*A Methodist pastor who voiced support for a book questioning the view of hell as a place of eternal damnation is “shocked” by his church’s decision to fire him.

Chad Holtz, who served as pastor of the United Methodist church in rural North Carolina, said he hoped his personal belief posted on Facebook would engage — not anger — members of his congregation.

Holtz was dismissed this month as pastor of Marrow’s Chapel in Henderson after he wrote a note on his Facebook page supporting a new book by Rob Bell, a prominent young evangelical pastor and critic of the traditional view of hell as a place of torment for billions of damned souls.

Holtz said church members complained to a pastor-parish relations committee that his views did not reflect the views of the congregation.

“They felt that what their pastor was writing publicly was not reflective of what they think,” Holtz said in an interview. “I was quite shocked, and also disappointed that no one came to me personally to talk about why they were upset. It’s OK to disagree.”

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