It is by the actions of one person that ALL humanity dies. It is by the actions of one man that ALL humanity lives. So, if the actions of one man (Jesus Christ) makes all humanity live, how can Evangelical Christianity insist most of humanity will remain dead (as they suffer in hell for eternity)?
Love and life has taught me what the bible never could, does, will, or did. I know what love is because of being loved by my wife and by loving my sons. People can and do get the bible wrong continually as the plethora of denominations and doctrines attest. However, it is impossible to get love wrong. Below are real life examples of how I learned what love is, without consulting the bible or seeking clerical answers.
My youngest son starting running towards a road with a lot of traffic and certain death. He did not heed my loud warning to stop, but kept on laughing and running like nothing was wrong. I ran to where he was and saved him from getting killed. He started fighting against me after I grabbed him, but he is still with me today.
I was on several teams in the Marines to reclaim aircraft that crashed. In one particular crash a Marine pilot and his backseat pilot-in-training refused to eject from their harrier jet because it was over a residential area. The only way was to ensure that no civilian lives were lost was for the pilot to fly the harrier into an isolated field and be killed. The student would not eject if the pilot would not. They both died; I had to scoop up part of one of their brains and put it in a baggie. These men died for civilians; the civilians were unaware of this until it broke in the news a day or so later. The civilians did not ask these pilots to save their lives.
A Marine gunnery sergeant of Force Recon in Vietnam landed on a hornet’s nest when he and his squad jumped off a trail to prevent giving away their position to a detachment of Vietcong soldiers that were advancing towards their position. He was silently stung to death to protect his men. His men never knew that until they started looking for him and found him stung hundreds of time all over his face and body.
Marine Lt. Bobo got his leg blown off below the knee by an exploding shell in an ambush in Vietnam. He planted his bloodied knee in the mud to prevent from bleeding to death so he could sustain suppressing fire so his platoon could escape the ambush. He did not ask if his men if he could save them or if they wanted to be saved; he just did it. He died shortly after ensuring his platoon was safe from that ambush.
Marines, soldiers, and sailors jump on hand grenades frequently to save a group of other comrades in just about any war one could think of without asking if their buddies wanted to be saved.
The Marine sergeant, Dakota Meyer, risked his life to save his Marine detachment in Iraq, which turned out to be dead already. He brought their dead bodies back and then went back to save many Iraqis soldiers. He did not ask these people if they wanted to be saved. He just did it. Meyer was one of the very few living Marines to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The one thing that all of these real stories have in common is that none of the “saved people” asked to be saved. Additionally, the saviors did not ask those they saved if they wanted “the gift of being saved.”
Christianity’s view of its god-savior demands that people believe and confess Jesus as lord, that he made a sacrifice of his life for ours, that he was raised from the dead, that he (as the savior) is the only one that can save them, that they have to ask him for salvation, and then that they have to receive that salvation. I am thinking that in the heat of battle there would be a lot of dead people who had to follow that gospel formulary.
Christianity’s gospel seems a lot like quid pro quo, but certainly’s not a “free gift.” If those who were saved by the actions of those in my examples above had to use Christianity’s gospel to be saved from death they would have all died. However, the people I mentioned above gave the gift of life to those that they saved, free of charge without having to be asked for it; those that were saved did not acknowledge, admit, confess, ask, or take the gift of salvation before they were saved from death. They simply did not have a choice about being saved; they were saved whether they liked it or not. As is the situation with the entire human race.
The church’s “free gift gospel” does not survive a simple acid test. There is simply no good news or anything free about people having to say, think, or do anything to be saved and/or stay saved from a horrible fire that lasts forever. Good news is that Love saved all people made in God’s image and likeness regardless of who they are and what they have done. The sooner people realize that the sooner they can start living now. Real love in real life taught me that, not a book.”
Shean Anson Smith