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What If I'm Wrong?


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Guest etoileterre

I denounced Christianity three years ago and began studying paganism last year. It made so much more sense and even supported reincarnation, which I had believed in since a very young age.

 

Why, then, do I sometimes catch myself fearing damnation?

 

I feel that reincarnation is right. It makes sense. As far as I can tell, no Christian actually feels that Hell exists - the only "proof" they offer is the Bible.

 

You can't fear what you don't believe in, right? And I don't believe in Hell. What's even stranger is that I was never raised to believe that non-Christians go to hell. I didn't even know that other people believed that until I was fourteen. My fear is irrational, then.

 

I guess it comes with being in my new faith longer than my old one, which won't be for another fourteen years. Old habits die hard.

 

This is frustrating. How am I supposed to grow and become confident? You know, though, I sometimes feel odd whenever I see a cross, like I'm being "told" something, but then I realize that I'm not associating the symbol with what it actually means: I'm associating it with the Bible pushers and the hate that they encourage.

 

I love my new faith. I'm closer to Deity than I ever was as a Christian. Why, then, does Hell still haunt me?

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So which hell is it that you fear? The Muslim, Zoroastrian or Christian? And if it is the Christian, is it Dantes, or is it the Jewish, or the Greek or ...

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Guest etoileterre

So which hell is it that you fear? The Muslim, Zoroastrian or Christian? And if it is the Christian, is it Dantes, or is it the Jewish, or the Greek or ...

 

You're kidding, right? This being an ex-Christian forum, and that I mentioned crosses in my post, wouldn't it be obvious that it's the typical Christian one?

 

I know it's a silly fear. It's a strange one, too. I posted to get it off my chest because it's been bothering me for awhile. Thanks for your support.

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You can't fear what you don't believe in, right?

 

Not true. Flesh-eating Living Dead completely frighten me. When I have a nightmare, it is either of zombies.......or all my teeth slowly crumbling and falling out (haven't had that on in some time though).

 

Obviously the living dead aren't real......but try telling my subconscious that at 2:30AM.

You know, though, I sometimes feel odd whenever I see a cross, like I'm being "told" something, but then I realize that I'm not associating the symbol with what it actually means: I'm associating it with the Bible pushers and the hate that they encourage.

 

Go buy the Book of Execution.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/074724581...5Fencoding=UTF8

 

In it you will learn the following:

 

Crucifixion is not the worst way to go.

 

And once you've read said book, imagine folks walking around with little electric chairs hanging from their necks and earlobes. A crucifix is an instrument of excecution. And christians fixate more on it than the message Jesus the man supposedly died for. Recall how much they harp on and on about how Jeezuz died for your sins.

 

Oh...and this works especially well in Real Life......let them go on for a while about how Jesus died....yadda yadda yadda......then ask them to recite from memory (no peeking), a verse from the Sermon on the Mount. (Few can do it)

 

This is a death cult. Plain and simple. And without frightening folks with the consequences of hell, MORE people would recognize it for what it is, a dying religion primarily obsessed with a martyrs death.

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I think Hans was just trying to make a point... there are many hells to fear, not just the Christian one, if you fear hell... you know? :)

 

Anyway, I don't really struggle with this one anymore. I don't think I fully bought into it to begin with.... but I'm sure that in time, your fear will lesson. Maybe reading about how hell doctrines were made historically would help you out.

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>>no Christian actually feels that Hell exists

 

Do you really think this is true?

 

I denounced Christianity three years ago and began studying paganism last year. It made so much more sense and even supported reincarnation, which I had believed in since a very young age.

 

Why, then, do I sometimes catch myself fearing damnation?

 

I feel that reincarnation is right. It makes sense. As far as I can tell, no Christian actually feels that Hell exists - the only "proof" they offer is the Bible.

 

You can't fear what you don't believe in, right? And I don't believe in Hell. What's even stranger is that I was never raised to believe that non-Christians go to hell. I didn't even know that other people believed that until I was fourteen. My fear is irrational, then.

 

I guess it comes with being in my new faith longer than my old one, which won't be for another fourteen years. Old habits die hard.

 

This is frustrating. How am I supposed to grow and become confident? You know, though, I sometimes feel odd whenever I see a cross, like I'm being "told" something, but then I realize that I'm not associating the symbol with what it actually means: I'm associating it with the Bible pushers and the hate that they encourage.

 

I love my new faith. I'm closer to Deity than I ever was as a Christian. Why, then, does Hell still haunt me?

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You're kidding, right? This being an ex-Christian forum, and that I mentioned crosses in my post, wouldn't it be obvious that it's the typical Christian one?

 

I know it's a silly fear. It's a strange one, too. I posted to get it off my chest because it's been bothering me for awhile. Thanks for your support.

