Dear Christian: Do your beliefs pass the ‘pillow test’?
Once you believe in a god, the only way to sleep at night is to believe you are on his good side. Christianity claims to have the roadmap for that.
I think the biblical criteria for salvation are unclear and subjective, but let’s assume the Bible is clear on how to be saved — that is, how to escape hell. The question remains: What if Christianity is right about God’s existence but wrong about his reward-and-punishment system?
If meeting the biblical criteria will work but God is actually more lenient than that, no big deal. But what if the biblical criteria are inadequate or not even relevant? For example, what if one requirement is to never eat meat, or to never refuse a request for help or money? Or what if Islam or Mormonism (both of which have concepts of hell and much stricter moral codes than evangelical Christianity) is correct? Or what if God saves or condemns individuals arbitrarily?
A Christian should not be content to be convinced (by the sum of the evidence) that God exists or that God made the universe. Having gotten that far, a Christian must know whether he or she is meeting (or has met) God’s actual criteria for salvation. That requires checking the authenticity of the Christian rulebook, considering the logical possibility that another rulebook is more accurate, that no accurate rulebook exists, or even that there are no rules.