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. Atheism is Great for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

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

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

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

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

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

    mama kindless

    September 25, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • The One Who Knows

      Wow...do you need to sit down after spouting this drivel?

      September 25, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • BU2B

      "The one who knows", do you have any actual arguments against what he said?

      September 25, 2012 at 8:50 am |
  2. Cybersoldier

    Yes hell does really exist.

    September 25, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • Dirk

      Yeah it's a small town in northern US with about 250 res.

      September 25, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • sam stone

      Hell, MI is a small town in Hamburg Township, just outside of Pinckney

      September 25, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • BU2B

      Hell exists no more than Hogwartz does. In a fictional story.

      September 25, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  3. fiftyfive55


    September 25, 2012 at 7:17 am |
  4. Cybersoldier

    @truth, 50. Those who blow themselves and kills many people for nothing actually, i'm totally against them. They are brainwashed people by some evil authorities for some specific purpose.

    September 25, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • Too Many Ribs

      Those who blow themselves – hell, I'm envious!

      September 25, 2012 at 7:03 am |
    • fiftyfive55

      if we could blow ourselves,why would we need wmen then ???

      September 25, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • 12 inches

      So god endowed his son jesus so that he could blow himself and not depend on the company of women and have dominance over his 12 buddies, intresting theory. Don't you all usually quote a bible verse or two to back up your claims, could that be found in one of the gospels? We all know simon peter was jealous of the "beloved disciple" john, getting more than his share of the action I'll bet.

      September 25, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  5. fiftyfive55

    Hell is where businessmen who support slave labor countries over free countries,and polticians go when they pass away.

    September 25, 2012 at 6:33 am |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ,

    September 25, 2012 at 5:35 am |
    • sam stone

      yeah....apparently it makes you a redundant, driveling idiot

      September 25, 2012 at 6:12 am |
    • hal 9001

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

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

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

      September 25, 2012 at 6:50 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!|

      September 25, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  7. Colin

    The fact that a question like "should we abandon hell?” can be seriously asked demonstrates the fundamental difference between science and religion. In religion, if we find something distasteful, we can simply declare it does not exist and walk away from it. Just like the Catholic Church recently did with Limbo. Demonstrates nicely how none of this actually exists and it’s all about believing what makes us happy.

    In science, we have to act on evidence and reason, even if we find the result distasteful. One would never see a medical journal ask, “Should we abandon cancer?” or an economics journal ask “Should we abandon recessions?”

    September 25, 2012 at 4:41 am |
    • Mirosal

      Sorry, but the debate beetween science versus religion effectively ended when they started to put lightning rods on top of churches.

      September 25, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Cybersoldier

      Science is for world, and the religion is forever even life after death. Socalled science is man made.

      September 25, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • sam stone

      As is religion, Cyber

      September 25, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  8. Brent Slensker

    How about casting off Iron Age thinking and drop on in to the 21st Century?!? The world has NO USE for the rapture, "end times", armageddon, or whatever wet dream of apocalypse you cater to....Grow up and start making solutions! Wonder why your myths are so different? Why do you require fear of punishment do be a normal, moral person...Listen, your kids, with the help of the internet, are leaving your delusions in the dust where they belong whether you like it or not!

    September 25, 2012 at 4:29 am |
  9. miscreantsall

    This is what hell is: hades……….sheoul………….grave………….ground…………..dirt!!!!!!!!!

    THAT'S IT!!!!!!!!!

    Anything else was made up to introduce fear and loathing (excellent tools for control and domination). There ARE a few mentions of hell and fire in the bible that are totally taken out of context and misinterpreted.

    There is NO fire and brimstone…………there is NO purgatory!!!!!!!

    September 25, 2012 at 3:18 am |
  10. More Mud

    Of course hell exist, and there are proof: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Gitmo are enough examples of the existence of hell.

    September 25, 2012 at 3:15 am |
  11. rookie

    Is hell real?is there a heaven? why not ask is the tooth fairy real? or the easter bunny? there is the same evidence for all three. none.
    if you believe there is a hell it is only a belief. faith without evidence. you most likely believe because someone told you about it when you were a child.

    September 25, 2012 at 3:07 am |
  12. Momo

    Hell real does exist and u will know when all of u including Obama will go in it. U all will cry to get rid of terrible fire but there would be no to hear u and u wll remain there for ever except those who believe in almighty Allah and his true prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him and Holy Book Quran. Think before u utter even a single word against Islam as it may culminate into your bad end.

    September 25, 2012 at 2:58 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Your prophet was a pedophile. The Quran is ripped off from other earlier texts, including the bible (which was ripped off from earlier sources as well). The supposedly unchangeable and in fallible word of god in the Quran was changed over the years, including to appease those who wanted to continue to worship their ancient gods.

      By people, for people, to control people – Islam is no different than the other major monotheistic religions.

