Morality versus Worship
Copyright David G. McAfee
“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.” I would like to begin with this quote because it outlines very eloquently one of the most popular arguments against Christianity- though it can be applied to many theistic traditions. Christians often preach, and the bible states, that there are prerequisites for entrance into heaven beyond simply following the moral teachings of the bible, including the requirement of having accepted Jesus of Nazareth as lord and savior. The bible explicitly states that acceptance of Jesus as lord is a necessary condition for entry to heaven in John 14: 6: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” It is on the of this acceptance requirement that missionaries began their crusades to spread the word of Christ because those who have not heard the true word of Jesus would be sure to suffer eternal damnation. From this we can infer two things; firstly that those who have heard of Jesus the Christ and deny him will not receive the gift of eternal communion with God, and secondly that those who have not heard of the teachings of Jesus will likewise be condemned.
According to missionary authorities, somewhere around 2.74 billion people have not heard the “gospel of Christ” and are therefore subject to the punishment of God. The problem with this lies within the worship/morality barrier- Would a just God sentence a morally good individual to hell for never having heard of him? And for that matter, would a just God expel a morally good individual to hell who has heard of Jesus, but simply finds no evidentiary reason to believe? – According to Christianity, the answer is simply yes. How far would a ‘merciful’ Christian God go in punishing non-believers? The problem is therefore extended from nonbelievers and those ignorant of Christ’s teachings to those incapable of believing due to mental defect or age. For example, because the bible teaches that no man is without sin and does not mention the specific status of children in the afterlife, it is easy to conclude that logically children who are too young to know of Christ’s word may not have a place in eternal communion with God. The requirement to obey and acknowledge God and Jesus Christ has caused the teachings of the Christian tradition to stray from morality to idol worship, creating a world in which a murderer can be forgiven and sent to heaven, whereas a loving and caring skeptic would be cast into damnation.
 Quote by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor (26 April 121 – 17 March 180).
John 14: 6: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
 Statistics according to “The Joshua Project” global mission statistics.
 Luke 6:36: “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”
 1 Kings 8:46: “For there is no man that sinneth not.”