Salvation by Langston Hughes
Salvation is defined as the deliverance from sin and its consequences. In a Christianity sense, salvation is when a person accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior, and they believe the fact that he died for the sins of Christians. The term of salvation is often referred to as being “saved”. Salvation is when one delivers not only their body in a physical to the church and God, but it is also a committee to Jesus mentally and spiritually. Getting saved can be a very pressuring and life changing decision.
That is sometimes forced upon young adolescents. Ultimately it can cause one to question their spiritually sometimes even damaging their belief in Jesus. In Langston Hughes’ Salvation, he illustrates his first experience on being saved at the ripe age of just thirteen. Hughes’ pressuring experience ultimately caused him to scrutinize his belief in Jesus. In Salvation the initial tone he used let the reader know the author has a cynical standpoint toward salvation.
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Hughes starts out by saying “I was saved from sin when I was going on thirteen. But not really saved.
” This lets the reader know off the bat, that his feelings were dubious. The pressure he felt on having to be saved could have provoked these feelings. Doubt should be the last thing in ones mind when it comes to salvation, it should be a firm decision. If someone is going to make a lifetime commitment to someone or something, it better be a confident one. According to the Bible ones relationship to God should be one of which that is equivalent or exceeds marriage. The tone Langston Hughes set initially was timid. Hughes’ still had questions about salvation.
Langston believed his Aunt Reeds promise that when were saved Jesus himself came down in the flesh and welcomed one into salvation. Hughes’ Aunt Reed tells him “when you were saved you saw a light, and something happened to you inside! And Jesus came into your life! And God was with you from then on! She said you could see and hear and feel Jesus in your soul. I believed her. ” Langston really did believe her and felt in his mind that when salvation came to him he’d experience Jesus in a physical human form. This is not case, when someone is save God comes to you spiritually and mentally but not in the physical.
Langston whole misconception of this concept of being saved ultimately causes he to believe his decision to be save was a deceitful one. In return damaging Langston belief in Jesus and the true meaning of salvation. The pressure of seeing all his other peers also played a major role in his decision. His fear of being “left all alone on the mourners’ bench” incited him to become saved. When he witnessed the last boy on the bench go fourth and be saved, Langston suddenly felt the pressure of the whole church come down on him. Especially that of his Aunt Reed, she sobbed to Langston “Langston, why don’t you come?
Why don’t you come and be saved? Oh, Lamb of God! Why don’t you come? ” This was the last straw this pressure eventually caused Langston to get saved out of deceit. When Langston tried to go to bed that night his feelings of dishonesty had overcome him. He cried not tears of joy but tears of regret and confusion “But I was really crying because I couldn’t bear to tell her that I had lied, that I had deceived everybody in the church, that I hadn’t seen Jesus, and that now I didn’t believe there was a Jesus anymore, since he didn’t come to help me.
He cried because he felt in his heart that he lied to his Aunt Reed and the whole church. Langston felt just as I did as a young adolescent with my first encounter with salvation. I was raised in Christian family, went to a Christian church my whole life so I know the pressure young adolescents face when it comes to salvation. I was baptized as a child but my relationship with God weakened, as I grew older. When I was 15 I made an attempt to get back into church, but just as Langston my choice to become saved was a deceitful one as well.
The only reason I began to go to church initially was because of my girlfriend whose parents were stringent Christians. So every time Pastor Lacey would open the door of the church to new member at the end of each service and it seemed as if the entire church’s eye were on you, I felt the same pressure Hughes did. Until that one Christmas Eve service the pressure became overwhelming, and I let my need to please others overcome me making a truthful decision to be saved. My girlfriend’s parents, two of the most spiritual people I know to this day, also played a major role in my decision.
I felt like they use to interrogate me every Sunday about “coming to the fold” as Langston would refer to it. Eventually, just as Hughes the pressure became overpowering. This experience unlike Langston caused me to strengthen my relationship with God. I felt like if I was going to create a relationship with God it had to be a truthful and committed one. A lot of people misconstrue the concept of salvation just as Langston Hughes. When one turn his life over to God and saved them, that decision should be a decision that is well thought over.
At a young age this can be a very persuasive decision. A lot of times being forced into; or making the wrong decision about being saved can impair one belief in God. This story does an excellent job in conveying that message to the reader. The author use of vivid imagery of the church, the church members, and even tone made it easier for the reader to extract the meaning and his feeling just as he felt them. If Langston Hughes had been true to himself, he would have been living a lie. Ultimately Salvation the story would have never came about.