Is Hell real?
|Voting Style:||Open||Point System:||7 Point|
|Updated:||6 months ago||Status:||Debating Period|
|Viewed:||254 times||Debate No:||95412|
I would like to thank vijack for participating in this debate, as it is a very intriguing topic that does not often get much attention. You are an amazing opponent and I can’t wait to test both of our understandings through this debate.
R2. Both present cases.
R3. Both argue with the cases.
R4.Both defend their cases.
Arguments abstain from personal emotion / life experience.
To base arguments off of what the Bible says and does not say.
To use the principle of “Letting Scripture interpret Scripture.” – And not basing interpretation on today’s news, your church says, or what you’ve been told all your life. Your own interpretation.
That the debate is carried out in a civil manner with love and respect.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:21, “Test everything. Hold on to the good.” -
Some often make the assumption that rejecting hell means rejecting Scripture. When in fact this is just not the case. One can believe in the Word of God with the absence of believing in a place where God’s creation burn in eternal torment. There is compelling truth as to why hell is not a fundamental to the structure of the Bible as many tend to believe it is.
The Three Hells:
There are three different traditional Christian models of hell. These are known as Eternal Torment, Annihilationism, and Universalism.
The theory of Eternal Torment posits the well-known stance that Christians go to heaven while all non-Christians go to hell.
Annihilationism teaches that upon dying some Christians go to heaven, while everyone else is annihilated into nothingness.
Universalism teaches that after death literally everyone is eventually reconciled, redeemed, and ushered into heaven.
Among the three theories, only one is capable of making money. Why is this, you may ask. Because it is the only one that inflicts a mighty fear of the afterlife. If you want people to pay money to support your institution, it is important that you root this belief into the core of your foundation so that not supporting it condemns one to eternal torture.
To quote John Shore, “Show me a Christian terrified of hell, and I’ll show you a Christian ready to pay good money for the assurance that he or she isn’t going there.”
To put it another way: Guilt + fear + doctrine of hell = $$$$. – This tactic is used to manipulate non-believers into thinking that if they don’t follow God, they will surely burn forever. You see fire and brimstone preachers on the streets shouting such things as, “Love God or Go to Hell!” and, “It’s Heaven or the highway!” This is fear mongering and is described as such,
“Fear mongering or scaremongering is the deliberate use of fear based tactics including exaggeration and usual repetition to influence the public in order to achieve a desired outcome. It is a tactic used to scare or put fear into an audience and influence the outcome based on fear.”
By the definition it would make sense that the desired outcome would bring more followers and therefore more money for the institution.
My questions for this argument are:
“If you believe hell is real, why wouldn’t you be spending all of your time trying to save people from it?”
“What if your sister or brother became an atheist? Would you feel good knowing your sibling is about to spend eternity in hell, burning in agony endlessly?”
“Why not preach about Gods pure love and how everyone will eventually be saved?” – It seems this message would be more welcoming to non-believers.
This is what I wanted to break down first. The money making tactic of hell and why most people rely on one theory of hell instead of the other two.
The Origins of Hell:
The Valley of the Son of Hinnom is Jesus’ hell. This valley’s name in Hebrew and in Old Testament and New Testament times was Gei Ben Hinnom, which means the Valley of the Son Hinnom, or more simply, Gei-Hinnom. A transliteration gave rise to the word Gehenna. Gehenna in Aramaic is the word Jesus employed eleven times during his Earthly ministry. This is of its twelve uses in the entire New Testament. It is a given fact that most all Bible versions translate Jesus’ Gehenna as “hell.”
You can go to this “hell” without dying. To this day the same valley surrounds Old Jerusalem on the southwest side and bears the name Gehenna. Why would Jesus’ refer to this valley as hell? Well, it's because of the history of the valley itself. It was where a literal hell was taking place.
One of the biggest problems with Gehenna being an other-worldly, afterlife place is, it was and still is a proper noun and the name of a real, literal, familiar, this-world place. I could go into detail about every single piece of origin about Gehenna but as I have limited space and time, I will give you some prophesies and verses to ponder upon.
Gehenna Prophecy #1 – Jeremiah 7:32-34
Topeth means a, “place of fire,” “cremation” or “burning.” Scholars believe the beating of instruments was used to drown out the cries and screams of infants and children being burned alive by the priests of the Ammonite god, Molech. It is also believed that a brazen image of Molech was erected at Topeth. It had the head of a bull with two horns and the body of a man. The stomach of the idol was enlarged, hollowed out, and used as a furnace for the fire. The priests burned doves, pigeons, lambs and even their own children in the sacrifices. Later, Josiah put an end to such acts and restored pure worship to God. – “He desecrated Topeth, which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could use it to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to Molech.” – 2 Ki. 23:10.
