Minister Loses Church Because He Questioned Hell's Existence

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Carlton Pearson recently took a position within his church that hell does not exist. Upon hearing this his congregation in Tulsa, Oklahoma removed him from his office. ABC News has a full article and video of an upcoming special.

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Here's more news: there's no heaven, either. We'll just have to make THIS place better and not wait for the hereafter.

I agree pete.

If that's a central tenet of that church's faith then why is it so unbelievable that they would ask him to leave? There are numerous issues that are the foundation upon which a local church stands, and if the church leaders feel that a minister is at odds with one of those issues then they have the obligation to remedy the situation.

At the risk of starting a religious controversy, I would point out that the concepts of heaven and hell predate Christianity. The ancient Greeks had the concept of the Elysian Fields where the spirits of heroes and good people went. Evil doers went to Tartarus. The Egyptians had their own places of afterlife for good and evil people, too. So did many other ancient cultures. The idea of Heaven and Hell wasn't original with the Christians. How many of us today believe in Tartarus?

Churches preach anything they want to these days. If you go to a church that's preaching there is no heaven or hell and you dont agree, then find another church, but if you belong to a church and all of a sudden your minister starts changing his beliefs and trying to change yours, then the congregation would be within their rights to get rid of him.

I fully agree. This guy is going against the core founding principles of Christianities.

I'll try to keep this from becoming sermon. Why did Jesus die? If his death wasn't for Christian's sin to keep people from hell, then why face death? His death and resurrection would have been just a nifty parlor trick for fame and power. His display also wouldn't matter because Christianity, as it would later be called, wouldn't be any better or worse then the current beliefs.

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The Hebrews, the forefathers of the modern Jews, believed in a place called Abraham's Bosom and later called Paradise. The is where Heaven came into being for Christians. The Hebrews version of hell was called Sheol. Later Peter and Jesus himself refers to the Greek places of Hades and Tartarus that is interpreted in most English bibles as Hell.

A rough entomology on the words:
Sheol -> Hades -> Place of darkness and suffering.
Valley of Gehenna/Where the worm never die -> Tartarus -> Burning, rotting, and suffering; a place of final judgment.

Sheol to the Hebrews was a place an unfit soul was placed after death until a later/final judgment. Some Christian sects believe that to be Purgatory. Fundamental groups see this as a lesser Hell until the final judgment of Christ in the millennium kingdom where they are cast into a place like the Valley of Gehenna.

The Valley of Gehenna is where trash was constantly burned. Its also where the worms(maggots) never seem to die because of trash and the unclean dead that where placed there. A place like this is referred to by Issiah as the place where the unfit souls are placed after the final judgment. Issiah's description of Gehenna is the classic version of hell to most Christians have.

Additional Note:
The Hebrews can easily track back their existence to at least 4,000 BC. Some scholars date the Hebrews as an organized nation back before to 11,000 BC. Either way that would be a long time before the Greeks and possibly before the Egyptians empire.

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No reputable scholar claims the Hebrews go back to 4000 B.C. except maybe conservative orthodox Jews and Christians, who probably believe the world was created in 4004 B.C. The earliest archaeological evidence goes back mid-second millenium B.C. at the earliest.

And there is no etymological connection between sheol and Hades. Same thing with Gehenna and Tartarus; they have no etymological connection. Tartarus in Greek is a deep chasm or gorge with no lexical link to the Hebrew word. The word "Hades" probably comes from an Indo-European root which incorporates the words for "not" and "seen" a- wido= HAIDOS "the unseen".

By the way, written Greek (Linear B) goes back to about 1,500 B.C., which is actually older than written Hebrew. (Sorry, I can't seem to turn off the bold.)

I found an even earlier inscription in Linear B (Mycenaean Greek) that dates back to the 17th Century B.C. See Kafkania pebble: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kafkania_pebble

This may make Greek the world's oldest written, still-extant language with the possible exception of Chinese.

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