What about hell…

April 25, 2011 | 5 comments

Here’s an interesting article about a Pastor questioning traditional Christian beliefs per hell and heaven. He decided, among other things, that he couldn’t accept that millions of people who have never heard of Jesus Christ are doomed to hell just because they’ve never heard about Jesus. Is that really part of the plan by a God of love?

Pastor loses job after questioning hell’s existence

New book is spurring debate over the traditional view of hell as a place of eternal torment for damned souls

The article states in part,

Bell argues that hell has assumed an outsize importance in Christian teaching, considering the word itself only appears in the New Testament about 12 times, by his count.

“For a 1st-century Jewish rabbi, where you go when you die wasn’t the most pressing question,” Bell told The Associated Press. “The question was how can you enter into the shalom and peace of God right now, this day.”

Bell denies he’s a universalist, and his exact beliefs on what happens to people after death are hard to pin down, but he argues that such speculation distracts people from an urgent point. In his telling, hell is something freely chosen that already exists on earth, in everything from war to abusive relationships.

The near-relish with which some Christians stress the torments of hell, Bell argues, keep many believers needlessly afraid of a loving God, and repel potential Christians who might otherwise be curious about the faith’s teachings.

“The heart of the Christian story is that God is love,” he said. “But when you hear the word ‘Christian,’ you don’t necessarily think ‘Oh, sure, those are the people who don’t stop talking about God’s love.’ Some other things would come to mind.”

5 thoughts on “What about hell…”

  1. I love that the person questioning the existence of hell is named, “Bell”, like a wake-up bell. Life makes me smile… that’s Life with a capital “L”. 🙂

  2. I was ‘raised’ in one of those ‘hell-fire/damnation kind of churches, and most of the teaching was slanted toward a vengeful God who was far-off except when someone was doing something wrong! He always seemed to know and be making a note for future punishment. That was really being punished twice–the fear now and the actual punishment later! So grateful to have a better understanding through Christian Science of God, the Christ, Jesus, and of course, man. How honest and brave of the minister to publicly question ‘hell’. I love that we can have healing and peace right here right now!

  3. I,too, was raised in the “damnation and hell-fire” tradition and my family members are still avid promoters of the lie. To them, everyone that does not agree with them is “damned” and, worse, these individuals are as far from Christlike as any people can be.

    They are too busy damning others, in God’s name.

    This spirit of hatred infects politics, also. Those who are the most un-Godlike claim to be carrying the banner of Christ.

    True Christians need to rise up against the hypocrisy of these purveyors of hate.

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