This is re: the either/or of a blog I read which posits if Jesus is God and the only way to the Father, then only Christians can be saved. Or vice versa that orthodox Christianity must be wrong. Why? Please see for example Nostra Aetate. You don’t get much more orthodox than the church that calls itself The Church and “the Church” formally declared after the horrors of the Holocaust that non Christians can certainly be saved. Obviously, not everyone got the memo.
Why does it logically follow that if Jesus is God we have to be Christian or to have ever heard of Jesus to be saved?
I once had a series of interesting conversations with someone who believed among other things that the King James version of the Bible is the only inspired English version. All others are wrong. (A surprising number of people believe this in fact.) This person also believed somewhat paradoxically that you had to call Jesus (the Latinized and modernized version) Yeshua in order to “believe in the name” and be saved. People who call him Jesus are all going to hell. (I still like to keep a mental list of some of the funnier reasons people have told me I’m going to hell, and that is up there.)
Very few of us would be quite so trite about it, but in my not so humble opinion we can still be pretty trite. As in the Gospel of John, it is believing in God the true God that is the issue. If you read John chapter 1 closely, those who know God also know Jesus. Not necessarily vice versa. He clarifies who God is, but its not like God was in hiding before that. Its not like knowing how to pronounce his name will do you much good. Even demons do that.
It is to me contrary to the essence of the Gospel if we even start to think Jesus cares how we pronounce his name. Or this or that legalistic twaddle. He cares if we know and believe in him. That is why people of all faiths and none can be saved.
Ultimately Jesus’s divinity or lack thereof is not as important as why we do or do not believe in him, if given a fair shot. Now as ever there are plenty of false gods, religions, and ideologies out there. An unfortunate number of those even come with the Jesus brand.
Just wanted to add my two cents. And also having a rough time with the idol of man-made dogma this week. So this is healing to say. My former church has some good things and that document is one of them. This is important to me though. To refute that false dichotomy.