In response to:

Is Anyone Hellbound?

KevNC Wrote: Oct 03, 2012 2:20 PM
If someone behaves in a manner that is deemed 'good' simply because they are afraid of going to hell than they are fake. I personally could care less if hell is real or not. Treat people the way you want them to treat you. Respect other people and you will receive respect in return. The Bible does not say that you will get into heaven for playing the part of a good Christian out of fear instead of acting the way you truly felt. You should follow the teachings of the Bible out of faith and love, not fear.
ReddestNeck Wrote: Oct 03, 2012 4:57 PM
Because this is a place where political, earthly matters are commonly discussed, it's even more easy than normal to think that the idea of hell is something invented by men to (at best) get other men to act more civilized and (at worst) to domineer them.

Forget about the political or whether it's useful on earth to believe in God, a hell, or a heaven. Ask: is it true? Does it make logical sense? Do humans truly contain a seed of everlasting existence within them?
ReddestNeck Wrote: Oct 03, 2012 4:07 PM
And indeed there is a danger of calling for belief in certain details of an afterlife, not because they are objectively true, but because they might be useful for keeping order in this world. As C. S. Lewis put it, that's like using the stairway to heaven (cf. Jacob) as a shortcut to the drugstore.
jimmylynn Wrote: Oct 03, 2012 2:38 PM
KevNC,

What led you off on that tangent? No one has been stressing the fear of God, although the teachings of the Bible that you referred to do. I think most Christians believe God's word out of love, respect, and a desire to please God. But fear is a sign of intelligence for those that respect God.
jimmylynn Wrote: Oct 03, 2012 2:43 PM
Romans:
3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both
Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none
that doeth good, no, not one.
3:18 There is no fear of God
jimmylynn Wrote: Oct 03, 2012 2:43 PM
Romans:
3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both
Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none
that doeth good, no, not one.
3:18 There is no fear of God
KevNC Wrote: Oct 03, 2012 2:44 PM
How is it a tangent? The article is about the existence of hell. I wrote about why a belief in hell is not always a good thing. For many people, a fear of hell is the only reason they follow the Bible's teachings, not faith.
jimmylynn Wrote: Oct 03, 2012 2:48 PM
Tangent? I don't think this column or most comments here were about the fear of Hell, just the belief in a Hell. That is the tangent that you went down.
jimmylynn Wrote: Oct 03, 2012 2:52 PM
Do you deny that the Bible references the fear of God. If you are simply referring to the fear of Hell.....would it not be human nature to fear such a place and not a teaching? Would you not fear being excluded from God's presence and love for eternity?
KevNC Wrote: Oct 03, 2012 2:55 PM
The article claims that in country where there is a strong belief in hell that crime rates are lower than in countries where there is a strong belief in heaven. Hell is supposed to be a place of punishment and torture. If people are not committing crimes because of their belief that they will go to a place where they will be punished and tortured rather than because they believe in a place of peace and salvation, then they are acting out of fear not faith. It really isn't that big of a stretch. What is so difficult?
KevNC Wrote: Oct 03, 2012 3:01 PM
Yes, the Bible does reference a fear of God. It also references God's love. The overall message of the Bible is not "Be afraid!" If someone's words and actions are motivated by fear, then they are not genuine. If you do not truly believe in acting a certain way, but do it anyway out of fear, then you are being false. There are far too many people who go to church every Sunday because they fear that God will condemn them to hell if they don't go. Yet they don't like being there and don't believe in what is being preached at church. Fear only gets temporary compliance and generally leads to people doing things secretly or rebelling in extreme ways. I don't believe that God wants that. If your fear outways your faith, you are not a Christian.
KevNC Wrote: Oct 03, 2012 3:07 PM
Let's try it this way - Do you obey the law because you actually believe that people shouldn't steal, kill, drive over the speed limit, refuse to pay taxes, etc., or is it because you are afraid of being punished? If you actually want to kill someone, but don't out of fear of being punished in this world or the next, then are you actually a good person? Wouldn't a good Christian not feel the urge to kill simply because they don't believe that one person should take the life of another? The concept of hell is used as a tool to make people compliant through fear and fear alone. Faith and a belief in righteousness should be our guide.
jimmylynn Wrote: Oct 03, 2012 3:22 PM
KevNC,
I believe the Bible is a message of love also. I just thought you were going somewhere that this column was not intentionally implying.
I think what you are referencing is more in line with a carnal man and a spiritual man. We all have carnal tendancies by nature, thus crime may be less or people that go to church may be responding to their spiritual man. I do believe that most go because they want to have a relationship with God, love him, or because they want to understand his word. Do they succumb to their carnal man on days when they are more tired or want to go fishing? Of course, but if they are faithful they will go to church instead. That same spirit man effects all of us to make choices....not from fear but faithfulness.

The new documentary Hellbound? has reignited discussion about the perennial topic of hell as well as revealed some very bizarre perspectives.

Kevin Miller, the film’s director, who identifies as a Christian, stated in an interview that, regarding the traditional view of hell as a place of fiery torment, “I don’t see anything in the Bible that would lead me to believe that such a place exists.” Instead, according to Miller, when Jesus talked about hell, he was talking about the here and now.

Really? Jesus didn’t warn about a place of judgment to come? And Director Miller gets his...