April 15th, 2011
04:07 PM ET
What if there is no hell?
By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
Michigan pastor Rob Bell recently appeared on CNN's "American Morning," speaking about his book "Love Wins" and the controversy surrounding it. Many conservative pastors have accused Bell of misrepresenting the Bible's teachings on heaven and hell, with some going as far as calling him a heretic.
Bell reiterated to CNN that he very much believes in both heaven and hell.
Read more about Bell and the controversy from the Belief Blog:
Christian author's book sparks charges of heresy
Firestorm grows over 'Christian heresy' book
Rob Bell punches back against claims of heresy
Bell is also the subject of a cover story in this week's TIME magazine.
Watch American Morning weekdays 6am to 9am ET. For the latest from American Morning click here.
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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.
JOHN MACARTHUR – ROB BELL RICK WARREN MARK DRISCOLL SERMON JAM
Every dogged person will have their day and every fruit of such doggedness will bear its' own seeds. Such is the generationed but likened to dogged groupings each having their Alpha to contend with and markedly look upon. The "holier-then-thou" dogs berates their packs into becoming well-groomed pragnosticators always the mimickering in their ways. The justly ones who do not revell with the Alpha Senior will either rise up and challenge the Alpha man or will go his own way and taking from the Alpha man that which can be removed.
All religions should be banned and all believers in them should be sterilized. It would help erase the crazy from the human gene pool. Your gods area a mental defect, as are those who believe in them.
@David Johnson Hell is nothing but the grave.It's not a literal place of fiery torment.
God killed 2 million + people in the Bible and Satan only killed 10
hell sounds better all the time, you know better chances
Do you mean to tell me there is not really a horned beast presiding over an underground fiery lava city?
With respect to the controversy involving Rob Bell's book, the Bible offers glimpses to a different "hell" than is popularly understood. The apostle Paul speaks to the resurrection of the dead in Romans 15 and in doing so comments on the dead. He starts with the primacy of the resurrection of Jesus in verse 17: "And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished." He refers to death again as a "sleep" in verse 20. So death is described as a "sleep" – a lack of awareness. Jesus is reported as using the same metaphor in John 11 in describing the condition of Lazarus (who had died unexpectedly) to his disciples. "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up." John 11:11. When his disciples questioned him, he said plainly "Lazarus is dead." (vs. 14.) Old Testament writers used similar descriptions. Job is reported to say, in Job 14:10-12, "But man dies and is laid away; Indeed he breathes his last and where is he? . . . (12) So man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, they will not awake no be roused from their sleep." To OT writers, "hell" simply meant the "grave".
The ultimate destruction of sinners is forecast in Ezekiel 28:14-19 with a passage on the "king of Tyre" which is a metaphorical description of Satan or Lucifer: (14) You were the anointed cherub who covers [the throne of God] . . . (15) you were perfect in your ways from the day you were created till inquity was found in you.. . . (18) . . . Therefore I brought fire from your midst; it devoured you, and I turned you into ashes upon the earth . . . (19) . . . you have become a horror and shall be no more forever."
On balance, the Scriptures do not speak of hell as a place of eternal torment. Rather, it is a place or state of non-existence.
The depiction of hell as a place of eternal punishment and torture of sinners has been an unnecessary roadblock to faith for many for it suggests a God who unfairly punishes sins of 70 years on earth as warranting eternal damnation.
Curious if this is the point of view that Bell takes in his book. I really liked your post and related to that interpretation of the word.
No Heaven or Hell been opened to receive their eternal guests yet..!
All mankind from Adam date to the last earthly life date will be resurrected and judged on judgment day then only all will be directed to hell and then save those righteous to heavens...as per verses [19:71] & [19:72].
Same faith would apply for Al-Jinn (Fire Creatures) although they came into earthly life many ages before Adam&Eve (Water Creatures)..
[56:49] Say, "The early generations and the later generations.
[56:50] "Will be summoned to a meeting on a predetermined day.
Special Warning to the Leaders
[19:68] By your Lord, we will certainly summon them, together with the devils, and will gather them around Hell, humiliated.
[19:69] Then we will pick out from each group the most ardent opponent of the Most Gracious.
[19:70] We know full well those who are most deserving of burning therein.
Everyone Sees Hell*
[19:71] Every single one of you must see it; this is an irrevocable decision of your Lord.
[19:72] Then we rescue the righteous, and leave the transgressors in it, humiliated.
