Tuesday, March 29, 2011

United Methodist Pastor Fired for Not Believing In Hell

Alright, so that is not entirely what happened.  If you look at the secular press you do not hear the whole story, which does not surprise any of us.  The United Methodist News Service shared a full picture of what happened to a pastor who challenged traditional views on hell.  And the blogpost on hell was another in a series of controversial statements and views from a student pastor.
You can find the full story HERE
I have no problem with people learning, discussing and sharing.  It's good to talk about heaven and hell, especially when less and less people even think about the afterlife.  The problem I do have is when one's beliefs are forced upon others in a way that does not allow for discussion.  The really sad thing is that many on both sides of the hell discussion as of recent were making comments about Rob Bell's book (Love Wins) way before it was published!  They had not even read the book.  Is hell real?  Yes.  Will people end up there?  Yes.  Do I want to be there?  NO!
There are many people right now who are revitalizing a discussion of heaven and hell.  Several pastor friends are preaching on these topics.  Check out Eric Huffman's sermons at Revolution.  Good stuff.
To be completely honest, I don't think about hell too much.  I think we should all be more focused on what we do here and now.  Love God.  Love your neighbor.  And by no means ever think you are "good soil" or have everything figured out.  We don't.
And I am tired of people promoting themselves instead of the Gospel.  I'm also tired of people speaking poorly of UMC when they are trying to become part of it?!?
I love the UMC.  Yes we have our struggles, but we are one of, if not the best places to help a hurting and broken world find their way to God.
Go in peace and go with God.

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