During the Deconstruction process, one of the first things we begin to question is Hell. Often we are taught to follow Christ by fire and brimstone teachings, but what exactly does that mean? And why are we so fixated on this place?
Why are we fixated on Hell?
Answer: Because fear corrupts the message of Love.
Despite what you may believe about Hell, fear is often the approach for getting people into the Church’s door. Typically, Hell is used as a scare tactic. Fear is a stronghold that keeps us from truly experiencing God’s love. And when people use fear against each other, that mentality strengthens. Honestly, it happens in more places than just Church buildings and religious settings. People use fear tactics as a way to sell their products or services. It just so happens that we use Christ’s love as a product that only few are able to attain. Labeling salvation an “act fast or you’ll lose this great offer” waters down the message of Hope and Love. When we water down God’s love, we tend to forget the goodness of Christ.
The only thing separating you from God is a fear mentality…
When we operate out of our fears, we forget that God is so much more vast and beautiful and gracious than we often make Him out to be. Just like our friend, Matthew Challenor, shared on our show, God isn’t simply fire insurance or a golden ticket to Candyland. Our driving force should never be the fear of being apart from God. However, we should want to draw near to God because of his vast beauty and gracious love for His creation. When we start operating out of comfort, we realize that we want to draw near to Jesus simply because of His character.
Christ isn’t our get-out-of-Hell-free-card, He is so much more than our fears. God is somebody we should want to draw near because we desire to, not out of obligation because we’re afraid of the outcome if we don’t.
When we begin to deconstruct our traditional beliefs, it’s challenging to know what to believe. Questions and doubts rock our religious worldview and we’re often left with more questions than answers. The truth is, you may never fully understand why bad things happen to good people or what happens when non-believers pass away. But one thing is for certain: the love of God overpowers any and all fear or doubt. Despite what you believe of Hell, allow your belief in God’s love to scream louder.
So, what the hell?!
This week, Cody and I sat down with our friend, Matthew Challenor, to talk about what it’s like to deconstruct Hell. Throughout this episode, we talk about the true character of God’s love, alternatives to the idea of Hell and why fear should never be our driving force of pursuing God. If you would like to listen to our conversation with Matthew, you can find this week’s episode here.