I am currently working on a post detailing the making of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. But I want to take a break from that and do a little venting.
I just don’t get people.
Recently, I have looked for opportunities to inform people on how the modern-day notion of Hell came about. To my surprise, people still want to hang on to it. I either get a blank stare when I say, “It was made up” or I get an all out, “Well, I believe in it.”
Why is that?
Are these people so indoctrinated that they are too scared to not believe in it? Do they think if they stop believing in it, then they might be sent there? Or do they actually love the idea of being God’s privileged people who are able to escape judgment while the rest of humanity be tortured for all eternity for not adhering to their particular doctrines?
When I first began noticing a disconnect between the Old and New Testaments, I said to a certain person, “Ummm… according the the prophets of the Old Testament, the Jews are not going to Hell.”
This person’s response was, “How can you say that?”
Excuse me? If someone had said that to me, I would have seen this as “Good News” (pun intended). I would have wanted to know what this person had read that led him to this conclusion. I find it appalling when I tell Christians Hell is not real, and the result is a snub-nose, stone-wall reaction in defense of the most horrifying form of punishment imaginable. Christianity is supposed to make people loving, caring creatures. Yet, it appears that Christian (at least the fundamental ones) revel in the torturous punishment of those who don’t believe as they do. And that is sick.
About a year or so ago, I came across Nehemiah Gordon’s presentation on his journey to the actual Valley of Hinnom (Hell) in Jerusalem. I revisited it last week and have watched it even a third time. I just love it! If you wish to watch the entire video, it will be posted below. But here I will highlight the powerful words from his speech.
He begins by narrating a conversation he had with a Christian from the Southern United States. Imagine a faux southern drawl coming from a young man impersonating a sweet old lady from Dixie. Nehemiah says, “She said to me, ‘Nee-a-miya! You’re gonna burn in Hell! You Jews, you don’t believe. You ain’t got no grace!'”
Nehemiah continues, “So what is this Hell? And what is this ‘grace’? Is it a novel concept that only appears in her Bible, which is the New Testament? Or is it found in my Bible as well?”
He then goes on to explain the history of the Hinnom Valley, how it was used in child sacrifice for the worshipers of Molech. The statue of Molech’s hands were spread out over a deep pit of fire. The people would place a live child in the hands of the statue. As it burned up, the body of the child would shrivel up and eventually fall down into the pit of Hell, literally.
Nehemiah says, “Now, this woman is telling me that I as a Jew… who is following the prophets that God revealed his word to (the prophets of ancient Israel) that because I’m doing that, that I’m going to burn in Hell and God won’t have any grace for me. She is ultimately telling me that my god – well her god really, is like the god of Molech.”