Yesterday, I read an essay defending the proposition that all who have not heard the gospel are automatically lost and condemned to hell. Its main “Aha!” was the metaphor that God is merely a traffic cop enforcing law, and ignorance of the law is no excuse.
How insulting to the divine nature of the omnipotent, omniscient, loving God, who gave law for the benefit of His creation, then supplanted it with the grace of Christ when we proved ourselves unworthy and incapable of obeying it and treating each other well!
8 thoughts on “Almighty God, Traffic Cop”
So many love the black and white propositions Keith. I find more life in the grays then the black and whites [http://www.kansasbob.com/2011/05/zebra-think.html].
Kinda makes you wonder if God really wants us to sort out the greys together so we’ll draw closer to Him, together ….
Keith, If God replaced the “law” with “grace” how do we know what might come down the pike next.?
If the old covenant was replaced by the new covenant, how do we know there won’t be another covenant.
Maybe just those who live and die under the covenant of the time are held to that covenant.
If the new covenant applies to those who lived under the old covenant, how do we know we won’t be held to the next covenant?
Just a grey area I wanted explained.
This whole question begins with a wrong paradigm. It falsely assumes three states of being: 1)Heaven, 2)Hell, 3)Innocently living now – as if there will be a future decision to either move innocent humans from where they are now into either heaven or hell based on their “Yes” or “No” to Christ.
The fact is that mankind is currently in a sinful condition and shall remain there if there is no intervention – There are no innocents, all justly deserve hell for their self-centered sinful actions.
God, in his mercy, devised the way (Christ) of exiting their sinfulness, but if that way is refused or not even known the current and sure condition of justly deserving hell remains. This is the whole reason for missionaries and witnessing, rescuing as many as possible who are justly bound for hell for their own sinfulness
I believe that God is patient and gives people groups opportunity, but at some point the opportunity ends and judgment comes (see: http://wp.me/p1qHrB-vs)
Everything I know about God and his son Jesus cries out against the reasoning you just provided. It is just a reformulation of the traffic cop analogy. God has proven that he will go through extreme and horrifying measures to save us. He, the unfathomable Lord and creator of all, became a mortal and was tortured and suffered death for our sins. Yet we should believe that he would have no further mercy? He is willing to die as a man, but he will let those who have never heard of him, through no fault of their own, suffer Hell? It seems ludicrous that the all-powerful and all-loving God would just choose to let those who know nothing of his Son fall into the fires of Hell, that he would just stand back and let that happen. It seems incredibly unmerciful for God to put the eternal fate of those who have never heard of Christ in the hands of his imperfect children whom he knows are depraved. Even empowered by the Holy Spirit we Christians constantly sin and fall short, and so our missionary ventures are bound to often fall short. To conclude, yes, we are all deserving of the final death, but praise be to God that he is so merciful as to save us. And I believe he is more merciful than to let the ignorant be lost.
I wonder why some spend so much time debating about the fate of folks who never heard the message. Maybe if we spent more time telling people about Christ this wouldn’t be a problem. I think this is an offshoot of Christianity’s greatest problem, that being our tendency to judge. I am convinced no one flaw has been more detrimental to the spread of the gospel than the “righteous” judgment of a loud-mouthed few. And this, after we were commanded to “judge not.” I’m no saint in this matter, but I worry about those who seem to love nothing more than fling threats and promises of fire and brimstone around, trying to scare Jesus into people. Are those the scales they themselves want to be judged by? I wish we could learn to leave the judging to the One who is perfect enough to do it right.