Easter Means 'We Are Able to Save Ourselves' by Helping Others, Says Raphael Warnock

Michael Foust | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Monday, April 5, 2021
Easter Means 'We Are Able to Save Ourselves' by Helping Others, Says Raphael Warnock

Easter Means 'We Are Able to Save Ourselves' by Helping Others, Says Raphael Warnock

Senator and pastor Raphael Warnock stirred a theological controversy over the weekend when he asserted that the meaning of Easter involves more than Jesus' resurrection and that by helping others, "we are able to save ourselves."

Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and a senator from Georgia, eventually deleted the tweet, but not before more than 2,000 people commented.

"The meaning of Easter is more transcendent than the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whether you are Christian or not, through a commitment to helping others, we are able to save ourselves," the tweet read.

Warnock posts a Tweet saying we can save ourselves

The tweet sparked significant pushback from the Christian community, although it did have its defenders.

"With all due respect, this is literally the opposite of what the Gospel says. Ephesians 2 states that clearly. Faith alone, Christ alone," tweeted Jason Romano, an author and the director of media at Sports Spectrum. "Love God, Love others. We should always help others. But ... that's [not] how we're saved. Romans, Ephesians, the Gospels all make it clear we can't save ourselves. If we could, then Jesus dying on the cross for nothing."

Mark Jackson, the pastor of Oakhurst Baptist Church in Clarksdale, Miss., responded to Warnock by tweeting, "You sir have totally missed the meaning of this day. Without the resurrection of Christ, there is no hope of salvation at all. There is no greater meaning of this day than that of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Another person tweeted, "This is a false gospel and heresy. We cannot save ourselves."

MSNBC's Joy Reid defended Warnock.

"Jesus didn't vow to end evil. He gave us a path to overcome it," Reid wrote. "He lay on the cross and asked his father why he had been forsaken. He died not to end sin but to teach courage in the midst of sin."

Soon, though, Warnock deleted the tweet. He did not explain why he removed it.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Megan Varner/Stringer

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.