Last time in this space I told the tale of my conversation with an amiable Lefty who took for granted the claim that Hell was invented by the Church to control people with fear. As that conversation wound down, we could agree that morally serious people believed that actions had consequences. I concluded by pointing out that all the Church is saying is that those consequence can extend, not merely in the future or into the lives of our descendants (as, for instance, the consequences of American slavery are still being felt today), but into eternity. In short, unrepented sin can destroy our contact with God and others and result in damnation. At that point, another reader entered the conversation:
There are consequences in life. I don’t recall Jesus speaking of a fiery underground where a “bad” person who didn’t get saved burns for eternity. Not from his lips. There are good and evil on earth. I see Trump standing for all those evil things. That is not connected to a place called hell. They are two different subjects.
Jesus doesn’t give a location for hell because he’s not silly. Hell occupied the popular imagination as being “underground” because that is where the grave is and that is where “Sheol” (the place of the dead) was in Hebrew imagination and that is where Hades was in Greek imagination. Dante provide much of the modern imagery of hell.
But yes, Hell is from his lips. Jesus is, in fact, the sole source in the gospels for every warning about hell. He speaks of it repeatedly….
Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world.