Hell, Are You Offended?

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Last week I mentioned that Christianity Gives Atheism Life. Some atheists have gained much by their push against a God they don’t believe exists. In a similar vein, some people who don’t believe in hell are offended when others believe they are headed that way.

Why?

People certainly have no problem joking about hell as seen in the recent LA Times article COMIC-CON 2010: Seth MacFarlane does ‘Family Guy’ live.

As panelist Patrick Warburton, who voices cop Joe Swanson on the show, said understatedly: “A lot of the show is not very Christian, and I think we’re all going to hell.”

This statement makes light of Christianity. Should Christians be offended?

Non-Christians get offended by Christian beliefs all the time. Even Rick Warren offended some in 2008 according to CBS News story – The Importance Of Rick Warren’s Event.

When it came time for questions, a woman stood up, proclaimed her Judaism, and asked Warren if she was going to burn in hell. He paused before responding — and then answered her question the only way it could be answered. Yes, he said to audible gasps.

What an interesting situation, but why was the woman surprised? Because it was Rick Warren? It’s not like the Christian belief and Bible’s teaching on hell is new. Even in context John 3:16, arguably the most famous Bible verse, teaches condemnation.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:16-18 ESV)

So many people want a loving, uncondemning Jesus. So many want a Jesus who brings a type of salvation message in the form of moral self-improvement or as a personal example to emulate.

The problem with these types of uncondeming Jesus figures is they have not brought salvation in any sense. If people are not lost in sin, hell-bound, condemned already, etc. then there is nothing for Jesus to save them from. God’s love as expressed through salvation in Jesus Christ alone would be a farce. However, against the back drop of hell God’s love shown through Jesus Christ makes sense.

Does hell offend you? Does Jesus? Why?

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The above article was posted on July 27, 2010 by Mark Lamprecht.
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Matt Svoboda July 27, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I LOVE that Rick Warren quote…

The man said it like it was, despite it being very unpopular.

My reformed friends hate on him, but I love him.

.

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