Responding to Stephen Hawking’s claim that heaven was made up by people who were afraid of dying, Archbishop of York Dr. John Sentamu clarified what heaven really is.
“Heaven is not just some kind of place for retired Christians where they’re going to be enjoying their retirement,” he told BBC’s Toby Foster. “Heaven is where God’s will is being done. In fact, the Lord’s Prayer talks about ‘your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ So God is very much on earth as He is in heaven.”
During his two-day visit this past week to South Yorkshire, Sentamu spoke with BBC about his trip and other matters of faith as well.
During the interview, the Anglican leader was asked what he felt about famed physicist Hawking’s recent statement to U.K.’s the Guardian that “there is no heaven or afterlife” and that it is all “a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”
Sentamu first made clear, “I’m not afraid of dying. Bring it on any day.”
The Church of England cleric continued, “[Hawking] shouldn’t paint a picture of some kind of sky stuff up there because the faith of God is not that kind of faith. The coming of Jesus in human flesh on earth was actually trying to say, ‘when I look at you ... you should be telling me more about what God is and about what it is to be human.’”