Should Believers Fear Hell – and God? A Response to Oliver Thomas on Blogcritics.

Earlier today I read two articles  as they were making their provocative way through the viral atmosphere. Both of them were written by people I believe are Americans. Both articles were characterized by a hopelessness caused by an inability of their writers to  comprehend the things of God. I am writing in response to one of those articles  that carried the same name as indicated in my chosen title for this article.

I believe that in some way the  author, one Oliver Thomas, wrote with the specific intention of being the
devil’s advocate and in more ways than one open the religious version of  Pandora’s Box. However, I believe the article in itself is a potential cause  for the “speculations” and hopeless futility that he intended so
scathingly to address.

In the article, published in the  USA Today online edition of August 8, 2011, Mr Thomas asked the important  question of what happens after death. But as one reads the article it becomes  clear that he is not so much concerned with providing an answer to the question  as he is with attempting to prove that Christians and believers in Jesus Christ  have been surely misled due to the misinterpretation of Jesus’ words as they  referred to hell.

The author makes us to know that a  God who will punish an act of evil for all eternity is not as terrible (and
somehow I infer he means obtuse) as the people who will actually believe in  such a God. He used his parenting code to suggest he will only punish his  daughter with an action that fits the disobedience. He refuses to believe that  a place of eternal punishment exists, claiming that the “Christian Old  Testament” only talks of the dead existing in a “dreamlike  place.” One of the things about reading information is that one can select  bits and pieces to drive one’s point home. And generally Christians quote  scriptures to get their message across.

However, Oliver Thomas basically  condemns the believers in the Bible for their vulnerable gullibility because  they believe something just because the Bible teaches it. But then he goes and  quotes from the very same Bible he is claiming is erroneously misinterpreted  and indicates that Solomon in Ecclesiastes proclaimed that “Whatever your  hand finds to do, do it with all your might for there is no activity or
planning or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.” This he says, clearly  trying to convince the really undecided and scared readers that no real action  comes after the human heart stops.

Well, Mr Thomas, Solomon whom you  quoted was speaking as the wisest man on the earth who ever lived. But how is  it, Mr Thomas that you did not mention that Jesus had this to say in Matthew  chapter 12 and verse 42: “…one greater than Solomon is here.”

The author of the article is trying  desperately but to no avail to reason and understand the truths of the
universe. The created being will never know as much as the creator. Do you  think man will ever make a product that is equal to man’s capabilities or that  surpasses man’s individual greatness?

Jesus Christ came to earth because  there was a problem of significant eternal ramifications that warranted His  intervention. Don’t you see the British Prime Minister who is on holiday  leaving his happy time to return to deal with the escalating riots in London?  Aren’t you hearing persons in your beloved America asking that the President  recalls Congress from vacation time to deal with the economic woes? So, if
human beings can see the need to leave their comfort zone to face a serious  challenge that no one else can fix, then don’t you think Heaven will do the  same?  Mr Thomas, if the consequences of  sin only led to a dream world of shadowy appearances why would the creator of  life Himself leave the infinite happiness of heaven to suffer the agony and  shame during the crucifixion?

Or, how is it you didn’t think it  convenient in your echoing of Satan’s manifesto to include the parable Jesus
told of the rich man (who signifies the typical “American dream”) and  the torment he endured from the moment he died? Go and read St Luke chapter 16  from verse 19 to verse 31.

This once wealthy fellow who was  probably the beneficiary of the wall street of his day will not agree with you  that misinterpretations from King James has been trying to create an unfounded  fanaticism and religious fear. That rich man is still in that very place being  tormented today. I hope that as you read, Mr Thomas, that you will realize it  takes something extraordinarily true, serious and real to gain the attention of  a wealthy person and make them beg for a vagrant or thug to put his once itchy  finger in his mouth to ease his pain.

Please note as well that the end of  this story saw Jesus making the point through Abraham that the living people on  the earth have to choose on their own to listen to the preachers of the day.  You are choosing not to listen. In the Caribbean we have been told time and  again by our parents that “he who does not hear will feel.”

Are you hearing, Mr Thomas?

Now the article really makes one  wonder about Americans and their acceptance of the Christian message. Hmm. All  I would say is that the Bible has indicated that Christianity is not on the  earth to win a popularity contest. In the months and years following the death,  burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, literally millions of His followers  and believers chose to die a horrible death rather than deny Jesus and live a
few more years on this earth.

Mr Thomas, I am certain you know  that no sane person dies for a lie. And certainly even you, Mr Thomas, must  agree with me that the millions of persons who allowed themselves to be killed  in the most gruesome of ways cannot be all crazy.

Your article runs the risk of  allowing some unconcerned soul to think it is all right to face their death day
without answering the Jesus question. I really hope that your readers see  beyond your verbally brawny logics. If not, you risk finding yourself having to  explain to your Creator why you chose to propagate the ideals of Satan. When  your state department released home videos of Saddam Hussein after they had
killed him, they muted the audio because they saw the wisdom in not giving an  outlet to his ideals and so corrupt the listening audience.

In the same way your article, in an  attempt to create viral publicity has chosen to be an outlet of Satan’s message  to keep humanity from taking the reality of Jesus Christ as a personal  responsibility with present and eternal benefits or losses.

I look forward to reading your  follow up article that is motivated by humility and inner inspiration and not
just intellectual myopic panic.