I look forward to discussing with my book club our most recent pick: Lies We Believe About God, by Wm Paul Young. I am leading the group discussion this time and plan to ask the members which of the lies about God they themselves have believed and perhaps still believe. I look forward to the discussion.
The lie I once believed is this one: “You need to get saved”
Young is author of the book The Shack and if you have read it or seen the movie, it is easy to appreciate his comment about this lie.
“The Good News is not that Jesus has opened up the possibility of salvation and you have been invited to receive Jesus into your life. The Gospel is that Jesus has already included you into His life, into His relationship with God the Father, and into His anointing in the Holy Spirit. The Good News is that Jesus did this without your vote, and whether you believe it or not won’t make it any less or more true.”
It took me a long time to come around to this way of thinking, that all are saved, whether we believe it or not. The challenge is to see it and when we do, it changes everything.
It was interesting how Young, a devout Christian, speaks about his early days of preaching his belief to others about salvation through Jesus. He felt an obligation, he said, to save others from damnation. It never felt right, though, he said. (That Theology) “leads to selling Jesus and coercing people, tricking them into hearing the word. Everyone is a potential customer (victim), rather than everyone being a child of God and therefore our brother or sister.”
I was reminded of the early days in our marriage when Bernie was a struggling insurance man. Everyone, friend or relative or friends of friends and relatives of relatives, were potential clients. We were so poor at the time, a policy purchase meant bread and butter on our table. Needless to say, his hidden motive tainted every relationship. He was out to get something rather than enjoy relationships.
I have been on the receiving end of this type of salesmanship from Christians who may be sincerely worried about my salvation. God bless them for caring, but I know where I stand with my God. I was saved from day one and finally came to believe what was already true.