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How Do Christians Not Go Insane?


Tabula Rasa

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I guess I'm too fond of quoting Ingersoll but:

If there is a God who will damn his children forever, I would rather go to hell than to go to heaven and keep the society of such an infamous tyrant. I make my choice now. I despise that doctrine. It has covered the cheeks of this world with tears. It has polluted the hearts of children, and poisoned the imaginations of men.... What right have you, sir, Mr. clergyman, you, minister of the gospel to stand at the portals of the tomb, at the vestibule of eternity, and fill the future with horror and with fear? I do not believe this doctrine, neither do you. If you did, you could not sleep one moment. Any man who believes it, and has within his breast a decent, throbbing heart, will go insane. A man who believes that doctrine and does not go insane has the heart of a snake and the conscience of a hyena.

-- Robert Green Ingersoll, "The Liberty Of All" (1877)

 

When I still was a christian, the idea that every moment there were lost people dying and going to hell tormented me on more occasions than I can count. I rationalized that the gospel was being preached everywhere, so people were hearing the message, but then again how to account for the people living in the jungle etc? I guess what I'm getting at, is how do christians manage to not go insane from the horrific idea that there were people dying and going to hell every second of every day.

 

I guess it's possible that people can compartmentalize,but it's still hard to understand.

 

 

Thoughts?

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Even when I was a Christian I didn't put much stock in the concept of hell. I don't know. I just never really thought of it that much. I guess some part of me felt that God would find a way. You know what I mean?

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I guess I'm too fond of quoting Ingersoll but:

If there is a God who will damn his children forever, I would rather go to hell than to go to heaven and keep the society of such an infamous tyrant. I make my choice now. I despise that doctrine. It has covered the cheeks of this world with tears. It has polluted the hearts of children, and poisoned the imaginations of men.... What right have you, sir, Mr. clergyman, you, minister of the gospel to stand at the portals of the tomb, at the vestibule of eternity, and fill the future with horror and with fear? I do not believe this doctrine, neither do you. If you did, you could not sleep one moment. Any man who believes it, and has within his breast a decent, throbbing heart, will go insane. A man who believes that doctrine and does not go insane has the heart of a snake and the conscience of a hyena.

-- Robert Green Ingersoll, "The Liberty Of All" (1877)

 

 

This is extremely well said, and I could not agree with it more. Hell doctrines were used to enslave the masses, to give religious authority it's "teeth". Why obey the clergy if there are no consequences? At one point, the RCC was bent on governing the world, I am sure it would "still" like to do this, but it is not likely. But, way back when, they needed this as a method of control.

 

Today, society still pays the price. We see people trying to save others to the point of pure obnoxiousness. The sheer lack of justice, logic and common sense involved in actually believing this boarders on mental illness.

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[quote name='Tabula Rasa' date='Mar 30 2008, 05:55 PM'

 

When I still was a christian, the idea that every moment there were lost people dying and going to hell tormented me on more occasions than I can count. I rationalized that the gospel was being preached everywhere, so people were hearing the message, but then again how to account for the people living in the jungle etc? I guess what I'm getting at, is how do christians manage to not go insane from the horrific idea that there were people dying and going to hell every second of every day.

 

I guess it's possible that people can compartmentalize,but it's still hard to understand.

 

 

Thoughts?

 

i think they can't actually face the fact, or dont really believe it. some become hardened and think that people deserve it.

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Well, they do it the same way we all do when we switch to another channel when the commercials with starving children come on. They know that even their greatest effort would only save a small fraction of those damned to hell. I know I can't save every starving child, but I try to do what I can. I would wager that some Christians are the same way with regards to people going to hell.

 

Then again, some do lose sleep over the issue of hell, and probably do go a bit crazy.

 

Keith Green was always a bit crazy (O.k. maybe more than just a bit :grin: ) and he penned the following:

 

Asleep in the Light

 

Do you see, do you see

All the people sinking down

Don’t you care, don’t you care

Are you gonna let them drown?

 

How can you be so numb

not to care if they come?

You close your eyes

and pretend the job’s done

 

Oh bless me Lord, bless me Lord

You know it’s all I ever hear

No one aches, no one hurts

No one even sheds one tear

 

But he cries, he weeps, he bleeds

And he cares for you needs

And you just lay back

And keep soaking it in

Oh can’t you see its such a sin

 

Cause he brings people to you door

And you turn them away

As you smile and say

“God bless you, be at peaceâ€

And all heaven just weeps

Cause Jesus came to you door

You’ve left him out on the streets

 

Open up, open up

And give yourself away

You see the need, you hear the cries

So how can you delay

 

God’s calling and you’re the one

But like Jonah you run

He’s told you to speak

But you keep holding it in

Oh can’t you see it’s such sin?

 

The world is sleeping in the dark

That the church just can’t fight

Cause it’s asleep in the light

How can you be so dead

when you’ve been so well fed?

Jesus rose from the grave

And you, you cant even get out of bed

 

Oh, Jesus rose from the dead

Come on get out of your bed

 

How can you be so numb

not to care if they come?

You close your eyes

And pretend the jobs done

You close your eyes

And pretend the jobs done

 

Don’t close your eyes

Don’t pretend the jobs done

Come away, come away, come away with me my love

Come away, from this mess, come away with me my love

Come away, from this mess, come away with me my love

Come away, come away Lord, come away with me my love

 

It's a very powerful song with raw emotion. He very clearly believed in hell and wanted desperately to keep people out of it.

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I think the doctrines of hell push people in a few main ways -

a) they love the power that hell has for threatening and pushing and bullying others. I'm sure we've all met someone who takes sick delight in telling you about what fate awaits you.

 

b)it scares them horribly, and as such, is the driving force behind their staying in the faith

 

c)or it scares them horribly, and as such, is a blockage to their faith, so they pretend that their religion doesn't mention it.

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I remember on one website a long time ago, some Christian made a comment that they knew in their heart that they were going to heaven, along with all their family and friends. They also said that jews, gays blacks, mexicans and liberals were all going to hell. :lmao:

 

I think most Christians rationalize hell by thinking that they themselves could not ever possibly go there (nor anyone they remotely care about), so anyone who does go there is a stranger and so far removed from them, that it doesn't matter. They're also conditioned to believe that anyone who goes there is "evil" and deserves it anyway.

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They either rationalize that hell is reserved only for the most heinous of people, that surely good people aren't being tortured there, or they say they don't believe in it at all. At least, that's been my experience with the Christians I've known. I was a cherrypicker.

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Mostly the descriptions above denote some form of mental aberration... and having spent time with people when they're not trying to prove to their 'captors' they're 'sane' I'm probably reasonably qualified to judge...

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  • Super Moderator

I concur with GH. I consider myself to have been suffering temporary insanity until deprogramming. I must have been insane, because I can't admit to being that stupid.

 

- Chris

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How do Christians not go insane? Perhaps they already are. I mean, just look at the shit they actually think is real.

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When I believed the hell thing I spent every spare moment of my days - and I made space for spare moments too - in going out trying to save souls.

 

Eventually I came to see the falsehood of the hellfire notion and the heat was off me.

 

Later I saw the falsehood of Christianity and all its off shoots and live an utterly cool life these days.

 

The sad fact is that many Christians are insane- they cannot hold a head full of contradictory lies without doing severe damage to their psyches. Mostly they contain their craziness by hedging their minds in a kind of firewall that prevents them from following the logic of their doubts - a logic that would, in time, lead them out of the labyrinth of lies they are mired within.

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