ARCHIVES:

Posts in this section were archived prior to February 2010. For more recent posts, go to the HOME PAGE.

Archived Articles

7/25/2007                                                                                       View Comments

Hell and the Narrow Road -- A Letter to Kara

By John John Fraysse

This letter was inspired by a comment posted in response to a Testimonial by perianwalsh (Wanting Heaven and Escaping Hell) on July 23, 2007. The comment by Kara, presumably a fundamentalist Christian, suggested that leaving Christianity might help one enjoy life and even help others do the same. However, after these admittedly positive benefits, it was suggested that ultimately Hell was waiting for us all if we don't choose the "Narrow Road".

-------------------------------

Dear Kara:

My reason for writing is not to de-convert you, but rather to help you understand just a few of the reasons (and there are many more) why millions have rejected Christianity.

I assume it is the "God of the Bible" that you worship and serve and also his Eternal Hell that you fear. Of course you know that your god has a "Love Me or Burn Forever" kind of love. If you have children or one day hope to have them, would you consider them "your enemy" from birth and send them to an eternal punishment if they didn't love and serve you? Sound absurd? Well, yes, it does, but unfortunately this is exactly the fundamental Christian dogma of "Original Sin" which condemns ALL Humans, young and old, male and female, past, present and future to an Eternal Hell because of "Adam's Sin".

The "Narrow Road" to which you refer, if Christian, is not without virtue but there is also a very dark side that is littered with the blood of ten’s, if not hundred’s, of millions of individuals slaughtered by "Christians Soldiers" over the last millennial. The "choices" given to the conquered were such as 1) Convert or Die or worse yet, 2) Convert and Die anyway since "God" doesn't like you, heaven is better than this life and "God's Soldiers" must inspire the requisite level of fear. And don't say that they "misread the scriptures" because they were following the Biblical God’s example, except with more mercy than he allowed at times. And surely these actions were with the approval of "God's Holy Spirit", lest he would have restrained them if this was not what he wanted. After all "God" executed poor Uzza for just trying to prevent the Ark of the Covenant from falling to the ground. The all-powerful, Biblical God appears to be very strict and it should have been an extremely easy task for him to keep his wayward soldiers in check if they had strayed from his perfect will.

Bottom line, the "Narrow Christian Road" is horribly tainted with unconscionable acts and God himself seems to be either at fault or at least complicit. For this reason alone, one can see why those who have researched Christianity’s sorted history might choose to avoid any association with it altogether.

How can any rational, caring person abide the body count and human suffering and not challenge the authority, sovereignty or existence of the "God" that allowed or directly commanded these atrocities on BOTH sides of Christ's Advent? This behavior can not be from the heart of an unchanging, all-good, all-powerful and Loving Heavenly Father!

And then there is Hell -- a scare tactic for sure, but worse yet, the very antithesis of the unconditional love that Jesus supposedly taught. Why can't the Biblical God keep his "Love Definitions" straight, since he is also supposed to be “Unchangeable” by nature? My lousy "human love" would not want anyone to love me because they feared what I would do to them!

Further, an Eternal Hell is not a just punishment for the slightest impure thought or momentary "sin" and is totally incompatible with a Heavenly Father that loves unconditionally and commands that we humans love and pray for our enemies that are killing or abusing us. Millions have concluded that if a Just and Loving God exists, an Eternal Hell can not and if the Biblical Hell does exists then these same millions will enter into it proudly, having resisted the Unjust and Evil God that created it!

Nevertheless, it does seem that the God of the Bible has brought his Hell to Earth as he endorses human slavery, the abuse and subjugation of women, the murder of unruly kids, the stoning death of people picking up sticks on the Sabbath and the hatred and murder of homosexuals and everyone who is not part of the Hebrew and Christian “clubs”. In addition, the Biblical God admits that he created evil and birth defects and allows or sends natural disasters, not to mention all those starving and abused children. This god also does not explain why he is so blood thirsty or why he seems to delight in the destruction of those he did not “choose” or “pre-destine” to love him. Again, very human-like behavior reminiscent of a tyrannical, capricious, bigoted, sadistic, egoistical maniac – not an unchanging, all-good, all-powerful and Loving Heavenly Father!

A critical review of the Bible's teachings and the canonization process itself, in its historical context, reveals a consistent, man-made theme of CONTROL over the masses and the establishment of a National Identity for Israel as a "chosen" and privileged people. Then there is the New Testament mission of the Church as the "New Israel" to "Conquer (convert) the World". These provide a near perfect arrangement for the unholy marriage of the Roman (Catholic) Church and the Roman State. The rest, as they say, is (blood-stained) History!

