Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Response to Lighthouse Baptist Church (Newark, DE) Street Evangelists, Part 5 of 24

This is the fourth part of a 24-part series of responses to a street evangelist I met from Lighthouse Baptist Church (Newark, DE).  Please click here to see the first post, which contains a set of links by topic to all the posts in the series.

5.  Religion doesn’t save us.  I addressed this pretty fully already above.  Our religion is Jesus Christ.  End of story.  Thus, for a Christian to say that “religion doesn’t save us” is tantamount to saying that “Jesus does not save us.”

The whole rhetoric of “baptism, church membership, religion, etc.” not saving us is really based on a kind of “either/or” thinking.  Either Jesus or baptism.  Either Jesus or church attendance.  Either Jesus or religion.

In actuality, the Bible treats these pairs of words as “both/and.”  If we have Jesus as our true religion, then we need Jesus and religion, because there is no distinction between them.  If Baptism is the very tool Jesus uses to save us, then the two can not be divorced from one another.  If the Church is truly the inseparable bride of Christ, Christ’s mystical body of which he is the head, then it is inconceivable that one could be saved without being somehow a member of the Church.  Being a member of the Church is quite literally the very state of being saved, as we are members of Christ’s mystical body.  Many Protestants inadvertently decapitate the mystical body of Christ by trying to imagine the body without the head, or vice versa.  In fact, this is unthinkable.  Church membership is necessary, and one starts playing dangerous games with Biblical language when one tries to put a wedge between Christ and His Bride.

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