Frustration with some ECT believers


#1

Hey guys,

It’s been a while since I posted. I still do not hold to Universal Reconcilliation but I hope desparately for it and I pray for it. I don’t know what it is but recently, I have felt a growing frustration with the attitudes of some believers towards the concept of Eternal Conscious Torment. I was watching a video reviewing the Zondervan Four Views of hell and one of the guys reviewing the boook concluded that he felt Denny Burke had the strongest argued position and that the burden of proof lay with the Annihilationists and the Universalists. They then went straight on to talk about one of them owing Denny a pizza and him being a great skate boarder and then joking about what his view of heaven would be like. I feel like if you really believe in ECT Hell as the eternal destiny of some or most of Humanity, why would you be so flippant?

My mother was abused as a child by one of her parents’ friends and I was discussing this with someone who is not a Christian and they said that he was going to hell. I felt so uncomfortable at the notion of this man burning in hell. For all the pain that he caused my mother, and the subsequent pain that was generated because of what he did, I still cannot bring myself to consign him to Eternal Conscious Torment.

I don’t think infernalists are callous. Some of the most loving people I know believe at least that hell is an eternal conscious separation from God, but some things that I have been reading/watching from some infernalists really upset me deeply because I feel like we should be heartbroken that people do not know Jesus as Lord and Saviour. We should be like Paul or Moses or any of those who were willing to sacrifice their own salvation for those were lost.

I don’t really have a question, I’ve just felt really plagued by this and just found it really difficult.


#2

My mother was abused as a child by one of her parents’ friends and I was discussing this with someone who is not a Christian and they said that he was going to hell. I felt so uncomfortable at the notion of this man burning in hell. For all the pain that he caused my mother, and the subsequent pain that was generated because of what he did, I still cannot bring myself to consign him to Eternal Conscious Torment.

Interestingly “hell” is not really a biblical word, it’s a translation of symbolic descriptions from greek and hebrew words in the manuscripts. Words like “gehenna” and “hades” and others which really mean things like destruction or grave but were assumed by translators to mean “hell” as per the traditional understanding. Really the Lake of Fire is where unbelievers end up and then what happens is unclear because the descriptions are very symbolic and subject to wide interpretation so the logical place to turn to is God character and God’s purposes. I suggest you listen to “Three Views of Hell” by Steve Gregg on thenarrowpath.com under topical lectures.


#3

Thanks Steve. I actually remember many years ago listening to his lectures on the 3 views of Hell (I found it helpful and illuminating) and I am currently reading ‘Her gates will never be shut’ by Bradley Jersak so I have been looking at the words that are related to hell.


#4

Sazag84 said

Damn good question :blush:

So why do YOU think they are so flippant? :astonished:

Also, you said:

The very fact that you think someone needs to BELIEVE or KNOW Jesus as lord and savior would be a starting point. Can we understand that Jesus has done his redemptive work through the cross, though we may not acknowledge (or in some circumstances… NOT be able to acknowledge) what he has done?

It is worth thinking about. :smiley:


#5

You may find the following interesting:

The English word “hell” originally meant “a hidden place.” It used to be said in English that lovers sought a hell so that they could be apart from other people. Yes, the Greek word “hades” often refers to the grave (which is also a hidden place). Also, when dirt if pulled up around growing potato plants so that the potatoes beneath will remain underground, this process is called “helling the potatoes.” Somehow this was changed to “hilling the potatoes.”

So in the sense of “a hidden place”, “hell” is a correct translation of “hades” (but not in the sense of a place of eternal torment, of course).


#6

That’s because “hell” just means “hole”, and so is a pretty direct translation of “sheol” and some meanings of “ge/ga”. :slight_smile: Whatever sheol can mean, hell can mean; whatever sheol can mean biblically, hell can mean biblically. “The valley of lamentation”, Ge-hinnom, can be called the hell of lamentation in translation just fine (although translators usually drop off the “hinnom” part when translating it! My theory is that if they didn’t, they’d be faced with Jesus saying that those who lament shall be comforted. :wink: )

Why is Holland called the Netherlands in English? Basically the same reason why hell is sometimes called the netherworld or underworld: Holland just means the lowlands (the area is also sometimes called that in English and other languages), or the land under sea level. There are plenty of examples of this in English language history, some of which Paidion pointed out. Due to studying European history, I run into the same thing a lot in the German language where English largely came from (Dutch being a modification of German language, too, and a lot closer one, as with Scandanavian languages across the Baltic Sea.)


#7

Jason,
You may well be right about old usages of hell, but I don’t care. A typical modern meaning of hell is the first meaning of hell given by Collins
English Dictionary Second Edition:

    Christianity, the place or state of eternal punishment of the wicked after death, with Satan as its ruler

It’s the place that doesn’t exist and it’s not a good current translation of anything in the Bible. Once upon a time it may have been a good translation
of something, but no longer, because the English language has changed. “hell” should have very little place on this board.


#8

Jason,
You may well be right about old usages of hell, but I don’t care. A typical modern meaning of hell is the first meaning of hell given by Collins
English Dictionary Second Edition:

Christianity, the place or state of eternal punishment of the wicked after death, with Satan as its ruler

But the only meaning that matters is what the bible writers meant when they used it, & also Satan is not the ruler of hell, Satan and the Beast and the False Prophet are thrown into the Lake of Fire.