Have You Accepted Jesus as Your Personal Savior?

August 20, 2007 | By | 13 Replies More

I spent this past weekend in the Indiana woods, camping with a few hundred others in the cause of contradance. Near the end of the weekend I was conversing with a gent with a tale of how a pet psychic helped him solve a relationship issue by remotely reading his parrot, and he came up with a gem of a digression.

His answer to, “Do you accept Jesus as your personal savior?”
is “I wouldn’t wish to accept personal gain as a result of an act of human sacrifice”.

(The pet psychic intro is relevant as an illustration that nuggets of reason can come from anywhere.)

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Category: Culture, Entertainment, Religion

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A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

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  1. Ask your friend if he doesn't support stem cell research for the same reason. Jesus was willing to give himself on our behalf. Since most sacrifice's preferences aren't considered, I'd say this puts him in a different league altogether.

    "…because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down myself. I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."

    Not your typical religionist. Either a madman or God clothed with flesh.

  2. Dan Klarmann says:

    LJC: I suspect that my cited acquaintance would not consider destroying clusters of undifferentiated stem-cells (that are already otherwise slated for destruction) as equivalent to the execution of a 30-something fully cognizant man, even if the voice in that man's head has been telling him that he must die.

    Anyway, if Jesus did his job right, then mankind was saved by his sacrifice. Period. Regardless of belief. Some churches embrace this interpretation of his final act as a man.

  3. xiaogou says:

    I am not sure if the reference was made as an insult to the Christian or an actual belief.

    I know the personal savior thing is very cliché and very worn out. Jesus is not a butler or a thing like an I-pod. It is a very complex issue and to put everything that is involved into one question is rather lame at best. It is something that is taught as a shortcut to honest caring and learning. This thing they call Christianity is the McDonald method of Christianity. Say a snappy catch phrase and all will be goodness and light. I think not.

    As for the idea of a person sacrificing himself for your good is in recent times an alien thought. In the age of disposable everything and selfness, the idea of sacrificing oneself is unheard of. It is the heart of many Asian and Middle Eastern thought. It is the heart of family and community. It was a European and Western philosophy as well, but with the new generation of people it is something that is disappearing. This person says, “I wouldn’t wish to accept personal gain as a result of an act of human sacrifice” but does he mean it. Let me illustrate my point. In Japan, people cut open their stomach not just for honor, but to keep the authorities from eliminating his family as well. If he doesn’t sacrifice himself and take responsibility his whole family can be massacred as they will all be blamed for the samurai’s shameful action and are made accountable. The kamikaze attacks were human sacrifices to slow the American advances as well as make the Americans not want to invade Japan and ask for peace terms instead. The terrorist human bombs are the same idea. In the western culture, let us look at the battle of Thermopiles. The 300 died to give the Persians a black eye and hurt them bad enough to keep them from invading Greece. Recently, the Alamo is a good example of men dying for a cause. Their sacrifice gave the Texans time to raise an army that could defeat the Mexicans as well as gave the men heart to fight an army many times its size. The idea of others benefiting from a man or people sacrificing themselves to promote a cause is nothing new. It is the story of heroes.

    As for the idea of not accepting personal gain as a result of an act of human sacrifice is not ludicrous, but let us look at what could have happened. The minute men of the Colonies fought a foe that was stronger and better disciplined. They were dying in droves fighting the British Redcoats, but their sacrifices gave us the United States. Now we personally gained our freedom from the sacrifices of Minutemen. We could be clicking our collective heals and goose-stepping down the streets saluting a picture of Adolf Hitler. But we personally gained the choice to speak English, have books and freedoms from the sacrifices of men of many nations who died on the battle fields of Europe.

    There is question on my mind when I meet people who have the ideal that “I wouldn’t wish to accept personal gain as a result of an act of human sacrifice.” When a dictator or tyrant arises will he allow others to gain their freedom by making the human sacrifice of himself or turn traitor and cause the slaughter of those who are willing to make the sacrifice to give him freedom?

  4. Jason Rayl says:

    It's immaterial what Jesus did or didn't do. The interrogative—"Do you accept Jesus as your personal savior?"—is not intended to introduce anyone to salvation, but to find out who is on whose side and recruit new members to the cult. Dan's right—if we take Jesus' claim (or at least th claims of those who put this idea of his sacrifice out), then salvation is a done deal and all else is superfluous. All this tinkering afterward suggests that people really don't believe it.

    Or, more likely, people just use it to cull the herd of those they don't like.

  5. I agree with Jason, I don't like the phrase. You should know the answer before asking it, and considering the subject there is no good reason to ask it, unless as he said it is to start a relationship by introducing a disagreement.

    And like xiaogou says if you prefer not to beneifit from those who have "fought the good fight" your will have to leave the planet. We all stand on the shoulders of giants.

    "…if Jesus did his job right, then mankind was saved by his sacrifice. Period. Regardless of belief. Some churches embrace this interpretation of his final act as a man." " Dan’s right—if we take Jesus’ claim (or at least the claims of those who put this idea of his sacrifice out), then salvation is a done deal and all else is superfluous."

    "For as in Adam all die, so also in the Christ all shall be made alive [he did it right!}. But each in his order [tagma = squadron]: anointed firstfruits, after that those who are the Christ's at his coming [presence], then come the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to God the Father, when He has abolished all rule and authority and power."

