By Wallace Henley , CP Exclusive In the 1970s the respected psychiatrist Dr. Karl Menninger asked, in a book title, "Whatever Became of Sin?" Now it's time to ask, "Whatever Became of Hell?"
It is not crazy to believe in Hell, but delusional to live without the consciousness of it. The proof is in the facts.
A Pew report several years ago found that 54 percent of Americans do not believe in Hell while 74 percent believe in the reality of Heaven. Some of the fault lies in the pulpit, which picked up a postmodern gospel emphasizing the existential rather than the eternal.
One pastor quoted in a Birmingham News-USA Today report said a cause was the fear of preachers that they may not be relevant.
"I think we have begun to deny Hell. There's an assumption that everybody's going to make it to Heaven somehow," said the minister.
"Those who believed in a punishing God cheated less," discovered a researcher at the University of British Colombia. Harvard researchers Robert Barro and Rachel McCleary concluded from data gathered from sixty nations that belief in Hell stimulated economic growth. Niall Ferguson found that people who believe in Hell have a higher work ethic because of the implications of accountability to higher authority.
The American founders believed in this accountability to the Creator who had granted to human beings the foundational rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Most of them believed there would be a great day of reckoning at the summary point of human history. That idea spurred the constitutional framers to develop a government of mutual oversight and accountability, checks and balances. Free Sign Up CP Newsletter!
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