Free Essay

Reaction - Salvation

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jkbtechnologies
Words 967
Pages 4
Reaction – “Salvation”

The nonfiction short essay “Salvation” written by Langston Hughes in 1940, presents a theme on the literal and often manipulated perception of children. Hughes narrates the essay as he recounts his disappointing attempt at salvation. Hughes aunt told him that when she was saved by Jesus she saw a light, and felt something happen within herself. As children will do, Hughes took her story literally and was heartbroken as he sat in front of the church and watched other children “saved” while he was not. He believed that Jesus must not want him because he did not see or feel anything. In the end, Hughes is forced to lie about accepting Jesus and in turn rejects the Christian faith all together. I related to Hughes story on many accounts. I am a mother of three young children who perceive everything in life literally, and as a young girl I was raised in a very religious environment. I could visualize and almost feel Hughes devastation as he sat at the front of the church crushed by the thoughts of God not wanting him. “Still I kept waiting to see Jesus” (Barnet, Cain, & Burto, 2011, pp. 351). One of the churches that my family attended for a short time during my childhood practiced speaking in tongs. I specifically remember feeling just like Hughes during a service when other children were speaking in unnatural languages perceived to be sent from God himself. I could not understand why I was not chosen to talk for God and intern was hurt and ashamed of myself. Hughes uses several rhetorical devices within this essay to help bring out the literal and often manipulated perception of children as the meaning and theme. The language within this essay is manipulated in a fashion to create a childish feel. While reading this essay one believes that Hughes is actually 12 again, as if a child was narrating the story. A reader can take themselves back to their own childhood memories and recall how they perceived stories told to them allowing many readers to relate to his own recount. My aunt told me that when you were saved you saw a light, and something happened to you inside! And Jesus came into your life! And God was with you from then on! She said you could see and hear and feel Jesus in your soul. I believed her (Barnet, Cain, & Burto, 2011, pp. 351).
Hughes statement, “I believed her” (Barnet, et al, 2011, pp. 351) is one of the most powerful statements in this story. Children believe everything they hear in the literal meaning. A most powerful example is Santa Claus. Children around the word believe that a jolly fat old man flies completely around the entire word in one night, stopping at every house to give a gift of joy to every child on earth. The perception of children should not be misunderstood, nor should it be manipulated. Hughes uses the literary devices of repetition to show the manipulation the children in the church received. Nine times throughout this 15 paragraph essay, the preacher says “Won’t you come? Won’t you come to Jesus?” (Barnet, et al, 2011, pp. 351). The children were pressured into accepting Jesus. They were manipulated into believing that it was a crime not to come to Jesus, that it was such a simple thing to do, and if they did not that very day it was a deliberate act against themselves, Jesus, and the church. Imagery is used to bring the reader virtually into the very room Hughes was recalling. He also uses imagery to show the manipulation the church used to alter the perception of the children. “The preacher preached a wonderful rhythmical sermon, all moans and shouts and lonely cries and dire pictures of hell” (Barnet, et al, 2011, pp. 351). The children were provided a rhythmical, soothing atmosphere to make them feel comfortable, but all the while they were presented with images of what could happen to them if they did not submit. people came and knelt around us and prayed, old women with jet-black faces …old men with work-gnarled hands. And the church sang a song about the lower lights are burning, some poor sinners to be saved. (Barnet, et al, 2011, pp. 351)
The children were trapped in the front of the church surrounded by scary old people praying and singing about their fate. The children were not provided the proper choice; they were not surrounded in a loving, caring, open environment free to voice their questions or opinions. The perception of their fate was manipulated causing them to submit to the church’s desires. Ironically the Bible stories of Jesus speak of a loving, caring, and bright faced man who placed children on his knee while speaking to them kindly. Jesus provided his people the choice to believe and follow; he did not scare them into submission. In conclusion, ironically Hughes show how although his childish perception of “salvation” was manipulated, he in the end no longer believed in Jesus. I couldn’t bear to tell her that I had lied, that I had deceived everybody in the church, and I hadn’t seen Jesus, and that now I didn’t believe there was a Jesus any more, since he didn’t come to help me” (Barnet, et al, 2011, pp. 352).
Ironically, the manipulation and pressure the church used to bring children to Jesus, turned Hughes away. It’s curious to wonder what could have happen with Hughes faith had his perception not been manipulated. Would he have been saved by grace, and become a significant member of God’s family?

