Hey, I really appreciate your blog. Your honesty is convicting, and it has prompted a lot of growth in my life. I’m just wondering, and maybe you’ve already written about this, but how did you come to terms with the reality of hell? I’ve known a lot of people who have dismissed Christianity because they couldn’t accept the thought of the majority of mankind enduring eternal torment, especially when God claims to be good. How do you navigate through all of that?
Hey my dear friend, thank you for your very kind words and thank you for asking. I know this is a tough question that divides many people.
Please allow me the grace to point you to some posts. The first one here is a little snarky because I was sort of irritated that day, but here you go —
Here are just a few thoughts on this to consider.
1) I believe most people already believe the concept of Hell, whether they admit it or not.
Those who don’t believe in Hell are also saying, “I don’t believe in justice for evil.” You can’t say one without the other.
I don’t think just anyone goes to Hell. But certainly there is justice for those who continually choose destruction, tyranny, manipulation, and oppression. When someone says “There is no Hell,” it means they’ve never faced rape in Rawanda or a murdered child or a national genocide like the Khmer Rouge. It means they never had to watch their relatives shot in the head right in front of them (my Cambodian friend’s mom watched all five of her brothers executed). It means they never had to watch their parents get exterminated in an oven. Instead the naysayer’s suffering has only consisted of credit card debt or an egged car at Halloween.
Only over-privileged Westernized Post-Enlightenment thinkers who have been Pavlovian-conditioned with so-called “logic” could ever say that there’s no Hell, because they’ve never been ravaged by evil. [C.S. Lewis calls this “chronological snobbery.”] And the only motivation for the victims of injustice to stop declaring war is to trust that there is a Hell which ultimately deals justice, so we don’t have to. [This idea is from Miroslav Volf, a Croatian theologian who is a pacifist and well understands human indignities.]