I’ve known about the doctrine of hell since I was a little boy. The nuns used to scare me with it. As far as I know, there are five (5) absolutely essential ingredients for the full doctrine of hell. Nobody told me these, I figured them out myself.
- It’s final, unchangeable separation from God.
- It’s forever, everlasting, endless, infinite, forever.
- It’s torment, yeah, torture and literal fire with pain, and no relief.
- It happens in the afterlife, that’s code language for after a person dies.
- Your immortal soul goes there. That is, supposedly, every person lives on after his body dies.
Why say essentials? I mean, if any of those five ingredients would be removed from the hell doctrine, the whole thing would fall apart.
Oh yeah, there’s a lot of scriptures that people see and they looked like hell, if you pardon the expression, but those scriptures only looked like hell because you already believed in hell. It seems to me that any senses, that means verses in the Bible, that looked like hell need to contain at least one of those five ingredients.
Don’t you think if the doctrine of hell was removed from the Christian religion, the Christian religion will be different? How about the old guys like Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, John the Baptist, Peter, and Paul and John, and, of course, the biggest one, Jesus? None of them ever uttered the word ‘hell’ because they had no concept of it. God didn’t say anything to Adam and Eve about hell if they ate the fruit. He just said they’d die. In all the writings of Moses and speeches to the rebels of Israel, he never said a word about suffering in hell after death. David never mentioned hell in all of his poetic songs. They never described fiery torture after death. What has such a huge, terrifying idea, if true and Dad’s [God] plan, have been mentioned somewhere in the Bible, wouldn’t it have been explained or described?
A question is: Why? Why not? From where did this idea come? What is its source? Why is it been promoted? And it has been promoted. Well-meaning believers have accepted and inserted the word ‘hell’ into the scriptures because of an ancient myth starting in Egypt and other ancient cultures. There’s no clear statement of fiery everlasting torture in the scripture. Unless, of course, you already believe it and you find words that seemed to describe what you already believe.
There’s not one verse that would describe anything like these horrible pictures. They’re crazy! I mean, who thought these up? They are looney toons, but they are not funny. The hell story has been employed by the church to coerce good behaviour, to correct believing and submitting to teachings. It’s been a valuable tool to keep people in line and to scare people into faith.
I don’t think that’s how my Dad in heaven attracts people to himself.
Robert “Bob” Nolan, together with his wife Charlene and other God-believers, worship Dad in heaven everyday outside a structured system. You can connect with Bob through his YouTube program, Thought Provokers, or through his own website bobnolan.org.
Thanks, Bob Nolan, for allowing us to publish your exposition here.
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