Salvation as a Team Sport

Following are a few excerpts from Brian Zahnd's latest blog:
I am proud to bear the name of Christ, but there you see the problem in finding the right words.

There is a way of being proud to be a Christian that is all wrong.

If you don’t actually know anyone who is not a Christian, or if you’re not actually friends with anyone who is not a Christian, you probably won’t understand what I’m trying to say. (And you should get out a little more.)

But the "proud to be a Christian" attitude belongs to the "US vs. THEM" mentality which is so distasteful and unhelpful. It’s salvation as a team sport—hooray for our side! There’s something deeply wrong with that. And it feeds into the notion that, "all the saved people pretty much agree with me on most things political, theological and otherwise." No, it’s not said in so many words, but I see it all the time.

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me." I believe that. I absolutely, unequivocally believe that. But I also think there is a way of believing it which is wrong. When we believe it in the manner of arrogant triumphalism it’s wrong. When it’s used as a trump card to play against those we count as our enemies, it’s wrong. "Hey, all you atheists and Muslims, Jesus is the only way to be saved. So take that!" And we call it "witnessing." It’s more like gloating. What Jesus said is to be believed, but not gloated over.
I liked what Brian says.. it is a generous approach to life.. it is gracious and humble. Check out Brian's complete post here.


  1. Thanks Bob... this is pretty cool.

    Was thinking about something Jesus said... "this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me."

    Sometimes I think of church as the holding area where Christ puts the "saved" people -- so they can entertain themselves while He goes out looking for more lost sheep.

    Can't imagine that the sheep in the pen are proud -- probably just happy to be safe and cared for.

  2. Bob,
    I think we all (those of us who claim to follow Christ)need to realize this in our own lives.Even when our motives are pure, just with our "Christian Speak" we put up an instant wall because of the bad name we have given to the church.
    Our absolutist proclamations about the "Truth" I think are mostly pride. And I think need to stop claiming all that we "know" and just love people where they are. I don't mean trying to fix them, I mean loving them.

  3. I liked this Shaun..

    absolutist proclamations about the "Truth"

    ..I think that these extreme black and white views are detrimental to His cause.


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