Of course it's silly. Most fears are silly. Fears of dying in a car crash, fear of hights, fear of birds or fears of getting poor. There's many fears that are completely unsubstantiated, but still very real to us.

 

And what I wanted to know is if you have any image of what Hell is?

 

Is it the burning furnace that we usually think it is (which is from Zoroastrianism), or is it the 9 levels of Hell (from Divina Comedia) where the lowest level is not burning, but cold and wet. If you are more into the Jewish Sheol version, it's just a trash heap, and you'll end up in a void of nothingness, or maybe it was the greek version of Hades that also have had some influence on the Christian mythology.

 

You have to realize all the ones I mentioned are in the Christian culture, but are borrowed from poets and from other religions. Whichever Hell you believe in, it's probably not really the Hell that the Bible even talk about.

 

Jesus version of hell wasn't a burning furnace, but it was a place you would get thirsty, and even see into Heaven. The rich man asked Abraham for water, they even had a dialogue.

 

The Hell you think of might be Gehenna, which is the final torture place for the demons.

 

You see, there's different versions of Hell in Christianity, so which one is it that you're afraid of? (Some Christians don't even believer there's a Hell at all, so who is right?)

 

You're response show to me that you have been "programmed" into believing one kind of hell only, and that's the one you're afraid of. And idea some people came up with, not a truth or a fact.

 

-edit-

Let me expand it a little. The Devil has changed both appearance and color over the millennia. Hell have also changed contents and design over the 3000 years it has existed in human minds. If it was a real place, shouldn't it be very clear it is one way, and one way only, and the same with the Devil? How come the Devil didn't use to have horn or pitchfork, and he used to be black, then later blue, and then finally red? Don't we know for sure? Exactly!

 

We fear what we don't know, and we don't know if there's a Devil or Hell, so we fear it.

 

Start thinking about if an infinite loving God would find pleasure in punishing you for eternity for a petty sin?

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Sometimes it helps just to acknowledge you have the fear. It doesn't matter if it's silly or not. Emotions aren't always based on logic.

 

The next time you feel your chest tighten when you think about hell, pause for a moment and just pay attention to it. Let it come and go. Tell yourself out loud or in your mind. "Yeah. The idea of Hell really scares the bejeebers out of me. I'm scared and I don't like it."

 

No judgements, no rationalizations. Just let yourself have your emotion without berating yourself for it.

 

It might take a few tries, but it should stop popping up. It sounds really weird, but it works. Emotions are there to be felt and when we try to push them away, they just keep coming back until we acknowledge them.

 

Just another method you can try.

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or all my teeth slowly crumbling and falling out (haven't had that on in some time though).

 

 

i fucking HATE that dream!

 

Have you had your wisdom teeth removed? And were you "unconscious" for it?? I strongly suspect a link between "sedated" extraction, and that dream. Becasue I never had the 'teeth dream' until after that procedure several years ago. It has since tapered off......but it took damn near eight years!

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I feel that reincarnation is right. It makes sense. As far as I can tell, no Christian actually feels that Hell exists - the only "proof" they offer is the Bible.

 

Amazingly typical double standard you apply.

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Here dude. Read this link. See that "GOD'S WORD" about hell is just warmed over shit from previous myths and cultures. Man-made crappola. Designed to do exactly what it's doing to you.

Scare you into submission.

 

Nothing to fear but fear itself.

 

No one goes to hell. Not you or me or Billy Graham or anybody else.

 

Gospel truth.

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"And now wild shouts, and wailings dire,

And shrieking infants swell the dreadful choir."

Here sits in bloody robes the Fury fell,

By night and day to watch the gates of hell.

Here you begin terrific groans to hear,

And sounding lashes rise upon the ear.

On every side the damned their fetters grate,

And curse, 'mid clanking chains, their wretched fate."

 

Sounds spooky. Pre-Christian.

 

Virgil's Aeneid. 1st Century BCE. Before there was the legend of Jesus to save a person from such a "wretched fate".

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The Christian brainwashing is very strong. I thought for a while I was going to hell because I just couldn't believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins anymore. Then for a really long time, I thought when things went wrong, it was because I wasn't a Christian anymore.

 

What you are going through is normal. Many of us have gone through it. The more you learn, the more these "anxiety attacks" go away. That's all they are, anxiety attacks.

 

Taph

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Guest etoileterre

I feel that reincarnation is right. It makes sense. As far as I can tell, no Christian actually feels that Hell exists - the only "proof" they offer is the Bible.

 

Amazingly typical double standard you apply.

 

WTF. This whole forum is a bunch of immature people who do nothing more than call Christians stupid. No one offers spiritual proof for anything - Christian or non-Christian. I'm wasting my time here.