References
Barnet, S., Cain, W. E., & Burto, W. (2011). Literature for Composition (9th ed.). Bloomington, IN: Longman.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Evangalism and the Sovereignty of God

...anything. Packer wants his audience to realize that because the God is sovereign, we cannot save ourselves. Our salvation comes through Him and in Him; it is nothing we did ourselves. Packers gives two examples, that he believes can prove that God is sovereign in salvation. The first, he argues that we (Christians) thank God for our salvation. By doing so we acknowledge that God is solely responsible for our salvation. We do not thank ourselves for being saved, do we? No, because we know that it is God who is in control. The second way we acknowledge that God is sovereign in salvation, is that we pray for the conversion of non-believers. Packer defends his reasoning by saying, “Do you limit yourself to asking that God will bring them (non-believers) to a point where they can save themselves, independently of Him?”[1] Again, by praying to God for the salvation of others we practice the act of acknowledging God is sovereign. Proven now, that God is sovereign, in chapter 2 the author explains what an antimony is and how to deal with hardships that come along with it. An antimony is an appearance of a contradiction between conclusions which seem equally logical, reasonable or necessary. We see an example of this in the Bible, where passages appear to contradict each other, yet in reality they are both equally true. Although, once we recognize an antinomy our reaction is to lower the one truth and put emphasis on the other. Packer’s advice to deal with this......

Words: 1791 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Method of Evangelism

...Ronald Hammer EVAN 101-B19 October 5, 2011 “Methods of Evangelism Paper” Part ONE - Evangelistic Method #1 - The “Intellectual Method” that I have chosen is the Roman road. The Roman Road method is a very simple method that utilizes seven verses of salvation taken from the book of Romans in the New Testament. While many people believe they will go to heaven because they have done charity work, been baptized as a child, attended church, or treated others fairly, the Bible declares that none of us can live up to God’s standards of righteousness. Therefore, we need a road to God that doesn’t rely on anything we do, but rather, relies on the gift of His grace alone. The bible verses that are utilized are Romans 1:20-21 “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.” Roman 2:23 “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Romans 5:8 “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 10:9-10 “If you confess...

Words: 1763 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

The Christian Life

...“The Christian Life” Presented to Dr. Jason Epps for BIBL 425 B10 (LUO)– Romans by tvwells Date October 5, 2015 Paul’s letters to the Romans was written to address specific situations, therefore, it is considered occasional and not systematic. “But in God’s providence, those situations are such that Paul ends up addressing issues of perennial theological significance.” [1] (Moo) One such issue is “The Christian Worldview:” our beliefs about creation, sin, salvation, eschatology, ethics, and theology. Creation “For the invisible things of Him [God] since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity” (Romans 1:20). In Romans 1:20 Paul teaches, every since the world was created God’s invisible qualities, His divine nature and power has been seen. His majesty, and his excellence is illuminated in the works of His creation. Paul echo’s a passage from Psalm 24, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.” (Psalm 24:1-2) Paul delivers a warning to the unrighteous, stating, “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness who suppress the truth…” (v. 18) “ because God has made it plan, therefore, “you are without excuse.” (v. 20) He urges the unrighteous to learn from nature, and worship its creator, not His creation. ......

Words: 3005 - Pages: 13

Free Essay

Justification by Faith

...Justification by Faith By Russell D. Stalvey Introduction A statement that is ancient but also timeless and just as relevant for today’s believers is that we are justified by faith. The Apostle Paul gave insight to this statement very distinctly and in great aspect but to completely understand the statement, we first must possess a foundational comprehension of what it means to be justified. In understanding justification we will see that it is inseparably interrelated to faith, but not just any faith. We will also see that the undertaking of justification by faith has overwhelming effects on the justified. Definition Justification is seen as an act of God’s wonderful grace, free grace that is available to all sinners. God exonerations all of the sins, receives the sinners, not because of anything fashioned in the sinner or performed by the sinner, but only for the unflawed submission and complete satisfaction of the Lord, through God’s impartation and received by faith alone. The Westminster Larger Catechism answers the definition of justification in this manner: “Justification is an ‘act’. It is a courtroom verdict .We are the defendants and charges have been filed against us. The judge passes his verdict. Logically there are only two verdicts available to the judge. One of these verdicts is ‘condemned’, and the other is ‘justified’. If we are ‘condemned’, then the judge has pronounced us ‘guilty’. If we are ‘justified’, then the judge has pronounced......

