Occasionally, within circles of Christian discussion, the question comes up of "what happens to people living in the wilds of Africa/the jungles of East Asia/the ghettos of New York City who dies without ever hearing about Christ? Do they go to hell?"

The quick, stupid answer is "ignorance is no excuse".

The straight answer is this: God's a big believer in responsibility and consequences. It's debatable whether things work they way they do because it's the nature of God, and the universe is created according to that nature, or whether we just do things this way and God is acknowleding that that's how it goes: Sins committed in this generation have long lasting, multi-generational consequences.

Thus the decision to ditch God in this generation and turn backs toward Him will generally result not only in one's children not really knowing or caring an awful lot about God, but also their children, their children's children, and so on.

Thus, those people wandering around in those jungles are the result of somebody, somewhere, telling God to take a hike.

Which, I suspect, has definite implications for our actions and how the affect other people. But truly...the answer "ignorance is no excuse" applies to the original impetus of that forgetting, that turning away, probably far more (though just as applicably) as the current, unknowing individual.

Just as we all are under the burden of sin due to Adam's ingestion of the fruit, so are all of our descendents the inheritors of the results of our bad decisions.

Also, the call to spread the gospel having been given rather clearly by Christ, those of us who call ourselves followers of him will likely have to answer for each one who dies not knowing of the gospel. So it's not like anybody's spotless on this account. But it all descends from our choice...

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