Jump to content

Salvation


McKenna
 Share

Recommended Posts

How should we, as Progressive Christians, understand Salvation?

 

Does Jesus' death have anything to do with it? Or his life? Or his Resurrection? Does Jesus have anything do to with it at all?

 

What is Salvation, to a Progressive Christian?

 

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 110
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I prefer the word "redemption." We and the world are certainly in need of it. All are in need of being made more loving and compassionate. Other words that also appeal to me instead of salvation are liberation and wholeness (a way of translating shalom). There are more, but they don't come to mind right now.

 

My point (I think) is that the world and all of its inhabitants are in need of being made whole, and our understanding of the life and ministry (and the death and indwelling spirit) of Jesus of Nazareth can help bring that wholeness about. However, I think there are other faith traditions that have their own ways of doing this, but I think this is what works, generally speaking, for Christians.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A fact of evolution is that we live to die because as soon as we are born, we are dying. What is the next step for our species? Physical or mental improvements will only prolong our ultimate end death, but spiritual awakening will lead us to eternal life. In those who are most alive, the life of the body is subordinate to a superior life that is within the self. These individuals surrender to a far more abundant vitality, a consciousness that lives on levels that cannot be measured or observed. I feel Jesus came in the flesh to appeal to our material minds to follow him to God the Father on the Spiritual plane. His death is an example of a body that is subordinate to a superior spiritual life that is within.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Greetings All,

 

It seems to me that Soma has said it well and perhaps I might be so bold to add that a spiritual life is an enivitable end for All. To me it seems the world is in need of nothing and will take care of itself in the concept we call time as it is designed. As much as we would presume there is 'something' to be 'saved' or 'redeemed' it seems to me it is more a 'rediscovering' in a sense of that which IS.

 

Just something to consider,

 

Joseph

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Joseph great comment. There is no need to save anyone from God, just discover Him in His creation.

 

I think it is possible that it works both ways. I think it is just as important to discover yourself in His creation. This would link to atonement and the metaphor of love and healing. What would love be if it flowed only in one direction? It's a mending and growing of relationships that don't always work out the way we want them to.

 

Just a thought.

Edited by minsocal
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is possible that it works both ways. I think it is just as important to discover yourself in His creation. This would link to atonement and the metaphor of love and healing. What would love be if it flowed only in one direction? It's a mending and growing of relationships that don't always work out the way we want them to.

 

Just a thought.

 

 

*Raises hand, oh! I know, I know, makes strange faces trying to get everyone's attention, I know the answer, jumping up and down...*

 

Love in one direction is a river of repulsion,

 

If I love you and you do not want my love then you hate me and you won't communicate or reach out to me, see that is one hand clapping.

 

An individual high five.

 

A wave in the breeze.

 

GOD loves us so much and we reject that love, see it is toxic when one person does all of the work and the other rejects or disrespects the work of love.

 

No respect,

 

No trust,

 

No Love...

 

Hatred by false witness and lies...

 

I know all to well, the consequences of telling the truth and being hated...

 

I know the power of hatred and misconduct by the authorities...

 

I know the power the leaders have to cover up the truth like putting a veil over the crimes of the wicked.

 

As the rafters rock and the timbers shake

I stand firm on my GOD's grace

 

My GOD is Love

 

I love my GOD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is possible that it works both ways. I think it is just as important to discover yourself in His creation. This would link to atonement and the metaphor of love and healing. What would love be if it flowed only in one direction? It's a mending and growing of relationships that don't always work out the way we want them to.

 

Just a thought.

 

 

Good thought Minsocal, You are right when we’ve come to understand the interconnectedness of all things, we’ll know love; we’ll know ourselves; and we’ll know peace.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting thoughts, everyone!

 

I agree with GrampaWombat, I like the word "Redemption."

 

I also agree that we do not need "saving from God." Perhaps that is why I prefer the word "Redemption." I don't buy into the idea that we cannot approach God unless we are "saved" because God cannot be near anything unholy; rather, I believe Jesus showed that we are saved already. God's grace is here, it is accessible. Choosing to access it, to be "redeemed," allows us to know God in this lifetime, which is not necessary for the future, but rather can give us hope now because we know we are loved by God.

 

Does that make any sense...? I wrote and rewrote that paragraph like four times...

 

Also, I just wanted to include the following thoughts in this thread because they seem relevant. They're from post #7 on the "Process Theology" thread here.

 

I guess the most important implication for us as Christians is - what does this do to our image of Jesus? Traditionally, the state of Creation is viewed as a sort of parabola: it starts out great, descends quickly into chaos due to man screwing things up, then Jesus shows up offering a solution to the problem, and eventually all is restored to perfection again on Judgment Day.

 

Yet our scientific knowledge of the universe tells us that Genesis didn't happen literally, that there was no 'fall' in the way it is described in the Bible, and that the universe is pretty darn huge, meaning even though we humans may have screwed things up here, we haven't come anywhere near dragging down the rest of Creation with us. So who is Jesus, in this story?

