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. Satan

    At-Taubah | 129 verses | Repentance سورة التوبة
    Sura #9 | Madina
    5 Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:46 am |
    • Notch

      It is so funny to see Christian fanatics and Muslim zealots quoting passages from their respective 'holy books', blindly swearing in their truthfulness and 'godliness'! How can people be so naive and gullible? The only thing that comforts me is the realization that there is fewer religious people in the world today than ever before (percentage-wise), and this trend appears to be continuing as people get more educated and exposed to other people's opinions. Rational thinking takes time to 'take', but it slowly grinds its way through the sea of human ignorance and stupidity.

      September 24, 2012 at 11:03 am |
  2. eshfaque

    Abandon the idea & see how life becomes hell.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:46 am |
  3. Satan

    2:191 And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.

    2:193 And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah.

    2:216 Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not.

    2:244 Fight in the way of Allah, and know that Allah is Hearer, Knower.

    5:33 The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom.
    Source(s):
    Quran

    September 24, 2012 at 4:44 am |
  4. moawad

    Actually Majority of Jews and Christians and which got worldly education, they have fade up from religion, why, because their books of bible having thousands of contradictions and also have not confirmity bible modern scientific facts. As science progressed however it became clear that there were discrepancies between Biblical Scripture and science. It was therefore decided that comparison would no longer be made. while Holy Book of Islam Qur’an did not contain a single statement that was assailable from a modern scientific point of view, why because its in the same state as it was came from sky by Gabriel towards Muhammad (saw), these are words of a famous writer of the book'The bible Quran and Science"s Doctor Maurice Bucaille (France). He processed over the Pharaoh's (Mernaphtah) mummy in 1980's. Miracle of Quran is it, that it is same as it was 1400 years back, how, since the last 1400 years, devoted Muslims are used to memorize this Holy Quran in their hearts, so at this time there are 10 million memorizers of Quran in the world. so its a unique book in the world, which is to be in every mosque of every country in the same Arabic language in which it was revealed. Many Doctors, astronauts are surprised after reading it, amazingly they ask who told to an illiterate Prophet Muhammad 1400 years before that baby form in the womb of the mother in this way, as our modern science tell us today with help of many new equipments, who told him about theory of big band, which we find in Quran...many more scientific secrets and many prophecies like death of pharaoh, like expansion of universe, like defeat of Roman Empire's then their victory's prediction (Edward Gibbon write of Fall and Decline of Roman Empire) is witness of this prediction of Quran, after Quranic prediction in 617, Romans got Victory over Irani Zorosatarians in 627, and Quran told the same 10 years period of their regaining of land, many more truths we find there in Quran. While basically its book of guidance, Book of Making strong belief, in God, dooms day, in Hell and Paradise in unseen angels, in messengers and prophets of God. I don't know how long how could write article in the view box...any how I do not mean to disgrace or disappoint someone. Everyone having right of expression. But the books of our past intellects provide us knowledge. so I would like to quote here Maurice bucaille's book http://www.amazon.com/The-Bible-Quran-Science-Scriptures/dp/0935782494. Many educated people going to embrace Islam like maurice bucaille, Tony blairs sister in law Lauren Booth, cat steven and many more why because they knew and concluded that there will Hell and paradise And God will judges among weak and strong. amazing story of Pharaoh is also lying in bible's exodus, but this book just said, pharaoh follow Moses and his tribes, they crossed the red sea, while pharaoh sunk downed and died. while Quran tell the last dialogue between pharaoh and God, when he was sinking in sea, he repented and cried, I became believe in Lord of Children of Israel, the God said Ah now its too late, before thou was rebellion of God, Now I will just save thy body up to dooms day, so dear friends his body was found from kings valley of Egypt, in 1898, and Brit Archaeologist found it not Muslims, and they affirm this body is body of that pharaoh which fought with moses. So why we say Quran is a marvelous book of God, if anyone would try to read it with bias and prejudice, and if he want to know the right way God willingly he will find the Truth...as chaplain stess American chaplain of bible with his 2 ministers friends found this truth in 1992. http://www.islamtomorrow.com. Regards. Muhamamd Aiyoob.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:42 am |
  5. Ammar

