“The meaning of Easter is more transcendent than the resurrection of Jesus Christ, whether you are a Christian or not. Through a commitment to helping others we are able to save ourselves.”
Two highly questionable statements, at least theologically and doctrinally speaking.
The first, that “The meaning of Easter is more transcendent than the resurrection of Jesus Christ, whether you are a Christian or not”, is a direct repudiation of the Gospel. For Christians, there in NO event more transcendent than the resurrection! If there were no resurrection, our faith is vain – useless. (1 Cor 15:13). No matter how deeply and sincerely we believe in Christ for salvation, if Christ was not raised, we will not be raised.
The second statement, “Through a commitment to helping others we are able to save ourselves”, is just a lie. There’s no other way to define it.
Not only is it a declaration of the social gospel (NO gospel), it is clearly contradicted by scripture itself, most notably by Ephesians 2:8-9:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Although the Apostle Paul is making a point about boasting in one’s salvation, that human works can’t save anyone, is a universal principle. The very reason that Christ went to the cross was because we cannot save ourselves. God’s standard for salvation is complete perfection. If not for the death of Christ, who lived a life of perfect obedience and died for our sins, teamed with His resurrection is the very definition of the gospel!
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
Perhaps as grievous as the statements themselves is who made them. They were in a Tweet by The Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, the Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta Georgia.
I’ll just leave it right there. Further speculation would distract from the fact that they were spoken at all.