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We'll I'll Be Damned!

We'll I'll Be Damned!
September 26th, 2017
Jeremiah 32:25 - "Furthermore, they built the high places of Baʹal in the Valley of the Son of Hinʹnom, in order to make their sons and their daughters pass through the fire to Moʹlech, something that I had not commanded them and that had never come into my heart to do such a detestable thing, causing Judah to sin."
From time to time as a Witness, I would hear this used as a proof-text against Hell. The accompanying Argument, at first glance, anyway, isn't implausible; see for your self:
"The Bible says nothing about God's tormenting people after death in "hellfire." The idea of torment by fire is completely foreign to Jehovah God, who forthrightly condemned apostate Jews for the “detestable thing” of making “their sons and their daughters pass through the fire to Molech,” the god of Ammon." - Good News (p. 98)
God doesn't like it when people are tormented, so God won't torment the Wicked eternally.

However, there are problems with this reasoning. First, Jeremiah isn't talking about punishment, eternal or otherwise. Second, God will do what he would prefer not to have to do. Third, Hell isn't a literal place of fire, so even if the first point fails, this passage still can't be used in an argument against Hell as a place/state of eternal, conscious torment.

The first point is obvious - Jeremiah isn't rebuking the wicked Jews for punishing their children in an improper manner, but for performing vile child sacrifices. The second is also obvious as well. God pleads with Judah to repent, since he takes "no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather than someone wicked changes his way and keeps living." (Ezekiel 33:11) However, because many in those days did not repent, they were punished, many with death. Further, God has punished many with torment in this duration of life: wicked king Jehoram, for example. (2 Chronicles 21:18,19) Lastly, since Hell isn't a literal place of fire - or even where physical torment is inflicted - Hell as place/state where the damned are tormented with shame and distress, is immune to this argument.

Even before I ceased to be a Witness, I became disenchanted with this argument. This indicates, as should be obvious, that refuting this argument doesn't, by itself, undermine the Witness view. However, since it is a fairly easy one to refute, it might open up any Witness you happen to be talking to to reconsider their other arguments and beliefs. If this argument is wrong, what about the others I think support annihilationism? If they're wrong too, then maybe annihilationism is wrong as well - and maybe I need to reconsider my other beliefs, or at least sincerely hear out what others have to say.

This post first appeared on Witness Seeking Orthodoxy, please read the originial post: here

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We'll I'll Be Damned!


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