My daughter came back from her young adult’s group meeting asking me again my thoughts on the subject “Hell”. She knew I had a particular bent on the term, and wanted to be reminded seeing as it’s not taught in Church anymore (there was a time when the Church would preach “hell, fire and brimstone”, but now this is seen as a ‘scaremonger’ approach, which conflicts with today’s Hippie Jesus model of ‘love’). I reminded her of my early Christian years, where I would discuss “hell” to non-believers as a way of encouraging salvation. But I must admit that my ‘evangelical’ approach was not very successful, as many would retort back saying “Hell sounds like a fun place!” and… “Well, at least I’ll be partying with my friends!!!”... which to be honest, is actually a fair-enough argument. But over the years, I have learnt that just like there are three heavens and earths within biblical literature, there are in fact two hells… which means that the “hell” they taught me in Church is not the correct picture…
Occasionally I’m asked to speak to larger groups (which is a nice change from the often smaller home group models), where recently I had the privilege of speaking at the NZ Christian Writers Retreat 2019… held at Flaxmill Conference Centre in the Coromandel.
The horrific Christchurch Mosque killing of March 2019, where 50 people were gunned down in their house of prayer, has many kiwis in discussion. What is best for our country? What is the right thing to do? Our national radio talk back shows are debating the controversy together with fears of future Muslim takeover.
In my own circle, our Churches are on hot debate as the local Anglican Church invited all the Church leaders to pray in unity for the people in Christchurch. However, only a few were aware that a Muslim leader was also invited to that prayer meeting. Obviously surprised with the non-transparency of the invitation, some struggled whether they should be praying with the Muslims, while others were publicly adamant that they would not.
So I guess a question is “should, we pray to Allah?