Author Topic: So are you Saved?  (Read 23107 times)

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Sharnita

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Re: So are you Saved?
« Reply #75 on: June 10, 2008, 10:06:23 PM »
COuld we please not ridicule the belief that a person is spiritually born again or saved.  Whether you believe it or not, there are people on this board who do.  If they were to ridicule the language of Atheists, Pagans, Catholics, etc. they would be seen as religiously intolerant.  I don't see why people who believe in being saved and/or born again should be treated with less consideration.

FWIW, growing up Catholic I certainly considered myself both saved and born again and I still do.




TootsNYC

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Re: So are you Saved?
« Reply #76 on: June 11, 2008, 12:51:08 PM »
Sharnita, I didn't see any ridiculing going on. Some disagreeing with, yes. But not really any ridiculing.

Sharnita

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Re: So are you Saved?
« Reply #77 on: June 11, 2008, 01:25:54 PM »
I'm sorry Toots but I feel posts 7, 9,37 and 39 are all pretty disrespectful.

Ziggy Stardust

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Re: So are you Saved?
« Reply #78 on: June 11, 2008, 03:42:01 PM »
Those posts don't seem all that ridiculing of actual religious beliefs to me - more silly answers to intrusive strangers. It's hard to read tone over the Internet sometimes, but they didn't seem like they were mocking people who consider themselves saved but don't vocally insist everyone who doesn't is going straight to Hell.

This may not make a whole lot of sense, but I'm too sleepy to be any more articulate.  ;) Having lost my faith and found it again, I know I'm a far different (and more fortunate) person than I was without it, but there wasn't one Paul-esque "aha" moment, and if I hadn't lost it I wouldn't have had to find it. I think the majority of Christians consider themselves "saved" by Jesus, but if this makes any sense, it is not a neutral word. It's used very often in a way that basically is calling everyone else's beliefs inadequate. It can be a very loaded word. And for someone who's supposed to be offering comfort to people they don't know in very trying times, it comes off as a potentially judgmental, and I think, inappropriate question.


Minmom3

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Re: So are you Saved?
« Reply #79 on: June 12, 2008, 02:31:05 PM »
Those posts don't seem all that ridiculing of actual religious beliefs to me - more silly answers to intrusive strangers. It's hard to read tone over the Internet sometimes, but they didn't seem like they were mocking people who consider themselves saved but don't vocally insist everyone who doesn't is going straight to Hell.

This may not make a whole lot of sense, but I'm too sleepy to be any more articulate.  ;) Having lost my faith and found it again, I know I'm a far different (and more fortunate) person than I was without it, but there wasn't one Paul-esque "aha" moment, and if I hadn't lost it I wouldn't have had to find it. I think the majority of Christians consider themselves "saved" by Jesus, but if this makes any sense, it is not a neutral word. It's used very often in a way that basically is calling everyone else's beliefs inadequate. It can be a very loaded word. And for someone who's supposed to be offering comfort to people they don't know in very trying times, it comes off as a potentially judgmental, and I think, inappropriate question.



Well said.
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

Sharnita

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Re: So are you Saved?
« Reply #80 on: June 12, 2008, 02:50:07 PM »
I think it is ironic that we are making assumptions about what the hidden menaing/intent is when we are objecting to people making interesting assumptions.

Furthermore, I am pretty sure that this site has established etiquette frowns on meeting rudeness with rudeness.  I have never been disrespectful of anybody's religious beliefs here and yet when I object to peolpe making jokes out of concepts that are menaingful and serious to me, it is dismissed wiht an explanation of how the belief/phrasing is meant - or at least how it is perceived to be meant.

quiet_you

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Re: So are you Saved?
« Reply #81 on: June 12, 2008, 03:10:28 PM »
[treading carefully so as not to offend]

I grew up in a Fundamentalist Christian church. And in my personal experience, when people say "saved," they mean something other than "being a Christian."

I can only speak for the church I grew up in, and for the ones like it that I knew . . . but the church in which I was raised believed that you had to have an experience in which God called to you, you made an open and public profession that you wanted to accept Jesus into your heart, you confessed your sins (not publicly), and you were therefore considered "saved." This usually occurred at the end of services, when we had the altar call. Altar calls happened at the end of every service I've ever attended at my church. I've even seen them at weddings and funerals.

As a child, probably around 7, 8, when I attended other church services (Methodist, Catholic), I saw that they did not do altar calls. I asked about this in Sunday School--the lack of the altar call. "Then they're not saved," my teacher said calmly. "And they won't go to heaven?" I asked. "No," my teacher said. "You can only go to heaven if you are saved."

I was mildly terrified by this for some time, as I'd gone to the Methodist and Catholic churches with my grandparents and aunt and uncle. Who were now, I learned with great fright, going to he11. (I later amended this belief, but religion's much simpler when you're 7.)

