One of Thousands
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kirkwall/The Free Marches
Current Game: Dragon Age II
I must say that you've helped me out a GREAT deal here! As for Hitler, I don't quite know what to say about where his soul should go now that he is dead, but I do agree that his soul should be separated from others--especially the ones whom he slaughtered. The problem that I have with Hell, however, has three components:
1) All who fall short of (God's) standard of absolute perfection--flawlessness, if you will--shall go to Hell after they die. Since none of us humans have ever reached, or even come close to reaching, this standard of perfection, then it follows that every single one of us will be condemned to this particular place. We will experience a permanent separation from God and His love. God's plan, according to Christianity, was to solve this problem through sending and sacrificing Jesus, but there still remains a counterpoint. A -1 to this point, if you will. In short, it goes like this:
-1) If God did not want to create beings who were equal to Himself--and, if God Himself is perfect--then, NATURALLY, the beings he created would be IMPERFECT(or at least weaker or less powerful than He). So, how can He condemn every single one of his imperfect creatures to Hell right from the very beginning? Some would say that since Adam and Eve were at first without sin in the Garden of Eden, then they WERE perfect. However, I don't believe this is true. If Adam and Eve were perfect beings, then they wouldn't have listened to Satan and yielded to his temptation. They would have told him to "go to Hell," so to speak, and made the right choice instead of the wrong one. If Adam and Eve were perfect humans in the Garden of Eden, they would have known and done better because it was their NATURE. I know that my explanation here might be confusing as heck, but my ultimate point is this:
How can God demand perfection of us (humans) if He created us as lesser, that is to say imperfect, beings? Right now, I'd like to ask another question:
DOES HITLER GO TO HELL? On this point, most definitely yes, because Hitler was far, far, FAR from it. I disagree, however, that we ALL should be where Hitler is because of our own weakness and flaws. Now, on to Hell Problem 2:
2) There is absolutely NO HOPE in Hell, and no chance of redemption.
-2) If you compare Hell to a prison here on Earth, then that's really an unfair comparison because, at least to my knowledge, Earth's prison should be a "rehabilitative" place as well as one in which you are punished. In Hell, though, this is a no-go. The purpose of Hell is, in my opinion, also threefold: 1) to punish humans for their sins 2) to separate them fully from God, who cannot tolerate sin or evil and 3) to make sure there is no possibility of lost souls ever returning or being raised so that they can sin some more.
DOES HITLER GO TO HELL? Again, on this point, yes, but there's a glitch: If Hitler was THE worst person on Earth, let's say, and if Hitler was cast into a place where there is no more hope, EVER, then what hope do the rest of us have? Sure, we may not have engineered the Holocaust or murdered millions, but still--in Hell, there is no hope for Hitler, and no hope for us. I consider it a shame that if everything about Hell and Heaven is true, we only have about seventy to one hundred years to "get it right" and believe (in Jesus) before we are separated from God for an INFINITE amount of time. Hence point 3:
3) Man and Man's deeds are finite, and yet Hell is an infinite punishment.
-3) Some would say that Man's sins, flaws, weaknesses and disobedience infinitely offend God and make Him angry. Man has, in essence, betrayed and committed "cosmic treason" against God. Thus, every man, woman and child on Earth--each one a sinner--should be infinitely separated from God and cast into Hell, where they will be infinitely punished. However, if this is true, then where does forgiveness come in? Some would say that if you didn't accept God's forgiveness on earth, during the finite time in which you were physically alive, then you SHOULD never have another chance to do so.
DOES HITLER GO TO HELL? Here's where I have no idea, honestly. I do not know whether Hitler deserves to suffer INFINITELY for what he did, and NEVER be forgiven, even by God.
So, I have a serious problem with Hell, and the premises upon which it's based. As for the Christian former gang members and drug dealers, it gladdens my heart to hear that they do these things because, as you said, "they want to make a difference to others/are thankful for what's been given to them." In my opinion, that's the way it should be, but my pastor made it sound like "If you're REALLY saved, then you WILL do X, Y, Z."