Archives For hell

I’m going to do something I never thought I would do.

Her life is pretty awesome, but she thinks you and I are going to hell.

Her life is pretty awesome, but she thinks you and I are going to hell.

Last Saturday morning, as I sipped my coffee and scanned my news feed, wiling away the couple of hours before the baby awoke, I was accosted by a story just a couple of days old.

Jessa Seewald, one of the children of the super-fundie reality TV Duggar family, thinks I am going to hell.

I didn’t even know I missed the hubbub over her pink wedding dress, and yet here she is, with the audacity that I am going to hell.

To be more specific, Jessa recently said that “liberal” Christians, i.e. those who don’t believe in hell, are in fact, going to hell just the same as all the other sinners out there. Her remarks were met with prompt cries of “intolerance” and “wouldn’t it be nice if she used her platform to proclaim a message of ‘acceptance.’”

She thinks I am going to hell…

And probably you, and you, and you too. We are all probably too liberal for a Duggar.

But I am going to do something I never thought I would do.

I’m going to come to the defense of Jessa and the rest of the Duggar family.

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A lot of people are trying to “detox” from evangelicalism.

That means that people are taking a second look at our previous “assumptions” about the Bible.  People are not so sure the Bible says what we thought.  People are trying to create a gentler Christianity, one that’s not so fundamentalistic.  People are trying to build bridges, break stereotypes, and avoid (or remain vague about) topics like sin and hell.  We’re trying to stop making people mad at us for being Christians.

We hope all this makes us more attractive to “seekers” and outsiders.  We’d like people to think that it’s easy to become a Christian.  We don’t have to agree on much, just one or two really important things.  The rest, well, who can really know what the Bible says?  It’s all up to interpretation.  Sounds good to me.

But while a lot of young evangelical Christians are comfortable staying in this cloudy, Brian McLaren / Rob Bell kind of Christianity, branded as a perpetual “conversation,” who is actually winning the hearts of this generation?

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(Sunday morning, this post was born prematurely and unfinished.  I hate when I click the wrong publish date.  Sorry about that.)

I don’t know if the recent debate on heaven and hell is finally dying down.

Some people say the especially firey debate may represent a permanent divide in evangelicalism that may never heal.  Oh no!  All that Christian unity we’ve been working on with each other, down the drain!

I chimed in a few weeks ago and told you that I want to be a universalist.  Like a lot of people hoping for a nicer, gentler, hell-free Christianity, I want everyone to get to the good place.  I got an avalanche of responses.

But, although I want to be a universalist, I’ve got to tell you that I still believe in hell.  You know the oldest protest to the idea of hell.  “How could a loving God send people to hell?” Yeah, I think that’s the completely the wrong question to be asking.  In fact, I’d say the question we should be asking is, “How could a loving God not send people to hell?”

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I doubt I can break the internet as much as Justin Taylor and John Piper have in commenting on a yet-to-be-released book by Rob Bell.  But I can try.

Now, not 48 hours ago, I told you that I’m so over Rob Bell, and I don’t intend to eat my words.  This post isn’t about him.  But if you haven’t heard the ruckus, his new book is called Love Wins, and by its cover description, it’s about how a loving God wouldn’t cast most of his creation into hell.

A few days ago, influential blogger, Justin Taylor admittedly judged the book by it’s cover, and labeled Bell a universalist, a false teacher, a deciever, and an opposer to the gospel, and perinneal know-it-all, John Piper chimed in with such memorable tweets as “Farewell, Rob Bell.”  Since then, a bunch of other bloggers have been blog shouting, all while the book remains still unreleased.  It’s been a big brouhaha.

And that’s where I come in.  Continue Reading…

“You need to get born again!”


I cannot tell you how many preachers, evangelists, radio hosts, guest speakers, theologians and televangelists I’ve heard use that phrase.  It’s interchangeable with “You need to get saved!” It’s become almost a battle cry, a line drawn in the sand.  Either you’re “born again” or you’re satan’s minion.

Asking someone if they’re born again is also a great little Jesus grenade to throw at Catholics.  Since most Catholics don’t say “born again” too often, they must not be, so we win.  Because letting everyone in the club doesn’t make it exclusive enough.  You have to have a “platinum” level VIP list.  You’re on the list if you’re born again, and you tell everyone…a lot.

Even though the airwaves are flooded now with preachers who would rather teach positive thinking than being born again, I can still hear the echoes of the call to get saved or born again.  You probably can too.

The thing is, I got saved, and I got born again.  Maybe you did too.  The problem is, it didn’t seem to work as well as I had hoped…

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Today, we’re talking yoga, math, Walt Disney, and demons.  Sweet.

Recently, Al Mohler Jr., President of Southern Baptist Seminary said that Christians shouldn’t practice yoga.  Mark Driscoll, the beefy, slightly Shrek-like Seattle pastor of Mars Hill Church, not to be outdone by a mere seminary leader in Kentucky, raised the bar and said yoga is outright “demonic.”

A weekday afternoon yoga class for the flexible and demonically possessed.

Why is it “demonic?”  Because, apparently, you can’t practice yoga without meditating on Hindu gods and whatnot.  It just can’t be done.  Now, I’ve been telling my church that they shouldn’t practice yoga because Chuck Norris feeds people who do yoga to his pet bears.  But Mark Driscoll has definately raised the stakes.  Not only will you be eaten by Chuck Norris’ bears, but you will subsequently go to hell.

Ordinarily, I’d give Mark the benefit of the doubt on this one.  He’s written a lot of good stuff.  But I’m starting to see a pattern.  This isn’t the first time he’s come up with this sort of black and white thinking.  He’s really starting to sound like an old fashioned fundie, just in different clothing.

And yet…I agree with him…but then again, I don’t.  Well, just read on…

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