Hell again? Yes, I find these questions fascinating. LIke when I discussed how a person ends up in Hell. Or when I dissected Rob Bell’s answer to this in his book Love Wins. So today, here is the big question:

How could a loving God create Hell? That’s the real question.

Often we are tempted to invent some type of safety-net view of eternity, because we are uncomfortable with the idea of Hell.

As brutal as the idea of hell is, it makes sense to me that decisions we make in this life would affect the afterlife. Evil needs to be dealt with. I think everyone would agree with that. But for some reason, there’s a departure from this rationale when we add the afterlife element. We don’t want it to be true in respect to that.

It’s as if we want to be able to live by our own standards and invent our own senses of morality, but we also want everyone to be rewarded in the end. Like when every kid on every soccer team these days gets a trophy, even the kids that finish in last place. No one’s better than anyone else, and no one’s s right. Everyone’s good in his or her own right. But that just doesn’t make sense to me.

Hell makes sense.

Should a Mother Teresa be rewarded along with a Hitler just because they both lived sincerely in accordance with their own heartfelt convictions? I can’t accept that premise. There must be some standard to figure out and enlighten ourselves with—if there’s a God.

Otherwise, God is a liar.

If God is real, how could he be content with a moral vacuum? I’m not. That’s why I hate it when true justice doesn’t play out in our legal system. But for some reason, I still have a problem accepting the next logical conclusion—that there might be true justice applied in the afterlife.

I certainly don’t have a problem accepting the idea that people might be rewarded in the afterlife for the good they did on earth. And when it comes to the idea of retribution in the afterlife for wrongdoing, maybe my only reason for squeamishness is selfish. I don’t want to get in trouble for the wrong I’ve done, so to let myself off the hook, I let everyone off. Everybody gets a trophy!

It’s a paradox. Though I can accept the principle of reciprocity, I still want to blame God for carrying it out, as if he’s some sort of savage for actually adhering to the principle I want him to stick to.

Isn’t that the most loving thing to do?