The Roman Road, A path to…

Salvation? I don’t think so, but let’s examine why.

The Roman Road to Salvation is a short little tradition of converting people to Christianity with 5 steps that go like this:

I. Usually the roman road has 4 major steps, for those who are unfamiliar.

1. You are a sinner.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23). is the verse that’s often quoted here.

Basically, in analyzing the problem this step is intended to break the hubris of the idea that “i’m a good person.”

2. Sin requires bloodshed & normal people can’t do this.

They’ll tell them to realize that a price must be paid for their sin. “…and without shedding of blood is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22).

You’re not good enough. Basically the idea here is that, sin requires bloodshed, and your blood is like crap on God’s savage and bloodthirsty altar, and anything you offer up is basically excrement. But, God has mercy so he’s paying the bill for you, so you can be made right with Him. They’ll say, God commands obedience and love and you
have done neither because you are a sinner, so you need to believe in Jesus because He paid the price.

3. The magic.
Now you say the magic words of the sinner’s prayer, and you’re a Christian, just like that.

The prayer often goes something like this:

“Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner, and I am sorry. I need a Savior. I know I cannot save myself. I believe by faith that Jesus, your Son, died on the cross to be my Savior. I believe He arose from the grave to live as my Lord. I turn from my sin. I ask You, Lord Jesus, to forgive my sin and come into my heart. I trust you as my Savior and receive you as my Lord. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me”

Just like that you’re saved from all these terrible maladies and the angry sky-man.

You’ve said yes to Jesus, and now we’ll talk to you about baptism and joining our community as a lifelong commitment to truth, virtue, honor, and justice, as if these things aren’t the point and the whole point is getting people to say the prayer. Thinking we can cattle-car people to heaven because they’ve said the prayer, or offering anything that looks like it is not only absurd, it’s anti-gospel.

4. Get connected in church.

This is always an afterthought.

We settle for calling people who have not visibly joined the community in the profession of faith through baptism Christians, and church membership becomes a sort of sorry sad excuse for a sacrament. Yet, that’s far more outlandish an idea than the sacrament of baptism, and confirmation.

And then we wonder why nominalism, laziness and general disregard for the faith is such a rampant problem in the churches, when really, nominalism is something we did to ourselves.


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