We frequently get e-mails with variations of the following question, like this one from firstname.lastname@example.org
“Do you believe that one must accept Jesus as their personal savior and live according to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?”
Interesting site Reagan.com, the site where this e-mail originated. Almost looks like they may worship the man.
Here at The Christian Left we have stated our position with regard to Theology over and over again. We’re not affiliated with any denomination but we like the way of The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
“For modern Disciples the one essential is the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and obedience to him in baptism. There is no requirement to give assent to any other statement of belief or creed. Nor is there any ‘official’ interpretation of the Bible. Hierarchical doctrine was traditionally rejected by Disciples as human-made and divisive, and subsequently, freedom of belief and scriptural interpretation allows many Disciples to question or even deny beliefs common in doctrinal churches.
Members and seekers are encouraged to take being disciples seriously, meaning that they are student followers of Jesus. Often the best teaching comes in the form, ‘I'll tell you what I think, but read the Bible for yourself, and then study and pray about it. Decide in what ways God is calling you to be a follower of Jesus.’
Modern Disciples reject the use of creeds as ‘tests of faith,’ that is, as required beliefs, necessary to be accepted as a follower of Jesus. Although Disciples respect the great creeds of the church as informative affirmations of faith, they are never seen as binding.”
So … back to the original question. What this person is trying to do is get us to subscribe to an exclusive club mentality and send two thirds of the entire planet to Dante’s hell.
We’re not going to do that.
We’ve stated what we believe but we WILL NOT judge another person’s soul. Jesus warned us not to do so. Paul issued similar warnings. Jesus will be the judge. Period. It is not our job and we are not qualified.
Furthermore, Romans 2: 12-16 states:
“All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.”
Are all Muslims going to hell?
Are all Jews going to hell?
What about the Native Americans who lived and died never hearing of Jesus? Are they going to hell?
Is Gandhi in hell right now?
The person who sent us this e-mail would likely say yes. We believe they would be on extremely dangerous spiritual ground to make such pronouncements.
Jesus stated very clearly in Luke 6: 37, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.” When Christians tell others they are “going to Hell,” they are disobeying a direct commandment from the savior they claim to follow.
The below charts are via Wikipedia:
“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.
About TCL Blog
We’re not about Dogma here. We’re just Christians who think the political and Christian right-wing have their priorities wrong.
Charles Toy is the founding member of The Christian Left. We're sure you will enjoy his passion as well as his wit. Guest bloggers featured often.