[19:73] When our revelations are recited to them, clearly, those who disbelieve say to those who believe, "Which of us is more prosperous? Which of us is in the majority?"
[19:74] Many a generation have we annihilated before them; they were more powerful, and more prosperous.
[19:75] Say, "Those who choose to go astray, the Most Gracious will lead them on, until they see what is promised for them – either the retribution or the Hour. That is when they find out who really is worse off, and weaker in power."
[19:76] GOD augments the guidance of those who choose to be guided. For the good deeds are eternally rewarded by your Lord, and bring far better returns.
[3:50] "I confirm previous scripture – the Torah – and I revoke certain prohibitions imposed upon you. I come to you with sufficient proof from your Lord. Therefore, you shall observe GOD, and obey me.
[3:51] "GOD is my Lord and your Lord; you shall worship Him alone. This is the right path."
[3:52] When Jesus sensed their disbelief, he said, "Who are my supporters towards GOD?" The disciples said, "We are GOD's supporters; we believe in GOD, and bear witness that we are submitters."
[3:53] "Our Lord, we have believed in what You have sent down, and we have followed the messenger; count us among the witnesses."
The Death of Jesus*
[3:54] They plotted and schemed, but so did GOD, and GOD is the best schemer.
[3:55] Thus, GOD said, "O Jesus, I am terminating your life, raising you to Me, and ridding you of the disbelievers. I will exalt those who follow you above those who disbelieve, till the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me is the ultimate destiny of all of you, then I will judge among you regarding your disputes.
[3:56] "As for those who disbelieve, I will commit them to painful retribution in this world, and in the Hereafter. They will have no helpers."
[3:57] As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, He will fully recompense them. GOD does not love the unjust.
[3:58] These are the revelations that we recite to you, providing a message full of wisdom.
[3:59] The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.
[3:60] This is the truth from your Lord; do not harbor any doubts.
Crucifying "the Body" of Jesus*
[4:157] And for claiming that they killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of GOD. In fact, they never killed him, they never crucified him – they were made to think that they did. All factions who are disputing in this matter are full of doubt concerning this issue. They possess no knowledge; they only conjecture. For certain, they never killed him.
[4:158] Instead, GOD raised him to Him; GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.
[4:159] Everyone among the people of the scripture was required to believe in him before his death. On the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them.
[11:7] He is the One who created the heavens and the earth in six days – and His (earthly) domain was completely covered with water – in order to test you, to distinguish those among you who work righteousness. Yet, when you say, "You will be resurrected after death," those who disbelieve would say, "This is clearly witchcraft."
[13:5] If you ever wonder, the real wonder is their saying: "After we turn into dust, do we get recreated anew?" These are the ones who have disbelieved in their Lord. These are the ones who have incurred shackles around their necks. These are the ones who have incurred Hell, wherein they abide forever.
[37:12] While you are awed, they mock.
[37:13] When reminded, they take no heed.
[37:14] When they see proof, they ridicule it.
[37:15] They say, "This is obviously magic!
[37:16] "After we die and become dust and bones, do we get resurrected?
[37:17] "Even our ancient ancestors?"
[37:18] Say, "Yes, you will be forcibly summoned."
[37:19] All it takes is one nudge, whereupon they (stand up) looking.
[37:20] They will say, "Woe to us; this is the Day of Judgment."
[37:21] This is the day of decision that you used to disbelieve in.
The Dwellers of Heaven Visit the Dwellers of Hell
[37:50] They will come to each other, and confer with one another.
[37:51] One of them will say, "I used to have a friend.
[37:52] "He used to mock: `Do you believe all this?
[37:53] " `After we die and turn into dust and bones, do we get called to account?'
[37:54] He will say, "Just take a look!"
[37:55] When he looks, he will see his friend in the heart of Hell.
[37:56] He (will go to him and) say, "By GOD, you almost ruined me.
[37:57] "If it were not for my Lord's blessing, I would have been with you now.
[37:58] "(Do you still believe) that we die,
[37:59] "only the first death, and we never receive any requital?"
OMG....What is it with people throwing out Bible Versus? Not impressed. So you have a good memory...Old Timmers not setting in yet...Bravo! Maybe i should get a Book Published....Have someone Write down everything i say. Maybe a couple of wittnesses. And tell them...this is what God Said to me...so it is so. THe creator speaks to everyone...weather you choose to open up and listen? That's up to you.You can tell me all day, throw all kind's of versus at me all day long.... Not buying it.Not going to let a book run my life. My Elders...and my Parents taught me well...and i am a good person. Treat people the way i wish to be treated. THat's good enough for me.
