Friday, April 9, 2010

God's Punishment

I heard a Holocaust survivor, David Faber, speaking on Focus on the Family this morning. The program is online at . The things he went through were absolutely horrendous and difficult to even think about, let alone live through. On listening to this gentleman, I was reminded of an article I read about ten years back by Hank Hanegraaff in the Christian Research Journal. The article is still online at . It is about the necessity of hell. Please read it before reading further. I sent an Email to Mr. Hanegraff right after the article was published. Here is its content.You will see the relevance to David Faber near the end.

Dear CRJ,

I would like to comment on the article "Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here" by Hank Hanegraaff in the Practical Apologetics section of Vol 23 Num 1. The theme running through this article is that if there is a heaven, then there must be a hell of eternal torment. In fact, the opening paragraph states, "Are you absolutely certain that one day those who have died in Christ will be resurrected to eternal life in heaven? If you are, then you can be just as sure that unbelievers will be resurrected to eternal torment in hell." The article further implies that if there is not a hell then there is universal salvation.

Why only these two choices? Why could it not be that there is a heaven and another place where God punishes evil people according to their deeds and then releases them into heaven? Or how about eternal non-existence for evil people? In other words, isn't there a better way to punish people than to torture them for an infinite amount of time?

At one point, Mr. Hanegraaff has a quote saying, "Evil is contagious and must be quarantined. Like a deadly plague, if it is not contained it will continue to contaminate and corrupt." Putting this together with the statement above where he says, "... unbelievers will be resurrected to eternal torment in hell," we get a very simplistic view of the world that says that all unbelievers are evil and all believers are good. Come on, surely Mr. Hanegraaff doesn't believe this. Just a little observation of the world reveals that there are many unbelievers that are very moral and good people while there are many believers that are evil. Is justice really served by making belief in the divinity of Jesus the deciding factor between eternal bliss and eternal torment?

Later, Mr. Hanegraaff says, "Without hell, the wrongs of Hitler's Holocaust will never be righted. Justice will be impugned if, after slaughtering six million Jews, Hitler merely died in the arms of his mistress with no eternal consequences." Has Mr. Hanegraaff really thought through what he is saying here? Of course, most people would like to see Hitler punished for his evil deeds, but eternal torture? This makes a mockery of justice! And to top it off, what will happen to those six million Jews that Hitler ordered to be killed? Well, since they are unbelievers according to the New Testament, they're going to be there in hell suffering eternal torture right alongside Hitler! Some justice for the victims. If this is really true, then God is infinitely more evil and unjust than Hitler himself. Come on, give me a break!

Randy Finch