Skip to comments.Is Anyone Hellbound?
Posted on 10/03/2012 10:14:57 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The new documentary Hellbound? has reignited discussion about the perennial topic of hell as well as revealed some very bizarre perspectives.
Kevin Miller, the films director, who identifies as a Christian, stated in an interview that, regarding the traditional view of hell as a place of fiery torment, I dont see anything in the Bible that would lead me to believe that such a place exists. Instead, according to Miller, when Jesus talked about hell, he was talking about the here and now.
Really? Jesus didnt warn about a place of judgment to come? And Director Miller gets his denial of hell from the Bible? Perhaps he is reading into the Scriptures what he would like them to say? Warnings like this from Jesus, spoken with rhetorical urgency, are hard to dismiss: If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. (Matthew 5:29)
Frank Schaeffer, son of the late and revered evangelical leader, philosopher Francis Schaeffer, appeared in the movie and is more aggressive in his dismissal of hell. He writes in his column in the Huffington Post, People defending God have completely screwed up America and our politics. And their version of God f----d up the first half of my life too.
He claims that, Hell is irrelevant because of course there isnt one. The movie is important though because it exposes a real question: how can we survive the God-nuts who take this stuff seriously? Hellbound? is our chance to get to know the enemies of whats left of our crumbling civilization.
So, those who believe in a place of future judgment are the enemies of whats left of our crumbling civilization, by which he explicitly means America.
Schaeffer continues, Talking about hell in and of itself is a waste of time because if there is a God no one knows anything about him/her or it and they never will, let alone about what he/she or it will do about the lost. But there are people, lots of them, who think hell is real because it fits their kill-your-neighbor-if-he-looks-at-you-funny vision of life.
Well, I just learned something new: If I believe that God will bring about justice in the world to come and settle wrongs at the time of resurrection, I believe this because it fits my kill-my-neighbor-if-he-looks-at-my-funny vision of life. Seriously?
But theres more. For Schaeffer, Americas hawkish tendencies and aggressive foreign policy directly relate to our fundamentalist reading of the Bible: Thank you St. John (or whomever) loon was the author of the book/acid-trip of Revelation, for giving us a deluded roadmap so that the Americans who cant find France on a map can get their foreign policy marching orders direct from a prophet huddling in a cave alone with his odd brain 2000 years ago.
Aside from the fact that it is sad to see someone like Frank Schaffer, who once held to evangelical Christian beliefs, then Greek Orthodox beliefs, turn into such a Bible mocker, it is more than a stretch shall we call it a leap of incredulity? to claim that America fought (or is fighting) wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other places, because of a literal belief in hell and the Scriptures.
Interestingly, a study appearing in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE, found that criminal activity is lower in societies where peoples religious beliefs contain a strong punitive component than in places where religious beliefs are more benevolent. A country where many more people believe in heaven than in hell, for example, is likely to have a much higher crime rate than one where these beliefs are about equal. The finding surfaced from a comprehensive analysis of 26 years of data involving 143,197 people in 67 countries.
According to Azim F. Shariff, professor of psychology and director of the Culture and Morality Lab at the University of Oregon, The key finding is that, controlling for each other, a nations rate of belief in hell predicts lower crime rates, but the nations rate of belief in heaven predicts higher crime rates, and these are strong effects. . . . The finding is consistent with controlled research weve done in the lab, but here shows a powerful real world effect on something that really affects people -- crime.
Here in America, belief in hell remains prevalent, and a 2003 poll by George Barna indicated that 71% of the population said that there is such a thing as Hell. At the same time, just one-half of 1% expect to go to Hell upon their death. So, hell is real, but none of us are going there!
Putting aside our religious differences, perhaps the questions we need to ask ourselves are these: 1) Are there lasting consequences to our actions? 2) Will there be an ultimate judgment and final justice? 3) If so, how should we live today?
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries. He hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire, and his latest book is The Real Kosher Jesus.
