بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
If God is All-Loving, and we are saved through grace without the condition of good works, why is it that there is the requirement of faith at all, according to Protestant Christianity? In other words, why do I need to believe in Jesus to be saved? According to Christianity, Jesus died for all mankind’s sins – so what difference does it make if I commit one more sin by denying Jesus, or even God altogether? Why can’t I be saved with neither faith nor good works?
If, on the other hand, one insists on putting the requirement of faith for salvation, then why is it not possible for there to be the requirement of good works in addition to faith? It seems fairly arbitrary to pick a random condition for salvation, but omit all other possible conditions without any sort of rational basis. It would be like saying, “Well in order to be saved, you need to jump through a purple hoola-hoop on the 4th of July because my interpretation of scripture said so, and also nothing else can save you and nothing else is needed for salvation.”
I’ve heard that the Christian answer to the question, “well what about those who died before Jesus?” is that they are judged according to their own circumstance according to God’s judgement. I would like Christians to elaborate on what this would entail. Wouldn’t’ the quality of their works be the primary factor in God’s judgement? I mean, you would expect God to go easier on the pre-Christian good-doers and to be harsher on evildoers, right? If so, what is the problem in accepting good works as a prerequisite to entering heaven after Jesus? If not, how do you explain that doing good works in God’s name is a primary message in the Old Testament?
The punishment accorded to Jesus, according to Christians, is that he was tortured and crucified in a horrific way. But this punishment is not even a fraction of the punishment that the least sinful person in hell will face, let alone the billions of people that Christians believe will go to hell eternally because they do not acknowledge Jesus as God. How exactly has justice been achieved? How exactly does Jesus’ infinitely less suffering serve as a replacement for the eternal suffering one is supposed to endure for sinning?
What of the social repercussions of this doctrine? Why should we avoid sins if there is no possibility of going to hell upon accepting Christ? The idea that we should do it out of love for God is something that can be achieved by people with a strong spiritual inclination and connection to God, but it excludes two things. The first is the reality of a world which is filled with war, hunger, and oppression. The second is that it makes no appeal to those who do not have a spiritual inclination and who wish to simply chase after this world and to fulfil their animal desires. I still remember seeing Ted Bundy’s last interview where he talked about how he has accepted Jesus Christ as his saviour. On Protestant Christianity, it would appear that one can rape and kill dozens of innocent women, accept Jesus in their final hour, and still end up in heaven.