No stranger to controversy, pastor Mark Driscoll has once again given critics a reason to blast him—this time on Twitter.
The pastor of Seattle-based Mars Hill Church lit up the Twitterverse Friday with his tweet, “If you are not a Christian, you are going to hell. It’s not unloving to say that. It’s unloving not to say that.”
Everest Alexander, with the Twitter username “@MyHomeBizTools” replied, “@PastorMark Brother Mark, of course you're 100% correct! I would phrase it a bit differently. If you're not Born Again you're going to hell.”
But most of the responses were negative.
Twitter user “@almightygod” accused Driscoll of threatening nonbelievers: “@PastorMark Isn't threatening non-Christians with hell sort of like threatening adults with coal in their xmas stocking?”
Jacqueline O. Rhodes commented: “@PastorMark I'd rather go to hell then spend eternity in the same place as you.”
The subject of hell has become increasingly divisive—even among Christians in the last several years. Rob Bell’s 2011 book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Every Lived, was panned by evangelicals, with some accusing the pastor of heresy.
Around the time the book came out, Driscoll wrote a blog post stating that it is important to understand that God doesn’t send just anyone to hell, but only those who reject Him.
“Hell is only for those who persistently reject the real God in favor of false gods,” he wrote. “To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, either people will say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ or God will say to them, ‘Thy will be done.’ ”