That is an unpardonable thing to say

Frederick Buechner on the sense of embarrassment provoked by the words “Jesus Saves”:

And maybe at a deeper level still, Jesus Saves is embarrassing because if you can hear it at all through your wincing, if any part at all of what it is trying to mean gets through, what it says to everybody who passes by and most importantly and unforgivably of all, of course, what it says to you is that you need to be saved. Rich man, poor man; young man, old man; educated and uneducated; religious and unreligious – the word is in its way an offense to all of them, all of us, because what it says in effect to all of us is, ‘You have no peace inside your skin. You are not happy, not whole.’ That is an unpardonable thing to say to a man whether it is true or false but especially if it is true because there he is, trying so hard to be happy, all of us are, to find some kind of inner peace and all in all maybe not making too bad a job of it considering the odds, so that what could be worse psychologically, humanly, than to say to him what amounts  to ‘You will never make it. You have not and you will not, at least not without help.’ 


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