Jump to content

Dealing With Fear Of Hell


vitani88
 Share

Recommended Posts

I "came out" as an atheist after 20 years as a christian a few months ago, though I had been out of church for a few years prior. I find that after everything, I still find myself fearing the possibility of hell from time to time. Do others have this problem?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super Moderator

Welcome!

 

Look around here and you'll see that yours is a common problem. If the fear of Hell (even if it's an imaginary hell) is driven deep into one's thoughts with brainwashing techniques over a period of time, there are bound to be residual effects. It is not due to any weakness on the part of the sufferer.

 

Some get over it on their own while others need professional help to deal with irrational fears. It's a damnable facet of a damnable religion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome!

 

Look around here and you'll see that yours is a common problem. If the fear of Hell (even if it's an imaginary hell) is driven deep into one's thoughts with brainwashing techniques over a period of time, there are bound to be residual effects. It is not due to any weakness on the part of the sufferer.

 

Some get over it on their own while others need professional help to deal with irrational fears. It's a damnable facet of a damnable religion.

 

Well put. I like you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like florduh said, there are lots of other people here going through the same thing. It's hard to let go of that fear when it's been drilled into you for so long. Once I learned enough about reality though, the fear of hell dissipated mostly for me. I haven't been an exChristian for very long, but I find that becoming more educated about things helps to calm the nagging thoughts that pop up from time to time.

 

Best wishes to you and I hope you get over those fears. Hell is nothing more than an imaginary place made up by people to control others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me the best way to get rid of any fear - is to gain knowledge on the matter. Why not to explore what hell really "is" in christianity? I mean how this image historically formed etc. You will find out it's just an artificial chimera, a product of lies + mental BDSM :wicked:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me the best way to get rid of any fear - is to gain knowledge on the matter. Why not to explore what hell really "is" in christianity? I mean how this image historically formed etc. You will find out it's just an artificial chimera, a product of lies + mental BDSM :wicked:

 

I have done a lot of research on the "literal" hell as it is written in the Bible. I realize that most of the visions I have of hell were formed later by Dante. Still, after 20 years and having this force-fed as a child, it's a frightening scenario.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went through a phase of fear of hell when I started to question my christian beliefs. Once I studied more, and learned about the origins of the Bible the fear went away.

 

However, after I realized I was an atheist, I had this terrible fear of death. It was probably worse than the fear of hell, because it was the first time I realized that once you die you're gone for good. I used to say a little prayer every time I felt afraid of something, but now i knew it was useless. But that phase was also short-lived (a couple of weeks to be precise), and now I'm enjoying the inmense freedom from religious superstition.

 

I hope that your fear is also part of the transition from belief. Good luck and keep learning. Liek they say: Knowledge is power.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me the best way to get rid of any fear - is to gain knowledge on the matter. Why not to explore what hell really "is" in christianity? I mean how this image historically formed etc. You will find out it's just an artificial chimera, a product of lies + mental BDSM :wicked:

 

I have done a lot of research on the "literal" hell as it is written in the Bible. I realize that most of the visions I have of hell were formed later by Dante. Still, after 20 years and having this force-fed as a child, it's a frightening scenario.

 

What do you mean by "Bible"? (christian, jewish, which one?). Dante was a christian (with that BDSM in mind i guess). Christianity claims it origins from judaism.

 

But in judaism there is no "Dante's hell", it only has some purification for not very "clean" (evil, criminal etc, the more dirt the more cleaning) souls - and this cleaning is for one purpose - entrance to Gan Eden (aka heaven). And as far as i know there are different points of view on this. Here is an article i found about this http://www.askmoses....n-and-Hell.html

 

Christian church made the whole "hell" thing from i don't know what (looks like perverted jewish view on the afterlife to me), fore one purpose - keep people around and make them fully addicted to christianity. Christianty perverted a lot - here is a nice example

 

http://en.wikipedia....s_(Michelangelo) Moses with horns on his head - result of translation mistake :grin:

 

In the moment you may be in Dante's hell , by your own choice, inspired by "nice" and "kind" and very "creative" christianity :wicked:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, Vitani88! Welcome to Ex-C. Yes, the fear of hell is very commonplace around here, especially for recent deconverts. I can assure you that I went through it. My pastor, when I was in my grade school years, was a retired evangelist, who seemed to work hell into darn near every sermon. Learning about the basis for the story of hell from the Valley of Gehenna was a great help to me. It's a beautiful park now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are not alone. I deconverted a year and a half ago after thirteen years of brimstone and fire preaching. I was obsessed by hell even as a Christian. What I found was that not allot of people in the church even like to talk about hell,and not allot of preachers even like to ever mention hell. Hardly any Christian even believes that shit anyway, if they did they would be doing everything in their power to try and save people from hell

 

Hell consumed my mind for thirteen years, and yes, after deconverting it still tortured my mind. It is almost completely gone now, but every now and then it rears it's ugly head. I needed to get profesional help for this as well because it was so deep in my psyche.

