Christ with Thorns

Revising Hell

To the editor:

The purpose of this letter is a response to the article posted October 16th featuring filmmaker Kevin Miller’s new documentary entitled “Hellbound?”.  Mr. Miller new movie questions the reality of Hell and just who goes there.  It never ceases to amaze me that someone who is not a trained theologian, or student of sacred scripture would want to take on something as dense and important as the reality of Hell. 

In such cases, the verdict from the untrained secular minded individual is always one of negative in terms of Hell being a real place.  In today’s world most people like to ridicule the biblical understanding of Hell.  They choose to reinterpret Hell as a place only reserved for types like Hitler or Stalin, or worse yet, as in Mr. Miller’s case, they gravitate toward a false idea of universal salvation.

As a child Mr. Miller was frightened about going to Hell. He states that the fear of Hell has stayed with him ever since he became a Christian at 9 years old.  I say that is a pretty healthy viewpoint, however, Gods justice must never outweigh His love.  Mr. Miller thinks otherwise and instead has made a documentary misinforming countless people that Hell is not to be feared.  One thing Mr. Miller doesn’t seem to have a grasp of is that he cannot re-create what has been understood properly for centuries.

In the New Testament, Jesus mentions Hell 28 times, more times than He mentions Heaven.  He mentions eternal punishment for unrepentant sins 90 times.  He also performs multiple exorcisms in the Bible. So to deny Hell is to make God a liar.  Mr. Miller’s objection is that God is so loving and merciful that He would never send anyone to Hell.  The truth is, God never damns anyone to Hell, people damn themselves.

Theology teaches us that God created man to have free will, and free will He takes very seriously.  So seriously that he doesn’t command anyone to be saved.  He leaves open for every person the option of saying no to Him.  God doesn’t trick people into Hell.

The real problem lies, as always, in human beings love for sin.  If you can deny sin exist then you can deny that Hell exist.  A young man asked Jesus once in the Bible what he must do to attain eternal life.  Jesus told him to keep the commandments.  And in case he didn’t know them, Jesus recited all ten of them to him.  People need not fear Hell if they truly love God and keep His commandments.  But you can’t love what you do not know.  We are to seek Him out.  As a Catholic, the Church sufficiently answers the question of what is the purpose of life in this world for me; we are here to know God, to love God, to serve Him in this world and be happy with Him in the next.

~ John Andrew Dorsey


Markoe, Lauren. “Filmmaker Asks Whether Hell is Real, and Who

Goes There.” Religion News Service, 16

Oct. 2012. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.

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