The Problem with Religious Salvation

Although the world’s religions have differences in practice, belief, comprehension of God, and human purpose they do find agreement in the idea that humanity has a deficiency. That deficiency, known as the human problem, is an inherent shortcoming that accompanies our physical existence in this material world. Religion offers believers a solution to this problem known as salvation which liberates a believer from attachment to the physical enabling them to become aware of their spiritual roots.

In religion the human problem is fundamentally recognized as our attachment to the physical body, the material world specifically, and acceptance of the ordinary identity humanity gives. The human problem is also an ignorance of our inextricable connection to God, the depth of our spiritual roots and the reality and potential of our extraordinary spiritual identity. Religion works to free us from the vices of the human problem through practices and traditions developed to offer us salvation from the human problem. It is called salvation because the process is believed to be spiritually liberating, unlocking our universal potential, purpose and meaning, detaching us from a physical identity and materialistic way of living and knowing freeing us to exist according to our innate spiritual identity and a higher dimensional way of living and knowing.

Religion offers a unique cause for the human problem, informing us of its origin and those things that perpetuate it. The solution, which is salvation, promises liberation by making us aware of our connection with God and informing us of our spiritual roots and identity. To the Christian the human problem is the presence of a sinful nature. This condition threatens our relationship with God and prevents us from taking advantage of all that relationship offers. Because of sin and an attachment to the flesh we are ineligible for heaven and in danger of an eternal existence in hell. For the Muslim the problem is a life without total submission, glorification and honor of God. Those who do not offer total submission to the will of Allah will suffer also the consequences of hell, either temporarily or eternally.

In Hinduism the human problem is a failure to become liberated from the material self. The goal is not heaven but existence as the spiritual Self our true identity which is one with God or Brahman. Failure to do so results in perpetual life cycles; repeating birth, life, and death ceasing only after we realize our true identity existing as one with the divine will and consciousness.

In all these religious perspectives the human problem is that we have been ignorant of our connection with God and our spiritual roots and purpose. We have accepted life as mere material beings, in a material world, accepting this to be the highest level of reality possible. The salvation religion offers claims to liberates us by encouraging us to reject our identity as simple agents of the physical world and embracing our legitimate spiritual purpose and identity.

Christians offer salvation through Christ, Hinduism offers liberation through recognizing we are one with God, Judaism and Islam by total submission to God. No matter what, a religion recognizes as the origin of the human problem, liberation from the problem requires a commitment to religious practices that produce a dynamic change in the individual. Salvation is a liberating event, a transformation of the mind, body and spirit bringing awareness to the greatest truth and how we come to understand purpose of oneself, what reality is, and who God is.

Religious salvation is spoken of as an event, a transformation, an enlightenment, a liberation, an awakening, a realization that can only be obtained through specific practices that make salvation valid, it is spiritually liberating, unlocking the spiritual potential of humankind as well as mundane purpose and meaning. It is believed that religious salvation has the power to liberate the believer without future salvations taking place, therefore once this transformative event takes place it does not need to be completed again. Although living as a saved person according to various religious contexts is a task that takes great commitment, religion recognizes salvation as a one-time event benefiting you in this life and beyond.

Religion suggests that salvation is the ultimate panacea and all one needs for a fruitful existence here and beyond. But can a single salvation experience that focuses on solving a human problem be sufficient for all future problems, issues, and challenges that one may encounter while experiencing life throughout eternity? Once this physical life ends, we will no longer be human beings but rather emerge as an alternative type of being (angel, spiritual being, light being, enlightened one, Buddha, resident of heaven or hell, etc.) that has specific modes of being enabling us to be productive in the reality we find ourselves in. Does liberation from the human problem fortify us against the concerns and problems that await us as alternative types of beings, non-humans? Would we not also need a spiritual liberation(s) from averse spiritual circumstances we encounter in unknown spiritual realms?

What does a human salvation offer one that has residency in the afterlife and is subject to the reality of spiritual laws, rules of engagement, dangers, and methods of conduct? Beyond earthly life is something peculiar, advanced, unexplored, and nameless that awaits us all. Knowledge of who and what we are, will expand with each new spiritual realm of existence, each having a unique reality and purpose unknown and impossible to be expressed in the realm of existence before it. Those foreign realms of reality, those divinely bizarre methods of being will produce new possibilities, new ways of being and new methods of living life. perfection is a new reality that also needs to be addressed

It is normal in religion to have both a God that is good and a force that is evil in opposition to each other both desiring the soul, mind, and body of humankind. Talk of spiritual warfare and a battle for the souls is common. Adam and Eve fell even in their intimate relationship with God. Satan was once a being of virtue but fell victim to desire and became evil. Not only was Lucifer faced with a unique spiritual problem so were a third of heavens angles that followed him. If deficiencies are present in the heavenly realms, where those under the direct command of God and those in intimate relationships with God are not immune to such corruption surely the end of all problems is not solved by addressed the human problem here on earth.