On this day after Easter, arguments for and against hell seem to be raging: it is one of many current issues that divide people. Letters to the editor on Rob Bells’ latest book, Love Wins, are never neutral. I believe we must take a stand on what we believe about this eternal subject.
Wayne Martindale in Beyond the Shadowlands, interprets C. S. Lewis’ many books on heaven and hell as testimony that people who will go to hell choose their destination; it is not God’s choice. Lewis’ opinion is that people who don’t align themselves with God while on this earth, people whose driving force is to make the world give them all that they want with no concern for their impact on others, would surely not be happy living under the authority of God, even in paradise–it wouldn’t be a paradise to them.
Here’s another opinion, this one from the NYTimes opinion editor, Ross Douthat. He wrote this morning:
If there’s no possibility of saying no to paradise then none of our no’s have any real meaning either…. The doctrine of hell, by contrast, assumes that our choices are real, and, indeed, that we are the choices that we make. The miser can become his greed, the murderer can lose himself inside his violence, and their freedom to turn and be forgiven is inseparable from their freedom not to do so.” (from A Case for Hell retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/25/opinion/25douthat.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha212
I believe in a heaven and a hell. What do you believe?