    Firstly, I oppose all sorts of aggression to cause disasters among society & disturb the cord of peace.
    Secondly, being relaxed that Almighty God is forgiving to sinners will further cause them to commit sin. This will further make this earth a mess where all sorts of sin will be committed with notion of getting forgiven by repenting later.
    The idea of frightening from 'hell' is to civilize human-being & asked not committing those forbidden. Thus, if individual follows the right path then this will in turn help to civilize society as a whole & maintain peace.
    Lastly, those linking terrorism to any religion bear in mind that terrorists do not belong to any religions since religions forbid to commit sin.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:39 am |
    • Satan

      Yah Ok!!!

      2:191 And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.

      2:193 And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah.

      2:216 Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not.

      2:244 Fight in the way of Allah, and know that Allah is Hearer, Knower.

      5:33 The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom.
      Source(s):
      Quran

      September 24, 2012 at 4:44 am |
  6. Saeed Ahmed

    I am a practicing Muslim and I believe we must respect all religion of the world, targeting Muslim and their faith in the name of freedom of speech indicates the immature under developed mind. Religion brings inner peace, cane any one tell me when 9/11 took place why the people effected by the destruction called for gods help, why injured people called Oh God Help us, I will tell you why because they believed only God cane there predicament. My request to American people is behavior breeds behavior, stop degrading Muslim respect our religion and our customs and you will be amassed to see our response
    May Allah open you harts
    Bless you all

    September 24, 2012 at 4:33 am |
    • Satan

      I called on the Navy Seals and they delivered us.

      September 24, 2012 at 4:37 am |
    • JimmyTimmy

      You can take your freedom and shove it up your as.s h.a.ji!!! Ill see you in he.ll!.!!!

      September 24, 2012 at 4:38 am |
  7. rukhsar

    ALLAH IS GREATEST

    September 24, 2012 at 4:31 am |
    • Satan

      Mohammad is

      September 24, 2012 at 4:35 am |
    • Satan

      I dont know about the propheter, Buy I know muslim Turks like little boys. Atleast thats what Vlad Tepish told me.

      September 24, 2012 at 4:40 am |
    • Muhammad Arshad

      Allah is Greatest. Allah is One. Allah is Almighty. Allah is Merciful.

