I’m not going to hold a gun to anyone’s head, and for that matter, I don’t think that approach does any good.
This is not a post for attacking Christian beliefs or promoting atheistic views. Maybe you would refuse to leave until they came away with you. But this is not what Christians do for their friends and family who they really believe are on the verge of falling into eternal torture, even though they this stuff, but they don’t act like it.
Let’s say we all lived in Poland at the start of World War II and you got word that soon, the Nazis were going to invade the town where several of your friends and family lived.
Besides the mundane answers like laziness, shyness, etc., the answer, I believe, lies in the fact that if they really meditate on the idea of hell they could not believe in a loving, just God. Prayed about it–no insights received as you might expect. If God is good and hell is real then we must redefine what we mean by good as it pertains to God. They believe their son, whom they love dearly, is going to be tortured forever. I wonder what it means to demand consistency from people who subscribe to a (supposedly) delusional “you got word that soon, the Nazis were going to invade” Well, how soon?
I think a lot depends on whether there is a specific date or whether it’s just something vaguely in the future and not expected to happen tomorrow. His parents intellectually know that he is going to die at some point but they don’t expect it to happen soon and they certainly don’t expect it to happen tomorrow.
I don’t think there is an elegant answer to such questions, most people simply aren’t reflective enough to even attempt to find incoherencies in their views. Another simple example to Christians (you can answer these questions to yourself): Would you ever masturbate if someone was watching you? Something is different and it’s seems as though it is different in a way they are unwilling to directly address, because it impacts the debatescape significantly.
Ben Lorkas, Yeah, but Jesus has to watch *everything,* including everything going on in his unlimited imagination which includes you masturbating even if you never actually did.
I think the answer to the question you posed is yes, Christians really believe. Seems to me there is only so much they and other Christians can do (didn’t even the Apostles shake off their sandals if their message wasn’t heard and accepted? Should some react in a greater capacity than they have?
So why aren’t they frantic, as they should be, if God is going to torture the vast majority of humankind forever for not loving Him? they don’t seem upset that their beloved son will be tortured forever in hell. Absolutely, with respect to this I agree with your article.
Otherwise, they are being disloyal and if they are disloyal, then that eternity of bliss is less certain.