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To End Fear Of Hell...


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God recently remodeled hell. He replaced the flames of eternal damnation with a microwave. Now, instead of taking forever, His revenge is complete in seconds. (The only hard part is hanging on while the plate rotates.) - E.T.B.

 

According to Christianity eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God's infinite love. That's the message we're brought up with, believe or die. "Thank you, forgiving Lord, for all those options." - Bill Hicks, Rant in E-minor, CD

 

As a tot I was given the usual terrifying mixed message: a) God is love; and B) If you don't believe how much he loves you, you will stand in the corner for eternity. - James Lileks, "God Has Call Waiting," Notes of a Nervous Man

 

God says do what you wish, but make the wrong choice and you will be tortured for eternity in hell. That's not free will. It's like a man telling his girlfriend, do what you wish, but if you choose to leave me, I will track you down and blow your brains out. When a man says this we call him a psychopath. When god says the same we call him "loving" and build churches in his honor. - William C. Easttom II

 

I do understand what love is, and that is one of the reasons I can never again be a Christian. Love is not self denial. Love is not blood and suffering. Love is not murdering your son to appease your own vanity. Love is not hatred or wrath, consigning billions of people to eternal torture because they have offended your ego or disobeyed your rules. Love is not obedience, conformity, or submission. It is a counterfeit love that is contingent upon authority, punishment or reward. True love is respect and admiration, compassion and kindness, freely given by a healthy, unafraid human being. - Dan Barker, Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist

 

Any religion that teaches there is only heaven or hell is gonna be a haven for manic-depressives. - E.T.B.

 

I'm a universalist because I believe that God and time are the best teachers, and there's plenty of time in eternity for everyone to learn their lessons, including Ghengiz Khan, Adolf Hitler, and the makers of Jolt Cola. - E.T.B.

 

Some conservative Christians argue in favor of hell by calling it "God's great compliment." I'd like to ask such people what God does when he wants to insult somebody. - E.T.B.

 

It is strange to me that people can consign others to hell without a scruple. One only has to remember a toothache, not to wish it eternally on anyone. - Lucy Daugalis (daugalis@arcom.com.au)

 

...love and pity for hell's occupants will not enter our hearts. - J. I. Packer, "Hell's Final Enigma," Christianity Today, April 22, 2002 (Mr. Packer is an executive director of Christianity Today, and professor of theology at Regent College in Vancouver.)

 

When all has been considered, it seems to me to be the irresistible intuition that infinite punishment for finite sin would be unjust, and therefore wrong. We feel that even weak and erring Man would shrink from such an act. And we cannot conceive of God as acting on a lower standard of right and wrong. - Lewis Carroll (author of Alice in Wonderland), "Eternal Punishment," Diversions and Digressions of Lewis Carroll

 

I read in the Gospels that Jesus forgave the men who nailed him to the cross. He even promised "this day you shall be with me in paradise" to a thief crucified next to him -- a thief who addressed Jesus simply as a "man" rather than as "the son of God."

 

Yet, today, this same Jesus cannot forgive my kindly old aunt and allow her to dwell in paradise, simply because her "beliefs" do not match Reverend So-and-So's? - Arthur Silver

 

They say that when god was in Jerusalem he forgave his murderers, but now he will not forgive an honest man for differing with him on the subject of the Trinity.

 

They say that God says to me, "Forgive your enemies." I say, "I do;" but he says, "I will damn mine." God should be consistent. If he wants me to forgive my enemies he should forgive his. I am asked to forgive enemies who can hurt me. God is only asked to forgive enemies who cannot hurt him. He certainly ought to be as generous as he asks us to be. - Robert Ingersoll

 

There are in fact so many strong Biblical, doctrinal, and logical arguments against the existence of a literal hell that this question naturally arises: Why do the churches teach it and why do people often believe it?...The churches tend to believe that fear, rather than love conquers all. - Robert Short, Methodist clergyman, U.S. Catholic, April 1980

 

Given headaches, backaches, toothaches, strains, scrapes, breaks, cuts, rashes, burns, bruises, PMS, fatigue, hunger, odors, molds, colds, yeast, parasites, viruses, cancers, genetic defects, blindness, deafness, paralysis, mental illness, ugliness, ignorance, miscommunications, embarrassments, unrequited love, dashed hopes, boredom, hard labor, repetitious labor, accidents, old age, senility, fires, floods, earthquakes, typhoons, tornadoes, hurricanes and volcanoes, I can not see how anyone, after they're dead, deserves eternal punishment as well. - E.T.B.

