Christian author's book sparks charges of heresy
Rob Bell is under fire for his latest book before it even hits the shelves.
March 1st, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Christian author's book sparks charges of heresy

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Rob Bell, a pastor and author who has achieved rock star status in the Christian world, is preaching a false gospel, his critics say. And some of those critics are Christian rock stars in their own right.

The pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Bell has authored a book called Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, which ignited a firestorm of controversy over the weekend, weeks before it arrives in bookstores.

On Saturday, in a blog post on the popular Christian website The Gospel Coalition, Justin Taylor blasted Bell's new book, out March 29, for teaching "false doctrine":

I’m glad that Rob Bell has the integrity to be lay [sic] his cards on the table about universalism. It seems that this is not just optimism about the fate of those who haven’t heard the Good News, but (as it seems from below) full-blown hell-is-empty-everyone-gets-saved universalism.

Universalism, in its broadest terms, preaches that everyone goes to heaven and that there is no hell. Critics say it represents a break from traditional Christianity, which they say holds that heaven and hell are very real places. In most Christian circles, universalism is a dirty word.

Taylor's post was quickly tweeted by several prominent pastors, including John Piper and Mark Driscoll, connected to the Gospel Coalition, a coalition of theologically conservative evangelical churches, and a full-blown theological controversy was on. By Monday, Taylor's response post had racked up a quarter million hits.

Other bloggers, meanwhile, are calling Bell an outright heretic.

Bell is not the first prominent Christian pastor to be recently accused of wading into theologically troubled waters. Bishop Carlton Pearson, once a mentee of famed Pentecostal televangelist Oral Roberts, has been run out of two churches and branded a heretic for preaching what he says is a gospel of inclusion with broad universalist themes.

Last year, Brian McLaren - a popular Christian author and a former pastor - was accused of breaking with Christian orthodoxy and delving headlong into universalism in his book A New Kind of Christianity.

But it's rare that theological arguments become top ten trending topics on Twitter, as Rob Bell did on Saturday.

“To be honest, it was a pretty rough weekend,” Taylor said in a phone interview. The 34-year-old heads the editorial content for Crossway, a Christian publishing company in Wheaton, Illinois.  Taylor he says his blog expresses his personal opinion not the opinion of the coalition.

"We’re talking about the big things here, things that have been historically defined as orthodox, " he said. "I have a high degree of confidence in what God is saying and what we can understand."

Though many things that separate Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox Christians, “this isn’t one of them," Taylor said. "We’ve historically agreed on many things, the person of Christ, heaven and hell. This isn’t a peripheral academic debate. What Rob Bell is talking about gets to the heart of Christianity.”

Taylor has not read Bell's forthcoming book in its entirety. His blog post was in response to the description released by Bell publisher HarperOne and a promotional video that features Bell.

"Rob Bell hasn’t sinned against me personally,” Taylor said, which is why he did not go to Bell before making his comments public. Instead, Taylor said, Bell's book represents a clear example of false teaching.

In the promotional video Bell refers to the nonviolent Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, a Hindu, and asks, "Gandhi's in hell? He is?"

"And someone knows this for sure?" Bell continues. "Will billions and billions of people burn forever in hell? And if that's the case how do you become one of the few? "

The video follows a trend in Bell's career as a pastor: he has long asked tough theological questions and challenged traditional answers. The short promotional video raises lots of questions without offering definitive answers.

"What we believe about heaven and hell is incredibly important because it exposes what we believe about who God is and what God is like," Bell says in it. " The good news is that love wins."

Those lines raised eyebrows for Taylor and others. "It is not preaching the gospel as found in the New Testament," Taylor said. "The New Testament is pretty clear if someone preaches a false gospel… that we are to reject that and have nothing to do with them."

For all his hipster leanings - including black rimmed glasses - Bell has a traditional pedigree. He went to Wheaton College, the Harvard of Christian schools, and later graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity.

But the Mars Hill Bible Church, which Bell founded, is not attached to any denomination. Were it attached to one - the Presbyterian or Catholic church, say - his book and video could raise eyebrows in the hierarchy and might lead to a church trial that could result in Bell's expulsion.

"A larger denomination would take his credentials and excommunicate him like they did to me,” Bishop Pearson told CNN.

