"I thank God for the day he saved me from a life of sin and degradation, when I was five years old."
A little funny, right? My mother, however, with seven boys, might not have seen the humor. In fact, it's the actual testimony of a young man, given at a church.
While it's admittedly a little extreme - degradation at age five? - it reflects something of a concept of "salvation" that's very common in American churches. It's the "when I die I'm going to heaven but meanwhile just live like everyone else and hope heaven doesn't come too soon" syndrome. It's the idea that the focus of the gospel and our salvation is that some day we will go to "heaven," wherever and whatever that is. And there, we will ... do what? No idea. Our thinking doesn't go that far.