Christianity is just one of some 300,000 known beliefs and sects in
practice in the world today. Buddhism is a belief that does not demand the
belief in an almighty god for its practice by a significant percentage of
human beings. According to Christianity all those who ignore Jesus are
condemned to “hell”. However they are more than 80% of all human beings.
How do Christians explain this enormous contradiction? As an atheist I
would expect that an almighty god would have built “his” people in a way
they would believe in “him” without the need of intermediaries, and
religions wouldn’t be split in thousands of different forms of


Actually your atheist expectation isn?t far from the truth in this case.
According to the apostle Paul in the New Testament book of Romans, the
Creator is both rational and moral and created free creatures in His
image, so in fact people ARE built to know God without intermediaries.
But when human beings abused their God-given freedom by choosing to rebel
against Him, this led to their creation of “thousands of different forms
of superstitions” instead of accepting the sobering truth:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness,
because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made
it plain to them. For since the creation of the world his invisible
attributes ? his eternal power and divine nature ? have been clearly seen,
because they are understood through what has been made. So people are
without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as
God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their
senseless hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they
became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image
resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or
reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to
impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves. They exchanged the
truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than
the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” (Romans 1:18- 25, New English

God sent intermediaries in the form of prophets, and finally His Son
(Hebrews 1:1-2) to call people back to worshipping Him in spirit and in
truth (John 4:23). Paul tells the public intellectuals of Athens that it
is this coming of the Son, as the historical person Jesus of Nazareth,
that is the final wake-up call to forsake false belief systems:
“Therefore, although God has overlooked such times of ignorance, he now
commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has set a day on
which he is going to judge the world in righteousness, by a man whom he
designated, having provided proof to everyone by raising him from the
dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)

So according to the Bible, it is human sin that represses God?s truth and
motivates the generation of flawed and false religions in its place. It
is therefore an individual?s sin that condemns him before God (Isaiah
59:1-2), not “ignoring Jesus” (who is actually the way out of this moral

[Actually most world religions don?t ignore Jesus; they attempt to
incorporate Him. While the Jewish Talmud speaks negatively of Him, most
modern Jews (and modern Gentiles) see Jesus as a Torah-observant Jewish
rabbi and reformer who served to bring the Hebrew God and Hebrew
scriptures to the wider world. In the Koran, Jesus is declared to be a
holy prophet of Allah who was virgin-born, worked miracles, and will
return to judge the world one day. In Eastern-influenced views like
Hinduism, Buddhism and the New Age movement, Jesus is variously seen as a
guru, a god, an avatar or an “ascended master,” and some Mahayana
Buddhists would consider him a bodhisattva, an enlightened one who
self-sacrificially defers his attaining Nirvana in order to help others
find enlightenment. It seems safe to say that Jesus of Nazareth is almost
universally respected as (at least) a good moral teacher who founded a
major world religion. If we attempt to marginalize or minimize such a
significant individual in world history we are in fact suppressing the

Dan Conder

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