By Sunday evening, Pearson was getting sent articles about the Bell flap. He said it reminded him of his days as a charismatic leader of a big church in the largest Pentecostal denomination. His questioning of hell from the pulpit led to his ouster.

"What happened to me is happening to Rob Bell," Pearson said. "If you denounce hell, it's like you are denouncing God. You’re going to be called a heretic."

“I thought my people loved me and would walk through the valley of the shadow of death with me, but they didn’t,” Pearson said.

Bell's church did not respond to requests for an interview. His Twitter feed has been silent since he posted about writing a piece for CNN's Belief Blog a few weeks ago. His publicist at HarperOne said he would not be doing publicity until his book hits shelves.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Leaders • Michigan • United States

soundoff (2,200 Responses)
  1. Luke Brown

    Christ died for EVERYONE, not just the ones determined sufficiently pious among us.

    According to St. Paul, "For as in Adam ALL die. Even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive."

    God doesn't ask if you are saved. His question is: "What difference does it make that you are saved?"

    In my experience, self-righteous Christians, claiming to know the Mind of God, are the greatest impediment to the message of salvation.

    March 1, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • my2cents

      "You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do."
      —Anne Lamott

      March 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  2. jhan

    Universalism is just moral relativism in disguise. It's a further liberealization of Christian dogma. The thing is, the more Christian dogma becomes liberalized, the less relevant it becomes and the less meaning it has to the average person. That's why membership in Mainline Christian churches has collapsed, while membership in conservative churches has grown. Regardless of what ANYONE believes, no sane person really wants a belief system that says, 'Anything goes,' which is what universalism really is. Conservative Christian churches may offer garbage, but at least they're offering SOMETHING. Liberal Christianity really doesn't offer ANYTHING except hugs and kisses and therapy in place of belief.

    March 1, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • BraveSaintStuart

      Not at all... not at all. Universalism is simply the belief that God will make all things right in the end. It doesn't mean everyone is okay. It means that God will make everyone okay. It doesn't mean that right living goes out the door. It means that God has his eye on everyone and everything.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  3. David

    I think it's interesting that folks who claim to believe in a loving God are so upset that Hell might not exist. Sounds like they prefer a God who loves, "ME" and hates everyone else.

    March 1, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Lilly


      March 1, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Sue Zahnd

      David...there is musician here in Juneau (AK that is) who writes/sings a song "Jesus Loves Me More than You". His name is Buddy Tabor (look him up). The song speaks to what you said...It is both hilarious and profound!

      March 1, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  4. Luke Brown

    Sorry, folks. Christ died for EVERYONE, not just the ones determined sufficiently pious among us.

    According to St. Paul, "For as in Adam ALL die. Even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive." God doesn't ask if you are saved. His question is: "What difference does it make that you are saved?"

    In my experience, self-righteous Christians, claiming to know the Mind of God, are the greatest impediment to the message of salvation.

    March 1, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Lilly

      well said!

      March 1, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Mary L from Fla

      Amen to that!

      March 1, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  5. thatmackey

    I feel that a large part of practicing true religion is true understanding of doctrinal concepts. In order for us to practice real faith on anything we need to understand how it works – I believe hell in a large part is very misunderstood by the Christian and non-Christian community alike at large. The Lord will judge us according to the truths that we have received and lived according – and He will provide us a chance to learn of Jesus Christ, every single one of us if not in this life then the next. Remember when the Pharisees met with John the baptist and claimed that they had a golden ticket to heaven? John's reply was "God is able to raise children of Abraham from these stones" implying that God will save who He will. I believe there's a lot more to hell than the common neo-Platonic view of up and down; for we know that God is more just than any of us are.

    March 1, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  6. Lilly


    I Am a Christian.
    and i Fully understand the bible....i was saying that this articles makes me sad because i feel it reduces Christianity to a Dogma and Likes and Dislikes.....maybe you should re-read my post.

    March 1, 2011 at 10:46 am |
  7. Richard

    Yes, God is Love, but he is also JUST. He must judge those who sin against Him, He must be set apart from sin, or else His entire character is compromised!

