A Noble Quest

The witterings of a sorely deluded soul who enjoys debate with herself and others.

Sunday, 17 June 2012


Is God the sheriff? Does He go around and arrest everyone after they have sinned and lock them up in a burning pit of forever?

Is God the damning judge? Once He has decided a person burns, they stay forever.

So, is God the jail-keeper too? Making sure that no one escapes Hell?

"Hell" does not exist, not the traditional, orthodox sense. "Hell" is not the place where those who did not manage to choose the right denomination, get to be tortured and put through intense and unimaginable pain for eternity. People argue that this is justice, that this is God being the guardian of law. It is inescapable, it is exactly what the Lord commanded. Christ's death on the cross was to rescue us from eternal damnation, that is the reason normally attributed to the great act of love performed by Jesus. The important bit of that sentence was "love", and this shall be a theme that runs throughout.

God is more than damnation, God is love. And what makes up love?

Love is never tired of waiting; love is kind; love has no envy; love has no high opinion of itself, love has no pride; 5 Love's ways are ever fair, it takes no thought for itself; it is not quickly made angry, it takes no account of evil; 6 It takes no pleasure in wrongdoing, but has joy in what is true; 7 Love has the power of undergoing all things, having faith in all things, hoping all things (1 Corinthians 13:2)

God is merciful, God is compassionate, God is a forgiver, God is empathetic, God is love.

This article isn't going to focus on mistranslations but on the nature of God and how this overrides the notion of eternal damnation. Jesus Christ is most likely in "hell" right now, bringing out the now repentant souls, ushering them to Heaven because they have been purified. Christ can reach into this world and the next, his power and love stretches far and wide.

The nature of God can be seen through the parables of Jesus Christ. Prayerfully studying them reveals this. I believe that God saves everyone, that God's plan is universal reconciliation, not damnation for all who didn't find the right denomination. To some this is heresy, the devil talking to me and so on and so forth. To me, it is the Good News, it is the Gospel, it is God being wonderful, even more wonderful.

I believe that God is more than damnation, that what courses through His veins is compassion, the arteries forgiveness, the mind may be justice and correction, He extends His hand in friendship and the core of God is love, the heart of God is love, from which all extends.

Quite often I've been hesitant expressing my belief because of the wrath and scorn and judgement it brings. But I'm putting it out there because I feel it is required. I feel that by not stating it, I'm in affect lying, concealing part of who I am. I'm not particularly mainstream in my thoughts I suppose, I'm often battling upstream, the currents of conservatism perhaps? I'm not sure about that, it's just me trying to find myself, find my beliefs, and uncover and discover the nooks of me, with the help of God and Jesus Christ by my side. Perhaps there are many truths out there, and they all lead back to finding God. And if these threads entwine and create a tapestry for God to admire, then I see no problem there. Maybe the idea that, "There are as many paths to God as there breaths of men.", sums it up.


  1. The common belief in the early Church was that there was a Hell, but it was not eternal, it served as like a 'place of purging' til you were ready for Heaven. You took a brave step with saying something that isn't accepted by most Christians. I love you as my sister in Christ and I don't know what the belief in Hell, one way or another, has to do with one's salvation. I will say this though, please accept this in the warm manner I give. I don’t believe in a premise of “good people” because our root core is evil as fallen beings. I believe we did not invent Hell because man is much too proud, too arrogant, to make something he cannot be reprieved from. Mankind has made enough Hell here for himself to take it any further.

    A friend by the name of Charles Hedrick put it most succinctly:

    “I would say that ultimately hell is a result of the “hardness” of created reality. Let me try to explain: Christianity believes that the universe has a real existence, and that it is distinct from God. (This is a specific position, which not all religions and philosophies accept. For some, there isn’t a real distinction between God and the universe.) In order to provide us with a region in which we can make our own decisions and take our own actions, God set up a universe that operates under dependable laws. Possibly there are other ways he could have worked. But we don’t know of any other way to set things up so that we have real lives of our own.

    The existence of a real universe with dependable laws has consequences. One of those consequences is the fact that people can have incorrect ideas. If they misunderstand the way the universe works, damage may result. Most of us understand this in the realm of science and engineering. There is no reason that theology should be different. If there weren’t any distinction between truth and falsehood, nor any consequences to error, we would be living in an amorphous mess (the metaphysical equivalent of “gray goo”). There would be no way to live sensibly.

    The standard Christian position is that salvation is only available through Christ. This isn’t because God is biased towards Christians. Rather, it’s a consequence of the way the universe works. Heaven is by definition eternal life with God. But Christ is God’s way of establishing relationships between human beings and himself. He is the divine logos, the agent of creation. It is inherently impossible to be with God without being in Christ. If a human being somehow managed to be in God’s presence bypassing Christ, that person would be unmade.

    The only alternatives I can see to hell are for God to arrange for everyone to accept Christ, or for him to destroy everyone who does not… if everyone ends up choosing God, human existence is a sham: God loaded the dice to such an extent that there were no real human decisions.”

    This is a good read with comments:

    1. Firstly, thank you for commenting with respect and love, it certainly makes a change from the usual response. I don't deny the existence of a hell, and I don't think it's man made, in some respects I almost agree with Mephistopheles (the demon who has about five variations of spelling his name!) in Doctor Faustus, "hell is anywhere which isn't heaven." My attempt was to disassociate my views from the traditional (orthodox?) hell through the use of inverted commas. Hell and damnation very much go hand in hand in people's minds nowadays. Ultimately, I have the utmost belief that people aren't going to be damned forever, I'm just attempting to make some sense of what happens in-between.Maybe I am being Faustian and overreaching, but I dearly trust that God saves all.

      Your friend is debating the extremes, the battle between pre-destination salvation and the annihilation of unbelievers. I find myself disagreeing with both of these viewpoints. God gave us free will and the ways of knowing so it is possible for us to examine debates like this. The very fact that we were given free will, in my mind, overrides the pre-destination argument. God said He would save all and there, in my opinion, is no biblical evidence for the complete and utter annihilation of unbelievers. I think the answer could well lie in the middle of the two. Hell is much more like a prison than death row. God reforms us. Indeed, the prison system perhaps could learn from this particular slant of universalism! I do not necessarily think that Christ is the only pathway to God either. Perhaps I am much more of a unitarian universalist (though I am still trying to work out whether I agree with the Trinity or not) than I admit.

      One thing I truly do believe is that the Lord works in mysterious ways and that He has the whole universal reconciliation scenario worked out, ready, and it is already in action, it is already saving. Perhaps I have got the in and outs wrong, I ask God to guide me, I try my best to listen to Him, but I sincerely believe that God has said, declared and promised, that all shall be saved. Even if I never truly understand how until the next life, I find plenty to rejoice in with that fact alone. I don't claim to be an intelligent theologian or anything of the sort, I am ambling along trying to make sense of this wondrous universe.

      I hope this is a reasonable answer and I pray that you are well. The article was indeed interesting and there were some intriguing discussions happening in the comments section too. Have a great day and God bless.