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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Go To Hell!?

*The above picture was created by David Hayward at Click the link to view many more fabulous drawings and be inspired by the messages they convey. *

My wife and I have been told we are going to Hell on numerous occasions. Whether it be from a passer by on the street spouting some 'gospel' message, or a track left under the wiper blades of our vehicle, or a door to door salesman selling their religion, coworkers or ( and this is probably the worst of all) family. All of them holding to some ideal that they believe to be true and if others do not believe it, well, they go to Hell.

Hell is-other people
-Jean-Paul Sartre

Everyone has their own idea of truth and that that truth is the only true truth. We have gotten so focused on having the 'right' truth that the word truth/true can no longer be uttered without it being preceded by an adjective of some sort. Truth no longer stands on its own but must be supported by the crutches of other words. For example; pure truth, extreme truth, right truth, absolutely true, positively true, only truth, godly truth, and (my personal favourite) true truth... but you get the point. So, who really can be reliable to present any sort of absolute or any kind of truth?

Hell isn't other people, Hell is yourself
-Ludwig Wittgenstein

I had a conversation with some conservative Christians who were fairly close to me that ended with them stating that I was going to Hell because I did not believe as they did. In their opinion, I was wrong to question "God," wrong to encourage others to question... just flat out wrong according to their perspective. I asked them how they could be so sure that they themselves were not wrong or that perhaps they too may be going to "Hell"? "Whatever do you mean? We believe in God, Jesus (insert all the rest of the usual)." I replied that there are some out there that are more conservative then they, and that these people would look down upon the music they listen to, the movies they watch or the way they dress and state that no God honouring person would ever do those things. And so the stricter people would condemn them to Hell because they do not have the true truth. Ironic?

If you are going through Hell,  keep going
-Winston Churchill

So here is the kicker of it all. There will always be someone more conservative, more liberal or more right, more wrong, more loud, more quite, more more more. However, I would not take it to heart when someone informs you your going to Hell. Just tell them you look forward to seeing them there. Besides who says there is a hell anyways? Teehehe :) Just had to throw that in there.

The whole image is that eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God's infinite love. That's the message we're brought up with, isn't it? Believe or die! Thank you, forgiving Lord, for all those options. 
-Bill Hicks

Have you been told your going to Hell? Or have you told others they are?


dzejniex said...

This is excellent. Very true. Hell is a tool to hold others in check, keep people towing the party line.

Jonathan Edwards' sermon bringing to life the fiery furnaces of hell is legendary in conservative circles. An all-star evangelical performance.

Scaring people into heaven is not only a lazy approach, but a dangerous one I think. I could get my kids to jump at my every command if I threatened them with the back of my hand, but I am horrified to imagine what kind of relationship we would have.

Obviously, there are negative consequences to many of our actions. In this life, and conceivably in the next (for those of us who believe in the next). But why not make the conversation about being responsible for consequences here, and the relationships we have now with those around us?

Maybe we should practice loving instead of scaring or gloating.

Want to see something truly scary?? Watch "Hell House," where a Christian youth group "recreates" Hell for their community as a Halloween attraction turned evangelism outreach. Enough said.

CalledtoQuestion said...

@ dzejniex
"...a tool to hold other in check..." Love that! Sometimes I would love to threaten my children with hell to get them to cooperate or obey, just as was done with me when I was a child. Hell, fear is a great motivator(get what I did there), but a poor method of being relational. So often these people are so concerned with the afterlife that they neglect, hinder and even damage the present life we currently live, making the here and know a living Hell. Yes, practice Love. I have heard of "Hell House", quite the controversial thing even amongst Christians.
Thanks for your thoughts.

Tim Bartlett said...

Oh yes I have been told I'm going to hell many times mostly from family. Personally I think if there is an Afterlife a lot of people are going to be surprised. I've come to believe that if you live your life in the "here and now" the Afterlife will take care of itself.

CalledtoQuestion said...

@ Tim

I like the way you think. Focusing on the present life and times that we have is really all that we can be sure of. Thanks for your thoughts Tim.

Kmarie said...

Lovely thoughts...well not lovely but lovely that you were brave enough to put it down unto paper and out into the world...and really it does seem so sad doesn't it? That people ruin families and judge based on a conception of afterlife that possibly may not come true...its good to think of the future but living to die?!? It's so strange. Thanks for pointing out the irony.

CalledtoQuestion said...

@ Kmarie
Your right it is sad, especially when you think of the atrocities that have come of it, the relationships that are destroyed and the fear that presides. Strange indeed. Your welcome.

My Little Warriors said...

As always good thoughts and I agree with K, brave to share! Keep it up!!! I've never told anyone they are going to hell... well wait I take that back.. I've said it jokingly.. you know being part of the "Christian circle" and all. :) I don't ever recal being told I would go to hell. I just remember being told how very much Jesus loved me and that being the focus on things.. that it's all about relationship, and it's all about loving those who are around you. I've never really experienced a "hell and brimstone" kinda "sermon".