 

I think he can still fit into that traditional parabola, but I think it needs to be modified to reflect reality as we now know it. As far as I know there were no moral concerns in the universe before humans appeared, because morals require a certain level of consciousness to apply. No animal that we know of (besides humans) can commit a sin, at least in my opinion. So sure, Creation started out great, and it still is great most places...and it's even great here on Earth, sometimes. But some aspects of humanness certainly have caused destruction and chaos. And Jesus appears as one who can guide us out of it...to help us help God. Engage us in the process. And if we engage in that process...we can restore Creation to perfection. At least, that is the hopeful call and what we are working towards.

 

I think this fits into your other idea as well - the one about karma. I don't think karma is necessarily applicable on an individual basis (unless we really do reincarnate when we die), because clearly bad things happen to good people and vice versa. Yet perhaps it is applicable on a grander scale. When we do good things - they have repercussions. We may not feel them, due to circumstance, yet they have an impact on the world around us...and the same goes for negative actions. So to follow Jesus, to engage in the process of Creation with God, is to do positive things that have a positive effect on the world around us, for the good of all Creation.

 

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(snip)

But some aspects of humanness certainly have caused destruction and chaos. And Jesus appears as one who can guide us out of it...to help us help God. Engage us in the process. And if we engage in that process...we can restore Creation to perfection. At least, that is the hopeful call and what we are working towards.

(snip)

 

Is there really such a thing as chaos in the grand scheme of things? Is not every hair on your head numbered? It seems to me that everything at this moment we call time is already perfect in the eye of the creator. Do you really think that God, who is generally accepted as being everywhere present, all-knowing , and all powerful is in need of any help? Perhaps our understanding is lacking and the truth is that creation is perfect and God is perfect peace and in 'need' of nothing.

 

Just a thought to consider,

 

Joseph

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem with "redemption" is that it ties into orthodox atonement theory. If you read the Psalms you will see that the original meaning of salvation, "God is my salvation." Is not about being saved from Hell, which is how those who believe in hell are thinking when they are thinking of salvation (if you are saved you are going to heaven, if you are not saved you are going to hell). But salvation quite literally means salvation from death. So if we return "Salvation" to its original meaning we can examine it in an entirely different way then what many of us were raised to believe it meant. And, if we are returning to original meanings, Redemption probably refers to the price you would pay to get your freedom as a slave or someone else's freedom. Also, it may apply to an indentured servant who is paying off debts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem with "redemption" is that it ties into orthodox atonement theory. If you read the Psalms you will see that the original meaning of salvation, "God is my salvation." Is not about being saved from Hell, which is how those who believe in hell are thinking when they are thinking of salvation (if you are saved you are going to heaven, if you are not saved you are going to hell). But salvation quite literally means salvation from death. So if we return "Salvation" to its original meaning we can examine it in an entirely different way then what many of us were raised to believe it meant. And, if we are returning to original meanings, Redemption probably refers to the price you would pay to get your freedom as a slave or someone else's freedom. Also, it may apply to an indentured servant who is paying off debts.

 

It seems to me you make a good point.

 

Joseph

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, this pretty much covers the progressive position on salvation. There is no need for salvation and there is no need for atonement. Therefore, there is no need for Jesus. Only his teachings, which we individually decide upon, are important.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, this pretty much covers the progressive position on salvation. There is no need for salvation and there is no need for atonement. Therefore, there is no need for Jesus. Only his teachings, which we individually decide upon, are important.

 

How nice of you to speak for us all. You are free to speak about your own beliefs, but please do not generalize mine. You are now "we"? You've become progressive? Well, that would be a change.

 

:huh:

Edited by minsocal
Link to comment
Share on other sites

McKenna,

 

I really don't think davidk has even come close to summarizing a progressive perspective. His arguments seem to be more ontological and not epistomological. Hopefully, the thread will continue without interruption. Epistomology is enhanced when many different views join together.

 

minsocal

Edited by minsocal
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there really such a thing as chaos in the grand scheme of things? Is not every hair on your head numbered? It seems to me that everything at this moment we call time is already perfect in the eye of the creator. Do you really think that God, who is generally accepted as being everywhere present, all-knowing , and all powerful is in need of any help? Perhaps our understanding is lacking and the truth is that creation is perfect and God is perfect peace and in 'need' of nothing.

 

Just a thought to consider,

 

Joseph

 

Not in the grand scheme of things, but in our individual lives there is certainly destruction and chaos, and when the world seems to be falling down around us it is nice to know that God loves us.

 

I didn't say God needed help. My point was this: "So to follow Jesus, to engage in the process of Creation with God, is to do positive things that have a positive effect on the world around us, for the good of all Creation." Perhaps Creation is perfect, but man is not IMO, if free will is accepted. And so when we do good things we combat the hurt caused by other humans. That's all I was trying to say.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem with "redemption" is that it ties into orthodox atonement theory. If you read the Psalms you will see that the original meaning of salvation, "God is my salvation." Is not about being saved from Hell, which is how those who believe in hell are thinking when they are thinking of salvation (if you are saved you are going to heaven, if you are not saved you are going to hell). But salvation quite literally means salvation from death. So if we return "Salvation" to its original meaning we can examine it in an entirely different way then what many of us were raised to believe it meant. And, if we are returning to original meanings, Redemption probably refers to the price you would pay to get your freedom as a slave or someone else's freedom. Also, it may apply to an indentured servant who is paying off debts.

