Can You Go To Hell For That?

Mark Anthony's picture

This is an odd topic I must confess, but appropriate in our time due to various personal idea's of what sends a person to hell.

How about Tobacco?

What about alcohol?

What about Movies?

Do these things prohibit someone from heaven?
Is it a service to God to make cultural things an issue?
Could it be we are keeping people away from God?

Grace with Taste,

Micah 6:8

not exactly

I see from your post that you thought I was either justifying sin, giving people permission to do what they wanted, or playing devil's advocate. I was doing neither. If you read my first post on this thread, you will clearly see that I am against "sin" and all that it entails.

I AM arguing that what conservative culture defines as "sin" or "sinful" is often just that--the definition of culture. I was not arguing that commercialized sex is healthy, or that violence in movies is wonderful. I WAS suggesting that what we think of as "too violent" or "too racy" does often not meet Biblical criteria. Could a Christian accept this argument and misuse it to justify his or own unhealthy and sinful behavior? Absolutely. But that doesn't make the argument false.

Many of the "sins" in the Old Testament are indeed part of moral teaching where God then punishes the sinner. But you focused heavily on David, and ignored Abraham, who lied twice (obviously not learning any kind of leasson, because his kid does the same thing later) to Pharaoh about Sarah. When Sarah's true identity is discovered, Abraham s not punished, but rewarded--it is Pharaoh who is punished. What moral lesson does that teach?

Paul's use of a gutter word is not punished, but a celebrated part of Christian culture. "I count them as dung for Christ." This runs counter-intuitively to everything mainstream, conservative Christian culture says about profanity. Likewise, Ezekiel's graphic descriptions of Israel as a whore who is gang-raped and murdered would not be tolerated from the pulpit in most churches, because Ezekiel's descriptions offend our Christian sensibilities. Clearly--and this was my point, which I clearly stated--there is a time and a place for behaviors often labelled "totally unnacceptable" by the world, which has fooled the Church into agreement.

So while much of the "morally questionable" material in the Bible is intended to teach moral lessons, a good proportion of it is not simply there to show us that sin is always punished--it is there to show us that the world is not as black-and-white as we sometimes think, that morality is a complicated issue; the spirit of the world would like us to find hard and fast rules by which to guide our actions (like, "the law"); the Christian is supposed to rely not on written rules, but on the guidance of the Spirit of God. A quick look through Romans 14 should explain why this reliance on God's Spirit is crucial in the lives of individual believers and for the health of the church.

Justin Staller - Moderator

Search the scriptures--for in them ye think ye have eternal life:
They are they which testify of me--and ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
(John 5.39-40)