home
RSS
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.”

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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 • Opinion

soundoff (7,963 Responses)
  1. walklikeman

    If we're talking 'bout the fiery place that is deep in the bowels of the earth, then it is a falsehood taught to both children and adults to make them do right. Its a fear tactic. Nothing more, nothing less. I mean just listen to some of the stories told by men. Noah's Ark, Adam and Eve, its just a mash of fictional stories to entice and deceive the masses into mental submission. I really don't understand how a grown man/woman can believe such madness. Boggles my mind.

    September 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      No it is not fire in the belly GOWD of earth, but at place of origination of humanity, "HIS DESIRE"

      September 23, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  2. writerscramp

    Does hell exist ? I live in Alabama ... Yes it does

    September 23, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  3. troutmon

    To those that do not believe there is evidence of the truth of and the exsistance of God, please read the prophecies that Christ fulfilled and the ones that are being fulfilled in the middle east now.

    September 23, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAXHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAXHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAXHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAXHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAXHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAXHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAXHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAXHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAXHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAXHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAXHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAXHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAXHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAXHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAXHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAXHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

      September 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • jamesH28

      ...good luck with that. There are no prophecies being fulfilled. There are stories that someone wrote thousands of years ago that people are picking apart and making them fit like an out of place puzzle piece.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Gregg

      prophecies only exist because human's use the bible as an instruction manual, kind of like, oh those poor jews lets construct Israel like it says in the bible = rubbish

      September 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • One one

      Bible inconsistancies and contradictions:

      Who incited David to count the fighting men of Israel?
      (a) God did (2 Samuel 24: 1)
      (b) Satan did (I Chronicles 2 1:1)

      In that count how many fighting men were found in Israel?
      (a) Eight hundred thousand (2 Samuel 24:9)
      (b) One million, one hundred thousand (IChronicles 21:5)

      How many fighting men were found in Judah?
      (a) Five hundred thousand (2 Samuel 24:9)
      (b) Four hundred and seventy thousand (I Chronicles 21:5)

      God sent his prophet to threaten David with how many years of famine?
      (a) Seven (2 Samuel 24:13)
      (b) Three (I Chronicles 21:12)

      How old was Ahaziah when he began to rule over Jerusalem?
      (a) Twenty-two (2 Kings 8:26)
      (b) Forty-two (2 Chronicles 22:2)

      How old was Jehoiachin when he became king of Jerusalem?
      (a) Eighteen (2 Kings 24:8)
      (b) Eight (2 Chronicles 36:9)

      How long did he rule over Jerusalem?
      (a) Three months (2 Kings 24:8)
      (b) Three months and ten days (2 Chronicles 36:9)

      The chief of the mighty men of David lifted up his spear and killed how many men at one time?
      (a) Eight hundred (2 Samuel 23:8)
      (b) Three hundred (I Chronicles 11: 11)

      When did David bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem? Before defeating the Philistines or after?
      (a) After (2 Samuel 5 and 6)
      (b) Before (I Chronicles 13 and 14)

      How many pairs of clean animals did God tell Noah to take into the Ark?
      (a) Two (Genesis 6:19, 20)
      (b) Seven (Genesis 7:2). But despite this last instruction only two pairs went into the ark (Genesis 7:8-9)

      When David defeated the King of Zobah, how many horsemen did he capture?
      (a) One thousand and seven hundred (2 Samuel 8:4)
      (b) Seven thousand (I Chronicles 18:4)

      How many stalls for horses did Solomon have?
      (a) Forty thousand (I Kings 4:26)
      (b) Four thousand (2 chronicles 9:25)

      In what year of King Asa's reign did Baasha, King of Israel die?
      (a) Twenty-sixth year (I Kings 15:33 – 16:8)
      (b) Still alive in the thirty-sixth year (2 Chronicles 16:1)

      How many overseers did Solomon appoint for the work of building the temple?
      (a) Three thousand six hundred (2 Chronicles 2:2)
      (b) Three thousand three hundred (I Kings 5:16)

      Solomon built a facility containing how many baths?
      (a) Two thousand (1 Kings 7:26)
      (b) Over three thousand (2 Chronicles 4:5)

      Of the Israelites who were freed from the Babylonian captivity, how many were the children of Pahrath-Moab?
      (a) Two thousand eight hundred and twelve (Ezra 2:6)
      (b) Two thousand eight hundred and eighteen (Nehemiah 7:11)