 

My advice to you would be to find some kind of secular psychiatrist or therapist and start dealing with the issues.

 

cheers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I "came out" as an atheist after 20 years as a christian a few months ago, though I had been out of church for a few years prior. I find that after everything, I still find myself fearing the possibility of hell from time to time. Do others have this problem?

 

I know what you're talking about. It took me roughly ten years to get rid of the fear altogether, so if it's only a few months for you at this point, I wouldn't worry. Psychological processes require time to change. The Christian way of seeing the world, including making daily decisions based on the presumed reality of hell, has a profound psychological impact.

 

If one's mind was trained in this way from early formative years, it will logically take TIME to reprogram the mind. I have no first-hand experience for those cases where people were converted to hell-fire and brimstone religions in vulnerable situations as teenagers and adults. Possibly the intense indoctrination is similar.

 

My guess is, the emphasis of the religion, and the emotional atmosphere--or emotional intensity of the atmosphere--in which one exists on a day to day basis, has a great deal to do with it. Possibly more than the actual sermons.

 

One thing that seems to have helped me was being on a Christian forum (as an atheist) where the Christians could not agree on the specifics of hell, but no one believed in the kind of hell I had been raised to believe in--in what I called a "biblical hell." They had such watered-down versions, yet insisted they were right and that they had biblical basis for their beliefs. Dante's hell was totally out as a medieval and unenlightened monstrosity. But they insisted that their hell (separation from God) was the worst thing that could happen.

 

I wanted to laugh in their faces. I was an atheist, separated from God in the real sense of the word, and never happier. Of course, they were really serious about their beliefs and warned me about the dire consequences of unbelief, i.e. an eternity of separation from God in their hell.

 

Oh, the irony.:lmao:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

If one's mind was trained in this way from early formative years, it will logically take TIME to reprogram the mind. I have no first-hand experience for those cases where people were converted to hell-fire and brimstone religions in vulnerable situations as teenagers and adults. Possibly the intense indoctrination is similar.

 

My guess is, the emphasis of the religion, and the emotional atmosphere--or emotional intensity of the atmosphere--in which one exists on a day to day basis, has a great deal to do with it. Possibly more than the actual sermons.

 

Recently I've heard that we can't actually 'erase' our deeply ingrained beliefs, but they can be modified or changed. For instance, instead of believing that a literal hell exists I believe that it was a part of the human evolution of the mind and served it's purpose for people at that time. But it has no relevance or place in today's world anymore than the belief that drilling a hole in your head lets out demons.

 

I also agree that getting on a liberal Christian forum can help change your beliefs. I was on one for years and it helped me tremendously to deconvert from Christianity. Towards the end I couldn't understand why they were too scared to just go all the way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also agree that getting on a liberal Christian forum can help change your beliefs. I was on one for years and it helped me tremendously to deconvert from Christianity. Towards the end I couldn't understand why they were too scared to just go all the way.

 

I've read a few liberal christian blogs lately, and have been surprised how much it means to me to find christians who aren't completely insane. Sometimes it's nice to see that some of the stuff that bothered me most as a fundy, when everyone else believed so strongly and I wondered what was wrong with me... there are even christians who realize that stuff is nuts! It also helps sometimes to hear a christian debunk christian insanity because it doesn't trigger the us/them and "evil other" panics so badly.

 

Here's one post by a liberal evangelical christian telling other christians that if they are "troubled" by the idea of hell, then maybe it's because their idea of hell is wrong and god is trying to tell them something.

 

http://www.patheos.com/community/slacktivist/2011/06/22/quench-not-the-spirit/

 

That blog has had a lot of posts lately about how the idea of eternal torment is inconsistent with a loving and good god. Maybe hearing those arguments from inside a christian framework will help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.