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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 • Opinion

soundoff (7,963 Responses)
  1. Tom

    Religious fundamentalists are already in their own private hell.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  2. upwardquest

    There is NO literal heaven or hell. They are states of mind.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Only by hinduism absurdity of hindu's, ignorant s.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Jack

      Hey Hinduism boy! – look – someone put a cartoon of the prophet Mohammad! Oh it's your cartoon!!! Sorry didn't know,

      September 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • todaymessage

      In my book, heaven is in the heart of my kids. When they remember the goods I did after I'm gone, I'm born again.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
  3. Chris

    To all Atheists:

    Are there such things as right and wrong? Are there morals to which laws are proposed in countries?

    If you answer no to either question than you do so out of argument sake alone. Would it be ok if another human just came and killed you or a loved one because they wanted to? Of course not.

    So if there is indeed a right, wrong and morals in life than how did these come about? There is no right and wrong for the rest of the animals on earth. When the lion kills a zebra he doesn't commit a sin. The lion isn't brought up on murder charges. The lion has done nothing wrong.

    So how do atheists rationale that they live by a moral code? Why do atheists go along with saying we live in the year 2012? To the atheist evolutionists why don't they sign a dated check with 400Billion&Counting for the date?

    If indeed you do believe you came from monkeys and those monkeys came from a soup, where did the soup come from? There is the Big Bang theory but any rational scientist won't even talk about the origin of the matter for Big Bang to have occurred.

    There are laws of humans. There are laws of physics. One law of physics that is concrete is that matter can not create itself. Obviously matter exists. You're reading this. So, if you believe matter exists, you have to believe that God created matter. To believe otherwise reveals yourself to be a fool. The very definition of the word fool is a human that says in their own heart there is no God.

    Like it or not, believe it or not, God will judge you. As surely as you live, also you'll be judged.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Athy

      I don't need a god to tell me what is right and wrong. That was programmed into me by evolution.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Laws in the US are not based on morality, which is subjective, but on the protection of individual rights that are guaranteed by our Const itution. You should already know that.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Athy

      And we date checks the way we do because otherwise there would be too many digits to write.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Atheist means self centered, a hindu, denier of truth absolute GOD, So does word PIG, take you pick hindu's, denier of truth absolute.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • LogicalThinker

      1) Ask a difficult question
      2) Scientists ponder it but cannot answer it. Yet
      3) Conclude that God did it!
      4) Sleep soundly.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • truth be told

      @athy No you don't. You are bound by societies laws. Set free from restrictions of law, atheists have indulged in lies and mass torture and murder without exception.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • biobrain

      Hi Chris
      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 7:51 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      IF (conditional) is followed by THEN to indicate the result.
      THAN is used to compare; (e.g., rather THAN, other THAN, greater THAN, less THAN).
      DOLT!

      September 23, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Chris", but all of your assertions 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 7:53 pm |
    • todaymessage

      Did your bible teach you "not to judge other" Matthew 7:2.

      Since you did, you will be burned in ................

      September 23, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Morals are purely subjective. Murder, for instance, is not absolutely wrong. It is A-OK in the case of self-defense! DOLT!

      September 23, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Athy

      @truth be told. First of all it's "society's laws", not "societies laws". It's a possessive, not a plural, dimwit. And yes, evolution does program altruism into us, as well as many animals. Laws are made by people with this altruistic programming to control the few that are a little deficient in this regard. Same can be said for religion. But god has nothing to do with it.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Jason

      There is more than one religion you know. You are going to hell in all of them. Atheist or not you have the same probability of going to hell as everyone else, assuming there is one true religion. The only requirement to get into heaven seems to be the nice coincidence of being born into a family and society that worships the correct god. In fact its Islam that is the true religion and YOU will be JUDGED, to bad your christian, what a fool.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      TuBeTop: ALL atheists? Every single one? Do tell.

      When you done tripping over your balls, answer this: are all Christians innocent of murder? The slaughter of others who don't agree with their tenets?

      No, you moron, they're not. No one is judging you based on the actions of some, yet you are so desperate to prove your non-existent point that you'll lie to prove it.

