What Christian religions do not believe in a burning hell?

by jwfacts 23 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • jwfacts

    I am interested in finding out if Christianity still teaches a burning hell. It is my understanding that they are starting to drop this teaching as just a figurative place. Is that true?

    What Christian religions do not believe in a burning hell?

  • SusanHere

    LDS (Mormons) do not believe in a burning hell.

  • Gordy

    I seem to recall that the Church of England a few years ago, declared that a "fiery hell" was only figurative.

  • Arthur

    Many Baptist churches do not. My understanding is that the Lutheran Church doesn't teach it either. Although, this question is sometimes hard to answer since so many Christian churches here in the U.S. are somewhat autonomous; without a centralized authoritarian body which dictates doctrine to all of it's members.

  • Oroborus21

    This isn't an answer regarding churches, but it seems to me that I don't know anyone except real fundies that actually believe in any kind of a place of torment (Hell) burning or otherwise or in the Devil for that matter.

    It really does seem like in our modern times, these concepts seem quite quaint and it would not surprise me if most churches did not speak of either Hell or the Devil in terms implying or stating that these things were actual realities.


  • Narkissos

    Ambiguity is a key feature of official church talk. It aims at satisfying, to an extent, both those who like it figurative and those who like it real.

    I remember, though, that a few years ago John Stott, a major Evangelical (conservative) figure, surprised a lot of people by confessing his leanings for an annihilationist theory very close to the Adventists' (and JWs').

  • moggy lover
    moggy lover

    Unfortunately your question has an element of ambiguity in it. For instance do you mean now ?

    There is no Evangelical church that advocates the existence of a burning hell at the present time. The reason is because there is no Scriptural revelation that actually advocates this.

    Hell is a place that has been prepared for satan and his demons [Matt 25:41] Whatever else it is, [and the literal wording of scripture, whether one accepts it or not, makes it refer to a literal place with evidently a literal fire] it has been prepared for satan and his demons and will begin operating when he is thrown in it with his hordes. Knowing my God, I am sure that there will be a lot less there than many expect. This is clearly identified in time as after the millennium.

    Most Evangelicals believe that when one who is not "in Christ" dies he/she goes to Hades/Sheol which evidently is a literal pace located is a spacial dimension unknown to us. This is NOT a place of physical torment.

    Most Evangelicals also believe that those "in Christ" go to be with the Lord when they die.

    The churches that advocate a metaphorical aplication to "hell" are the various Adventist bodies: The SDAs, JWs [And those who link their spiritual descent to Russell] The various Churches of God, The Christadelphians several Nazarene churches, among others


  • badboy


  • Narkissos

    moggy lover,

    That's an interesting pov. But (leaving aside the debate about literal or figurative, "place" or "condition") I'm not sure all Evangelicals, or even the majority, consider hell as future -- this imo implies a very specific and consistent eschatology.

    Wherever Luke 16 is read as a prooftext of hell -- and it often is -- the conclusion is rather torment in hades, right after death.

  • moggy lover
    moggy lover

    Narkissos: True, Hades is not regarded as a place of physical torment. Those who enter through its gates, [Isa 38:10] which are literal, though not necessarily physical, must be disembodied spirits, or "shades" Heb "Rephaim" a term that occurs 6 times in the OT. NASB has "spirits of the dead" while JB has "ghosts" To the best of my knowledge the WTS has never commented on this term as referring to the dead. [The item in the Insight book deals exclusively with an allied termthat has an ethnic application]

    Whatever "torment" is suffered in Hades is not physical but applies in some way to the spirit part of the person which survives death. It evidently appears to reflect that which can be expressed and understood in physical terms. There is however a metaphysical dimension that does transcend a full literal physical explanation. In other words the pain suffered can be literal, though is not physical.

    I simply cannot elaborate because of the paucity of information available from revelation.


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