Are you really surprised at scriptures quoted on the BELIEF BLOG? Really? I will exercise my right to quote and you can exercise your right to not believe or not to read them. BELIEF BLOG Joe! Reality posts quotes too, you not mad at that?
There is no hell because it is insane and because there is no god and no heaven either. No proof of anything after death at all.
Put away your books of lies and quit acting like brain-washed zombies!
'What if there is no hell', that's not even something to doubt or question. There is a heaven and there is a hell. People just don't want to think of anything that makes them 'feel bad' or 'guilty'.
I think Karen Armstrong said something to the tune that Hell was created by folks who would never imagine that they, personally, would ever go there. You got anything to 'feel bad' or 'guilty' about?
No heaven. No hell. No god.
Can you prove otherwise?
Amber, the only reason that you believe what you said is that you were born and raised around others who believed that, so you believe it yourself. Had you been born in Afghanistan, you would be Muslim, had you been born in Israel, you would be Jewish. Had you been born in the Amazon rainforest, you would be animist. All you did was conform to the prevailing opinion, never asking for any proof. And there is no proof of what you are saying.
What if there is?
You asked: "What if there is?"
If there is a hell, then whose hell is it? The Muslims believe in a hell as well. You could be doing what you believe will keep you out of the Christian hell, and end up at a very large Muslim barbecue.
There is no safe harbor.
Christians like to talk as though their faith and beliefs are equal to evidence. It is not. The believers deny evidence that contradicts their beliefs. The Christian faith is no more likely to be true, than any other religion.
You also have to be wary of Heaven as well. Remember that God's thinking patterns are supposed to be completely contrary to human logic and intelligence.
"For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength." 1 Corinthians 1:25
Therefore, if this topsy-turvy nature is correct, then His idea of Heaven may entail slowly devouring all the faithful as a source of power, or just as a snack, or something equally repulsive to us, and His idea of Hell could be where He lavishes all creature comforts upon those who were brave enough to use the intelligence He gave them. You can't really know, can you?
Was the apple pie a result of the big bang? Were the apples a result of the big bang? Was the cream a result of the big bang? No, the apple pie came into existence because of humans who had the intelligence and dexterity to create it. Was intelligence a result of the big bang? How about justice, love, compassion, anger, jealousy, etc.? Were they all the result of the big bang?
All of our literature, music, arts, science, etc. came into existence, not because of the big bang, but because of the creative intelligence of humans. Could humans have been the result of the big bang, or did humans came into existence because of another creative intelligence? Was that creative intelligence a result of the big bang?
I don't know about you, but I find it hard to believe that from out of the big bang, a creative intelligence can result. A creative intelligence who has the sense of compassion, justice, love, etc., or the quality of being self aware. It would seem more plausible to me that a creative intelligence exists apart of the result of the big bang and not because of it. This is just my personal opinion and I don't have any proof to back it up. It's my gut feel.
> I don't know about you, but I find it hard to believe that from out of the big bang, a creative intelligence can result. A creative intelligence who has the sense of compassion, justice, love, etc., or the quality of being self aware. It would seem more plausible to me that a creative intelligence exists apart of the result of the big bang and not because of it. This is just my personal opinion and I don't have any proof to back it up. It's my gut feel.
So you don't know how it works, yet you feel comfortable in making a conclusion whether it's likely to happen on it's own or not. Do you see how stupid a position this is to take?
@ TheBobinator: I don't think bobby is making a stupid point at all. Consider this quotation from Origin of Species by Charles Darwin: "I may here premise, that I have nothing to do with the origin of the mental powers, any more than I have with that of life itself." The origin of mental powers even had Mr. D stumped.
Bobby.. evolution has nothing to say about the "big bang" it would be just as strange to say that "god" or some intelligence made the world and the universe, as you have to come to the obvious questions again.. who made that intelligence, and so on. The study of what started it all is still an hypothesis, and all most any claim could be valid at this time. Also, the question of how organic life came from inorganic material ( abiogenesis ) is still an hypothesis.. but I tend to think it was not supernatural magic at this time.
You asked: "Was that creative intelligence a result of the big bang?"
