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.
Hell is the Detroit of the afterlife.
I ain’t hell bound (it’s two words, I think), I’m already there!
Actually it's about 50 miles west. And when a group of drunk fraternity boys arrived there to liberate the signs, we found they were securely arc welded on, LOL.
I knew, that, Dr Godwin or not, “Hitler” would come up.
Not Pol Pot, not Leon Trotsky, not Walter Ulbricht,
not Saint Patrice Lumuba, but the cliched monster Hitler.
Always Hitler! You’d think we worship him.
The argument for not doing just whatever you want and can get away with is that it is irrational. If you want to live the life proper to a human being then you don’t follow every whim and irrational goal that pops into your head or gives you momentary pleasure. You have to use reason to guide your actions and think long term. A rational person doesn’t need to be threatened with hell and damnation to do the right thing. Of course rationality is a choice and many do choose to be irrational. Religion in my opinion is one of the root causes of this because it preaches that man is evil by nature and his mind in not capable of a rational morality. The reason there is so much evil in the world is that people are not taught to think but to “feel” and no one can deny that subjectivism in all its forms is the ruling philosophy today.
You can talk to people who have done some of the worst atrocities in history and they will tell you that they thought they were doing “good”. Human rationality is subjective.
Theres a name we haven’t heard in a while. I thought those
glasses he wore made him look sinister x 2.
Retired comfortably in South America, if i remember correctly.
The parable of the ‘rich’ man, who became ‘rich’ with lying, cheating, and any and all other nefarious methodologies waits across the gulf from Lazarus in Abraham's bosom.
That was his successor the late Erich Honecker..
In 1939, a man is arrested in Berlin for shouting “Hitler is a fool”. He is sentenced to one year in prison. In 1949, the same man is arrested for shouting “Ulbricht is a fool”. He is sentenced to ten years. He says: “Under Hitler, I only got one year. It’s not fair.” The Stasi officer answers: “Well, you only got one year for insulting Ulbricht. The other nine are for talking about a state secret in public.”
Good one. Sorry about the misinformation. Ulbricht croaked much earlier.
An interesting take on things is found in the Jewish Kabbalah, and their take on the creation myth (in the good sense of the word.)
They believe that God created the universe to discover if there was anything “not God”. To do so, God contracted from a vast, empty space, into which He injected a single particle, which was to endlessly replicate itself, becoming the physical universe. Once completed, the universe would reflect the image of God like a mirror, so God could see if there was anything “not God”. Having done so, the universe would cease to exist and again become part of God.
But inherent in this idea is that the universe exists within this contraction, this “absence of God”, so adding this to what I posted before would make physical reality, the universe, Hell. But this Hell is still inside the spiritual realm of God, and God may reach inside it to touch man, and man may beckon God to do so.
If man does not, he is in Hell. And if man beckons God, and God responds, then only man’s physicality is trapped in Hell. His spirit and soul may transcend the limitations of the flesh.
Hell is God's great compliment to the reality of human freedom and the dignity of human choice.
This so short but deep thoughts.
no one ever throws the milkman or local grocer into that group either
My personal belief about hell, is that if you go to hell you get to be your own god.
In your little hell, you’re the god of your own kingdom. Whatever you knew on earth, are the limits of all the knowledge exists in your kingdom. Anything you found pleasure in on earth, are the limits of the possible pleasure that can exist in your kingdom. You also carry with you any thing that ever caused you pain.
Because you saw yourself as your own god, God gives you exactly what you want, the place where you can be your own god. Everyday is the same, everyday your pleasures are the same, everyday your pain is the same.
You can create a sunset in your kingdom, but there’s no one to turn to and say “what a beautiful sunset”. You may have a beautiful wife, but she herself has decided whether her heaven is with the God of all, or, if she has decided to be her own goddess, God grants her wish, she has her own little kingdom all on her own. Two “gods” can’t share a reality and still be gods, one would have to give in, and you can’t change a vote you already cast for all of the eternity. And sooner or later, being alone with yourself and the limitations of yourself, becomes Hell.
Hell was really never a punishment. It’s simply ask, and you shall receive. Once the person in “hell” recognizes that, there is a judgement, but it is they who judge themselves, now knowing that they have cut themselves off, and that this was an eternal decision, the same power that they had as a “god” to experience pleasure in their little kingdom, through conviction no longer produces pleasure, but pain... being a “god”, the power to create the kingdom you wish, through conviction of your own guilt, produces the hell you fear. And then, the flames begin.
If God judges, we really have nothing to fear, if we know we have our advocate in Jesus Christ. Rather, be fearful of becoming your own god, and being your own judge, because all the mercy and love that we know is what God gave us, and without God we will have no mercy on ourselves.
Just me, my humble O.
Hell is other people - Sartre.
RE: Hell is other people - Sartre.
In which case, the Christian heaven would be hell to Sartre.
“and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt.”
I read a book/article that said EVERYONE would be in the presence of God. It was very serious, and lots of verses, etc. He talked about how God is omnipresent, etc. But that those who do not believe, etc. would not like being in the presence of God. (See the Old Test. on looking at God and being destroyed, consumed or whatever).