As a consequence, it is clear to Perianwalsh and millions of others that the morality of the Biblical God came from the ancient (and arguably evil) men who wrote and compiled its many chapters –- not the converse. Attributing Biblical authority to a "God" renders the Bible a "self-licking" ice cream cone leading to the outrageous circular arguments:
  1. "God" wrote the Bible because the Bible says so and
  2. The Bible says, "God is good" and can do anything he wants therefore anything the Biblical God does is defined as “good” even if his actions violate his own Laws and alleged Nature.
If there really is a Creator-God, then this God must be manifestly upset with the way we have defiled its honor by murdering, oppressing, deceiving and brainwashing billions of (mostly) innocent human beings while claiming to be implements of "God's Will". We are indeed guilty of misusing the good minds given to us! If there is such a thing as "Sin" then surely this must be its quintessential definition!

Finally, as stated before, my reason for writing this letter was not to de-convert you but rather to broaden your understanding of why many have left or turned away from the religion to which you are espoused. We all must be at peace with whatever we believe. This inner peace is one of life’s most precious blessings. May you always possess it!

Grace & Peace, John

To monitor comments posted to this topic, use .

25 comments:

MothandRust said...

That's gold. Nice piece.

Anonymous said...

If you are going to fight against a religion at least take the time to educate yourself a little bit about it.

Christians do not believe that God has a Love Me or Burn Forever policy. The Bible clearly indicated that no sin can stand before God and that all sin will be punished. It also points out that all of us are sinners. Every single one of us have violated God's laws and as a result, all of us are deserve the penalty. The penalty of sin is death because a holy God can not allow sin to persist indefinately (oh yeah, that's in the Bible too.)

What does that all mean? It means that God has laws, just like our country has law. Breaking those laws has a penalty. The differance is God gives us our life time to recognize our need for Him in our lives and correct our actions. Oh yeah, and He's already paid the penalty for our breaking the Laws too but like anything in life, if we want to be able to apply His payment we must be willing to accept the terms. It's a contract. Just like any other contract.

Yule Goat 2 Hell said...

Dear Too Unimaginative To Even Think Of A Screenname Anonymous Fundibot:

Thank you for setting us straight. Those of us who have studied the history of the bible and recognize it as a wholly flawed man-made concoction are duly impressed that you tell us what it so "clearly" indicates.

But that analogy to a contractual commitment doesn't quite hold up for me for one simple reason: I didn't sign on. Therefore, it's null and void - just like the inside of a fundy's head.

Nvrgoingbk said...

Yule goat said: "But that analogy to a contractual commitment doesn't quite hold up for me for one simple reason: I didn't sign on. Therefore, it's null and void - just like the inside of a fundy's head."

EXACTLY!

Don't you see anony? There really isn't a choice afterall. We have been given the pen in one hand with our hand forced to paper and a gun in another forced to our head. Where's the "choice"? Where's the "free will"?

And even if this were all somehow fair, as you propose, you said yourself that we are given a LIFETIME to recognize our "need" for him, so where is the justice in ETERNAL punishment? Obviously, if I am standing with my toes teetering over the abyss of Hell, I will not be able to deny the existence of God and His Savior son any longer, so wouldn't it be more useful to punish us just for a little while rather than offering no pardon EVER?

And i must say something in response to your assertion that we have not taken the time to educate ourselves about Christianity. Have you not read the testimonials on this site? Are you aware of how long most of us were indoctrinated, studied, believed, preached, witnessed and worshipped the "Holy" scriptures? Are you aware of how diligently we searched them in effort to find the answers to our questions, and are you aware of how thoroughly we researched all of the evidence before coming to the painful realization and the inevitable conclusion that it was all a lie? Do you suppose we took lightly such a thing as being called an apostate? Do you think we took lightly the warning of a Hell? It was that very warning that kept us in bondage and afraid to admit the truth for so long, but never ever doubt (I know this is lost on you) that our faith was as sincere as yours, our search for truth an honest one, and our exodus from your faith the only satisfying conclusion for our souls.

TheCapetonian said...

Dear anonymous (Thee without Balls to state who you are, what a shame !):
That was a joke, right? Surely you are not imbibed. The time you wasted making your stupid statements should instead be used to at least spell check your bull.

Anonymous said...

I laugh at and cry for you at the same time.

BTW, sorry I didn't spell check. I will be carefull to do so in the future.

Final Note: Unless you are using your actual name in your posts you are just a anonymous as I am.

Thackerie said...