Yes, bobby. God resulted from the big bang. And then God begat man. And man begat love and all the emotions. And pie.
Actually, the big bang just started the expansion of the known universe. Some time later our planet reached the conditions that made basic life possible. This life evolved for millions of years until, relatively recently, one life form developed the imagination to create gods. Then, thousands and thousands of years later, one ordinary tribal deity, one of thousands, became the god of the Jews. We could say that the rest is history, but we would still have to wait a thousand years or more before anything can be said to be actually historically accurate. Believers actually have it ar.se first, as my Grandfather would have said.
Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever.
Human life/intelligence and Earth are simply a minute part of this cha-otic, sto-cha-stic, evolving, de-evolving, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-ga-ries of its local star.
reality.. i see you had a christian education.
Reality.. sorry.. misread your comments! I was caught up in the Gib Gnab and I must have been hit by some! You are right.. we could have been recycled many times.. and possibly have...i know some of my parts look like they have been recycled.
Well guys it is Hell already here on earth endless killings worldwide...
Back here where I am Ye is already heading towards that the whole country is on demonstrations demanding resignation of the ruler but he seems unwilling to resign before the end of his ruling period on 2013, while the streets are demanding immediate resignation and that has caused bloodshed in every city in the country...the streets demonstrations has enforced civil strikes all over the country which is now paralyzed....no cash with the banks all money frozen in the central bank...
My business is in the field of services therefore I find my self now obliged to dismiss part of my staff in order to be able to survive this unfortunate thing...
Already have reduced working hour to one shift to reduce running cost...so you see am now sitting alone in the whole building of our business office writing here as nothing can be done to carry on business even if there is business...
Just I pray these unfortunate events passes over soon before it becomes out of control as had happened in Libya...we have nothing to say but (Ina-Lilah-WaIna-Alih-Ragoon)&(Alhmed-Lilah for every thing)...
"Mankind has always been Hasty while God has always been the most Patient"...
My thoughts are with you in your time of trouble. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.
Be well, my friend.
Well thank you dear,very kind and thank you for it.. But just wondered how to ask? OK say;
If you are a believer then pray wishing for us to overcome these difficulties soon and in peace.
If you are not a believer still God will see your heart intentions and will credit us for it.
Thank you again,
Sura – 93 The Forenoon (Al-Duhaa)
Order Of Revelation 11, Verses: 11
[93:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
[93:1] By the forenoon.
[93:2] By the night as it falls.
[93:3] Your Lord never abandoned you, nor did He forget.
[93:4] The Hereafter is far better for you than this first (life).
[93:5] And your Lord will give you enough; you will be pleased.
[93:6] Did He not find you orphaned and He gave you a home?
[93:7] He found you astray, and guided you.
[93:8] He found you poor, and made you rich.
[93:9] Therefore, you shall not forsake the orphan.
[93:10] Nor shall you reprimand the beggar.
[93:11] You shall proclaim the blessing your Lord has bestowed upon you.
Sura – 94 Cooling the Temper (Al-Sharrhh)
Order Of Revelation 12, Verses: 8
[94:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
[94:1] Did we not cool your temper?
[94:2] And we unloaded your load (of sins).
[94:3] One that burdened your back.
[94:4] We exalted you to an honorable position.
[94:5] With pain there is gain.
[94:6] Indeed, with pain there is gain.
[94:7] Whenever possible you shall strive.
[94:8] Seeking only your Lord.
Yep, Eric G is one of the good ones!
Time to "chuck" worthless, mythical, "tinkerbelled" Islam and time to start studying math and science in order to improve your job skills.
What are talking about ? It is nothing to do with my skills it is the crises that we are going through has frozen business opportunities... Any way thanks for you suggestion..
At my age and yours we require not to think about the future by studying improving job skill,but rather maybe should look forward to Paradise and the 72 Horries....after all life from 90's up to date was the worse for all mankind and the mideast specially which became as Hell on Earth and no longer fun to live it...so maybe after life would be better fun...
Are you stating that you are not one of the Good Ones? You have not said a word of sympathy is that too much to give? Any way thanks I am sure you meant to say it when you commented but some thing held you back from saying it, just wonder what it was that held you back from saying it...?
