Anders Behring Breivik, the man responsible for the recent terror in Norway, says he’s a Christian — some of his writings point to him being only a cultural Christian while several media sources have called him a “Fundamentalist Christian.” At the very least, the speculation brings up a thought experiment that I find interesting regardless of what we eventually learn about his beliefs.
If he were really a Christian (even in name only), he would likely accept the divinity of Jesus Christ.
So here’s a question for the Protestants out there:
Would Breivik go to Heaven when he dies?
I know, I know… he’s not a True ChristianTM… and I’m certainly not suggesting that Christians support what he did. I am saying that a lot of Christians believe that people who have done horrible things — even Death Row prisoners — can accept Christ before they die and still get into Heaven. If “accepting Jesus” is both necessary and sufficient in order to get into Heaven, I don’t see how they get out of this by answering “No.” Either Breivik is going to Heaven, or believing that Jesus was a divine and resurrected prophet isn’t enough (which goes against my understanding of Protestant doctrine).
Breivik himself wrote: “If there is a God I will be allowed to enter heaven as all other martyrs for the Church in the past.”
I’m sure some people will try to get around this by saying that faith and good works go hand in hand — you can’t accept Christ and then do bad things — but that’s not what the doctrine says. It’s just ideal, wishful thinking.
So ask your Christian friends that question. Watch them squirm. Make them justify their beliefs.
It’s almost as revealing as asking them: “Is Anne Frank burning in Hell?” She was Jewish, after all…
***Update***: I’ve revised the initial paragraphs of this post quite a bit since it originally went up based on additional information from commenters.