Originally posted by TechUnique
Question - Are these fellow humans going to go to hell just because some jumped up, western tainted religious poison hasn't reached their
ERM.. I DON'T-THINK-SO
Well, tragically (or maybe fortunately,) you aren't God, so what you think doesn't really matter.
Since you apparently don't believe in Christianity (unless you normally believe in "tainted religious poison") I'm not sure why you're asking,
but I'll give you a reasoned reply.
It all depends.
Nobody knows, so there are "schools of thought."
Most Catholics believe in purgatory, where people who aren't super holy or super evil are sent to be "cleansed" of their transgressions in
preparation for judgement. It's sort of a "second chance" for everyone, not just those who haven't been Christians on Earth. Of course, the
question becomes "what's super evil", such that you won't even get that second chance, and nobody knows. I suspect being a hater of God (as
opposed to simply a disbeliever) would be one of the things that might land one in hot water there.
Common Protestant thought is that we're all "super evil" and off to hell we will go. Except for those who have accepted Christ's offer of
salvation, the impact of which depends on which denomination you belong to. Some say that we are imbued with his righteousness (so we become
righteous), others say that we're clothed in it (so we're still the way we are, but our faults are "covered over") and others say that Christ just
simply stands up for us and God forgives because Christ asks him to.
By most Protestant doctrines, no Christ, no salvation, but for those who have never heard of him, or who lived before he did, the spirit of Christ has
always existed everywhere, so even without knowledge, some people have followed and accepted him. A holy and honourable Native American in 1300AD,
for example, was a follower of Christ, even though he didn't know it.
Reformed theology, which is Protestantism through John Calvin, teaches double predestination, such that, before the beginning of the world, God chose
some for salvation and some for damnation, the reasons for which no one knows. If that turns out to be the correct view, then all bets are off, and
there's no telling whether those who didn't know Christ could possibly be among the elect.
There are other opinions, but those are the most widespread. If you're not a believer, you'd better side with the Catholics, because they're the
only ones (apart from a very small minority, usually represented by the Quakers, which believes in universal salvation -- God loves everyone, so saves
everyone in the end) that gives you an "out" if Christianity turns out to be your reality.