Beliefnet
Idol Chatter

fire_idol.jpgI’ve always been fascinated with the dark side. In college I contemplated going Goth–inasmuch as a Hot Topic shirt could take me to the dark side. I once flipped through a copy of the Satanic Bible–not because I was up for conversion; I was merely curious. And to this day I watch scary movies because I enjoy being scared. But none of these things move me more than pondering the existence of hell.
I jump at the opportunity to watch documentaries on the underworld, such as the History Channel’s “Hell: The Devil’s Domain,” which provides an in-depth secular and biblical history of Hades. And so I also enjoyed watching 20/20’s special titled “Hell: Our Fear and Fascination” hosted by Bill Weir and airing tonight on ABC at 10 p.m.
The one-hour report is split into five segments that go further than giving the man in the red suit holding a trident a little air time. This report puts a face on hell by pointing out its future inhabitants, documenting the lives of people who are believed to have gone to hell, and interviewing people who survived hell on earth. The most notable of the latter segment are Ishmael Beah, who at the age of 13 watched a rebel army slaughter his entire village in Sierra Leone and was subsequently brainwashed into joining the vicious army, and Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor who wrote through the pain of his experience.
But no conversation about hell would be complete if the question of “What if hell doesn’t exist?” didn’t come into play. To answer that question, Weir interviews Bishop Carlton Pearson, the former mega-church preacher who was ousted by his congregation and his denomination when he started preaching the “gospel of inclusion,” which states that everyone is going to heaven. From his current pulpit, Pearson boldly states that “hell wasn’t God’s intention, but man’s invention.”
As journalistic coverage goes, this special on hell is fair and balanced and worth an hour of your time. But after that hour, it will be necessary to redeem the time in prayer just in case you start to have second thoughts.

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