Friday, February 08, 2008

No Heaven, but Hell is Just 20 Miles Away

Wow, the Holy Crap has been cascading today. First, I read an interview with conservative Bishop N.T. Wright who tells us that whole heaven thing is just a fig newton of our imaginations:

There are several important respects in which it's unsupported by the New Testament. First, the timing. In the Bible we are told that you die, and enter an intermediate state. St. Paul is very clear that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead already, but that nobody else has yet. Secondly, our physical state. The New Testament says that when Christ does return, the dead will experience a whole new life: not just our soul, but our bodies. And finally, the location. At no point do the resurrection narratives in the four Gospels say, "Jesus has been raised, therefore we are all going to heaven." It says that Christ is coming here, to join together the heavens and the Earth in an act of new creation.

John Lennon was right - above us is only sky. No heaven to ascend to when we die. Wright, instead, believes the traditionally conservative idea that we are simply dead until we are raised again (literally and bodily) when Jesus returns.

Want to bet that the good bishop is not an organ donor?

But, wait, there's more.

It seems Lennon is only batting .500. He was wrong about there being "no hell below us." According to Pastor James Melton, hell is real and is only about 20 miles below us.

the sphere of Hell is a round, hollowed-out place in the Earth's core...Scientists say that the Earth's outer crust is less than twenty miles thick, and that beyond that point, there [is] ... a lake of fire. [At] this very moment your eternal soul may be less than twenty miles from the burning fires of Hell!

The link is worth following because the MishMash blog has lots of other silly beliefs of religious zealots including the warning that if you speed you're going to hell. (Hell will be a very crowded place - sort of like Atlanta at rush hour, I'm thinking.)

So, we can still be justified in telling someone to go to hell but all we have to look forward to after death is a long dirt nap until we get resurrected. I sure hope God can do something about my love handles in the resurrection. I'd hate to spend eternity all pudgy.


Mike-El said...

But doesn't that mean that Belinda Carlisle nailed it when she said that heaven is a place on earth?

I always knew there was a reason I worshipped her.

Candace Chellew-Hodge said...

I guess she did. I hope God can do something about her love handles too. :)