      Time to grow up.

      September 25, 2012 at 4:14 am |
    • Eric

      How exactly is christianity for controlling people?
      Wasnt it just the opposite, atleast till Rome attempted to control it.
      Even today christians answer to a higher athority then their national governments.

      September 25, 2012 at 5:57 am |
    • sam stone

      "How exactly is christianity for controlling people?"

      By purporting to speak for god on issues of morality and hell

      September 25, 2012 at 7:42 am |
  13. mary

    Hell is a total misrepresentation .. In the oldest bible what is referred to as Gehenna was a fire that burned outside the city.. Where rubbish was tossed. Things went in and never came back out.. were gone forever.
    Modern translation came up with hell fire.. And people burning for eternity..
    total misrepresentation.. What it means is , if you sin.. You will end.. Be over.. No eternal life.
    Not burning for eternity.. It simply was descriptive speach.. to impress upon people how over, "over" was.
    So that you would want to live after death. And not be gone forever ..Never to share eternal life as God planned..

    September 25, 2012 at 2:56 am |
    • Momo


      September 25, 2012 at 3:01 am |
    • mary

      You have a brain.. Use it to think..
      would you, could you torment your children so brutally for doing something wrong? You are a mere human.. YOu can not possibly love as much as God.. Yet you would not do such a thing.
      yet you claim God would??
      What a lie you tell..
      For a loving God, Loosing eternal life "IS" punishment.

      September 25, 2012 at 3:04 am |
  14. mary

    Hell is a total misrepresentation .. In the oldest bible what is referred to as Gehenna was a fire that burned outside the city.. Where rubbish was tossed. Things went in and never came back out.. were gone forever.
    Modern translation came up with hell fire.. And people burning for eternity..
    total misrepresentation.. What it means is , if you sin.. You will end.. Be over.. No eternal life.
    Not burning for eternity.. It simply was descriptive speach.. to impress upon people how over, "over" was.
    So that you would want to live after death. And not be gone forever ..

    September 25, 2012 at 2:54 am |
  15. Geoff

    It would be good to be a penguin. Penguins go to an iceburg of paradise when they die.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • Vorrian

      It would be good to see things that I think would be good to see.

      September 25, 2012 at 2:11 am |
  16. Burnz

    Is hell real? No.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • Vorrian

      There is no possible reason or logic that can be used to make any after-life punishment a likely or even workable thing if the punishment is for simply living. These people are just nuts. Totally batshllt. But mostly they don't even think about it = that's the worst part about all this – they are not allowed or are hindered from examining their beliefs in so many ways...

      September 25, 2012 at 2:16 am |
  17. atomD21

    This is one of the most active comment threads I've ever seen here... That being said, my $.02 on this... I still believe in God, but I am having more trouble now than ever believing that God, the immortal, all powerful creator of all that is would be so narrow as to be tied down to one rule set. Christians claim they know it all because the Bible tells them so. Muslims claim the same, but due to the Quran. I want to know what people think happened to, say, the Native Americans that were here before The Europeans came and brought "Christianity" with them. Did God send them to hell because they didn't say the sinners' prayer and ask Jesus into their hearts? What about people in countries today that live and die without ever hearing about God? Can we truly believe that God is light truth and love is he is so blissfully willing to send people to be eternally tormented because they just missed the missionaries coming to their village with the Bible? Why does his love end after we die if we didn't believe just the right hings before our journey here ended? Is it not more plausible that God is truth and light and love, and all those that seek those things are on the right track? I know I am speaking out of a human perspective that is limited in its scope to my experiences and thoughts, but the evangelical stuff I grew up with never really jived for me. And before you attack, I have read the entire Bible, so, yes I know what it says about Salvation and all that. I also know that Jesus' example is almost opposite of the direction the church is headed today.

    September 25, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • Priv62

      God didn't create hell for people...it was never meant for us, it was meant for satan and his fallen angels. But as a completely JUST Creator God, he is an impartial judge. In other words, God sends no one to hell...people choose (free will) to send themselves there (tragic but true). You can choose to go there or, through the acceptance of the sacrifice of God, (Jesus' Great Sacrifice though his death on the cross (in my place and yours), we can CHOOSE to live with God forever! "...He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance," 2 Peter 3:9

      September 25, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • 2357

      It's true that most churches only confuse people with programs and cheap advice.
      Church that does not explain the gospels is no church at all but a social club for culture and lifestyle.
      Listening to free mp3 sermons and ebook Bibles is a much more effective study towards genuine conversion to Christ. I'd recommend John Piper, Paul Washer, Charles Leiter, John MacArthur, RCSproul, Mark Driscoll. I'd stay far away from the TV preachers, especially the ones asking for money. The best sermons are given away for free, and they can lead a man to everlasting life in Christ.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • redzoa

      If god is omniscient and the first cause creator, there is no free will. An omniscient god would perfectly know the final ultimate choices of every human before they were ever born. Because this knowledge is perfect, a human couldn't actually make a choice which didn't conform to this perfect foreknowledge. In other words, although you may believe it was your choice to do "x", god always knew you would do "x" and because this knowledge is perfect, you could never have actually chosen "y"...

