2 Easy Ways to Get into Hell

Earlier this week, I saw a video from a Christian YouTuber, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I almost didn’t click on it, because I thought it would be the same old Christian talking points that we hear all the time. But I’m glad that I watched it, because I was unable to stop thinking about it for days after—not because I was persuaded by it, but because I felt that it got so many things wrong.

The video was from the only Christian YouTuber that I’m subscribed to, and that’s Becca Eller, or FarAwayDistance. I’ve talked about her channel and her videos before (here and here). Unlike some other creators who can really get under my skin, I don’t really have any truly negative feelings toward Becca. I know that she never says anything to be malicious or hateful, even if it sounds twisted or wrong to me. Here is what she posted this week:

To sum up this video, Becca is getting out something that she’s been thinking about for a while that’s been frustrating her (which, ironically, is also what I’m doing with my response). The main gist of her video is that Christians are not taking sin seriously enough, and they are taking God’s grace for granted. They are being nonchalant about something that will end up sending not only them, but millions of others, to an eternity in hell. She is so visibly frustrated in this video that you feel like you must take it seriously. As she says, and I would have to agree, eternal punishment isn’t a joke. If it’s real, we should be afraid and do anything in our power to avoid it.

Something that she said in the beginning of the video actually distracted me so much that it was hard to focus on the rest without getting caught up in something that she probably meant mostly as an example. In mimicking those Christians who don’t take sin seriously enough, she said: “God doesn’t even care if I smoke weed. God doesn’t even care that I’m having sex before marriage. I just don’t feel like he cares. I know that it’s wrong to smoke weed, but, ya know, God will forgive me. I know that it’s wrong to have sex before marriage, but God will forgive me.”

I already know that the Bible has some rules that seem, as least to me, to be arbitrary. Some are still followed by a lot of Christians, and a lot are ignored, whether it’s on the basis of being “Old Testament Law which was fulfilled by Jesus so we don’t need to” or if “we just don’t do that anymore.” Eating shellfish, wearing braids, and having gay sex come to mind as examples of these sins. But smoking weed? Having sex before marriage? Does the Bible even say anything about those things?

It’s true that there are heaps of bible verses about sexual immorality. They’re all over the place. But most of them just warn not to be impure, not to be sexually immoral, or to abstain from sexual immorality or lust. To me, this sounds like the writers are telling us to not partake in sexual sin, but it doesn’t often tell you what that sexual sin is. It’s like a parent telling a child, “Don’t be bad!” to which the child says, “What is bad? What shouldn’t I do?” And the parent replies, “Just don’t be bad. If you do bad things, I’ll punish you.”

You could argue that the bible says not to have premarital sex. I checked on this page for relevant verses, and I found these three to be the closest to this topic:

“To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” 1 Corinthians 7:8-9

“If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price for her and make her his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the bride-price for virgins.” Exodus 22:16-17

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

Becca thinks that premarital sex will land you in hell. But do any of these verses even imply that? In 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, the only thing it says to do is get married (so one might wonder why it would be a sin to have sex with someone they plan to marry or are perhaps even already engaged to and planning a wedding….). Exodus 22:16-18 says the same thing, but makes it clear that this also applies to rape. Rapists (or anyone else having sex outside marriage) aren’t punished, but asked politely to marry the girl they’ve defiled. And Genesis 2:24 is the most vague out of these, as it is telling humankind what they should do (get married and have sex), but it doesn’t say anything else on what it means to be sexually immoral or impure. Here, is having extramarital sex just as bad as getting married and not having sex? Is that a sin, too?

As for smoking weed, I was exponentially more confused about why Becca included this as a hell-deserving sin. Is there anything in the bible about it? The only verses on this page that I could possibly twist to be remotely related to marijuana are these:

“Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” Genesis 9:3

“And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” Matthew 15:10-11

Of course, feel free to peruse the page on which I found these, but most of the relevant verses are taken either from Genesis with the same message as Genesis 9:3, or they say not to get drunk but rather to be sober-minded. Weird that Becca didn’t say that drinking alcohol can send you to hell, which can actually get people drunk and even kill, unlike marijuana. I think that the telling difference here is that many Christian denominations drink, but marijuana use has yet to be widely accepted in Christian churches.

