Hell: Because Love Wins | the blue fish project (dave bish)

In Hell: Because Love Wins Dave Bish writes

In some cases we have no issue with that – everyone thinks certain people should be punished…

H'mm, I don't think that is how we should think.

My understanding is that there is nobody that Jesus wants to see punished, that is why he went to the cross. Even on the cross he called out "Father forgive them", referring to the people who had put him there.

So, I don't think we should be thinking that "certain people should be punished…", instead we should be focused on the miracle that Jesus came, died & rose again so that all of us, as sinners, may be forgiven, reconciled with God and not punished.

Anything else turns us into judges complaning about the sticks in other peoples eyes while unaware of the logs in our own eyes

5 thoughts on “Hell: Because Love Wins | the blue fish project (dave bish)

  1. dave

    C’mon Dave, talk about taking it out of context – you’ve not even finished the sentence. And you know I’m not saying it’s right that we think there should be punishment, I’m saying its what people do think. In a post arguing for how heartbreaking the thought of divine judgment should be to us…

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  2. Dave

    Dave,
    Sorry, I really was not trying to take you out of context. I don’t think the rest of the sentence (after your ellipses) changes the sense of the first part which is what I am disagreeing with.
    My point is that I am unconvinced by your argument about “how heartbreaking the thought of divine judgement should be to us…”
    It is unconvincing because I disagree with the part I quoted. I don’t find lots of people in our Church wanting people to go to hell.
    I do find lots of people who hear the command of Jesus to love their enemies and who are troubled by how hard they find this, yet struggle along. For them to keep emphasising divine judgement is unhelpful, it makes them feel more guilty, more helpless and less able to act.
    I do preach on the awesome holiness of God (this last Sunday being a good example in the lectionary readings of the Transfiguration in Mark & also the passage from 2 Corinthians 4) and how we have wrongly played down the “fear of the Lord” in recent times, but all to often emphasising Hell becomes an attempt “to scare the hell out” of people. It also becomes unhealthily divisive creating a them and us attitude between the saved and the damned that does nothing to bring people into God’s presence.
    So while it may seem a slight difference I do want to quite clearly stand against the way I understand your post.
    Someone (I’m hopeless at remembering names) had a powerful ministry casting out evil spirits until he realised that he ended up talking about satan more than about God. There is a similar problem when talking about Hell. A focus on divine judgement takes us away from a focus on the reality of the incarnation, cross & resurrection.

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  3. dave

    And, honestly I don’t think where I’m heading is that different.
    I don’t think there’s much point or value in trying to scare people with hell – had a quote in the talk which I didn’t put into the blogpost, from an old Scot saying that that’s ineffective. Its good news that changes things.
    What I’m aiming at is: if you must talk about this, and if you need to understand this subject – weep. And talk more of the love of God than anything else, everything coming back to that because God isn’t part loving with a wrathful and holy streak… he’s all love.
    And its love that wins people, moves people. And when you get asked to give a seminar on the subject of hell talk about weeping and love…

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  4. Dave

    Dave,
    Thanks for your response. It is good to appear that we are closer than I realised on this.
    Given my past experiences and what has been around in recent years what you are saying is sadly not what I typically expect from UCCF & New Frontiers.
    Maybe that is because I have been conditioned in what I expect and so don’t always read straight. Or maybe because you are differing in your understanding from the norms of your Church.
    I recognise that I need to move beyond a simplistic view of UCCF theology in which I am still strongly influenced a) by being told back in my uni days (with apparent relish) that I was not a Christian and was going to hell and b) the experiences of Methodist Chaplains in their relationships with UCCF.
    I also recognise that I probably pay too much attention to some voices within New Frontiers and the groups that I perceive as having external influence on New Frontiers. These voices have been eager to declare Rob Bell a heretic and who talk a great deal about hell and even how God hates us.
    So it is helpful for me to hear your voice and recognise that as you say it is not very different from my own on this issue.

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  5. Krishna

    Welcome to Brighton in advance, Hugh! Very srsirpued that you would be a Newfrontiers skeptic and a Driscoll fan, interesting combination. May this week contradict your conceptions, and at the very least may you feel very welcome!If you see me, come up and say hi!

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