On the Christian Doctrine of Salvation and Damnation: Fact or Faith?

We get confirmation here at DC all the time from Christians that God exists whether we atheist believe it or not! Thus, it is an affirmed fact that “God” does NOT and IS NOT based on faith . . . He exists and will judge both the good (Saved) and the bad (Damned) at the Final Judgment “according to their works:

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20: 11 – 15 (“deeds” here is “κατὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν” or according to their works)

So to Paul is also in agreement with this fact in his letter to the Romans 14:12 where he tells us that each person is going to have to step up and “will give account to God” or we must tell God exactly what sins we did (nowhere in the Bible is a sin of the mind worse than an action or works sin because we MUST THINK to act!). Thus, God’s future judgment (for both the writer of Revelation and in Paul’s mind) is a “fact” and NOT an event of faith!

However, this presents a major problem for the Christian Doctrine of the atonement in that Jesus shed his blood for all humanity IS a FACT given that all humanity are sinners: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3: 23) . . . be it Original Sin or not!

Moreover, whether it’s a mental sin (evil thought) or an action sin (evil deed); ALL SINS are covered under the atonement of Christ which is a FACT in the Christian Doctrine of Soteriology (and just as I’ve shown above, facts of dogma DO NOT required faith to validate. Thus, no human MUST believe in oxygen to have life; it’s a fact and not a point of faith. It is a fact humanity MUST have it, but we DO NOT have to have faith or belief in oxygen for it to work! In Jewish theology, one DOES NOT need faith to be a Jew or to put it more bluntly, one can be an atheist and still be a Jew as we find with majority of Jews in the modern state of Israel).

Secondly (and this is of most importance), as we (being all the earth’s humanity) are judged based on our thoughts and deeds, at what point does the atonement cease to forgive sins? (Or do we end up like the Doctrine of Confession in Catholicism where only confessed sins are covered?)

So, let’s do some inductive logic here:

A. Given: ALL humanity are have sinned and are sinners. (Christian Dogma)

B. Given: Jesus died for ALL the sins of the world. (Christian Dogma)

C. Resolved: ALL humanity is saved. (A point made by Origen at the Last Judgment as even Satan will be saved.)

Finally, there are two theologies in the New Testament (The Gospels) concerning Jesus sacrificial death. The first is that Jesus’ death is a ONE TIME or a once and for all sacrifice . . . totally a finished work: “Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” John 19: 30.

The other (according to Paul) is that salvation is an ongoing work before God, "Jesus is at the right hand of God interceding for us" Romans 8: 34.

So now the question is, which event in the New Testament is fact: John’s Jesus or Paul’s Christ? (But either way, the atonement is done or the atonement is in the process of being done before God is a New Testament FACT and NOT faith!)

If faith is not required to make God real - or that God is a self validating fact - then how can Christianity have a double standard and require faith to make the atonement real when the Final Judgment is a doctrinal fact not requiring faith or a totally non-faith based as a future event for all humanity? Put another way, if my deductive logic stands as stated above, than eternal damnation (Hell) is null and totally voided by the atonement event (events for Paul) as fact!

Thus, faith really functions ONLY in defining Christian orthodoxy (please join our flavor of Christianity . . . please trust me and have “faith” that we have all the truth in our Christian sect!)

Harry McCall