Dear Still Anonymous -

The thing is, a lot of people post as "anonymous" (why, I do not know) and after a while it gets awfully hard to know if a response is to anonymous 1 or anonymous 2 or to anonymous 3 - or if there are indeed one, two, or three anonymous posters. All we are asking is that people assign themselves a name other than "anonymous" to make it easier to follow the thread.

No one cares what your real name is. Don't worry; we're not going to try to track you down and attack you with a clue bat.

William said...

This guy has been posting apologetics everywhere. It has probably been among the most annoying bits of argumentation to date, as the person, when disproven, goes to cut-and-paste arguments. Also, the anonymous (Coward, as I call him) person tends to make baseless accusations like "take the time to educate yourself a little bit about it", assuming the person hasn't.

Most Christians do believe in Hell, and believe that atheists and other nonbelievers will go there. I have no idea how you're so completely ignorant, Coward, of this fact. Fundamentalists come here daily, threatening others with hellfire. I see no point to refute any of your points this time, as your first post is doubly a lie. If you can find this website, certainly the fundamentalists can too, if you aren't one. If you are one, you are once again a lier in your own post.

Coward, I am using my actual name and my actual e-mail, so actually do something besides cut-and-paste apologetics.

WilliamFWN

Monk said...

Anonymous:

No, many christians DO NOT believe that god has a "love me or burn forever policy." If they did, I doubt they'd be christians.

Nevertheless, while many christians do not BELIEVE god has such a policy, this precious bible you keep throwing at us SAYS that he does.

Why don't YOU try reading it for a change?

Aspentroll said...

I really have to laugh at poor old "Anonymous Fundybot" as some one called him/her (or both).
When you finally get it through your head that religion is all crap and the bible is not the least bit credible, then and only then can you advance from being brainwashed to an intelligent human being. Read the bible and understand what it is saying. You'll find that the Harry Potter books are more
interesting and informative than the "good book".

THE ACE said...

Like some of the others, I do wish
those fundamentalists who post as
Anonymous would at least come up
with a nickname. Most of us here have done that if we don't use our real names. It seems so impersonal
responding to someone with no name.

So God has laws? Is one of those laws that because two characters in an ancient story named Adam and
Eve "sinned", the entire human race is to be held hostage by God
for the rest of the Earth's history, unless you get saved and
convert to his religion? (Which, of course, out of the hundreds of
religions on this planet is the
"right" one.) Hardly what I'd call
love; blackmail is more like it.

Or this God, who created me to be
a human being, is going to punish me for all eternity because during
my life, I acted like a human being?

I can just see Leonard Nimoy now,
pointed ears and all saying, "That
is not logical, Captain."

What it comes down to is did God
make these laws? Or were these laws
made by man who then wrote the Bible and claimed they were from
God?

boomSLANG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
boomSLANG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
boomSLANG said...

Anony': BTW, sorry I didn't spell check. I will be carefull to do so in the future.

Anonymouse, 'tell ya what....put your "spell check" on the back burner for a sec', and start with reality check. Laugh and cry until you piss yourself....but know that affirming the consequence will not work on this website.

Enjoy your delusion.

William said...

I heard that the "reality checker" comes automatically with the Google toolbar for FireFox now.
:P

jfraysse said...

I’m sure “Anny Fundy” is just jerking us around and really doesn’t want an honest and civil debate on ANY points no matter who makes them - a cowardly tactic as William points out.

Monk is right, of course, not all Christians believe in “Turn or Burn”, but not to sound too defensive, I did NOT state that ALL Christians did. What I wrote was that the “God of the Bible”, that is, the deity revealed in the Bible DOES have a "Love Me or Burn Forever" requirement. Whether Christians, or others, want to believe or interpret the Bible in this manner is another topic. Also as “Never-Going-Back” clearly delineates, we, as the Biblical God’s hapless subjects, don’t really have a real (free-will) choice.

The Gospel is referred to as the “Good News” and it may be to those who accept it, but it is the WORSE NEWS one could possibly hear if you do not or can not believe what is demanded of you. I remember, being made to feel that if I didn’t try to SAVE everyone I came in contact with, that God would hold me personally responsible for my poor stewardship of his “Good News”. You can imagine what this did for my social life, but then reading for myself, I learned that it was the Holy Spirit’s job to convict others of sin. This was better for me now that I could wait for God’s Spirit to let me know when to “step in” to help save a soul.

