I’ve been thinking about a couple years ago, maybe not that long, when I was struggling with the concept of hell. The whole idea of eternal torture was so antithesis to the character of Jesus. I was questioning the concept because I had so many new gay friends due to my podcasting on Greetings from Nowhere. Like with my grandfather who died potentially “outside of Christ,” I was questioning not God’s compassion, but the idea of hell in the face of God’s compassion. For some reason, I’ve never doubted God’s love. Everything in my belief system orbits around the love of God for humankind. For me, that’s what the head-learning of 35 years of Sunday school and church have boiled down to.
So hell doesn’t fit. And my battle with the concept was ultimately a battle with fear. If I chose to forge my own beliefs based on the Bible, would I lose my moral and spiritual anchor? Would I be lost?
I knew the truth was that nothing can snatch me out of the Father’s hand. And taking a leap of faith to believe that and walk in honesty to who God had made me and who he was leading me to become, was one of the scariest moments of my life. I should say “series of moments” because it took several conversations and a lot of thought to decide that hell didn’t exist. That in the end, God wins. All hearts and souls safely with him.
There are people who could quote chapter and verse to me as to why what I believe is wrong. But I worship God, not the Bible. They are his words, not himself, designed to be interpreted by each human heart that seeks him through them.
I just encourage my fellow Christians, and those for whom Christianity rings true, to not be afraid to follow God’s word in your heart. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to lead you that way. Be brave. God will not let you fall.