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So Just How WOULD You Answer This Question…?

Scott on April 30, 2008 at 9:02 am

How would you answer this question, “What happens to people who live in a part of the world that has never heard of Jesus and has never heard the Gospel?”

Let me get back to this question in a minute. First, some opening thoughts-

I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated and irritated by the watchblog folks and their insistence that what they say and believe is the ONLY way that Christianity can be done. When one reads the articles, “misifs” and over-the-top blog coverage, it becomes obvious that they believe there can’t be any other views, opinions or theological positions that are correct except their own. They and they alone appear to hold the correct views on everything. All others are walking in darkness. It’s their way or the highway to hell.

Case in point – Monday, Ingrid over at SLICE put up a post aimed at attacking others not like herself by using a tactic that is almost more frustrating and irritating than her usual Rocky-and-Bullwinkle approach of “Hey, watch me pull an apostate heretic out of my hat.” It is her version of “guilt by association.”

As I mentioned previously, one of the latest bees in the bonnet of She-Who-Must-Pass-Judgment-On-All is that Ravi Zacharias (honorary chairperson of the National Day of Prayer) presented a prayer for the National Day of Prayer that ended with “In God’s Holy Name” as opposed to “In Jesus Name” (which I guess is how all REAL PRAYERS are supposed to end). Shirley Dobson is the chairperson of the National Day of Prayer Committee, thus the Great-and-Powerful-Schleuter has decided that Dobson must be burned at the stake, or thrown into a pond with weights to see if she floats, or some such nonsense because she has allowed Dr. Zacharias, that no-account-back-sliding-Judas, to betray the Lord.

This past Sunday (4/27), Ingrid announced the next piece of evidence demonstrating how Mrs. Dobson is in league with the dark forces of this world: she appeared on Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power television broadcast to promote the May 1st Day of Prayer. (Cue the ominous music)

TO BE CLEAR: I am on record here at VS and with anyone who knows me that I have HUGE problems with Schuller on any number of different levels. I am in no way defending him or his theology. My point is that in Ingrid’s mind, since Dobson appeared on the Hour of Power, she MUST therefore endorse all of Schuller’s views, opinions, theologies, etc. Bad news all the way around.

Which brings us to Monday, when She-Who-Holds-The-Scales-Of-Justice needed to try and further indict Mrs. Dobson on the charges of Apostasy in the 1st degree, but she needed to do so in a different way, which led her to put up a statement made by Dobson on Sunday when she thanked Schueler for having her on his show. Along with the Dobson quote, Schleuter put up a well-known quote from Robert Schueler from 1985 in which he lays out an obviously theologically dubious (and quite ridiculous) opinion regarding sin and individuals being made aware of their own sinfulness.

Obviously at this point Ingrid feels as though she has landed a zinger, a direct hit on the whole Day of Prayer conspiracy. Ingrid’s equation looks something like this: D + S = A (Dobson + Schuller = Apostasy).

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, Dr. Schuller, God bless you for the wonderful work you are doing here.” –Shirley Dobson, from the platform of the Crystal Cathedral, Hour of Power, 4-27-08

“I don’t think anything has been done in the name of Christ that and under the banner of Christianity that has proven more destructive to human personality and, hence, counterproductive to the evangelism enterprise than the often crude, uncouth, and unchristian strategy of attempting to make people aware of their lost and sinful condition.” – Robert Schuller, Time, 3-18-85

So to be clear, in April of 2008, Dobson thanked Schuller for allowing her on his program and gives an innocuous “God bless you” to Schuller + PLUS + In March of 1985 (23 years ago) Schuller expressed a clearly aberrant view of sin and sinfulness = WHICH EQUALS = Dobson MUST agree with and be in league with Schuller since she appeared on his show. THUS, she is as aberrant and as theologically suspect as he is and must be apostate.

So with Ingrid’s math in place (D + S = A), OBVIOUSLY it becomes clear why Ravi Zacharias isn’t praying in Jesus’ name. Schuller is corrupt. Dobson is corrupt. Zacharias must be corrupt.

Is the Ingrid Schleuter math on that clear? Good. Now let’s take it the final step and then get back to the opening question.

To clinch the deal regarding the whole Zacharias – Dobson – Schuller connection, Ingrid throws in one last grenade that she thinks will really blow the whole thing open. After the Dobson and Schuller quotes, she puts in a transcript of an exchange between Schuller and Billy Graham. However, rather than sealing the deal on Ingrid’s argument the only thing it really does is make one question Ingrid’s beliefs and how/why it is that she is SO COMFORTABLE passing ultimate judgment on everyone in the world.

Schuller: What, what I hear you saying is that it’s possible for Jesus Christ to come into human hearts and soul and life, even if they’ve been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you’re saying?

Graham: Yes it is, because I believe that. I’ve met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations, that they have never seen a Bible or heard about a Bible, and never heard of Jesus, but they’ve believed in their hearts that there was a God, and they’ve tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived.

Schuller: I’m so thrilled to hear you say this. There’s a wideness in God’s mercy.

Graham: There is. There definitely is.

Again to be clear – In May of 1997, Robert Schuller and Billy Graham are having a discussion in which Schuller is excited to see that they both have the same belief about those living in areas that have never heard of Jesus or the Gospel, namely that (in Schuller’s words) there is a “wideness to God’s mercy.” Now in my opinion, Schuller and Graham end up at this point for two totally different reasons. I think that Schuller is a universalist who believes that nobody will be condemned by God. I believe the Bible clearly invalidates this belief. However, I think that Graham ends up at this point because while he believes that everyone will be called to stand before God and be judged in light of their relationship to Christ, I also believe he is saying that those who have never heard the Gospel and have never heard of Jesus at all will be judged in light of their position to Christ relative to the amount of knowledge that they have regarding key aspects/elements of man’s need for redemption and the salvation story.

Given the larger context of Ingrid’s posts on SLICE and her attacks against Dobson (and Zacharias) in relation to the Day of Prayer, the implication is obvious – Schuller (and Graham) seem to believe that salvation is available to those outside of the formula of “accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior,” which in Ingrid’s limited perspective indicates only one thing – heresy and apostasy. Dobson’s connection to Schuller demonstrates that she is implicit in the heresy and apostasy, and thus by extension so is Ravi Zacharias.

NOW…back to the question at the top of this post. How would you answer this question, “What happens to people who have never heard of Jesus and have never heard the Gospel?” In other words, what happens when these people die? Where do they go?

I guess what is disturbing is that Ingrid seems to rather cavalierly toss this question over the side of the ship as though it is irrelevant to the Christian faith and is unrelated to her understanding of the judgment, grace and mercy of God, etc.

I know from past discussions with some that a Calvinistic approach conveniently appears to make this question irrelevant since, if God has called/chosen someone living in a “dark” part of the world that has never been exposed to the Gospel, then that person will somehow hear the news of the Gospel and will respond to it (because God has chosen them to do so); but that position seems so weak and flawed on so many different levels that I have a hard time believing that any thinking, feeling, sincere follower of Christ can think that is a sufficient/acceptable answer.

But maybe that is just me.

So what about it? What happens to people that have never heard of Jesus and have never heard the Gospel?

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