On Salvation

I expect that some of my Christian brethen here might disagree with me, but I believe that even non-Christians can be saved.

But I am not going so far as to reintroduce Origen’s version of Apocatastasis. I am more of proposing the necessity of a “purgatory”.

Now since in the Christian thought we describe a God (as revealed by Jesus) that is both just and merciful. Can’t we, working from this assumptions, accept that a non-Christian be saved because of the death and ressurection of Jesus Christ? I mean his death and ressurection is the ONLY event that provided the avenue of salvation.

Now since belief stems from the will, and the will is blind and dependent to the intellect and our intellect depends on our sensations. Can God accept a non-believer because of the faulty sets of experience leading to his disbelief?

What I mean is for example a Buddhist lives a life of goodness but it seems that throughout his life he do not have any good Christian to explain Christ to him, won’t a just God find him in heaven?

My opinion, with the assumption of purgatory playing in it, is yes.

Though I must say what will happen to non-believers after their respective death is a total mystery for us creatures, even Christians, yet let me remind you that the wisdom and mercy of God can never be proximated or placed in human terms.

I think the question of salvation for non-believers is always a good philosophical exercise but not really dogmatic per se as it is in danger of heresy but I must ask what are your thoughts on salvation?

Some might question the assumptions made in your OP.

What if there is nothing to be saved from?

What if there is no one there to save?

What is there is no one to be saved?

Add to that; One man’s salvation may be another’s death sentence. We all cannot be of the same mind and body, we are not designed for it. I can’t fit into your clothes anymore than you can fit into mine. Now there are plenty out there that can wear your clothes comfortably. For me, your clothes would not fit and could possibly cause problems for me. Our minds are like that. What works for you is not intended to work for me. The Christian god speaks to his people about salvation for them. I have seen no words in the bible that condemns those who cannot believe, only those that can and yet do not. Christians tend to over look that. Well hell, most religions are the same they only condemn those that can believe and yet do not. There is no condemnation for those that cannot believe. No intelligent superior being is going to punish someone for not doing what they are not designed to do. Can’t make silk out of a sow’s ear, as it were or you can’t remove a leopard’s spots or a tiger’s stripes. Would you punish the Tiger or the leopard because they havespots and stripes? No, it would make no sense. I appreciate the effort to save people but, if People are not supposed to be saved, then you could very likely be harming them by trying to.

Iosepusmagus

I would tend to agree with what you said, that non Christians can wind up saved. But like you said, it can't be any sort of dogmatic declaration.  The salvation of individual Christians is mysterious and uncertain enough, I wouldn't want to speculate on any one outside. We know that God is merciful, but we also know that we're called to be Christ-like, and that this is no easy thing. 
The important thing would be to never let this idea lead to an unhealthy pluralism- no matter what we think about non-believers and their getting into Heaven, or whatever, the important thing is that people take up their cross and live in Christ, not that they think of themselves as 'good people'.

Ucci,We as a species are called to be Christ like or just Christians?

What is Salvation? The church ensures its legacy by claiming a material offer (everlasting life) in exchange for devotion and literal belief. To call this spiritual is a complete perversion of what I get when I read the underlying theme of The Christ…

He was killed for blasphemy. Saying I Am God or being a descendant of the divine is taboo. Authorities want you to bow to such a figure but you can never take on that characteristic because it removes their invisible threat which they claim to interpret for you. If everyone starts going around realizing the divine within, then their whole purpose goes up in smoke. Salvation— belief in Jesus —is really to be like him… To say to yourself I am a child of the Divine as well and act in accordance with that discovery as Christ did. In the context of the Christian scriptures, he couldn’t very well put other people at risk of being killed by revealing this, but he does hint at it several times.

I absolutely draw the line at drinking from any person’s mouth no matter who they are… Ewww. I swear the archaic version of English can be just plain gross and conjure disgusting images. :-& 8-[ :-"

Metaphors are not archaic regardless of their imagery.

Please, OH please don’t save us heathen, kind lovely Christians.
We are already suffering enough with all believers creating conflicts on this hell planet and we don’t need more of your help.

Please save us from your saving !
Please save your savings for yourself in the favorite failing institution’s saving account. :smiley:

If non-believers can attain salvation, then what is the point of being a Christian? It would seem to me that the Christian church would discourage this belief, as it would lessen their influence. If the way to Christ is not only through the Christian Church, then would good do they offer?

Which is one reason I reject organised religion. It’s like an exclusive golf club, where heaven is the clubhouse and only members may enter.

In fact, it’s the exact opposite.

The church is the only organization I know that exists primarily for it’s non-members. The whole purpose of the church is to spread the message to non-members. And the message is that membership is available to absolutely anyone who cares to join. I think that’s about as inclusive as you can get without just saying that everyone is already a member, which as you correctly pointed out, would negate any point to membership in the first place.

I’m not accusing the Christian Church of not allowing people to join. You correctly say everyone is welcome, to a certain extent. But the point is that you won’t get the benefits; salvation; unless you do join. And if you do get the benefits anyway, what’s the point of joining?

Didn’t you compare it to an exclusive club?

Agreed. But in this case if someone fails to get the “benefits” the only one to blame is themselves, not the organization, right?

This is the part where I agree. It is pure speculation that non-members will receive any benefit.

It’s pure speculation that anyone will receive any benefit. Its like joining a golf club that will maybe allow you to play golf on the greatest golf course, but may not.

Sure. But within the club, there is no basis for assuming non-members will benefit otherwise the club would be pointless.

So does Christianity assume that non Christians will not go to Heaven?

Most denominations do, some don’t.

Well, because God and Jesus and so on actually exist, and Christianity is actually the best understanding of them and best example of being in a relationship with them. It’s kind of like asking “If my mother is going to love me anyway, why do something special on Mother’s Day?” Even if non Christians can get to Heaven, it’s not to say they all will, or that it’s particularly easy to do so. And besides all that, Christianity is still true, and that’s got to count for something!
Heck, why be a philosopher? It’s not like total ignorance of philosophy will get you killed.

That would depend on the motivation of the Church, I suppose.

Churro the Viscous

It’s all about context. A question that begins “If God allows non Christians into Heaven…” is assuming the truth of Christianity in it’s phrasing, so I’m doing the same in my answer. It just takes a subtle tweak of verbiage to change my answer to other contexts- the core of the answer is that the value of Christianity lies in the truth of it’s claims (which is something most of the participants here would value, I’m assuming), not just in the heavenly reward.

Frankly, this thread began with a Christian directing a question at other Christians. I’m not going to start talking like a skeptic just because they hijacked the conversation.

Ucc,

Maybe its time to ask Carleas for an exclusive membership forum for Christians only so you won’t be bothered by those nasty skeptics.

I would have thought common sense and decency would have been sufficient. Do you really think there’s no other way?