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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.

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. 1word

    John 3

    King James Version (KJV)

    3 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

    2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

    3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

    4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

    5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

    8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

    9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?

    10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

    11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

    12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

    13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Observer

      "13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."

      II Kings 2:11 “Then Elijah went up to heaven in a strong wind.”

      September 23, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
  2. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    Psalm 137:9
    Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
  3. correctlycenter

    Do you want undeniable proof there is a God? God's prophets wrote some 108 specific prophecies about the Messiah many hundreds of years before Christ stepped out of His Godship into the flesh. Please keep in mind that many of the prophecies in the Psalms were revealed by the Holy Spirit to David about 1000 BC. Isaiah about 700 BC, Micah and Zechariah about 500 BC. Psalm 16:-10 says that the Holy One(Messiah) will rise fom the dead,
    22:1-21 He will exprience agony by having His hands and feet pierced (Predicted before the Roman Empire/crucifixion methods used) 22:15 He thirsts while on the cross, 22:18 Evil men will throw dice for His garment, Psalm 69:21 He was offered vinegar for His thirst on the cross, Psalm 41:9 His close friend would betray Him. Isaiah 53 states man more specific prophecies revealed by the prophet some 700 years before Christ's death on the cross. God is real and so is His word true...

    September 23, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Hmm. So you aren't concerned that maybe the story was written deliberately to fulfill those prophecies? You aren't concerned by the fact that there isn't any non-biblical accounts to confirm that those prophecies were fulfilled?

      September 23, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      I challenge you to list them, with indisputable, objective, verified, independent evidence for each of them. I bet you can't even establish beyond reasonable doubt a single one. In other words, you are a liar, are delusional, or most likely both!

      September 23, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • SDC

      And these supposed "fulfilled prophecies" were written down by people that had read the EARLIER "prophecies", and had plenty of reason to claim that their particular cult leader had "fulfilld" those "prophecies". Considering that no-one else on the netire planet seems to have even NOTICED this cult leader, you're going to have to comeup with something better than "trust me, it was only driven by a litle old lady on Sundays" for anyone with any sense to buy into these fairy tales.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      correctlycenter,

      Don't you think that Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul (or those who also wrote under those names) and Jesus himself (if he existed) read or heard about those old prophecies? They really jumped the shark when they put in that one about Jesus calling for donkey(s) to ride into Jerusalem...

      September 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Gregg

      You lost me at God's prophets. Anyone can create things in the bible by reading it and doing it later.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      C'mon IDIOT! How hard is it for a future author to write down crap that agrees with stories that were written before his/her time? What an idiot you are! You call these predictions? Were you there? Did you see this BS for yourself? NO! Why would you take anyone's written word for it? Why was your "god" not responsible enough to wait until mankind had developed video cameras so we could at least have some evidence just a little more convincing? Or better yet, since your "god" is allegedly all-powerful, why didn't he just give mankind some cameras when he allegedly sent his message to the world? DOLT!

      September 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • biobrain

      1) If God made us, who made God?
      2) As there are many religions in the world, how do you know your religion is the right one?
      3) There is a lot of suffering going on in the world. If God sometimes intervenes and eases suffering, why doesn't he stop all suffering? Why make animals suffer?
      4) The books of the majority of religions were written long ago. Knowing man's propensity for deception and the fact that religion has been used as a way to control people, how do you know that your religion or any other religion has not been created by a human or group of humans?
      5) If you believe in hell, do you feel forced to love and worship God? It seems to me that if you don't want to spend an eternity in hell you have no choice. It seems similar to having an abusive spouse who won't let you leave and will punish you if you don't love them.
      6) Why is it that all of the miracles that were recorded thousands of years ago no longer happen today? I'm not talking about things that might be explained as coincidence, I'm referring to things like rising from the dead, parting of the seas, etc.
      7) If God is there, why doesn't he just show himself to us?
      Thank you for your reply and have a good day!

      September 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  4. McDuck Quackerton

    For hell to exist, there would have to be a god. There is no god, so there is no hell. At least not in the religious sense. People can be in a personal hell, and hell is an acceptable term to use for when things are going poorly. It is not, however, relevant from a religious standpoint since religion itself is not relevant.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • line

      If you think that hell doesn't exist, let me tell you, you are in big trouble. I pray that the Holy Spirit can open your heart and you can accept Jesus as your personal Savior. Trust me, this is very serious. Your eternal happiness depends on it.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  5. 1word

    1 Corinthians 2:13-15

    King James Version (KJV)

    13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

    14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • mama kindless

      Guess who indulged a little too much with weed and some bad food and supposedly had some visions. Paul – that's right. I think he probably knew what he had done, but he also needed to make some quick cash off the deal, so he got his secretary to agree with it. And next thing you know he's claiming he had a visit from the lord that would validate whatever he was going to write from then on. Pretty sweet deal for a politician or lawyer of those times. Sad that so many people bought into that.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • ....

