Correspondence: ‘Can Jesus Christ be our Saviour?’
by S.M. Fossil
The Light (Pakistan), 1st July 1922 Issue (Vol. 1, No. 14, pp. 3–4)
When Diogenes was asked what kind of wine he liked best, he replied, that which is drunk at the cost of others; and when a Christian is asked what kind of Salvation he likes best, he replies, that which is obtained at the cost of Christ. This is the essence of the doctrine of atonement.
This doctrine, as explained by Christian theologians, is that Adam sinned, and as a result of it he was expelled from the Garden of Eden. The same sin was inherited by [his] progeny, and therefore God became angry with man.
To appease the wrath of this bloodthirsty and merciless God, and to wash away the ‘original sin’ which is implanted in every one of us as being a member of Adam’s family, the sacrifice of Christ’s life became an imperative necessity.
This reminds me of the following story: A certain lady, after admitting her boy in the parish school, said to the teacher,
“Sir, Jack is very delicate and sickly; but if he does any mischief — and he is sure to do some — punish the boy seated next to him.”
Because for the transgressions of Adam, Christ was chastised.
The doctrine of Atonement involves two very important points. Firstly, ‘the original sin’ in contradiction to actual sin; and secondly, what Calvin calls the “Mediatorial Office” of Christ.
Let us now see what the Gospels have to say on these two points.
“Suffer thy little children and forbid them not to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven,” [Matthew, 19:14]
conclusively establishes the fact that there is no such thing as ‘original sin.’
“But, the Christian theologian says we are all sinful, and cannot save ourselves; hence the necessity of a sinless person as our saviour.”
Even granting this, let us see from the Gospels whether Jesus Christ is sinless and is qualified for the mediatorial office claimed for him by his followers. The Gospels show that Christ never claimed to be sinless. To be reproduced on the other hand, the fact that Christ refused to be called ‘good,’ saying,
“Why callest thou me good?”
and that he said,
“There is none good but one and that is God,” [Mark, 10:18]
proves that Christ was not sinless.
I cannot better conclude these few lines than by relating a little story which has a direct and intimate bearing on the subject. When Kabirdass happened to pass along the bank of the Ganges, he saw a Hindu crying and weeping. On being asked what the matter was, this Hindu replied that his god, whom he was washing in water, slipped from his hands and got drowned. Kabir said:
“My dear fellow, don’t be sorry, for the god who could not save himself cannot save you.”
Similarly, the question:
“Can Christ be our saviour?”
elicits an emphatic:
2/38 Kasa Aunakasi St.
27th May 1922