Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What about the saintly people of other religions?

Christianity is certainly exclusive.  Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ.  Outside of faith in Christ, there isn't salvation.  This rubs a lot of people the wrong way, and I'll be honest, on some days when I think about people I know who are outside of the Christian faith, it upsets me quite a lot too! Click on the topic pertaining to the unevangelized in the blog topics section to some more general answers the problem of the unevangelized and the problem of hell.

Springing from the position of exclusivity comes the argument of the "saintly" people of other religions.  The Buddha had his act together and led many people away from self-centered desires and into enlightenment.  The Dali Lama...come on... that guys more peaceful than Christians who follow the Prince of Peace.  Ghandi...he led non-violent revolutionary protests in India, sparked from reading Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.  Do all the "saintly" people of the other religions in the world go to hell, just because they don't believe in Jesus Christ?

Check out the following trailer for Rob Bell's book Love Wins.  I think he's asking basically the same question about Ghandi and about Christian exclusivity?  

So what about the saintly people of other religions?

Christianity is not a religion about human works.  It's a relationship with the God who stepped down from heaven and did the works required for salvation for us, because we are incapable of doing the perfect works required of us by God.  So, our works don't save us.

These "saintly" people were good in the world's eyes, not in God's.  In God's eyes, we're all sinners deserving his wraith, unless we have faith in Christ or bore that wraith on our behalf.

Following a set of morals and ethics doesn't make a religion true.

And lastly, Bell is off in his presentation in this video.  He's casting questions and doubts trying to raise conversation centered on Christ.  If people mistakenly misinterpret the Gospel as he says, to believe that it is about God having to save us from himself, then he should supply the answer in the video instead of letting it hang as if that's the truth, or that Christians have it all wrong, because Christians don't have it wrong.  The Gospel isn't saving us from God, it's always been God saving us from ourselves, from our sinfulness, and that is through Christ, and that is how all people come to salvation.

Jesus is the Savior of the Buddhist, of the Hindu, of the Jew, of the Muslim, of the atheist, and etc.  To receive that salvation, a person must have faith in him. 

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