Just to be sure, I commented on Becca’s video—not about the typical “Why would a loving God send people hell for acts like these?” but rather “Where in the bible does it say not to have premarital sex or smoke weed?” I know she’s probably been asked the first question dozens of times, so I didn’t bother. But maybe she knows of verses for the latter that I don’t. I never got a response, though, so I’m guessing there aren’t any. Oh well. Nothing makes sense, but let’s move on.

There are a few other things that she said that I take issue with. They include the idea that God is a person—not a human, but certainly a person—, who is sad, angry, and heartbroken when you sin. It’s an interesting thing to see God as a person with feelings and desires. This probably helps more people to feel that they’re in a relationship with someone who can listen and respond, but does this not go against the nature of who, or what, God is? How can a being be sad or mad when they have full control over everything that happens? How fair would it be for a god to send you to hell for doing something that he never even said not to do? That does sound like a human mistake, but hopefully an all-powerful, all-knowing, and, most-importantly, all-loving god, would know to be clearer and not manipulative.

Becca also mentioned that the bible never said that you can get into heaven by being a good person. She says that the bible says that you can only get into heaven through Jesus and God the Father. But you know what else the bible never says?

Wait for it. You can probably guess.

Right. It never says you can’t get into heaven if you had had premarital sex or smoked a joint. So why bring these up if you are then going to make an argument based on the bible not saying something?

My biggest problem with this whole video, outside of the sex-and-weed thing (which, to her credit, was not her main point) is that an all-loving God should not be sending people to hell for things that aren’t even bad outside of him telling you so. Of course it’s even worse when the act at hand is something that God says nothing about, like smoking weed. But there are plenty of things that he does say not to do, that in this view probably could land you in hell but don’t bear any real consequences on earth. Like having gay sex. I say this because that is what is explicitly condemned in Leviticus 20:13—it doesn’t say “Don’t be gay,” but it does say not to lie with another man as you would with a woman. You can choose not to do this, even though you can’t choose not to be gay. But why would something like this send you to hell? Why would an all-loving, forgiving god condemn people for something that has no real negative consequences outside of him saying “I told you not to”?

Finally, I was deeply unnerved by a point that Becca iterated a few times toward the end of the video. She said, “It’s not me, it’s the Holy Spirit” in regards to where her message is coming from. If you don’t like what she’s saying, don’t blame her, because she is only repeating what God has laid on her heart in prayer. Why would God tell you all this but not tell any of your viewers or those sinners who are having premarital sex? What if someone is sinning but doesn’t watch her videos? Will God tell them this, too? What if there’s someone who believes that drinking alcohol is a sin but smoking weed is not? Would God dare to tell that person something that contradicts what they already believe? I think not, because it seems that what God thinks is wrong always conveniently aligns with what his believers already think is wrong, whether or not God has said anything about it in Scripture.

In the end, I still know that Becca only says what she says out of love. She is afraid that you (yes, you, my reader) are going to hell, and she doesn’t want you to suffer for all eternity. She believes that if there’s something she can do to save you, it would be wrong for her not to try. So I respect her in that way, and hope that no one sends any hate to her or her YouTube channel. That said, what do you think about the video? Am I judging too harshly? Let me know!

(Also, check me out on on social media! Twitter: @curi0usatheist Instagram: @curiousatheist)

18 Replies to “2 Easy Ways to Get into Hell”

  1. So I guess I’m not the only one thought the Bible was vague when it comes to sex and drugs. People would always say to not have sex outside marriage and not do drugs, like its clear as day, whilst quoting the verses you mentioned. No it isn’t, and this so called God isn’t doing anyone a favor with his vague rules.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I finally listened to the rest of the video. Does Becca know that it’s a ‘sin’ and just plain horrible communication to say…like…whaterrr….more than 20 times in an 11 minute speech. She’ll go to Hell for this..fer-surrre Her repetitiveness and Valley Girl persona made it so I had to force myself to listen and take her seriously. In My humble opinion she needs communication courses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the reason it came out like that is that she was really nervous to say something that was so important/scary to talk about – I wouldn’t probably be all nervous and awkward if I spoke in videos instead of writing

