Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Obsessed with Personal Salvation

Doesn't the very importance of my personal salvation pose a kind of temptation -- to want heaven more than I want good; to want escape from hell more than I want true reconciliation to God or my neighbors? An overweight man was concerned about his weight, so he had a stomach bypass surgery, after which he continued to eat unhealthy foods. In the end he died sooner from a heart attack than he would have died from obesity. Couldn't this apporach to salvation tempt us to be like this man? By wanting thinness more than he wanted health, he ended up with neighter -- this is the danger of wanting personal salvation above all.

No wonder many people feel that "accepting Jesus as a personal Savior" could make them a worse person -- more self-centered and less concerned about justice on earth because of a preoccupation with forgiveness in heaven. Again, although I believe in Jesus as my personal savior, I am not a Christian for that reason. I am a Christian because I believe that Jesus is the Savior of the whole world.

from A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian D. McLaren, page 100.


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