 

The Christian brainwashing is very strong. I thought for a while I was going to hell because I just couldn't believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins anymore. Then for a really long time, I thought when things went wrong, it was because I wasn't a Christian anymore.

 

What you are going through is normal. Many of us have gone through it. The more you learn, the more these "anxiety attacks" go away. That's all they are, anxiety attacks.

 

Taph

 

That's more of what I was looking for. Thank you.

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I feel that reincarnation is right. It makes sense. As far as I can tell, no Christian actually feels that Hell exists - the only "proof" they offer is the Bible.

 

Amazingly typical double standard you apply.

 

WTF. This whole forum is a bunch of immature people who do nothing more than call Christians stupid. No one offers spiritual proof for anything - Christian or non-Christian. I'm wasting my time here.

 

Spiritual proof is generally of a highly personal nature, and is therefore NOT objective evidence. So we don't dispense that form of advice here. And you make an enourmous mistake treating the link between spirituality and religion as a given.....as though you cannot have one without the other, when you very much can.

 

I'm sorry you feel you are wasting your time, but I can't really say I appreciate your sweeping generalized assessment of myself and my fellow forum members. Especially as I call no one stupid....UNTIL they prove it to me.

 

I will say, that if you are going to be so thin-skinned about a single critical observation from a single member, then perhaps you just aren't ready for this forum. I wish you well, and good luck in your endeavors.

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I've lost count of how many threads have been devoted to the "Fear of Hell" topic, but it's been a LOT.

 

And while I haven't went back and checked, it seems to me that the people who have the MOST trouble shedding their irrational fear of "hell", are people who seek to maintain some "spiritual" beliefs.

 

As an atheist, I have NO trouble NOT believing in hell. I don't fear it. I had very little trouble shaking off that fear. An irrational fear from an irrational belief system. Once I stopped believing in god and Jesus, everything else associated with them went straight down the toilet with them. I dare say that all other atheists experienced the same thing.

 

However, it seems that those of you who are agnostic, pagan, wiccan, "spiritual", new agey, afterlife/reincarnation fans or what have you, YOU people have a tougher time divesting yourself of the fear of hell. Not that it can't be done, but you non-atheists seem to take longer to get over "hell". (Three years is a loooonnnngggg time to get over something you say you don't believe in. By contrast, I got over my fear of hell the same day I became an atheist.)

 

Why is this, do you think? :scratch: I think it's worth examining.

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I feel that reincarnation is right. It makes sense. As far as I can tell, no Christian actually feels that Hell exists - the only "proof" they offer is the Bible.

 

Amazingly typical double standard you apply.

 

WTF. This whole forum is a bunch of immature people who do nothing more than call Christians stupid. No one offers spiritual proof for anything - Christian or non-Christian. I'm wasting my time here.

 

How amazingly irrelevant to what I said.

 

You do know what a double standard is, right?

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However, it seems that those of you who are agnostic, pagan, wiccan, "spiritual", new agey, afterlife/reincarnation fans or what have you, YOU people have a tougher time divesting yourself of the fear of hell. Not that it can't be done, but you non-atheists seem to take longer to get over "hell". (Three years is a loooonnnngggg time to get over something you say you don't believe in. By contrast, I got over my fear of hell the same day I became an atheist.)

 

Great observation, Grinchy. Maybe clinging to some remnants of belief in a God leaves lingering doubts. Cling-ons, if you will.

 

My experience is the same as Grinch's. I was petrified to leave christianity at first because of the eternal damnation threat. But it went away quickly.

 

After I made the clean break and was able to say "I NO LONGER BELIEVE THIS" - the fear of hell dissolved entirely.

 

Now, it wouldn't matter if I still feared hell or not. Returning to a belief system that I know is not true is no longer an option.

 

 

WTF. This whole forum is a bunch of immature people who do nothing more than call Christians stupid. No one offers spiritual proof for anything - Christian or non-Christian. I'm wasting my time here.

 

So, from your comments here, I take it that you have "spiritual proof" for reincarnation?

 

If not, then Asimov's statement is highly relevant.

 

If you're offended by someone pointing out the truth, you'd better get some thicker skin, dude.

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Guest etoileterre

If you're offended by someone pointing out the truth, you'd better get some thicker skin, dude.

 

Don't you think it's a bit arrogant that you consider your way of thinking as "the truth"? That's every bit as presumptuous as Christians who do it. Me, I don't think of my way as "the truth". It works for me, that's all. Yes, I feel that reincarnation is right. It makes sense. If there being nothing after death makes sense for you, that's your bag. I'm not going to say you're wrong. I may be wrong, but for now I've found something that fits me.

