Well, I’m hacking another stimulating post for you to read, enjoy, parse, critique, and engage. This is written by Randall A. He and some of his friends trekked out from Hawaii to Seattle a year ago or so – partly to enter the foray of the Seattle music scene. Randall and another band member, Miles, attend Quest. They belong to a indie/pop/rock group called Harrison Band and got an upcoming show at the El Corazon on Sunday, October 21. You can also see one of their videos on YouTube. But, enough of me plugging their band.
Randall wrote an incredibly though provoking post on the subject of Salvation. We can easily or too simplisticly deduce salvation as one dimensional – “Do you accept Jesus or not?” If we see the totality of Jesus’ life, salvation includes that but so much more. Make sure you read the entire post [it’s worth the time] and share your thoughts – here or there on his blog entitled, LONE TOMATO. It’s a beautiful thing to engage and seek to Love God with your heart, soul, body, and MIND.
This question has to do with the first century church – a church that had to endure lethal amounts of persecution. As a christian, depending on where you lived, you could be subject to assault from the Romans who saw this new cult as a threat to the Pax Romana or from Jews who considered the teachings of Jesus to be blasphemy. Despite the fact that declaring one’s self to be a christian could get you killed, christianity exploded across the continent such that a mere three hundred years after the death and resurrection of Christ, the emperor of Rome, Constatine I, legalized the worship of Christ with the Edict of Milan.
So my question is, what was it that those first christians found so compelling about the Gospel that they were willing to die for it? Because to be honest with you, if I had been living in an area where christians are persecuted today (places in the Middle East or South Asia, for example), I don’t think I would have accepted Christ with the messages I heard here in America – that Jesus died so that I could have a “personal relationship” (a metaphor that I’m not entirely comfortable with – see post 270) with God. I mean, that would have been cool but I don’t know if that would have been enough for me to adopt a life where I would likely be disowned by my family and ran the risk of being tortured and/or killed if my conversion was reported…
And later in his post:
I think the best way to understand salvation is to think of it as signing on to be a part of a revolution – a movement to upend a world that has lost its way and to set things right again. That is the good news of the Gospel.
In the first two chapters of Genesis, God creates the cosmos and it is good, perfect, flawless. And then in chapter three, Adam and Eve, duped by the serpent, eat fruit off the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
And then the shit hit the fan.
Every instance of injustice, of betrayal, of meaningless suffering, rancor, and defeat can be traced back to that little taste. Pride, lust, envy, and every other dark need that drives us entered the scene, poisoning even our best intentions. Large to small, top to bottom, everything in the world that’s not as it should be is torqued because of the fall. Everything from national stories like the racism that seeks to unequally punish the Jena Six or the incomprehensible fact that in the richest nation in the world, two years after the fact, New Orleans is still a tragedy; to national issues like the genocide in Darfur, the never-ending dispute in Israel, or the megalomaniacal government of Burma; down to the little nuisances of everyday life – drivers who don’t know how to merge, people with fifteen items in the twelve item grocery line, stupid workplace situations. All of these things because of the fall in Genesis three. As a result, everything else in the Bible from Genesis four through Revelation twenty two has to do with God helping us to get back what was lost. And this powerful play goes on and God commands us to contribute a verse! Yes, Christ died so we could be freed from slavery to sin and be reconciled to God but that is ONLY THE BEGINNING. As precious as this freedom is, it’s kind of like a fringe benefit or a signing bonus. It’s not the point of accepting or following Christ. To me, the part of the Gospel that is worth more than life itself is the idea that through the work of Christ on the cross, we become a part of God’s plan of redemption and reconciliation. It’s like we’re given a transfer from the wrecking crew to the repair crew. All the things that are wrong with the world – we become partners in God’s plan to set all things right. [READ FULL POST]