Anybody reading the news the past few years will know that Bush is a pro-life kind of guy. I’m assuming some or much of this comes from his faith.
But based on the contention that as a governor and president, he directly or indirectly caused quite a few deaths, is his soul in jeopardy of going to hell? You don’t get a free pass just because you’re not the one who pulled the trigger, do you?
Now obviously, he acted within the parameters of the powers vested in him by the state and is free and clear under the law of man. But I’m more curious how the various strains of Christians view his behavior against their faith.
I’m assuming that few, if any, Christians want him to go to hell, but that’s different than how well he has been living the Word of God. Given that, please share any verses that support your assertion one way or the other.
Also, plenty of esteemed world leaders have engaged in war and sent criminals to their deaths and it’s understood that criteria we put on Bush would naturally extend to anyone who has done the same deeds.
So, how will he be judged in the afterlife?
Can a thread involving both politics and religion stay out of the Pit? Here’s hoping.
I hear the road to hell is paved with good intentions. If so I’m certain GW has a date with the devil at some point.
While I’m not a practicing Christian anymore, I’d say that it depends on if Bush has asked for forgiveness. The church (not sure which church he belongs too so this all might be incorrect) has always maintained that sometime killing is justified. And even if it isn’t, you can always be forgiven your sins if you truely repent (IIRC).
Who goes to Heaven or to Hell is up to a) the judgment of God, and b) the state of the person’s soul.
B. It is entirely possible that before his death, Bush would repent of his sins (those he is aware of) and ask God for forgiveness. In addition, depending on which denomination is correct, he may have gone through the required rituals (baptism, confirmation, communion seem to be the most common) or have invited Jesus into his life and declared Him as Lord - in other words, done what is necessary for entrance to Heaven. As such, he would not go to Hell. In the same vein, it is also possible that he dies in sin and rebellion against God, in which case he may go to Hell. But see below.
A. God is the ultimate judge of who is accepted and who is rejected. Nevertheless, being all-powerful, all-wise, and all-just, God is not bound: He is free to do as He wills. To put it in the terminology of certain denominations, “Humanity is bound by the sacraments, but God is not bound by the sacrament.” He may save whomever He wills, and He may cast down whomever He wills. This is most pronounced in Calvinist theology, where the sovereignty of God is very much emphasized. I guess a good summary would be: “God saves whom He saves; God damns whom He damns.” And, of course, God is above our judgment or scrutiny.
The short answer: There’s no way for any person to tell or determine, unless that person is God.
After all, Christians are supposed to be more concerned about the status/fate of one’s own soul rather than someone else’s. (Which doesn’t mean Christians should ignore everyone else spiritually: part of serving God and winning His favor is reaching out to others. But Christians should not focus on the status/fate of another’s soul more than one’s own.)
As a Christian hopeful-universalist, I think everyone goes to Hell on the way to Heaven.
There are Biblically, two “Hells”- the Hole (Sheol in Hebrew & Hades in Greek) & the Fire (Gehenna- a Hebrew-Greek mix), Extreme Darkness (Absence of God) and Extreme Light (Excess of God). The best Christians usually experience awareness of their alienation from God, the horror of sin & their need for His Grace in this life- thus, their Hell experience gets out of the way & they may well zing into Heaven at death/resurrection. Immature faulty believers & outright unbelievers & sinners may have to experience some Absence of God (the Hole) and Excess of God (the Fire) to be driven to open themselves to Christ’s Grace.
RE the OP about Bush- to the extent Bush knowingly manipulated us into an unnecessary war (tho whether he did so or it was unnecessary are VERY debatable) and does not repent & make whatever reparation possible- privately & publically, he will suffer the Hole & the Fire on his way to learning Grace.
To the extent he acted deceptively & murderously, he will be punished; to the extent he acted wrongly but was honestly misled, he will be corrected; to the extent he acted justly, he will be rewarded- all under the direction of the Ruthlessly Just & Loving Jesus. I think his fate leans more to the latter two, and less to the former.
I assume that when being sworn into office as governor of Texas, GWB put his hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the laws of the land, similar to what he did as President. Since the death penalty is on the lawbooks of Texas, he’s just doing what he swore he would.
As was said before, no one can know the state of anyone’s fate after death, so there is no answer for the OP.
However, the position that if one kills or participates in killing then one must be condemned by God is contrary to anything in the Bible. Throughout the Old Testament God commanded His people to kill and destroy other inhabitants of Israel. Obviously the God of the Bible does not hate killing. He commands it at times.
Now that’s not to say that I believe that no killing is condemned by God. What I’m saying is that we must look at the circumstances of the killing, since the Bible in no place teaches that killing, in and of itself, is wrong.
David & the righteous of OT times are “saved” in the sense that they are recipients of the Grace & Forgiveness of God, and now dwell in blessed rest while awaiting the Resurrection in the Age-to-Come.
And it is one Christian belief that in order to get them properly “saved” in the C’tian sense, that Jesus descended into Sheol between His death & resurrection to proclaim His saving work & invite them to trust in Him as Lord & Savior.
It is the position of the Catholic Church that no one knows who goes to heaven or hell, or even whether such things exist as concepts around which we can wrap our minds.
Do I, personally, think GWB is destined for Hell?
I can answer that by saying that, while Hell does not appear in the Bible, Matthew Chapter 7 certainly does. And I certainly have enough trouble keeping my mind on my own adherence to the Christian example to have enough time to worry about the adherence of some dude I only met once.
Aside from the foolishness of the question (no offense to the OP, but it’s very hard-to-define one), I suspect not. Regardless of his methods (certainly questionable in leberal eyes) Bush is attempting to do the best he can for the world. This involves causing what appears at first to be chaos.But his enemies always have the final choice:
It is not my place to decide, of course. And the concept of hell has been losing ground over the years, so there may not even be such a place. I’m reminded of what my pastor challenged us with: “If you were accused of being a Christian, what would they use for evidence?” Jesus said the greatest commandments were to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Whether he loves God or not is surely not mine to judge. But I do question his love for neighbor. I’m troubled by his callous disregard for those condemned to be executed while governor. I’m troubled by his wanting to enrich those in society that are already at the top. Jesus said to feed the poor, and I don’t believe their welfare is high on his priorities. But the gravest concerns I have for his soul concern Iraq. There are some wars that are just. WW II was one, Iraq was not. A true Christian leader would instigate war only as a last resort, for Bush it was a first resort. Even more troubling is his condoning the use of torture. Any Christian that this week recalls the passion of Jesus knows full well the suffering and torture that He went through. To cause others such pain deliberately is a definite un-Christianlike position.
Traditionally, there is a difference between killing for personal reasons (ie, murder) and what you might call “impersonal killing,” which includes self-defense, judicial executions and wars. Murder is always a mortal sin, but the other types are only sins if they occur unjustly. IMHO, Texas’ executions won’t jeopordize Bush’s soul unless he knowingly let an innocent man die. (I disagree with the Catholic Church regarding captial punishment. I think that it can be a valid way to atone for a very serious sin.) As for the war, the key issue is whether Bush really thought that the war was necessary. IOW, did he think that the world would be a better place after the war, and did he think that the positive benefits would outweigh the costs in human suffering? That’s not an easy question to answer and, ultimately, only Bush and God are capable of knowing what that answer is. I didn’t approve of the war at the time, and I still don’t, but I don’t know everything that the president does, so I don’t pretend to know if the Iraq War was justified or not.