I'm not saying that the belief in being saved as a necessity for salvation is good or bad, wrong or right; that's not my reason for posting this. I'm posting because, having grown up in a church that did see a HUGE difference between being "Christian" and being "saved," I can imagine--not know, as I don't know this man, but imagine--what the man in the hospital meant when he asked. Being "Christian" is one thing. Being "saved" is another.

And since it is a tenet of the faith of many people who do believe in being saved, it is of the utmost importance that you work to make sure everyone else is saved too. You are failing as a Christian if you do not do everything within your power to try to make sure everyone with whom you come into contact is saved.

Again, I want to stress: I am not endorsing nor condemning what the man in the hospital was doing. I'm simply sharing anecdotal experience.

Ziggy Stardust

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Re: So are you Saved?
« Reply #82 on: June 12, 2008, 04:20:23 PM »
I think it is ironic that we are making assumptions about what the hidden menaing/intent is when we are objecting to people making interesting assumptions.

Furthermore, I am pretty sure that this site has established etiquette frowns on meeting rudeness with rudeness.  I have never been disrespectful of anybody's religious beliefs here and yet when I object to peolpe making jokes out of concepts that are menaingful and serious to me, it is dismissed wiht an explanation of how the belief/phrasing is meant - or at least how it is perceived to be meant.

I'm not sure if this is in response to my post or to the thread in general - but if this didn't come through, I don't think it's polite or right to automatically give someone a snappy answer when they really are trying to be helpful. In this situation, I don't think there was anything too hidden about the worker's meaning that requires "interesting assumptions" to decipher.

I'm sorry if I came across as belittling your faith in any way. I consider myself to be, as was said upthread, saved on a Friday afternoon in Jerusalem two thousand years ago, and I have no problem whatsoever with anyone considering themselves saved or born again. I think it's great. I most definitely do have a problem with people believing anyone who doesn't is a "bad Christian" or beneath them and expressing these beliefs at any opportunity. Sadly, there are enough self-righteous people out there that the word is tainted. I have no reason to think you're one of these people, and I really don't think the jokes upthread were meant to insult people like you. I think they were meant as a response to basically having your own beliefs insulted.

quiet_you, very good point, and it makes a great deal of sense that someone who believes they can save someone from Hell by helping them be "saved" would try to do so. I don't, though, think being a pastoral care worker in a hospital is the right environment to do this.

goblue2539

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Re: So are you Saved?
« Reply #83 on: June 12, 2008, 09:26:52 PM »
I also think that many of those responses were the kind that we make here because we know it would be wrong and rude to make them IRL.  It's a steam valve for the frustration that comes with having your beliefs questioned by someone who is ostenibly there to help you hold on to your faith.

I think that is the only reason snappy comebacks were offered as a form of humor, and while I didn't take part, I did find them funny and I'm truly sorry that it hurt Sharnita and other posters who felt they personally were being ridiculed. 

quiet_you

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Re: So are you Saved?
« Reply #84 on: June 13, 2008, 10:40:52 AM »
I don't, though, think being a pastoral care worker in a hospital is the right environment to do this.

I can tell you, from personal experience, that the people who practice this particular version of Christianity believe that there is no such thing as a wrong environment. EVERY environment is right for witnessing and spreading God's word. To miss an opportunity to talk to someone about eternal salvation is basically damning them, and putting black marks on your record for not trying hard enough, for letting souls slip past you.

When I said in my previous post that I've seen altar calls at weddings and funerals at my church, I meant it. At my aunt's funeral in 2000, which was held at the church in which I was raised, the minister delivered a nice eulogy on how wonderful she'd been, how much he'd loved her, what a good Christian she'd been, and how we'd all miss her. And then he said something like this: "I won't have to miss her for long, because one day we'll be in heaven together. And if you all want to see her in heaven, you'll need to be saved. Because if you aren't saved, you'll never see her again. But wouldn't it be nice to know that you could spend eternity with her? If you don't know Jesus, and you haven't given your heart to him, now is the time." Her grandson, my cousin, who was hit especially hard by her death, almost knocked his mother over to get to the altar.

Weddings at this church have been paused because, during the wedding, the minister issued an altar call, and someone in the church was sufficiently moved to come forward.

So, while I am in no way condoning what the man at the hospital did--as I do feel that it was out of line--I would venture to say that, in his opinion, he had to do that. To miss an opportunity to bring someone to Christ is to leave them to eternal hellfire. Furthermore, he would one day have to look Jesus in the eye and tell him why he did not witness to this man in the hospital.

