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Entry 14 – Are you saved?

November 15, 2009

Have you ever had someone just point blank ask you if you are ‘saved’?  I actually used to be ‘that guy’.  I would come up to you on the street and ask you this same question.  Granted, I was scared out of my mind to do this to total strangers, but I felt my religion compelled me to share the good news I had been given. 

Yes, I would walk up and down the streets in my hometown, and actually try and convince people that they needed a saviour, Jesus Christ, to save them from their sins.  I now cringe when I think back to those times, and how invasive and personal a question that was.  

As an agnostic today in 2009, I find myself often on the receiving end of that same question, and more times than not, not quite sure how to answer it .  So it is that I wanted to talk a little bit about this question that often gets bandied about from believer to non-believer. 

Believer – “Are you saved?”

Non-Believer (ie. Me) – “If you mean to inquire whether I am going to heaven or hell due to whether or not my sins have been ‘paid for’, then I guess I have to answer you with ‘No’.  But let me qualify that with the fact that I don’t believe in a supernatural heaven or hell, God, Satan, angels, demons, or the like.  I also don’t accept the concept put forth in the Christian Bible, or many religions for that matter, that sins have to be ‘paid for’ with blood sacrifice.  ‘Heaven’ as I see it is plain and simply, quality time spent with people you deeply love and care about.  There really is no greater joy in this life as I see it.”

That is how I hope my next interchange starts with someone who comes up to me and asks the same question.  I wonder what the follow up statement from the ‘Believer’ would be.  Believers out there? How would you follow up the Non-Believer’s answer?  Non-Believers out there?  Would you add or subtract from this hypothetical answer to the question? 

Now in the same way that many of my family and friends long for me to be ‘saved’, accept Jesus back into my heart, and start being a “Christian” again, I also, and I might add, quite sincerely, long for these same family and friends to accept where I am coming from.  That being, there may not be any God whatsoever, and that this life is all that we have.  I believe this, not in a depressing sort of way, but in an enlightened, ‘we have to make the most of every day while we are here’ kind of way. 

I do long to be able to talk about many pressing political and social issues with these same family members from the perspective of “How can we make the world a better place today and tomorrow through rational thought, science and technology, basic human decency, and the like?” rather than “The world is going to Hell in a hand basket and the end days are near!  It’s in God’s Word.  Read Revelations. It’s clearly spelled out!”  I am not being flippant here either.  I do truly long for these things with my family and friends who are heavily invested in Christianity.   Probably to the same degree that these believing family and friends long for me to be ‘saved by the blood of Jesus’.

In my short life of 39 years here on the planet, I think no two concepts have been so freeing in terms of solving the issues I had in my 20s and early 30s than these:

1.  There is quite possibly no supernatural being watching over me keeping score of every little thing I do against or for this supernatural being

2.  This life is quite possibly all that I have. 

I realize that my acceptance of these two overarching concepts in my life is most incredibly blasphemous, and a ‘deal killer’ if you will, in terms of you, my family and friends of the Christian faith, ever wanting to associate with me.  But in the same way you feel you must be true to your faith, I must be true to my non-faith.  I must write and live what I truly believe.  And the more I don’t say things because I don’t want to offend anyone’s sensibilities, the more people come back with what I consider nonsense from the Christian Bible to “share” with me. 

I have to speak my mind if my family members are going to continually try to speak theirs to me.  I don’t think I ever have tried to sway my family or friends to my way of thinking, but for some reason, and I’m not saying my family and friends aren’t well-intentioned here, they think it’s fine to try and sway me. 

I would hope in reading this post that you, my family and friends who are steadfast believers in the Christian faith, might understand me just a tad better, and might reconsider asking people like me that pointed question, ‘Are you saved?’

For next time, I’d like to sum up my beliefs as an agnostic, and how they guide me in my everyday life.

Until next time, thanks for stopping by!

TRC

the.recovering.christian@gmail.com

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Justin permalink
    February 3, 2011 9:26 am

    “This life is quite possibly all that I have.”. You would think if everyone believed this way then they would all cherish life much more. Not only theirs but others. If you believed there was no eternity of happiness wouldn’t you then try to make every moment of life the best it could be. I’m sure you would have a great deal of empathy towards others who have lost their lives or loved ones.

  2. Justin permalink
    February 3, 2011 9:39 am

    Think about this. If someone truly believed in heaven, and thought the only way there was through belief in Jesus Christ, then the only decent thing to do is save their friends and family. It’s almost impossible to wake people of these delusions, but if your delusional friends and family really love you they will never relent.

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