Often Christians are asked questions by users online and people in person, these can vary from things they’ve answered a million times to questions that are so out there they’ve yet to consider them at all! So I thought I’d share one you may have heard recently. Since I was asked by an atheist:
‘How can Christians say an all loving God would turn away people who worshipped different religions and would send them to hell for eternity?’
To which I replied:
‘Is that to say love is valuable without God? Because your everyday atheist, who’s usually a firm evolutionist, would describe love as nothing greater than chemical activity within the brain. Some have the brain activity while others (career killers etc) simply lack it. Saying one brain is morally worse than the other gets into the subject of good and evil, another topic which lacks all meaning without a standard above humankind, that standard is God. So if you value love you should know there’s no such thing as love as we know love without God. You unwittingly borrow from God so to argue against Him. That doesn’t mean mankind needs my God, but we do need a standard, otherwise it’s just your opinion versus my opinion versus chairman Mao’s opinion of what good moral conduct is. We’d find as many loves as we find people.
Also, heaven isn’t like a club or party God can allow people into based on His own fancy, heaven means to be with God, hell is separation from God, so if you or I willingly reject Christ God isn’t going to force us into His company forever. Now people involved in other faiths have what we call general revelation to think on, God’s handiwork as found in nature and conscience (Psalm 19, Romans 1:20), they can also be saved if they’re moral and notice God’s sustaining power at work within the universe.
But for people with a hatred of Christ, I’d say they have some serious soul searching to do, of course they can’t do that until they admit they have a soul!”
Thinking back people who’re hoping to explain the Christian world-view could’ve replied in another way. They could’ve explained how people who’re part of another religion are in many cases worshipping a false God, that fact of worshipping a false god is true if any one God is real, so to worship a false God isn’t just empty expression which God would feel indifferent about, instead it’s the believer giving their praise (praise which rightfully belongs to the one God) to an idol, something unworthy of their belief and adoration. So in reply to the specific question, would an all-loving God send people who worshipped other gods to hell, He wouldn’t and doesn’t! Not on those grounds alone, that would be cruel and as the atheist believes unloving, that’s why people who’re never brought into contact with the Gospel, or people who’re not given the real Jesus and reject a false representation of Him, they’re instead given general revelation as we find in nature and conscience.
Nevertheless I think the reply I did pick was a good one, especially considering that the person I replied to is so firmly set in their atheism. Atheism isn’t an attractive world-view, it’s ugly on an obvious level, it invalidates meaning, value and purpose and ultimately leads to moral nihilism, the idea that right and wrong aren’t really real. All these facts are incompatible with the meaning, value and purpose which both atheists and believers feel in their lives everyday, so atheists end up mentally affirming a world-view they then refuse to live out publicly, instead atheists smuggle in the idea that atheism has all sorts of profound moral messages to teach humanity! The reality is far different however.
In reality it’s an all or nothing situation, with the atheist only paying lip service to things like justice, love and the reality of evil, in truth for the modern atheist who’s one part evolutionist and another part secular humanist, either we are creatures much like pigs or slime who aren’t duty bound to treat one another with love or compassion, for which we have no grounds to argue with anyone over what we subjectively see as their moral shortcomings, or they’re wrong, and there’s someone greater than us, a being who’s endowed humankind with purpose and meaning, one that hates evil and is righteousness.
Of course none of the above means either belief is true, it’s simply a break down of what both world-views are honestly offering. So to the atheist who objects to God on the grounds of moral outrage, they’re much like the lumberjack who cuts off the branch he’s sitting on, he may think he can hack at the tree’s branch WITHOUT plummeting to the earth below, but he’s sorely mistaken.
― T. C. M