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Thursday, September 18, 2014

What is Hell?

I have never believed in the literally described Hell as a location or a place with a Lake of Fire.  I have struggled with the concept of a God who would send those who did not believe to a place suffer eternal torment.  Suffering and punishment seem more human concepts than elevated godly ones.  I am familiar with what Hell is for, and what it is said to be.



In the deeper past, Hell has numerous sources.  Found in the so-called Abrahamic religions,  Jewish, Christian, and Islamic scriptures consider Gehenna as a destination of the wicked.  The good do not dwell there, it is for those cursed and to be punished.  Sheol is the abode of the dead, similar to Hades of Greek mythology.  All who are dead but not yet judged are said to exist here.  Hell as the term, and place for punishment is a combination of Anglo/Norse terms, Hel being the queen of death realms in Norse and some other myths, while the concept of eternal torment and suffering comes from the various translations of terms from the New Testament of the Bible.


But I think and might surely be wrong, that it is a metaphor, for being lost, and being outside of the relationship with God. I am making a personal commentary, not one derived from any dogma, or even, necessarily my religion. I am a Christian, but I do not necessarily conform to any coded requirements or follow any articles of faith, outside of having read/reading the bible, studying concepts of right and wrong, and accepting my flaws and weakness as an interpreter.  I fall under the label of independent politically, and I think the same label would work for me regarding God, Christianity and religion.  While I worship, believe in, and follow Jesus Christ, I find most "denominations" and "religions" to not be for me.  I am allied with some of them, however, and trust that they can help others.


I've many reasons for what I believe, but I am not trying here to define them, or convert other people into belief.  I have used the terms "the devil""Hell""Lucifer""Satan" and being that I am discussing the subject I thought it would be more honest of me to explain my use of the terms, and how my person beliefs are not altogether literal regarding faith, even should I be using terms that come from and reflect a particular version of faith, religion, or belief.


I haven't worked out the exacts yet, of what my cosmology might look like.  I have beliefs about what God is, what belief means, and how I might follow.  I find purpose in both the path I take, and how it is meant to be taken.  I believe that death will obviously happen, but, my definition of death is very simply, the end of life in physical form.  Whatever goes on beyond this world, is left to prophets, theologians, scientists, believers, agnostics and atheists.  I am a poet, and while I might well think on these subjects, others are better at arguing their views, or explaining them.


I have been told that my writings too often refer to God and my belief in God.  If that is the case, I suggest to those who are so sensitive regarding such subjects to stop reading what I say.  A poet is meant to be nude to the world, in my view.  As I am a poet, everything I am is up for others to judge, question, contemplate, mock, ridicule, and more.  But I didn't just become birthed with ideas.  My life, my background of what I've read, how I was raised, all contribute to my worldview.  

But, whatever you think of my beliefs about God or anything, I want to say, I believe that God is good.  Thereby, whatever God makes is good, and God made me.  I use my intellect that is God given.  I use the events in my life to help forge wisdom.  I use my poetry to explore my own world, along with comment for others to consider about their world.  People have told me that God and various sorts of followers are judgmental.  To which I have to say, I believe that we are all filled with acts of judgment, towards others, ourselves, and to understand our place in this world we have to make judgments.  What is right, who is moral, where is hope, who do I trust, why do I suffer are all questions that require our judgment to answer.

God gave us tools to make judgments.  We are allowed to consider all sources of information, and judge which is righteous and good.  I believe that God doesn't condemn us to Hell.  I believe that we condemn ourselves to Hell.  And I believe that Hell is a metaphor for being in a place where we refuse to believe, along with don't believe.  That is, Belief is an active thing.  I believe that to say you do not see evidence of God is different than to say There is no God.  I believe that the terms and concepts Hell and The Devil and Satan and Lucifer are all tools to help guide us to the destination.

But I might be wrong.

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