      No one's buying your tripe, dearie.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Observer

      Chris,

      Most atheists don't consider Christians to be as inheritantly evil as you do. Atheists believe that most Christians wouldn't run around killing people without a 2,000 year old book to tell them not to. It's sad that Christians have such a low opinion of themselves.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      To hear the idiot TuBeTop bray it, one would think that so-called Christians, though supposedly bound by Biblical law, never committed any crimes, never obliterated entire peoples, and are completely innocent of any mass murder. History tells a far different story; too bad TuBeTop flunked out of high school and never learned that.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Chris

      You're such a simple mind.

      Read Darwin's "On the Origin of Species." There's a whole chapter devoted to morality.

      It honestly scares me that the religiously inclined(to put it kindly) are so sure that religion is the sole reason human beings act kind, giving, and moral to one another. It makes me wonder, just how many of you religious folks would go on mass killing rampages if it were made known to you that there was no god(at least in the religious sense).

      If religion is the only thing that stops the religiously inclined from being immoral and "evil" to one another, I'll happily let you continue believing in your little fairy tale. Fortunately however, us Atheists do not need such a false god to act moral.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • LogicalThinker

      Never mind athiests, why has the whole f-ing world adopted the Gregorian calendar? For convenience in conversing with one another that's why. There are lots of calendars but all but one have fallen into disuse for all but symbolic reasons because it's impractical for humanity to live by multiple time measurements. It doesn't mean that hindus, muslims, jews, etc. all gave in and now believe in the divinity of Jesus.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • jerbutler

      Just one thing Chris... You say scientists won't answer where the matter for the Big Bang came from, so you claim "checkmate" for evidence as to the existence of a God. But ask yourself this.... Can you answer how that God came into existence in order to create that matter for the Big Bang? Perhaps God had a God that created him. But then that God would need a God. Uh-oh, this is getting tricky. I am willing to just admit I do not know and continue to search and question rather than accept fairy tales as the answer. If your God would have me suffer an eternity (eternity!!!) in hell for using the brain he suppodly blessed me with (made in his own image after all!) than that is a God I am glad I do not follow. I prefer my God's to have a bit more self esteem and empathy.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • End Religion

      @chris "Are there such things as right and wrong?"

      Each of us decides what is right and wrong based on how we feel about it, combined with how we were raised, combined with the environment we grew up in, combined with anything/anyone we come in contact with that may contribute to evolving our ideas of right and wrong. Then there's secular law for most of us, which compels us to live by ideals of right and wrong which has been determined by the society we live in.

      ***
      "Are there morals to which laws are proposed in countries?"

      Laws are enforcement of a societal morals, which may or may not coincide with an individual's morals.

      ***
      "So if there is indeed a right, wrong and morals in life than how did these come about? There is no right and wrong for the rest of the animals on earth. When the lion kills a zebra he doesn't commit a sin. The lion isn't brought up on murder charges. The lion has done nothing wrong."

      Morals come as I describe above. There is no cut and dry right and wrong definitions. We can agree to boundaries for societal purposes, yet there are still overwhelming cheers when a father kills the man who molested and tortured his infant son; when a store clerk shoots and kills a robber. When you pick a penny up off the ground and keep it, you've stolen it from someone who lost it, its just that you feel its no big deal because it is only a penny and you'd never find the person who lost it.

      Your assertion there is no right and wrong for other animals may not be true. Consider the dolphin or baboon mothers below, carrying its dead baby for weeks. Maybe they feel it was right, or maybe they were just going on instinct without regard for right or wrong. Or even worse, maybe the baboons carry it around as food for later, for all we know. But the point is that we don't know.
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2174780/In-mourning-Dolphin-photographed-carrying-body-baby-heartbreaking-ritual.html
      http://www.wildlife-pictures-online.com/baboonmother.html
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaZNHx2C-ag&w=640&h=390]

      But to your point about lions; they're living survival-based morals. They live in packs that likely have rights and wrongs, such as who or when the leader can be challenged, that mothers hunt, etc., but they don't have morals against killing creatures to survive. Humans have various morals systems for death. Most cultures believe it is wrong to kill humans but OK to kill cows or pigs, but not all. Some revere cows, or refuse to kill dogs and cats while others eat them. It is societal.

      ***
      "So how do atheists rationale that they live by a moral code? Why do atheists go along with saying we live in the year 2012? To the atheist evolutionists why don't they sign a dated check with 400Billion&Counting for the date?"

