Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Washington, has gotten some attention Friday for stating rather bluntly that non-Christians are destined for hell. Meanwhile, those who don’t believe in deities or an afterlife seem very upset.
Driscoll (Pastor Mark) wrote on Twitter Friday:
“If you are not a Christian, you are going to hell. It’s not unloving to say that. It’s unloving to not say that.”
He also shared the same statement on his Facebook page.
As you can see, the Twitter responses among his followers where more negative, while the response from Driscoll’s Facebook “fans” seemed more on the supportive side:
Of course, there’s push-back from all kinds of people, including atheists — as you can see Hemant Mehta, who blogs as “the Friendly Atheist,” chose to call Driscoll out over his plagiarism. Which is, of course, fair game.
However, I’m not very sure why atheists who say they have found no evidence for a deity, much less a Christian one, seem so offended about a Christian pastor stating a very common belief among Christians about what the Bible actually teaches — that those who believe in Jesus are “saved” and have everlasting life, while those who do not believe are “condemned”.
Jesus Christ himself tells the curious and seeking Nicodemus (a Pharisee who governed with the Sanhedrin, or Jewish council) in John 3:
… 14 “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
The writer continues:
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
Why be angry at Mark Driscoll for stating what the Bible teaches — especially if you don’t even believe God exists?