Rick Perry Thinks Morning News Columnist's Kinder, Gentler Hell is Bull

JesseLenzRickPerry1.jpg
In his column Sunday, the Morning News' Steve Blow wrestled with the the problem of hell, or at least the conservative Protestant vision of it. How, the question goes, can a supposedly loving, forgiving God condemn souls to an eternity of unbearable torment?

Blow's answer is that God doesn't. Without delving too deeply into theology, he concludes it's simply not plausible and not in line with what most Christians believe.

There's no way we could sit complacently in our favorite pew Sunday after Sunday, or devote such energy to building pretty new sanctuaries, when most of humanity faces eternal torment without our intervention.

If we truly believed [that knowing Jesus is the only way to escape eternal suffering], we would quit our jobs and spend every waking moment trying to save people from the flames -- just as we would save someone from a burning house.

And as it turns out, polls show we really don't believe it. Not most of us, anyway. One recent survey found that 70 percent of Americans agree with the statement: "Many religions can lead to eternal life."

Even 57 percent of evangelical Christians agreed with that statement.

Governor Rick Perry would beg to differ:


The link takes Governor Perry's Twitter followers to a piece by Ronald Scales, senior pastor at Highland Park Presbyterian Church, who dismisses Blow's argument as "bad theology."

The problem is: politically correct theology is rarely good theology. Why? John Calvin nailed it when he said, "The human heart is a factory of idols." You and I can always come up with a god of our own fashion that is much more palatable than the One True Living God. We'd all prefer a god that is a cross between Big Bird, Santa Claus, and everyone's grandfather ... rather than the angular, undomesticated, God of perfect holiness and justice that we encounter in Holy Scripture ... but Who is also wildly -- even prodigally -- loving and gracious. Lion and Lamb. That's good theology. We prefer only what we do not fear: lamb.

All this gets down in the weeds pretty quickly, but there are two takeaways: 1) that Rick Perry thinks hell is a real place, presumably full of Democrats; and 2) that their eternal punishment somehow involves Rick Perry and Steve Blow in a room talking theology.


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24 comments
alteredjustice
alteredjustice

So basically Goodhair is okay with billions of people dying, and would rather campaign on how great he is. HYPOCRITE LOL

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

Am I to understand this Parkie preacher is fine with the idea that at least a few billion of his fellow human beings are doomed to suffer for an eternity in hell because they either have never heard of Jesus or were born and bred to believe in Lord Vishnu, Allah or no god at all? If there is a hell, I certainly hope he goes there.

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

Fascinating. I wonder what their views are on unicorns, the Easter Bunny and perpetual motion machines.

PersistentID2345
PersistentID2345

"Perry thinks hell is a real place, presumably full of Democrats;"

Actually the Dallas a couple of county Dems are in a special kind of hell under FBI investigation. But you did not know that, right? Otherwise I am assuming that news would have made its way onto these pages somehow, possibly usurping the latest in the ongoing Twinkie saga.

PersistentID2345
PersistentID2345

"Perry thinks hell is a real place, presumably full of Democrats;"

A couple of county Dems are in a special kind of hell: under FBI investigation. But you did not know that, right? Otherwise I am assuming that bit of the day's news would have made its way onto these pages somehow, possibly usurping the latest in the ongoing Twinkie saga.

txsouthpaw
txsouthpaw

I don't quite know where I would be without Pretty Dick's theological perspectives.  Perhaps I too can get to heaven by pillaging the poor, defrauding the people, and most importantly by being rich and powerful.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

Hell is having a newspaper columnist lecture us about religion, then having a governor lecture the lecturer.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Well a couple of things ....


First, Presbyterians espouse the concept of predestination.  So no matter what you do or try, you can't change your outcome.  If you live a holy life it is because you are predestined to live a holy life.  If you live a sinful wicked life it is because you are predestined to live that life.


On the other hand, some believe that God does not care one whit what you do; or, whether you go to heaven or go to hell.  It is called free will.  God tells you what is needed to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  If you choose to work towards going to Heaven, wonderful, welcome home.  If you choose to work towards going to Hell, great, go right ahead.  It is called Free Will.


And by the way, some of us believe that God does accept deathbed confessions.


And then there is the theology of prosperity ...

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

they've confirmed my belief that Big Bird is a vengeful God.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

We Jews don't believe in Hell.  Hell is something made up by medieval Popes to keep the multitudes in line.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

More religious nonsense from religious idiots.

russell.allison1
russell.allison1

Steve Blow may have found a book by Carlton Pearson, The Gospel of Inclusion.  A good read by a guy who was not all that many years ago helping get G. W. Bush elected.  He's also the subject of a story on an NPR radio program called, The Story.  He was ousted from the ministry as a heretic for exactly what Mr. Blow is espousing.

CornyDoggy
CornyDoggy

@PersistentID2345 

Huh?  What does that have to do with Rick Perry's partisan outlook?  And those stories (I'm presuming Watkins & JWP) have been covered here extensively.

alteredjustice
alteredjustice

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul What if you are predestined to save someone from hell? The whole thing is convoluted on the whole as it is, but the point is that a lot of people have no problem with a lot of people going to hell (whether their belief is true or not).

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Montemalone 

Enlightening nonsense, nonetheless. We all project our own worst fears in one fashion or another.

 A horrible fiery eternity is apparently what Perry fears most - he should.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@Montemalone Jeez, Monte, i hope you're not getting your notions of religion from either the columnist or the governor.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@russell.allison1 Taking a good number of clergy into consideration, being ousted as a heretic from their ranks might just be the biggest vote of confidence one can get.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@RTGolden1 @russell.allison1 I considered Seminary, but had major reservations about the Trinity, which is a heretical notion.  Anyway, I was conflicted and really endured much angst over the issue.  I was at once heartened and troubled to find that in most of the top seminaries the Trinity is a hotly debated topic.  There are many seminaries where the majority of scholars don't agree with the accepted view of the Trinity.  That really bothered me, as it means that, since most ministers don't dare discuss this in Church on Sundays, that's inauthentic and makes Church a patronizing farce.  I refuse to bite my tongue at the cost of earnest discipleship.  The head of Perkins refused to address the issue.  Cowardly frauds, inauthentic and men who don't carry the courage of their convictions. 

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