      September 24, 2012 at 4:56 am |
  8. Aiyoob

    Actually Majority of Jews and Christians and which got worldly education, they have fade up from religion, why, because their books of bible having thousands of contradictions and also have not confirmity bible modern scientific facts. As science progressed however it became clear that there were discrepancies between Biblical Scripture and science. It was therefore decided that comparison would no longer be made. while Holy Book of Islam Qur’an did not contain a single statement that was assailable from a modern scientific point of view, why because its in the same state as it was came from sky by Gabriel towards Muhammad (saw), these are words of a famous writer of the book'The bible Quran and Science"s Doctor Maurice Bucaille (France). He processed over the Pharaoh's (Mernaphtah) mummy in 1980's. Miracle of Quran is it, that it is same as it was 1400 years back, how, since the last 1400 years, devoted Muslims are used to memorize this Holy Quran in their hearts, so at this time there are 10 million memorizers of Quran in the world. so its a unique book in the world, which is to be in every mosque of every country in the same Arabic language in which it was revealed. Many Doctors, astronauts are surprised after reading it, amazingly they ask who told to an illiterate Prophet Muhammad 1400 years before that baby form in the womb of the mother in this way, as our modern science tell us today with help of many new equipments, who told him about theory of big band, which we find in Quran...many more scientific secrets and many prophecies like death of pharaoh, like expansion of universe, like defeat of Roman Empire's then their victory's prediction (Edward Gibbon write of Fall and Decline of Roman Empire) is witness of this prediction of Quran, after Quranic prediction in 617, Romans got Victory over Irani Zorosatarians in 627, and Quran told the same 10 years period of their regaining of land, many more truths we find there in Quran. While basically its book of guidance, Book of Making strong belief, in God, dooms day, in Hell and Paradise in unseen angels, in messengers and prophets of God. I don't know how long how could write article in the view box...any how I do not mean to disgrace or disappoint someone. Everyone having right of expression. But the books of our past intellects provide us knowledge. so I would like to quote here Maurice bucaille's book http://www.amazon.com/The-Bible-Quran-Science-Scriptures/dp/0935782494. Many educated people going to embrace Islam like maurice bucaille, Tony blairs sister in law Lauren Booth, cat steven and many more why because they knew and concluded that there will Hell and paradise And God will judges among weak and strong. amazing story of Pharaoh is also lying in bible's exodus, but this book just said, pharaoh follow Moses and his tribes, they crossed the red sea, while pharaoh sunk downed and died. while Quran tell the last dialogue between pharaoh and God, when he was sinking in sea, he repented and cried, I became believe in Lord of Children of Israel, the God said Ah now its too late, before thou was rebellion of God, Now I will just save thy body up to dooms day, so dear friends his body was found from kings valley of Egypt, in 1898, and Brit Archaeologist found it not Muslims, and they affirm this body is body of that pharaoh which fought with moses. So why we say Quran is a marvelous book of God, if anyone would try to read it with bias and prejudice, and if he want to know the right way God willingly he will find the Truth...as chaplain stess American chaplain of bible with his 2 ministers friends found this truth in 1992. http://www.islamtomorrow.com. Regards. Muhamamd Aiyoob.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:29 am |
    • Satan

      Ha this guy is funny, Gabriel gave them a book, ha!! Science has already proved there is no god.

      September 24, 2012 at 4:34 am |
  9. Laerrus

    They ARE invader Jews.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:27 am |
    • Satan

      Said the N.az.is!!! If you dont beleive me H.itl.er is right here ask him yourself!!!

      September 24, 2012 at 4:30 am |
  10. haji

    Alllah Akhbar

    September 24, 2012 at 4:27 am |
    • Satan

      Satan Akhbar

      September 24, 2012 at 4:28 am |
  11. ahmed

    first of all ask your self is there a god?.............. (no god but allah)............. who create all this biengs .............(no god but allah).............................you think there is more than one god (no god but allah) ............... if you obey him ( he will reward you) ......................................... & if not ( think) what he will do If there is more than one god they had must been faught to dominate & the earth and the sky will spoiled then

    September 24, 2012 at 4:18 am |
    • Satan

      How can someone who doesnt exist create anything or reward anyone?

      September 24, 2012 at 4:27 am |
    • Muhammad Arshad

      Ahmad brother you have told them my heart feelings. There is only and only One God (Allah) and Muhammad (S.A.W) is His last prophet.

      September 24, 2012 at 4:53 am |
  12. Heat Monger

    If you want to get into Valhalla, no guarantees, but make yourself worthy of Odin's acceptance. We don't know Odin's plans and all his wisdom but what we do know is that he'll shun the unworthy and they'll never taste the mead of Valhalla. You must be a poet, or die in battle!

    September 24, 2012 at 4:17 am |
  13. God

    Nietzsche is dead.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:15 am |
  14. Friedrich Nietzsche

    God is dead.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:14 am |
    • Shah

      Hi Freand,
      There is a God, and God never die, If somebody die than he will never be a God.
      If you want to know there is God or not. Please research it, because it s important.
      Here are important links,,,, listen it please be neutral

      Dr. Zakir Naik – Does God exist?

