This I Believe

Nathan - Harrisburg, Arkansas
Entered on September 11, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: Christianity

I believe that telling somebody that he or she is going to Hell is not a personal attack, but a sign of concern from the speaker.

To people without religious orientation, it might seem offensive for a person to tell them that they are damned for all eternity due to their evil ways. To have someone condemn you as evil would seem a hateful judgment on that person’s character. Those who don’t believe in Hell might see this as a scare tactic, intended to frighten the listener into changing their beliefs. It is highly unlikely that the listener will take time to consider what is actually being said to them. The insult of being told that they might go to Hell would be so rude, they might not take the time to consider what is actually meant.

All people are at risk for damnation, not just the spiritually unaffiliated. I am a Christian, and as such, I believe in the existence of Hell. I also believe that there are no perfect people. Everyone is in danger of going to Hell, whether they’re a sinner or a saint. Telling somebody that their soul is in danger is not based upon the morality or beliefs of a person, but their own humanity. All persons are at risk of Hell, so telling someone so is not a personal judgment.

For a Christian to warn you of Hell, they must care about you considerably, even if you have no clue who that person is. I am concerned for the world. Because every living soul is in constant danger of eternal punishment, it is the job of the Christians to try and save every soul we possibly can, meaning we are in constant fear that the ones we love may suffer for all eternity. To tell someone that they going to Hell is the same as telling someone that their alcoholism might lead to their death. It’s warning someone that the decisions they’re making could have serious consequences you don’t want them to face. To warn someone of the terrible fate they face is a sign that you deeply care about them, and wish them a chance to escape it.

To me, telling someone that they are in danger of eternal damnation is not an attack on that person’s beliefs, but a sign that the speaker is concerned for the safety of that person’s soul.