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September 22nd, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Different Takes: Should we abandon idea of hell?

Editor’s note: The new documentary "Hellbound?" explores Americans' ideas about hell. We asked two prominent Christians who featured in the film to give us their very different takes on hell.

My Faith: The dangerous effects of believing in hell

Editor’s note: Frank Schaeffer is a New York Times bestselling author. His latest book is "Crazy For God."

By Frank Schaeffer, Special to CNN

Is it any coincidence that the latest war of religion that started on September 11, 2001, is being fought primarily between the United States and the Islamic world? It just so happens that no subgroups of humanity are more ingrained with the doctrine of hell than conservative Muslims and conservative Christians.

And nowhere on earth have conservative Christians been closer to controlling foreign policy than here in the United States. And nowhere on earth have conservative Muslims been more dominant than in the countries from which the 9/11 extremists originated – Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.

What a pair George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden made! On the one hand, an American president who was a born-again evangelical with a special "heart" for the state of Israel and its importance to the so-called end times, and on the other hand a terrorist leader who believed that he was serving God by ridding the Arabian Peninsula of an American presence and cleansing the "defiled" land of Palestine of what he believed were “invader Jews.”

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So whether you're an atheist or not, the issue of who's going to hell or not matters because there are a lot of folks on this planet – many of them extraordinarily well-armed - from born-again American military personnel to Muslim fanatics, who seriously believe that God smiles upon them when they send their enemies to hell.

And so my view of "hell" encompasses two things: First, the theological question about whether a land of eternal suffering exists as God's "great plan" for most of humanity.

Second, the question of the political implications of having a huge chunk of humanity believe in damnation for those who disagree with their theology, politics and culture, as if somehow simply killing one's enemies is not enough.

What most people don't know is that there's another thread running through both Christianity and Islam that is far more merciful than the fundamentalists’ take on salvation, judgment and damnation.

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Paradise, which Muslims believe is the final destination of the society of God’s choice, is referred to in the Quran as "the home of peace"

“Our God,” Muslims are asked to recite, “You are peace, and peace is from You.”

Since Christianity is my tradition, I can say more about it. One view of God - the more fundamentalist view - is of a retributive God just itching to punish those who "stray."

The other equally ancient view, going right back into the New Testament era, is of an all-forgiving God who in the person of Jesus Christ ended the era of scapegoat sacrifice, retribution and punishment forever.

As Jesus said on the cross: "Forgive them for they know not what they do."

That redemptive view holds that far from God being a retributive God seeking justice, God is a merciful father who loves all his children equally. This is the less-known view today because fundamentalists - through televangelists and others - have been so loud and dominant in North American culture.

But for all that, this redemptive view is no less real.

Why does our view of hell matter? Because believers in hell believe in revenge. And according to brain chemistry studies, taking revenge and nurturing resentment is a major source of life-destroying stress.

For a profound exploration of the madness caused by embracing the “justice” of “godly” revenge and retribution, watch the film “Hellbound?”

The film shows how the "hell" of revenge thinking, and the resulting unhinging of some people’s brains through their denial of human empathy, leads them to relish the violent future of suffering that they predict awaits the “lost” in hell.

Do we really want to go back to a time of literalistic religion. Wasn’t 9/11 enough of an argument against retributive religion?

We need “hell” like a hole in the head. It’s time for the alternative of empathetic merciful religion to be understood.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Frank Schaeffer.

My Faith: Hell is for real and Jesus is the only way out

Editor's Note: Mark Driscoll is founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle.

By Mark Driscoll, Special to CNN

As a pastor, my job is to tell the truth. Your job is to make a decision.

When controversies over biblical doctrines arise, it’s a humbling opportunity to answer questions about what the Bible teaches without getting into name-calling and mudslinging. Near the very top of the controversial doctrines is hell.

What happens when we die?

Human beings were created by God with both a physical body and a spiritual soul. When someone dies, their body goes into the grave and their spirit goes into an afterlife to face judgment.

But death is not normal or natural—it’s an enemy and the consequence of sin.