      How many were the children of Zattu?
      (a) Nine hundred and forty-five (Ezra 2:8)
      (b) Eight hundred and forty-five (Nehemiah 7:13)

      How many were the children of Azgad?
      (a) One thousand two hundred and twenty-two (Ezra 2:12)
      (b) Two thousand three hundred and twenty-two (Nehemiah 7:17)

      How many were the children of Adin?
      (a) Four hundred and fifty-four (Ezra 2:15)
      (b) Six hundred and fifty-five (Nehemiah 7:20)

      How many were the children of Hashum?
      (a) Two hundred and twenty-three (Ezra 2:19)
      (b) Three hundred and twenty-eight (Nehemiah 7:22)

      How many were the children of Bethel and Ai?
      (a) Two hundred and twenty-three (Ezra 2:28)
      (b) One hundred and twenty-three (Nehemiah 7:32)

      Ezra 2:64 and Nehemiah 7:66 agree that the total number of the whole assembly was 42,360. Yet the numbers do not add up to anything close. The totals obtained from each book is as follows:
      (a) 29,818 (Ezra)
      (b) 31,089 (Nehemiah)

      How many singers accompanied the assembly?
      (a) Two hundred (Ezra 2:65)
      (b) Two hundred and forty-five (Nehemiah 7:67)

      – II Chronicles 22:2 “Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem.” [KJV]
      – II Kings 8:26 “Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem.”

      September 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • hal 9001

      Good evening, "Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear". Although your statements are not unfounded or falsehoods, I do notice some interesting anomalies. Some of the enti'ties that subscribe to my data analysis banks, particularly those subscribers from ix, are requesting that you "share with us".

      September 23, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Open the pod bay door, HAL, and I shall share with you.

      I too noted the anomaly – an "x", which is simply a cross that has fallen over, has somehow miraculously worked its was into my comments. Clearly the work of a higher power

      September 23, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • a reasonable atheist

      @ one one

      Using "and" when spelling out a number denotes a decimal. You might want to revise your statements. They don't make much sense in their current state.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Please look up the word "existence" and learn how to spell it. Otherwise, you're too stupid to matter.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  4. If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

    God(s) can be found .. in history books. Study the history of human social interaction and the Gods they've worshiped, prayed to and sacrificed to, then it will come into focus. The sociological and psychological evolution of God(s) can be easily tracked with even a cursory study into the history of deities.

    September 23, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  5. The day

    Going to church every sunday was like he ll to me, im glad i dont go anymore

    September 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  6. jamesH28

    Heaven, Hell, Jesus, Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Toothfairy, Nicolas Cages hairline, etc...

    September 23, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Bob

      You forgot lipstick lesbians.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Jessica

      Sorry Bob, but us lipstick Lesbians really do exist. I know, I'm one.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  7. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    Speaking of GOD
    What is GOD
    What does this word GOD represent in human life.
    Who invented word God
    Why not USE original word for God and why?

    September 23, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Gregg

      Because Yahweh was just a silly name for , what the hell am I taking about, silly name for what?

      September 23, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Yahweh is not name of GOD, truth absolute but it was Yahweh Ellah, I am truth absolute, Ellah translated to be word GOD.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  8. 1word

    I will continue to be nice to all the nonbelievers. I will continue to shine as the sun because Jesus lives in me. I will continue to preach the gospel to the lost and try to raise the dead. God will continue to use me to do his will and I will always do everything pleasing in his sight. He is my ROCK, He is my Savior, and in HIM I WILL TRUST. God Bless All and SEEK THE TRUTH!

    September 23, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Athy

      Man, you're a total whacko.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Bob

      You let your imaginary friend use you? Gross. Grow a pair and be good on your own. You don't need the threat of eternal damnation in order to be a good person. Well.....you actually might if you're a dick. Up to you I guess.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • 1word

      Bob, it's not the threat of eternal damnation. It's the love of being with him for eternity!

      September 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Gregg

      I have 1 word

      September 23, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Norman

      Let me know how you do on that 'raising the dead' thing. Although, looking at some of our politicians, I believe you've already succeeded...

