What Does It Mean to Be Saved?

 

For the most part we mainline Protestants don't talk much about being saved.  It's just not part of our vocabulary.  We may reluctantly talk about being church members; we may even say we follow the teachings of Jesus.  But few of us pinpoint a certain day, or talk about a particular experience, and say, "That's when I was saved.

Indeed such language makes a lot of us squirm in our pews.  Salvation language conjures up images of a more conservative style of Christianity and reminds us of folks going door-to-door, asking neighbors if they've been born again.  It conjures up images of fans at football    games holding up signs that read "John 3:16."  It brings to mind television preachers screaming about hellfire and damnation, and calling folks to be saved from the clutches of the devil.  And none of that rings true for most of us.  We have a much subtler approach to our faith.  A more private understanding   of our relationship to God.  Not that others can't honk if they loved Jesus, but we'd rather give a little nod of the head.

So here's my take on salvation.  I don't think it's about intellectual assent.  It's not about affirming the virgin birth or the particularities of Trinitarian theology.  It's not about thinking the scriptures are the literal words of God.  rather, it is about your willingness to trust that God's love  is boundless.  And to do that we must be saved--saved from fear and bigotry and self-centeredness.  And saved for life and love.  For when we truly believe, truly trust that God loves us and all creation, then we will behave ion a whole new way.

Don't worry--I'll not knock on your door.  I'll respect your right to wrestle with salvation in the privacy of your own heart.  I won't even honk my horn.  But really, have you thought about it?  What's salvation mean to and for you?

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