There is a Hell and it is for the unbelievers, but it isn’t an eternal torment. Revelation talks about the Great White Throne Judgement in chapter 20 and there you find the dead are taken from Hell judged according to their works and them and Hell are cast into the Lake of Fire and destroyed. The Second Death is the death or destruction of the soul.
Here is a good read on this:
Judas is one of the most difficult persons to understand in the New Testament. I often wrestle with understanding his apparent transformation and sometimes doubt that a person that meets Jesus, lives with Jesus, spends three years with Jesus could ever be an enemy of Jesus.
Frank Schaffer exemplifies for me a modern day Judas. He apparently was exposed to scripture, Christian teachers and others who love the Lord. Yet, he rejects Jesus.
Without at least the possibility of Hell and damnation, how can there be any ultimate justice?
This is all the more reason people need to hear the truth, not drivel and wishes like this guy is peddling.
There are actually a string of questions wrapped up in this.
To start with, Hell, or Heaven for that matter, are not seriously at issue as physical places, because spiritual beings without physical form do not need physical places, except when living vicariously through others who are still physical.
But Hell or Heaven can most certainly be spiritual places, with spiritual rules. One theological description of the difference being based on the presence or absence of God.
That is, Hell for a spirit is a place where they would be without a spiritual connection to God.
And this can also work as a definition of life on Earth, when it is either hellish or heavenly, because it can be a subjective state of being for a man. That is, two people could share circumstances, that for one of them is hellish, as they have no connection with God, yet for another it is heavenly, despite pain and torment, because their connection with God is more important than their Earthly discomforts.
There is no great dispute in this with a physical conception of Heaven or Hell, because the physical world is just a small subset of the spiritual world.
“26 years of data involving 143,197 people in 67 countries. That’s only a couple thousand people per country over 26 yrs...is that a very good number to use? Doesn’t sound like much to base this on.
Perhaps there isn’t any ultimate justice. Would that really matter?
This would have more of an impact if I believed such a place existed, of course.
RE: So Hitler is in heaven with God?
Those who don’t believe in Hell would claim that Hitler has been annihilated. HE NO LONGER EXISTS.
An ecological fallacy (or ecological inference fallacy, also referred to as the fallacy of division) is a logical fallacy in the interpretation of statistical data in an ecological study, whereby inferences about the nature of individuals are based solely upon aggregate statistics collected for the group to which those individuals belong. In epidemiology, the ecological fallacy is committed when a correlation observed at the population level is assumed to apply at the individual level. This fallacy assumes that individual members of a group have the average characteristics of the group at large. However, statistics that accurately describe group characteristics do not necessarily apply to individuals within that group. For a mathematical explanation of this see how variability of individuals is much greater than the variability of their mean.
The lake of fire is where unbelievers will be, and yes, it is eternal.
“And if your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the eternal fire,” (Matt. 18:8).
“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matt. 25:46).
”And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,” (2 Thess. 1:9).
“And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever,” (Rev. 20:10).
I don’t believe in hell, but I think after we die, God isn’t really concerned with what we did here on earth for our 70 or 80 so years.
If there’s no ultimate justice, what’s the argument against just doing whatever you can get away with in this life? You won’t need to answer for it to anybody.
Don’t people already do that? I think it has more to do with the person and how God created him, than the potential for punishment.
Would you go out and commit murder and rape if it wasn’t illegal?
I have felt for a long time that heaven was eternity in God’s presence and that hell was eternity separated from God. Descriptions of heaven and hell are by people who had no real frame of reference - as none of us would have - to put into words the wonder, or horror, of what God had revealed to them. They did their best using images from their experiences most closely related to their “revelations”. I believe that someday we will find out that they were true, as far as they went - heaven will be much better than described and hell will be much worse.
As for who goes to hell...I would say that those who actively separated themselves from God’s love in their life should expect to be likewise separated in the afterlife.
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