So I’m backing up a bit. There are lots of confusing things in the world that mislead us–from wrong teachings and writings (from Scientology to animism to Raelians and wrong books). Does God mislead us by letting those occur? If we are born into those wrong teachings, does He blame us for following what we think is right?
Then, if He is God, does He actually lead us into the wrong way because He let us see those things? What’s the difference between that and actually sending us a false prophet? There is a nuance of difference, but at the end, it really matters whether God is just and will judge us according to what we know or not.
I think that God knows our hearts, no matter what. I really like The Last Battle quote by C S Lewis, in which Emeth, who thought he was doing right by serving Tash, found he had been serving Aslan all along. It reflects what my hopes are that God is truly the Just Judge.:
“Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, though knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.”