    "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth [i.e. crucified], will draw all men to Myself."

    Jesus purchased the justification of ALL. But this is just the first step. A-L-L will come to salvation, in their order. Hell is the grave. Eternal punishment is against the {God's} Law. You guys understand more about God's character than 99% of the church folks. Congratulations.

    http://www.gods-kingdom.org/if_god_could_save_everyone.h...

    http://www.gods-kingdom.org/CreationsJub/CJ_index.html

    http://www.goldismoney.info/forums/showthread.php?t=2127...

  6. Paul says:

    The Savior part is easy; the Lord part is tough.

  7. Dwight Brown says:

    As a retired Unitarian Universalist minister, I have spent a lifetime trying to make the point that the question is political and not religious. The religious question has always been – what exactly are you doing today that contributes to the nurture of life, and especially of human life. "

    "Beliefs" are often flimsy substitutes for constructive action, a cheap way of belonging to a social group without the necessity of using any muscles except your mouth.

    Every organized religion I know of is primarily interested in counting – members and money.

  8. Russ Anderson says:

    Dan is not right, as is the case 99.9 percent of the time, when he is addressing Jesus. Jesus did die on the cross as the perfect and ultimate sacrifice for mankind. But that does not make it a done deal "Regardless of belief". Jesus said this about it.

    "16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

    The sacrifice is made, the penalty has been paid, the salvation is available, but every person MUST make the choice to accept it. Let's say you are very sick and are going to die if you don't get a particular medicine, but it is very expensive and you can't possibly afford it. Now, a very wealthy man comes along and buys the medicine you need, tells you that it is a gift to you, and places it on a shelf in your house. Does that make you well, whether or not you take it? Certainly not. If you don't make the CHOICE to take the medicine you WILL die. Even though the purchase has been made and the gift has been given, you will not benefit one bit unless you take it. If you choose not to take the medicine and you die, it does not mean that the wealthy man is at fault because he did not do his job right.

  9. grumpypilgrim says:

    Russ writes, "Let’s say you are very sick and are going to die if you don’t get a particular medicine, but it is very expensive and you can’t possibly afford it. Now, a very wealthy man comes along and buys the medicine you need, tells you that it is a gift to you, and places it on a shelf in your house…."

    Let's expand on Russ' analogy. Let's say the reason why you are very sick is because that same wealthy man was grossly and stupidly negligent (see http://dangerousintersection.org/?p=166/), and let's say he could cure your deadly illness by simply lifting his little finger. He doesn't need to go through all that nonsense about buying medicine and placing it on a shelf in your house, he just has to lift his little finger and you'd be cured. But, he doesn't. Instead, he goes through all that nonsense, and insists of making a big show of what a wonderful, generous person he is. And then, if you take the medicine, this wealthy man expects you to bow down and worship him for all eternity. And this absurdity all started because this same wealthy man was grossly negligent in making you sick in the first place. Personally, I can't see why anyone would go along with the nonsense.

  10. A very annoying and damn pushy leading question. It should be answered with a confident, "Hell, no."

  11. grumpypilgrim says:

    Russ writes, "Now, a very wealthy man comes along and buys the medicine you need, tells you that it is a gift to you, and places it on a shelf in your house…If you choose not to take the medicine and you die, it does not mean that the wealthy man is at fault because he did not do his job right.”

    Another problem with Russ' analogy is that the god-of-the-Bible is nothing like Russ' wealthy man. The Bible describes its god as our loving FATHER…someone who knew us when we were still in the womb and who has watched over us our entire lives…not as some wealthy stranger who just accidentally happens to show up and who couldn't care less whether we live or die. Russ would have us believe that a loving father (indeed, an infinitely loving father, according to the Bible), when possessed of the medicine to save his dying child, would put the medicine on a shelf in the house, and not go ahead and administer it. This is not the behavior of a loving parent in any family with which I am familiar, yet Russ would have us believe that this *is* loving behavior when it is practiced by the god he worships. Bottom line: any father who sits and watches his children die, while refusing to take trivial steps to prevent their deaths, is not a *loving* father in any human society on the face of our planet.

  12. Russ Anderson says:

    As in any analogy, you can come only so close to the truth. What I was trying to point out is that is up to you to accept or reject Jesus. What you all seem to miss is what Jesus said. We are already spiritually dead. This is something that we (the human race) did as a direct result of our rebellion against God. God does not just flip a switch and make it all better. No more than any other loving Father does for their grown children. He made a way for us to get out of our mess, a way back from the dead (and at quite a hefty price). We are reponsible for our own choices. I personally know a very loving Father who would have loved to have saved his grown daughter from a life that ultimately led to her death from a drug overdose. And he could have, if she had turned back to him and let him. He tried and tried and tried. Are you saying that he was some kind of slime because she died?!! She refused his help!!! She insisted on going her own way, and as a direct result….she DIED! Now who is at fault? This woman, for the life she led, or her father, because he didn't kidnap her and force her to change? If giving his own life would have saved hers, he would have done so in a heart beat. That is what God (Jesus) did for us. But we are grown children. We are responsible for our own choices. We are not asked to "go through a lot of nonsense". We are simply asked to give our lives back to Him so that He can make us alive again.

  13. Cass Midgley says:

    You had me with remote parrot reading at a contra dance campout!

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