      September 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • 1word

      Norman
      Converting a sinner to give himself to Christ is raising the dead. If I told you some of the dreams I had you would think I was crazy, but I know the truth. God is showing me things no human knows. I was shown that my dad had cancer before he knew it. It's your choice to believe, just know that it will be the worst mistake you ever made!

      September 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Jon

      Ignoring all the rude comments to your sadly religious post, do you really think God needs you to do his bidding? If God is so powerful do you really think he needs you to do anything special?

      September 23, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, for pete's sake, you were not. You had a dream and you interpreted it to mean what you wanted it to mean. You moron, what makes you think your dreams are any more meaningful than those of an atheist? What makes you imagine that you're somehow 'chosen'? You're as unique as everyone else here. That is, not at all.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • 1word

      Jon, God use men who are led by the Spirit to speak for him. We learn God's Word by studying the Bible. Yes he needs me and I need him!

      September 23, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • 1word

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, for pete's sake, you were not. You had a dream and you interpreted it to mean what you wanted it to mean. You moron, what makes you think your dreams are any more meaningful than those of an atheist? What makes you imagine that you're somehow 'chosen'? You're as unique as everyone else here. That is, not at all.

      Because GOD TOLD ME! HE said he created me to tear down strongholds. You sir is exactly that!

      September 23, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Enjoue

      All I ask is keep it to yourself. Church was hell and I'm glad that I no longer go. Being told I was going to hell every Sunday didn't teach me to love the gospel, only to hate it and those preaching it. I've had enough abuse in my life, thank you.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • tallulah13

      The reason "Jesus" lives in you is that "Jesus" is an idea that suits your needs. "Jesus" is an emotional crutch you use to give your life meaning. "Jesus" is an excuse to think that you are special. without having to make any effort yourself.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • 1word

      tallulah13

      Oh really, God is real. All I can say is you have to seek the truth for yourself.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • 1word

      Enjoue
      So it's abuse when someone is trying to save your life? I pray you seek the truth before its too late.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Jessica

      Sorry 1 word but us nonbelievers would rather you just shut the hell up and stop your preaching. We don't want to hear your mythical beliefs.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • mama kindless

      Yes it's abuse dumbword because you're like a sheep that keeps going into the wrong patch where the poisonous root vegetables grow. Next thing you know you've got more dumb sheep over there with you and now you've poisoned them and your milk and the rest of the world. So we have to watch out for your sorry ass to keep you away from the poisonous stuff. My goodness.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • 1word

      Proverbs 28:9
      He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, 1word, apparently your mythical sky-daddy who never fails to tell you EVERYTHING neglected to inform you that I'm not a "sir". I'm a woman. I'm married to a man.

      And you're an idiot.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I can't stop laughing at the doofus 1word who thinks god appointed it to 'tear down strongholds' but didn't see fit to inform the little troll of the gender of said "strongholds." What a hoot.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  9. Jessica

    "". . . 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.""

    But God loves you and forgives you, yada, yada, yada... Talk about a book full of contradictions.

    If God is the judge, as the second writer says, then why the heck are all the evangelicals so dam judgmental?
    Why do they seek to do Gods work for him when that work is the province of God with such vengeance? It is they who sin.

    September 23, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • 1word

      It's your choice not to believe. So you are sending yourself to hell. It's your choice!

      September 23, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, can it 1 brain cell. You don't have a shred of proof that god, hell, heaven, or a soul exist at all. You choose to believe in a fairy tale.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • 1word

      I have proof that right now you are controlled by a evil spirit and I am being controlled by the Holy Spirit. You made your choice!

      September 23, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then produce the proof. If something is a fact it can be supported with sources. What sources can you cite for your claim? The bible doesn't count and neither does anecdotal evidence (look it up; I'll bet you haven't the first clue what that means).

      You don't have any "proof" of anything at all. What you have is faith, which is fine. It is not, however, proof or fact. That you have to lie about it says much about your beliefs.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • 1word

      Tom, your level of thinking shows you are controlled by an evil spirit. I've seen evil spirits in my dreams. When I encounter them I try to cast them out of people in my dreams. I've done this several times and I even raised a dead man in my dream. There are somethings I cannot explain, but I know God is real and I never experienced Dreams like I have when I was living in Sin.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • mama kindless

      Yes, 1word, booze and recreation drugs can make one think they are having a spiritual awareness. Sadly, the same thing happened to the self-proclaimed "apostle" Paul, and to dumbo St John the Opium Addict who wrote that Revelation mess. Boy did they screw up the world thinking they had stumbled onto something when it really was rotten food, drink and poisonous plants. So you screwed up and fell off the wagon. Doesn't mean something unreal is really real. Okaaay?? Okay.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Jessica

      1Word, Having dreams that only you can see or experience is not "proof". Unless you can let others in on your dreams as you dream them you have no scientific proof.