 

When I was a boy I heard tell of an old farmer in Vermont. He was dying. The minister was at his bedside -- asked him if he was a Christian, if he was prepared to die. The old man answered that he had made no preparation, that he was not a Christian, that he had never done anything but work. The preacher said that he could give him no hope unless he had faith in Christ, and that if he had no faith his soul would certainly be lost.

 

The old man was not frightened. He was perfectly calm. In a weak and broken voice he said, "Mr. Preacher, I suppose you noticed my farm. My wife and I came here more than fifty years ago. We were just married. It was a forest then and the land was covered with stones. I cut down the trees, burned the logs, picked up the stones, and laid the walls. My wife spun and wove and worked every moment. We raised and educated our children -- denied ourselves. During all these years my wife never had a good dress, or a decent bonnet. I never had a good suit of clothes. We lived on the plainest food. Our hands, our bodies are deformed by toil. We never had a vacation. We loved each other and the children. That is the only luxury we ever had. Now I am about to die and you ask me if I am prepared. Mr. Preacher, I have no fear of the future, no terror of any other world. There may be such a place as hell -- but if there is, you never can make me believe that it's any worse than old Vermont." - Robert Ingersoll, "Why I Am An Agnostic"

 

An idea, which has terrified millions, claims that some of us will go to a place called Hell, where we will suffer eternal torture. This does not scare me because, when I try to imagine a Mind behind this universe, I cannot conceive that Mind, usually called "God," as totally mad. I mean, guys, compare that "God" with the worst monsters you can think of -- Adolph Hitler, Joe Stalin, that sort of guy. None of them ever inflicted more than finite pain on their victims. Even de Sade, in his sado-masochistic fantasy novels, never devised an unlimited torture. The idea that the Mind of Creation (if such exists) wants to torture some of its critters for endless infinities of infinities seems too absurd to take seriously. Such a deranged Mind could not create a mud hut, much less the exquisitely mathematical universe around us.

 

If such a monster-God did exist, the sane attitude would consist of practicing the Buddhist virtue of compassion. Don't give way to hatred: try to understand and forgive him. Maybe He will recover his wits some day. - Robert Anton Wilson, "Cheerful Reflections on Death and Dying," Gnoware, February 1999

 

Primates often have trouble imagining a universe not run by an angry alpha male. - Source unknown

 

Any infinite Being who feels it is their duty to torture me for eternity, should switch to decaf. - E.T.B.

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I like this one.

This rings so true.

Primates often have trouble imagining a universe not run by an angry alpha male. - Source unknown

 

 

I got over my fear of Hell through studying what people on both sides of the fence had to say about it. I even ran across several of the quotes in Brother Jeff's post up there during my studies. However, the determining factor that actually "set me free" of the psychological mind-fuck known as Hell, was the simple realization that the word and idea itself comes from a book that talks about mythical creatures and magic tricks without skipping a beat.

 

It was one of those, "Ah-ha!" experiences for me.

 

Sadly, most people's fear of Hell hangs on a huge "What if?".

 

Well, what if serpents talk? What if a man walked on water?

What if a man came back from the dead? What if water turned

to wine? What if satyrs are real? What if donkeys do talk?

 

Heck, now that I think about it, all of Christianity is just one big what if.

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Heck, now that I think about it, all of Christianity is just one big what if.

 

Amen, Brother! Preach it! That's the TRUTH! Glory!

 

What if there is a god? What if the earth is flat? What if the sky is a solid dome? What if people fly? What if an Invisible Man lives in the Sky? And so on...

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What if there is a god?
Every so often, I ask myself this question.

 

If Christianity taught me anything at all, it's that if there is a God, it sure as shit isn't the character in their Idol Bible.

 

 

And so on...
It would be interesting to have the time to go through the bible take away everything that dangles from a big what if. :scratch:

 

There would be nothing left. :HaHa:

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What if there is a god?