Have you ever 2Timothy3:1-5 It speak about in the last day critical time hard to deal with will be here.2 men will be lovers of themselves,lovers of money,self-assuming,haughty,blasphemers,disobedient to parents,unthankful,disloyal,3having no natural affection,not open to any agreement,slanderers,without self control,fierce,without love of goodness,4betrayers,headstrong,puffed up with pride,lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of god,5having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power,and from these turn away.God speak of these thing occurring in our day.
[3:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
[3:2] GOD: there is no god except He; the Living, the Eternal.
[3:3] He sent down to you this scripture, truthfully, confirming all previous scriptures, and He sent down the Torah and the Gospel
[3:4] before that, to guide the people, and He sent down the statute book. Those who disbelieve in GOD's revelations incur severe retribution. GOD is Almighty, Avenger.
[3:5] Nothing is hidden from GOD, on earth, or in the heaven.
The Five Steps To Deprogram Muneef and 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:
( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)
Are you ready?
Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.
The First Five of the 77 Branches:
"1. Belief in Allah"
aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.
"2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."
Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".
"3. To believe in the existence of angels."
A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.
"4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."
Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.
Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.
Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.
"5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."
Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.
Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!
Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.
Analogous steps are available for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism at your request.
[14:11] Their messengers said to them, "We are no more than humans like you, but GOD blesses whomever He chooses from among His servants. We could not possibly show you any kind of authorization, except in accordance with GOD's will. In GOD the believers shall trust.
[14:12] "Why should we not trust in GOD, when He has guided us in our paths? We will steadfastly persevere in the face of your persecution. In GOD all the trusters shall trust."
[14:13] Those who disbelieved said to their messengers, "We will banish you from our land, unless you revert to our religion." Their Lord inspired them: "We will inevitably annihilate the transgressors.
[14:14] "And we will let you dwell in their land after them. This is (the reward) for those who reverence My majesty, and reverence My promise."
[14:15] They issued a challenge, and consequently, every stubborn tyrant ended up doomed.
Here it is;
Miracles Bring Greater Responsibility*
[2:211] Ask the Children of Israel how many profound miracles have we shown them! For those who disregard the blessings bestowed upon them by GOD, GOD is most strict in retribution.
[2:212] This worldly life is adorned in the eyes of the disbelievers, and they ridicule those who believe. However, the righteous will be far above them on the Day of Resurrection. GOD blesses whomever He wills, without limits.
[2:213] The people used to be one community when GOD sent the prophets as bearers of good news, as well as warners. He sent down with them the scripture, bearing the truth, to judge among the people in their disputes. Ironically, those who received the scripture were the ones who rejected any new scripture, despite clear proofs given to them. This is due to jealousy on their part. GOD guides those who believe to the truth that is disputed by all others, in accordance with His will. GOD guides whoever wills in a straight path.*
[2:214] Do you expect to enter Paradise without being tested like those before you? They were tested with hardship and adversity, and were shaken up, until the messenger and those who believed with him said, "Where is GOD's victory?" GOD's victory is near.
@Muneef: Can you explain in your own words what it is you are trying to say? I do not understand why you directed your post to me. I would be happy to have dialog with you on this topic, but I will need you to clarify what it is you are trying to say.
For future reference, you post many things from your holy book. If you are making these posts as proof of the desires of your God, it is a non sequitur. You have not established that your God exists, and thus, you cannot make claims as to actions and effects of that God.
I enjoy our conversations, but some clarification would help me to understand your positions a little better. Please explain to me why you believe what you do.
You have asked earlier the following;
@Muneef: "[16:90] GOD advocates justice, charity, and regarding the relatives. And He forbids evil, vice, and transgression."
If your god forbids evil, why did he, (and more to the point), why would he create it?
My Quote for you was the verse 2:214 explaining that we are passing a test of good and bad,what was our choice we will be rewarded for it...
my own words are of my own Holy Book...and what I do is out of my Iman in the words of this book and my Iman that by what am doing is "All in support of God and his messengers" may I by that deserve the mercy of God before death,after death and on resurrection,judgment date...!?
[57:25] We sent our messengers supported by clear proofs, and we sent down to them the scripture and the law, that the people may uphold justice. And we sent down the iron, wherein there is strength, and many benefits for the people. All this in order for GOD to distinguish those who would support Him and His messengers, on faith. GOD is Powerful, Almighty.
@Muneef: Thank you for your response, but I would like to know why you believe in your Holy Book? For example, why would you believe in the Quran and not the Bible? What evidence do you use to justify your belief? Do you think that faith is a path to truth?
