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0 May 28 2016, 14:35 in Argumentative Essay


The Concept of Salvation

 

Religion is often referred to as a sensitive topic for many since it is something that varies from person to person despite being of the same faith. Discussions usually sprout into arguments and personal attacks that may question your whole belief system. As a believer and a good follower, it is just human nature to defend and protect what you believe in – your faith. In spite of the many religions and belief system established in our world today, there are still common grounds and overlapping ideas in all of them. According to World Religions, there are 3 beliefs that are universally present in all religions. First, that there exists a higher form of being that sees everything and has the power over the world. Second common belief is the idea of a good person or believer and the last commonality is the existence and importance of rituals in our religion (Trimarco, 2005, p. 1). Ultimately, human nature is somehow dependent on their religion’s concept of salvation. People act based on what they believe in and how can they be saved from this world full of temptations. Some people become selfish and only think of how they can have a better afterlife. We act and conspire towards our redemption, our salvation. And so the concept is necessary in order to see and validate the pureness of one’s heart in doing good deeds and how impurity and misconception violate the whole idea of salvation.

Basically, salvation is the belief that there is a great form of peace that people can attain where any form of violence and suffering cease to exist. It is the idea of being saved from the world of sins and from our enemies to live a prosperous life for eternity (Adeyemo, 1983, p. 4). Adeyemo discussed the importance of salvation not by religion but by acts and deeds giving the general concept of salvation unbiased by religions. Salvation by right ritual is the oldest idea of salvation. It believes that being ritualistic is synonymous to eventually being saved. It can be seen being practiced in one of the oldest religion, Hinduism, where people attain salvation by observing karma-marga (way of works). The same goes for Christianity where animal sacrifice and other offerings have been the norm for atonement as usually described in Genesis (p.5). Salvation by losing all desires is the concept of Buddhism while salvation by right actions is the idea governing Jainism. Buddhism observes the law of karma and considers life as a cycle of birth, death and rebirth where reincarnation of the body is based on the previous karma. Thus, salvation can be achieved upon enlightenment which can be realized by following the Eightfold path and the four noble truths (Wayne House, 2006). Just like Buddhism, Jainism originated from a second caste as well. This religion believes that refraining from doing evil is not as important as doing the right thing. Jainism teaches its believers that right actions lead to salvation (Adeyemo, 1983, p.9).

Taoism, on the other hand, looks at salvation by union with the absolute. It focuses on simplicity and being one with the Tao, a great and mystical principle in the universe (Adeyemo, 1983, p.10). Another common take on salvation is by submission which can be achieved by following strictly the law of the faith. According to Adeyemo, salvation is a team effort of man and God. Judaism is one of the many religions that shows great sincerity to its commandments where practice is given more importance than belief. Same as Judaism, Islam also practices submission where Allah, the one and only God, must be obeyed (p.11). From Trimarco, Muslims must observe the teachings of Qur’an and Sunnah. They must also believe in the six articles of faith and follow the five pillars of faith to attain salvation, as judged by Allah himself (p.42). As for the Roman Catholic, accepting Christ is not enough for atonement. And so, one must repent and confess for salvation. But, salvation by grace through faith alone is also believed by many Roman Catholics as well. By the grace of God, we are saved from our sins through Jesus Christ. All we have to do is believe in Him and have faith (Adeyemo, 1983, p.12).

Ultimately, it is salvation that keeps all of us going. It is what pushes us to do things, good or bad, that will have a great effect on our salvation. But we should be worried about being too blinded by our own faith that we fail to grasp the rights of other people, especially the non-believers. A specific example of manifestation of the concept of salvation in our society today is the on-going ISIS attacks that damaged and killed a lot of people. Due to their strong belief that submission to Islam is the only way to salvation, they are purging this world of non-believers and heretics, cleansing it and thinking that only those who follow Allah have the right to live. People should beware of taking things out of context. Spiritual differences should not be a hindrance to achieve a peaceful nation. All of these religions are created to help us find the meaning of life, learn how to respect and be good to one another. This should not be the cause of our downfall.

References

Adeyemo, T. (1983). The Idea of Salvation in Contemporary World Religions. Retrieved May 26, 2016, from http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/ajet/02-1_004.pdf

Trimarco, G. & Breese, C. (2005). World Religions. University of Metaphysical Sciences. Retrieved May 26, 2016, from http://umsonline.org/PrinterFriendly/WorldReligions.pdf

Wayne House, H. (2006). Sin and Salvation: A Comparison of Major World Religions. In Charts of World Religions. Retrieved May 26, 2016, from http://str.typepad.com/weblog/files/ worldrelchart.pdf

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