    His love is expressed through salvation from His judgment, Simply BELIEVE in Christ...John 3;16, Eph 2.8

    This really isn't difficult to understand, but these are the kind of false doctrines that are concocted when the "blind lead the blind"

    March 1, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • BraveSaintStuart

      Why MUST he judge those who sin against him? I would be very, very careful to prescribe to God what he MUST and MUSTN'T do.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Steve the real one

      Why MUST he judge those who sin against him? I would be very, very careful to prescribe to God what he MUST and MUSTN'T do.
      You can state that because you don't realize God keeps His word! He MUST judge sin because that is what He said He would do!

      March 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  8. David

    “I thought my people loved me and would walk through the valley of the shadow of death with me, but they didn’t,” Pearson said.

    Because it's not about you; it's about the Truth.

    March 1, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • BraveSaintStuart

      As the masses go, so goes the Truth? As the flock goes, so goes the Truth? I'm not saying this Pearson fella is right. But as a near-future pastor, my hope is that my people will rely on me to judge what is true. My hope is that they trust that God has called me, and that he has spoken to me, and that he speaks through me. His people did not believe that. They believed what they'd been indoctrinated with, and subsequently, when something came up that challenged that belief, they ran like Peter when confronted about his relationship with Christ.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • CatholicMom


      Jesus said that the Father SENT Him... with Authority. He told the Apostles, as the Father had SENT Him so He was sending them….with AUTHORITY. With Apostolic Succession you are SENT. Being sent means someone has to send you….make sure that who sends you has the authority from God to do so.

      March 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      “I thought my people loved me and would walk through the valley of the shadow of death with me, but they didn’t,” Pearson said. Because it's not about you; it's about the Truth.
      Excellent David! Even Paul stated the following:

      King James Version (KJV)
      1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

      At one time Carlton Pearson was a great teacher of the gospel. As Paul states "Even as I also am of Christ"! Thank God the folks were smart enough to know Pearson stopped following Christ when he introduced a false teaching!

      March 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  9. Bob

    Maybe he's right...In the obituaries, if you read them, everybody goes to heaven to be with the Lord. You never read
    of anybody going to that other place.

    March 1, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  10. Luke Brown

    Sorry, folks. Christ died for EVERYONE, not just the ones determined sufficiently pious among us. According to St. Paul,
    "For as in Adam ALL die. Even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive."
    ifference does it make that you are saved?"

    Self-righteous Christians, claiming to know the Mind of God, are the greatest impediment to the message of salvation.

    March 1, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • what the bible really teaches

      2 thess 1:8 – in a flaming fire, as he brings vengeance upon those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus.

      john 3:16 – For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that EVERYONE EXERCISING FAITH in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.

      Sorry. You can't believe what the scriptures say and then pretend that it doesn't say it to make the message more appealing.

      March 1, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Anglican

      Very good post. Well said. Some many will say "Christ died for our sins, and thus for our salvation, BUT........" There is no "BUT". Man can not undo what Christ did. Peace.

      March 1, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Anglican

      What the Bible really teaches. I am curious. Which edition of the Bible uses "destroy" or "be destroyed"

      March 1, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • BraveSaintStuart

      the 2 thess. verse you used starts in the middle of the sentence! you can't just take verses straight out of their context and think it applies in a blanketing manner.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Steve the real one

      Luke Brown
      Sorry, folks. Christ died for EVERYONE, not just the ones determined sufficiently pious among us. According to St. Paul,
      "For as in Adam ALL die. Even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive."
      Yes Christ died for all and NO not everyone will accept that gift!

      Self-righteous Christians, claiming to know the Mind of God, are the greatest impediment to the message of salvation.
      From Phillipians 2:

      5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
      6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

      Well Luke, it appears we can know the mind of Christ! What was on His mind?

      7 But made himself of no reputation , and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
      8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

      Servanthood, humility, AND obedience to the Father. That is the mind of Christ! We allow that same mind in us when we follow His example!

      March 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Dorothy

      Very well said Luke!

      Before one can acclaim a church that follows what jesus said. without spot, satin or wrinkle, they need to show they are living in that cindition!

      Being saved and having your sins washed in Jesus blood, that is what saves you, and you will have eternal life. It dooes not say if your not a member of a certain church, your doomed.
      Flase teaching that is.

