Lesson 7: Saved from What?

I’ve put aside my original outline and am following Bob’s advice to examine Lupe’s points one at a time. She suggested we might do well asking from what we are being saved and observed that traditional answers fall short. Let me list four different takes on from what we are saved.

1. The first is simply “from Satan and hell”. I agree with Lupe that this doesn’t really work in our world any more. “Hell has lost most of its terrors”, because most modern people laugh at “the picture of a tangible Hell filled with physical suffering and tortures”. Even though they might not be believers, they know the God whom Jesus called Father would not be involved with such things.

Quite frankly, most of the Bible laughs as well. Our ideas of Satan and hell are missing from the Old Testament all together. The New Testament uses the terms but no where close to what we continually hear.

2. Both testaments are very realistic, claiming God saves us from political oppression and injustice as well as business dishonesty and abuse. These are the things that Lupe describes as “evil for all times”. We all experience them, some of the world more than the rest of us. They pray for deliverance from hunger, war, and disease.

3. But as Lupe observed the whole world needs deliverance from “daily mindless pollution, blatant waste, indifference to others, cruel displays of wealth in times of hardship for the world; forcing people to give up their dignity through hardship and want.” I would add salvation from the loneliness of a technological society that has removed them from intimate relationships, the heartbreak of a radically individualism where they have been abandoned, the meaningless of an indifferent scientific world view that pictures us as insignificant, and the self hatred of a obsessively competitive society.

4. However, the New Testament goes even deeper claiming we primarily need to be saved from ourselves. Most of the time, it describes the Wrath of God as the natural consequences of not living according to God’s Way. Our Muslim brothers and sisters define primal sin as forgetfulness. Sin is to forget God and so to forget who we are. When I forget God, I become insecure and fearful. I am obsessed by death that makes all my efforts vain. I am continually selling my soul as I buy that which can not bring security. I find myself entrapped in fear not love.

Next week let’s begin looking at the classical pictures of salvation and how they promise to save us from these.

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