A Hobson’s Choice (Salvation)
When I first heard the Gospel it was presented to me as a Hobson’s choice, now by Hobson’s choice I mean Take it or Leave it salvation. For those of you unfamiliar with the term it refers to a free choice which in reality only one option is offered. Thomas Hobson who this method is named after owned a stable and in order to rotate his horses, he would tell people they could have the horse in the stall nearest the door or no horse at all. As you can see this kind of choice has to be set up before hand so you can control the subject when they enter your domain, or in this case Hobson’s Stables. I think you can see here that there really isn’t a free choice at all, just a very cleaver manipulation of the event.
This is exactly what evangelism or how to get people saved looks like, a Hobson’s choice. First you have to set the stage before the false choice can be offered, so in the case of Salvation a dire situation is created through a manipulation of the scriptures. You have been subject to it or maybe like in my case you were the master manipulator. I would usually begin by asking if the person believed the Bible was The Word of God? Then I would proceed to craft a story starting in Genesis 3 and then moving on to the Book of Romans. The intention of this story was to bring a person to a place dangling between Heaven and Hell, Guilt and Forgiveness with only Jesus to save them. Then the rest was easy which shall you choice Jesus and Heaven or the Devil and Hell? You see I set them up and they didn’t even see it coming, there were so many assumptions in my story but then it never was about freedom but manipulation, it’s a numbers game as well as a money and power game. There is no way to say Salvation is a free gift and then proceed to offer a Hobson’s choice, this is in fact a lie and a false gospel.
So what must those of us do who seek to follow a loving God much like the parable of the woman who sweeps her whole house to find that one lost coin? It is God after all who started this whole process of restoration in Christ, just as God started the whole creation in through and by this same Christ. We must stop playing cheep tricks to try to frighten people into a relationship with a false God using the false salvation of a Hobson’s choice.
So we must learn how to tell the truth about the Father Jesus taught about and the true nature of the God who dwells in the unity of love. We also need to call it as we see it, the gospel as it has been offered theologically for the last two centuries has more in common with how Jews were forced to convert in the dark ages. “Would like to convert to the most Holy church, God and His Son Jesus Christ or should we run you through with the sword right now”?