I have two different views a piece for heaven and for hell, and again these aren’t views I hold with a close hand but rather an open one. I very well could be wrong in both cases, but still I want to put them here for this series that I am doing on Red Letter Christ-centric Universalism…
Perspective of Hell 1
My first perspective of Hell is one where for a time undetermined, the flames of hell purify us from our sinful dross. Sin cannot be in the presence of God, and so from the first perspective of hell I have (which I’ve been told is akin to Trinitarian Universalism) it takes time to get to being in the presence of God in Heaven because of the things that separate ourselves from ourselves, God, and others.
Perspective of Hell 2
My second perspective of Hell is one where there is no eternal afterlife hell. I am one to believe that we do create hells for others and for ourselves, but to say that a worse place exists than those I don’t buy into it. For starters it strikes me as control to suggest such a place exists, that if you do the right things (Orthodoxy) and say the right things (Orthopraxis) this will get you on the right side with God, that you will become part of “us” (hence the paradigm us versus them).
And the thing is, the majority of people who claim hell exists and that those who don’t do and say the right things are (supposedly) on “God’s side” (as if she draws up sides and leans towards one exclusively).
Also I tend to think that God loves everyone period, and to say “God is love but people go to hell for not believing in him” or something similar takes away from stating that God is love. I have been a dad before and God willing I will be one again, and in my time of being a dad I loved my sons and there were times I grew frustrated with my sons. Yet in my times of correcting them there was never a time where I stopped loving them, there was never a time where I told them I never wanted to be with them ever again. If God is both father and mother, if God is love, wouldn’t God want that re-connection with us more than I did when I was a dad?
I’d like do think so, I’d like to think that God’s love goes the distance in all our lives, not just those who are supposedly on God’s side. Which is why I dislike limitations put on God about how far or for how long we have an opportunity to “get right with God” because it seems very human, very limiting, to put a time frame in which we’re all supposed to get “this” (whatever this might be).
But then again, I could be wrong.