What a Savior Looks Like

I was re-reading the interview with wrong incarnate (otherwise known as Sean McDowell), when I came across this bit.

Remember, the Christian story makes sense only if we were created by God and then rebelled. Otherwise, what’s the need for a Savior?

And it got me thinking.  If we rebelled against god (that guy wanted to keep us from having knowledge and he murdered whole civilizations, so if he exists I damn sure hope we rebelled!), what would our savior look like?

Imagine a city in which there lives a man of incomparable wealth and influence who kicked his children out of the house and into the street for wanting to go to college.   Not only that, but he’s pretty much running around and killing everybody who isn’t obeying him.  Sometimes he tortures them.  It would be totally understandable for even his children to rebel, for clearly he is a crime lord.  But one day a savior rides into the city and…

A)  …engages the crime lord in battle, ultimately destroying him and giving the people of the city their lives back.

B)  …joins forces with the crime lord and helps the crime lord enforce the “obey or be tortured” edict.

One of those sounds like a savior, the other sounds like the mafia demanding protection money.  “Sure, I’ll keep my family from trashing your business if you just pay your 10% each month for the service and do everything we tell ya.”  Are these ruffians also saviors?

A savior destroys the tyrant, they don’t take a seat at his right hand and say “Yeah, the commoners were totally wrong to rebel – they can fall to one knee or be punished.”  What if Gandalf had plopped down in the throne right next to Sauron and convinced him to only torture the insubordinate who openly disapproved of mass killing?  Each of us would hope that Frodo destroyed him too.

What would we say of Luke Skywalker if he had joined the Empire and convinced Palpatine to only torture all of those who didn’t submit to his rule?  The “new hope” would be our new enemy, and I doubt there’s a Christian on the planet who would say otherwise.  We all seem to easily recognize the difference between a savior and a villain until we read the  bible.

The Christian savior is a guy who marches into god’s fortress, sees that god burning everybody, and rather than drawing steel and attempting to stop the profligate he has the following conversation:

Savior:  “Burning people alive for their honest opinion?  Spectacular!  I’m in!  They deserve it.  But how about we don’t burn the ones who swear loyalty to us and don’t mind us roasting their neighbors?  In fact, if they will swear fealty, let them join our ranks!”

God:  “Yeeeesssssss.  They will worship us or burn!  We’ll even tell them that you’re their savior!  Think they’ll buy it?”

Savior:  “No way!  That’s too much!  Oh, I love it!  Can I pull the lever on the next one?”

Given Christian logic, can we get a savior from our savior, please?

A savior sides with the rebels against the oppressor.  Jesus isn’t a savior, he’s an accomplice.

When powerful beings threaten the well-being of innocent people the world over, this is what a real savior does.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.