Think of it in this way: God is the source of life. When we choose to live independently of God and rebelliously against God it is akin to unplugging something from its power source. It begins to lose power until it eventually dies.

The Bible is clear that one day there will be a bodily resurrection for everyone, to either eternal salvation in heaven or eternal condemnation in hell.

Christians believe a person’s eternal status depends on their relationship with Jesus and that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Our lives are shaped by the reality that “whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

What does Jesus say about hell?

Jesus was emphatically clear on the subject of hell. He alone has risen from death and knows what awaits us on the other side of this life. A day of judgment is coming when all of us — even you — will rise from our graves and stand before him for eternal sentencing to either worshiping in his kingdom or suffering in his hell.

The Bible could not be clearer: “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

These are not just obscure Bible verses. In fact, Jesus talks about hell more than anyone else in Scripture. Amazingly, 13% of his sayings are about hell and judgment, and more than half of his parables relate to the eternal judgment of sinners.

Keep in mind that Jesus’ words come in the context of the rest of Scripture, which says that God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Furthermore, he “is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

God is far more loving, kind and patient with his enemies than we are with our enemies.

What does the rest of the Bible say about hell?

The Bible gives us many descriptions of hell including (1) fire; (2) darkness; (3) punishment; (4) exclusion from God’s presence; (5) restlessness; (6) second death; and (7) weeping and gnashing of teeth in agony.

A common misperception of Satan is that he’s in a red suit, holding a pitchfork at the gates of hell. But Satan will not[j1]  reign there. Hell is a place of punishment that God prepared for the devil and his angels, and it’s where those who live apart from God will, according to Revelation:

. . . drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb [Jesus Christ]. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night.

At the end of the age, the devil will be “thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

Hell will be ruled over by Jesus, and everyone present — humans and demons and Satan alike — will be tormented there continually in perfect justice.

Jesus says, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. ... And these will go away into eternal punishment.”

Is there a second chance after death?

The Bible is clear that we die once and are then judged without any second chance at salvation. As one clear example, Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.”

We live. We die. We face judgment. Period.

How long does the punishment last?

Some argue that the punishment of sinners is not eternal, a view called annihilationism. This means that after someone dies apart from Jesus, they suffer for a while and then simply cease to exist.

Annihilationism is simply not what the Bible teaches. Daniel 12:2 says, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Jesus speaks of those who “will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

Grammatically, there is no difference here between the length of time mentioned for “life” and that for “punishment”; rather, there is simply eternal life and eternal death.

Am I going to hell?

The good news is that the closing verses of the Bible say, “Come!” Everyone is invited to receive the free gift of God’s saving grace in Jesus. Jesus is God become a man to reconcile mankind to God.

He lived the sinless life we have not lived, died a substitutionary death on the cross for our sins. He endured our wrath, rose to conquer our enemies of sin and death, and ascended to heaven where he is ruling as Lord over all today. He did this all in love.

The stark reality is this: either Jesus suffered for your sins to rescue you from hell, or you will suffer for your sins in hell. These are the only two options and you have an eternal decision to make.

My hope and prayer is that you would become a Christian.

Have you confessed your sins to Jesus Christ, seeking forgiveness and salvation?

If not, you are hellbound, and there is no clever scholar who will be of any help when you stand before Jesus Christ for judgment. You’re not required to like hell as much as you need to believe in it, turn from your sin, trust in Jesus, and be saved from an eternal death into an eternal life.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Driscoll.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Devil • My Faith • Opinion

soundoff (7,963 Responses)
  1. Thinking Man

    People are born grow old and die, against their wishes and desires. Between cradle and grave, people make acquisitions – knowledge, properties, families. But at death these are no longer needed, no matter how one has craved or loved them. Why?
    The earth and the universe hung on nothing, and move on their courses. Man with all his advances in science, cannot: 1) stop aging, 2) stop dieing, 3) make addition to the earth (like in expanding your two room apartment to three or four rooms), 4) cannot bring the dead back to life. Why?