      @mama
      BULL SH IT !

      September 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, ... you were there?

      September 23, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
  6. SDC

    Driscoll can't even prove that his long-dead cult leader ever actually EXISTED, never mind that any of the baloney in his little book of fairy tales has any relation to reality; there is no ore reason to believe his nonsense about "hell" or an invisible magic man in the sky than there is to believe the ancient Egyptians', Romans', Vikings', or Mayans' nonsense about the same things.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  7. religion source of religionfilthybrainwashism

    Religious deniers of truth absolute 360°. Religion from gutter land ancient earth kills human minds dead. Religious deniers of science, improved knowledge ism, deniers of repeatable, observable evidence ism. Absurdity of fairy tale adherence called faith. Belief in invisible sky man, practicers of inert hindu prayer. Make my football team win, pagan god! I win lottery next time, mithra zoroastrian hindu god, and at the internets.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • jamesH28

      ...but not in a good way. Children should grow and learn their own beliefs. Handing them someone else's before they're old enough to make up their own mind isn't good for them at all.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Donnie the Lion

      The kid who died from a burst appendix because his parents only believed in faith healing vehemently disagrees.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do...... Who You Can Turn to......
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • truth be told

      All children are born with an inner knowledge of God because they come direct from Gods throne. In this life they are given the opportunity to freely choose God in love and so return to God and the wonderful eternity He has prepared for them. Woe to the one who would deny a child eternal life.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What fvcking bullsh!t. Children are born knowing nothing, you moron. Too bad you never progressed past that stage.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "truth be told", but your assertions regarding children are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  9. GB T

    GET IT, Mark Driscoll! Speak that truth! Amen, and amen! May the Word of God be our only source of truth!

    September 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  10. wharf_rat

    Yes, Hell should be abandoned. But not until Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld have served an eternity there for their crimes against humanity.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Craig

      Give it a rest.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  11. Athy

    Actually, Hell is a small unincorporated town near Ann Arbor Michigan. Unofficial population is about 250. Apparently there is no town in America named Heaven. So the only place we can go to is Hell.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  12. DocReality

    If it is real, I hope the Obamas, Holder, Jarrett and Ahmandenejad all wind up there

    September 23, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      ...where they will undoubtedly join Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rove, and the rest of the previous regime!

      September 23, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  13. Atheism is Great for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

    It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and lets them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, were just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago. (Yes, charlatan folklore and spam started long before the Bible; what would make you think they hadn't??) And they need to be taught that other things, like God, we really don't know a damn thing about.

    Atheists have strong minds and don't need a religion. Many religious folk have the best intentions. But too often, religious folk run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, they disserve society). And too often, religious folk are easily offended when someone mocks their make-believe characters – and, as we can see they can get really CRAZY!!

    Although there are many religious folk with good intentions – some selflessly helping others, religions and religious organizations are, as a whole, just big old clubs – each trying to out do each other and inspiring hate and division (often disguised as love) along the way. The problem is that people too easily buy into religion and don't realize how unfounded it all is. And when they buy into it, they buy into a lot of really old, really weird tenets that are nothing but harmful for the human species.

    Take Christianity, for instance. Just look at all the things that Christians argue about amongst themselves today – abortion, men's and women's roles in the church, celibacy, contraception, acceptance of gays, etc. Most of these issues have their roots in the conflicted, unfounded tenets of early Christianity. Non-Mormons harp on Joseph Smith these days. But we really don't have any more proof at all to believe that Paul, the self-proclaimed "apostle" was anything more than an ordinary man who needed to make up religious "sales literature" to survive and spread his own personal beliefs. And yet a good chunk of the NT is attributed to Paul and accepted by many Christians. And a lot of what he wrote about has to do with many of the issues I mentioned above that have Christians fighting amongst themselves hundreds of years later. It's way too unfounded to argue over.

    Get a good cup of tea, and sit down and collect your thoughts. If you find it helpful to pray to a god, fine. But it is really healthier for the mind to leave behind all the characters that people over the centuries have invented or given powers to, for which there is little or no foundation. Because with those invented characters and powers – that's where division and hate join the little party in your mind. That's where, in your mind, you are inheriting the division and hate from ordinary politicians, lobbyists and salesmen from long ago. My goodness.

    mama kindless

    September 23, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  14. Erika

    I think the premise here is flawed. The problem isn't the idea of Hell...the problem is the threat of eternal damnation as a motivating factor for living a good life. If the only reason you're living a good life is out of fear of retribution or punishment, are you really understanding what you're doing, or why, or is it simply fear that motivates you?

