Now, this “hell is a myth” truth is all new to me and though I receive it with joy, I’m not exactly in total understanding of it. I guess I’m what you’d call a “baby” in that aspect, ‘cuz it seems like some serious “meat” in Christ’s Word for me to chew on, if ya get my drift. LB
“Meat”, you say?
My dear LB, do you realize that we have been inaccurately conditioned to regard intellectually difficult matters (which are so often created by centuries of religious misinterpretation) as the “Meat of the Word”?
A couple days ago I read an article about an experiment where a group of people (aka. “guinea pigs”) were given glasses that inverted what they saw. In other words, it turned everything upside down. Guess what? After a short while, their brains inverted their inverted vision so that they received the images as right-side up. Guess what? When they finally took their glasses off their natural vision was inverted. Yep, they saw things upside down without the glasses and right-side up with the glasses. A day or so later everything went back to normal. The article ended with this statement: “The reason you don’t see everything upside-down, then, is simply because it’s easier to think about right-side-up!”
We put those religious glasses on because they helped conform our perceptions to what they were supposed or demanded to be. We may have had those glasses removed in Christ, but I think our memory of certain things is so strong that our knee-jerk reaction causes our vision to flip from the sense of distortion. Whether it’s about the current religious stance on Hell or any other religious invention we so quickly slip back into the remembered perception that to see things right side up seems difficult.
Hell (aka “Gehenna”) is not the myth, the religious fabrication built around Hell is. It’s much the same as with those who learned that the earth was flat. The fact that most who ventured too far off into the sea and either narrowly escaped some violent storm or never returned was not a myth, but how they explained it was. It is the accumulated explanations built one upon another and accepted as fact that form most myths. When one is confronted with an upside-down version it seems ridiculous. But even regarding the flat vs. round viewpoints, the truth behind the mis-perception is not a matter of a “meaty” understanding. In fact, it is understood in the releasing of that built-up fabrication.
But what about the “meat”? This has nothing to do with weighty matters of Scriptural study, for instead it is Christ himself.
Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” John 6:32-35
“This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.” These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum. Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” John 6:50-63
We have received the meat, for we partake of Christ! To revert to fleshly wisdom rather than to Christ himself is to fall back into immaturity as a baby who needs milk and can’t handle solid food. Those who have established certain doctrinal perspectives as being the “meat of the Word” have turned to an intellectual understanding rather than to Christ. Don’t listen to them.