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Wait, Ben Carson Doesn't Believe in Hell?

Ben Carson told the Washington Post he doesn't believe Hell is a physical place.
Ben Carson told the Washington Post he doesn't believe hell is a physical place. (Reuters)

Ben Carson doesn't believe hell is a physical place, according to a new interview with The Washington Post. 

"I don't believe there is a physical place where people go and are tormented. No. I don't believe that," Carson told the Post's Sally Quinn.  

While this may seem shocking to some, the belief hell is not a physical place is typical of Seventh-day Adventists.  

According to Religion Facts, Seventh-day Adventists subscribe to an Ecclesiastes 9:5 philosophy, which reads that the dead know nothing.  

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"The wages of sin is death. But God, who alone is immortal, will grant eternal life to His redeemed. Until that day death is an unconscious state for all people," reads one of the basic tenets of Seventh-day Adventism. "When Christ, who is our life, appears, the resurrected righteous and the living righteous will be glorified and caught up to meet their Lord. The second resurrection, the resurrection of the unrighteous, will take place a thousand years later."  

That also means Carson doesn't subscribe to the belief of a rapture—that is, he doesn't believe Christ will swoop in before/in the middle of/or after the tribulation and remove all the believers.  

"I don't see any evidence for that in the Bible," Carson tells Quinn. 

Instead, Seventh-day Adventists believe Christ will resurrect the dead where he will then judge them.  

"When He returns, the righteous dead will be resurrected, and together with the righteous living will be glorified and taken to heaven, but the unrighteous will die," according to "The almost complete fulfillment of most lines of prophecy, together with the present condition of the world, indicates that Christ's coming is imminent." 

When the unrighteous die, Seventh-day Adventists believe God will "consume them" when He cleanses the earth.  

"At its close, Christ with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround the city; but fire from God will consume them and cleanse the earth. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever," reads  

"... On the new earth, in which righteousness dwells, God will provide an eternal home for the redeemed and a perfect environment for everlasting life, love, joy and learning in His presence. For here God Himself will dwell with His people, and suffering and death will have passed away. The great controversy will be ended, and sin will be no more. All things, animate and inanimate, will declare that God is love; and He shall reign forever. Amen."

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