by Tim O'Donnell | March 25th, 2011
Chad Holtz, a pastor at a small rural Methodist church in North Carolina and father of five has been sacked because he voiced support for Rob Bell, the author of a book called Love Wins that dispels the common Christian concept of Hell as a place which billions of people are sent after they die.
According to Bell, a controversial young pastor of a mega church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Hell is real as a concept but likely not a real destination for eternal residence under the surface of the earth. He doesn’t deny Hell exists but claims it is a result of choices made because of human free will. In other words, God allows us free will to choose to be with him (heaven) or against him (hell). Bell claims Hell exists here on earth in the form of pain and suffering.
To suggest that God is not the vindictive, angry, punishing God depicted in The Bible is, well … heresy (that word again) to many because Bell is being taken to the woodshed by the Evangelical community and poor Reverend Holtz has been fired for chiming in. It seems that the United Methodist congregation in Henderson NC would rather not be lead by a pastor who eschews the literal belief of the eternal burning lake of fire. Perhaps they need the threat of super-hot eternal punishment to keep them on the straight and narrow.
What do you think about Hell? Is it a result of human free will? Are we condemned to it by God? Or, do we send ourselves to Hell? Is Hell a place of being or a state of being? Is there any escape? What about people who’ve never been exposed to the Christian belief system – are they doomed to Hell? Does Satan reside in Hell? Demons? Hitler? Jerry Garcia?
What the heck, let me know your thoughts about Hell! What the heck is Hell anyway? Who the heck lives in Hell? Who the heck send us to Hell? Heck, is there any way out of Hell?
Oh heck, the hell if I know!