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So naturally I rattle a few cages now and then, as I have done with the Outspoken Tulip who wants us to know that, “hell is more than a swear word.” She is responding to my post here.

I think John Crowder did a fabulous job of elaborating on the nature of hell in his video called, “God is hell.”

This one little bit sums up what he saying and opens up the many nuances of the conversation, “Your understanding of the nature of Hell will be conditioned by the nature of the God you preach. What motivated Paul’s ministry? “The fear of Hell compels us” or “the love of Christ compels us?” What if we’ve missed the boat altogether … what if CS Lewis and so many of the Orthodox fathers and Catholic mystics were right in saying that the love of God is the very thing that lights up the fires of Hell?……”

You’ll have to click to read the rest or watch the video. I enjoyed it.

So my point here is that so, so many people have been driven away from faith, not because they are heathens, heretics, pagans, or liberals, but because something weird happened within American fundamentalism and evangelism, where discussion was no longer allowed, where our faith became so small, so tight and controlled, that any debate at all can apparently bring the whole house of cards tumbling down.

And that’s not just within evangelism, but our whole culture at large. We shun discussion, avoid debate, and just move right to casting people out for what we’ve labeled “bad thought.”

I was on Twitter the other day watching some people ponder the greatest threat to Western Christianity today. Is it war with Iran?? Is it #Churchtoo and the massive sexual abuse coverups that have been happening for decades? Global warming?? Corruption, feminism, the prosperity gospel? Nope, the biggest threat to the Western church was  apparently…… universalism.

People’s number one biggest concern was that God might save everyone!? Think about that! Think about what it means. That is one blemished Bride who has missed the whole message.

Now this may well fall on deaf ears, but I am not actually a universalist. I am however, deeply concerned if our faith is so weak it is built on nothing more then a hope our enemies will be cast into hell. Our trust and faith in God should not be built on fear because “perfect love casts out fear.”

Or as Crowder said, is it the fear of hell that compels us, or is it the love of Christ?

 

red tulip bouquet beside white ceramic cup full of black liquid

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