    Folks, sleeping and dreaming experience is what I call little death. In sleep, one is utterly oblivious of all the physical environment, but alive in another world – dreaming, meeting people, even if unknown people sometimes, driving, running, laughing, crying, wandering, and many more other things. This is another life – different from earth life. It continues until ones wakes or is awaken. In death this after life is continous. Yes, afterlife is real.
    One does not need a religion to know there is afterlife. But if any religion has mentioned that the earth hangs on nothing (and it is), that man must die (and he dies), and there is a being higher than man, then that religion has made man believe what he understands by his condition of life and death. If that religion says there is accountability for earth life in the afterlife, then, folks we better listen.
    The Christian religion has vividly outlined all these. So if it says there is a God and there is judgement and hell. We cannot wish it away.

    September 29, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      I find that reasoning to be rather stupid. Most religions and philosophies deal with issues such as life and death and seedtime and harvest. If you are going to believe all the religions and philosophies that point out such matters, you're going to be worshiping a lot of gods and following many various philosophies--half of which will contradict the other half.

      To say that the earth "hang on nothing," is merely holding onto a rather inconvenient metaphor; a more accurate metaphor would be to say that the earth "runs along a groove in the fabric of space and time which is itself defined by the sun and it running along its grove in the fabric of the galaxy." Saying that the earth "hangs" on "nothing" in any sort of serious way is preposterous--the analogy simply doesn't fit reality in any way.

      Besides, any god who would allow there to be "everlasting torture" is the biggest dovchenozzle ever conceived, and you certainly can't trust such a fvckwad to "keep his promise" in any case--and I don't mean that in the colloquial sense-–I mean you can't-in any case, whatsoever-- trust the biggest terrorist ever thought up by human minds.

      September 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      And the logic of your first two sentences make moot the logic of the rest of your post. Spiritual beliefs are acquired in life. If, as you say, acquisitions of the living are irrelevant after death, then the spiritual belief held by the individual when he dies. So when it comes to the afterlife (heaven or hell or something else) the belief in biblegod doesn't matter by your own initial argument.

      September 29, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I agree with Moby. Your opening statement contradicts your religious excuse making. No matter how important you think you are, there is no reason why your existence shouldn't be finite, and there is no proof that your god, or any god, actually exists. All you have is fear, cultural habit and wishful thinking.

      September 29, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Think-About-It

      Yep, Thinking Man...
      It doesn't' matter who agrees or who does not, the truth is still the same. We were created to be immortal, and we will live on forever. Jesus came to save the lost, but not all want Him. So, with Him there is life and without Him there is life in Hell. The soul can not die. It must live forever somewhere. In Heaven with God who gave us lie, or Hell appart from Him, in presence of Satan who is the father of all who deny Christ. What is hard to understand here?

      September 29, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      You're just not thinking about it, Think About It. If god ALLOWS souls to suffer eternally, then he's a fvckwad. He could have set the rules up differently, if he's god. Any god who would make math and chemistry so obvious that you MUST believe them correctly, but won't make his own nature and will that obvious-so that people believe all sorts of things about him has fvcked up priorities. And as I've said, you just can't trust a god like the one you serve. He's too evil and he changes his mind too much. You should serve no god as that's a whole lot better option than the tyrant you worship.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Think-About-It

      Moby Schtick, that's the very type of thing what Lucifer said to the angels and persuaded them to follow him. You are swallowing the hook, line and sinker. Why do you call God evil? If He offers you salvation and you refuse Him, it makes you the one that's evil. It is man who left God in the first place, not God man. Why do you blame God? He created you: you are the clay, He is the potter. How dare you say to the Potter, why have you made me the way you did? How is it that you do not see evil in your own heart, but you call God evil? Satan has really chiseled on your mind, and now you are in danger of losing your soul. You better wake up before it is to late for you....There is no way back, once you are crossed over. Hell is a rel place, but was not created for human souls. Those who go there end up there because of their rebellion against God. That was Lucifer's sin, and those who are rebellious are destied to join him..naturally!

