UA-40673842-1

Hell = Our Churches

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Pixabay

Pixabay

 

“Do you believe in a literal hell?” Even though it was more than a decade ago, I’ll never forget that first question. In the midst of my Southern Baptist ordination council, the gathered men wanted to make sure that I would carefully toe the line of fundamentalism. At the time, I was growing more and more conflicted with these beliefs that I’d ultimately come to reject. Back then, I blurred the lines of fundamentalism and answered the question thusly, “I believe that there is separation from God and that any separation from God is hell.”

 

Although I’ve traveled pretty far from that day and embraced a much more radical faith, there is one belief that still remains. Though I find any idea of an eternal hell to be heretical and believe that God will eventually draw all of us to eternal love, I still firmly hold that we can be separated from God in this life and that such separation is hell. I’ve realized that our churches often separate us from God.

 

Whether in our individualized worship or in our growing institutionalism or in our capitalistic finances or in our desperation to keep the doors open or our idolization of religion or in a whole host of other embraced evils, we our quickly drifting away from God. You see, God told us that the incarnation of God would rest in the least of these. When our churches fail to give their entire ministries to the least of these, they become hell or separated from God. There is no salvation apart from God…there is no salvation apart from the least of these. Ultimately, I believe in a literal hell and I believe it is often our churches.

 

Amen.

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