peddling, er winning, salvation

Please work out your own salvation without needing MY fear and trembling!

It just occurred to me that one of things I find troubling about the christian religion — or at least some streams of it — is that so many have been so busy working out their own salvation based on other people’s fear and trembling!

(This is maybe true of other religions as well, athough I think hyper-evangelizing is unique to christianity.)

I do know that there’s a scripture passage (or passages) that can be interpreted to mean that we are charged with telling others about christianity and that furthermore we are responsible for the salvation of “our brother’s” soul.  Certainly the arms of christianity that are so hyper-focused on evangelizing have taken that message (er, interpretation) to heart.  At best, their efforts are — as I see it — a compassionate attempt to lift others up.  At worst, they are a self-absorbed attempt to win one’s way into heaven.

It’s kind of ironic that this insight occurs to me now, at a time when I am trying to figure out if I’m too focused on anti-gay christians and the harm that they cause.  There are those who would rather I “not try to change people,” and instead just focus on my own vibrant life.

Is there a difference between a christian’s motive to save my soul and my motive to stop the harm their theology is causing?

I think so.  But I needs must be careful.

To be continued…

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3 Responses to peddling, er winning, salvation

  1. I am tempted to say the difference is that what you say is true. Against the idea that God would create people who then Fall and whose every instinct is tainted by Original Sin, so that your love for your partner will drag you to Hell unless you repent, you have the idea that people are fundamentally good and that Love is a good instinct which nourishes us.

    And- possibly, there is no difference: they wish to confirm to themselves their own acceptability by getting others to agree with them, and so do you. I state this so baldly because I see it in me, and only I can accept myself- all the acceptance of the whole World will not fill me unless I accept myself.

    And- insofar as you are heard by other gay people, especially gay Christians, you do good.

    I look forward to reading your own answer.

  2. Mindy says:

    Clare, I am so tempted to agree with your first line! But… but… I see so clearly the error in others when they think they have the right answer… how can I not be aware that I am prone to the same? And yes, the self-acceptance thing. Yes…

    Sigh…

    But I love your answer.

    Thank you!

  3. Pingback: thin line | a word in small letters

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