Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thoughts on Salvation

I just ran across this poem/prose thing I wrote about salvation sometime last year. Thought I'd share it.

I often find myself pausing to ponder exactly from what it is that we want so badly to be saved.  The concept of salvation permeates our thoughts and theology to such a deep degree that it shapes our views and shifts our focus. An emphasis on salvation lends itself so naturally to the condemnation of sin. How often do we glory in salvation only at the cost of living a life of stress at our mistakes? And especially potent is salvation's potential in contrast to the destitute drone of our sometimes hellish reality.

Scripture teaches that man has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Religious rhetoric attempts to reveal the immediacy of our own imperfection. A theology manufactured to save so often succeeds only in condemnation--if not outwardly, then at least inwardly as the self resolutely rejects its every flaw. Psychology confirms that people have a proclivity to focus on negatives. In the mind's eye, a negative vastly outweighs a positive. And so while salvation promises the potential of a perennial positive,  it delivers the more psychologically potent damage of emphasis on the events from which we're taught we need to be saved.

And so the question coming to me over and over is this: if I was never told to want to be saved from sin, then would I feel so far removed from salvation? Is the need for salvation only truly found in the creation of the concept? Perhaps if I approached life more organically, not as if it were a test imposed by deity, but instead the grand evolving of a species that creates and extracts meaning from the paradoxical complexities of a reality beyond our comprehension, perhaps then peace would be more present and the ever burning need to correct the constant inconsistencies of the phenomenon of "self" would gently fade away. Is sin the problem? Or is it the concept of a salvation that keeps me bound in chains by promising to set me free?