But then I could not understand why the all-powerful, all-knowing God needed me to give or do anything!? After all, my works were like “filthy rags” (Isa:64:6) to him and suppose I overlooked some unconfessed sin to Jesus? And what if this was the end times and I was deceived (M't:24:24) or worse yet God was deceiving me because I wasn’t really saved (2Th:2:11)? And why would he create Evil and allow so much of it and then “play”, tempt and test his best subjects? And why was Jesus’ Gospel so different from Paul’s? And how could anyone know what Jesus said and prayed when he was supposed to be alone? And how was I supposed to know when to bless and curse others when I was also supposed to be at peace with all men and not returning evil and praying those who were killing me? And even my thoughts, not just my actions, condemned me while I was trying to do nothing that would cause another brother to stumble.

Geesh! Why was the “Christian Religion” so confounded complicated? And then there were all those links to ancient, pagan mythological gods and goddesses, traditions and legends. Heck, it didn’t make any sense to me - how in the world could I recommend these convoluted and strange doctrines to others?

So here I am – an apostate, a heretic of the highest order. I guess it’s just like Jerry Falwell said “Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions." Thankfully, I’ve never been a slave, and have successfully survived the other two – at least I think I have.

Monk said...

jfraysse,

To clarify, my response was aimed at anonymous. I understood what you meant...I was just hoping that anonymous would realize what he/she said.

Naturally, we're wasting our cyber-breaths here.

pikd said...

it's a pretended love...truth love gives out quite freely,without return,without a sign of disgust,period ...now and then we heard of true love stories which brought us to tears...that's because it's rare,yet valuable.


If there's a god,i think FSM will make him/her laugh nicely.

If you want to see it works or not,try it out in the society....if there's damage more than healing..you got a problem


i think I always believe in a deist god.. i never belief in a god
until now i stuck up with slight agnostic/deist attitude.

pikd said...

The truth is ,you must experience what we feel,mr anonymous,you must experience yourself or otherwise you think this as rubish...Please,please i asked you kindly to read psychology ,anatomy,biology....everything you can come on your hands...read various perspective..... at least you can be more liberal on your mind

J. C. Samuelson said...

Anonymous,

If you are going to fight against a religion at least take the time to educate yourself a little bit about it.

Hello Pot, this is Kettle. Did you know you're black?

If you're going to criticize others as having a lack of education at least take the time to educate yourself a little bit about them. Perhaps you were unaware that a majority of our contributors actually were Christians at one point, hence the name 'ex-Christian?'

Before you go on about how we weren't (or couldn't have been) Real Christians™, remember the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30) and the sower (Lk. 8:5-13), as well as Lk. 9:62, Jn. 15:1-6, and numerous other verses in Acts through Revelation affirming that even those who are true believers can abandon the faith. Of course, it's all laced with rhetoric intended to strike the fear of punishment into the audience. One of the bewildering aspects of this doctrine is that it's contradicted by the doctrine of predestination, which is also well-supported biblically and is where Calvin lives.

Christians do not believe that God has a Love Me or Burn Forever policy.

Many self-proclaimed Christians do, in fact, hold to that very conviction. This letter from John is addressed to one of them. We see them here all the time. We hear their disembodied voices through stereo speakers and see their shimmering images on the television. You might be ready to suggest that they are not Real Christians™, but what are you using as your guide to making that judgment? Whatever it is, it surely isn’t scripture, because scripture affirms the "Love Me or Burn Forever" policy, regardless of any verses that might imply a less torturous punishment. For every verse you offer in answer, there is one or two that support the policy implicitly or explicitly. As the Westboro Baptists point out on their website, for every verse expressing God's love, there are two that express His hate. These people know their Bible well. Better than many Christians in America, at any rate.

“…Breaking those laws has a penalty... He's already paid the penalty for our breaking the Laws…[but] if we want to be able to apply His payment we must be willing to accept the terms. It's a contract. Just like any other contract.

A man walks up to you on the street. He offers to provide for all your needs for the rest of your life. "No charge," he says, raising a gun to your head. You're thinking, "Oh crap! What's this then?" Upon asking him why he's pointing a gun to your head, he responds that the gift he's offering is free, but if you refuse you will be shot dead. Frightened for your life, you accept the terms.

Tell me, dear Anonymous; does coercion figure into your concept of fairness?

The terms God is said to offer in scripture are no different. Either you accept His contractual terms or you will suffer a penalty, as you have affirmed. Period. Those who accept this contract because they fear the penalty are not doing so out of loyalty or love. Nor is it properly called a "gift." Does a gift remain a gift if it has conditions, or is it economics?

With respect to likening Christian doctrine to a human legal code, keep in mind that it's completely possible to live a good life largely ignorant of the latter without ever breaking it. Not so in Christian doctrine. One is automatically guilty of breaking the code simply by being born.

Tell me, dear Anonymous; does this appeal to your sense of justice?