      September 29, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      If god wanted me to think hell was "good" he could have made me that way, but instead he, being the potter and I being the clay, chose to make me with a mind that thinks eternal torture is the business of evil fvckwads-–is that what you're saying?

      September 30, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Moby sthick, where did you come up with being the clay? You're a dustball.

      September 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      'Mal 3:6 For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.'

      September 30, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Think-About-It

      Hey, Moby, God did not say hell is good. He said it is prepared for devil and his angels,. But since you chose to listen to the devil and don't mind him lording over you, he is your father and your destiny is to be with him. To each his own, as they say!

      September 30, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  2. David N

    Addressing Mark Driscoll's argument now. The idea that we have a physical body and a spiritual body is a type of dualism and its not biblical. We are alive not due to any mythical spiritual body in our posession. God breathed life into us. The Breath of God is not our permanent posession. I think that would be blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. And that would make man Naturally Immortal. Which would preclude any need for a savior. If one invents an eternally burning Hell one could say that Jesus died to save men from being cast into the eternally burning Hell with an eternally undestroyable spirit body that would endure the pain forever. The idea of man posessing an eternally existent spirit body is entering into the realm of Spiritualism. Not a good place for a christian to be.

    September 29, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      /1Jo 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.'

      September 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  3. David N

    We need to carefully look at what is everlasting about hell, the effects or the duration. If I take a pile of wood and burn it, the wood forever ceases to be a pile of wood. If I burn it with unquencble fire it still burns out and ceases to be a pile of wood. In John 3:16 it is laid out prefectly plainly. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER (THAT'S ANYONE) believeth in him should not PERISH, but have everlasting life. I challenge anyone to come up with a definition of perish that includes eternal torture. Perish means ceasing to be.

    September 29, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • David N

      For instance. Read Jude verse 7. Sodom and Gomorha were burned with "eternal fire" Are they still burning? If they are still burning they would be a major tourist attraction for sure. The fire went out. The "eternal" part was the effect. The fire was unquenchable, meaning that no human agency could put it out. But the fire died out after it consumed Sodom and Gomorha. It may have taken some time and there may have been gnashing of teeth for some. The smoke of which ascended t the heavens. If you are curious, I am a Seventh Day Adventist. The bible is its own interpretter. We just need to read it witout preconceived biases.

      September 29, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Jamison

      Perish does not mean to "cease to be". Instead, it merely means to die. In the context of John 3:16, it means to suffer a spiritual death, which is is the opposite of everlasting (spiritual) life. Because of spiritual death due to sin, we are not able to pass on to Heaven without salvation through Jesus, and therefore go to the only other place available-Hell.

      September 29, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • David N

      So is Hell some kind of alternative housing plan? God just says, sorry! This is the best I can do?

      September 29, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • David N

      So did God create a place in His universe for evil to exist? If he did he could not be God.

      September 29, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • David N

      Just trying to understand you Jamison. On one side is everlasting life and the other is death and a lack of spiritual life. You seem to be saying people get to live in hell with no spiritual discernment. So in hell exist people with no spiritual life. A question then comes to mind. Are the spiritless bodies in hell naturally immortal?

      September 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      'Rev 10:6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:' Serving time is a human invention. 'time no longer' get it? Just are in the lake, no time.

      September 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • DWN

      The "time no longer" is a reference to the end of the time prophecies. The longest was the 2300 year prophecy in Daniel, at the end of which the sanctuary shall be cleansed. Christ is our High Priest in Heaven, so Christ will prepare for his return with His rewards in hand. If he has His rewards in hand, judgments for the righteous have to have taken place before his return..

      October 1, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  4. citizen bob

    It was explained to me during religious school many years ago, that a loving God does not torture people for eternity. The passages of Lake of Fire, gnashing of teeth, eternal punishment refer to being upset (gnashing teeth) of total annihilation (lake of fire being all consuming) which is the end of existence (eternal void/punishment).
    The justice part of it was taught to me; that one chooses to live with love and compassion, which is being with God's presence here on earth and therefore also in His presence in the afterlife, or away from God's presence without love and compassion here on earth, therefore without God's presence afterlife.
    So, you either live forever, or die forever.
    I'm just saying what I was taught, and it seems more in line with the concept of an all loving God.

