Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christian Mythology: 2. Salvation – Myth: Salvation comes in many ways and many times

Think about this accusation against Christianity. It comes from the Muslim world. Don't discount it now that you know the source. Christians have the Bible. Muslims have the Koran. All around the world the Bible may be found translated into hundreds, perhaps thousands of different languages. In the middle East, the Koran may be found in only one language, its original language, Arabic. True, you may find the Koran in other languages. But this accusation comes from those faithful, let's say radical, followers of Islam. (Don't get stuck on that word "radical" either. This isn't the media's radical. Think more along the lines of David Platt's book by the same name.)

The faithful, radical Muslim's number one issue with Christianity is the fact that we have made the holy Word of God impure by adopting all these translations. Along the way, we have lost its meaning. They consider this defilement. Even among their own, those who do not use the original text are considered lesser.

I suppose it would be difficult to find anyone who could speak and understand the original languages of the Bible (ancient Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic). I have a Greek friend at work and even he has a hard time with the ancient Greek language. I have asked him for help on translating a few times without success.

While I don't necessarily agree with the accusation, there is a point to it. Americans, it seems, find it easy to superimpose their own words and interpretations upon the Word of God. We substitute experience for reality. We tell a story instead of relying upon the power of God. Nowhere is this more evident than in salvation.

There is a great danger in adding to or taking away from God's Word. Hellfire is one of those dangers. When we tell sinners to "ask Jesus into your heart", or "pray the sinner's prayer", we take the very lives of these hell-certain people into our own hands. Salvation comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. These phrases are not the Word of God. They are not real. They are a death sentence. We fall asleep when we do not rightly divide the Word of God. We ensure the permanent sleep of the sinner when we do not use God's Word aright.

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