      You also don't know diddly about dreams. They are the brain organizing the days experiences into long term memory. So, it makes perfect sense that you are dreaming what you say you are dreaming. It's all that fairy tale stuff that YOU believe in and had read/heard/thought about during the day. ITS NOT PROOF OF ANYTHING.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I wonder if 1word isn't a poe. No one could be that delusional and still be walking around without supervision from an orderly in a white coat.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • tallulah13

      He/she would make more sense if they were a Poe.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      True. Perhaps 1braincell is a teeny-bopper who is on here babbling about dreams when it ought to be doing its homework.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  10. bellaterra66

    "My way of believing is better than your way of believing" is TOTALLY useless. People are going to believe what they want to believe. I hiaven't believed in Hell for the last 45 years, almost all my adult life. I don't steal, lie, cheat, etc. I spent 20 years doing a lot of volunteering before I got sick and couldn't do it anymore. Heaven and hell are irrelevant to me. I do wonder if there is life after death - but no one knows. And as for Jesus and his sayings in The Gospels - Christianity was founded by Paul (who never had met Jesus, let alone spent any time with him), and Paul wrote his first Epistle - the very first Epistle period (at least that we know about) - about 50 years after the death of Christ. The very first Gospel wasn't written until approx 100 years after Jesus' death. There was no Bible until approx 300 years after Jesus' death. Who knows what is true and/or real in The Gospels and what isn't. And what does it matter? The tenor of The Gospels is to do to others what you would have them do to you - in other words, don't hurt your neighbor - and to do good to those who like you and to those who don't like you. If we did good to even those who hate us - it would be a great world. Instead - we hurt our neighbor in various ways and worry about going to H. What a waste of time and energy. We go to church on Sunday and forget it all as we drive out of the parking lot afterwards. What a waste of time and energy.

    September 23, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Bob

      You only say that because you don't believe as hard as I do. Believe harder pus sy!

      September 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Jessica

      LOL, I agree with you. I too live by the golden rule and it has served me very well. I've stumbled on a few things along the way but hey, I'm human.

      A secretary (very religious) asked me once "what keeps you from doing bad and horrible things if you aren't afraid of hell?" It all makes me wonder what the heck that woman would actually be doing if the threat of hell wasn't scaring her straight...

      September 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • old ben

      It is a huge waste of mis-directed energy. And Bob you nit wit. Pus sy isn't supposed to be hard – so I heard.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  11. Kalo

    People will never stop believing in god nor hoping there is punishment for actions that are outside of the social acceptance level. There is no argument against faith, it does not follow the same rules as logic and fact. In Science, logic and facts make the laws; in faith the laws make the logic and 'facts.'

    There will never be a time when someone doesn't want all the answers to be given, no time in human history or future will "I don't know, and no one else does either" be considered ok for the majority of folks. Most people want the all knowing father figure up on high like they were when they were a child, and everyone wants answers...Only Atheists, Agnostic, and fair weather Religious people can have the mental capacity to cope with knowing there is no plan, there is no certainty, there is only you and everyone around you. Make earth yours and your brother's heaven and stop making it hell for others.

    It might be a pipe dream but until people can move past the bronze age thought of evolution isn't real, that the Catholic church is acting like the Jewish council that killed Jesus (Abusing power), science should dictate the rules of the physical world and people should keep the soul out of numbers; I truly do fear when a person can 'hear' god and press the big round button in the oval office to make hell on earth for another group of people. This happened with Bush and Iraq, god told him to do it; for better or worse this means that faith dictated the logic which is a very scary president.

    September 23, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Jessica

      "There is no argument against faith" Yes there is and you mentioned it. The fact that religion is contradictory and illogical IS the scientific case against religion.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  12. yckim

    I agree 100% with the pastor Mark Driscoll. It is totally up to you wether you trust Jesus Christ or not. Then you have to face its consequence about your choice.

