which we need to be saved, and I’ll bet you can think of some things as well.
So, with this out of the way, and with the things from which we would like to be saved on our minds, what sorts of things would they be? First off do we need to be saved from God? Is God a mean, nasty, vicious, petty, immature sort of a God who whacks us for any and all infractions. Is God the Highway Patrol Officer standing beside the road with a radar gun, who simply goes by the Law and cites us regardless of our intentions?
Salvation from fear would be on the top of many people’s list. Salvation from violence another. Salvation from self-loathing, self-destruction, self-intimidation I think should be on our lists as well.
There is plenty from which to be saved, but a loving God who defines the term, Grace, is not one of them. If God is a God of love and grace, God will not do mean things to us for our own good–tough love is not one of God’s categories of love, it is a human invention, born of a need to do something other that offer unconditional love. God is not a God of loving torture!
What kind of a God do you worship, anyway? What kind of God is worthy of your worship? It is a good question and one that should be answered fairly–to you and to God. We do not live in or near Assyria, or in a small Hebrew settlement that has a theology deeply influenced by Assyrian and Babylonian metaphysics. Those gods were horrific! Yet that is vision of god with which we get presented, and that god has little or nothing to with the God to whom Jesus came to us to introduce us. The God that we believe Jesus is, is a God of absolute love and concern for our well being–both proximate and eternal, and that is a God that is worthy of my worship and my trust!