Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Person of the Day: Pastor Chad Holtz

It's been a while since we've had a Person of the Day, and today's Person actually legitimately deserves it unlike some of the ass clowns who've graced the title before. Chad Holtz was the pastor of Marrow's Chapel, a rural United Methodist church in Henderson, NC. That is, until he voiced his support of a book by evangelical pastor Rob Bell entitled "Love Wins" on his Facebook page. "Love Wins," released earlier this month by HarperOne, challenges traditional views of the afterlife, Hell in particular. The book and now Chad Holtz argue that the traditional view of Hell being an eternity of torture and misery following the death of one who deserves such a fate is not the correct view, and Hell is actually something we all experience while living right now on this earth in our every day lives.

As Holtz puts it:
"I think justice comes and judgment will happen, but I don't think that means an eternity of torment," Holtz said. "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."
Evidently Holtz was being just a bit too logical for the church to accept and within days he was relieved of his job. I suppose we really can't blame the church for firing him, as sticking to a set of silly beliefs is at the center of the whole operation. But it does take guts to do what Chad did and to go against the grain of his congregation for what he feels is the truth is something to be respected.

The truth is that Hell is probably one of the most ridiculous ideas we've ever come across and belief in it is in the same category as believing in the Easter bunny. The basic idea is that "good" people go to Heaven and "bad" people go to Hell. I argue that people are neither good nor bad, just as mountain lions and mosquitoes are neither good nor or bad, and volcanoes and glaciers are neither good nor bad. We're all a very small piece in the puzzle, and our surroundings dictate our actions much more than we effect our surroundings. Perhaps the idea of a God looking down and monitoring our thoughts and behaviors and deciding our afterlife fate is the result of our overinflated sense of importance.

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