Xallanthia

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Re: So are you Saved?
« Reply #85 on: June 13, 2008, 03:08:13 PM »
I have to agree with quiet_you and others who have said that "saved" is loaded word whether we like it or not.  When I was in college, I was part of a mission organization and one of the basic teachings of that organization was that many people who call themselves Christians (because they've always gone to church) are not really saved (although we said, "believers") because they had gone to church, gone through the motions, but did not have any sort of personal relationship with Christ whereby he changed them and moulded them to be more like Himself.  We didn't ask "are you saved?" because we were not Fundamentalists (capitalized on purpose), but we did ask, "So where do you go to church?" or "How is your faith important to you?" and other questions that can reveal this personal relationship.

Now, I am no longer a part of the protestant denomination that the majority of that organization followed.  I am an Orthodox Christian.  In most cases, I would not be comfortable praying with a clergyperson (or even just Christian volunteer) from another denomination unless I knew them well, probably through a prior relationship (for example, a friend of mine is an Anglican deacon).

In this particular case, I would probably have preempted the rest of the questions by answering "Are you a Christian?" with, "Yes, we are Orthodox Christians."  If he persisted, "Yes, but are you saved?" (assuming he wasn't just confused b/c many Americans have never heard of Orthodoxy), then I would give him the answer which summarizes Orthodox theology: "I have been saved, I am being saved, I will be saved."  (Translation: I was baptised/confirmed/believe, I work out my salvation "with fear and trembling," I will be finally and firmly completely saved when Christ returns).

This is a situation where it might be best to forsee the potential for the obnoxious question (and, as mbt stated, I agree that most people ask it) by answering the first inquiry in such a way as to answer it before it is asked.  Then, if they persist (asking over and over), they are being rude and annoying and should be invited to depart post-haste and not return.

Marleigh

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Re: So are you Saved?
« Reply #86 on: June 16, 2008, 04:21:32 PM »
I agree that there are a lot of differences between Christian denominations, but I can honestly say this is the first time I've ever heard of a Christian being offended by the term "saved".  When you told him you were Christians, he should have said, "Oh really, do you mind if I ask what church you attend?" to give him more of an idea what you believe.  This is what I do if want to get an idea where someone is coming from spiritually, without offending them.  So he could have been a little more subtle in asking that question, but as far as referring to you as "born again" in the prayer...he probably considers that a compliment and a good thing in his experience, so I doubt he had any way of knowing it would offend you.

Marleigh

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Re: So are you Saved?
« Reply #87 on: June 16, 2008, 04:26:16 PM »
I should also mention, for the sake of understanding, that lots of people consider themselves Christians but haven't attended a church, prayed, read the Bible, or done anything spiritual for years.  We have a  joke in our town that everyone you ask in our town says they belong to BigChurch, but only about 2% of them ever go to services. 

This minister was probably trying to decipher between "I was raised with a Christian background as opposed to Muslim/Buddhist/Whatever" and "I am actively serving God right now".  Again, he could have been more subtle, but I'm guessing this is where he was coming from.

Ziggy Stardust

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Re: So are you Saved?
« Reply #88 on: June 16, 2008, 04:54:56 PM »
As a former Catholic, I know that individual Catholics may consider themselves "saved", but it's not a "catchphrase" the way it is in a lot of other Christian branches. It has certain theological connotations and tends to imply a lot more than personally believing Jesus Christ saved you - and asking someone you just met that question, I think, is inherently judgmental. Let's say the guy was not "actively serving God right now" and didn't go to church a lot, etc. - would the pastoral care worker then be justified in not trying to offer him spiritual comfort? Should he judge him, lecture him on not being a good Christian or not the right kind? People in vulnerable situations may be more amenable to some kind of religious awakening, but this is highly unlikely if they're put on the defensive and made to feel judged.

I hope this isn't getting too specific, but I would read someone I didn't know asking me if I was saved not as "Are you a believing, practicing Christian?" but "Are you an evangelical/fundamentalist Protestant?"

And quiet_you, I understand that someone with these beliefs would feel obliged to do that. I'm not suggesting pastoral care workers should have to totally ignore their own ethics. But I think hospitals should be careful about who they hire and whether they want to be there to bring people comfort or simply to convert people to their belief system. I'd put the blame on the hirers more than the worker.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2008, 04:58:37 PM by Ziggy Stardust »

goblue2539

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Re: So are you Saved?
« Reply #89 on: June 16, 2008, 04:57:02 PM »

This minister was probably trying to decipher between "I was raised with a Christian background as opposed to Muslim/Buddhist/Whatever" and "I am actively serving God right now".  Again, he could have been more subtle, but I'm guessing this is where he was coming from.

I do understand what you're saying.  The only reason I have a hard time thinking that was the case is because the answer "Yes, I'm a Christian" was followed immediately with the information that our church's pastor had just left the room.  To me, that implies more than a 2 by 12 worship habit.  But, that may just be me.