Words: 2907 - Pages: 12

Free Essay

God and Human Suffering

...Why Does God Allow Suffering? by David C. Pack ------------------------------------------------- The world is filled with suffering of every kind. Countless millions know little else. Yet God allows it. Why has He not stopped the terrible suffering that afflicts so many? Is there a REASON God has not intervened? Does suffering have a great unseen PURPOSEthat can be understood? Take a long look around the world. Enormous numbers of people are suffering everywhere for every kind of reason. Every day, 200,000 people starve to death—and this is after weeks or months of horrible suffering. Such suffering is not limited to physical pain, but includes psychological and mental anguish of parents often having to watch their children die in their arms. Starvation is so awful that death is actually a blessed relief. Why doesn’t God stop this? Even more people die each day from disease. The very word disease means people are not “at ease.” As you read this article, untold trauma, pain and suffering, due to crippling conditions, infections and disease of every sort, are occurring around the world. Just in Africa, children are orphaned by the millions every year, due to AIDS alone. Why isn’t God intervening? The prophet Daniel spoke of “the TIME OF THE END.” The apostle Peter said, “there shall come in the LAST DAYS scoffers.” Paul said, “In the LAST DAYS perilous times shall come.”…  Order Now Now consider poverty, which affects one-third of all people on earth. The lack of...

Words: 4035 - Pages: 17

Free Essay

Why Do People Suffer

...I. We see and experience problems as we go through life. A. Sometimes we wonder why these things happen. B. If a person is trying to be good, why doesn’t God protect him from evil? II. First, what do we mean by “good” A. Technically, only God is good - Luke 18:19 B. In God there is not even a shadow of darkness - I John 1:5 C. In contrast, we are unable to live without sinning at times - I John 1:8, Romans 3:23 D. When we ask “Why me?” we are implying that we have no responsibility for the problems we sometimes face. 1. This might be true at times, but I’ve seen people say, “Why am I being evicted from my apartment?” Perhaps it is because you are behind on paying your rent. 2. People tend to ignore or make light of their own responsibilities. E. Yet there are times that bad things happen, which are totally out of our control. 1. Still, we shouldn’t say that these things should not happen because we are too good to experience them. F. One of the things that the Bible teaches us is that sin has consequences – whether we are referring to our own sin or the sins of another. 1. Jeremiah lamented that their fathers and sin, yet they still bore the......

Words: 1226 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Christology

...Theology 201-D17 Christology As you are going home from work, two well-dressed gentlemen accost you, handing you some literature explaining what they believe. You glance over it and are drawn to this sentence: "Jesus was a man and as such could not also be God." Seeing the puzzled look on your face, one of the men asks you what you think of this claim. For two gentlemen to come and show me such a paper with their thoughts on it is in a way sad. The men do not have the proper knowledge of the Lord that they need. I believe that it is my goal to express my relationship and knowledge in which they can absorb into their knowledge. The biblical basis for Jesus’ humanity is indicated in his suffering on the cross. Jesus went through the pain and horrible suffering to die for our sins. He is a man because he walked among other men and grew everyday as a man. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. (Romans 5:8). The biblical basis for Jesus’ deity, meaning a God, refers to his direct connection to the Father who sent him so save humanity. He is what man should be and is the ideal example of how man should live. He is our Lord and Savior because of what he was sent to do and because he opened our eyes to sin and how we should live life through the Father. Jesus can both God and Man at the same time because he has the characteristics of both. Jesus is both a God and a Man, but is presented as one individual known as the......

Words: 818 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Theo 202 Quiz 2

...state of immortality. What opinion does the textbook purpose regarding the nature of the Tree of Life’s existence? It was instrument to test the motives of Adam, to reveal if he could demonstrate his virture through obedience Know the three avenues of temptation through which Satan tempted Eve. 1.Lust of the eyes 2.Lust of the flesh 3.Pride of life Understand the distinctions between the Arminian and Calvinist views of total depravity, and be able to provide a biblical definition of it. Arminian: Man can reason himself to God fully developed in the enlightment era. Man is capable of doing spiritual good. Moral works can be performed. Calvinism: Man cannot reason except trhough the grace of God. Man can do not good until salvation occurs. No moral works can be performed. Biblical Definition: Man can reason, but he can’t obtain merit from God. Man is unable to do spiritual works unless he is regenerated. Socially moral works can be performed by unbelievers What is the textbook’s view regarding the nature (or reality) of the serpent found in Genesis 3? Satan used an actual serpent. At what point (and through what event) was the promise of God to “crush” Satan’s head fulfilled? At Calvary when Satan was judged Understand the nature of sin as revealed by Old Testament words as well as by New Testament...

