Skip to comments.To Hell with Hell? [New Pastor at Rob Bell's former church rejects Bell's theology?]
Posted on 01/04/2013 8:17:11 PM PST by SoFloFreeper
Every once in a while, someone of note questions or denies the classic Christian belief of a literal hell with eternal, conscious suffering. Then a debate rages and becomes personal between representatives of various perspectives on the issue...
Hell is real and terrible. It is eternal. There is no possibility of amnesty or reprieve. Daniel says that some of the dead will be resurrected to shame and everlasting contempt. Jesus says, Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. . . . And these will go away into eternal punishment. Paul tells us:
God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.
(Excerpt) Read more at theresurgence.com ...
Rob Bell left Mars Hill, and Mark Driscoll is now the pastor there. He seems to repudiate Bell's teaching in this column.
No one was created by God to endure unendurable agony in Hell for all eternity. The idea is a smear on the character of our Loving God.
Go ahead and dump 50 random Bible verses on me. You are just wrong.
If I did hand you 50 verses that show that there is a hell and people are going there, how can I be wrong? Either there will be people in hell, as Jesus claimed, or there is no hell. WHat are you going to believe, the word of God, or your own misguided beliefs?
Hell is a place, God made it, and there will be people there, otherwise God wouldn’t have made it.
I'm not going to quote any Bible verses for you but I am curious. If you believe in God, that He is a loving God, and everything you believe about God, did you not learn that from the Bible? If you believe that part of the Bible, why would you reject other parts of it?
I’ll stick with the Bible. You are just wrong.
Why should a Holy God endure unrighteousness in His presence for all eternity future?
“Hell is other people.”
The conversation would go like this:
Believer: "The Bible says x."
Heretic: "I don't believe it."
Repeat 50 times...
Besides, I didn't post this to debate the topic of hell, I posted it to hopefully learn and verify that this heretical teaching by Bell has been rejected by his former church. From what I've gathered on from this column, that is INDEED the case.
I’m a huge Mark Driscoll fan. He’s at the Mars Hill in Seattle, though, not Michigan. I was out there last spring in his church on Palm Sunday.
Not all sons and daughters of Adam will have eternal life. Some fraction will face the death that atheists see for themselves - oblivion. It will be to we who are saved as if they had never existed.
This is what the Bible teaches. This is consistent with the loving God of Justice that the Bible teaches us.
This vision of eternal agony is not Biblical. This is Satan lying to us about the character of God.
Mark Driscoll and Rob Bell’s Mars Hill Churches are totally unrealated.
Actually, you are only partly correct. Driscoll is a pastor at a church in Seattle called Mars Hill, not the one Bell led and left in Michigan.
God gave man Free Will. It is our choice to reject Him. Without that “choice” we are not created in God’s Image.
You are basically saying that God is not “Just”. That is an impossibility, as all Christian Theologians have proven—if anything—that if there is a “God”, He must be Just. It is incomprehensible to think God could be Unjust-—then, you are thinking of paganism and their type of gods. It would be unjust to not punish evil-doers.
I am basically saying that death is death. Eternal agony is eternal life.
Lol, perhaps you should read Jesus’ own pronouncements about hell...Matthew 25:46 - He said it Himself.
Satan would LOVE that Christians would believe their sin and their witness means nothing simply because God will abolish Hell.
GOD GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON...WHY?
He won’t. Hence oblivion.
If the unrighteous are suffering eternally God is will be aware of their suffering.
I believe in Hell on Earth.
But I don’t believe in eternal torment.
Why? To give us eternal life. You guys are arguing that everyone has eternal life. Some in paradise, some in agony.
You also are arguing for etenal life for all, however you are also saying that Jesus died for nothing.
Genesis 2 The woman said to the serpent, We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.
4 You will not certainly die, the serpent said to the woman. 5 For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
Your position is the serpent is correct. You might not like the conditions but you certainly will not die.
Eternal agony is eternal life? That’s a new one on me.
Absolutely not. Reread my posts.
Good. Think about it.
Its a common fallacy out of the arrogance of men and more than a few cults that God should behave as we expect him.
Its a way that seems right to our limited understanding, but as Jesus recounted the story, we have Moses and the prophets and now with the Gospels we have even more than Lazarus and the rich man had, we are all without excuse,
When Jesus returns its with “the day of vengeance of our God” and the Jubilee, the Beast and False prophet are thrown alive into the lake of fire, Satan only catches up with them 1000 years later,
“And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” Matthew 8:28
In fact pray about it.
Yes. I am saying eternal agony is not just. And since I believe God is just, as the Bible teaches, Hell is a myth.
 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
I'm curious as to how you all went about about selling your possessions and giving it to the poor.
Was there a service which assisted you with that? Did you need an attorney to handle the paperwork? What were your taxes?