      March 1, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
  11. buttes

    The sooner you accept that religion is simply used as a tool of control the sooner you will be able to get on with actually enjoying your life and not worrying about feeling guilty for the most asinine reasons. Prophets and religious zealots have been claiming with every generation that "the end is nigh" and hey, we're all still here. No horsemen, no rapture, no apocalypse.

    March 1, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Andrew

      Amen, brother.

      March 1, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • ToddMo

      I agree with u about the "religion" part & how its been a tool of abuse. But to equate "religion" as a whole, with each individual who has ever spoken or written about things religious is a logical error. It' would be a logical error in other areas as well – governments abuse people, but there are still good governmental leaders trying to work for good in the middle of corrupt systems.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • BraveSaintStuart

      As a Christian, I accept that religion is a useful tool for controlling others. And not in that "it's not a religion, it's a relationship" sort of way. I get it. There are lots of things that can be manipulated and co-opted so that we can control others. A lack of religion can be just as useful. Ask Hitler (and no, I'm not saying that it's either religion or Hitler... I'm merely painting an opposite extreme... anybody who takes it as more than that is part of the problem). Religion can also be useful for a number of other, positive things. And even the control thing... people need to understand that they're not in control either. As a Christian, and as a pastor, I want to neither relieve people of their responsibility to do good, nor put the full burden of salvation on that responsibility. I want to neither say that God forces and controls all things, nor say that we do.

      In any case, life is what you make it... how YOU respond to it. And if you choose to enjoy life, you can do so, regardless of whether or not Religion is an influence on your life (positive or negative).

      March 1, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Chad

      Christ is a truth that sets me free, not a tool that controls. Perhaps you have been listening to too many Marixsts and Capitalists, both of which want to use their systems to control you. The Marxist wants you to relinquish your beliefs in subservience to the secular state (which would subjugate all other value systems for the god of class equality). The capitalist wants you relinquish your beliefs in subservience to consumerism (which would subjugate the governance of your impulses and base desires to the god of material possessions). Either one of these systems are certainly tools that are only in fine working order when the populace is enslaved to their ideology. Christ works in a very different way than this (of course, organized religion can be very much the tool you describe, but Christ will set you free). Christ will set you free! Did I say that already? So be it.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  12. Chad

    Of course, all of this controversy was generated by someone who hasn't even read his entire book. What did Christ say about the first to pick up a stone?

    March 1, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • JJ


      March 2, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  13. Kathy B.

    I've heard Rob Bell speak many times. He gets it, and he gets it biblically. Hell has been used by Christians and non-Christians throughout history to whip people into shape and keep them in line. Don't confuse God who is love with the people (well-meaning or not) who abuse in His name. And don't send me Old Testament verses that scholars have labored over for thousands of years – there is much we don't understand. Get to Jesus. He suffered and died that none may perish. I'm on board.

    March 1, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Matt

      thanks – you said it pretty good too! However, this whole comment thread makes me sad...

      March 1, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  14. N. Peterson

    I wish the Belief Blog was about more than just Judaism and Christianity. What about issues involving paganism and Earth-centric belief systems?

    March 1, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • Eric G.

      Christians talking about pagans?!?!? Never going to happen because THOSE people believe some strange stuff without any evidence because THEY are wrong. Wait, who were we talking about again?

      March 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  15. Matt

    This is how Rob Bell does it. He makes a lot of controversial statements, gets people hooked and interested in the "debate" of Christian doctrine – orthodoxy vs. heresy...and then when you actual read what he writes, you find good Christian doctrine presented in a new way. I will admit, the video leaves me unsettled as to where Rob Bell will go – universalism or Jesus as the Way – but i have no doubt that Rob will wrap it up with the fact that God sent Jesus, out of love, to save us not from an angry God, but from a broken relationship that we do not have the power to fix on our own. That is why Love Wins – because out of love God decided to fix that relationship Himself, and all we have to do is say "yes".

    March 1, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • Kathy B.

      Thanks, Matt. I tried to say it, but you said it better.

      March 1, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • BraveSaintStuart

      You know it doesn't have to be "Universalism OR Jesus is The Way". Jesus is The Way regardless of whether it's by our faith or by His action. Universalism doesn't remove the need for Jesus, or the purpose of holiness. We don't strive for holiness because we're Christian. We strive for holiness because it's appropriate to treat God with the best we have to offer... the same we would treat anyone we love. Universalism could simply be The Father returning the favor.