    September 29, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  5. nottolate

    "What does Jesus say about hell?"

    He says, "many are called, but few are chosen." Which means all save a few of you are going there.

    September 29, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  6. la wwe en vivo

    Someone necessarily lend a hand to make significantly posts I'd state. This is the very first time I frequented your web page and to this point? I amazed with the analysis you made to make this actual submit extraordinary. Fantastic task!

    September 29, 2012 at 5:17 am |
  7. Dennis Mingus

    I suppose you might have trouble imagining anything larger than the Universe, however you need to understand that the Creator is eternal and the Mind of Infinity. Over a vast expanse of time and many previous creations, the Creator has become emense. Heaven is extremely larger than Hell. Don't let your limited imagination keep you from this truth. It;s like Star Trek the Motion Picture, except much larger. The Creator made the Universe, the Universe did not make the Creator.
    Dennis

    September 29, 2012 at 5:14 am |
    • skeptic56

      Oh yes it did. The universe did exactly that, many times over. Invented the creator, over many tribes of human apes. Pick yours, 20% off this week only.

      September 29, 2012 at 5:43 am |
  8. Elizabeth

    Frank Schaeffer needs to leave the Eastern Orthodox Church. He denies the teachings of the Church and believes in his own personally created theology.

    September 29, 2012 at 4:06 am |
    • rick

      isn't a person's personal theology what is most real to them?

      September 29, 2012 at 8:05 am |
  9. Chewybunny

    I totally like how no one is wanting to actually critically analyze the idea and the implications of the concept of Hell. There seems to be 2 types of arguments I've come across here:

    You're all sinners and going to die, because Hell exists cuz' this book here says so.

    ALL Religion is evil and bad, and Atheism or Agnosticism is the better choice.

    THere over 7 billion people on Earth. Hundreds of faiths. Hundreds of beliefs. Hundreds of ideas and perceptions about what is and isn't there beyond our mortal realm. NON of us, not the Christian, not the Muslim, not the Jew, Bhuddist or Pagan, neither do the Atheist, Deist and whatever other spiritual or lack of spiritual belief you have, can truly answer for sure what lies beyond that realm. NON of us can define, predict, or understand something that is inifnite as God. To do so is blasphemy, it denies the inifinite of such a being. So how can ANYONE of you actually say, with total fact, with total 100% unwavering doubt, that what you, and you alone believe, is the right thing?

    Does the Christian here believe that a pious Bhuddist, who strives all his life to understand the spirit and nature around him, and strives to make life for everyone around him, easier, better, truly loving his fellow human beings is going to be tormented in Hell for all eternity? Do you really, truly, believe that this is "Just" punishment? Is a God that would do this so one sided? So utterly single minded in this zeal?

    Likewise, does a Bhuddist out there view that anyone who doesn't spend time meditating and trying to achieve enlightenment, yet spends a lot of time trying to be a good person, easing things for people, or actively seeking some sort of answers to spiritual question is going to be subjected to eternal wheel of resurrection and bitterness?

    Seriously, everyone...Open your damn world up a little bit.

    September 28, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Arias

      Of course the pious Buddhist is not judgemental and self rigtheous like a fundy Christian. The Buddhist recognizes that postive karma comes from being a good person, that such a person will be rewarded in current and future lives. The Buddhist meditates and attempts to achieve nirvana in order to break free of the cycle of reincarnation. Check out the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

      September 28, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Ben

      Araith, check out your book of the lithp. It's rigtheous too. Theriouthly.

      September 29, 2012 at 12:00 am |
  10. Sharia Justice for America

    Americans are evil and all will be cast into Hell. Americans believe a false religion. There is one god, named Allah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 28, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Are you an agent or a double agent? Please ID yourself by giving the password.

      September 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Ben

      Sharia is seriously backward stuff.

