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Dr. Ben Carson Clarifies View on Hell and The Rapture, Says Washington Post Took His Words 'Out of Context'

( [email protected] ) Jan 08, 2016 12:20 PM EST
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has clarified his beliefs regarding Hell and the Rapture after the Washington Post published an article calling into question the theological views of the former neurosurgeon.
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson speaks during the Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada December 15, 2015. Reuters

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has clarified his beliefs regarding Hell and the Rapture after the Washington Post published an article calling into question the theological views of the former neurosurgeon.

In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on Monday, Carson, 64, and his new campaign chairman, retired Major Gen. Robert F. Dees, were asked to share their thoughts on the Washington Post article from Dec. 1 that stated that GOP hopeful "does not believe in Hell" and "dismisses the Rapture."

Dees, who is also the director of the faith-based Institute for Military Resilience at the Evangelical Liberty University in Virginia, told Tapper that Carson is "a man that believes in mainstream doctrine," Mediaite reported.

"Clearly, there're lots of different denominations," he added, "There shouldn't be divisiveness within the body of Christ. And there's room for latitude in many areas. So, I think Dr. Carson is a wonderful man of faith."

Carson added that the way his theological views were portrayed by the Washington Post was "total garbage."

"A lot of times when people say things, they take them completely out of context," he said, explaining that there is nothing in the Seventh-day Adventist beliefs that are out of line with mainstream Christianity.

"There isn't anything that's non-mainstream Christian about Seventh-day Adventists - the one exception may be that they believe that Saturday is the Sabbath, simply because that's what the Bible says," Carson continued. "That doesn't mean that people who worship on Sunday are evil people or doomed. I don't believe that."

The GOP hopeful went on to clarify his views on the Rapture, stating, "I don't believe in a secret rapture where people just - he's sitting here one minute and he disappears...I believe in what the Bible says and the book of Thessalonians where he will come, everybody will see him, people will be raised from the dead, called up."

Although Carson was quoted as telling the Post, "I don't believe there is a physical place where people go and are tormented," he explained that the eternal torment aspect of Hell is what he does not believe.

"I personally don't believe in a situation where there's this dungeon, and there's a bunch of little minions poking people for ever and ever and burning them," Carson argued. "That's inconsistent with the character of God, and that's not what the Bible says."

CNN notes that Carson and Dees met at church, and share a bond over strong Christian ideology.

Speaking on Monday, Dees added that he agrees with Carson that "America is on the precipice," and cited Supreme Court rulings that found displays of religion in government spaces to be unconstitutional.

"I see for instance, where we've taken prayer out of the schools, might be an example, or taken or the 10 Commandments off of the walls of some of our public institutions," Dees said in response to where the decline is taking place. "I mean, which one of those 10 Commandments would we not want the people of America to follow, to obey, to revere?"

"That's what Dr. Carson and I certainly share in terms of worldview," he said.