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Old 03-24-2011, 02:55 PM
BamaGrits84
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Who's in Hell? Michigan Pastor's Book Sparks Debate About Eternal Torment

Published March 24, 2011
Associated Press

When Chad Holtz lost his old belief in hell, he also lost his job.

The pastor of a rural United Methodist church in North Carolina wrote a note on his Facebook page supporting a new book by Rob Bell, a prominent young evangelical pastor and critic of the traditional view of hell as a place of eternal torment for billions of damned souls.

Two days later, Holtz was told complaints from church members prompted his dismissal from Marrow's Chapel in Henderson.

"I think justice comes and judgment will happen, but I don't think that means an eternity of torment," Holtz said. "But I can understand why people in my church aren't ready to leave that behind. It's something I'm still grappling with myself."

The debate over Bell's new book "Love Wins" has quickly spread across the evangelical precincts of the Internet, in part because of an eye-catching promotional video posted on YouTube.

Bell, the pastor of the 10,000-member Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., lays out the premise of his book while the video cuts away to an artist's hand mixing oil paints and pastels and applying them to a blank canvas.

He describes going to a Christian art show where one of the pieces featured a quote by Mohandas Gandhi. Someone attached a note saying: "Reality check: He's in hell."

"Gandhi's in hell? He is? And someone knows this for sure?" Bell asks in the video.

In the book, Bell criticizes the belief that a select number of Christians will spend eternity in the bliss of heaven while everyone else is tormented forever in hell.

"This is misguided and toxic and ultimately subverts the contagious spread of Jesus' message of love, peace, forgiveness and joy that our world desperately needs to hear," he writes in the book.

For many traditional Christians, though, Bell's new book sounds a lot like the old theological position of universalism a heresy for many churches, teaching that everyone, regardless of religious belief, will ultimately be saved by God. And that, they argue, dangerously misleads people about the reality of the Christian faith.

"I just felt like on every page he's trying to say 'It's OK,'" said Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler at a forum last week on Bell's book held at the Louisville institution. "And there's a sense in which we desperately want to say that. But the question becomes, on what basis can we say that?"

Bell argues that hell has assumed an outsize importance in Christian teaching, considering the word itself only appears in the New Testament about 12 times, by his count.

"For a 1st-century Jewish rabbi, where you go when you die wasn't the most pressing question," Bell told The Associated Press. "The question was how can you enter into the shalom and peace of God right now, this day."

Bell denies he's a universalist, and his exact beliefs on what happens to people after death are hard to pin down, but he argues that such speculation distracts people from an urgent point. In his telling, hell is something freely chosen that already exists on earth, in everything from war to abusive relationships.

The near-relish with which some Christians stress the torments of hell, Bell argues, keep many believers needlessly afraid of a loving God, and repel potential Christians who might otherwise be curious about the faith's teachings.

"The heart of the Christian story is that God is love," he said. "But when you hear the word 'Christian,' you don't necessarily think 'Oh, sure, those are the people who don't stop talking about God's love.' Some other things would come to mind."

About the only thing everyone agrees on is that this is not a new debate in Christianity. It stretches to antiquity, when Christianity was a persecuted sect in the Roman Empire, and the third century theologian Origen developed a theory that contemporary critics charged would mean that everyone, even the devil himself, would ultimately be saved. Church leaders eventually condemned ideas they attributed to Origen, but he has had a lasting influence across the Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant traditions.

Those traditions often disagree, even internally, on what awaits souls after death. The Catholic Church, which has a formal process for identifying souls in heaven through canonization, pointedly refrains from saying that anyone is without a doubt in hell. Protestants reject the concept of purgatory, in which sins can be atoned for after death, but disagree on other questions. The lack of consensus is enabled partly by ambiguities in the Bible.

Evangelical opposition to Bell is exemplified in a succinct tweet from prominent evangelical pastor John Piper: "Farewell, Rob Bell."

Page Brooks, a professor at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, thinks Bell errs in a conception of a loving God that leaves out the divine attributes of justice and holiness.

"It's love, but it's a just love," Brooks said. "God is love, but you have to understand you're a sinner and the only way to get around that is through Christ's sacrifice on the cross."

Making his new belief public is both liberating and a little frightening for Holtz, even though his doubts about traditional doctrines on damnation began long before he heard about Rob Bell's book.

A married Navy veteran with five children, Holtz spent years trying to reconcile his belief that Jesus Christ's death on the cross redeemed the entire world with the idea that millions of people including millions who had never even heard of Jesus were suffering forever in hell.

"We do these somersaults to justify the monster god we believe in," he said. "But confronting my own sinfulness, that's when things started to topple for me. Am I really going to be saved just because I believe something, when all these good people in the world aren't?"

Gray Southern, United Methodist district superintendent for the part of North Carolina that includes Henderson, declined to discuss Holtz's departure in detail, but said there was more to it than the online post about Rob Bell's book.

"That's between the church and him," Southern said.

