God. Christ. Humans. Justice. Mercy. Love. Atonement. Healing. Grace. Sacrifice. Faith.
All big concepts.
When people bear testimony in the Mormon church, a very popular phrase which is somewhat casually bandied about is, “I know this is true, beyond a shadow of a doubt.”
Well. I believe the entire point of FAITH, is to BELIEVE in things you cannot KNOW.
According to some philosophers, (I’m thinking Descartes here) the only certain thing is our thoughts. We know we have thoughts. All other reality could be a matrix type existence. (I don’t think it is, but hell, I don’t KNOW).
Sometimes, it is easier to explain what something is NOT, rather than what it is. In the case of faith, Anne Lamott suggests that,
“The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely.”
We cannot KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt, or faith ceases to be faith, and becomes knowledge or certainty.
There are two spiritual schools of thought regarding Christianity and the role of the atonement of Jesus Christ in salvation. Inclusivism and exclusivism.
Exclusivism is the doctrine or belief that only one particular religion or belief system is true. For the purposes of this post, the ONE belief system being Christianity, including an explicit belief of Jesus Christ as the ONE way to salvation.
Inclusivism posits that even though the work of Christ is the only means of salvation, it does not follow that explicit knowledge or acceptance of Christ is necessary in order for one to be saved.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:6 King James Version
In my belief system, mind, heart, and soul, this scripture is correct. Christ and his atoning sacrifice are the only means to salvation. The only means by which our natural human nature can be overcome and allow us to dwell with the Father.
I also believe the atonement is all-inclusive (like a really good resort) and encompasses everyone and everything. Every human, past, present, and future will be healed, saved, and made whole through the suffering in Gethsemane, the crucifixion on Calvary, and the resurrection from the garden tomb.
No matter what.
So, yes, in my beliefs, Christ is it. But also, in my beliefs, YOU don’t need to believe in Him, because HE believes in YOU. You don’t need to love God or Christ (although it is pretty helpful in my life) because God and Christ love YOU.
No matter what.
There’s room at my table for everyone. Like a really good resort.
Light and Love,