Monday, August 15, 2011
awwwww hell no
One thing that seems to get overlooked in this whole hell uproar, is who are the people that are actually said to be going there? Now I will be candid, I do not believe in the traditional dantesque version of hell. And I am not talking about just style either. I used to, but no longer do. That is not to say that I might not change my views again. And the views I hold now I hold loosely. But I go beyond Rob Bell's book Love Wins, with its what ifs and maybes, and come right out and say it... I believe everyone will eventually come to salvation in Christ, and that Hell though real, is redemptive in purpose, not punitive. Now, Pastor Mark Driscoll, and everyone else on the other side of the issue, can smash me for that, but its just honestly where I have come to, from a careful review of the scriptures, and more importantly a careful review of Jesus and His ministry.
But back to my point... whether hell is finite, infinite, eternal, punitive, or redemptive, who is going to hell? And to this, I love my friend Ash Barker's (founder of UNOH), answer when getting questioned by the evangelical police. The question, "do you believe in hell?"
"Well of course I do, the bible talks about hell a lot... that's where the rich people go"
I always laugh when I think about that. Not about rich people going to hell, but about Ash having the guts to say such and in your face thing, and the reactions he must have gotten. The truth is, the extreme abundance of mentions of hell, by Jesus, are used as a destination for the rich, and religious leaders. You don't see Jesus telling the poor, the outcasts, the sinners that they are going to hell, you see Jesus saying, hey... come along with me and lets see the kingdom come. Now in fairness, he says the same to the rich and powerful, but he knows they won't come, they have too much to loose.
You see heaven starts here on earth, and like the saying, "you can't take it with you" you can't enter into that kingdom of heaven while still holding on to your power, and privilege. Lets put it in modern words, Jesus doesn't say, its the prostitutes, the felons, the gay community or the mentally ill that they are missing out, no he makes His home with them. It is the wealthy, the corporate bankers, the mega church celebrities, the religious leaders and finger pointers that will go to hell.
So Jesus, once again turns the world on its head... He is not inciting class warfare, far from it. He invites all of us to live in the love that cares for our neighbor as ourselves. Why? Why is Jesus so intent on turning things upside down?
Because this world, and its systems are controlled by Satan. The domination system, that seeks to enslave everyone, including those at the top. We must break free of this system. When it topples, then we can see the kingdom come. And Jesus will topple it, even if it takes going through hell to make it happen.