Blessed Assurance, Part I
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine,
Oh what a foretaste of glory divine;
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of his spirit, washed in His blood…
The quote above is taken from an old hymn that we sang frequently in my church. As people who know me begin to react to my agnostic atheism and try to change my mind, the words from ‘Blessed Assurance’ run through my mind. A few have taken it upon themselves to help me see the error of my ways. They are very polite and warm in the way they do it. It usually comes in the form of recommending a book/article/sermon that will supposedly solve my hard questions. It is then followed up with a personal and detailed plea. Every single person that has done this recently is a Christian who takes the Bible as the authoritative word of God and believes there is no salvation found outside of Christianity for mankind. They are absolutely certain that what they believe is the truth-no question, no doubts(or at least that is what they tell me).
But when I hear these individuals speak to me with such assurance-as if what they are saying is factual-I can’t help but think how different this conversation would be if their circumstances of existence were different.I mean these are all people born in predominately Christian nations and raised in Christian families. But what if they’d been born in Somalia instead? I’m sure the discussion would not be the same.They’d be telling me that Islam was the true and perfect religion instead. Much of what we believe in terms of religion is based upon what our families pass down to us, the geographical location we are born in and the time we are born in. Many of us stick to whatever the default position of our society is. With that in mind, how can one confidently assert that their faith, and theirs only, is the path that leads to God?