A long prophecy is in Jeremiah 19:1-15 and then the last prophecy is in Jeremiah 31:38-40.
Another example is in Mathew 23:33
“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to Gehenna?”
Jesus uses this word nine other times. It can be seen in Mathew 5:21-22, Mathew 5:29-30, (However it is again another example in 5:29-30 that the word ‘Gehenna’ has been translated to the word ‘hell’ in the New International Version, NIV) – Mathew 10:28, Luke 12:4-5, Mathew 18:8-9, and lastly Mark 9:42-49.
The word Gehenna clearly is used by Jesus himself, and has been translated to the word ‘hell,’ which means that hell’s origins in the bible are not only misinterpreted but also misunderstood.
My questions for this this argument for my opponent are:
“Since Gehenna is clearly a real biblical word and an origin of the word hell in the bible, why would it be translated differently throughout the centuries? Priests interpretation? Ancient beliefs prior to this? Or just fear mongering itself?”
A True Predicament:
I challenge you to think the following things over when you write your rebuttal:
“What if Jesus was not sent here to pay for our “sins”, but to show us that there is nothing but love and that Fear was created through religion for control and power. That God is love and that we have nothing to fear, that we should be fearless and that we should embrace “death” just like Jesus did!”
“If God is everything and we are a part of God, than theoretically we are all God. For God to condemn us, would be the same as God to condemn his/her self.”
“God is the creator and everything he/she created is perfect. If we were sent to a place of total damnation, torment and left to suffer than how could we be a perfect creation of God? I thought only the imperfect went to hell? But wait, I thought we were all perfect creations?”
“If God truly had a child-like personality and demanded to be worshiped and praised, otherwise you would feel his/her wrath, than why give us free will when God could have it all of the time? A true God that is powerful and almighty.. The creator of everything… would not need to demand anything. For he already has everything, IS everything and is experiencing his/her self through all of us.”
“Why is there nothing in the bible about dinosaurs? Could it be that they hadn’t been discovered by the MEN writing the bible, so they didn’t throw them into the mix?”
- According to the bible there is only one universe, it is expanding, but there is only one.
Scientists now have proof of multiple universes outside of our own.
Our universe is not infinite but the number of universe are. Impossible? Why? God can create one universe and not another? But the bible only speaks of one? Only MAN knew of one, thousands of years ago.
The only thing that is blasphemy is to deny God of his/her ability to create.
“The age old cop out “we just don’t understand God’s ways” is just making an excuse for a cruel depiction of God. Then, of course, there is the cosmology that centers around humans being created solely for the purpose of worshipping God, and God gives them the free will to choose whether or not they do; if they do not, they get tortured forever, which really is not giving humanity a choice. And, by the way, why would a completely self-sufficient, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient being even have the need to create something outside of itself. Love? Look, if hell exists, one cannot get past the moral dilemma presented by an omniscience being creating someone knowing that they will end up in hell – how absurd. Of course, it never gets explained outside of using very circular “logic”.”
I believe the bible is a tool for guidance in this current life on to the next, but at the end of the day it truly was written by man. Some influenced by a spiritual presence, but nonetheless by man. God did not give us the Scripture in his own hands. The Bible that we currently hold in our hands was passed down and translated/re-written over many centuries to get there. It is not written directly from God to me or anyone in a sense. If God is Holy, and loving, he would not allow eternal torment.
If you couldn’t tell, I do believe in God and I love God. I love God very much. Very much so that I can’t imagine my god wanting to have me tormented and tortured for an eternity. If God truly is vengeful and wrathful, he/she is no God of mine.
First, I would like to establish my definition of Hell, "An eternal damnation for transgressing the known commandment of God." I believe that Hell is the end result of spiritual death. I believe that Hell is an actual place that exists in the realms of eternity. I believe that it is a place of eternal torture. I believe that it was originally created for Satan and the fallen angles, and when humanity fell in the garden we damned ourselves to Hell.
I believe the question that we are really here to debate could be better phrased "Is there really an eternal consequence for sinning?" The first entity to refute that there was an eternal consequence to sinning was Satan in the Garden of Eden; Genesis 3:4 "And the Serpent said to the woman, Ye shall not surely die." I going to take the liberty of assuming that we are all familiar with the story enough that I do not have to go into great detail as to what is happening, in case if anyone is unfamiliar with it please read Genesis chapter one through chapter three. In essence what Satan is telling Eve here is that she can go ahead and disobey God, she can live her life the way that she wants to and that there will be no eternal consequences. He is telling her that what God said in Genesis 2: 16-17 "And the"Lord"God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die," is false. Satan called God a liar.
