Zealots and the Fear of Hell

The very first chink in my Christian faith armor was when I denied a literal traditional hell. I believed in "conditional immortality" at one point. And it was then that I was allowed to pursue my questions, because I thought to myself that hell wouldn't be that bad if I'm annihilated. That's when I began to develop the freedom to question the Bible and to pursue my questions. Of course, in pursuing these questions I eventually came to deny the existence of hell and the Bible as the word of God itself. But for me that's when it started.

Today there is violence between Israel and Lebanon. And while no one can say this is purely a religious war, the elements of religion are plainly evident, especially when militant Islamics (like Hamas, and Hezbollah) want to destroy Israel as part of what they understand the Koran to say.

And then there are Christians who are so zealous for their faith that they consider anyone who questions their faith as a personal attack on them. They too are zealots for their faith.

But why? Why are these religious people so zealous for their faith? Why? Is anyone that zealous in defending their favorite Baseball team, or in defending the historicity the founding of ancient Rome, such that they will personally attack someone who denies it (well there might be a small select few regarding a baseball team, but Christians as a whole take our questions personally).

It's the fear of hell, I tell ya. And it's a horrible doctrine, especially when someone believes that babies go to hell and then still believes this after his wife miscarriages, which is a terrible painful parental experience all by itself that I sympathize with and wish on no one!

Fear of hell. That explains the zeal of the zealots in this world. It's a cradle to grave intimidation that causes otherwise intelligent and caring people to be stupid and fearful and zealous for their faith.

Tell me this, Christians, if it weren't for the fear of hell, how zealous would you be for your faith? How willing would you be to consider the questions we pose here at DC? How does the fear of hell itself affect how zealous you are to defend your faith?