Skip to comments.What Christians Get Wrong About Hell
Posted on 04/25/2014 6:35:42 PM PDT by Belteshazzar
I n a recent column, I explored some obstacles to the embrace of religious faith among young people today, paying special attention to the gulf between the often simplistic way that traditional churches talk about God and the pluralistic complexity of modern life.
Here's another obstacle: The overly literalistic character of so much of American piety.
My favorite example is the way that many American Christians think and talk about hell.
Jumping off from a handful of Gospel passages in which Jesus Christ speaks about "eternal punishment" for sinners in the afterlife, these believers conjure visions of a cosmic torture chamber in which those who reject God or commit grave sins without repentance are subjected to endless torment as punishment for their transgressions. It is a ghastly analogue to equally crude and comical visions of heaven as a place where the righteous are rewarded with angels' wings and an eternity of harp lessons.
This is very bad theology because it takes off from a deeply confused, though very commonly held, view of punishment.
(Excerpt) Read more at theweek.com ...
It is a good thing that we have complex, profound thinkers like Damon Linker around today. Whatever would we do without such?
Sadly, Damon is a little too much a child of "modern life," and does very little reading of things and people older than himself.
Sometimes the concept of hell gets people worked up. The argument on “How can a good God cast people into hell when they have lived a pretty good life” is false logic.
Hell is a place where God is absent. This is exactly what the people who rejected God all their lives wanted. The “pit” of hell maybe a very comfortable place where everyone who rejected God their entire lives must now reside knowing they had lived their lives in a lie. That they had wasted it all. That actually may be worse than a guy with pitchfork.
See our article the Christian Cram Course:
i find little valuereading what unbelievers think we believers, believe. their premises are always flawed and it makes the entire article off-base.
“the popular vision of hell as a torture chamber run by sadistic demons”
is that the popular vision? since when was the bible based on peoples misconceptions and fantasies Davie??
The devil does not wear a read suit...and hell was made for him and his fallen angels...not RUN by them...
these guys are such theological wimps!!!!
The serpent told Eve that God lied, sin and you will not surely die. So many Christians believe the serpent.
You will not surely die. You will live eternally in agony.
The serpent lied. The only people who live eternally are those saved by the Blood of Jesus.
Well that is certainly the version of hell that Dante painted.
As a contrite sinner, I am able and qualified to offer my humble opinion.
God is at the center of all that is. He is our happiness, our soul, our raison d'etre, and our being.
Anything we do (sin) to distance ourselves from him is agonizing. When we are contrite about our sins, we begin to heal.
When we rebel (refuse contrition)...we slide deeper and deeper into removal from the Light and the Way.
Apparently there is a point of no return (our decision to cross that point). Beyond that point lies Hell.
and the one that cartoonist have been copying ever since...
dante tool plenty of artistic license.
I suspect that is the image that post modern pop cultural types would be most familiar with.
Its hard to illustrate a non corporeal entity
In my version of hell I’m a siamese triplet between Michael Moore and Rachael Maddow.
Amen, and I would add that it is not a place of eternal punishment, but of basanos, or eternal torment. Christ died for the sins of the world, so there is no more punishment; there is only eternal bliss for those who accept His offer, and eternal torment for those who refuse His offer.
now.... THAT could get VERY UGLY indeed!!
Ive had neighbors like that I KNOW!
Isn’t there mention of a lake of fire?
This idiots rant is right up there with some of the stupidest things ever written. She/He has no inkling of what the Bible teaches on this subject, and probably has not investigated it in the least.
To her/he it is a balancing act, there is the justified by their actions apart from grace, however the Bible teaches that there is no one righteous, nobody, we all depend on Christ’s sacrifice as we don’t even possess the ability to do good.
Again, stupidest thing ever.
Believe it or not - Christianity is not about “appealing to the young people,” but is instead about trusting on Him for salvation and then living for Him according to His Word.
You can tell that the author is conflicted. He even has to futz around with gender neutrality, “How come you don’t say she? Don’t women go to Heaven or Hell?”, he whined.
The progressive left truly hates the very idea of Hell, and have tried to suppress it through most of the 20th Century.
Their biggest angle is to try and justify punishment based on humanity. That is, when a criminal murders someone, they are put in prison for breaking *mankind’s* laws against another person.
However, when the law is not created by men, but in heaven, the only judgment and possible mitigation *and* punishment *also* come from heaven.
An argument can still be made that heavenly laws are self enforcing, like how a parent tells their young child to not touch a hot stove. If the child does, and is burned, it is not the parent punishing them. The “sin” punishes itself.
But, if there indeed is a Hell for sinners, souls would not be sent there for violating mankind’s laws, but heaven’s laws. If this is the case, then sinners cannot bluff their way out or hope for “good luck” to free them from Hell. They are powerless.
Well then this makes me about 100 times stupider than the second stupidest person ever, since I am struggling a significant amount with “The Problem of Hell.”
I worry greatly that I will be in Hell forever, since I am not certain whether God exists or not. And how could God send people to infinite punishment for finite sins? Because He is infinitely good? It just seems He is even sadistically punishing people. Maybe that will be my fate. Even 10 trillion years into my punishment, and infinity will not even have begun.
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