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18 Responses

  1. Ron says:

    # 7. I may have figured out what draws me to read and publish on this blog….

  2. Michael says:

    Ron,

    So it’s only natural that you posted this on the wrong thread… 🙂

    We are are a group of misfits…

  3. Ron says:

    Ha, indeed I did!

  4. John 20:29 says:

    Billy Graham turns 99 years old?
    “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” 1Cor. 1:21. KJV

    Evidently the man’s work pleased God, eh?

  5. JoelG says:

    “Questioning Hell” article is thought provoking. I often wonder how this can be true….

    “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

    …. knowing some of our closest friends and family are suffering eternal torment.

  6. JoelG says:

    Or anybody for that matter

  7. John 20:29 says:

    Hell? God judges hearts… I don’t believe anyone will go to help simply because they never heard the gospel, never had the opportunity to either accept or reject Christ…
    That said, if you have heard that God paid the random price for your soul, the unfathomable and unspeakable price and there is no response in you? You probably don’t want to face God with the excuse that you just didn’t realize it was that important…
    Those of us who have faced the question and accepted redemption have a big problem if we do anything other than pray for and do good to those who oppose us and our God… I had to work thru my attitude here…
    I do think we’ve got to be very careful here ,tho as the two eternal options must be very real and very important to God considering what He did to make a way for us..
    It certainly is reasonable to wonder, to have a problem getting our minds to reconcile that people we love and who love us might be in danger of hell… whatever God’s holiness demands that hell must be..

  8. JoelG says:

    Well said Em. I know God desires all to be saved. And we are told to pray His Will be done. I think it gets done one way of the other.

  9. Michael says:

    Joel,

    I don’t accept the traditional doctrine of hell anymore.
    I don’t know what I do think at this juncture, but eternal conscious torment seems to be a bit of overkill for the average joe who didn’t believe the Gospel for whatever reason, but lived a better life than many “saved” folks…

  10. John 20:29 says:

    I don’t think it is wrong for any mortal, saint or not, to declare that eternal punishment of such extreme torment doesn’t square with what we know of God, but what we do know is that God is totally righteous and totally just and we know this because of His mercy and grace… IMV this all adds up to an assurance that no soul will get more or less than that soul deserves and I trust His ability to mete out fair justice…
    That said, whatever eternity brings to each member of our race, I don’t want to go to hell… or find myself in any situation where God is not there … just sayin … again. ?

  11. JoelG says:

    Michael that’s a very honest and brave admission as a Pastor and I appreciate that. Jesus warns of Hell a lot, I know. To me, Hell is simply the natural extension of the trajectory some folks are on in becoming less human. It’s the ultimate end for the Produgal Son who doesn’t return. I personally think Jesus paid too high a price on the Cross to not allow people to return in eternity. This is my hope, anyway.

  12. Michael says:

    Joel,

    I’ll catch some hell for writing that.

    I’m not denying the reality of hell, I’m simply not affirming how we’ve traditionally defined it and it’s purpose.

    My thinking is still in process on this one…I may just relegate it to mystery and the mercy of God…

  13. JoelG says:

    Wise words… God is merciful…

  14. Kevin H says:

    JoelG & Michael,

    Last year on the blog here I did a review of a book called “The Skeletons in God’s Closet” written by a pastor named Joshua Ryan Butler. One of the main topics the author tackles is hell. One of the interesting things the author does is delineate between torment and torture. Often times we may think of the two terms as one in the same or at least very similar in nature. However, the author argues that the “torment” of hell is not any kind of “torture” being applied by God. Rather, his argument is that those in hell are “tormented” by their own conscious and decision to reject God and to now be separated from Him. There is not torture being applied to them in the environment they are in, rather they are tormented by the condition of their state of separation. That’s the general synopsis anyway, the best to what I can remember.

    I’m not saying I agree or disagree, but I found it to be an interesting take.

  15. JoelG says:

    Thank you KevinH. I remember your review and thinking that his take on hell makes a lot of sense in light of God’s eternal attribute of being a Merciful Father. If I remember correctly, this line of thinking is similar to C.S. Lewis’ take on hell.

    (Side Note: JRB is a pastor at a church in Portland we go to when I’m not questioning my faith and stubbornly refusing to go.)

    I’m adding that book to my to do list.

  16. The New Victor says:

    I think Jesus was pretty clear on Hell, and even on Michael’s people who are saved (are they?) who don’t live worse than unsaved people, “I never knew you.”

    I’ve knowledge of too many people who seem ok on the outside who do or have done shameful, sinful things (from utter debauchery to hurting children) behind closed doors so that I’m wary of judging.

  17. The New Victor says:

    Meant to say “who live worse than unsaved people.”

  18. The New Victor says:

    CT previously covered why Christian women should contact police before theirpastors after incidents of domestic violence,

    Always. And for child abuse, too. The cops won’t get mad at you, trust me. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said it best: “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.”

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