Words: 842 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Gospel Message

...1. What are some ways the Christian gospel is perceived in our culture? There are several different views and beliefs of the Christian gospel. Some include: the Bible is a nice story but is just that a story; if I just say a Salvation prayer I am saved; if I treat others well and do good deeds I will get into Heaven; and, the Bible was written so long ago that it is not really relevant in today’s time; to just name a few. The Christian view of the gospel is one of good news. The gospel, in the Bible tells us that God loved us as sinners so much, He sent His only Son to pay the price for our sinful nature by dying on the cross. By understanding, and believing in our minds, our bodies (heart), and our souls that: we are sinners; that God sent His Son to die for our sins; that Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead; that the only way to God is through Jesus Christ; and by believing these things in our hearts and professing it with our mouths, we are saved. 2. What are some specific moral reasons people may reject the Christian gospel? One moral reason someone might reject the Christian gospel is that of greed. More and more today’s generation seems to be one of greed. The “me” generation; the “g” for greed generation; the “feel-good” generation; these generation examples seem to want whatever they desire and want to have it now, simply because it makes them feel good. This generation is full of people who have a selfish view of the world and what it can......

Words: 724 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Angelology and Satanology

...Angelology and Satanology ​One night while reading a book, a close friend of mine named Anna called me with specific questions pertaining to a television documentary that she was watching called “God vs. Satan.” She was concerned with the commonly wrong way that dualism and the idea that God and Satan are two eternal and equal forces struggling for all eternity. Her argument was that if this way of thinking were not true, then it must be that God created evil since it is well known that Satan is evil and God created Satan. I immediately explained to her that God did not create evil and that He cannot coexist with evil at any level and here is why: I began by explaining that what she is referring to is called religious dualism. Religious dualism is known as the belief that there are two opposite powers of good and evil that is operating in the universe. [1] The documentary specifically talked about the biblical revelation that the two sides of religious dualism are God versus Satan. Religious dualism is unbiblical since nowhere in Scripture can we find teachings that the universe consists of opposites, nor does it teach that Satan and God are equal and opposing forces. God, as we find in Scripture, is infinitely more powerful than Satan and will deliver punishment to Satan by eventually casting him into hell. This in itself proves the common misconception of dualism false and could not be done if they were equal and opposing forces. I then posed the question that if......

Words: 1092 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Gospel Necessity vs. Law Expediency

...There was no doubt about it, by most any standard Saul was good. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul describes himself likes this: if anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. In short, Saul had all the credentials that you could ever ask for in a religious person. And he made sure that these principles by which he lived were enforced. His preaching was a preaching that was unambiguous as to its expectations. Moreover, these expectations had “teeth” in them. They were enforced and held accountable by laws and rules strictly enforced. That’s what Saul was doing one day as he made his way to a town called Damascus. Armed with letters from the high priest giving him authority to arrest any who opposed him, Saul made his way to Damascus with the intent of taking prisoner as many Christians as he could. These people were going to know the rules. And they would obey...or else. You’ve got to admit, there is a certain appeal to that line of thought. It really simplifies things. All you have to do is say, “these are the laws...these are the rules, and if you don’t follow them, then we will impose this or that sanction on you.” It’s so simple; and all the while one can readily assume and heartily believe that he is...

