I am a soldier in these dark days, a humble warrior in modern times, fighting what seems to be a losing fight. Fighting for justice, for fairness, for equality, for safety, for the greater good. I am a social worker. In this life and in this work that God has laid before me, I lose heart and I lose faith, so often that it seems normal to me. But God picks me up, he dusts me off he blesses my family and personal life and encourages me to press on. I do so because I believe that it is the will of God to create a world where the love and peace of Christ reign. Though I believe that salvation is imperative, I believe that it is a secondary aspect of our witness as Christians, first we should strive to create a world that Jesus himself conceived where Christian love pours out of everything we do. “Preach the gospel at all times – if necessary use words.” Fancis of Assisi
I view salvation as freedom. I believe that it is freedom to live a life of risk, of adventure and of honesty without fear of rejection or harm because we can know that we are accepted and loved forever just as we are. In saying that, I do not believe that salvation is security to live our lives oblivious to the struggles of others. Once again I believe that it is freedom to give without fear of not having, to work without preoccupation on progress. I believe this because the Bible teaches that with the Lord we shall not want, and that charity and love should be shared with everyone. Salvation gives us freedom to not be concerned with pretensions, or consumerism, or even our reputations. As Christians we should be people free to offer help to others to offer ourselves in service to make this world a better place because we need not be concerned for ourselves for we are saved. God has taken care of us already and for always.
C.S. Lewis in many of his writings appeals to the innate sense of morality that humans possess. In his book Mere Christianity it is this innate morality that he uses as his first building block in his argument for the necessity of Christ. Morality, the sense of right and wrong, precedes the spiritual hunger for God. Jesus seemed to use a similar progression in his own Ministry first feeding the hungry, curing the diseased, and exorcising demons through the Father then teaching the path to salvation and communion with God. Even the life of Jesus follows in a similar vein where his acts of charity and kindness define Christian love before he pours out his life to save us, perfecting Christian love. As the children of God we should emulate this pursuit, seeking to transform the world through acts of Christian love and not simply seek souls. We should love like this because God cared enough about the world that he gave up everything to exemplify that love for us.
I once read a synopsis of lecture given Dietrich Bonheoffer; in the lecture Bonheoffer was calling Christians to be responsible for this world because Christ cared about this world. Christ cared about it enough to offer Himself and all that He is to save it, to save the people as we were. Jesus did not sanctify the world prior to saving it; Jesus saw the world as worth saving. It seems that it is often tempting, to count our blessings and hide from the world while nuzzling against our salvation security blanket. We as Jesus’ followers should not write off this world we should continue Jesus’, work and passionately strive to create a world of love, charity, and hope. We should do so because it is a primary front for the fight against evil in this world, and a primary witness to the love of God, more so than striving to quench spiritual hunger.
It seems that most people, Christian or not, understand that the world is suffering. Our neighbourhood, our community, our country may be doing well but there is deep suffering happening to a vast number of countries, communities, and people. It also seems that most people do not understand that we are responsible to help these people. People and organizations like Salvation Army, foster parents, YMCA, World vision, take on this responsibility and give more than they receive in an effort to make the world better. Whether they realize it or not these people and organizations answer Christ’s call to love one another, feed the hungry, and clothe the poor. The Christian organizations and people that answer this call are concerned about salvation, but they are prioritizing helping those who are suffering to survive.