A Christian religious scenario that has me puzzled
July 23, 2008 2:27am CST
I've been a Christian my whole life but I was asked a very puzzling scenario regarding the Christian religion and have not been able to answer it. If a person is born on an island not ever hearing of God or any Christian philosophy does that person get saved and sent to heaven on the innocence of just not knowing God or is that person sent to hell despite not ever getting the chance. Now beyond that scenario the person I heard this from also further asked this: If the person on the island is saved and sent to heaven, does that mean its not only easier, cheaper, and less of a time commitment to not have ever heard of God? Or if the person is sent to hell does that make God vengeful on an innocent person that never had a chance to hear his message?
• United States
23 Jul 08
Depends who answers and what church they're in, really. The mainstream view for a long time was people who had no experience of Christ went to Hell, or Purgatory at the very least. Hence the huge amounts of missionary work-come-forced colonization that went on over the centuries. Dante Alighieri's 'Inferno' part of the Divine Comedy suggested they definitely went to Hell. To be exact, the first circle, which was reserved for the "virtuous pagans" and unbaptised. They're not actually punished in a 'pitchforks stuck into arses' sense, but simply apart from God, without hope of reconciliation. This isn't canon, obviously, as poetry rarely is, but Dante's Inferno is pretty much the standard vision of Hell, and the one most people are most familiar with. Presumably it was based around religious views at the time, and it's never been actively condemned by any church.