There’s been a lot of buzz around the internet about the idea of Collective Salvation–whether or not our President believes in it, whether it is a spiritual or political idea (or somehow both, perhaps), whether it is taught in Scripture, etc.
Can we set aside the current politics of the discussion for just one moment?
Israel was not expecting the Messiah that came. They were looking for a king, a political leader who would “save” Israel as a whole, as a nation, not as individuals. Many today are still waiting for that Messiah.
But when Christ came, he made salvation specific to each man and woman. Suddenly, it wasn’t enough to be a Jew. Suddenly, it had never been enough. Suddenly, everything depended upon grace and mercy and forgiveness and love. And nobody could give or receive those things on your behalf, you had to choose them alone, with no one else to blame if you chose poorly. Here was a man, who spoke truth–who was Truth–who broke down the barriers between races and genders and the classes of society, and offered freely to all. Those who would, could become Children of God.
So is there room in Scripture for the idea of collective salvation? It seems that Jesus himself came to dispel that doctrine. Aside from pre-Christ ideas of national salvation and a ruler who would establish peace for the Jewish people, I don’t see any foundation for it. And again–this was the idea that Christ himself countered.
That is not to say that our faith has no relationship to others. It certainly does. But our salvation is not dependent upon another person; it depends solely upon Jesus the Messiah.
What do you think? Have I missed some crucial piece of Scripture? Do you see Collective Salvation in your Bible? If so, please share.