      Morals derived from environment, evolution of man living in society, plus development of empathy over brute strength.

      Not everyone agrees to 2012. Some of us just prefer to pick other battles.

      ***
      "If indeed you do believe you came from monkeys and those monkeys came from a soup, where did the soup come from? There is the Big Bang theory but any rational scientist won't even talk about the origin of the matter for Big Bang to have occurred."

      Look into Lawrence Krauss' "Something Rather Than Nothing" theory. Aside from that, there's nothing wrong with saying "i don't know". However there's all kinds of wrong in saying "i don't know so it was god."

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUe0_4rdj0U&w=640&h=390]

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXGyesfHzew&w=640&h=390]

      ***
      "So, if you believe matter exists, you have to believe that God created matter. To believe otherwise reveals yourself to be a fool. The very definition of the word fool is a human that says in their own heart there is no God. Like it or not, believe it or not, God will judge you. As surely as you live, also you'll be judged."

      Matter does exist but I see no evidence pointing to a god. And unfortunately your otherwise decent attempts at a logical argument decline into typical emotional lunacy. It isn't about what we like or not, its about what is probable or not. I see no evidence god exists, let alone one such as you purport to be the one true god, and so it seems highly improbable I will be judged upon death.

      September 23, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  4. truth be trolled

    The only kind of "trickle down" that actually works:

    Little ho mophobic troll idiot degenerates to:
    "truth be told" – degenerates to:
    "just sayin" – degenerates to:
    "captain america" – degenerates to:
    "Ronald Regonzo" – degenerates to:
    "WOW" – degenerates to:
    "!" – degnerates to:
    "j" – and many other names,
    and tonight as "1word" and "pervert alert" and others,
    but it's still the same disgruntled ex
    Evangelical Fortune Cookie "writer".

    September 23, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Hal 9002

      Hi hal !

      September 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      and add to the list What? , Elmo, and Chris. . .(just in the last page or two – what a dope)

      September 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Hal 9002

      Lets add reality and truth be trolled and hal and jesus too.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  5. Elmo

    God wants us to be good to each other, period, end of report.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you obviously haven't read the bible. god murders people left and right. end of report.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • truth be told

      Name someone who God "murdered?"

      September 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Observer

      truth be told,

      God murdered every child, baby and fetus on the face of the earth at one time.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • What???

      Funk so are you saying that men haven't and don't? Men have killed many more people than those that can be attributed to God. The concern you have should be of men? Like the guy that lives next door?

      September 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • What???

      Funk so are you saying that men haven't and don't? Men have killed many more people than those that can be attributed to God. The concern you have should be of men? Like the guy that lives next door?..........

      September 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @truth be told
      he drowned every single human on earth, save one family. there were obviously newborn babies, old grandmas and grandpas, people both physically and mentally challenged... he drowned them all. he drowned BABIES. read that again. BABIES. how can you even claim Yahweh is good and loving and merciful when he drowned babies?

      September 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • truth be told

      No they were not "murdered " they were tried, judged, found guilty as charged and executed. Execution under the legal system is not murder. You still have not named one.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • truth be told

      You cannot even know if there were any babies in those days. It is possible that the entire world was ho mo se xual to the point that no children were even being conceived.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      tbt: "No they were not "murdered " they were tried, judged, found guilty as charged and executed. Execution under the legal system is not murder. You still have not named one."

      commandment is pretty clear "thou shall not kill" – it doesn't go on to say its ok in the name of justice. even god can't follow his own commandments not to kill. what kind of insanity is that, to worsjip a god that lays down laws for you while he does the opposite?

      September 23, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • old ben

      "You cannot even know if there were any babies in those days. It is possible that the entire world was ho mo se xual to the point that no children were even being conceived. "

      I pretty much knew this TBT character was a dingbat, but I didn't know how stupid this person was. Wow.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  6. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    Visit limitisthetruth.com to learn about hinduism, denial of truth absolute, refute the website with knowledge or accept it as truth.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      did i mention i was queer as a 3 dollar bill? i especially prefer donkeys to fulfill my butt-loving needs.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      if the link doesn't work, visit hellisthetruth.com/blog.html to learn about Mohammad, denial of truth absolute, refute the website with knowledge or accept it as truth. Click on file Infidel to open file. Turn off virus protection first.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  7. What???