    It would be nearly impossible to know good without knowing bad. There's no reason, however, that fear of eternal damnation has to be the motivating factor in choosing to live a good life. Just ask the millions of Jews who have done so throughout the years.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  15. 1word

    Psalm 1

    King James Version (KJV)

    1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

    2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

    3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

    4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

    5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

    6 For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Observer

      - Matthew 7:12 "Treat others as you want them to treat you. THIS IS WHAT THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS ARE ALL ABOUT.”

      How many Christians actually follow that? Ask gays or pro-choice people.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Blah, blah, blah, blah, .... Please prove The Babble is anything but bad fiction.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • 1word

      Observer, we don't hate gay folks. We try to show Gay folks the power of God to change them from their situation. Being Gay is not natural. Two gay men cannot have children. Two gay women cannot have children, but you can be healed by giving your life to Christ.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Bizarre

      1word,

      What makes you think that Hebrew King David (or his court poets/songwriters) knew anything real about supernatural beings?

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

      "if a man obeys the gods they're quick to hear his prayers." The Iliad, Book 1, lines 5-6

      "Doesn't son of Tydeus know, down deep, the man who fights the gods does not live long?" The Iliad, Book 5, lines 465-466

      "and its devastation, which put pains thousandfold upon the Achaians, hurled in their multi.tudes to the house of Hades strong souls of heroes, but gave their bodies to be the delicate feasting of dogs, of all birds, and the will of Zeus was accomplished." The Iliad, Book 1, lines 1-5

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

      Where on a marriage license are straight couples required to have children in order to marry legally, you dolt? Try getting your marriage recognized legally if all you have is a minister's say-so, honey. What the church says about marriage is irrelevant. The state and our laws are what matter, not your silly bible.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Observer

      1word,

      90% of people are born right-handed. Do you trash left-handers for being "unnatural"?

      September 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Qu eers are made not born. Qu eer is an unnatural abomination . Qu eers the people who gave the world AIDS

      September 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • End Religion

      you stink like yesterday's diapers

      September 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      1braincell, if you prayed to your omnipotent god, could he make you gay?

      September 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • biobrain

      I am seeking knowledge about God. You seem to know a lot. Can I ask you some questions?
      1) If God made us, who made God?
      2) As there are many religions in the world, how do you know your religion is the right one?
      3) There is a lot of suffering going on in the world. If God sometimes intervenes and eases suffering, why doesn't he stop all suffering? Why make animals suffer?
      4) The books of the majority of religions were written long ago. Knowing man's propensity for deception and the fact that religion has been used as a way to control people, how do you know that your religion or any other religion has not been created by a human or group of humans?
      5) If you believe in hell, do you feel forced to love and worship God? It seems to me that if you don't want to spend an eternity in hell you have no choice. It seems similar to having an abusive spouse who won't let you leave and will punish you if you don't love them.
      6) Why is it that all of the miracles that were recorded thousands of years ago no longer happen today? I'm not talking about things that might be explained as coincidence, I'm referring to things like rising from the dead, parting of the seas, etc.
      7) If God is there, why doesn't he just show himself to us?
      Thank you and have a good day!

      September 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Qu eers are also – oh crap, wait a minute, mom dropped her pipe again and she's locked her room. I gotta climb through the window of the trailer and make sure she's not burning us all up.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  16. What???

    Believe it or not one day everyone that has ever lived will find out if hell, satan, heaven and God are real or not. The only thing between now and the truth is time! The only question is how much?

    September 23, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Bad believer logic as usual. If there is no heaven, hell, god, jesus, etc. no one will ever know.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • mama kindless

      The people that have already died. OK, I guess you can believe that, but I think you're silly for putting stock in the idea that people that have already died are waiting around for something before they have some other existence, even if in a spiritual world.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  17. Acdsasf

    Remember, timing is everything. Jeffry Dalhmer repented before being beat to death and many believe because of this he made it past the pearly gates.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Athy

      How do we know he went past the pearly gates? How do we know there are pearly gates? Maybe they're wooden.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • TheTeacherThePreacher

      And you want to praise and worship a god that would allow that?

      September 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  18. billmosby

    What kind of Christian should we become? The story is that when Joseph Smith asked God that question he was told "none of the above, they are all corrupt; to be on the safe side, start your own church."

    September 23, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  19. Joe Mahma

    .
    .
    NEWSFLASH: There is no hell, and there is no heaven.
    .
    .

    September 23, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  20. HM8432

    Hell is nothing but separation from God; many of us are already in it!

    September 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      You are fucked in the head. 'Nuff said!

      September 23, 2012 at 7:14 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.