Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Understanding salvation via Paul, Revelation

And, more to the point, understanding salvation through this sports analogy that I will explain here. The scriptural basis for the analogy are the writings of Paul, and the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse).

Entire churches of faithful, believing and presumably, but not assured, "saved," are chastised as a whole by Paul, with loving charity and concern, but very strong language. Likewise in the Apocalypse John hears the chastisement of entire faithful, believing and presumably, but not assured, churches, "saved bodies of the faithful," before the revelation of the final days commences.

Notice that in no place is a single Christian isolated for correction within an otherwise correct church. Paul criticizes the entire church when SOME of them receive the sacrament of the bread with unworthiness, or worthily but with lack of respect.

If people are "saved," as some Evangelical Protestants attest, while being surrounded by those who commit wrong (yet consider themselves saved too), then Paul, in the abundance of his guidance, would have included at least one example of chastising a hypocrite or one in error within an otherwise worthy church body.

The same is of course true when the Angel of God, through Christ, evaluates and chastises entire faithful churches, at the end.

This is why you must understand salvation as it actually is, as the Bible states in Truth, not in your "auditing," "good deed" and "fire insurance" mindset. The sports analogy will demonstrate this for you.

American baseball is characterized by a dual purpose. It is of course a team sport with the objective of winning. But it is also equally an individual sport where each player accrues statistics of his performance (each and every game) that are his lasting legacy and that travel with him from team to team.

Thus you can have a great player with a great heritage of statistics and honor, even if he never played on a winning team. You can also have winning teams without great individual players. Most avid baseball fans follow individuals and their statistics, often separate from a local team that they actually support.

Salvation is like that, but here we need to fulfill the analogy by describing the disastrous effect that use of steroid and other performance or other addictive drugs have had on the entire sport.

We can and do have an entire era of "high performing individuals" who received their statistics while using immoral and illegal drugs. We also have teams that have won games due to these unethically enhanced individual players.

Suppose you are a great player, but you are on a team that is winning (and thus adds to your statistics) because other people, your team mates, are using performance enhancing drugs. You accumulate valid statistics and play straight (since you do not "use") but you know your team mates "use" and in return your statistics are enhanced because the "users" pull in more win and run and other opportunities for you with their presumably enhanced performance aids.

Salvation, and the possibility of losing your salvation, is exactly like that. If you are a "saved" person among other "saved" persons, but you deviate in any way from the ethics of God, no matter what the reason, the entire body of the "saved," including your own "salvation," is in question.

Don't ask me: read the Bible.

The entire Old Testament demonstrates God addressing and rewarding/punishing the hoard of Israelites as a whole. Presumably not every single person, man woman and child, danced in front of the gold calf while Moses was with God. Yet all are chastised. God does not document in the Bible "except for Moishe, Sarah and Fred, who sat the profane dance out and just watched on the sidelines while silently disapproving." The entire Old Testament validates what I am explaining to you, which is that God does not single out people among the wicked, (or those who are "good" but in error) and give them a salvation "pass" card, even as they eat, live, love and worship with the body that is IN ERROR.

Likewise the Gospel and the other New Testament books demonstrate that even with loving concern, Jesus, Paul, and the other Apostles, chastise entire towns, entire church bodies, entire groups of the "faithful," without once singling out the "good guy" whose rear end is just warming the pews but "is not going along with the error of the rest."

The Bible demonstrates over and over that it is God's will that people are saved, or not, as a GROUP in addition to individually. You all have taken that truth and turned it into the error of competing denominations (destroying Jesus' instructions on unity) rather than understanding that the saved individual must not only strive for continual obedience and purity but also, like a plant, survive or fall with the purity of the presumably "saved" fellow members and community. You can deny it all you want but the Bible is the Bible and God's word is final. You cannot say that God's word is perfect, but then make up scenarios that God did not choose to endorse in the Bible, and instead, God condemns.