Recently esteemed theologian "John Stott" tragically died in August and therefore some Christians are reverently depicting him as a positive force within a religion that is filled with some pretty wretched characters like "Jerry Falwell." Admirably, John Stott did represent a more healthier form of Christianity when opposed to the depravity of Jerry Falwell or that crazy Camping fellow. Except, John Stott also argued for acceptance of an idea of hell that supposedly presented God as more merciful than the merciless God that permits the torture of his own creation for eternity for not believing properly.
John Stott thus supported the more deceptively humane idea of "Annihilationism." For some reason, most people would think that the word "annihilate" connotes something sinister and evil. Except, John Stott presented the idea of "annihilationism" as the less barbaric concept of hell. Reasonably, the idea of perpetual torture for someone who could not believe in the Orthodox ideal was obscene and presents an obtuse God who fails to have any grasp of the idea of forgiveness. In John Stott's mind therefore, the majority of people who are destined for hell will not be consciously aware of torture because God literally sentences them to a "second death," which means that this person's life is obliterated along with any memory of them within their loved one's minds.
For proponents of this tamer idea of hell, the inhabitants of heaven who are fixed in their celestial bliss would not be able to inquire to God: "God, what happened to "so and so??" The tyrannical God made sure that the very existence of that person also eradicated the memory of that person which symbolically would have made them immortal in a sense. Of course, we should all feel our wealth of sadness become assuaged by this because those people whom we profoundly loved may be forgotten in heaven. In order for "God" to preserve the infinite state of heavenly bliss, he has to accordingly wipe out any emotive memory attached to that person who has been condemned to hell or the unfathomable idea of a "lost existence."
God who more often than naught acts more like a "sociopath" than some transcendent being [...] We need to stop accepting this deranged Hitler-God whom we permit to be monstrous just because we are so frightened by "the degenerate tyrant." Would God even forget these people in this concept of heaven? Isn't this malicious God much like Hitler in a sense? As long as these odd ideas of hell are predominant in Christian theology, God is very much "Hitler" albeit he is indubitably "perfect justice" therefore immorality within our eyes become morality as long as its "God" being the one to commit these acts. Some Christians believe they are lessening the inherent evil associated with this tyrannical "God." "But, God feels immense pathological sadness when he wipes people from existence altogether." Would we condone Hitler's cruelty just because he might have shed tears as he heard the harsh reverberations of piteous screams from Jews and those who were not members of the special race being incinerated in ovens? If Christians believe that God condemns those who are not Christians to hell, the six million Jews who were initially killed by the malevolent Hitler would then be wiped clean from existence?
I know some Christians like "C.S. Lewis" love to portray these people who are cosigned to hell as being people who are not contrite. Suddenly, this apathy about their torture justifies hell or makes it righteous in the minds of Christians who struggle with the immoral ramifications that these various hell concepts present. In our reality, morality dictates that torture of any kind cannot be warranted just because the person is not protesting against the torture. C.S. Lewis is definitely someone who would not be termed as unloving or someone with a cold heart. But, his concept of hell is fraught with moral problems. His justification for "hell" mirrors the ignorance of rape or sexual abuse because victims were thought to have felt pleasure from having forced sexual intercourse. Or, they were not pitied because they didn't even try to struggle against their rapist thus the fault lies with the "victim" because they succumbed far too easily. Except, we know that torture of any kind dehumanizes therefore people who are tortured are often "numb" or "lost" to themselves.
In my empathetic mind, I just cannot conjure this image of all people the people in hell being complacent with their punishment just because they hate God. Personally, I would hate this sort of God who might have permitted my life to be filled with incessant torture to the extent where I could not believe in the type of God who seems to be uncaring to people who just couldn't believe within him. It has been proven that kids who are sexually abused often have distrust in people and even God. How can God judge these people while being cruelly unaware of their tragic circumstances on this Earth?
None of us have any real notion of God. We have forced God to be some sovereign king who is infallible and odious? In life, we all are grappling with the search for meaning and love in a world that can often be filled with grief and pain. Why are we viewing God from that stoical state of mind that has no empathy or consideration for anyone but ourselves? In our mind, we feel worthy of being in heaven except those "others" who are undeserving of our high stature and ultimate reward in paradise. How did we allow such an awful idea of God be permitted to preached about? God is often someone that is "static" in the Christian mind of thus this skewed construct of God has become immutable in our senses. Paradoxically, we know nothing about this God but yet we pretend to know him better than the other people we share this Earth with. Our biggest problem is a deficit of love therefore we project that onto our "idea" of God who more often than naught acts more like a "sociopath" than some transcendent being that was "the prime mover" and the greatest enigma in our universe. We need to stop accepting this deranged Hitler-God whom we permit to be monstrous just because we are so frightened by "the degenerate tyrant," that we cannot and refuse to believe in a God whom might be the antithesis of all our crude ideas of "God."
Filed Under: Articles