Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Let Jesus say, 'saved'; not you

The alarm clock that I received at Christmas was pre-set on some Christian station. From what I've heard on it so far it's a rather Fundamentalist station, though I don't listen to it beyond the seconds it takes for my arm to reach over and turn it off - or press that big bar, that wonderful, horrible sleep button. Maybe someone at the manufacturing plant is pre-setting the radio knobs on purpose.

Leaving it on that station, I thought it would be good as an alarm to wake up to in the morning. Honestly, it's not that good to wake up to. Usually it's someone's very generic, yet almost codified preaching that makes me wonder if it ever occurs to these people that the Bible could ever become an idol. Other thoughts too.

One morning between the sleep button's nine minute delays, I caught the words from one preacher:

"And let us pray for those who are not saved…"

Lying in bed I thought something along the lines of, "What ridiculous, stilted acrobatics of language that is".

Leaving aside the obvious question of how one could possibly pray for those who, according to the bare logistics of the phrase, have already been rescinded with eternal damnation, there is another, stupider thing. The other, stupider thing is the state which must be implied in order to speak the abovementioned phrase, namely: "That I am one of those who bin saved".

Hence, whenever referring to [other] sinners from that point on, it is from the hermetically sealed vantage that even insults and poisons the sinner's sins, and turns the whole deal of unique, singular repentance and conversion into something like a robotic, bureaucratic sleight of hand: not saved and bin saved. Not saved can upgrade to bin saved; and it makes one wonder: then how could he have ever been "not saved"? Since being not saved is eternal and absolute loss of Heaven; since the word "saved" is past tense and implies a whole corollary of one's choices. He could be, in retrospect, "not yet saved" up until the point of his conversion (if one is to take their notion of salvation); but how in the heck can one as a potential candidate for salvation (which is everyone) be "not saved"? For again, our salvation, or damnation, whichever of our choosing, is eternal and absolute.

It only gets worse when one considers the speaker's real meaning of the words; the inside and subjective knowledge of what he means by it. "One who is saved" means of course one who has accepted Jesus Christ as his sole salvation. One who is "not saved" means one who has not accepted Jesus Christ as one's salvation. When speaking among ourselves who have "been saved" about this "not saved" soul, it cannot be said so to mean that you could possibly be saved and that without Jesus you cannot be saved and that in order to be saved one needs to accept Jesus Christ; you who are, as with everyone, a sinner. For that would lead us to say, properly, "Let us pray for the conversion of sinners"; but simply it must be said that you are one of those "not saved"; unless of course you accept Jesus Christ and say you bin saved. Scratch head.

Clearly these people don't believe that those "not saved" are predestined to hell, since they are calling for prayer for them. So why the stupid, orbiting, kid-glove language? (The kid-glove language is for themselves by the way) Why do they say "not saved" instead of something that would imply potential salvation, if only for the purpose of making grammatical sense?

It's because if they did, it would mean recognizing in humility that they themselves could potentially fall from their own salvation - even after all their wonderful accepting of Jesus into their hearts - the salvation which they have mistakenly taken to mean, in whole or in part, saying you bin saved.

And that would mean the possibility that what they are doing doesn't cut it. Because it is, in the end and in essence, Jesus Who saves us, on His own unconditional terms, and not our accepting Him.

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