Thoughts from Graham

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : March 21, 2006

Here are some good thoughts from Graham at Leaving Munster:

In the mid 1990’s, I served for two years with YWAM,
whilst simultaneously preaching against the doctrine of everlasting
conscious torment. Missions and Hell needn’t go hand in hand.

motivation was not saving people from Hell and I think I can honestly
say that it never crossed my mind. Combined with the previous two
points, my motivation was sharing the difference that Jesus has made to
my life now and how he could change the lives of others.

fact is, if I knew you were suffering from painful Stomach cramps that
mean you cannot hold down a job, thus keeping your family in poverty,
and if I could cure that, I wouldn’t lack motivation just because I
knew that the cramps would not kill you.

If I see my daughter
stick her hand into a fire, I’m not about to sit back and do nothing,
even though I know she’ll pass-out before she dies! If I love her,
surely I’ll do whatever I can to ease her suffering now. (Read the rest here).

Graham has always made me feel uncomfortable with his rejection of the "classic" idea of Hell.  I want to go there with him, but my understanding of Scripture can’t handle such a move.  Maybe I’m too evangelical for my own good.  Nevertheless, I agree with the quote above.  I don’t think I’ve every proclaimed the Gospel or ministered out of a motivation to save someone from Hell.  That motivation hasn’t ever really clicked for me.  I’ve been more interested in being motivated by the positive (worshiping God) than the negative (saved from fiery torment).

Mark Van Steenwyk is the editor of He is a Mennonite pastor (Missio Dei in Minneapolis), writer, speaker, and grassroots educator. He lives in South Minneapolis with his wife (Amy), son (Jonas) and some of their friends.

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Viewing 2 Comments

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    I can't speak for Graham, but it seemed like what he was saying is that if you mention the positive, you may never have to mention the negative. I hope even Todd Friel could agree with that (?)
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    • v
    Sorry for causing you discomfort, Mark. ;-)


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