      September 25, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • 2357

      Human will is not free. This is true. We are always making decisions under the influence of one spirit or another. But those who are destined to be saved, will eventually submit to the spirit of Christ, and be drawn to the cross where he died for the Father.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • redzoa

      If god is omniscient and the first cause creator, then those who would be saved and those who would not were created as saved and unsaved. Some might consider this an act of cruelty given the unsaved never really had a choice to change their fates.

      September 25, 2012 at 2:13 am |
    • redzoa

      In other words, under the aforementioned premises, the book of our lives has already been written. We can hope that the ending changes, but in effect, we are only turning pre-written pages in order to learn what comes next and the conclusion. Our "choices" are an illusion as we are merely acting out the script that was perfectly known before creation was ever even created...

      September 25, 2012 at 2:17 am |
    • 2357

      If you went to sleep last night and woke up this morning, God has been kind to you. He gives life, and takes life.

      September 25, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • sam stone

      "He gives life, and takes life."

      A totally unprovable claim

      September 25, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "2357", 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".

      Perhaps the following book might help you discover why you continue to make so many unfounded statements:

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

      September 25, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • redzoa

      @2357 – I take your non-response as your concession...

      September 26, 2012 at 2:28 am |
  18. Atheism is Healthy for Kids and All Kinds of Folks

    Empty space changes things. And it weighs something, too!

    September 25, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Like the space between your ears?

      September 25, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • End Religion

      yes, the space between his ears weighs something.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Do ya know how much?
      And is it empty?

      September 25, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • Atheism is Healthy for Kids and All Kinds of Folks

      Was just reading about the claims that they have proved that empty space has weight. Think it was on front of cnn.

      September 25, 2012 at 6:42 am |
  19. James Allen Harrell

    Mark Driscoll got it right! It is refreshing to hear it like it is. God Loves and wants us all to live like Jesus, with love and forbearance for our fellow man. Open your heart to Jesus the light, truth and the way to salvation.

    September 25, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • atomD21

      But what does all that mean to you? What does living like Jesus mean? Making sure all that don't go to church and believe what you believe know they are evil and going to hell? Making sure you fill some heavenly church attendance and worship song singing quota to make sure God lets you in? I'm not trying to attack you, but I have heard all that my entire life with no real answer to any questions, just more churchese thrown out. Living like the Jesus I read about in the Gospels is nothing like what I see in the pews on Sunday. We are more concerned with looking good to all those around us and making sure we all vote republican for some reason than with trying to fix a very broken world. Jesus called on us to change the way we think about things and put others first. I don't see how multimilion dollar churches are really accomplishing that when they have more fundraising drives to furnish coffee and wifi than to feed the homeless in their communities. I'm not saying we need to never own anything and give every cent we make to the poor, but we need to realize that Christianity today resembles the Pharisees of Jesus' time more than it resembles Jesus.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Just read the new testament dude and heed it.
      Read and heed, dont make a big deal outta it.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:56 am |
  20. Biff

    What is hell? What is it? Perhaps it is easier to believe a concept that can be described by two people in the same way, rather than individual notions of what they "think" it is.

    September 25, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • 2357

      Hell is the perfect eternal pain dealt our full measure by the perfect hatred of God toward all who love sin and the lies of Lucifer more than the truth of Jesus Christ the Son of God. YHWH appeared as a fire to Moses. In creation YHWH ignited the sun, the molten core of the earth beneath the crust we stand on, and every star you see in the night sky. He gave insight to angels to wield strong light for creation and destruction. He set the flaming sword so than man would die outside of paradise. Hell is by far the single greatest assault on humanity, yet the news of hell is a sign of God's grace. He could have simply ignited us, without any warning at all. But God is merciful, he grants us time.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • Biff

      you haven't told me anything. I'm not looking for metaphors.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • 2357

      When the prophet Isaiah saw the Lord seated in his temple, there were strong angels worshipping YHWH. there is an altar full of smoldering coal in front of the throne. The fire is so hot, that the angels have to use tongs to pick up a single coal. When this smoldering altar of God's vengeance is multiplied throughout the ages, they make up the Lake of Fire which appears in Revelation. God defers his anger until the consummation of history. The length and breadth of his patience is such that foolish people doubt his vengeance, and do as they please.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • Biff

      So Angels have to use tongs in hell to pick up coals? And lots of coal in hell makes up a "lake"? Is that what hell is?

      September 25, 2012 at 10:07 am |
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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.