Go To Hell?

I always thought that there was an outside chance that in the afterlife I might be spending some time in a warmer climate down below.  Well it may be that my fears were overblown.

There is a new book out by evangelical Pastor Rob Bell called Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. Pastor Bell has shaken up the evangelical community by stating that he does not believe there is a Hell.

Traditional evangelical ministers are up in arms over Bell’s bold assertions about Heaven and Hell because it calls into question their theological doctrines of salvation and judgment. If the Bible claim of hell is not valid and everyone goes to heaven, then where is the sanction for those who don’t follow the Bible or become born again through the guidance of their evangelical ministers?

Even more dangerous to mainline evangelicals is the impact on key positions of the culture wars –  if Bell is questioning the existence of Hell than what about all the other claims of the Bible such as those condemning homosexuality? The Bible then becomes just another relativistic document with no divine law-giving.

Although Bell is now persona non grata in the evangelical community, he may be leading a new generation of worshippers who accent heaven and salvation through Christ rather than the fire and brimstone of older generation ministers who have spent their lifetime warming their followers that hell awaits them if they don’t tow the line. 

For Bell Christianity and salvation through Christ is about the power of love and doing good deeds, and most importantly those who follow Christ are part of a universal Church, not a congregation of mean-spirited and judgmental evangelicals.

For self-serving purposes I like Pastor Bell’s views on Heaven and Hell. He fits right into my vision of where I am headed when I take the eternal death nap. I feel much better now about the afterlife.

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One Response to Go To Hell?

  1. Ron Krumpos says:

    Which Afterlife?

    In his new book “Love Wins” Rob Bell seems to say that loving and compassionate people, regardless of their faith, will not be condemned to eternal hell just because they do not accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.

    Concepts of an afterlife vary between religions and among divisions of each faith. Here are three quotes from “the greatest achievement in life,” my ebook on comparative mysticism:

    (46) Few people have been so good that they have earned eternal paradise; fewer want to go to a place where they must receive punishments for their sins. Those who do believe in resurrection of their body hope that it will be not be in its final form. Few people really want to continue to be born again and live more human lives; fewer want to be reborn in a non-human form. If you are not quite certain you want to seek divine union, consider the alternatives.

    (59) True mystics transcend apparent manifestations of the theatrical production called “this life.” Theirs is not simply a search for meaning, but discovery of what is, i.e. the Real underlying the seeming realities. Their objective is not heaven, gardens, paradise, or other celestial places. It is not being where the divine lives, but to be what the divine essence is here and now.

    (80) [referring to many non-mystics] Depending on their religious convictions, or personal beliefs, they may be born again to seek elusive perfection, go to a purgatory to work out their sins or, perhaps, pass on into oblivion. Lives are different; why not afterlives? Beliefs might become true.

    Rob Bell asks us to reexamine the Christian Gospel. People of all faiths should look beyond the letter of their sacred scriptures to their spiritual message. As one of my mentors wrote “In God we all meet.”

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