These are doctrines you affirm with your own words. You'll find that everything John writes in his letter to Kara has affirmation in scripture, frequently in words attributed to God Himself. Finally, let me reiterate that many Christians - including you, apparently - wittingly or unwittingly support some variant of the "Love Me or Burn Forever" policy.

Please do give more thought to the implications of the doctrines taught in your chosen religion.

Incidentally, your little quip about being just as anonymous as anyone else here is beside the point. Dozens of people post as anonymous. Sorting them out is a pain in the neck for all concerned. Do yourself (and us) a favor and take 2 seconds to pick something unique.

And yes, this is my real name.

Monk,

Not exactly disagreeing with you but in my experience while some Christians do say they don't hold to that doctrine, nearly all subscribe to a similar sort of punitive doctrine (e.g., eternal separation from God, utter destruction of the soul, etc.). To my mind, a milder punitive doctrine is still, at its heart, a punitive doctrine which is equally absurd and sets the stage for judging those who don't accept it as eternally damned; lost souls worthy of contempt or pity.

Monk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Monk said...

"Monk,

Not exactly disagreeing with you but in my experience while some Christians do say they don't hold to that doctrine, nearly all subscribe to a similar sort of punitive doctrine (e.g., eternal separation from God, utter destruction of the soul, etc.). To my mind, a milder punitive doctrine is still, at its heart, a punitive doctrine which is equally absurd and sets the stage for judging those who don't accept it as eternally damned; lost souls worthy of contempt or pity."

Indeed, neither hypocrisy nor denial knows any bounds when it comes to religion.

eel_shepherd said...

John Fraysse, in the topic post, wrote:
"...If you have children or one day hope to have them, would you consider them `your enemy' from birth and send them to an eternal punishment if they didn't love and serve you?..."

Just to be a devil's advocate here, for a moment, I see, and agree, that the answer to your rhetorical question is No; but you probably also would not want those children living under the same roof, in the same house, with you for eternity; and some Xtian theologians take the view that hell is nothing more than being cut off from god. (Big loss...) Maybe this is an example of one of those extra torments, (and very Jeezy ones they must have been, too!) that Jesus suffered during his rather-shorter-than-the-average stay on the cross.

BTW, between savouring such nuggets of irony as the anonybot's promising to be more "carefull" [sic] about using his/her spell checker, this sentence of his/hers stuck out: "...The penalty of sin is death because a holy God can not allow sin to persist indefinately [sic]..."

I wonder if god's eternally-backward memory of, and eternally-forward anticipation of Adam & Eve's sin qualifies, itself, as sin.

Now, god just goes on and on (...), as we are told. A line, or space, or volume extending forever in all directions. But each person has a birth, whether or not they have a death. Are we only half-eternal? Like a half-line or ray? "Eternal from now on." (That would probably be a good button to wear in heaven.) But, if so, what of the period before we are born? Are we nothing more, or less, than one of god's ideas at that point? And god is eternal in both directions, past and future. So doesn't that take a person's "sin nature" out of his/her hands? They couldn't do anything about the period before being granted the eternally-anticipated/foreknown sin nature that comes with human-form birth. Who's carrying the can for that phase of it, and by extension (because that's how infinite and eternal works), the whole of it? Who's the sinful one now?

jfraysse said...

Howdy Eel Shepherd:

You make some very troubling theological points that have baffled those inside and outside the Church for millennia. To me, yes, the Biblical God appears to be culpable in our “original sin” if he/she/it is indeed omnipotent, omniscient and eternal. Plus god also appears to be guilty of “child abuse” or, at the very least, reckless endangerment in the Garden of Eden. The Mormons believe we all pre-existed before birth to get around some of the questions you posed.

It’s just too convoluted and illogical for me. Ancient (and Evil) gods required appeasement or sacrifice. They had a “Love me or Die” attitude just like Yahweh but pre-dated him by thousands of years. Cultures of this age borrowed gods and religious practices from one another all the time. The Jews, and later the Christians, were no different.

I enjoy your comments - Have a good week!

Grace & Peace, John

Anonymous said...

Thank you for approaching a very serious issue that more Christians need to think about. I cannot say that I have ever met a person rotten enough to actually be the one to send another person or a whole group of people to an eternity in torment, however people look up to a god who does the exact same thing. sure if everything in the Bible is true (rather big if) then there are rules and laws we must abide by just as we do here but would anyone in our society sentence a person to death for stealing a candy bar? absolutely not we would consider such a practice to be barbaric and yet so many people blindly follow a god who does just that. It is time we stop assuming that this god the bible describes is loving and good and start critically examining his character as presented in the bible because once we do that we might discover that this is not the kind of god deserving of worship.