From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Stoke Up Hellfire? UK Adventist Leader Says No

From "Beckett, John" <>
Date 19 Apr 2000 04:37:49

ANN Bulletin
Adventist News Network
Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters
April 18, 2000
Stoke Up Hellfire? UK Adventist Leader Says No
Watford, England .... [ANN]

A report from evangelical churches in the United Kingdom calling for
"greater emphasis on the teaching of hell" has brought a swift response from
the president of Britain's Seventh-day Adventist Church.

"Hell as a teaching is not the thrust of the gospel," comments Pastor Cecil
Perry. "The salvation Jesus offers is the total revelation of His love.
Jesus' messages were based on repentance and membership in the Kingdom of
Heaven. His focus was on men and women accepting salvation."

The 150-page report entitled "The Nature of Hell," published on April 15 by
the theological commission of the Evangelical Alliance, urges "church
leaders to present biblical teaching on hell to their congregations," as
well as promoting the traditional view of hell in schools.

The report does admit that some evangelicals reject the concept of eternal
torment and believe in the total annihilation of the wicked, a view held by

"[The report] also admits that a significant minority of evangelical
Christians believe in eventual annihilation of people condemned to hell,"
Perry observes. "The Seventh-day Adventist Church agrees with the Biblical
view on the nature of hell as the final disposition of sin and sinners. It
does not endorse the historical, traditionalist view of hell as a place of
eternal punishment or anguish. We believe what Jesus taught in the New
Testament-that sin has consequences and that God will bring the world into
judgment and will reward each person according to their response to His
proffered salvation."

Pastor Perry states that the report is not the way to witness for the
Christian faith.

"The message of hell is in stark contrast to the message of hope and love
and tends to engender fear," he concludes. "Our message as a Church should
not be so much stoking up the fires of hell but waiting for the baptism of
the fires of Pentecost to be more effective witnesses to the millions on
their way to perdition." [Jonathan Gallagher]

Contact Information: 
Communications Department
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600

Phone: 301-680-6300

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