Friday, December 15, 2006

Salvation a "repugnant notion" - apparently

Polly Toynebee was quoted in a newspaper recently making the following statement about Jesus:

"Of all the elements of Christianity, the most repugnant is the notion of the Christ who took our sins upon himself and sacrificed his body in agony to save our souls. Did we ask him to?"

Oh dear. Basically Toynbee is saying that becuase we had no choice over whether Christ came to die for us all then He is by defintition not giving us a choice and assuming that we all need salvation. Apparently the idea that we can all be set free to have eternal life is repugnant, purely becuase it involves the idea of a sovereign God who is perfect and above all things, and who can decide things like that without consulting us.

This is the attitude to God that the human race has showed throughout time. Right from when we rebelled against Him at the fall to the present day. We think we know better and who is God to tell us how to do things? With the rise of political correctness and more and more human rights laws coming into effect, the attitude more and more is that we have the right to decide everything in our own lives and our own standards and morals, no one else has a say. "It's my life, who is God to tell me what to do?" This is clearly Toynbee's attitude. She knows best for her, who is God to decide to come and save her when she doesn't think she needs saving?

Well, God is God. That's who He is. He is perfect, everlasting, eternal, all-powerful and above all things whether you accept it or not. He was before time, indeed, He made time. He made everything. Our bad choices have resulted in the pain, suffering and injustice we now see in the world. He is the solution.

The irony is that the concept of perfect almighty God who despises sin willing to sacrifice His own Son for the good of all mankind, even those who reject Him, seems absurd by human standards. He has no need of us or of anything at all. Who of us could do what He did and give up our only child for the whole of mankind?

What the cross proves is that God is a God of perfect love and who loves His people despite their sin, even at the expense of His own Son. God chooses to love us, He doesn't have to. He wants a living relationship with us and do do that fully we need forgiveness, which He can offer us. The realisation of this truth only makes God greater. He loves us despite ourselves. We may not think we need salvation but God knows better. But not only does He know better, but he does something about it and sends Jesus. The reason He died for us when we don't ask Him to is not only that He perfectly loves us but that we didn't and some still don't think we need Him to come, He needs to show us how much we need Him. I truly hope Polly Toynbee understands that one day.