I really am curious. I do not believe in your or any other gods, so I am interested in how a person comes to their belief and why they think that their belief is the right one. Using logic, all of the worlds religions and beliefs cannot possibly be right, but they could possibly all be wrong.
Difficult for me to explain since that is a spiritual thing but can say following for a start;
Leave behind that I was born and brought up in a very moderate Arab Muslim family.
During my age from date I become to know my self I had always felt there was a protector who kept an eye on me while in my home land or when was studying over seas in a non Islamic land,rather Christian land and families I lived with as a boarding student.
I had in my heart and tongue the Name of Allah when ever I had fears,troubles or depression of any kind but from Jan 05 1995 when had lost my father and second brother in a car accident,it was the time I really felt am alone at age of 33 to face all the challenges my father has left upon me to run and manage among other partners therefore had been investigating the Quran as to understanding every word of it rather than to memorize it,have been did a lot of reciting verses of prayers begging God to look upon me and give me strength...am sure through such difficult times if I had no faith in God I would have perished and lost every thing long ago...
Another thing my heart always gave me signs and my mind gave me logic of what to believe although have read many books abroad in my youth of many beliefs out of curiosity but could not belief in other than that God is one and Muhammed is his last prophet in all belief of the Quran he brought upon me/us in all that it says...
Should mention at times had experienced dreams seeing signs and warnings long in advance of things going to happen
A year or more before losing my father in a car accident I had seen him in my dream good bye wearing white cloth and going to board a tourist ship all crew dressed in white uniform rolling a red carpet on front of him and when was on the top of the stairs weaver smiling good bye...seen in another dream how or wealth will be stolen and what I will hold...so many things like that..
Actually few months before what is happening now in my country I saw big flood flooding over the city but not in to my place of my living...although people were some screaming and some as riding it smiling but all were being washed away...then have asked a freind about it who said it might mean no much money or business will be coming to me which I doubted if it meant that,but today I know what it was about...! You got my idea now...
Just remembered now a very old man of Quran Knowledge (A Sheikh) who is expired 2years ago only when he visited my office and saw my laptop and what I do...he said you know son that what you are seeing or getting through your laptop we get it and see it passing in our awakening and our sleep...!! So do you see the difference between the material and the spiritual worlds...such as these the knowledge God had promised us from reading,understanding,obeying the verses of the Holy Book of all Holy Books...! Just hope after having given you my true feelings and seeings you would not as one did before who called me liar and then called me dishonest...! Thanks for asking.
Muneef, any fool can speak mysteriously and mystically. I can do it myself.
What you don't realize is the time you have wasted listening to people who have lied and the time you waste thinking about lies and how you can fit the lies into your lying life.
Why not seek the truth? Go ask your god for the truth.
Or don't you think your god will give it to you?
Have already found the truth and am satisfied, it is your turn now to seek that if you can think for your self...
[78:39] Such is the inevitable day. Whoever wills let him take refuge in his Lord.
[78:40] We have sufficiently warned you about an imminent retribution. That is the day when everyone will examine what his hands have sent forth, and the disbeliever will say, "Oh, I wish I were dust."
We call God gracious and forgiving. A genuinely repentant person with a changed heart and att*tude brings glory to God. How unlikely is that? How amazing is that? It is a demonstration of God's love for every individual on our planet.
As far as the second person is concerned, you should check out Rob Bell's newest book, "Love Wins." He (person #2) may not know Christ nominally, but he surely seems to know the love and compassion of Christ. Who can condemn such a person? Which of us can cast the first stone since we are all sinners ourselves? In all actuality, he probably knows Christ without actually having read about or studied him in Scripture.
I believe this actually demonstrates true love is from the Lord, not from humanity. We see that and live that out through Christ.
Perhaps through knowing the love of a non-believer (in ignorance, let's say) a believer may learn to know Jesus better. And perhaps in listening to a compassionate atheist, the Christian will be forced to heal themselves before they can ever hope to reconcile the athiest with God...
The bible did not exist at the time of the Council of Nicea (325 AD) and the Creed does not include belief in hell as a tenet of Christianity. Rome stopped torturing Christians only 12 yeas earlier. That was at least hellish. But there is no doctrinal requirement. So the Michigan preacher is not preaching false doctrine. So many preachers are preaching false doctrine that it seems trifling to focus on this particular preacher. So many Christian preachers are not Christian (comical I suppose) and yet they all think they are.
