Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lost in translation

Last week I met a family in need of food assistance from the church. He was on disability and for some reason had only received 10% of what his check was supposed to be, so they needed help in getting through until the next check. While I was with them, they shared their faith testimony. They are relatively new believers (2 years ago) and have enjoyed some of the nondenominational churches in the area. In recounting their story, they said that the night they were saved, some big televangelist (though they couldn't remember his name) was brought to town, and they "couldn't miss the opportunity to be saved by him".

I didn't bring it up with them, I was grateful they felt safe enough to share. But, their statement definitely threw up some red flags--first off, no person, other than Christ, "saves" us. Pastors do not "save" us. Friends, colleagues, etc, none of them save us. God "saves" us. God does the saving action in our life. People may serve as vessels that help us hear God or see God, but God is the only one who can do the saving work. I am frightened that what people get out of a worship service is that the Pastor (whomever he/she might be) would be the one to save them, and that being saved is about who saves you--as in, you could/should wait so that __________ can save you, rather than responding to God's call on your life whenever that might happen, regardless of the pastor that stands in front of you.

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