 

Good point.

 

I guess I just prefer the word 'redemption' because I've heard it less than 'salvation' and thus it carries less of an implication for conservative theology for me. But you make a valid point. What word would you use? :)

 

McKenna,

 

I really don't think davidk has even come close to summarizing a progressive perspective. His arguments seem to be more ontological and not epistomological. Hopefully, the thread will continue without interruption. Epistomology is enhanced when many different views join together.

 

minsocal

 

I would agree.

 

Do you mind sharing your perspective, minsocal? :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How nice of you to speak for us all. You are free to speak about your own beliefs, but please do not generalize mine. You are now "we"? You've become progressive? Well, that would be a change.

 

:huh:

Dear minsocal,

I had hoped for disagreement. I took what had been written in the posts and wrote it down in summarized form. Funny, I don't recall mentioning your name.

So far, however, has anyone offered a progressive "perspective" defending its need for salvation, redemption, atonement; or not?

If no one has defended the needs, then there can be no argument with the assesment that progressive expressions defend no need for salvation, redemption, atonement. If there is no need for these things, why do we need Jesus or His teachings?

Make a stand.

Tell me why I am wrong about progressive theology, and at the same time it will answer McKenna.

 

Dk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tell me why I am wrong about progressive theology,

 

Dk

 

Some other time. You are not the author of this thread. You are not the host of this website. If you do not intrude, your answer will develop in front of your eyes, if they are open. But, as you so aptly point out, conservative doctrine is a closed ontological system without dispute.

Edited by minsocal
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
Some other time. You are not the author of this thread. You are not the host of this website. If you do not intrude, your answer will develop in front of your eyes, if they are open. But, as you so aptly point out, conservative doctrine is a closed ontological system without dispute.

Dear minsocal,

It was abundantly clear the post was not about my beliefs. My hope for disagreement from someone was about the progressive position not being able to defend a salvation doctrine. If I summarized incorrectly about progressive theology, please counter with a theological defense for the need that will answer McKenna. It shouldn't take more than a few sentences from anyone to provide. Do the progressives have one, or not? I simply observed, they did not.

--

(By the way, if you care to aptly review the 'open', 'closed' discussion, I aptly pointed out Christian theology relies on the uniformity of natural causes in an open system, while the liberal/progressive position relies on the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system. No more here, please)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jesus is a role model to be holy, to live a freely flowing and flourishing life because Christ is whole; there is no blemish, disease or death in his consciousness. Christ consciousness is our salvation and supports our health and salvation so to achieve it is healing for our body, mind and soul because just striving after it makes health and wholeness. The more we seek the perfection that makes men and women like Jesus, the better we are as people. The more whole we get the more holy we get as we become healthy in body, mind and soul, for holiness is health.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How should we, as Progressive Christians, understand Salvation?

 

Does Jesus' death have anything to do with it? Or his life? Or his Resurrection? Does Jesus have anything do to with it at all?

 

What is Salvation, to a Progressive Christian?

 

:)

Autumn was closest to answering your question in referring to "salvation from death" (which, by the way, is the traditional definition and by extension; from Hell); and redemption as 'being purchased'. Unfortunately her thought should be considered incomplete by it not tying into Jesus' involvement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
Dear minsocal,

It was abundantly clear the post was not about my beliefs. My hope for disagreement from someone was about the progressive position not being able to defend a salvation doctrine. If I summarized incorrectly about progressive theology, please counter with a theological defense for the need that will answer McKenna. It shouldn't take more than a few sentences from anyone to provide. Do the progressives have one, or not? I simply observed, they did not.

--

(By the way, if you care to aptly review the 'open', 'closed' discussion, I aptly pointed out Christian theology relies on the uniformity of natural causes in an open system, while the liberal/progressive position relies on the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system. No more here, please)

 

Yes, indeed. No more here, please. By your command!!!! (sarcasm intentional)

Edited by minsocal
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are many good points made here concerning this important aspect of Faith. Vital to my understanding of redemption or salvation is my own personal relationship with God. Jesus was a Messenger, not the Message. To me, the idea of Jesus' death on the cross being the saving act for the sins of the world is Christian mythology written decades after Jesus' execution. It has nothing to do with Jesus the Messenger. To turn Jesus into God is to claim human knowledge of God. Who here in this life or in the past has or has had such concrete knowledge of God? Who among us can say with certainty and authority that God is this or God is that based upon what was written? It is not what is written that leads me to my own personal relationship with God and my understanding of God, it is my own personal experiences with God that I base that relationship on. Yes, I have committed sins in my life, but God is Compassion, Peace, Love, and Forgiveness. I know that I have been Forgiven...I have personally felt that Forgiveness in the moments of my own confession to God. To me, it is never a question of what has been said, but what we, as people of Faith, have felt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service