      September 24, 2012 at 5:00 am |
  15. Jason

    The kingdom of Heaven is within. You have to GO to Hell.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:11 am |
  16. Thuban

    My answer to this is:

    I don't know. Neither do you, although some people are extremely good at pretending they do.

    Also, humans are super at making hell on earth in the name of God... although I take that back. It's WORSE than hell, because the innocent are punished right along with the sinners. And we do it to "save" people because our holy book said to. Yeah, right, I wanna do that....never.

    It's time for the human race to put away fairy tales and things they have no way of knowing. When the books for both religions were created, a flashlight would of been considered a mysterious and supernatural object. Time to stop following the primitive beliefes of ancient and ignorant people and stand on our own two feet.

    And if I'm going to hell for that, then I really have no faith in any God that would put me there for trying to make the world a better place and speaking what I feel is the truth instead of lying to myself and others. Sorry, God, but you're gonna have to do better than that for my membership in your choir.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:06 am |
  17. the truth

    To all of you condemning islam!do u think that without God any of u will exist?????there is only 1 God and prophet muhammad{SAW}is his messenger!!so you unreasonable people should repent,convert to islam and worship God.

    September 24, 2012 at 4:01 am |
    • Heat Monger

      "do u think that without God any of u will exist?"

      Yes, of course we would and we do. God does not exist. Further, Yahweh is the god of both Islam and of Christianity – they have the same root books.

      September 24, 2012 at 4:05 am |
    • Satan

      And the Jews!!! Doooooooooh!

      September 24, 2012 at 4:08 am |
    • MUHAMMAD TALHA

      Heat Monger, i am just going to say this: Don't you dare say that ALLAH does not exist you pathetic son of a dishonored father. How do you suppose the earth was formed? You believe in these so-called scientists that earth was formed by some big bang? The Quran says that ALLAH, Almighty, made this world in 6 days. Even your bible, that has been edited generation by generation to lead christains astray supports this saying. So please be mature and start studying the religions and adopt Islam. You will see it will suit you best.

      September 24, 2012 at 4:50 am |
  18. Shamoononon

    The most amazing part of this article, is that nobody seems to realize that the main catalyst is a population of uneducated, abused people being led by monster extremists who probably don't care about an Alah or God anyhow.

    September 24, 2012 at 3:58 am |
  19. Nick

    Hi, clever scholar here. Just a brief point about interpretations. I hear Christians use quotes like “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” and also "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.” Then they say that this means that if you are not Christian and accept Jesus as the savior that you will go to hell.

    But it also says in the bible that God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” and that he “is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

    So I ask this. If Christianity is correct and when we die we face judgement, why can't Jesus be there to give you another chance to believe in him and give you the choice and then judge you based on the life you lived. After all, you can follow the teachings of Jesus without actually believing in him. There are plenty of atheists who follow the golden rule, honor their father and mother and help the poor and needy right? Why can't a person like that go to the pearly gates, see Jesus and then say "well, I guess I can't deny that Jesus exists. I believe in you now, sorry I didn't during my life." Why can't Jesus then say, "Good to hear, you've led a pretty good life and God forgives you for your sins as he wants all his children to enter his kingdom" and then he gets let in. That would also cover that part in the Bible about "only through Jesus will you enter the kingdom of Heaven" (paraphrasing there). Technically you'd still be getting in through Jesus.

    Basically, I just don't think an all loving God who is all forgiving, you know "Forgive them father for they know not what they do," would condemn a basically good person to eternal torment simply because they chose to believe or were raised to believe in a different religion. And I think the Bible can be easily interpreted to allow non-Christians into heaven. Just my thoughts :)

    September 24, 2012 at 3:57 am |
  20. Markus

    Here we are in the 21st century CE, and we still have all these millions of people willing to die and/or kill each other over which Big Daddy In The Sky is the ONE TRUE Big Daddy in The Sky.

    Amazing.

    September 24, 2012 at 3:56 am |
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
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.