Skip to comments.There Is No Hell
Posted on 04/01/2006 7:37:23 PM PST by churchillbuff
The difference between Universalists and Unitarians (the old joke has it) is that Universalists believe that God is too good to damn them, whereas Unitarians believe that theyre too good to be damned. I am a Universalist.
For all my many failings, the day I wake up dead I wont be in a cattle car on the fast train to Satans fiery pit. Nor will you. And neither will Old Scratch himself. If he actually exists, the devil too will be saved. In the good news of universalism, God is a loving God who will not rest until the entire creation is redeemed. All creatures will be saved. There is no hell.
Its easy to understand why hell was invented (if quite late in the biblical record). Eternal damnation solves the sticky part of the problem of evil: Why do good things happen to bad people? Reserving a corner of hell for all who escape well-deserved punishment here on earth balances the moral ledger sheet. Justice is done. Otherwise, not only is life unfair; the afterlife becomes unfair as well.
The problem is, when we project our retributive logic onto a cosmic screen, we pervert the divine image. We predicate hell on the irreverent presumption that Gods appetite for vengeancean all-voracious version of our own nagging hungermust be satisfied. "Shell get hers in hell," we say. That balances our ledger, but it turns God into a jailer.
The idea of purgatory makes perfectly good sense. I can imagine the utility of corrective punishment. But eternal hellfire demeans everything I believe about God. More important, it eviscerates the heart of Jesus gospel.
Jesus was anything but a biblical literalist. He teaches by parable, not by citing chapter and verse, and gets into holy mischief by repeatedly breaking the letter of scripture. Love is the sum and substance of all the law and the prophets, he teaches. He enjoins us to forgive and love our enemies. "Your enemy be damned," is no part of his gospel.
"Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect," Jesus instructs his disciples. That perfection can be summed up in three words, each an expression of divine love: justice, mercy and forgiveness. Standing alone, justice might allow for the creation of hell, but mercy and forgiveness render it morally impossible. We can sift a spoonful of evidence for hell from the scriptures, even as we can ladle out dozens of arguments for slavery. Neither, however, meets the requirements of the biblical Spirit, whose imperative is love.
If we, mere humans, can forgive unforgettable damage, can't God?
People don't like the Bible because it says things they don't like. It's not that they can't figure it what's in the Bible, hey just disagree. It's easy to hide behind the cult of, 'my personal interpretation' is different and who are you to say.
I guess the good Rev. never learned how to read.
Oh, I guess Jesus was wrong, then. Thanks for clearing that up for me, Rev.
Creation will only be redeemed when the bad evil and sin are shut away in a place far from God's mind and memory (Hell).
God doesn't send people to Hell. They send themselves there.
If I were the good Reverend, I'd start a progressive swimming regimen with millstones tied around my neck.
"In Heaven there is no beer, that's why we drink it here"
It's all about plucking out what's fashionable and forgetting the rest. I'm not a religious scholar by any means, but I wouldn't be surprised if it hasn't always been this way. It's easier to change the interpretation of the Bible than to change your heart.
The Bible, both Old and New Testiment, is filled with references to Satan and Hell. How can this person make this kind of statement?
Dear Rev: read John 14:6.
We are supposed to conform our lives to the Bible, not the other way around. This is yet again another example of rationalization by the libs.
Is Heavan a planet?
Sorry Rev, there is a hell.......and its full of Muslims and idiots like you!