Thursday, June 30, 2011


United States (RNS) - Southern Baptists called hell an “eternal, conscious punishment” for those who do not accept Jesus, rebutting a controversial book from Michigan pastor Rob Bell that questions traditional views of hell.  Citing Bell’s book “Love Wins,” the resolution urges Southern Baptists “to proclaim faithfully the depth and gravity of sin against a holy God, the reality of hell, and the salvation of sinners by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.”  Several leaders during the Baptists’ two-day meeting in Phoenix coupled warnings about hell with pleas for evangelism - especially in areas where there are no churches or missionaries.  “Is hell real? Is hell forever? Did God really say sinners would perish in eternal torment forever and ever?” asked Pastor David Platt of Birmingham, Ala. “Oh, readers of Rob Bell and others like him, listen very carefully be very cautious, when anyone says, ‘Did God really say this?’”

Bell’s book, released in March, criticizes the “misguided” view that “select Christians” will live forever in heaven while the rest of humanity will suffer eternal torment in a punishing hell.   “At the center of the Christian tradition since the first church has been the insistence that ... hell is not forever, and love, in the end, wins,” Bell wrote in “Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Has Ever Lived.”  
Earlier this year, the Southern Baptist-affiliated Lifeway Christian Stores quietly removed warning labels from certain books - including Bell’s - that “could be considered inconsistent with historical evangelical theology.”

Rejecting Pastor Rob Bell’s view on hell, Southern Baptists affirmed the historical biblical teaching on hell as an “eternal conscious punishment” in a resolution that was passed on the last day of their annual meeting.  They denied Rob Bell’s controversial book Love Wins, which criticizes the belief that a few Christians will spend eternity in heaven while everyone else is eternally punished in hell.  Once a person has attained the reactions to his activities and lived in heaven to use up his good karma, or gone through hell to rectify himself of his bad acts, he again eventually returns to accept a human birth to try again.  

All religions indicate there is life after death. However, they normally offer only the most basic understanding that if you are good and a believer, maybe you will go to heaven. And if you are predominantly bad, you will go to hell. But only the Vedic philosophy offers detailed information on how exactly this works, and how we create our future with every thought, word and deed.  And how that future may not only be in a heavenly world or on a hellish planet, but how it can be another life similar to what we are experiencing now on this earthly globe. ... No truly loving God will cast His children into an eternal hell without the chance of correcting themselves. Therefore, the Vedic culture offers a deeper understanding of the true loving nature of God than the religions that are merely based on fear of God.

Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
Why Be A Hindu: “The Advantages of the Vedic Path”  -

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