Conscience and the American Indians

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Revelator, May 15, 2008.

  1. Revelator

    Revelator
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    I was wondering what your views were on this. Did God judge the Native Americans on their conscience before the us white folk showed up or are they all held accountable for rejecting Christ?
     
  2. David Lamb

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    I don't think it is anything specific to Native Americans, but applies to anyone who has not yet heard the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am sure that there are plenty of "non-native" Americans who, in spite of living in a country where there are many Christian believers, have never really heard the gospel. (I'm using "non-native" in opposition to "Native Americans", not modern day imigrants who have been granted American citizenship). Perhaps Paul's words in Romans 1.18-20 are pertinent here:

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 ΒΆ because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.


     
  3. lbaker

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    Good question. My thinking on this, total conjecture of course, is that those Native Americans, or any other "pagans" who reasoned their way to a belief in a "Great Spirit" or "Creator God" and responded to Him in faith to the extent of their knowledge would be in covenant with Him.
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    Act 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." ESV
     
  5. skypair

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    While this is true today, it was not true in the OT, was it.

    What this proves is that whosoever comes does "acknowledge, glorify, and thank" God will, in a physical body, on earth, name the name of Christ even if it is after his resurrection into the MK which is how the OT saints will be utterly saved then.

    I agree with Ibaker. God has provided that "acknowledge, glorify, thankful" mechanism to JUSTIFY those who could not know Jesus Christ. Acts 4:12 is speaking of those who will ultimately be JUSTIFIED AND SANCTIFIED like us in the knowledge and confession of Jesus Christ.

    skypair
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    It has always been true. There is no evidence that there are some who never hear of the name of Christ. It is only assumed.
     
  7. russell55

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    Romans 1-3 answers that question. Those who have never heard of Christ are not held accountable for rejecting Christ, but they are held accountable for knowing some things about the Creator God from the testimony of creation itself (that he was all-powerful, invisible, and completely unlike his creatures, for instance), and knowing, too, how they ought to respond to that kind of Creator (they ought to honor him and give thanks), and then rejecting that knowledge of the Creator and refusing to respond to him as they ought, choosing to worship creaturely beings (or creature-like beings) instead.

    They are also held accountable for knowing some things from their own consciences about how they ought to behave and breaking that moral code.

    So they are judged not on the basis of what or who they didn't and couldn't know (Christ), but on what they did know and could know (There is an eternal invisible powerful creator God who should be worshipped and there is an internal moral law to be obeyed, too.)

    I might add that according to Paul, the rejection of the witness of creation and consciences is universal. The witness of creation and consciences leads to the just condemnation of all people and Paul's universal proclamations: "Both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin" and "All have sinned."
     
    #7 russell55, May 15, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2008
  8. Revelator

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    Recently we began a bible study with some family and just studied through Romans, I felt this way about it before, and going over it again I taught it that way, that there is a God given moral code every man has in them to live by or not and God uses that to judge a man by in the absence of Christ.

    Mainly I put this up here to hear conversation about and see what everyone else had to say. Thanks you guys for posting, and if anyone has any other thing to say, then by all means....share
     
  9. Deacon

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    And the conclusion was that even when judged by our own moral code...we fail. :tonofbricks:

    ...all have sinned.

    Sort of puts a premium on our Christian witness to the world, doesn't it? :jesus:

    Rob
     
  10. Tom Butler

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    This is very close to the answer.

    Romans 2:14 "For the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves.'

    They cannot be judge for rejecting Jesus because they never heard of him, even if they had a clue from creation that there was a Creator. So the basis of their judgement will be their own moral code.

    Every time.
     
  11. Tom Butler

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    Do you also agree that the logical conclusion to this position is that we should immediately stop sending missionaries to them, lest they hear about Jesus, reject him, and go to hell?
     
  12. Tom Butler

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    I think that we could determine the truth of this statement by asking the question at an tribal village in the heart of the South American jungle. All we have to find is one person who says 'no.' I suspect that several of our BB brothers and sisters on the mission fields can supply us with accurate information.

    But the point remains the same: if they haven't heard of Jesus, for heaven's sake and their eternity's sake, bring our missionaries home. And if they can be saved without hearing the gospel, is that not another gospel?

    If they have heard the gospel without any human means, how did they?
     
    #12 Tom Butler, May 15, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2008
  13. skypair

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    Oh yeah. I forgot the Mormons and the tribes of Israel before them who brought the golden tablets to America and buried them for Joseph Smith to find! :laugh:

    skypair
     

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