Service Schedule

Sundays 

Traditional Service 8:00 am

Sunday School 9:15 am (adult and children's options available)

Contemporary Blend 10:30 am (child care available)

Junior Church (K-5th Grade) 10:30 am

BYM Sr (8th thru 12th grade) - 6:00 pm

 

Wednesdays

Choir Practice 6:30 pm

Prayer Meeting 7:30 pm

Kidz Klub (age 4 thru 4th grade) - 6:30 pm

BYM Jr (5th thru 8th grade) - 6:30 pm

Men's and Ladies' Bible Studies - 6:30 pm

Directions

We are located at 155 Reedsville Road, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972

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If you need to contact us, please call our office at (570) 739-2241. For office hours, click here.

Wet Cement Theology

 A blog from Jeff Byerly at Bethesda EC Church

The world doesn't need another know-it-all theologian. My goal is simply to search the Scriptures, analyze current theological dicussions, respond to the events of the global, national, and local communities in which I live, and share my life incarnationally in order to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God. As I do this please realize that I am wrong from time-to-time and more often than I think. :-) I am also naturally skeptical and often doubt convictions that are held tightly by many others. I invite you to dialogue with me in this same spirit--to explore how Jesus intersects with our world and to keep our sanity as we view this world from his kingdom perspective. 

YOU HAVE HEARD IT SAID ... (PART 2)

Posted by Jeff Byerly on Friday, November 22, 2013 @ 3:49 PM

SALVATION:

You have heard it said that salvation means that you must receive Jesus Christ as your Savior to receive eternal life and avoid the punishment of Hell, but I tell you that salvation is finding the victory over the power of sin through Jesus, who has destroyed death’s power and has conquered evil in all its forms. And that you can live in freedom through the power of the Spirit within the community of atonement called the church!

Dallas Willard calls that gospel which focuses solely on eternal life, the gospel of sin management—a gospel that is defined by who is in or out based on the definition of salvation from sin’s punishment. Scot McKnight says that we have created a “salvation culture” that focuses on measuring people on the basis of whether they can witness to an experience of salvation—the Soterian Gospel. They contend that there is a plan of salvation – this usually consists of four propositions from the Bible that create a step-by-step understanding to realize one’s sinful condition, his need for salvation, and the way to get eternal life forever.

Ironically, when I looked down at my feet about an hour ago at my seat in the local coffee shop I frequent, I saw a tract that was entitled “One Minute after Death.”

Wow! Talk about an example of the Soterian Gospel – talk about a short cut that takes from today to the moment of one minute after death. In this view, all that matters is the eternal. Yes, I realize that eternity is a long time. Yes, I realize that my current reality is a drop in the bucket of eternal bliss. However, it seems strange to me that I am taken from this reality to consider another reality, as if they are separate – that there is no discussion about what salvation looks like for my life now. Within this method, there is a considerable disconnect that separates my reality today from the reality of eternity.

This was not the case with the New Testament writers. In fact, it may seem odd to some that none of the Gospel writers spent much ink describing Jesus proclaiming a message of eternal hope. In fact, I can only think (off the top of my head) of a handful of times where Jesus was responded to a few situations where others asked him about eternal life. In fact, most of Jesus’ sharing of the Good News had to deal with the person’s current life and participation in the bigger kingdom of God currently unfolding before them.

The problem with the Soterian gospel is that it isn’t discipleship or justice or obedience – it bypasses all of that stuff for a “get-right-for-eternity” salvation. I get a ticket for Paradise – sorry, but Eddie Money can give you two of those. In this view, we do not have to consider how to live as God’s people at all. We simply can believe that we are saved for eternity by embracing a few concepts that flow out of the bigger gospel. It’s more than Good Friday … it actually involves the whole divine instinct of God’s Son to join in human life through the line of David, and live life among us, and defeat the attempts of temptation thrust at him, to take evil upon himself on the cross, and defeat it through a powerful resurrection from the dead.

This Story brings to completion the Story that had begun in the Old Testament. It doesn’t short-circuit our current life into a view of “eternity only” thinking. It communicates salvation in the here and now and in the community of church experience. It is your Story and my Story only as we invest into this Story and live as recipients of its transforming grace. This is salvation ….

Next week: You have heard it said that evangelism is …

Tim Seiger said...

Posted on Friday, November 22, 2013 @ 7:13 PM -
Eddie Money? Really? You went there...LOL. Good stuff Jeff.

jeff said...

Posted on Friday, November 22, 2013 @ 5:41 PM -
Yes Eddie Money! Just shows how my mind works ... and just how difficult it is to stay focused. Sorry it's lke the dogs in the movie Up ... squirrel? !?!

Tim Seiger said...

Posted on Friday, November 22, 2013 @ 5:01 PM -
Eddie Money? Really? You went there...LOL. Good stuff Jeff.

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