There is no element of so called Christian orthodoxy as pernicious and preposterous as the doctrine of eternal judgment for non-Christians. Yet, many in the churches either openly claim this picture of Christianity or by their silence lend support to it. This doctrine is precisely the counterpart of the Islamic exclusiveness and apocalypticism which motivates Muslim terrorists. That fact alone should send us all scurrying back to our Bibles to seek the fallacy behind this doctrine of pagan mythology.
In actual fact no one, clergy included, could possibly embrace this doctrine and continue to live in the way everyone clearly does, apparently indifferent to the supposed fate of millions. When “Christians” blithely ignore non-Christian neighbors, friends, and even family members who are supposedly doomed eternally, one can only surmise that they do not really believe what they endorse religiously either tacitly or directly. Our actions always define our beliefs more honestly than our doctrinal pronouncements.
The impact of this unbelievable doctrine on our society is pervasive and destructive. Our societal fixation with conflict and confrontation as the means to promote “righteousness”, by whatever definition one might apply, is one stark example. Another is our cultural penchant for passing judgment on our neighbors and for seeking change in everyone but ourselves. The forbidden knowledge of good and evil truly haunts our psyches.
Additionally, the doctrine of eternal torment makes an absolute mockery of Christ and His redemptive work. The Good Shepherd, who is not satisfied with 99 of 100, cannot be the author of such a horror. This doctrine is clearly the product of an institutional church and its governmental sponsors who have benefited by instilling fear.
God is not the source of our fear. His perfect Love was and is designed to forever cast out fear. If the church tells you otherwise, they clearly have misunderstood the message.
If there is a Hell, it is of our own making. God had nothing to do with it.