Hell

Many people over the years have tried to bully me into religion out of a fear of “HELL”. (Read that like you’re yelling it… it’s way more fun that way.) I’ve never really been able to get on board with that logic.

My wonderful, brilliant husband, Kullervo, has talked about it on his blog some, and I agree–it doesn’t seem like a just god would send someone to an eternal torture for a finite life without full knowledge. I mean really–I’m an arguably depraved sinner, but I wouldn’t punish Oliver for, say, breaking the video game controllers (hahaha… are you kidding? I’d cheer him on!… but that’s another story…). He doesn’t know better. And even when he does stuff that he DOES know are against the rules (because when we say no he turns around and laughs at us before doing it again), I might move him away from said object, I might tell him ‘No’ again, more sharply… but eternal punishment? Seems a bit cruel, no? And really, how much more can we REALLY know about religion? We can’t know for sure–otherwise faith would be pretty much a moot point.

So, I don’t think I believe in the eternal fires, burning, demons-poking-me-in-the-bum-with-a-pitchfork hell. It doesn’t really make sense. Is there probably some kind of sucky thing we have to go through when we’re bad (and, since I’m a Christian, I can qualify that by saying assuming that we’re bad and don’t accept Jesus Christ)? Sure. I can get on board with that. Maybe even some pitchfork bum poking, if that will make sense in the eternal scheme of things. Maybe we get stuck with an eternal separation from God–or a temporary one.

But I refuse to be intimidated with religious battery about how I should do ‘x’ to avoid the mean demons. That’s just not good missionary tactics, folks!

Kullervo just sent me to an interesting link about HELL

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8 responses to “Hell

  1. Do you think most people would want to live with God?

    While I don’t believe in an eternally burning hell full of harsh torments- I do believe that sinners will be permanently separated from God. Whether this means the void of non-existence or some other method.

    While we might say that it doesn’t seem right that God would punish people with limited knowledge, Paul states that we are without excuse:

    “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:18-20

    “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” Romans 1:32.

    God is just, He (in His way) has revealed to all men- His nature and His generous offer of salvation. Some have accepted it, and others have rejected it. But that acceptance or rejection in this life does have eternal consequences. While fire and brimstone preaching is perhaps overemphasized in some churches at the expense of grace, it does have a place in Christian doctrine and our individual walk with God.

  2. He is a great guy, thanks. 😀 I’m very blessed to have him.

    Separation from God seems like a much more likely hell than does fire and brimstone–which, to me, could only be a temporary state.

    But totaltransformation, one of my problems with the idea that if people don’t accept Jesus in this life they will go to HELL is this: What about people who honestly don’t know about Jesus? What about people who live in countries where Christianity is banned, or where they are brainwashed against it, whatever? Do they go to hell by virtue of being born there? That doesn’t seem right. Why would God let people be born there if He knew he was sentencing them to HELL?

    I didn’t learn much (if anything) about Jesus until I went to high school, where I was told that Jesus was sending me to HELL. Why would I want to come to someone who was going to send me to HELL for not knowing him already? And why would I then be interested in learning more? What if I had died then? Would I have gone to HELL because someone mentioned Jesus once to me, threatening me with bum poking?

    Yes, the Bible says that ‘men are without excuse’… it doesn’t say that ALL men are without excuse. Perhaps just those that know better?

  3. Hey, I posted a blog this morning about hell, called “Why I Don’t Believe in Eternal Torment”….Check it out, if you want.

    In case it’s too long….basically, I believe that when we dead until the resurrection. I believe that eternal life is promised to those who accept the Holy Spirit, and those who reject it are destroyed. I don’t believe that there is any eternal torment. Also, I believe that a person can be saved without knowing much about God….it comes down to the Holy Spirit. Romans 6:23, Ecclesiastes 9:5, and others….

  4. “What about people who honestly don’t know about Jesus? What about people who live in countries where Christianity is banned, or where they are brainwashed against it, whatever?”

    God works in amazing ways- revealing Himself to all. Sometimes it is a missionary, sometimes an oddly placed Bible, etc. Sometimes it is something even more amazing and supernatural.

    I don’t know how God’s plan of salvation works for the Inca or the Aztec, but I do know that now God has presented the world His son- to accept or reject. God is a just God, and he doesn’t judge by outward appearances, but by the heart.

    J. Kaiser

  5. I agree with totaltransformation aka J. Kaiser in that I think of Heaven as being reunited with God and Hell as an absence of God’s presence.

    I would add though, that I also believe that when Jesus comes again, we will all know Him and He will appear to us in such a way that no one with an open heart will be able to deny that He is Lord. Everyone, long dead and alive, will have another chance to accept Him into their hearts.

    As to the whole finite evil thing…yeah, I suppose technically, but the bounds are so wide as to be virtually endless in our human terms. Evil can outlive the man who committed it. Rarely, but it can. But I, too, have trouble believing that God would condemn His children to eternal suffering for not recognizing Him during the brief span of their lives.

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