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Why I Want to Believe in Hell, Why I Do

February 26, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Rob Bell is releasing a book on the afterlife. It’s called Love Wins. He has a video preview of the book. Not surprisingly, people are pissed.

We don’t really know what he says in the book since it doesn’t come out until March 29th, but if his video is not totally misleading, it seems that he is a Universalist. In other words, he doesn’t believe people are going to Hell. Most universalists don’t believe in Hell, but I don’t know the specifics about his beliefs. So the evangelicals have started calling him a heretic, blah, blah, blah. The whole thing did get me thinking about the subject though, and I came to a conclusion.

I want to believe in Hell.

I like the idea of Hell. It makes for good movies. In fact I can’t think of a single good movie about heaven. If the devil and demons are alive and well, I’d like to think they can have a place of their own, far away from me (same reason I like prisons for murderers and rapists). There are serious reasons too.

Mainly, I want to believe in Hell because I think there should be a place for all the bad people to go when they die. I believe in life after death, and I certainly hope when I get to wherever I am going I don’t find out that Hitler is running the place. I see a lot of evil on TV and in the news. There was recently a story where a mother was annoyed by her two kids and how she doesn’t have a life of her own anymore, so she bought a gun and shot them both in their heads. I want her to go to Hell. There are people who rape and kill children, hope they’re going to Hell too. I see massive injustice in the world where people are oppressed and murdered because of their ethnicity. I hope the leaders behind that go to Hell too.

Lately, I have seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears how church people have utterly destroyed the faith and lives of people I love, all while doing in the name of God. I’d volunteer to turn the temperature nob up on them in Hell. To me, alienating someone from God is the worst thing I can think of. Jesus said if you do that, it would be better for you to tie a rock around your neck and throw yourself into a river. So I think we are on the same page there.

Give me a few hours and I probably could come up with a pretty lengthy and specific list of people I hope burn in Hell for all eternity. I’m sure I am on someone’s list as well.

For me, my lust for Hell is practical. There is evil in the world and I really, really, deep down want evildoers to suffer.

That is why I want to believe in Hell, but that is not why I do.

I believe in Hell because Jesus did.

Jesus was and is the most loving person who ever lived. Jesus spent his entire life helping people, healing their diseases, and ultimately he gave himself up to be tortured and killed because he believed it meant some undeserving people would be spared Hell because of it. Jesus talked about a lot of people in Hell, and he warned his only supporters of their danger of going to Hell. So convinced was he, that he did the only thing he could think of to save them.

So I guess I still believe in Hell because Jesus did too.

  1. February 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Rob Bell + Universalism = Fireworks.

    Justin Taylor, knowingly or unknowingly, has ignited a full blown war with this blog post on Rob Bell. 😉

    Look out folks, it’s a “Reformed vs Emergent” battle within the Blogosphere, Facebook and Twitter for the next several days.

    Buckle your seat belt; it’s gonna get a little rocky…

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