Christians use this word and its cousins like "Savior" "being saved" etc.  with great frequency, but I don't think we all mean the same thing by it, nor have we all examined its underlying assumptions.  I would like to hear from a wide variety of Friends, Christian-identified or not, about what this word means to them.  Thanks!

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Good question.  For me it is the promise and assurance of eternal life spent with God based on my acceptance of His Son and his sacrificial death for me. 

 

I find that where problems generally arise is with various definitions of salvation in and outside of Friends.  There are those who would define salvation by good works and would judge others accordingly.  Thus, if you're saved, "you do this and not that".  However, Paul warned against this and the rules that I believe the Galatians were bogged down with of "don't taste, don't touch".  I think we would be better off finding a biblical defintion and sticking with it without adding our own requirements and then loading people down with them.  Once we've done that, then we can begin to live in the fullness that salvation brings. 

I'm glad you started this discussion--I've wondered that often myself! (and Marty, I really appreciated your response).  To me, salvation means "healing."  I feel that Christ is my savior because he is God-With-Us;  that is, he heals my relationship with God by showing me how to live rightly, according to the fruits of the spirit (this happens both through his earthly teachings in the gospels and through his subtle leadings today).  I've also experienced his healing presence in more direct and personal ways.  Thankfully, I very rarely experience emotional turmoil, but when I do I try a bit of prayer.  Often, when I do this, I experience the divine presence in a very close, loving, human form, a form that I experience as Christ.  It is this humanity of God that is a healing, salvific presence for me.  I suspect that when other Christians talk about "being saved" it is something like this, but with maybe a bit more theological baggage. :)

I just finished the book "Saving Paradise". The writers point out that the earliest Christian art did not include images of crucifixion. The mosaics showed images of resurrection, healing, the garden of Eden.

That is salvation for me - Jesus as teacher and healer.

I believe that by His death and resurrection, Jesus restored my and everyone else's relationship with God.  How our individual relationships develop depends on each one of us.

Several things.

There's the usual theological sense, sure.

But practically, I truly believe in my redemption when I experience God's unconditional love through another human- when a friend or Friend is there for me in such a way that God's love becomes clear.  

I also believe in redemption when I'm able to overcome my human nature and show that love to someone else, despite all the difficulties.

When I am able to admit that I've sinned and then really believe that I am forgiven, I also understand that I am saved.

When my faith helps me struggle through times of overwhelming depression when I feel worse that worthless, I feel redeemed, given value again (like when, as above, I am able to show love to someone else).  

When my faith helps me overcome my flaws and to say something better than I could alone, or be braver or gentler or kinder or just better than I could be relying on myself- then also I understand that I am saved by faith.  

 

I could go on.  

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