    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 | Report abuse | Reply

    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 | Report abuse |

    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 | Report abuse |

    Just wait! Time!!! Tic Toc, Tic Toc, Tic Toc!!!.....

    September 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Winner of the award for MOST IDIOTIC POST OF THE DAY.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • What???

      I'm glad you like it! Tom! Time will tell the truth! Tic Toc!............................

      September 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, it won't, you dolt.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • What???

      You can bet it will Tom!

      September 23, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then you should be able to post proof, fvcktard. You can't.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  8. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    please prove that a god created anything.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • What???

      Every thing you want to know will be answered in time!!!.... Tic Toc...................................

      September 23, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Truth absolute is The GOD, and deny, your foundation is something else than truth absolute, by the way have your heart stopped for some time and tell me if you make it back, without truth absolute, beat of heart. no need to be a hindu, denier of truth absolute GOD, every one and every thing depends on to exist.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Tammy

      please prove to me that He doesn't exist

      September 23, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Tammy, honey, you were never on the debate team were you? My condolences. If you had been selected, you'd know that one can't prove a negative and that the onus is on the one who makes the claim. I can't prove the Easter Bunny doesn't exist. Can you? Go ahead and try.

      Now see if you can extrapolate the reasoning and understand why no one can prove your god doesn't exist, and why no one has to. The burden of proof is on you to prove he does. Are you up to the challenge? Have at it.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • End Religion

      tammy please prove you are not the anti-christ

      September 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Tammy, please prove that the so-called Virgin Mary was not a sl.ut that did every man or woman she encountered.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  9. Observer

    Since God created everything, he created the devil and Hell. Nice guy.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      in the bible, the devil kills exactly 10 people - god kills millions. who's the real 'devil'?

      September 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • truth be told

      What 10 did the devil murder?
      Justice and lawful execution does not a killer make. You on the other hand are now without excuse as you know the wages of sin is death and the rightful judge will see the sentence carried out.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the devil, WITH PERMISSION FROM GOD HIMSELF, killed Job's family. god and the devil bet to see if Job can be made evil - god says you can do whatever you want to Job or anyone he knows, just don't kill Job. devil says okay and then kills Job's whole family. god actually loses the bet, as Job curses him – but then god cheats and goes down and threatens Job - who then recants because he's scared of being zapped by god. so then god proclaims himself winner. heart-warming story. also the ONLY place in the bible it says the devil kills anyone.

      and don't make excuses for god's massacres. he drowned babies in his great flood. everyone but a single family and 2 of each animal. he drowned newborns, pregnant women, the elderly, physically challenged, mentally challenged, the infirm, etc. if the bible is true, god is the biggest mass murderer in history. now please, go ahead and justify drowning babies as part of god's merciful plan....

      September 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • End Religion

      tbt: god says "thou shalt not kill." He doesn't go on to say "however, killing in the name of justice is acceptable."

      September 23, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  10. Dan Bednarik

    So.. what if you are Jewish (like Jesus was)?

    September 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • End Religion

      then you're doubly fucked

      September 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
  11. pbernasc

    fear so you will believe ... and vote GOP. suckers

    September 23, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • gman

      Get off the political bozack.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  12. Don

    There is no hell. Hell is a myth.Gods are mythological.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • mark

      Let's see if you think that way on your death bed.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • End Religion

      "Let's see if you think that way on your death bed."
      and you don't find it twisted to worship a god that wants you to be that fearful?

      September 23, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  13. asdf;khjasdfkjh

    this discussion is so stupid.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
  14. the Book of Life

    When my 6 year old niece watched "All Dogs go to Heaven" she asked me what that lady dog was reading, to Charlie. I told her it was Charlie's Book of Life and that even human's have one. She asked me what the Book of Life is and I told her. Through other discussions about God I've told her that everyone are children of God, however the younger children hold a special place in God's heart and that He doesn't like it when those children are messed with or hurt and if anyone hurts them then God puts it in their Book of Life for when they die and He will be very upset with them. FFWD a couple of weeks and school has begun, she's having to read for homework, she's in the 1st grade. She tells me one day that her mommy was mean to her b/c she was making her read.... then she adds "but that's ok, because when she gets up to Heaven, God's going to read from her Book of Life and be very upset for messing with one of His children"..... Her parents are agnostic, and are allowing her to make her own decisions.... Even a 6 year old can wade through fact from fiction, and she KNOWS that there is a Heaven and a Hell...... why can't adults figure that out and accept it as the truth as well?