 

And don't you tell me to grow thicker skin. I come here to get encouragement from like-minded people who maybe even have the same irrational fears, and I get shit thrown in my face.

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However, it seems that those of you who are agnostic, ...

Sweeping generalizations Mr! :HaHa: Okay, I'm more atheist than agnostic, but I'm somewhat agnostic and I have 0 (zero) Hell-fears. M'kay? ;) And many here are deists, spiritualists etc and don't believe in Hell. People that had their faith instilled by fear of Hell, are the same ones that still fear it when comming out.

 

Etoileterre, I hope you'll find peace about your fears some day.

 

But realize this, people that have fear of pigeons, usually can only overcome it with facing the pigeous. You have to face your dragon and slay it. Maybe you need to do some research in what Hell really means and how the image of it came to be, and who invented the different views of it. I think you'll find that there's so many different opinions and ideas of what Hell is, and who will go there, that you'll realize that no one knows anything. If we don't even know who will go there, then it doesn't matter what you do, you'll have a chance of going there or not. If Islam is true, then you're completely screwed, even if you became a Christian. Or if there's a different kind of hell, for all religious people, than you're screwed regardless of religion, and only atheism will save you. So get some books and start reading about it. I hope you'll end up seing it more than ridiculous. And you'll see it's just based on scare tactics to get more people into church.

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Damn.

 

Take a pill.

 

You don't even know what truth I was referring to.

 

I never said I had the truth.

 

The truth is, you reject christianity because it lacks "spiritual proof" whatever the hell that is.

 

Then you accept another belief system that's equally unprovable.

 

Double standard. Like Asimov pointed out.

 

That's the truth I was referring to..

 

Are you like, 15, or what?

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Fuck Hell, it sucks!

 

I was reading through this Christian's thing on Hell and he was saying some of things about what it is like and he mentions there will be no rest for the occupant day and night forever. What a fucking lie! WHo's in charge of keeping the poor little Hindu girl awake down there anyway?

 

I denounced Christianity three years ago and began studying paganism last year. It made so much more sense and even supported reincarnation, which I had believed in since a very young age.

 

Why, then, do I sometimes catch myself fearing damnation?

 

I feel that reincarnation is right. It makes sense. As far as I can tell, no Christian actually feels that Hell exists - the only "proof" they offer is the Bible.

 

You can't fear what you don't believe in, right? And I don't believe in Hell. What's even stranger is that I was never raised to believe that non-Christians go to hell. I didn't even know that other people believed that until I was fourteen. My fear is irrational, then.

 

I guess it comes with being in my new faith longer than my old one, which won't be for another fourteen years. Old habits die hard.

 

This is frustrating. How am I supposed to grow and become confident? You know, though, I sometimes feel odd whenever I see a cross, like I'm being "told" something, but then I realize that I'm not associating the symbol with what it actually means: I'm associating it with the Bible pushers and the hate that they encourage.

 

I love my new faith. I'm closer to Deity than I ever was as a Christian. Why, then, does Hell still haunt me?

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But realize this, people that have fear of pigeons, usually can only overcome it with facing the pigeous.

 

Was this an opaque way of telling him/her to go to hell? :Hmm:

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However, it seems that those of you who are agnostic, ...

Sweeping generalizations Mr! :HaHa: Okay, I'm more atheist than agnostic, but I'm somewhat agnostic and I have 0 (zero) Hell-fears. M'kay? ;) And many here are deists, spiritualists etc and don't believe in Hell. People that had their faith instilled by fear of Hell, are the same ones that still fear it when comming out.

...............

Read what I stated again, Han. I make no assertion that others STILL believe in hell. I simply proposed the notion that NON-atheists have more DIFFICULTY GETTING OVER their fear of hell. I did not say they still believe or can't get over it. I submitted, for consideration, that MAYBE atheists have an easier time dumping the fear as opposed to others.

 

Think back, Han. How hard was it for you to dump your fear of hell while you were still MORE agnostic than atheist? Did the hell doctrine cling to you more or less as you became more atheistic? :scratch:

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But realize this, people that have fear of pigeons, usually can only overcome it with facing the pigeous.

 

Was this an opaque way of telling him/her to go to hell? :Hmm:

 

HAHAHA! No, not at all!

 

But in this case what I'm saying is that getting more knowledge and insight will help to overcome the fears. We fear things we don't understand a lot of times. So if he got a better understanding of what the concept of Hell is, he might (hopefully) can come out of the fear.

 

And to everyone that's on this thread. I'm asking you all to calm down and give this person a fair chance of letting out his/her frustration from being bound by religion. We all know how much baggage we had (and sometimes still have) from it all.

 

So can you keep the peace between you all?

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