      September 29, 2012 at 12:01 am |
  11. It is Written

    When most people who claim or oppose the truth about an existing "HELL" get agitated over something or for instance, a murderer is about is about to be executed, they normally would utter these vengeful words to the one sentenced to death "Go to Hell" and yet they refute the reality of hell. The scripture said that the words of God would justify himself as God and as true at the end of life. This is why the scripture says that "every knee will bow and confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God". Satan knows about hell, he knows about the dreadful coming judgment and his fate but he doesn't want men to about these things otherwise a flood of men to instantly turn to the Lord Jesus. That is why there is a flood of deceptive practices in the world today that ultimately denies the scripture and points at it as the knowledge of men yet these people will read a man's written work such as novel or some book or literature and believe it. But what the bible says about their souls and eternal welfare they regret it. Hell is not a laughing matter "IT IS REAL and EXIST now and billions of souls who rejected Jesus, morality and godliness are there now striving to escape but CANNOT and WILL NOT. Their fate is sealed with Satan who opposed and rejected God in the beginning.

    September 28, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Seeing the triunity of one God in creation is seeing God's fingerprints. 'Zec 13:8 And it shall come to pass, [that] in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off [and] die; but the third shall be left therein.' 66.6% These two parts are always doing the educational two step dancing for the stars debate.

      September 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Think-About-It

      It Is Written! So it was, and is, and shall forever be! AMEN!

      September 29, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • End Religion

      Proof Every Christian Goes to Hell by End Religion...
      1) The only irredeemable sin against your Lord thy God is denying him, the Holy Spirit
      2) To deny is to refuse to admit truth of or to refuse to give that which is requested
      3) Any sin is to deny god of his commandments
      4) Therefore, even one sin results in a soul that cannot be forgiven. Sin once, and you're going to hell whether you repent or not. Since Christians are "born into sin" they're automagically damned to hell and cannot be forgiven.

      September 30, 2012 at 2:15 am |
  12. Magdalena

    Frank Schaeffer, how can you refer to yourself as a Christian? Not everyone is a child of God. And no, God does not love
    His children equally. His ways are not our ways & His thoughts are not His thoughts. There is a hell, because the scriptures
    say there is a hell. It doesn't matter if we don't NEED hell. It exists and millions are there & will continue to go there & there is no way out. People don't have the power to send another person to hell. Each individual sends their own self to hell by their
    un-godly behavior. There are consequences with God. Read the bible.

    September 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Do you choose to serve such a disgusting deity is or it beyond your control?

      September 29, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • sam stone

      "His thoughts are not his thoughts"?

      Whose are they?

      October 1, 2012 at 3:10 am |
    • RGGR

      noo... what are YOU talking about?? God DOES love everyone equally. But He respects our freewill, and thats why He doesnt force His way on anyone and doesn't want anyone to go to Hell. He loves everyone and will accept anyone, as long as they chose to have faith in Him. That's why we have to make the choice

      October 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  13. Anybody know how to read?

    Ya sure hear a lot of whistlin' comin' from the folk walkin' by the graveyard. Plenty of evidence for that.

    September 28, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  14. DC from NJ

    Yes, we should abandon hell, and ALL other aspects of EVERY religion! Use your own brains people, and think for yourselves..

    September 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Athy

      Well, for fundies and vangies, abandoning all religion at once may be too much for them. Maybe we get them to abandon hell first, then, when they finally accept that, we work on god and heaven, etc in subsequent efforts. In other words, drag them into the light a little bit at a time rather than in one large jerk. That's the way you train a dog, one trick at a time.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      ath, not you, too, playin' god. nickynak wants that position. Let's do a Thunderdome for you two.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Think-About-It

      DC, you're basicly repeating the same thing Satan said to ourfirst parents. You are doing him great favor. But he has you captive!

