3 Signs You Might Not Actually Believe in Hell

August 28, 2014
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The list is below, but to start the convo, I invite you to first watch this 2 minute clip from Seinfeld:

If you are a Christian, here are three signs that you MIGHT NOT actually believe in hell.  (I am not arguing whether or not there is a hell.  I am just discussing what your actions suggest about our faith-claims.)

You might not actually believe in hell if:

  1. You spend most (if not all) of your free time at church events or with Christian friends.  “Sorry you’re going to hell.  We’re having a potluck.”  I am not advocating more street witnessing and evangelism here.  I’m talking about the absence of real engagement and relationships that allow for the sharing and understanding of the Gospel outside the confines of allegory and rhetoric.
  2. You talk funny.  You say and post things like, “The curse is lifted,” or “Covered by the blood,” or “Nail your sins to the cross.”  These are unintelligible to those who don’t speak Christianese, and they sound freaky!  If you really believed people were facing eternal suffering, wouldn’t you at least try to learn their language?
  3. You support laws protecting you from serving, hiring or being around “sinners.”  While I understand (and respect) the idea of limiting government, and maintaining personal rights, that conversation usually skips right over the fact that you are vehemently refusing opportunities to be a part of people’s journeys.  “No, I will not make you a gay wedding cake!  But Jesus loves you.  (And you’re going to hell.)” 

Like David in the video clip, do you rest in your own eternal futures, and not really care that others are going to hell?

Or maybe you just don’t actually believe in hell after all.

Over the past week, I have conducted an online survey that asked the question, Do you believe in hell?  Here are the unscientific results:

hell survey results             NB There was also an “other” option on the survey in which three respondents left answers indicating that they do not believe in hell in these terms.

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Nathaniel is CEO of AidChild.org. He holds a Master's Degree in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University where he was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship, and winner of the 2010 Harvard HDP Marshal Award. He also holds a PhD in Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego where he was the Dammeyer Fellow in Global Education Leadership, and a Cordes Fellow at Opportunity Collaboration. Nathaniel is author of "We Are Not Mahogany: Three stories about the male African life." Prior to his move to Uganda in 2000, Nathaniel was Deputy Director of the Office of the Governor of Arizona, and Director of Education at Leadership, Inc.

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