Sunday, 17 May 2009

Day 12

I don’t believe in Hell. There, I said it. It’s off my chest and out of my system. Wrapped up and ready to meet its friend “Guilt” who’s already inside the box of junk.

This is a big confession.

For so long I believed that to follow Jesus means to believe in hell as place where the lost, the wretched and the damned go. That, so I thought is the starting place of faith. To believe in Jesus is to admit that you are lost and in dire need of some form of saving. If your time runs out before you came to this realization, well, then the Devil and the rest of gang will be waiting for you on the other side. Needless to say, it left me scared shitless.

But fear does not lead to faith. It only leads to superstition and forced religiosity.

Tonight, while grinding coffee beans, it came to me. I don’t believe in hell, because that’s not where I’m heading. It’s not part of my reality. My faith does not depend on the belief in the Devil or the Hell as place where sinners go when they die.

No, I choose life before death. The abundant kind Jesus spoke about. That is where I am going to start looking for God.

What a way to end the week. The box is getting heavy, I must admit. For a moment I thought of taking it out and putting it back, but then I thought: “To hell with it, I am throwing it out!”


Sparky said...

I like the way you put this post... maybe it's like saying there is no such thing as cold, it's merely the absence of heat - or darkness, which doesn't exist either. Darkness is merely the absence of energy in the form of light. Maybe then, hell doesn't exist either... it's merely the absence of God.

Fourie Rossouw said...

Right on the money! You just gave flesh and meaning to my argument. Thanx!

Asator said...

I Disagree... Hell does Exist, and Pretending it doesn't wont get you anywhere!!

To be Able to know where you're Going...
You Have to Know where you Are not Going...

Whats the point in running a Race and not Careing Which way is the Right/ And Wrong Way to Run...

You Cant ignore Everything Bad, Just By saying Its Only because there isn't any Good...
Get Where I'm Going At?

Fourie Rossouw said...

Asator, thanx for your honesty. The big question is who of us are pretending? Probably both.

The history of the belief in hell as a physical place after death is filled with pretend and make belief.

There is also a good chance that I am wrong. But being worng about Hell is maybe not that big sin. Nowhere in the ancient creeds of the early church was the belief in hell a criteria to part of the Christian Faith. The question was your belief about Jesus.

Anyway, I just came to point where I don't care anymore. Jesus did not hammer on about Hell and the Devil, so why should we?

I like your comment about knowing where I am going. I choose to go in the direction of Life.

I dicided to delete the file on Hell, in order to make space for God's files about life.

But I have loads of respect for people that choose to keep the idea of Hell in their frame of mind.

May 18, 2009 4:19 PM

Asator said...

The Penalty for sin, was Eternal Death, or Eternal Seperation from god, in hell ... And ALL men have sinned (Rom. 3:23) (Thats why you need to be saved by faith in Jesus!)

To Keep the Spirit of man, From seperation from God, Happens when one is Saved, from Death and Sin. (Eph. 2:1-10)

Jesus needed to pay the price for all the sin of man, to be reconciled with God, through Christ (Col. 1:20-22)

Jesus, Through His Resurrection received the keys of Hell and Death. (Rev. 1:18 & Mt. 16:19 & Mt. 18:18)

4 facts about Hell:

1. It is a place of Fire (Lk. 16:19-31)
2. It was kindled because of Gods Wrath on sin (Mt. 25:41)
3. There are different Compartments in hell (Lk. 23:43)
4. Hell Comsumes men who die in rebellion (Rev. 20:11-15)

The only reason man has an earthly life, is to choose between Eternal Life, or Eternal Death. That is the ONLY reason Jesus had to fight the Devil, and Overcome Death. In the O.T. All People (Saints Like Abraham, Moses Etc.) had to go to hell when they died, Because Jesus didn't overcome Death Yet, And People could not be forgiven their sins. After His Resurrection man could be forgiven their sins, and go to heaven instead. With Him many graves were opened, People raised and Joined Him to heaven (Mt. 27:53)

Thats why Jesus came. To Save us From Death and Hell. If There was no hell, there would be nothing to Save us From.

Fourie Rossouw said...

Asator, I think that to quote all the texts you can find that says something of death, sin and hell is just one way of trying to understand Life and Death’s mysteries.

But I am on a new journey now. For this the Bible plays a different role in my life. I hope to explore this as the diaries develop and the dialogue grows.

For now it looks like we are on a different journey when it comes to this subject, but keep on posting.

Alex said...

I am not sure if I am missing the point here, but here goes my 5cents...

I see Fourie's statement differently. Perhaps a small semantical difference, but I think the outcome can be profound in one's view of the topic.

Chickenn and egg. Which comes first in our belief system? Do we believe in Jesus because we believe in Hell? Because we want Him to save us from condemnation to this place of utter desolation and misery? Is believing in Jesus a box to tick, a pre-requisite to make sure we avoid Hell...

Or do we we believe in Jesus because of who He is and the Way of Life that He represents?

I have never thought about it this way, until I read Fourie's blog entry. I have been going through my own struggle in connecting with God in the last year or two. And I have become very cold and synical in my view of the picture of God that was forming in my mind. Reading through this blog, made me think a little on whether this picture was based on religion and dogma. Still wondering, still contemplating...the answer is still eluding me. but it is a constant journey of searching and discovering...hopefully we'll get there.

Do I believe in Hell? Or do I beleive in Jesus? When you've gotto make the choice between the two, it actually seems obvious...

There is a subtle, but very distinct difference between were the cornerstone of our beliefsystem is laid down. And looking at it this way for the first time, it seems as though it can make a world of difference...

Keep going Fourie, we're not there yet. However, I appreciate the journey that you are endeavouring on with this blog...