By Gary Amirault
It seems everybody has something to say about Hell since Rob Bell’s book Love Wins published by HarperOne/Newscorp/Ruppert Murdock came out. Weighing in on who’s in or out of Hell or if Hell even exists are such heavy weights as Huffington Post, MSNBC, Good Morning America, Washington Post, Associated Press, ABC, NBC, CBS, Reuters, New York Times, etc.. On it’s cover Time Magazine asks, “What if there’s no Hell? Facebook, Twitter and blogs by the tens of thousands have something to say about Rob Bell, Love Wins and and the stories that broke as a result of that well publicized book.
Christianity Today, Charisma Magazine, Relevant Magazine and other Christian news media are raising Hell about Hell. What the Hell is going on?
As Elvis might sing, “There is a whole lot of shaking going on” over the topic of Hell. To get Hell even hotter than it already is in the media, self-appointed Pope Billy O’Reilly, a conservative Roman Catholic joins the fray. O’Reilly invited Jack McKinney, a former Baptist minister on his program to discuss “Is there a Hell?” In the six minute debate, McKinney didn’t get in two words edgewise. O’Reilly, in his usual pontificated form, informs us that there must be a Hell for all the evil people in the world, people like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao Tze Tong. Good people go to heaven, bad people go to Hell. Case closed. But how can the millions who have never accept Jesus Christ as the personal Lord and Savior enter heaven asks the former Baptist minister McKinney. Simple says Pope O’Reilly, the Baptism of Desire. The Baptism of Desire?
Those of us who happened to have studied a little Church history are well aware of the fact that the Roman Catholic Church, for any centuries, taught there was no salvation outside the Catholic Church. Since the days of Augustine, everyone was damned to Hell except the “elect” in the Catholic Church who were properly water baptized. Jews, heathen, unbaptized infants — everyone was damned to eternal torments. Even Purgatory was only for Catholics who weren’t clean enough yet to receive the beautification of heaven. From Saint Augustine’s day forward, Hell was large and heaven was tiny.
As conscience pricked some Catholic leaders, they began to invent ways to empty Hell of some of its occupants. In the twelfth century the Roman Catholic,Peter Lombard, Master of Sentences invented Limbus Infantus (Limbo). This new place prevented unbaptized infants from entering heaven but at least did not consign them to the flames of Hell. It was something in-between, thus the term “limbo.”
The Jews have a saying that if one asked three Jews about any subject one will get back four opinions. Such is the case with Limbus Infantus. Ask three Catholic priests what Limbo is like and one is likely to get four different opinions. The counter-reformation Council of Trent of the sixteenth century and the twentieth century Vatican Council II would add enough contradictory legalese to confuse even the most skilled of Jesuit lawyers. Catholic dogma is a messy mass of man-made manipulation of creeds, laws, doctrines, rituals, rites, traditions to drive any normal human being insane. With that, stage right, enter Pompous Pope Bill O’Reilly who knows everything about everything.
But Bill O’Reilly, informs us that the Catholic Church has invented a special baptism for Holocaust Jews, infants and Gandhi. O’Reilly, quoting some document says:
“Non-Christians who seek God with a sincere heart,” which would be Gandhi, “and move by his grace, try to do his will as they know it through the dictates of conscience, can also be saved without water baptism. They are said to desire implicitly. That is called ‘baptism of desire.’”
“I was taught that in third grade, that the Holocaust victims, who were primarily Jewish, they’re damned because they’re not Catholic? That’s insane. All right. Little babies who die upon birth, they can’t get baptized. They’re not going to heaven? That’s insane. I think the problem is, with this no Hell business, is that you have to deal with the Hitlers and the Pol Pots and these tyrants. And if you say there is no Hell, then there really isn’t any regulation of behavior at all. And scripture goes right against that, does it not?”
On the television show, O’Reilly appeared to quote a document from the Catholic Church on this “baptism of desire” business. The New Testament speaks of a water baptism and a “baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire.” But I’ve never seen a “baptism of desire” in Scripture. So I googled “baptism of desire.” Oi Veh! What a mass of confusion! My head was double spinning in O’Reilly’s “No Spin Zone.” Searching the internet, I found what O’Reilly quoted. He purposely didn’t read the sentence before his quote because it shoots his arguments of Holocaust Jews, infants and Gandhi in heaven all to Hell:
It(Doctrine of Desire) holds that those who come to faith in the Catholic Church as adults and become catechumens before receiving baptism nevertheless are admitted to salvation even though the Church teaches that (water) baptism is necessary for salvation. Non-Christians who seek God with a sincere heart and, moved by grace, try to do His will as they know it through the dictates of conscience can also be saved without water baptism; they are said to desire it implicitly. (cf. Catechism, 1260)
So then this baptism of desire has nothing to do with Jews who died in the Holocaust, nothing to do with non-catholic infants, nothing to do with the Gandhi’s of this world. Pope O’Reilly is spinning Roman Catholic teachings. It has taken an army of Jesuit lawyers to write papers so confusing that no one can understand them to hide the many outright contradictions there are within Roman Catholic teachings espoused by the various Popes and Church leaders. I don’t think any Jesuit lawyer would dare attempt to explain away Pope Pius O’Reilly’s butchering of Roman Catholic teachings.
Read the article below in which the Roman Catholic Church tries to reconcile the “baptism of desire” with the resolutions of the Council of Trent. Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is made up of little ones. Ask yourself as you read this legalese if “little ones” can understand this kind of mumbo-jumbo.
While the Bible says nothing about this Roman Catholic “baptism of desire” that Pope O’Reilly pontificated on, there is a sacred baptism our Lord and Savior endured which insured the salvation of every living being from the very first to the very last. Jesus Christ was baptized into the death of humanity — He tasted death for EVERYONE, not a single soul excepted. Jesus was assured of the Father that He put all things into His hands — and that of all the Father gave Him, He would lose NOTHING, not a single soul! (John 3:35, 6:37) The Baptism of God’s “desire” assured that the will and desire of the Father would be met: “God will/desire all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Tim. 2:1-6 Jesus’ baptism unto death will surely draw all mankind to Himself. John 12:32, 33. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of Christianity. It is time Christians return to this sacred foundation — Jesus Christ, Savior of all that the Father has given Him. The Father has given all things into His Hands. Believe it!
“And if, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw (literally drag in Greek) all mankind unto Myself. This He spoke signifying what manner of death He should die.” John 12:32