Posted by: ChildOfMary | July 14, 2010

Collective Salvation or Individual Salvation – It’s time to choose

The words of Barrack Obama:

I worked as a community organizer in Chicago, [and] was very active in low-income neighborhoods working on issues of crime and education and employment, and seeing that in some ways certain portions of the African-American community are doing as bad, if not worse, and recognizing that my fate remained tied up with their fates. That my individual salvation is not going to come about without a collective salvation for the country.
Unfortunately, I think that recognition requires that we make sacrifices, and this country has not always been willing to make the sacrifices necessary to bring about a new day and a new age. (Emphasis mine)

And then there’s Obama’s Wesleyan Commencement Address of May 25, 2008:

Through service, I found a community that embraced me; citizenship that was meaningful; the direction I’d been seeking. Through service, I discovered how my own improbable story fit into the larger story of America.

Each of you will have the chance to make your own discovery in the years to come. And I say “chance” because you won’t have to take it. There’s no community service requirement in the real world; no one forcing you to care. You can take your diploma, walk off this stage, and chase only after the big house and the nice suits and all the other things that our money culture says you should by. You can choose to narrow your concerns and live your life in a way that tries to keep your story separate from America’s.

But I hope you don’t. Not because you have an obligation to those who are less fortunate, though you do have that obligation. Not because you have a debt to all those who helped you get here, though you do have that debt.

It’s because you have an obligation to yourself. Because our individual salvation depends on collective salvation. Because thinking only about yourself, fulfilling your immediate wants and needs, betrays a poverty of ambition. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential and discover the role you’ll play in writing the next great chapter in America’s story. (Emphasis mine)

So how does a Christian, which Obama claims to be, reconcile Collective Salvation with the traditional teachings of Christianity? After all, Jesus’ death on the cross opened the door for the individual salvation of each one of us – and the judgment will be an individual judgment – we will not be called up in groups to account for our actions. When you think about it, how could a collective judgment possibly work? Each of us is responsible for our own individual actions – I cannot possibly be held to account for the actions of someone else.

So we go back to the original question – how is collective salvation reconciled with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? It really begins with the teachings of Liberation Theology, a movement that began in Latin America in some segments of the  Roman Catholic Church. Today, it takes many other forms, such as Black Liberation Theology, Social Justice Theology, Eco-Theology – and so on – but the basic structure is pretty much the same. Essentially, Liberation Theology requires three basic ingredients:

  • an oppressed group
  • a group identified as the oppressor
  • a set of philosophical/theological principles to glue a different worldview and the teachings of Jesus into one convenient package

The main ingredient of the glue holding it all together is Marxism. The term “Social Justice” is often an important ingredient of this glue, as is the term “Human Rights”. The new ideas also tap into the call to all Christians to do good for their fellow man.

I’ve struggled for a while with this topic, and spent time in prayer asking for guidance – realizing it’s extremely important to understand this way of thinking – reading, researching – and then the answer came – I don’t have to reinvent the wheel, others have done so already. So I am going to send you to the best essays I have found – when you finish, I will have a couple of more things to say about how I believe this relates to each of us as Christians – our faith, our own Church, and our pastor’s teachings in that church.

First, an essay titled The Marxist Roots of Black Liberation Theology, from Dr. Anthony B. Bradley – this essay was written in 2008. Dr. Bradley is also the author of a book, Liberating Black Theology: The Bible and the Black Experience in America‘.

Next, a two part work by Kyle-Anne Shiver, also written in 2008 (so it’s not like the information wasn’t out there pre-election, it was just ignored by the lame-stream media):
Obama, Black Liberation Theology, and Karl Marx, Part One and Part Two.

So, what does this mean to each of us trying to live according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ? First, we need to really think about this and train ourselves to listen carefully to words, especially words that can be misused by those who would modify the Gospel message. Know the differences between:

  • Collective Salvation vs. Individual Salvation
  • Social Justice vs. Equal Justice
  • Human Rights vs. Individual Rights

Know the source of our individual rights:

 We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…
(US Declaration of Independence)

Be careful how you use words. Listen carefully to the way your Pastor uses words. If you hear the phrase “Social Justice”, ask your Pastor exactly what he means by that.

Determine where your Church stands on these important issues. Encourage your pastor to take a stand, to oppose corrupt interpretations of the Gospel message. I believe it is a matter of being willing to confront evil – we live in very dangerous times – things are changing so rapidly, so many lies are being treated as Truth. Discuss these issues with your fellow Christians.

Ideas  have consequences. Political philosophies have consequences. Elections have consequences. The underlying philosophy directing the acts of Obama and his administration have consequences – we are beginning to see some of those consequences, and they aren’t pretty.

One consequence, the DOJ’s selective enforcement of voting rights, and it goes way beyond the Philadelphia New Black Panther case.

Another consequence, the ideas of the FCC Diversity Czar, Mark Lloyd, including this:

“There’s nothing more difficult than this. Because we have really, truly good white people in important positions,” Lloyd said. “And the fact of the matter is that there are a limited number of those positions. And unless we are conscious of the need to have more people of color, gays, other people in those positions we will not change the problem.”

