Sunday, June 6, 2010
Ravi Zacharias' Gandhi
I was glancing through The Case for Faith with Lee Strobel where he interviews respected apologist and speaker Ravi Zacharias. Strobel is notorious for finding interviewees who already support his preconceived agendas; He likes to tell his fans that he is in eager search for the truth regardless of where he finds it, but continues to interview people who are clearly biased to the fundamentalist agenda. They were discussing the topic of Christianity’s claim to being the only one true way to god. There are plenty of fallacies throughout but I thought that it was pretty telling that Ravi, when asked by Strobel, couldn't say if Mahatma Gandhi would go to heaven or not. He just stated, "that is something that will be determined by God.” But, we all know that Gandhi was keenly aware of Jesus' claims and theres zero evidence suggesting that he ever accepted them. Likewise, there is a multitude of evidence suggesting that he denied Jesus as any kind of deity. Gandhi on Christianity , edited by Robert Ellsberg, demonstrates that Gandhi didn't believe in the emaculate conception or that Christ rose from the dead. Gandhi did not recognize Christ as the savior of the world or the son of god. Gandhi was a Hindu that happened to like some of the teachings of Jesus. He was known to quote sections from the Sermon on the Mount from time to time. But, even Satan quoted scripture. (see Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness) This doesn’t mean that Gandhi took scripture literally. So, you would think that Zacharias could very assuredly say that Gandhi is now writhing in agony within the flames of hell.
Most Christians will tell you that a person who has never heard of Christ can still make it to heaven by acknowledging his presence and placing their trust in this “heart knowledge”. God’s authorship is supposedly visible throughout creation and written on the consciousness of man. Romans 1:20 states, “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse”. Now that the Biblical text is available, man really should be without excuse since the "infallible" word of god is accessible to most of the modern world with the exception of some third world, Muslim and Communistic Countries. It sounds like Ravi didn’t want to offend anyone by condemning a man who preached a message of peace and harmony throughout the world. This is the problem with the message of salvation that even such astute Christian scholars like Ravi Zacharias can’t grasp. The Bible teaches that, “no one can go to the father except through Jesus Christ”. John 14:6. So, how can Ravi remain on the fence line? Certainly, Gandhi did many moral works but these works were not done in the name of Christ. So, we can’t toy with the contradictory passages of saved by grace versus saved by works as an avenue which would allow Gandhi invitation to heaven.
This leaves us with the ugly truth about Christianity. Good people, including Gandhi or your dearest relative, will suffer for all eternity because they rejected the gospel message or chose to ignore the evidence written subjectively within their hearts and throughout creation. Gandhi has been dead for sixty two years now and is suffering every second of the day in an unquenchable fire. No doubt, he is surrounded by some of the most tyrannical monsters to ever grace the annuals of history such as Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot. We can’t even have the blessed assurance that he isn’t suffering the same fate as the aforementioned diabolical characters. There is no biblical support for “degrees” of hell, so we can only assume that everyone will suffer the same fate. Dante’s Inferno suggests that there may be levels in hell, and so does some ambiguous passages of scripture that are probably only referring to the Day of Judgment. Scripture like Luke 12:47-48: “That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
You would think that god would be more lucid on issues that have eternal consequences. I, for one, would really like to know if god thinks that it’s morally permissible to treat Gandhi in the same fashion as Genghis Khan. Zacharias doesn’t want to commit to what his own Bible says on these issues. I thought that Christians were supposed to care more about the will of god than the will of man. As a Christian, he should worry about what God thinks and about spreading the truths of Christianity. This is becoming an increasingly popular way of Christian’s having their cake and eating it too. They want people to believe that god may still have second thoughts depending on how good the person was while on earth. They don’t want to make it sound like god is the moral monster that he really is and all of those people who committed idolatry will suffer the same fate as O.T. Israel—with the exception of it being an eternal judgment. Christians would like to think that your garden variety pagan or Gandhi-type personality would make it to heaven because it seems so ridiculous that good people would have to spend eternity being punished for finite "crimes"… because it is.