Welcome To Hell, Mr. Gandhi

Is Mahatma Gandhi twisting in hell?  This, believe it or not, is the question that is torturing America’s Christian community, according to yesterday’s New York Times:

A new book by one of the country’s most influential evangelical pastors, challenging traditional Christian views of heaven, hell and eternal damnation, has created an uproar among evangelical leaders, with the most ancient of questions being argued in a biblical hailstorm of Twitter messages and blog posts.

…[T]he pastor, Rob Bell, known for his provocative views and appeal among the young, describes as “misguided and toxic” the dogma that “a select few Christians will spend forever in a peaceful, joyous place called heaven, while the rest of humanity spends forever in torment and punishment in hell with no chance for anything better.”

Yes, this is what they argue about in Wingnut-ville.  And it’s a topic that has taken off like crazy:

“It is unspeakably sad when those called to be ministers of the Word distort the gospel and deceive the people of God with false doctrine,” wrote [blogger Justin] Taylor, who is vice president of Crossway, a Christian publisher in Wheaton, Ill.

By that same evening, “Rob Bell” was one of the top 10 trending topics on Twitter. Within 48 hours, Mr. Taylor’s original blog had been viewed 250,000 times. Dozens of other Christian leaders and bloggers jumped into the fray and thousands of their readers posted comments on both sides of the debate, though few had yet seen the entire book.

One leading evangelical, John Piper of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, wrote, “Farewell Rob Bell.” R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said in a blog post that by suggesting that people who do not embrace Jesus may still be saved, Mr. Bell was at best toying with heresy. He called the promotional video, in which Mr. Bell pointedly asks whether it can be true that Gandhi, a non-Christian, is burning in hell, “the sad equivalent of a theological striptease.”

I find it fascinating that they actually use so much modern technology.  It’s such a wonderful irony, but that’s for a different post.

Unfortunately, most of them will never come to the realization that when they die they just won’t exist anymore, much less loll about a posthumous paradise of endless praise.  I suppose it’s the hope for that everlasting reward that keeps them living in their narrow-minded ghetto of ignorance.

What a waste of life to spend all of your time and energy focused on what happens to you when you die.  Especially when the answer is so obvious.

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About Jeffrey L. Falick

Jeffrey L. Falick is the Secular Humanistic Rabbi of The Birmingham Temple Congregation for Humanistic Judaism in Michigan. He is also certified as a Senior Humanist Celebrant by the American Humanist Association and is president and founder of Humanists of Southeast Michigan.

  • Anonymous

    According to the fundie Christians, you can rape, pillage, rob, murder, etc. to your heart’s content, but if you accept Jesus on your death bed, straight to heaven you go. Who wants to go there with all the scum of the earth!?

    The Reform Deist

  • http://www.noforbiddenquestions.com/ NFQ

    What really blows my mind about this whole controversy is that they’re (kind of) right. The Bible does say that not everyone gets to go to heaven, and that there is a fiery hell of torment where nonbelievers and unrepentant sinners go. (Of course, there are still the other places where it says that everybody goes to heaven, or that the alternative to heaven is simply death, but that’s another issue.) Rob Bell is ignoring big parts of his “holy” book when he says what he says. The question is, why does he prefer to challenge that small aspect of his faith (directly contradicting its scriptures) rather than challenging his faith as a whole (which would be much more logically consistent)?

  • Anonymous

    this is hell. Duh. Rape and roast and skin babies alive.
    Reincarnation, birth times, star times, gematria, Israel aka ISIS RA EL is all the elite care about and the reincarnation of JEsus.
    Brian Leonard Golightly Marshall