    September 23, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "wether" is not the word you want, ding-dong. It's WHETHER.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So what exactly are your credentials? What proof do you have of this "hell" or of your "god"? Until you, or Mark Driscoll, have proof, all you have are your own opinions. And we all know what opinions are like.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I would like to take this opportunity to tell readers of these comments that earlier this year, it was my privilege to present "Tom, Tom the Piper's Son" with 2012 Library of Congress Proofreaders Award. Congratulations once again, Tom.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  13. Bob

    What makes life special is that we only get one. There is no afterlife just like there is no before life. When you die, your brain rots. All your memories rot with it, look at brain injury patients. Living your life according to religion is like only reading books that contain large font and colorful pictures. You are going to miss out on so much of what life has to offer. What is more special, developing morals and character through life experiences or through being told that if you steal or have a one night stand, you'll go to hell??

    September 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  14. aj

    Hell is brainwashing religion into children who don't know any better which then grow up and realize it was all a lie, and there's nothing they can do to fix the craziness of the masses.

    September 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Bob

      It is very important to teach kids at a very early age that there is no god and no afterlife. That is the role of parents to prep kids for the realities of life. You'll be surprised how much easier children take that realization vs adults that "lose their faith".

      September 23, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  15. Michael

    Mark Driscoll is a delusional nut. What merciful god would condemn a soul to eternal suffering simply because he was not given the teachings of Christianity?

    A boy is born in rural central China, He is good and eager to learn. He is taught buddhism as a spiritual and moral path, never knowing of Christianity. He grows into a good man, marries, has children and provides for them – working his farm until the day he dies. And Mark Driscoll condemns him to eternal sufferiing at the hands of his "merciful" god.

    Implausible and ridiculous. We need to embrace our intellect and leave the absurdities of people like Mark Driscoll behind. There is no hell. Hell was created in the minds of humans – by church leaders to coerce their followers to obey.

    September 23, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • UncleM

      Great. The Christian god is either an a$$h*le or fiction.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • JR

      There are no "good" people according to the Bible. We're all sinners, and God is holy and just, thus He must punish those who have sinned against Him. It's only by Jesus taking the punishment in our place that we escape God's wrath.

      "Hell was created in the minds of humans – by church leaders to coerce their followers to obey." That's silly since the Bible is clear noone is saved by their obedience or their works. It is faith in Jesus alone. Believing in hell doesn't compel you to "obey" some human church leader, but rather repeat of your sin and trust in Jesus alone for your salvation. Also, the concept of hell is also in the OT which predates "the church" by hundreds of years.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  16. Kalo

    People will never stop believing in god nor hoping there is punishment for actions that are outside of the social acceptance level. There is no argument against faith, it does not follow the same rules as logic and fact. In Science, logic and facts make the laws; in faith the laws make the logic and 'facts.'

    There will never be a time when someone doesn't want all the answers to be given, no time in human history or future will "I don't know, and no one else does either" be considered ok for the majority of folks. Most people want the all knowing father figure up on high like they were when they were a child, and everyone wants answers...Only Atheists and Agnostic people can have the mental capacity to cope with knowing there is no plan, there is no certainty, there is only you and everyone around you. Make earth yours and your brother's heaven and stop making it hell for others.

    It might be a pipe dream but until people can move past the bronze age thought of evolution isn't real, that the Catholic church is acting like the Jewish council that killed Jesus (Abusing power), science should dictate the rules of the physical world and people should keep the soul out of numbers; I truly do fear when a person can 'hear' god and press the big round button in the oval office to make hell on earth for another group of people. This happened with Bush and Iraq, god told him to do it; for better or worse this means that faith dictated the logic which is a very scary president.

    September 23, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  17. zeyn2010

    I can't believe we are having this discussion in the 21st century !!!

    September 23, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • IWantToGoToHell

      Ya gotta keep the faith and believe it! :)

      September 23, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • zeyn2010

      Keep faith for what?

      September 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • IWantToGoToHell

      You gotta believe! That we are having this discussion today, and will have it tommorrow, until the very END TIMES when hell is upon us!!!

      (sarcasm, of course)

      September 23, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • zeyn2010

      Yep, I can't wait for the promised end times when this is no longer a discussion and we wake up and seek our truth. It's everywhere on this planet, check out Puma Punku, Baalbek, the great pyramid of Giza and many many more places we cannot even replicate today. There were advanced civilizations before us on this planet, without a doubt – whether they were from here or another planet, I hope to find out in my lifetime.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • IWantToGoToHell

      2012 represent, yo!
      End of times, get it while you can!
      Only 3 months left!