He continued, “We’re in a position where you have to say who is going to step down so someone else can have power.”

And oh, so many other examples – I’m sure you have your own.

I think we are at that point in history where each of us must make a choice – and not making a choice is a choice – choose carefully, your future, your children’s future, your grandchildren’s future, the country’s future, and in many ways the world’s future all depend on the outcome.

And not making a choice is, in fact, making a choice.


Responses

  1. Thanks for the links! Pax Domini.

  2. I remember this story from my pastor some years ago:

    A man was talking with God about Heaven and Hell.

    “Come,” said God. “Walk with me, and I will show you Hell.”

    And together they walked into a room of cold, rough stone. In the center of the room, atop a low fire, sat a huge pot of quietly simmering stew. The stew smelled delicious, and made the man’s mouth water. A group of people sat in a circle around the pot, and each of them held a curiously long-handled spoon. The spoons were long enough to reach the pot; but the handles were so ungainly that every time someone dipped the bowl of their spoon into the pot and tried to maneuver the bowl to their mouth, the stew would spill. The man could hear the grumblings of their bellies. They were cold, hungry, and miserable.

    “And now,” God said, “I will show you Heaven.”

    Together they walked into another room, almost identical to the first. A second pot of stew simmered in the center; another ring of people sat around it; each person was outfitted with one of the frustratingly long spoons. But this time, the people sat with the spoons across their laps or laid on the stone beside them. They talked, quietly and cheerfully with one another. They were warm, well-fed, and happy.

    “Lord, I don’t understand,” said the man. “How was the first room Hell; and this, Heaven?”

    God smiled. “It’s simple,” he said. “You see, they have learned to feed each other.”

    This I believe is Obama’s message. That we can be better as a society when all members of society have the same access to basic education, health and opportunites to be more productive. We are all better when our society as a whole thrives. Does some of the system need to be improved? Sure. There is always room for improvement, but I’d take my public education over no education anyday.

    In closing, I believe this article attempts to spin this basic Christian value into something scary, “marxist” agenda, when really it’s about improving our country. If I were to look at current gov’t rules and regulations, I’d see a man sitting around the pot in hell being fat and bloated as he’s suckered the others into feeding him but only allows them to feed eachother enough to keep themselves barely alive. While he is grossly overweight, the others are so skinny you can see their skeletons. But they believe the fat man that it is their freedom at stake if they feed eachother more.

    Please. Stop feeding the fat man and start feeding yourselves.

  3. There is no such thing. Salvation is individual. Each person’s salvation is dependent on their response to Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross!

  4. Maybe he was speaking to a secular audience and was not making a theological statement of biblical salvation (see Webster def. below #3). One can make an enemy out of anyone and pick words to mean anything. Look at the way the christian faith has become the tower of babel with so many denominations. Good luck finding the “One True Church”

    I seem to remember a few “saints” living lives in a similar way. I also find it interesting that the last US president to receive this kind of scrutiny was, ta da, a catholic, John Kennedy.

    Glen Beck is a mix of rabble rouser, Orwellian jester, and wizard of ODD. His own brand of “christianity” reads more like a science fiction novel, but I guess that is less threatening than a liberal, black president trying to be politically and socially inclusive. Religiously, Obama is rather humble. Something more people on blogs and cable networks should practice.

    Grace and peace.

    salvation |salˈvā sh ən|
    noun Theology
    1. deliverance from sin and its consequences, believed by Christians to be brought about by faith in Christ.
    2. preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss : they try to sell it to us as economic salvation.
    3. ( one’s salvation) a source or means of being saved in this way : his only salvation was to outfly the enemy.

  5. A nice story about working together for the betterment of all the community has nothing to do with a person’s eternal salvation, except as it relates to “do unto others..”
    “No man cometh unto the Father but by me..”, NOT “no man cometh unto the father but by me and what he has done with a group of other people…”

  6. Oh, yea. Socialism is great until you run out of someone else’s money. Next step, communism. No thanks. The trouble with you people are you don’t can’t see two feet in front of your faces. Bleeding hearts will destroy our country and our freedom and liberty.

  7. A good philosophical foundation for this argument short of the Bible (since so many do not read the Bible) is Othello by Shakesphere. In fact the play brings to the point two essential issues inherent in this discussion. “No one can serve two masters…” and the one that is the subject to this blog-Islam vs. Christianity.

    William
    Highland Falls, NY

  8. This so-called President scares me to death. He is so far from the truth. I hope and pray that folks in this country will wake up before it’s too late. If not, and he’s elected for another term, then we can kiss our Constitution(which is still being paid for with our soldiers’ blood)goodbye, and it will be history of a forgotten time. He has done nothing but take from us since the first day, and now he’s gonna tell us how to believe and who to believe in. He believes in a god who is not real. But we’ll all stand before the true and living God one day, each one accountable for ourselves. Our relationship with the Father and Son are individual, so how could anyone believe in COLLECTIVE SALVATION? We all need to beware and study and learn what this President’s agenda is. We need to watch and listen, and of all things, be ready.


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