Theology of hell

Feb 2006
14,000
2,657
California
My understanding is that ultimately, hell is "eternal separation from God"; whether or not there is a "literal" fire (which to my knowledge, may have been more of a Catholic notion during ages past) is subordinate the torment of being separated from God for all eternity. What are your thoughts on this?
My understanding is that "God" isn't around so I'm in hell, hopefully it's not for an eternity!


The report said people who were in the room when Trump made the suggestion were shocked and thought "What the f---? What do we do with this?"
 

imaginethat

Forum Staff
Oct 2010
69,243
29,057
Colorado
I just want here to interject that this is the catholic doctrine of punishment and vengeance. The catholic western church is actually much more fundamentalist and deviates from the orthodox original concepts very significantly.

The eastern orthodox concept is that you will not be punished, but you will "Miss the mark", the chance to be saved. That is why probably all religious militant crusades originated in the catholic west.
True.

. . . those who find themselves in hell will be chastised by the scourge of love. How cruel and bitter this torment of love will be! For those who understand that they have sinned against love, undergo no greater suffering than those produced by the most fearful tortures. The sorrow which takes hold of the heart, which has sinned against love, is more piercing than any other pain. It is not right to say that the sinners in hell are deprived of the love of God . . . But love acts in two ways, as suffering of the reproved, and as joy in the blessed! -- Saint Isaac of Syria, Mystic Treatises

However, even minus punishment and vengeance, God creates with the full knowledge that "he" is creating beings destined to suffer.

“The doctrine of eternal hell, therefore, does not mean that God actively tortures people by some unloving and perverse means. It does not mean that god takes delight in the punishing and pain of His people whom He loves. Neither does it mean that God separates Himself from His people, thus causing them anguish in this separation. It means, rather, that God continues to allow all people, saints and sinners alike, to exist forever. For those who loved God, resurrection from the dead and the presence of God will be paradise. For those who hate God, resurrection from the dead and the presence of God will be hell.” -- Fr. Thomas Hopko

Suffer eternally? The Orthodox Church leaves the door cracked a bit on eternal suffering, noting biblical passages such as:

"Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him." John 17:2

"Who will have all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth." 1Timothy 2:4

"Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him." Ephesians 1:9,10)
 
Jun 2018
1,140
395
Toronto
Yep, basically, the concept is that god will not punish or judge you, it will be you, who will punish yourself, something like that:


No God fearing men in orthodox church.
 
  • Like
Reactions: imaginethat
Dec 2018
3,312
2,444
Wisconsin
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding. You've now provided your definition of evidence. So now that I have that, what evidence do you have for the existence of a hell?
So no @Inquisitor you don't have any evidence for the existence of hell? I mean you're still on the forum responding but you seem to have either forgotten this thread or are purposely ignoring it. Oh well. Seems to be a pattern.

Until you provide evidence that a hell exists, the default position is to disbelieve.
 

imaginethat

Forum Staff
Oct 2010
69,243
29,057
Colorado
Yep, basically, the concept is that god will not punish or judge you, it will be you, who will punish yourself, something like that:


No God fearing men in orthodox church.
I agree with some of the Orthodox doctrines, but before we go tooting their horns to enthusiastically.... here's Vasily Polenov's rather large (325 × 611 cm) painting: "Jesus and the Sinner Woman."

Wassilij_Dimitriewitsch_Polenow_005.jpg

I am fortunate enough to have seen it in person, at the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.

The Russian Orthodox Church came down heavy on Palenov for making Jesus look "too human." It was Palenov's successful depiction of Christ's humanness that captured my heart and soul. This painting from your link is the typical style of Orthodox paintings of the Christ.

Screen Shot 2019-11-08 at 10.38.53 AM.jpg

And, let's not forget Mother Mary.



I've seen scores if not hundreds of these depictions.