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 they consider anyone who questions their faith as a personal attack. 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).
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?
1.This is all very illogical. For one thing, I can think of plenty of sports fans that are quite zealous about the home team. I guess they’re motivated by the fear of hell, right?
2.Loftus’ analysis would only make sense if two conditions were met:
i) The zealot is afraid of hell, and
ii) He believes that his zealous activities will save him from hell.
As far as militant Muslims are concerned, they seem to be motivated, not by the disincentive of hell-fire, but by the incentive of their 72 virgins in Paradise.
It’s about the carrot, not the stick.
And there are other factors in play. The peer pressure from a cult of martyrdom. A propaganda machine along with a cottage industry of victimology. And the rush that comes of killing people. The thrill of danger.
As far as Christians are concerned, Evangelicals don’t believe that doing apologetics will save them from the flames of perdition. We are justified by faith, not by apologetics.
Moreover, many Evangelicals are unafraid of hell. They became Christians out of fear of hell. But now that they are Christians, they no longer fear the prospect of hell.
This is especially true for Christians in a theological tradition like Lutheranism or Calvinism in which a Christian can enjoy the assurance of salvation.
3.Finally, apostates can be every bit as zealous as Christians. Is this because the apostate is inspired by his fear of hell?