      Not saying I'm a universalist... not saying I'm not. I'm learning.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Kathy B.

      Hi Matt – It saddens me too, but the truth is that when you start talking about God, religion, faith – it sets off sparks, whether they be of faith, derision, or plain old meanness. I don't blame anyone for questioning – we live in a world where terrible things happen every day. I personally believe that God never gives up on anyone, and each of us will meet Him when we die. If someone chooses to deny Him to His face, I think He will let the person go. I don't think that we find any answers in our hatred and criticism of each other's beliefs. We're all searching. A true atheist would live his/her life and not care what anyone else thought about religion and faith – it would be a waste of his time. But we all end up engaging – in our imperfect ways – and we can end up learning from each other. And some people find that God has never stopped looking or loving.

      March 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • Sasha

      Well said!!!! Thank you!

      March 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  16. Henry Miller

    Just how many angels do dance on the head of a pin?

    March 1, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • Learner

      (2X3) + (3X2) – (2X3X2)

      March 1, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  17. what the bible really teaches

    Eccl 9:5 – the dead are conscious of nothing at all. Dead are simply dead. They are not burning in a fiery hell (God of love, hello?) or flying around in heaven

    Daniel 2:44 – God sets up a new government in heaven to rule over the earth. A chosen number of humans are chosen to serve in this government (144,000) along with Jesus Christ, who will be King of this Government (Revelation goes in depth).

    Acts, Matthew, Revelation, Psalms, Job – faithful humans will be resurrected and receive the gift of everlasting life. They will live on earth. Those who never had an opportunity to receive the good news will also be resurrected, and given an opportunity to prove their faith. If they fail, they do not receive everlasting life (note that they don't go to a place to burn forever, they simply die)

    Jesus clears up the falling out between man and God.

    God's name is Jehovah.

    March 1, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • richunix

      I was wondering with all your rhetoric, have you seen Elvis yet and did Jesus appear on your refrigerator....How gulible you are. This issue of being a heratic is really a cult following christian manor...so I'll leave well enough along.... NOT color me the new Messiah and prove ME WRONG!

      March 1, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • what the bible really teaches

      @richunix – I'm sorry, what did you say?

      March 1, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Bill

      Boy.. way to take Bible verses out of context

      March 1, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • BraveSaintStuart

      "God's name is Jehovah"

      Or "YHWH"... which is not Jehovah at all, unless you're German.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • John Richardson

      Ah, a real, live Jehovah's Witness joins the fracas!

      March 1, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Hungry Monkey

      I weep and pray for those like you that have been led off the path. No hell? How do you explain Matt. 8:12? Matt. 25:41? Luke 16:19-31? Rev. 21:27? Rev. 14:11? All of which describe and discuss hell...

      March 1, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • dapuetz

      Exactly.. God has a name yet no one uses it. There is one truth and Jesus taugjht it. He did away with the laws of Moses when he kept his integrity to his Father Jehovah in the heavens and came to die for all of mankind.His death was a ransom for what Adam stole from mankind , living in paradise for eternity all worshipping the same God and Father. People need to really read the bible and pray to Jehovah to give them the truth and guide them to the organization that does the will of Jehovah, Jehovah's Witnesses.

      March 1, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
  18. EricLr

    This is the U.S. There is no such thing as a heretic here, as we have no established state religion. This guy doesn't even appear to belong to a formal church (which could internally label him a heretic). And since there is no such thing as "the Christian Church," as an organized body with a hierarchy, the idea of calling him a "heretic" is absolutely laughable. The U.S. has had thousands of "heresies" over its history, mainly because our government DOESN'T label them as such. This is just yet another citizen exercising his right to his own religious beliefs–as many have done before him and many will do after him.

    March 1, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Richie P

      You couldn't be more wrong. He is definitely a heretic. There is no requirement for some government religion to label him one. Heresy is not determined by a courtroom trial bound to legalistic definitions. It is a matter of reason, and reason says that eternal damnation is an overwhelming obvious doctrine of Christianity, and when you preach a message contrary to a doctrine agreed upon by such a large majority of people whose religion can be called Christian, that is heresy, like it or not.

