I am afraid that too many of my fellow human beings, especially religious ones, actually want other people (that they know and do not know) to go straight to hell, particularly the ones that they feel have wronged them. And just think about the number of times that you have thought about or told someone else to "go to hell", or "to go straight to hell"?
Another thing, how come the Christian United States of (call fire down from heaven and burn them up) America, and its military and military contractors named one of its most lethal missile systems (that has been used to destroy thousands of innocent lives recently), Hellfire Missiles?
I suspect that what really happened was that God created man, and man created hell and all of the known theology that is associated with it.
It seems to me that Hell would be uncharacteristic of God. And based upon all that we know of a loving God, it is both incomprehensible and inconceivable that God would have created such a place. When you think about it, what would God gain from creating such a place where humans would suffer without end? Hell sounds like a machination of the human mind that was derived from and by the human ego. I suspect that humans must have created the idea of a tormenting hell instead of it being the other way around!
By now, many individuals in the Christian world are aware that recently defrocked Bishop Carlton Pearson appeared to reverse himself several years ago, given the new direction that he took when he began preaching ‘The Doctrine of Universalism’.
I am going to defend Carlton this time, and let me preface what I am going to say by stating up front that I am not in any way an apologist for Carlton, in fact I am not even a fan of Carlton's. Why am I not a fan? About a decade ago, I was personally offended by Carlton when he was the keynote speaker at the Cathedral of Faith in San Jose California, I was one of the few blacks that were in the audience that day.
It was American Black History Month and Carlton wowed the predominately white audience that subsequently jumped up out of their collective seats and cheered and danced from the balcony to the rafters, when Carlton made the following statement:
...if you had not enslaved us, we never would have found Jesus.I thought to myself, what a nut? I wondered to myself if Carlton had ever considered what took place when Deacon Evangelist Phillip was dispatched by the Spirit to minister to the Ethiopian Eunuch (see the book of Acts), who was returning from Pentecost at the same time that the Spirit descended upon Middle-easterners and other nationalists in Acts the 2nd Chapter.
The Ethiopian Eunuch, later completed a great evangelical work in the land that was then known as Ethiopia (which later came to be known as Akeebeland and of late Africa). The Ethiopian brought the message of the gospel to Ethiopians, and guess what Carlton, chains were not required in order to convert the Ethiopian Eunuch to Christ? And chains were not required in order for there to be what is known today as the Coptic Church, the Christian Church in Ethiopia, or black Christian churches around the world!
I have been suspect of this brother’s motives ever since. Now having said that, what appears to be, by all accounts his supposedly latest gaffe, deserves the attention of serious bible scholars.
I suspect that some individuals would be disappointed if after all of their labor, service, sacrifices and abstaining from sin, that their shunned evil counterparts would not burn in hell at the end of time as they have been taught to believe. You know what I mean, BURN BABY BURN, because they deserve to burn!
However, and when you think about it, does it make sense at all that the loving God (read John the 3rd Chapter), that most humans believes that exists, the one that had the ability to and afterward did apparently create the Universe and everything within it (including all forms of creatures), also decided to do the following: Create beings to inhabit the Universe, and if they failed that he would place them in a place where they would experience a punishment so severe, unthinkable, unimaginable and unbearable? This place would be called Hell!
Folks, what kind of perverse pleasure would a non-egomaniacal God derive from creating such a place? In fact, it would grieve God's heart to do such a thing, even if you and I were to create such a place.
For what purpose, or what pleasure would God derive from punishing beings in a place that IT created called Hell, a place that would burn 'bad humans' for not 100, 300, 1000, 1 million or 1 billion years or more in a place called Hell where they languished in an eternal lake of fire?
May I speak for God and the nature of God? Given the very nature of God, eternal Hell does not make any sense at all. In fact these conflicting notions one of a loving and just God, and ITS alter ego wanting to persecute humans for an unimaginable billions and trillions and trillions of years does not jibe. God is the God of light, purpose, wisdom, love and thoughtfulness, and he used all of these qualities in creating the Universe and everything within it we have been taught to believe.
Finally, when you consider the book of Revelations that talks the most about this eternal place of torment for the condemned, this book barely made it into the Canon/inerrant and unadulterated word of God. Since the creators of what we know today as the Bible didn't put much stock into the book of Revelations how come we place so much confidence in it?
Folks, The human body is not eternal and never has been! So how could it withstand everlasting torment?
Now some of your counter arguments will be, but Jesus talked about hell. But let me stop you right there, for we only know what men said that Jesus said, but on the other hand did Jesus really teach about hell in the manner that has been recorded in the Canon.
I believe that Carlton, my fellow-laborer in the Gospel may not be too far off after all on this one. Having said that Carlton, let me repeat what I said before, it was not necessary for black people to be enslaved as a prerequisite to finding Jesus. And I would not expect to hear this kind of nonsense coming from an apparently black man. However, perhaps Carlton has evolved with respect to that conclusion as well.
Carlton also, interestingly enough, apparently experienced his epiphany and turnaround when he visited the African continent a few years back. During that time, Carlton like the late El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, who also returned from Mecca with a new revelation about black and white, had a serious turnaround. Who knows, perhaps now he has taken back what he said at the Cathedral of Faith, at least let's hope so!
Again, to those serious Christians who are seeking after the unbridled truth, this matter is worth further review!And to the ones who would ask, particularly those who know that the Canon is not the inerrant or unadulterated word of God, would a loving God who came to give life; one that created an entire Universe and populated it with all forms of life get so angry as to want tell people to "GO TO HELL", and to burn the very fallible creatures that he created, forever and ever in a lake of fire without end?
Pray about it, because any conclusion that the God that we know by nature would create an eternal place of torment like hell, makes no sense and it is simply not consistent given what we know about God!
Love, Peace & Grace
Rev. C. Solomon
Addenda: Too many, especially black ministers who are so adept at teaching and preaching someone else’s story, need to seek the Almighty for themselves. There they can learn firsthand about the true nature and purpose of God, and how God can be relevant in a post-modern 21st Century Context!