Sin and Hell.


My friend Derek Flood with a great observation:

Now let's talk about sin and hell: I don't mean the trivial "did you ever tell a lie" nonsense. I mean real harm, real brokenness, real hurt. Do people do really hurtful and horrible things to each other? Yes, they certainly do. Are people hurt and broken? Yes, more than you know. Abuse is real. Rape is real. Starvation is real. War crimes are real. In short, there is a "hell" right here that many... people are in the middle of, and that matters, and we should care.

This idea of hell right now is vital because it means we need to care about people's lives right now, and not just about life after death. I believe in that, too, I hope for heaven with all my heart, I long for eternity. But life here matters. People matter. That's why Jesus spent all his time caring for people and their very real needs. When we have a theology that makes all of that a waste of time then we suck the life right out of life. Your life matters, and the life of others matters, too. If we don't see that then we are not loving.

We therefore do need to help people connect with God's love when we can (and that includes caring for their material needs). But if we really want to do that then we need to do it through real relationships. You can't address those kinds of things by handing out a pamphlet. It needs to be deep and real. And it needs to be motivated by love not fear. Love heals people, it makes them come alive. Fear is what drives people to do all sorts of profoundly hurtful things, it is what makes people shut themselves off from love.

Follow Derek at his blog at http://www.therebelgod.com

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