In yesterday's sermon, which asked "How can a loving God send someone to hell?" a guy named Kevin made a great point in the opening conversation about hell and judgment and the church's behavior regarding such things. He noted that we have been too willing to take on those things that, biblically, God has reserved for himself—judgment, vengeance, etc.—while neglecting those things that God has genuinely called us to engage—service, love, outreach, etc.
I thought this was a great point. Whatever you think about hell and the difficulties it presents to Christian theology, the biblical teachings about judgment have been distorted by our [the church's] willingness to "help" God exercise judgment and our neglect of the call to transform and restore creation. In other words, hell—always a difficult subject no matter how you approach it—wouldn't be quite problem it is if Christians didn't seem so excited about the idea of peering over the edge of heaven and looking down on those suffering. Many of the problems facing the church's reputation, I think, could be addressed if we were genuinely terrified by the idea of a single person suffering judgment rather than a loving and healthy relationship with a sovereign God.
This video, which I ran across a few months ago and which we played in yesterday's services, makes a similar point, but now from the perspective of Penn Jillette, an outspoken and well reasoned atheist.