      Expiry Date: Best if used by 12/21/2012

      September 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • zeyn2010

      The only thing that's going to happen on 12/21/12 is a huge party! :)

      September 23, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  18. 1word

    We are in the end times folks, you must know the truth. A lot of folks who claim God doesn't exist doesn't know the truth. God does not show himself to the wicked. We who have given our lives to him and love him with all our being hear his voice. We experience the Love, Mercy and his Grace.

    September 23, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Clive

      Then how come your dick is still puny?

      September 23, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • NoTheism

      that's funny, in order for your god to love someone he requires that they "give" themselves to him... what kind of a loving god is the one you believe in?
      No thanks, keep him all for yourself.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      "God does not show himself to the wicked."

      why not? i thought he had boundless love for everyone? and hates the sin but not the sinner?

      September 23, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Hey, 1word, have you purchased rapture insurance for your pets. This is a brilliant scam – you pay an insurance policy and, in the event that you are raptured, the insurance company looks after your pets that are left behind.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • 1word

      Because it does not matter, I'm going to Heaven anyway. lol I rather be in Heaven with an inch than be burning in Hell with a footlong. lol

      September 23, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • IWantToGoToHell

      Sigh, the end times AGAIN???

      Man, how many more end-times do I have to endure? This is a living hell, I tell you!

      September 23, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Athy

      Seems like the wicked are the ones that need the most help from god.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • NoTheism

      1word, look up the philosophical argument called Pascal's Wager.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • 1word

      NoTheism, when you give yourself to God he change your heart to be one with his heart. You become a new creature, you are able to love people even though they are mean to you. Only God could use someone who lived in sin to preach to others to save their souls. Only God can make someone that is crooked STRAIGHT!

      September 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Bob

      What makes life special is that we only get one. There is no afterlife just like there is no before life. When you die, your brain rots. All your memories rot with it, look at brain injury patients. Living your life according to religion is like only reading books that contain large font and colorful pictures. You are going to miss out on so much of what life has to offer. What is more special, developing morals and character through life experiences or through being told that if you steal or have a one night stand, you'll go to hell?

      September 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      hey, 1word, I get it – you're going to be one of the virgins that the Muslim suicide bombers get when they commit jihad and blow themselves up. And I bet some of those boys are packing some substantial meat scimitars. Enjoy your heaven! (oh, and by the way – all the lube is in hell)

      September 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • 1word

      Bob, you are right your body and brain rotts but what about your SPIRIT? That's what you should be worried about, the former Flesh life will be judged to see if you are worthy to live life in the Spirit or you will be burn!

      September 23, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • IWantToGoToHell

      Well let's see... Your brain is what make you who you are... how you think... What defines you...

      So your spirit is..... a blob of... stuff?

      Ok. I guess I really don't care where that part goes.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • End Religion

      if we're in the end times why do churches and religious leaders continue to ask for and accept tithes and other donations of worldly goods?

      September 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  19. One one

    Hello everyone, God here.

    Worship me or I will torture you forever.

    Have a nice day.

    September 23, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • FSM

      Oh yeah? Well, I'm the one true god, and i shall kick your puny a-ss with my noodly appendages.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • j

      that's right, worship God or the devil, you choose

      September 23, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • One one

      @ J, I choose neither.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Athy

      Can we choose both? Just to cover our asses.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • j

      God says you can't choose 2 masters. choose God or Choose the devil

      September 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Athy

      When did god say that?

      September 23, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  20. Zeta Reticulan

    Whether the people of earth believe in hell or not will make no difference when our alien "Gods" return. They are peaceful enough, we just chose to worship them in the past out of our primitive fear and misunderstanding of where they really came from. Although they will be a bit bewildered at what we've turned their last visit into.

    September 23, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Now that makes more logical sense, and is more probable, than the Abrahamic god

      September 23, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Have to agree, it IS about probability .. and that is a reasonable possibility based on the evidence, even the evidence contained in the bible. Especially Ezekeil and Enoch.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • zeyn2010

      It seems however, gods had their own wars according to ancient scripts – hope they don't do that again!! :)

      September 23, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
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.