The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian

Pastor Fired for Questioning Hell

Chad Holtz lost his job because he struggles with hell.  What did he do for a living? He was a pastor.

Marrow Chapel in Henderson, North Carolina, dismissed him not because he doesn’t believe in hell but because he struggles with the concept.  Here are Pastor Holtz’s own words:

“I think justice comes and judgment will happen, but I don’t think that means an eternity of torment.  But I can understand why people in my church aren’t ready to leave that behind.  It’s something I’m still grappling with myself.”


(Click here to read the story, “Pastor Loses Job After Questioning Hell’s Existence” or you click here to read Chad Holtz’s own blog)

Join the Groove:

Do you need your pastor to believe in hell?

What if he believes in hell but doesn’t preach about it?

If not believing in hell is a firing offense what other things should pastors be losing their jobs for? (For example, should pastors be dismissed if they don’t care for the poor or orphans.  By the way, Pastor Holtz does have two adopted children)

Are you ok with a pastor that has doubts and yet serves faithfully?

Comments read comments(10)
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Melanie Garcia

posted April 4, 2011 at 2:02 pm

A pastor’s beliefs and teachings should match the doctrine of the church he serves.
I wonder what you might think of Rob Bell or the article titled “The Nature of Hell” on this link:

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Joe Faletra

posted April 4, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Not believe in hell goes entirely against God’s word. You cannot speak HIS word if you don’t believe it. I understand struggling, however, at time we have to let FAITH take over. In my humble opinion his church was right to let him go. I pray that he can allow his faith to overcome the struggle. Let go and let God.

Other things pastors should be removed from their duties for…. I am sure there are many. However, not preaching the TRUTH is probably at the top of the list. I also think it is critical for the pastor to shepherd the other leaders within the church so they are prepared to do the work.

As far as teaching the doctrine of the church he serves (the first comment) I disagree entirely. if the doctrine of the church is tested and fails agains the Word then choose another church.

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posted April 5, 2011 at 11:10 am

He ought to look for a local United Church of Christ. I expect his theology would be more closely alligned with that of our denomination. We tend to prefer good questions more than easy answers.

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posted April 5, 2011 at 11:28 am

Thought about that question all day yesterday and decided that I do need my pastor to believe in Hell because I need my pastor to believe, wholeheartedly, in what Jesus taught and He did speak often of Hell.

Secondly, your current sermon series is out of the ballpark. Cool to have access to video now as well as audio.

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posted April 6, 2011 at 6:08 pm

I can understand why he was fired. Hell is nothing to play with. It’s the world’s number one revenue generator! It would be like a BP exec speaking out against offshore drilling. Intolerable heresy…..

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Gretchen Flores

posted April 6, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Well, I am pretty sure this is a primary reason my dad, who was also a pastor, left the faith.
He is now very involved in Buddhism. Probably because he doesn’t have to deal with that question.
When I talk to him about faith he typically says he just can’t accept that a loving God would allow such
A thing. I’ve had trouble trying to discuss it with him. I have to trust that God will reveal His great love
For him.

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posted April 7, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Aside from a few sects like j’s, I expect it’s very tough to be a thinking Christian preacher. Plotting, pandering, greedy, hypocritical, … yes. Thinking, no.

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posted April 8, 2011 at 4:43 am

Btw I didn’t mean “sect” in a bad way. Another word for the same thing is denomination.

And thinking is ok in a preacher as long as they can keep it to themselves.

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posted April 8, 2011 at 9:34 pm

The Scripture talks about hell….it is the reality whether we like it or not! We don’t see the spiritual world but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Lord Jesus talked about hell and if He says that the “Scriptures cannot be broken” then “hell” yes i want my pastor to believe in it…struggling with it is another statement. We all struggle with something or the other….just as you preached one time…”some parts of the scriptures are hard to swallow”. We can’t just pick and choose what we like in the Scriptures and what we don’t like. After all, isn’t that a few pastors are doing now, coming out in the open as homosexuals and preaching the Word of God on the pulpit every Sunday….

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Jackson Baer

posted January 6, 2012 at 10:14 pm

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