A major struggle exists within the Christian church as to how we are to understand non Christians. The struggle exists in two basic forms.
So one formulation of the issue is that those who believe and follow Jesus are saved, and all the rest – well they are damned and go to hell. And as a result the evangelical effort is to threaten hell so the non Christian may jump onto our side. All very clear – black and white. The other way of approaching the same issue is to ask whether God’s love extends to all – or is it merely limited to the faithful – the believers. So as we have been reminded in recent times that God is love; or that God so loves the world – this means that there is universal acceptance of people by God whether they are a member of the church, or of another faith, or a war criminal, or even of no faith, and by implication no one is really ever consigned to the fires of hell.
Are there boundaries to being a Christian, and does it matter? What happens for those who have never heard of Jesus and/or don’t follow, or don’t want to follow? Read more →