      September 29, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  15. Dennis Mingus

    If you're asking is Hell real, then you should ask the one that Hell met. Hell met my new Spirit around midnight November 23, 1984. I was just concieved with a new Spirit. Hell is outside of the Universe in the space of Infinity. Hell is about 30 times larger than the Universe. Hell is composed mostly of fire. Hell has a pool of fire at the base of the neck of a long neck dragon. While the horns of Hell are pure solid darness. Hell is the Justice of the Creator, You do not need to fear Hell, unless you are extreemly evil. This is not a punishment for minor crimes. Also, your spirit needs to be old enough as well as evil enough before Hell will take you. I know these things for a fact, this not my belief.
    Dennis

    September 28, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Can you explain...

      You are insane! I know this for a fact, but it is also my belief (as I always believe in things that are true).

      September 28, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I find it "extreemly" evil that you think "extreemly" is a word, Dingus Mingus.

      September 28, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      I also had an acid trip like this. Luckily I have physics to fall back on, and the realization that hell cannot possibly exist outside of one's own mind.

      September 28, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • KJ

      Thank God my Spirit is young... Hell won't take me.. the Party is on!!!

      September 28, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      A dude told me he took so much acid and built up such a tolerance he would shoot it up. Something like for 10 days. Is that possible?

      September 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • who me?

      I bet YOU'RE a lot of fun at parties.

      September 28, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • nottolate

      @KJ "Thank God my Spirit is young... Hell won't take me.. the Party is on!!!"

      You fool! Your soul may be required of thee this very evening.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Think-About-It

      Dennis, you have been deceived!

      September 29, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  16. Stephen

    Driscoll - think of it in this way: you're completely delusional.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Think-About-It

      God says YOU are delusional!

      September 29, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  17. Anybody know how to read?

    Psa 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

    September 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  18. Majav

    I live pretty close to Disneyland. I have never been to the Haunted House. How can I be an expert on the Haunted House if I have never been there?

    September 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • OneADay

      Not sure what point you're trying to make.

      September 28, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  19. GethetruthW

    I did not read this article. Good idea to dump Hell in Hell !! and all other Gods in the same place. I look forward to another article by the same author, " Should we dump God?"

    September 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Wow, bow, wow.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • ECIAL

      I dont see what's so wrong in believing in God and Hell?

      September 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Wait, wait. You are 98.8% chimp, chump.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • niknak

      Yes, we should dump god, and gods.
      The sooner the better.
      The vast majority of the worlds ills are the cause of organized religion.
      Religious people don't pratice what they profess, as all I see from them is hate.
      You fundies have hate in your hearts. If there actually is a heaven, you ain't getting in.
      Don't say that you don't, because I see it on boards like this, in the news, in the fundies I work with.
      You definately don't follow jesus' teachings.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • ECIAL

      @niknak–then i take it youre atheist. which is an organized religion and faith as well. And if people aren't living according to their religion, its not the religions problem. you don't judge a religion based on its followers, but on what it teaches. not every follower is a hypocrite, but just becuase some people might not apply it to their lives does not mean that religion is stupid

      September 28, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • niknak

      Atheism is an organized relgion?!?
      You might want to look up the word in the dictionary.
      So NOT believing in god(s) is actually the same as believing?
      Where do us atheist go to "worship" our non faith? Musuems? Science buildings? Darwin's tomb? Where?
      I guess in your view, a person who does NOT collect stamps still has a hobby, not collecting, right?

      September 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • ECIAL

      My bad, its a faith. and yah, technically speaking, that person would have a habit of not collecting stamps

      September 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • niknak

      So not collecting is now a habit in your world?
      So since I don't collect stamps, is it actually a habit of mine to not collect them?
      Then what of the collector? He does not have a habit of collecting, it is actually something else?
      Is that religion? He is religious?
      So is that what you religious people do when you go to church, you collect god?
      And since I don't go to church I don't collect god, but in your view that is a habit.
      Do I have your thoughts correct on all this?
      You have really made this way more complicated then it needs to be.
      I guess the mind of an atheist just has a hard time comprehending you vast intellect of a believer.....

