There are three types of doctrine mentioned in Scripture: 1) that of Demons, 2) that of Man, and 3) that of Christ and of God.
There’s no reason anyone should check one’s proverbial brains at the door or eat every can of peas on the shelf when it comes to being a “hearer” of God’s Word.
Think, people, think! As Thomas Jefferson said, “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.” Ask until you receive a satisfactory response. In other words, blind faith is ridiculous.
Asking questions about such a seemingly basic aspect of orthodoxy as “Hell” is undoubtedly going to spawn MORE questions. Its answers are bound to create more than a few “Us vs. Them” debates jeremiah 29 11 kjv. Please RESIST the tendency to break fellowship with those who disagree with you for “a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand” – and we already have over 30,000 denominations divided over a myriad of differences. On second thought, I recall Jesus saying He didn’t come to bring peace but a sword.
I am certain some readers will accuse me – as some already have – of “sending people to a Hell I don’t believe in” when, as you’ll see, I am not making any such statement. Several individuals have referred to me as spreading heresy, forgetting that many of their own beliefs are still considered heresy by a large portion of Christians (speaking in tongues, Divine Healing, casting out demons, etc.)
Others will be left bumfuzzled after reading this as they struggle to find their place in the Body of Christ because, after all, without the Hell they’ve come to know and love, they will feel a bit “out-of-work,” somehow feeling they’ve lost their sense of purpose in The Body. I can relate.
Still others will find themselves glad that someone else has asked the questions they dared never vocalize.
I realize that, in accordance with standard orthodox Christian teaching, we are SUPPOSED to believe in, teach about, and warn others about the fiery place of eternal torment. Though one denomi-nation may disagree with the next in regard to a plethora of other topics – some of which, one might contend, will result in a quick ticket to Hell – BOTH will link spiritual arms in pious alliance against anyone who doesn’t preach and teach on the traditional concept of Hell.
At least until the NEXT source of doctrinal contention rears its head.
This is such a contradiction when one considers that we are SUPPOSED to be spreading the Gospel (literally, “Good News”) in accordance with the command of Jesus but, too often, are the bearers of BAD news, i.e., eternal Hell. We seem to use the subject of eternal damnation as a means for terrorizing others into “getting saved,” attempting to cause them to repent of sinful lifestyles or condemning those whom we don’t particularly care for anyway. Though such terrorism may be the farthest thing from our minds, truth is, perception is reality. Too often, we are seen as being quite repulsive to others as we “witness” to them and bludgeon them with scriptures.
Clearly, we are good at reminding others of how bad they are, judging others by what they DO and judging ourselves by our good intentions. Forget about showing the kind of agape love Jesus extended to a hooker or the woman at the well – we prefer condemning them, picketing against them, showering them with “go to Hell” Scripture verses, etc. We will even do so in union with people who may differ from us on other core doctrinal issues.
HELL AND WHO GETS TO GO THERE
A college student stopped by one day and he mentioned that his friend, an atheist, had told him he did not respect the faith of most Christians because, if they REALLY believed in the Hell they claim to believe in, they would – out of love – relentlessly attempt, in a consistent manner, to get their neighbors and coworkers converted regardless of consequences, rather than expect the unbelievers to enter their church buildings. Amen!