Is fear of hell an incorrect driving force for faith in God?
Our panelist, Mina, explains that the Fathers actually describe hell as the love of God that irritates those who are there because they despise it. Then, if we were to fear hell, we would fear being burnt by God’s love, rather than being embraced by the joy and love of God which is so everlasting.
Mina explains that if fear is a driver for your faith, so long as it is only the beginning and you’re willing to openly to engage with your faith for it to become stronger. However, fear cannot be the means or destination because God is not about fear for we know that “perfect love casts out fear”.
If fear is more of a reverence, in that we fear upsetting God, then that is not bad. But when the fear becomes a fear of punishment, then we really need to reconsider whether our understanding of fear and hell is correct.
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