      September 28, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • niknak

      THE vast intellect. Sorry, typing and eating at the same time.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • ECIAL

      haha nooo.. the stamp collecting thing has nothing to do with it.. i was just saying atheism is a religion as well,

      September 28, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • niknak

      But how can you think that when the definition of atheism is the exact opposite of religion.
      It means "without god(s)."
      Religion is defined as the presence of god(s).
      We don't believe in the hypothesis that a god, or gods, exist and are the basis for the universe and our existence.
      That is not a religion. That is just the truth.
      Until you and your religious friends can come up with some verifiable proof that your hypothesis is true, then for us who don't believe, it is considered false.
      It is not considered a religion, at least by us.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • ECIAL

      well then there are different definitions for religion, i found the definition to be the cause, nature or purpose of the universe, you guys believing there is none. or another definition is simply a set of fundamental beliefs, so idk what yours specifically is, but such as the big bang and evolution. there might not be a god involved, but you have a set of beliefs that you certainly put your faith into as being truth

      September 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • niknak

      I won't speak for all atheists, but I am sure I speak for most.
      We put our "faith" into what is provable by fact. And nothing else.
      I put my faith into 2 plus 2 equaling 4. I don't see how that has anything to do with being religious. It just is.
      As to the big bang, yes, from all available science, it did occur roughly 14 billions years ago.
      And every since, science has not found one instance of there being a god or gods involved with the expansion of the universe since the big bang occured. It all has worked according to sound scientific priciples, one of which was just proven with the Higgs Bossom particle discovery.
      What occured before the big bang, or what is the univese expanding into? We don't know.
      But that does not mean that a god or gods have anything to do with it.
      Why is that so hard to say, that we don't know (yet)?
      Why do you have to have a god for it?
      And how is this different then when we did not understand lightning, or earth quakes and we assigned gods to them?
      Look how far science has taken us since the days when your bible was supposed to have been written.
      We once did not even understand that the earth was round, now we have left the earth.
      All due to science, NOT religion.
      Why is that so terrible not to "know" everything?
      And why does making up a all powerfull being make it better?
      And why is your all powerfull being more accurate then all the countless thousand of other all powerfull biengs?

      September 28, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • ECIAL

      Oh, yes, science is awesome and wonderful and has allowed us to reach those heights that weren't even fathomable before, i just don't see what's wrong with believing a god or god's did have something to do with the creation of the world, or even if a god/gods had nothing to do with it, why cant they exist. You're right, we don't know everything, and we probably never will, and science is helping us to get closer and closer to that point, but again, neither of us is at more fault than the other for believing or not believing there is a god. We just put our faith that there is, and you put your faith that there isnt. The Bible was written thousands of years ago, over the course of hundreds of years by over 40 different authors, yet there is one constant theme throughout the whole book. not to mention that it all fits together anyway. Plus the bible is the number one selling book across the world, copied in the most languages. there must be some divine power behind it that kept it together and is inspiring people in the same belief who come from the most various of cultures and backgrounds. we put our faith in those proven facts. and why are you using what knowledge we've discover to measure the existence of a god. Just because the existence of god hasn't been proven yet, doesn't mean he doesn't exist

      September 28, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Can you explain...

      Atheists are as organized as non-sports fans are organized.

      September 28, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Guess What

      ECIAL:
      "there is one constant theme throughout the whole book. not to mention that it all fits together anyway."

      Do you know why this is? It is because an early Church council CHOSE (voted on them, in fact) which old writings to include. Only those that toed the "party line" were accepted.

      September 28, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      nickynacky the rabbi says '..You fundies have hate in your hearts. ..' You sir are playin' god. No thank you . I already have one. No offense to you, o' exalted chimpus chumpus? 'Jer 17:9-10 The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, [I] try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, [and] according to the fruit of his doings.'

      September 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  20. Anybody know how to read?

    '"holy"
    occurs 611 times in 544 verses in the KJV ' God doesn't have to put up with wet dogs in His presence.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • niknak

      What, wet dogs don't have a heaven?
      god does not put up with anything as god does not exist. Except in your head.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      niknak, That's a silly statement. Anybody knows you can't prove a negative. That puts you on the hook.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.