Thursday, March 23, 2006

"conversations on soteriology", or 'what does it mean to be saved?' PART ONE

-----Original Message-----From: **** [mailto:****] Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2006 3:31 PMTo: David McDonaldSubject: couple questions for you. :-)

I have a couple questions. I was wondering where people went when they died before Jesus was born? I am asking this because I just finished Job. In the end of the book when God speaks to Job and his friends, after they're done arguing; God tells Job's friends to give Job some of their animals as burnt offerings and then Job would pray to God for them and he would accept Job's prayers and not deal with them any longer?!.... I really didn't understand what God was doing. I realize before Jesus was born and died on the cross things were a bit different in terms of "salvation" but were Job's friends not "allowed" to speak to God, and why was God speaking to them if they couldn't speak to him?

To be honest the last couple weeks I've been re-thinking, if you will the whole traditional "salvation" thing. ____ and I were out with ____and ____talking about God, the Bible, etc. We started discussing those in the primitive tribes who have never heard the word God or Jesus before and I wondered how does God judge those who have been born into a world where the Bible has, or might never be introduced? Then ____ brought up a good point. She said "How do you really get 'saved' anyway." This brought questions to my mind. I wasn't thinking of this salvation thing as if it applied to me, but I have started to become torn between the "traditional" salvation message; the one where you have to pray a certain prayer and tell God you believe Jesus died on the cross for our sins, etc; and the one she was proposing which was more of a relationship, faith, belief thing. I started thinking if someone came to me and asked about God how would I explain "salvation"? Would I explain it the way I've always heard? Would I feel right if I didn't? Sometimes I wonder if the convictions you feel are convictions God actual gives you or convictions a church had implemented?

Because WestWinds is different than the Baptist church I started attending with ____, or other traditional churches I've been too I can honestly say I do not have answers my own questions. I mean I am a believer and "saved" if you will... but I don't want to misrepresent God to someone else. For example, My niece is 6. Her parents (____'s sister and Brother-in-law) attended Bob Jones University in North Carolina and still attend the church; this is probably the most conservative approach to Christianity you can think of, dresses, skirts, suit and ties, the whole 10 yards of rules and regulations! Anyway, ever since my niece has been an infant they have done the Bible/Family time every night, using only the King James version, commanding her to recite Bible versus and reprimanding her if she doesn't, praying at every meal, hands folded, eyes down, out loud... you probably get the picture and are rolling your eyes by now.... I know what you're thinking! I thought the same thingJ Anyway, my mother-in-law told me awhile ago back ____, my niece got saved. She asked Jesus to come into her heart type thing.
I hope you understand what I mean?? I thought I would ask you over email as this would give you time to answer my question when your schedule allows. Please be completely honest in what you think! Lay it all out on the table if you'd like I won't get offended I promise! I trust always the staff and leadership at WestWinds to be the correct view and thinking. This has been something I've been thinking about for a long time, not just since our night out with ____ and ____ but always wondered why WestWinds never did do the "salvation message" the traditional way.

Thanks again... and Sunday was great! As always! I always go away with much to think about... always! It's a good thing because sometimes I think "I have it all figured out" and then WestWinds comes along and gives me a reality check.

Kindest Regards,


1 comment:

  1. WestWinds sounds like a neat place! Whay not look upon folks there as "FELLOW SEEKERS", as we all are?

    Contemplate that the New Testament verb "to save" is the SAME as the "to make whole".

    So what if "salvation" is not something you "get" from God by taking certain presecribed steps, but rather something God "is doing" in you and in the whole of creation (see Ephesians 1:8b-10)?

    I.e., God is "renovating" this "broken-down" piece of Creation which is "me" or "you" and anyone else who chooses to ALLOW God to work in AND THROUGH her/his life.

    Sign me: