“Sex discrimination is destined to continue in the scorching fires of Hell,

“Sex discrimination is destined to continue in the scorching fires of Hell, according to a study approved by the Vatican which suggests that men are most likely to commit lustful sins whereas women are beholden to pride.” The headline to this report on the London Times website last week would catch anybody’s eye: “We’re all sinners but the gates to Hell are marked His and Hers.” Who would’ve thunk it! (www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article5755481.ece)

Because our three-part miniseries, “The Truth about Hell,” ends today with “My Journey to Purgatory (and Back),” perhaps it is fitting we note this latest Vatican study, since purgatory is a trade-marked teaching of the Roman Catholic church. The Times online report goes on to quote Monsignor Wojciech Giertych, personal theologian to Pope Benedict XVI and the papal household, who told the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano that when it comes to sinning there is “no sexual equality.” And thus it is that men’s souls in hell are “pelted with fire and brimstone,” while the souls of women “are more likely to be broken on a wheel.”

What does the Bible teach about hell, the most somber subject between its covers? Does the Word of God detail separate and diverse punishments inflicted by God upon men and upon women, punishments that—according to the majority report of Roman Catholic and Protestant theologians—are divinely executed upon hell’s hapless and suffering victims forever and ever (which, of course, means there will never be a full and final execution—just one interminable “almost but not quite there” pain-tortured partial execution)?

In “The Truth about Hell” (now available in podcasts at this website), we have candidly examined what exactly the Holy Scriptures do teach about this much caricatured subject. Could it be that for all these years we’ve been living with a portrait of God that simply is not true? A friend and colleague of mine, Tony Bueno, has paraphrased the beloved John 3:16 to fit the dominant caricature of hell that many still embrace: “For God so hated the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever does not believe in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life . . . in Hell.” It is amazing the forced conclusions one must make if the doctrine of an eternally-burning and tormenting hell is accepted. What else should one conclude from such a doctrine, but that God hates those who do not believe in Jesus and will torture them forever in hell, thus rendering the gift of eternal life not exclusive to those who believe in him, but extended also to all who do not believe?

Over and against such a notion stands the towering testimony of Calvary’s love. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38, 39). Turns out the His and Her gates lead to him!

Comments

That's quite an interesting quote from Monsignor Giertych. Honestly I'm not sure how someone that is a theologian and has even made a career of religion could come to that conclusion, I just don't see it in the Bible, but then again I also don't believe in an eternal hell and I'm not a theologian. I just find it interesting that that someone with such resources and time for study could come to the conclusion that there is "no sexual equality" in hell. It would seem to my simple mind that theologians and other very educated people that come up with things that don't seem to be in the Bible are sort of like a student that is taking a very advanced math class but still believes 1+1=3. They might get some math problems correct but will always run into a problem that doesn't equal out. Yet instead of going back to the basics to answer the problem it's as if they decide to change the math to fit their answer. I guess we all do that with the things we think we know best. So anyway we'd all do well to remember that no matter how well you know something or how "advanced" you are, always make sure you've got the basics right, especially when eternal life is the ending equation. Thank you for this great site and information, may God bless you and your work.

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