In your world view a human can choose eternal bliss or eternal agony.
You really think someone is going to choose eternal agony voluntarily? Really? What’s in it for them?
We are eternal spiritual beings, existing into eternity. Our life on this earth is, if you will, a practice for eternity. God is a God of love, but also a God of justice. We are born to sin but God provides Jesus death and resurrection on the cross as a full substitutional blood atonement for our sins, if we accept Him as our Lord and Saviour. He pursues us all of our lives, seeking to have a relationship with us. Those who accept Him, will spend eternity in His presence.
You say that eternal agony is not just. Would it be just then, for a God who has pursued a person all of their life, but is been continuously spurned all of their life, to force that person to spend eternity in His presence? Would that not cause even more 'agony'? In His mercy, He has created hell for such people, a place devoid of any hope, joy, gladness, etc., a place without Him. As they chose to avoid a relationship with Him during their life on earth, He allows the continuance of the non-relationship as a mercy to that person.
From your comments, I sense some leavening in your interpretation of the Bible so I have to ask, is your handle, DManA, pronounced 'Demon Eh'?
I submit these names, a non-exhaustive enumeration, to you: Joseph Stalin, Lyndon Johnson, Adolph Hitler, Malcolm (X) Little, Pol Pot and, of course, the murderous Ted Kennedy. Realizing that every one of these viciously evil individuals are all suffering eternal torment reveals that God is Just and that we must take the full, unadulterated meaning of His Holy Word. It's God's universe and He sets the rules. Period.
Sez who? Just is whatever God says is just. And God warns us repeatedly that hell is eternal agony.
(Justice isn't what God says is just, otherwise God would be indifferent to good and evil, or could even will good and evil. That is what the Muslims believe. Since God is Goodness Itself, He cannot will evil. God only allows evil, so that greater good may come.)
Sorry but I'm not connecting those dots at all. How can anything be just apart from God declaring it so? How can anything be right or wrong apart from God declaring it so? God is the only source of the ethical normative.
You posted, in part:You are basically saying that God is not Just. That is an impossibility, as all Christian Theologians have provenif anythingthat if there is a God, He must be Just.
Forgive me, but the very nature of faith (a gift of God, Ephesians 2:8) is that what is believed by faith cannot be proven. If the existence, much less the just nature, of God could be proven, it likely would have been proven by now. It has not. It is a matter of faith (a faith I happen to have).
I believe in a just God. I am not convinced I understand all of what God understands is meant by “just”. There are things about the nature of God that I don’t know and probably can’t know, being human. I can live with that.
As for whether there is a hell, and what the nature of hell might be, I don’t know. Frankly, I prefer to emphasize the other end of the spectrum, eternal life with God. If I am trying to spread the Good News of Christ (as opposed to the Bad News of Hell), and I am, then I will focus on that Good News, that Christ died for us and if we believe in Him, we have eternal life.
As for justice, I think of the parable of the workers in the vineyard. Some came to work early and were promised a certain wage. Others, invited by the owner of the vineyard, joined the original workers later. Still others came even later. Some even came near the end of the work day. The vineyard owner paid the last first, and gave them the amount that was agreed to by the first workers. Those who came first thought they would get even more, and were disappointed and angry when they got the same amount as the last to arrive— as agreed.
The owner of the vineyard told them that they got what they agreed to, and if the owner wanted to give the same to the last to work, that was his business, not theirs.
Could God’s justice be similar? Might He offer salvation to those who “arrive to work” very late— maybe even after death? It might not seem fair to those of us who believe now (but that is a whole new discussion), but perhaps we don’t know God’s justice as well as we think. When does the opportunity to believe in God’s salvation through Christ end? I can’t say. Who can? Only God.
Justice is an aspect of God's essence --what He is. If you believe that God is eternal, which I'm sure you do, then God's Nature must be to exist, or Existence Itself.
The science which deals with the most abstract conceptions must, therefore, be the science of the most universal conceptions. Among our ideas the most universal are Being, and the determinations of it which are called transcendental, namely unity, truth, goodness, and beauty, each of which is coextensive with being itself, according to the formulas, "Every being is one", "Every being is true", etc.Since God is Being Itself, then He must be Goodness Itself.
Justice means to give to something what it is due. Since God's nature is Goodness, He cannot fail to give to something what it is due.
The fact that God can't declare good what is evil, isn't a limitation on His Power. (That's what Muslim's believe.) It's only a limitation in a logical sense. Which being is better and more powerful, a being that cannot lie, or a being that can? A being that can only give to a thing what it is due, or a being that can't? Which being is really limited?
Secondly, consider the Scriptural data. The Bible tells us that Jesus is Truth. Were Jesus to declare good, evil, He would be a liar. Moreover, God warns us, "woe to those who call evil, good, and good, evil."