Church members had also been unhappy with Internet posts about subjects like gay marriage and the mix of religion and patriotism, Holtz said, and the hell post was probably the last straw. Holtz and his family plan to move back to Tennessee, where he'll start a job and maybe plant a church.

"So long as we believe there's a dividing point in eternity, we're going to think in terms of us and them," he said. "But when you believe God has saved everyone, the point is, you're saved. Live like it."
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:00 PM
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Way too lazy to read all that!

Any chance I can get SparkNotes?
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:06 PM
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Most people who don't go to church, as well as most people that do (i.e. flaky Christians).

Rob Bell is a heretic, agent of Satan, false teacher and a blasphemer. He is one of the premier leaders of Satan's new church: the Emergent Church.

I'll post more later.
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:55 PM
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I figured somebody would start a thread about Rob's new book eventually.

Rob is a Universalists... or more specifically a Restorative Universalist and I think his theology and teachings are deeply, deeply flawed. He's a heretic and I pray for him and every deceived member of his church.

There have been many, many interviews with him leading up to the release of his book and he comes across as the consummate politician. He bypasses every opportunity given to him to clarify his position or support them with scripture. He's even worse than Joel Osteen in an interview and that's saying something.

He's only the beginning though... as we draw closer and closer to the end times we will see Satan deceiving more and more Pastors like Bell. He gave a 90 minute interview with a Jewish reporter from Newsweek the day of or before his book dropped. I've listened to it many times and walked away each time feeling frustrated and sad. He was pressed on many occasions to clarify his answers and failed to do so. He simply rambles about "love" never, ever supports it with Scripture and gives people a false sense of truth, Heaven and Hell. His response to a question by Dr. Walborn from the Alliance Theological Seminary was absolutely horrible. He's deceived and so are so many who follow him.

It's only going to get worse.....
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:47 PM
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Here is a great interview to watch with Martin Bashir and Rob Bell...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg-qg...ature=youtu.be
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:35 PM
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Well...in terms of Chronology noone is in Hell until after the Judgement, which I think takes place IN chronology during the Millenial Reign. However, because Hell also exists outside of time, In theory, the moment someone dies, they zip forward in History to Judgement and get sent to Hell.

Now Hell was Redeemed by Christ in Chronology about 2000 years ago. When he died, he took the sin of the whole world, which means he would have been condemend to Hell himself...However...because Hell is a place marked by the absence of GOD...as soon as GOD, in the form of Jesus, ligitamately entered it...it ceased to be Hell by Definition

Instead of being a haven and base for the Demons...its probably staffed by Righteous Host who keep the ungodly in place...Because Hell isnt now a place without GOD...but a place of GODs Wrath...note GODS WRATH, not Satans...it ceased belonging to Satan when Christ entered Hell...this is why death was broken...the impossibility of GOD in Hell...doesnt damage GOD...rather it completely nullifies Hell.

Revelations is also Clear that Hell is NOT Eternal...The common missconception is to think that The Lake of Fire is the entrance to Hell...hence the term Burning in Hell...but NO...the Lake of Fire is Oblivion...for Hell is Cast INTO that Fire.

So Eternal Torment does not exist...neither will GODs Wrath...because finally all the debt of sin will have been paid off, completely....and it will ironically mean eternal separation from GOD...it suits everyone...GOD respects everyones wishes. Those who love him can be with him for eternity, those who choose not to be with him must first satisfy his wrath, and then they can have oblivion, which is what most athiests want anyway...and not only is the Devil cast out of Heaven...but he's also long been cast out of Hell also, by Jesus who not only liberated all the faithful BUT in the same action, completely obliterated Hell also.

The War has already been won...we are just fighting the last battles now...we're like the Second World War AFTER D-Day why do I want to inappropriately laugh at picturing Satan in place of Adolf Hitler in that absolutely epic portrayal at the end of "downfall" where Hitler is trying to command armies that no longer exist having been wiped out already...and his armed forces are trying to make him see, ITS OVER

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bmkUlXp5sk

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Old 03-24-2011, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by VCURamFan View Post
Way too lazy to read all that!

Any chance I can get SparkNotes?
What I gather is his book is trying to give the false idea that hell is not a physical place where people will suffer and God is too loving and forgiving to do that to anyone. He says God has saved everyone. He seems to completely igonore the Biblical truths that a person must choose to receive the gift of Salvation and that only salvation from Jesus Christ provides protection for the damnation of hell.
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamaGrits84 View Post
What I gather is his book is trying to give the false idea that hell is not a physical place where people will suffer and God is too loving and forgiving to do that to anyone. He says God has saved everyone. He seems to completely igonore the Biblical truths that a person must choose to receive the gift of Salvation and that only salvation from Jesus Christ provides protection for the damnation of hell.
O, another one spouting this hippy-skippy nonesense? Here's the easiest way to discount this: how is it loving for God to send Hitler & Mother Teresa to the same place?
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:59 AM
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No one yet. But after Armageddon Satan and his Angels and all those who rejected the free gift of Christ will be in hell plain and simple
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