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I get it. Sorry I was a little critical. I’ve watched a couple more of her videos and she seemed to be nice. I admire her strict adherence to morals, ethics and the rules of God and the Bible, even in her speech. That’s very very hard to do in this day. She is to be admired in that sense.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Of all the things about religion that trouble me, the concept of Hell is the one I find by far the most noxious and irreconcilable. The most repulsive reason Christians frequently give, in my opinion, for going to Hell is simply “not accepting Jesus,” whatever the hell that means (haha). Luckily I was raised in a household where Hell was not regarded very seriously. One of the many ways in which I continue to lean more toward Catholicism than Protestantism is that the modern Catholic Church has heavily backtracked on the concept of damnation. This may sound counterintuitive, but I think this is actually easier for Catholics to do than Protestants, as in the former there is more of an emphasis on simply living a relatively moral life, as opposed to the latter which requires the individual to “accept” a simultaneously very vague and very narrow understanding of “Jesus” as one’s “Savior.” I read that the Eastern Orthodox have a much different doctrine regarding Hell which is considered closer to the Catholic concept of Purgatory, where the soul is punished for a limited time to purify it before entering Heaven. (Which, among other things, goes to show that Protestantism, for all its rejection of Catholicism, ultimately has more Catholicism in it than it thinks.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “God is a person. He feels, he thinks and he makes choices. At the end of the day, like, God has the feelings of anger, sadness at our sin and like God hates our sin and he gets heart broken when we make those choices.” Really? If God is a person with emotions like mine…i’m sorry BUT…my expectations of a God entity are much higher than that. He would be more like Mr. Spock or Data (Star Trek) and be able to see beyond or above the frail faltering emotions of humans, which have started wars, destruction, hate, evil.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “The main gist of her video is that Christians are not taking sin seriously enough, and they are taking God’s grace for granted.”

    I agree with her on that point, even if some of her examples aren’t quite right.

    I cannot help but notice that many who claim to be Christian are behaving in very unchristian ways.

    The view seems to be that if you have the right magical beliefs, you are saved no matter what you do. Once saved, always saved. This comes from Calvinism, and I always thought that the biblical basis for Calvinism was very weak.

    So they commit adultery; they steal from their Churches; they bear false witness. But apparently it is all okay, because they have the right magical beliefs.

    However, if somebody is gay, then no amount of magical beliefs is enough. They never explain that one.

    It is as if Christianity is a purely tribal system, and Jesus is merely a convenient prop that they use to support their tribalism. But we may soon have to call it “Trumpianity” because they seem to be switching to a different prop.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Becca gets Christianity right, in my opinion. If becoming Christian did not transform your life, then how can you claim to be “born again”?

        As I understood it, a Christian should be personally conservative (set high standards for one’s self), but be socially liberal (be kind and forgiving toward others). And Becca seems to get that. Too many people who say that they are Christian seem to be personally liberal but socially conservative. They have it backwards.

        It was this kind of blatant hypocrisy that led me to start questioning Christianity. It doesn’t mean anything for someone to say to have faith, if they won’t apply it to control their own lives and use their religion only to control other people.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t understand how we can base all of our morality on the Bible. We can partially create a first century Judeo-Christian framework, but there are gapping holes that growing wider with each passing year as the world changes and moves on at a faster and faster pace.

    The Bible says nothing about most of the major issues today. Take nuclear power, fossil fuel consumption or stem cell research as a few examples. The Bible doesn’t talk to those directly. It does say some very specific things about some cultural circumstances of the time, and sure, you can bend those narratives and make them feed into the major issues we face today, but they won’t ever be specific enough to motivate people to action.

    The Bible is ageing. There is no proof that the Holy Spirit exists, there is no proof that people can know the heart of a God, there is nothing in this video but words and fear based around lies that have completely encapsulated a life… she is a zombie to her beliefs…

    You can see why Christopher Hitchens views religion as a poison.

    -Sam

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Uh, re ” Having sex before marriage? Does the Bible even say anything about those things?” I don’t remember the verse but I believe it states that if a bride cannot establish her virginity on her wedding night, she is to be taken to the city gates and stoned to death. I believe that is “saying something about premarital sex.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm looks like Deuteronomy 22:20-21

      20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.

      Barbaric OT stuff!

      Like

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