The Eastern Orthodox view according to:
"As I said, Orhtodoxy finds the idea that has developed (by changing several interpretations) of a God who vengefully burns people in hell forever as punishment for offending Him to be completely repugnant. But historically the Church has understood God and eternity differently…
"And since you are now in Controversial, I do want to add …
"As I said, our Church views God as good and loving. His intent and desire is to save everyone. He gets no pleasure at seeing anyone suffer.
"We cannot teach universalism, because that was not given to us by the Apostles, nor by Christ. However, along with God, we hope and pray for the salvation of each person.
"We don’t delve into what we have not been given, nor teach what we do not know. But we do know, as I said, that God doesn’t take pleasure in anyone’s suffering, loves each person, and wants each one reconciled to Him. Souls are eternal, though. Man was not created to die. Had there been no fall, man would have lived, neither body nor soul dying. But God Himself is the Source of Life. In shutting himself away from God through sin, man brought death to himself. It was always God’s will to restore, which is why Christ defeated death and made the resurrection of the body possible. ALL will be resurrected in the end, even those who hate God.
"God loves each of us, and He is so pure, Holy, so other … that if we are in His Presence, feeling His love, yet in our sins and rejecting Him, we will experience that Presence and love as torment. Imagine a teenager that is really mad at their parents having to stand there and be hugged and kissed by the parents. The rebellion of the teen will experience that as torture. But hatred of God is a deeper rebellion (the teen doesn’t really hate his parents) … and God’s Presence is much more profound than a simple human embrace. God won’t force anyone’s will, but He STILL loves, because He IS love. So … anyone who hates Him will be tormented (and likely by regret too). He will suffer … our God is a consuming fire - so awesome is His very Presence. But it will be a suffering if his own making.
"Now the speculative part. We can HOPE, and we do, that it is possible that with knowing the Truth, humans who hate God might let go of what sets them against God, at some point. It would be consistent with God’s character for this to happen. He doesn’t punish to exact pain, but everything He does is ultimately for restoration. We don’t say that it is impossible for Him to restore those souls … if not all, perhaps many it most … from their torment. We desire, we pray, we love with God, and we hope that all men will eventually be drawn to Him. Or almost all. We don’t know. We cannot proclaim this. We must not assure anyone of the chance of delayed reconciliation. But we always hope in the case if each person. And we certainly don’t say “God can’t”. We do know He desires it.
"And I could have posted that in Traditional Theology, since it IS an accepted understanding of many of the Saints from the early days. But for the sake of not stirring things up, and since I thought you’d rather be here, I waited until it was moved. But this is a teaching (the possibility) from far back. Annihilationism isn’t, but I can understand why it resounds with many. It really is NOT in God’s nature to torment forever with no purpose in mind. You are right about that. And in the end, it’s more important to get an understanding of God’s character right, than it is to know exactly how He will accomplish what He hasn’t told us.
“God be with you.”
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