Words: 2274 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Knowing God Reflection

...Joseph Tolentino Theology I Dr. Price Knowing God: Conflicted, Convicted, Assured, and Uplifted Psalm 135:15-18 The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
The work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak;
Eyes they have, but they do not see;  They have ears, but they do not hear;
Nor is there any breath in their mouths. Those who make them are like them;
So is everyone who trusts in them. Idols: man-made, objects and images, unable to move, see, or speak. And they are not just pictures or artwork, with Jesus on a Crucifix, or a painting of the Last Supper. They can be Sunday NFL football, a spouse, a profession, a celebrity, even an event. With that said, I understand what Packer notes to their being a danger in idols. I am not necessarily sure, however, whether I agree or disagree with the point he is conveying. Packer notes in Chapter 4, The Only True God, on page 44, “that statues and pictures of the One whom we worship are not to be used as an aid to worshipping Him.” That is understood. I am at fault myself for this sin, driving around, looking at this world and the heavens, and searching for displays of God’s glory, at one point even looking at telephone poles to see the formation of a cross. Just recently, I would be moved and reminded of Jesus, in a sense, trying to refocus myself on Him instead of the world and the issues ongoing in my life. Reading this brought serious conviction to that thought-process, showing me......

Words: 1246 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

On the Left Side

...On the Left Side Sins are inevitable. People make sins every day without them even knowing it. But when they do, they tell their sins to God and God will forgive them. That is not how life works to all people who believes in God. God may see past a sin but that is not the case for some people. Some people cannot see past a sin and that is what we see in this short story from 1991 On the Left Side. This short story deals with almost a whole town of hypocrites who has supported a project, which was to send someone to Burundi, some state in Central Africa, to set up and run a medical mission. The choice landed on Sister Philomena O’Halloran. After twenty years of work, she sent a young African back to the hometown, Conn, in Western Ireland, and the reception was shocking as they easily could see, from his looks, who the mother was. The narrator is a woman who has also sinned by getting a baby with a man outside a marriage, just as Sister Philomena O’Halloran. “The right side of the church is filled to bursting, while only ten people – myself and nine other sinners – sit on the left.” (p.1, l.2). After Father O’Rourke and as good as the rest of Conn had dropped their investments in Sister Philomena O’Halloran’s mission, the narrator were still managing to raise money, in a fond she had raised herself, and sent them to Sister Philomena O’Halloran, but it were not as much as it used to be. The narrator is mad on the way Father O’Rourke is keeping Friday outside and how Friday is...

Words: 942 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Worldview Essay

...Romans Paul wrote to Christians about how they should be living their lives. He writes about the power of God and how he will leads us to salvations. He is trying to teach us about condemnation, justification, and sanctification. He talks about those who reject God, reject his knowledge, because they think that they are better. We “are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ” (Romans 3:24). Through faith in Jesus Christ it will lead you to salvation. Paul describes how our worldview should be on the natural world, human identity, relationships, and culture. Natural World In Romans 1:20, Paul writes that the world was created by God. We all know that He created the earth and everything in it. There is no excuse to sin since we know that He created all things. God has made it very clear how a person is to act within this world. As stated in Romans 1:20, “for since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse”. Those who have acted wicked and has shown ungodliness will see the wrath of God. We were all born with sin because of the sins of Adam and Eve. Christians should not be ashamed to practice their faith in God, because in faith it will lead them to salvation (Romans1:16). Human Identity Mankind was created by God in his image (Genesis 1:27). God had plans for mankind to do great things......

Words: 848 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Methods of Evangelism

...Methods of Evangelism Nathalie Graham Liberty University Online The Romans Road Summary of Method – The Romans Road is an “intellectual” plan using a collection of verses from the New Testament book of Romans to explain God’s gift of salvation. When these verses are arranged in order they offer a systematic presentation of the plan of salvation (What is Roman’s Road?) Through the presentation of these verses one learns that we are all sinners (Romans 3:10, 23), that the wages of sin are death (Romans 6:23), that Jesus paid for our sins on the cross (Romans5:8), that salvation comes through faith, by confessing with our mouths and believing in our hearts that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9,10), and the need to call on the Lord for salvation (Romans 10:13) (What Is Roman’s Road?). The sharing of these scriptures opens the door for one to accept salvation. Advantages of Using This Method – There are several advantages to using this method of evangelism. First, for those that are new to witnessing to others the Roman’s Road offers a solid Biblical plan to winning souls. This method is laid out so that even children and the newest Christian would be able to share Christ with others using the scriptures. Secondly, the plan exposes the non-believer to the scriptures. Thirdly, this method is effective in reaching those that accept that the Bible is the Word of God and are willing to accept its teachings. Disadvantages of Using This Method – The Romans Road method of......

Words: 1520 - Pages: 7