Fear of hell

Monday, April 23, 2018

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Dear Editor,

In my youth, in the 1940s, all churches preached that you must fear God and keep his commandments, for in the end there will be a judgement by His son, Jesus Christ. The outcome of that judgement will be that you will go to heaven (the sheep on his right) or you will go to hell (the goats on his left).

With most people fearing hell they try to walk the “straight and narrow” and consequently you could walk safely day or night anywhere in Jamaica. A single murder could keep the whole society abuzz with rage and interest for a full year before another murder comes along to take its place.

At the age of six, my aunt Khona told me about judgement and hell. The fear of hell, easily exceeding my fear of God, occupied my mind and made me think of its meaning for the better part of my 74 years since then.

I have therefore concluded the following, among other things:

I do not believe that a loving Heavenly Father, who is just, can call me into being, give me free will, and if I don't do his will I go to hell forever. That is not justice. And if that is what the creator of this universe is like, I don't want to be with him.

If he is really like that then the lake of fire is where I will spend eternity.

Michael H Elliott

St Andrew

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