With God’s energy being the everlasting fire, etc. Interesting take on it. If Hell for a Christian is separation from God, then Hell for a non-Christian would be having to spend eternity with God. And not being forgiven, having all of those old wounds, past sins, etc. exposed to yourself and gnawing at you every minute forever and ever. “everlasting shame and contempt”.
The descriptions of hell that I read, here and elsewhere, are always descriptions of life here in paradise, that only the luckiest among us have been able to avoid. Maybe it is they who write these descriptions, while others live them.
On the other hand heaven sounds, can’t avoid saying, dull and boring, and unspecific. What really happens there? What kind of hierarchy is there. If some human requests are granted and verifiable miracles happen on earth (as Catholics believe, and the Church experts verify or not), then how are decisions made up there what requests to grant what to reject, and what powers decide these things. I am interested in very practical details not some fairy tales.
**Is Anyone Hellbound?**
Look, I’m sorry, but the Scriptures are as plain as can be, yet you’re denying what they say. Eternal torment isn’t a pleasant thing to contemplate, that’s true, but it’s a fact, no matter how you try to twist and turn to get round it. We can be thankful it isn’t God’s will for us, and that He provided a way to salvation in Jesus Christ.
With all due respect, I’m not going to argue Scriptural fact with you when you clearly don’t want to accept it. God bless.
There's a book called Heaven by Randy Alcorn. The author says that heaven really doesn't sound exciting when you think that it consists of sitting around on clouds playing harps. He believes pastors/priests should teach about heaven as much as hell so that people could actually be excited about what's to come.
He makes the point that where we go when we die isn't where we will spend eternity. Yes, we'll be with God forever, but as described in Revelation, His presence will dwell in the New Jerusalem, which will be on the new earth, remade after Christ's return to be even more perfect and beautiful than Eden. That's where we'll be.....home, only unimaginably better. It's a fantastic read.
Any so-called Christian, who does not believe in hell, may as well look into the eyes of Jesus and call him a fool. That is why, IMHO, these faux Cristians are no such thing.
To be a Christian one must beleive that Jesus is the Son of God, and that he died for our sins so that the gates of heaven would be opened for us. That is why he is called the Savior or the Redeemer.
So Christians who do not believe in hell are calling Jesus a fool, and my opinion is that they are the foolish ones.
Yes the Scriptures are plain and the plain explanation is Hell is not eternal and unbelievers aren’t tormented forever. Now that’s not saying that there isn’t any torment in Hell right now for the unbelievers. Of course there is. But as Scripture in Revelation 20 shows us, there is an end to death and Hell and unbelievers. If you have any Scriptural fact to deconstruct my points, I’d love to see them, but to date, I have not seen any, even from my own Pastor.
(By the way, as a Christian, it is your responcibility to present to me, a fellow Christian, Biblical facts that back up your disagreement. If I was a non-believer rejecting Scripture, then yes, wipe your sandals and leave, but that’s not the case.)
I realize this is a hard thing for some people to honestly analyze because good Christian churches and good Christian pastors have been simply passing on what they were told and refuse to look at this doctrine fully and honestly. I think one of the things that prevent pastors from preaching the truth of this is that so many Christians are uneducated on the whole of the Bible and would flee any church that preached this. Hense many pastors just don’t talk about Hell very much or in any detail.
I don’t expect you to admit to me on line that you agree with me, but I highly encourage you to go to the link I posted and read it all the way through. It does a very good and honest job of looking at the topic of Hell.
I presented Scripture to you. Plain, undeniable Scripture. If that isn't Biblical fact to you, what would be? And I'm not really wiping my sandals; I don't hold any animosity or ill will toward you at all. But there's no point in arguing what's in black and white. All we can do is go around and around...yes it is, no it isn't.
"I dont expect you to admit to me on line that you agree with me, but I highly encourage you to go to the link I posted and read it all the way through. It does a very good and honest job of looking at the topic of Hell."
With all due respect, your link doesn't trump the Bible, which tells us clearly, and repeatedly, that the torment of the damned is eternal. We should put our faith in the word of God, not the mental gymnastics of fallible human beings.
First, I don’t think you are holding any animosity toward me.
Second, I responded to every verse you posted, with accurate analysis of each verse. If you disagree with the analysis, I would be happy to see it, but the verses you posted showed that facts support destruction of the soul and not an eternal torment of the soul.
Third, I never said my link trumps the Bible. If you read the link it studies what the Bible says about Hell and eternity. I agree with you that we should study the Bible and put our faith in what is clearly stated, but as I have been saying, what is clearly stated doesn’t fit the idea of an eternal torment. That doctrine does require mental gymnastics, specifically in the area of immortality.
That’s a false paradox, like “Can God create an object so large that God cannot move it.”
In this case, God is a true singularity. There is nothing else to compare God to in any way. This is why God has no name. Names exist only in relation to other things with names. So when asked for His name, His reply is “I am”.
So also, God cannot tell what is God and what is not God without the help of a “mirror”, as it were. The mirror, our universe, exists as a construct outside of, but within God by design.