A top Lutheran bishop has stated in a recent interview that she believes there is a Hell, but it is empty because Jesus has vowed to "draw all people to himself."
Elizabeth Eaton, the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), was recently asked a variety of questions regarding her ministry in Robert Herguth's podcast "Face to Faith."
During the 42-minute interview, Herguth asked Eaton about issues such as her doubts about faith while serving in ministry, how she was received as ELCA's first female presiding bishop, what Jesus will look like when He returns, and what she thinks Heaven is like.
When asked whether she believes there is a Hell, Eaton replied, "There may be, but I think it's empty."
The bishop explained that she thinks Hell is empty because Jesus had said that He will draw all men to Himself and that she does not believe that God would give up on people who reject him.
"Jesus was clear in John 3 that when He is raised up, He will draw all people to Himself," Eaton stated, as reported by Christian News Network.
"And if we take a look at salvation history, ever since we got booted out of the garden, it has been God's relentless pursuit to bring His people to God," she added.
Eaton, who was elected as ELCA's first female presiding bishop in 2013, with a term lasting until 2019, said that she took music education while she was in college in the hopes of becoming a band director.
She said that she did not attend church regularly at the time and she had asked typical questions about faith such as "Is there a God?" and "Why do bad things happen to good people?"
Eaton said that she has been well-received as her denomination's first female presiding bishop, but she noted that she had encountered some people questioned her gender identity. She also noted she had heard "pretty hurtful things" from some people who question the notion that a woman should be somehow in authority.
When asked about Heaven, she recalled that she once had a dream of taking a wrong turn while driving to pick up light bulbs. She said she came upon a place where "all the animals were getting along . . . a sense of peace and beauty and wholeness. So that's what I think it looks like."
The Lutheran bishop maintained that she believes in the inerrancy of the Bible, but she noted that ELCA does not view all Scripture as literal.
When it comes to interpretation of the Bible, she said that Scripture should interpret Scripture and it should not be cherry-picked, adding that it should be accepted as a whole because it got the gospel right.