To Save or to Serve?

Buckle up. This post is going to take you for a ride.

One of my favorite passages of Scripture can be found in the New Testament in Paul’s letter to the Galatians:

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

Galatians 5:13-15

Naturally, the “love your neighbor as yourself” would be the focus of that text. However, I want to call your attention to the phrase in bold text: “serve one another.” It is such an overlooked phrase. Yet, it sums up the duty of the church in its simplistic fullness: as servants.

However, it becomes harder day by day to ignore the centuries-old delusion that the church has been called to “save” people rather than serve them. I see countless instances where far-right religious groups often influence political institutions to advance their ultra-religious agenda on an exceptionally diverse nation. Religious views on abortion, same sex relations, race, immigration, and a host of other issues have driven a deep wedge between those that live in reality and those that are determined to alter reality with wishful thinking and unfounded dogma. The same dogma that says women aren’t allowed to preach in the pulpit or that facial hair is ungodly.

However, what bothers me the most concerning this subject is the fact that some are bold enough to use Christ as both a weapon to attack others while also using Him as a shield to defend their bigotry when admonished. Sounds a few steps beyond hypocritical, right? Almost heretical. But the truth of the matter is, their intent was never to serve. It was never to wash the feet of their neighbor or provide for the least of these. Their sole intent is to subvert the teachings of Christ, the ultimate servant-leader, and advance an ideology that has no place in neither the kingdoms of God or man.

It should not be desired by anyone to save others from their sins. Who are we to save when we are in need of saving ourselves? If you want to help others, serve. If you want to show others to Christ, serve. If you want to bring happiness to all those you meet, serve. If you want the Father to say to you “well done,” then serve. None of these things can come to pass if you waste your time doing what Christ did and what he is continuing to do. Paul confirmed this when he said:

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:12

And that means no one — including the church. Remember, we are simply a body of believers who sin and fall short daily. But we rejoice knowing that Christ not only has the power and capacity to forgive, but that He is also with us and He is mighty to save.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.