Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love


the rescue complex




The role of rescuer has great appeal within our culture in that we largely recognize any rescue as an act of heroism. Heroes are highly regarded, so the rescue business can be a real ego trip.


Within our society, we witness any number of individuals who propose to be rescuers by enlightening us to an existing danger instead of actually delivering us from that danger. After we are thus enlightened, the real work of rescue falls on our shoulders.


Orthodox Christianity's doctrine is all about the rescue complex. First I rescue myself and then I help God rescue the rest of the world. The proposed rescue of Christianity is very much of the type described above. The rescued ones are merely alerted to a danger but not delivered from that risk by the rescuer. The rescued ones, actually deliver themselves, in the final analysis. The real work is that of self rescue.


Those, who propose to rescue others by persuading of danger, face a dilemma. What if the person in danger refuses to act in response to the alert? How do I rescue someone who won't contribute to their own salvation? Am I still a hero or not? Was the rescue failure my fault? Did I do what a successful rescue requires?


Maybe we need a cultural shift in thinking. Heroes should actually do something heroic, not just mouth words. If all the self appointed rescuer does is raise an alarm, he or she is nothing more than an alarmist. If I have to rescue myself, that is self preservation, not heroism.


Now, imparting an appropriate warning can be altruistic and even noble, but let's not confuse altruism as the motive behind much that masquerades as heroic enlightenment in our society. The acquisition of power, prestige, and great sums of money motivate a great number of such high profile warnings, and little more, including real conviction.