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My conviction is Hell is a place where God Is Not. Hell suggests a separation from the Divine. A punishment? No, more a choice: to dwell in the presence of God, or not to. An omnipresent God, by syllogistic argument, must be everywhere in existence at all times. If Hell is indeed a place that exists within existence, then God, therefore, must be there. However, in my view, theology makes the argument that if God be God, He can make up His own damned rules.

If you're anything like me,

you've been sending people to Hell for years. As a figure of speech, it ranks up there with some of the best. “Go to Hell,” kind of rolls of your tongue and even the least articulate of us can deliver the curse with some authority. Now, of course, sending people to hell is a bad thing to do. Christian mythology teaches us that Hell is, well, red. I'm not sure where the notion of all that red came from, but it's likely more to do with visceral blood imagery than any firsthand accounts of the color of the devil's night club. Someone read this list once and said to me, "Man, you're sending everyone to hell!" Which is rather the point. We all deserve hell. Each of us have sinned, first and foremost by being born into a sinful state. If each of us drew up a list of people who should go to hell, and we joined each of those lists together, we'd see that we're all on it. We all deserve Hell. Which is what makes salvation so precious and so real, a free gift of God that most of us simply take for granted. That most of us dishonor by being petty, being small, being vengeful and judgmental. By lying to cover our own insecurities and shortcomings. In the film, Unforgiven, an outlaw suggested some men he'd just killed deserved what they'd gotten, saying, "Well, I guess they had it comin'." To which Clint Eastwood, pitch perfect as always, replied, "We all got it comin' kid."

We all deserve hell. we've all sinned. None of us are righteous, none of us are perfect. That's the point of this list, which most Church Folk misunderstand and criticize me for, as usual, seeing only the barest glimmer of the surface of a concept rather than using their intellect to understand. Intellectual laziness is the scourge of the black church, where intellect really isn't valued and thinking really isn't encouraged. Instead, slavish obedience to and faith in the pastor becomes the hallmark of good Christianity, which is not biblical. God never wanted us to be slaves. He sacrificed His only Son that we might become free. But, along with that freedom comes responsibility. Responsibility to stop being lemmings, led around by our noses. To stop being morons. To stop being afraid. A Christian—a real Christian—has absolutely no business being afraid of anything.    CONTINUED

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