 

Jeff, even as a young'n, I struggled with the christian god. I just did not understand this being who seemed more like an immature human than an all-knowing creator. For me, god would be the ultimate adult; stern, but compassionate. Above being offended.

 

The christian god seemed so...........small.

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I look at it this way. How many other things are promised in the bible that we know are absolutely not true? There is a list as long as your arm.

 

"The believers will be as one."

 

"Anything you ask in my name, I will do it.'

 

"You will do even greater miracles than these"

 

"Handle snakes, drink poison"

 

"If you leave Jesus you'll fall into the pit of uncontrollable sin"

 

And on and on they go. If we know from personal experience that these are all bullshit, why should the promise of hell be any different?

 

It's not any different. It too is bullshit.

 

Here's the real relevant discussion about hell: if God truly loved mankind, then why did he create Hell? Of course, the pat christian answer is that Hell was created for Satan and his demons, not for people's souls.

 

So, if this is the case, was God surprised to find people being sent there? How could God be surprised when He knows all things, past, present and future?

 

So if God is truly omniscient, then He knew from the beginning that 90% of everyone who ever lived would be ending up in eternal torment and suffering in this hell he created.

 

Is that a loving God or a complete monster?

 

Christians will say, well, yes, but it's only because of a stubborn heart that man chooses to go to hell. It's not what God wants. Bullshit. I don't choose to go to hell. I just don't believe in hell. Or god. Period.

 

And I know about the gospel. All about it. What about the millions and millions of people for whom christianity is just not an option?

 

Brother Jeff has it right. Religion is bullshit.

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Heck, now that I think about it, all of Christianity is just one big what if.

 

Amen, Brother! Preach it! That's the TRUTH! Glory!

 

What if there is a god?

 

What if there is... I hear Billy Joel songs... he loves us just the way we are.

 

We plan, He laughs, eh?

 

Surely not the monster some would like us to believe.

 

So the quote about heaven/hell.. is that why there are so many manic-depressive conditions? Does bi-polar cause problems, or does this dichotomy help bring out bi-polar?

 

I think people on spiritual paths are a lot better off than religious ones. They got the jargon right.... Relationshp and Love.. and then they fall prey to all the doublethink and hoops they have to jump through 'to believe'.

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I still like Martin Zender's quotes. He's a Christian though, but doesn't believe in an eternal hell. I think it's called universal redemption. Any he really pummels all the eternal hell believers in his books, these are from "Martin Zender Goes to Hell":

 

The Christian version of the mind of Christ is a mind that miraculously justifies the eternal torment of beings created in the image of God, for whom Christ died. It is a mind that justifies the never-ending agony of those once loved by the Deity. But wait. A special feature of the Christmind is the ability to consider the tormented as still loved. How can this be? In heaven, God’s direst wrath is but a newer, higher manifestation of His love. As I said, all of this is miraculous. What new thoughts can the mind of Christ accomplish? Many. For this is an elaborate, divinely-altered mind to which the endless pain of a mother or father becomes “the glory of God.” It is an amazing new mind to which the ceaseless cries of a son or daughter become comforting evidence of “the righteousness of God.” Everything is more refined in heaven, you see. On this old, decrepit earth, the pains of our family cause us pain. Not so in Gloryland. There, love is perfected. Everything is new and improved. In heaven, we will look upon the agony of those we once nurtured with a kind of holy satisfaction. I wish I could describe it better for you. It will be quite lovely. Isn’t it wonderful that we have this to look forward to?

 

Before the coming of Jesus, no one could go to hell. Why? Because no one can refuse a cross when there is no cross to refuse. After the cross, however, most the world is doomed because of the near-universality of rejecting it. The doomed will say, “Um, no thanks,” and be damned. These three words, then, “Um, no thanks,” and God’s hands are tied, and down go the majority of mankind. But if no one refuses Jesus, then no one goes to hell. Agreed? But we all know how many people are going to hell. Millions. Millions, because Jesus came, the multitude saw, and the multitude turned away. Looking at this squarely, my conclusion is that the worst thing that ever happened to humanity, the very worst thing that could have happened to it, was the coming of Christ. Before Him, everyone was safe. After Him, the race is on probation, dangling by a thread over a cauldron of ceaseless torture. Is this what you believe?
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