Convert or Burn in Hell?

Generally I don't care how people observe their faith.  Want to stand on a street corner and shout about it? Fine by me.  Want to clang cymbals or speak in tongues?  Fine by me.  Want to pronounce your faith to everyone within shouting distance?  Annoying, but okay.  That said, this post by a minister in Lewisville really bothered me when I read it.  It starts:

We need your help. A couple in our church has been sharing Jesus with a woman who is near death in Hospice. Her name is — —-*. She is a Buddhist and if she dies without Christ, she will go to Hell. Will you please take a few moments right now and pray for — to receive Christ?

* I wasn't comfortable using her name in this post.

I do understand that he and the members of his flock mean well, and I also think they sincerely believe that they're endeavoring to save this woman from an eternity in hell, but man I cringe when I think of someone who is in the final stages of life, who is likely in extreme discomfort, being proselytized and told that her own religious belief is going to condemn her to hell.

Personally I think they should pray for her just as they should pray for the well being of anyone, but I don't buy the need for the deathbed proselytizing. I used to get a similar feeling when I had some pretty heated debates with the (very conservative) principal of my Lutheran high school.  He just couldn't convince me that God would condemn any good person to hell, no matter their faith. I guess that's one opinion I haven't changed at all over the years.

7 thoughts on “Convert or Burn in Hell?

  1. 4thbg

    I pray that these bozos start practicing the love, tolerance and acceptance they so quickly seem to forget when someone’s faith is not in line with theirs.

    Reply
  2. Curt Ewing

    I have always had trouble with that kind of thinking myself, and I just don’t believe it. In essence, what those people are saying is that God puts everyone in this world, does nothing when they are subjected to a lifetime of conflicting faiths, makes everyone susceptible to the fraility of the human flesh, bombards everyone with the desire to commit a billion sins that have to be resisted every minute, and if they make a single mistake and die without asking Jesus for forgiveness, then they are going to hell for eternal suffering. Never mind that nobody has a choice where they are born in the world, or that they didn’t even have a choice about being born.
    That scenario doesn’t even make sense. That’s not the God I love, or the God I know that loves me. When I tell some people I don’t believe in hell and that I think EVERYONE is going to heaven no matter what, they get very angry. Watch, there will be some of them RIGHT NOW.

    Reply
  3. Jim Caserta

    The flip-side is that if a deathbed confessional is all that is needed for heaven, it doesn’t matter how bad a life you’ve lived, it all gets wiped clean. I understand the idea of forgiveness, and unconditional forgiveness, but also believe God wants us to live good lives evidenced by how we treat other people.
    “”Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or lacking clothes, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?””
    There are those who feed the hungry, clothe the naked, make strangers welcome, and visit the sick and imprisoned but are not Christians, and self-professed Christians who do not do those things. How is that difference reconciled? Is taking those actions more important than a profession of faith? Complicated questions.

    Reply

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