People were gathering in the streets, staring into the sky. “I am God” was written clearly in the sky — and it was written in every sky all over the planet. The same message was on every TV set in the world and people could hear a voice gently repeating the same thing. After one hour the short message began- a message of love and guaranteed eternal life for everyone.
With this came messages for cures for cancer, cheap energy and abundant food for everyone. No longer did humanity have to struggle in their religions: no more daily prayers, no dressing up for church, no dietary laws, no more stories to believe in — we had been granted Salvation Lite.
We all sometime wanted to be rescued from something– saved from poverty, illness, violence, depression, anxiety and loneliness. With luck, friends, technology, wit and preparation we can indeed sometimes be saved. For the other times, we have beer!
One of the selling points of religion is “salvation”. There are several versions, but painting it broadly, there is salvation in this life and salvation after death.
In the Jewish Bible, Yahweh offers political salvation– saving Israel and obedient tribe members from their enemies. Most Christian sects emphasize after-death side of salvation: salvation from damnation.
But it matters not which kind of salvation, the divine requirements are often complicated. Jews have all sorts of laws they must obey, Christians have got to believe a story with a complicated trinity ontology. And the story is usually told only to some small tribe. Arabs hear it from Mohammed and must spread it. Jews hear it from Jesus and must spread it.
Come on. If there is a god who is all-powerful and totally loving, why not a “Salvation Lite”? Why not a clear message in the sky to everybody all at once — an unquestionable miracle with simple universal rules.
The “Salvation Lite” question or “Why don’t we have better Revelation” is a common one I hear from atheists, in different forms. It seems a reasonable question to me. Well, it would be reasonable if it made sense at all to expect such a deity — and that does not make sense, so for me, the salvation questions don’t even come up. Expecting anything different after death than meets a roadkill squirrel seems anthropocentrically bizarre to me. See my post: Roadkill Theology.
Undoubtedly some Christians will say that their main concern is service, discipleship, praxis and not their individual salvation — but I am addressing those Christians to whom personal salvation is important.