Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

Jesus saves from what?

10/24/15

 

A bumper sticker on a car screams out the words- Jesus Saves From Hell-, and I suspect even many good church members cringe a little at the blunt, provocative message. But, of course, Jesus does save from Hell according to Orthodox theology. As concerning as the words may be, the fact is always there, behind the scenes and implied in the words of those Sunday sermons about grace, mercy, and love.

 

The conflicted mental reaction of even church people to this reality is the underlying dilemma of the church and always has been. No matter how we dress up the orthodox message, in the final analysis, the story is devastating bad and leaves a sour taste in everyone's mouth.

 

In this respect, those relatively few churches who insist on rubbing our consciousness in the reality of Hell are doing the world a big favor, just not in the sense they would believe. These unrestrained declarations, of what Jesus is all about, force everyone, especially professed Christians, to own up to their implied beliefs and deal, at least momentarily, with the associated horror. In the process they encourage those who find this message offensive to seek a new understanding of God and the Bible. Any such reevaluation process will be a new beginning for the church and our society

 

Many churches are under fire, by these more conservative groups, for never mentioning Hell. That reluctance or refusal should logically catalyze the reevaluation I suggested. Why simply grow silent on the subject of Hell? Better to address it straight on and declare a position. It's not like there isn't plenty of contrary opinion on the subject, going back to the very beginning of the church.

 

What we have today as "settled dogma" within Christianity is nothing more than the result of centuries long contentious doctrinal debate, the conclusion to which often occurred before the Bible, as we know it, even existed. There is nothing sacred and unquestionable in this entire process and its conclusions. Debate winners, who often prevailed because of the active support of secular governments, have defined the "truth", not God.

 

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