If You Wish To Discuss Hell With Me

First you must define your terms.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Tuesday repeatedly confronted a faith leader — who also happens to be a noted church-state separatist — about his Christian beliefs during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on religious freedom.

“Do you believe in sharing the good news that will keep people from going to hell, consistent with the Christian beliefs?” Gohmert asked Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

One need not look to deeply into the googling of hell to understand my assertion.

Just the reading of the conceptions of hell is enough to make most pastors, preachers and ministers either avoid the topic altogether, or using Dante’s vision as I think Gohmert does, using hell to scare believers into behaving in some particular way, usually if history is any gauge, that giving tithes to the aforementioned pastors, preachers and ministers, who seem to be equally adept at ignoring the council, you receive freely give freely, . That of course is my own biases of organized Christianity, which as I have already noted contains the quasi anarchy of Joshua’s (the actual pronunciation, if translating the name of Jesus were consistent in the new and old Testaments,) ancient Israel, when each man did what was right in his own eyes, which I think is the freedom that Christ delivered to his followers, (Galatians, James, Peter,) as to having law unto themselves, that law being the law of love, which does not work evil towards its’ neighbors.

In my opinion, Mr. Gohmert’s conception if I am correct, denies the resurrection and thousand-year reign of the Christ, for if the penalty of sin is death, then what is that conception of Dante’s hell to do with that conception of the ancient Jews? If there is to be a resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous then where is eternal torment? If sin entered into the world through Adam then all men sin and all men die, which sin is it that does not incur death, and thus hell?

This is too much contemplating and discussing for the average church goer, and their teachers who cannot answer those question satisfactorily in their own minds so as to enable them to teach anything at all on the topic. So they rely on the traditions of men handed down to them, however contradictory those traditions are, as noted in the two linked articles.

To impose my view on you is an affront to the free will that is yours, to choose as you will, the theology that best gives you peace of mind, just as for others to attempt to do so with me would be an infringement of my own freedom delivered to me by Christ. So prudence would suggest to me that rather than hinder Christ, silence would be the better course.

I happen to hold to a universal salvation and resurrection. I do not believe in the fires of hell at all.

Which is why it is so important to keep the state out of religion, and religion out of the state, because you and I cannot impose our understanding of God’s purposes on others, because we lack both the knowledge of God’s will and His authority to do so. That has been given to Christ and Christ has not spoken to that in such a way as to not leave it open to interpretation, which to my mind speaks to the lesser importance of hell, when compared the unequivocal commands, such as love your neighbor as yourself, which using to the state to impose your will on others explicitly rejects.

In that respect I pray for Gohmert who by all appearances is being righteous over much, and meddling in things that are none of his business.


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