Thursday, April 17, 2008

Fr. Stephen on Hell

Is Hell Real?

"...the 'fire' of hell is not a material fire, but itself nothing other than the fire of the Living God (Hebrews 12:29). For those who love God, His fire is light and life, purification and all good things. For those who hate God, His fire is torment, though it be love."

Read it all


Thomas said...

This sounds like non Chalcedon error and heresy as a result of schism and your lack of unity of the established Church of Christ and His sucessor.

Hell fire is G-d's love?

FrGregACCA said...


First, let me point out that Fr. Stephen is Byzantine Orthodox; therefore, he accepts Chalcedon.

Second, there is nothing here which contradicts Roman dogma; in fact, Pope Benedict himself spoke very similarly in discussing purgatory:

"Some recent theologians are of the opinion that the fire which both burns and saves is Christ himself, the Judge and Saviour. The encounter with him is the decisive act of judgement. Before his gaze all falsehood melts away. This encounter with him, as it burns us, transforms and frees us, allowing us to become truly ourselves. All that we build during our lives can prove to be mere straw, pure bluster, and it collapses. Yet in the pain of this encounter, when the impurity and sickness of our lives become evident to us, there lies salvation." (Spe Salvi 47)

While Benedict here speaks of "recent theologians" of the West, this line of thinking, both in terms of post-mortem purification for the saved and the eternal torment of the damned, is very old in the Christian East.

Thanks for commenting.