From the first days of the Jesus movement, brief statements of faith (often called “creeds”) outlined the essential beliefs of Christianity. Like establishing the rules of a sport, the creeds formed the boundaries within which one could dialogue about God and remain “a Christian.” The creeds establish orthodoxy—right thinking. As such, if I affirm beliefs that are contrary to the creeds, at that moment I have entered a new playing field and I am no longer speaking of Christianity. I am discussing something else.
“Orthodoxy” is essential when dialoguing about hell. For some, hell has been elevated into that realm of beliefs that make someone a Christian, and this is a massive mistake.
We are not saved from hell by believing in hell. We are saved from hell by believing in the Lordship of Jesus Christ. And that is a place of great hope for people like me.
In a number of podcasts and blog entries I’ve seen over the past few months (especially in the aftermath of Love Wins), the salvation of folks who are clearly committed to the divinity and saving mercy of Jesus has been called into question—and it’s not just those who are writing books. Churches have fired staff, lead pastors have led interrogations, and there has been a consistent move to form battle lines as though we were at war.
We need a new path forward. We need to be able to both talk about issues like hell with passion and frankness, and we need to create space for confusion, hesitancy, rebuttal, doubt and even—dare we say—creativity.
Hell is a topic that Jesus said a great deal about. Our view of hell may drastically affect the spiritual formation of ourselves and others, and as such we are duty bound to think hard about the interpretations of hell presently on the table.
See the full article at this link: To Hell or Not To Hell?