    September 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      You are retarding you child.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • the_dbs

      The book, the kid and you are obviously retarded.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Athy

      Are you saying a 6-year-old is smarter than an adult? Or just more gullible?

      September 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Eastwood

      The answer is so obvious - because you can still manipulate the mind of a 6 years old.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • End Religion

      there's so much wrong with this post....

      September 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • the Book of Life

      Your words don't bother me, your insults don't bother me, it's your choice to believe, accept and love God and you will answer to Him for your choice.... I'll pray for you..... no, really I will....

      September 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Tony D

      "Even a 6 year old can wade through fact from fiction...... why can't adults figure that out and accept it as the truth as well?"

      Yea – even 6 year olds know that there is a Santa Claus, and a tooth fairy, and the sun moves around the earth because we see that's what it's doing, and the storks bring babies into the baby garden. 6 year olds know a lot don't they. Fortunately, most adults grow older and seek knowledge based on facts.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Bookie,

      ...More like the kid KNOWS that she's got a very bizarre Aunt/Uncle, a good memory and people skills for telling you what she knows you want to hear.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  15. 1word

    Psalm 9:17
    The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

    The author said the old testament does not talk about hell, well where is the Book of Psalms located?

    Look for yourself

    http://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=hell&qs_version=KJV

    September 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • old ben

      When I'm out of TP, I find Psalms to be the most like Charmin. Other than that, it's cr apola.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Eastwood

      There are many religions in this world that believe one will go to hell if he/she does NOT believe in their gods. And they all say their gods and hells are real.

      If you believe in that kind of things (yea, "things") you should believe that no matter what you will go to the hells of all those religions but one.

      Keep believing in your hell and good luck.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      can you imagine living next to a religious nutjob like 1word? imagine this kook knocking on your door and telling you you're going to burn in hell because you don't believe what he believes... telling you that your non-christian son/daughter is worthy of eternal torture... oh, but then he says it's all about love... blech.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:43 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 23, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  16. End Religion

    A Guide to Christianity 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.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • End Religion

      this shall be known forever as the proof that there is not one christian in heaven, since they're born into sin

      September 23, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Gregg

      So is there like a hell in hell and another hell in that one too, does it go to over 1000 stages of hell because I may go to that one!?

      September 23, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Athy

      So they match the hellness you get with the badness you did?

      September 23, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Gregg

      Hopefully over 1000 is not having to listen to reruns of Hannity for eternity.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  17. hippypoet

    the ti.tle of the article says it all – the IDEA of hell...which as we all know, the idea of hell is just part of a larger idea...the god idea

    IDEA! look it up, stop being delusional and start thinking now.

    its ok to be wrong – and yes, if you believe in something as if it is real without any proof then the chances of you being completely wrong is high...stop now before someone gets hurt.

    TOO LATE – millions are suffering under the oppression of religion ,- break the chains and have a thought for the first time since "god" knows when.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
  18. correctlycenter

    Believe in what the Son of God states in Matthew 7:13-14 which says: " You can enter God's Kingdom through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and it's gate wide for the many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small, and the road narrow, and only a few ever find it." Believe in what Jesus says and not what others say...

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

      More bible bullshit. Please spare us 2000-year-old fables. Present some modern evidence that can be verified.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Give me one good reason why I should believe in a book of fables.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  19. Atheists for Peace

    Should we abandon the idea of hell? Of course we should.

    That said, we should also abandon the idea of heaven, religion, an omni-god, as well as any other fairy tale that divides and creates so much chaos in the world.

    September 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  20. rjbrown3

    Wow, this is totally inaccurate.... "who seriously believe that God smiles upon them when they send their enemies to hell."

    I seriously doubt any true Christian believes God is smiling at them when they kill a Muslim...

    September 23, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Of course there are.

      September 23, 2012 at 7:33 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.