      March 1, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • BraveSaintStuart

      The U.S. isn't calling Bell a heretic. Christians are. We're not talking about a state religion or America.

      March 1, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Chad

      Simply because our government guarantees freedom of religion and expression, does not mean that larger Christian denominations cannot defend orthodoxy by governing its membership or by intimidating non-orthodox groups. This doesn't have the same effect as a government silencing speech, but as you can see by reading this article, it can still have serious repercussions for leaders like Bell. Although Bell, I imagine, can take care of himself, and he is well aware that he is pushing some buttons with some traditional theologians and churches. In the end, this whole controversy seems fabricated from a knee-jerk reaction by people who haven't read his book. I predict that these "quick to cast the first stone," first to judge folks will end up looking foolish, once they remember that they are supposed to be literate and not merely forming opinions based on YouTube videos.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Amanda

      I've been a part of the conservative evangelical church and I have also been a part of Rob Bell"s church. I can tell you in less than a second which one really aided in my faith and helped me understand God more and it wasn't the evangelical church! But conservative Evangelicals are a group all to themselves and believe they do have the right and duty to call out heresy as they see it. Anything that reaches beyond the box that they have create for God to exist in is heresy! And state religion or not, they see it their duty as Christians, members of the global body of Jesus, to do so! It really has nothing to do with state organization.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  19. Sarah

    I'm not saying I believe Hitler is definitely in Heaven but I think it's at least possble. To say it's not even possible is to limit God's power because ALL things possible through God. No one on earth knows with 100% certainty what happened when Hitler died and appeared before God for judgement. I think those who make it into heaven will be pretty surprised at who else is there with them; but by then they'll be so enveloped in God's light and love, they'll actually be glad the wayward came to a place of remorse, repentenance and reconciliation rather than burning in hell for eternity.

    March 1, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Mamulya

      What will God do with stupid people? There must be a kennel in heaven, right? So you'll make it...

      March 1, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Mamulya

      By Golly, you really believe in all this crap, do you.... Oh, kennel will be too good for you, dear... Maybe an ostrich farm – their eyes are bigger than their brains

      March 1, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • R

      Hitler is in heaven. I know for sure. Here is the conversation between two.
      God : Welcome my son. Good job you did.
      Hitler : No my lord, I did what you preached. Now we can blame all on Evil. It will be, I know. Honestly, If I wouldn't have Christian background, I wouldn't have accomplish the task. Belief played major part in what I did.
      God : I am really proud of having son like You, Jesus, Mohammed, Moses. All my other sons divided humanity and you used that division to satisfy my blood thirst. Only thing, I didn't like were gas chamber, those chemicals are not healthy.
      Hitler : That is why my younger brother Osama will use simple suicide bombers to satisfy your blood thirst. I showed him all my Technics.
      God : cool...enjoy virgins now.
      Hitler : Yes, I will....

      FYI...Gandhi is in hell.

      March 1, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Chad

      @ R: You must be God, since you can judge who has met the standard to enter heaven and who has earned a one way ticket to Hell. Even Christ says, "And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." (John 12:47-48). So Christ does not even implore his own disciples to go around judging those who don't hear his words and believe them. Instead, he says that one will judge them in the last day. So, unless, R, you are the second coming, I would assert that you need to go back and read your Bible before you claim to hold God's scales of judgment. Good luck with that approach: you seem to be treading a path that isn't the same as Christ's path. And while I judge your words here, I'm not claiming to judge the fate of your soul (which is another matter enirely– I think I'll leave that form of judgment to God).

      Also, this passage is a relevant one, I think:

      Matthew 7: 1-5, "1“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4“Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Jesus Christ told us also that if there is a branch that needs pruning from the vine, our Father who is in Heaven will do it.

      March 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  20. mk

    Lots of sheeple on this blog...

    March 1, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Chad

      mk, I suppose that makes you a sheep herder, a great leader of these sheeple. If that's the case, your post could do a far better job demonstrating your elevated status as one above the crowd. Instead, you just sound like another person (a member of a bleating flock) who so typically leans on ad hominem attacks instead of doing any real thinking. Try again!

      March 1, 2011 at 10:51 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.