Monday, January 30, 2012

Save Yourself? or Save the World? What is Christianity anyway?

Whether Jesus was presenting a recipe for personal salvation (and to heck with your impact on the rest of the world) or one for right behavior (which necessarily involves caring about your neighbor) is a traditional debate, and arguments may be fairly made on either side. Indeed, it is so balanced that the most reasonable answer is that He was presenting either both or neither, for had He intended either alone, He was quite capable of saying so.
Those who prefer the teachings of Jesus that talk about right living in the world may consider those who emphasize only personal salvation as selfish; after all, given the choice of eternal bliss or aiding your neighbor in a temporal world, it would be irrational not to choose the eternal. However, it is the demanding of such a choice that is the error: salvation and serving your neighbor are not separate things but the same. When asked directly how to achieve Salvation Jesus said it was all in how you treated the least of His People.
If it unlikely that Jesus knew the word “socialism” and certainly there have been some hellish schemes propounded by humans in the name of “socialism”, but Matthew 25:40 is pretty clear.

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