So what did God mean by "in the day---thou shalt surely die," when he was speaking to Adam. We know from the text that when they ate the fruit they didn't fall over clinching their chests so He didn't mean physical death (though that was a later result). So what "death" happened right there when they ate the fruit? They died spiritually (sin entered their heart). Since then this death has been passed on to all of us.
The Bible is very clear that no sin will enter heaven.
Revelation 21:27 "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
The Bible is very clear that not everyone goes to heaven.
Matthew 7:21-23""Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?" And then will I declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness."
So if the soul is immortal, and not all of them go to heaven, simple logic says that they go somewhere else.
Most notably, the Bible is very clear that there is a hell.
Mathew 25:41""Then he will say to those on his left, "Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
God had a problem with Hell; He loved us. He didn't want to see us go to Hell. So He made a plan to save us from this horrible price. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ as the payment for sin. All we have to do is accept the free gift.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
My question that I would pose to my opponent is: "How could a Just and Holy God not demand a payment for sin,"
My response to your statements in this round will not be an all-out debate, as I want to give you the chance to respond to what I have had to say before I jump to anything else. I will however give you this.
My opponent is using Scripture as her basis for her argument, as am I. There is a difference however into the context into which she is using it in.
I will not base my rebuttal to your statements off of questions circular around my feelings, but instead around origin and ‘Scripture interpreting Scripture.’ I’m going to pull the Scripture out and see what it says and discuss its Hebrew, ancient origins and how it has been taken out of context and misunderstood.
You asked, "How could a Just and Holy God not demand a payment for sin?"
I’ll accept your premise to the question. I also accept the payment, and the payment was Christ. Jesus died on the cross and paid for our sins.
“16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
“God did not send his son into the world to CONDEMN the world, but to SAVE the world through him.”
This verse implies that God was sent to save all creation in the world through him.
My opponent may bring up the world ‘perish’ in this verse. However, perishing is different than burning forever in hell.
My opponent can discredit me in my last statements for using feeling as the root of the last questions in which I supplied. I take responsibility for any such loop hole, but the questions still do impose a meaningful thought approach to the situation as a whole.
Now, instead of using such a basis I will ask my opponent questions based in the biblical scripture.
What does the Hebrew and Greek original translation say?
And did would the people at the time translate it to say?
What scripture do you use, and what is its deeper origin to demand this eternal punishment? (Before it was, re-written, re-translated over multiple languages, and given to the interpretation of millions of people)
Can we agree that the bible was inspired by the scriptures given to us?
You say that the bible says this and you believe this literally. The bible was written for us but was not written to us, as I have referenced in my statements. It wasn’t written to Mark Smith who lives in 2016, and goes skydiving. Just like the apostle Paul didn’t write his letters directly towards me. Let’s say I could go back in time. I could show an ancient Hebrew a globe on Earth right now (modern, round, with every land mass identified) and he would say, “What is that?” They would have no idea what this is. They would deny its existence and say it is false. So, the words that were used to describe their reality in their time are different than the ones we would use to describe our reality in our time. Things were misunderstood and misinterpreted.
Do you think that God used the bible to convey any life changing information about science?
We transliterated our understanding on ancient texts. We pre-supposed things.
Henceforth begins my opponent’s first rebuttal.
My opponent also asked the question, "Why not preach about Gods pure love and how everyone will eventually be saved? " It seems this message would be more welcoming to non-believers." The main problem with that message is that it is simply not true (not the part about God's pure love but the part about how everyone will eventually be saved). Matthew 7:21-23""Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?" And then will I declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness."
I do agree that the message would be more welcoming to non-believers, however, that is not the point of the church. Yes we should welcome non-believers however our main concern should be their souls, not how comforted they feel. In-fact, it should be very uncomfortable to realize that you have offended a Holy God and have done nothing about it; you have a major issue if you come to that realization and still feel comfortable.
My response to your rebuttal is this;
- You said that you still believe the person would go to hell regardless of what you thought of it. Well this is true in many cases, the question still remains that separates your answer. "What’s the difference between belief and faith?"
- "Where did you get your belief in hell?"
"What is the kingdom of God? Is it something in the future? Something now? What is it as a whole and what is its origin?"
- Knowing the answer to this plays into your belief on hell.
You referenced Mathew 7:21-23" again. Who was Jesus talking to when he said that? Or was he talking to someone in the context of that Scripture? I believe he’s talking to the religious people. They think that they are the ones and they are the kingdom when in fact that is not so. Jesus told them that day that they are workers of lawlessness, disrupting his preaching. It was a recording of an exchange that happened.
Who was he communicating with and what was he saying to them about their question, because it was a question asked to him.
This will be my only rebuttal for your last debate.
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