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves." Matthew 7:15
The "no true Scotsman" argument, eh? Better take another right turn there...
Cryptic responses (or replies) only tend to obscure whatever point you are trying to make. They do not imply that you have any special insight. Bible citations (or Shakespearean citations) presume that your reader has read and agrees with the phrase cited. And yet agreement is only possible IF your have clarified whatever point you are trying to make.
RightTurnClyde, you are no Christian, you just think you are.
How does it feel to be on the other end of that stick?
AsTheCrowFlies you are not the judge of who is and is not Christian. You are not the judge of anyone. When you judge you in derogation of Jesus. (read YOUR Bible - maybe you missed that) Judging and condemnation are part of the false doctrine (Mark 8 - the leaven of the Pharisees) that Jesus told you to avoid. Here you are being a Pharisee, reasoning, judging, condemning .. get the mote out of your eye. Wake up. Get a clue. (It's not too late .. LOL .. you still have a chance)
-RightTurnClyde – I guess you don't like being on the other end of that stick, eh? Ha ha ha ha !
How defensive! Yet you accused other "Christians" of not being Christians yourself in the above post. What a hypocrite. What a maroon.
This is not a debating forum. It is a comment section. Many professing to be Christian cannot possible be Christian if they do believe the tenets of Christianity. If you do not know what these are or where to find them .. well then you are what ever you are. The formal list was adopted in 325 A.D. and it is explicit. Even at that time there were people professing to be Christian (actually priests) who could not understand the tenets of the Christian faith. At that point there still was no bible and there would not be a Protestant reformation for another 1200 years. There would not be a KJV bible for 1300 years. There would be intense conflict, however, between Christian factions in Rome and Byzantium and many who professed to be Christian. Many were unable to understand the faith they professed. If you are interested you can find it easily enough.
@RightTurnClyde – You can't admit you were wrong, eh? Caught red-handed!
Ironic, isn't it? Here you were thinking the other guy was wrong. Hah!
And this is a blog where you can say what you like. You can debate or not.
No one is forcing you to do anything. All you have is your delusions.
Delusions you can't even prove to yourself without more delusions.
How ironic to think you know the truth when you are deluded! What?
(Again, another post without the research). Do a least a little research before posting something dumb. Here's to you.
By historians who actually did long research to find the origins of the Bible, and not a janitor.
History of the Bible: "The history of the Bible starts with a phenomenal account of history! It's not one book like I always thought - It's an ancient collection of writings, comprised of 66 separate books, written over approximately 1,600 years, by at least 40 distinct authors. The Old Testament contains 39 books written from approximately 1500 to 400 BC, and the New Testament contains 27 books written from approximately 40 to 90 AD. The Jewish Bible (Tanakh) is the same as the Christian Old Testament, except for its book arrangement. The original Old Testament was written mainly in Hebrew, with some Aramaic, while the original New Testament was written in common Greek."
I love the quote, "If the pastor preached more hell in the pulpit, there would be less hell in the streets."
Friends, the Bible is very clear that there is indeed a Hell. No pastor or council can change that. I pray for Psator Bell because he is contributing to a major victory for the devil. This is exactly what satan wants. He doesn't want you to think there is a hell.
Secular society does not want to believe in a literal hell because people do not want to be held accountable for its actions. It is shocking that a pastor with a seminary education can stand in front of his congregation and declare this. He has compounded this sin by decalaring it in a book and on national TV for the whole nation.
Pastor Bells actions are only fulfilling prophecy. The Apostle Paul said that in the end times people would get pastors who would tell them what they wanted to hear. Pastor Bell also has apparently not read Romans 1 where Paul tells us that EVERYONE has some revelation of God. I believe that people will be held accountable for the revelation that they have. Pastor Bell was right on one point-God is a loving God. He loves you so much that He gave His only son who died for you. His love will make sure that those who know Him will be with Him. He will also make sure that ALL have that opportunity. The Bible tells us that God does not want even one of us to perish.
All of you Christians, please join me in praying for Mr. Bell.
Hell from Greek literally means void of God. and everyone quotes the the one and only reference to fire as literal when in fact it was relating hell to the town dump, always burning, a place no one wants to be. If people only listened to the true spirit instead of what they are always feed maybe they be open to the truth.
I must add more... Hell is very literal but not in the physical fiery place- it is where you are void of the present of God.