Hell No (2 Peter 2)

Today’s reading (2 Peter 2) is a fun little chapter (in the same way that Adolph Hitler was a fun little dictator). And pretty much no matter what I mention from this chapter it could cause controversy. (Except maybe, “A dog returns to its vomit.” And, by the way, the couple times our dog has thrown up and gone to eat it, my wife or I will yell, “Kuma, no, stop!” one of our kids will say, “He has to do that. The Bible says so.” As if he’s simply trying to live by the good book.)

Anyway, nowadays it’s become kind of an in thing amongst some Christians to deny the existence of Hell, suggesting that when the Bible mentions it it’s merely figurative, not literal. I have no idea how you can read verses like those in 2 Peter 2 about God sending angels to Hell and holding wicked people for judgment and think that Peter is winking to us as he writes them.

Here’s what I consider ironic: I’m pretty sure that some Christians deny Hell because they’re compassionate and hate the idea that any person could go there. But I think it’s actually about the most uncompassionate thing you can do. Because if you can convince Christians that there is no Hell, some of them are going to become less intense about making sure people don’t go there. So, potentially, by not wanting to imagine that anyone will be in Hell, you’ve helped more people to be there. That’s messed up.