Your analogy is a pure tautology. We define “good” by what God is not the other way around. Thus, by definition whatever God decrees good is “good”. That is how “good” is defined. The only reason God can’t “declare good what is evil” is that whatever God declares “good” is by definition not evil. And God’s “declaration” is nothinig more than his revelation of his essence. Thus, again, Good is whatever God reveals of his essence and “bad” is its antithesis. Only God can define good and evil, right or wrong. Apart from a transcendent God the terms good, evil, right, wrong or moral are meaningless.
You've got to be kidding. When a person is presented the truth of Christ and His sacrifice for us, are they not making a choice to accept or reject that truth? You don't get much more voluntary than that.
He’s aware alright. He condemned them to the Lake of Fire.
It isn’t just a different location, it’s also punitive.
It’s been said that the making of Adam is part of Satan’s appeal trial. We are provided to Creation so that all are aware of His Perfect Integrity, Justice and Righteousness in His Judgment of the fallen angels.
In the future, the consequences of allowing this appeal will manifest to all Creation the Perfection of His Judgment.
Those who reject God and His Provision, ultimately lead themselves and all around them into the most heinous consequences. Their eternal destination, separated from God in the Lake of Fire is just and righteous.
Rob Bell left Mars Hill, and Mark Driscoll is now the pastor there.
Different Mars Hill. Same name, different parts of the country.
I have thought of hell from this angle.
1) When David sinned against Uriah, he in fact confessed “against thee only have I sinned”.
2) God requires punishment to be proportional to the offense. “An eye for an eye.
3) God is perfect in glory, majesty... this is what trips up soul death arguments, a low view of God.
4) If we reject Christ’s perfect punishment for our sins, we are stuck with trying to atone with our very imperfect punishment. How long will it take? We never finish trying to pay. How bad will it be? You don’t want to know.
I didn't define good and evil, so you have a valid point.
Rather than define good, which is at the highest level of abstraction, in the highest genus, and convertible with being, let's look at evil.
Evil isn't a positive thing, like good. It is a negation.
For example, physical evils don't have existence, per se. Physical evils represent a lack of what properly belongs to a thing. For example, the evil of blindness doesn't have existence in itself. Rather, blindness is the lack of a property that belongs to eyes, i.e., vision. Vision exists; blindness, per se, does not, except logically. It's a term that we apply to the non-existence of vision.
This is how we can objectively define diseases as evils. Disease is not simply a label that can be applied subjectively.
A complete account may be gathered from the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, by whom the principles of St. Augustine are systematized, and to some extent supplemented. Evil, according to St. Thomas, is a privation, or the absence of some good which belongs properly to the nature of the creature. (I,Q. xiv, a. 10; Q. xlix, a. 3; Contra Gentiles, III, ix, x). There is therefore no "summum malum", or positive source of evil, corresponding to the "summum bonum", which is God (I, Q. xlix, a. 3; C. G., III, 15; De Malo, I, 1); evil being not "ens reale" but only "ens rationis"--i.e. it exists not as an objective fact, but as a subjective conception; things are evil not in themselves, but by reason of their relation to other things, or persons. All realities (entia) are in themselves good; they produce bad results only incidentally; and consequently the ultimate cause of evil if fundamentally good, as well as the objects in which evil is found (I, Q. xlix; cf. I, Q. v, 3; De Malo, I, 3). Thus the Manichaean dualism has no foundation in reason.The link above is worth studying. It's the most profound and concise explanation of evil, and its reconciliation with God's Goodness, that I've found.
So the serpent told Eve the truth and God lied to her.
For a period of about 5 years Hitler caused the agonizing deaths of 10 million people. So [human] justice would have him experience all the pain he caused. Which may take about a million years.
The second million years of agony would just be gratuitous.
No one would freely choose endless agony. It’s not reasonable to think this and it’s not Biblical either.
Wherefore in order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful to them and that they may render more copious thanks to God for it, they are allowed to see perfectly the sufferings of the damned.
On the first Sunday after the terrible events of 9/11, the preacher at my church made a passing reference to this and I'll confess that it brought many of us comfort knowing that, from Heaven, the redeemed in Christ would indeed see the Islamist terrorists enduring unspeakable pain for all of eternity.
I would surmise that we likely differ on this and perhaps quite strongly. In fact there's a school of thought that Aquinas was giving a pass to sadism (or at least schadenfreude). To the contrary, and from my perspective, the saints in this scenario aren't "delighting" in the actual suffering of the damned as such but do indeed get unspeakable joy in witnessing the Righteous Justice of God meted out for time everlasting.
God rules as God rules. I’m satisfied with that.
I fervently HOPE Hitler was saved. Because I’m a Nazi? No. Just the opposite.
I hope Hitler was saved because that would DELIGHT God and all of Heaven. And what delights God should delight us. No?
That is the Truest thing any human can say.
God’s Will be done.