Thursday, October 20, 2016

Couldn't God have made Hell a nicer place?

Have you ever encountered someone who struggles with the doctrine of Hell? Many, both Catholic and non, do today. I encountered one such person over at the Catholic Answers Forums who posed the question in a particularly challenging way. He asked why God couldn't have been more merciful in creating an alternative to Heaven and compared Heaven to a tropical paradise where the blessed spend eternity with their loved ones and Hell to a Soviet prison. How would we respond to this line of questioning? One way I employ is to show the questioner that neither Heaven nor Hell is what he thinks it is. Heaven is not just an Earthly paradise spread out into eternity and Hell isn't Auschwitz to the nth degree. So what are they? Let's take a closer look.

Is this your idea of Heaven?

What is Heaven?
Ultimately, not "club med with loved ones" but being in the presence of God. Being with God.

What is God?
The source of all goodness, all light, all love, all hope, and eternal life

What is Hell?
Not being in Heaven.
But Heaven is being with God.
Therefore, Hell is not being with God.
But God is the source of all goodness, all light, all love, all hope and eternal life.
Therefore, being without God is being w/out all goodness, all light, all love, all hope, and eternal life
But Hell is being without God.
Therefore, Hell is being w/out all goodness, light, love, hope, and eternal life
Therefore, Hell is evil, dark, hateful, hopeless, and eternal death

Hell can't be anything less than what it is. It simply is the absence of God. It's not the difference between a Gulag and Club-Med. It's the difference between being with God and being without Him.


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