Monday, September 7, 2009

WHAT "HELL" DO YOU BELIEVE IN ???

I believe in hell. The question is what hell am I speaking of? What hell, if any, do you believe in? You might be interested to know where the Western Christian religion got its concept of a 'torturing, fiery, burning, suffering, anguishing, punishing' hell from. You see, I believe in hell--but NOT the one you probably are thinking of.

The world's first recognized religion, Zoroastrianism, 6000 years ago had the concept of do good and go to a good place after death, and if your evil deeds outweighed your good ones then you would go to a suffering place upon death. Sound familiar?

The ancient Greeks had the concept of a place called 'the Netherworld' which would be the place one would go to upon death if one's evil outweighed their good in life. In the 4th Century B.C. the ancient philosopher, Plato, put a name on the place one would go to to suffer because of an evil life--Plato called this place "HELL", a name he took from the Greek Goddess, 'Hel', the ruler of the underworld in Greek Philosophy. He gave it department level names, purgatory, etc. Plato invented this concept of hell.

The Jewish religion of the Old Covenant had NO concept of a place bad or disobedient people went to upon death, and only good people would rise in a future resurrection.

For almost five (5) hundred years the early Christian Church never preached a concept of Plato's hell. Then in the 5th Century A.D. Augustine of Hippo who was a great fan of Plato introduced Plato's hell into the Catholic Church thinking that the added fear factor would keep followers in line for fear of going to "hell". The concept stuck and stayed in the Church in the West up until today.

Scripture had to be reinterpreted to be consistent with this philosophy of Plato. Lazarus and the Rich Man now had to fit a fiery hell and torture. Lakes of fire had to fit as well as other verses.

But, as I said at first, I do BELIEVE in Hell. The Bible's hell. Simply one who lives in his or her own way of thinking and doing and bringing misery and suffering on oneself apart from knowing WHO they are in Jesus and living accordingly IS IN HELL. One who refuses to accept and believe who they are in Jesus and experience the abundant life Jesus brought STAYS in hell--the misery, suffering, perishing, weeping and gnashing of teeth, outer darkness, and angst that choice brings. And this can last forever if one so chooses. HEll !

DON'T BELIEVE ME, PLEASE. Do your own study. Look up and study Hell and its origins in Western Christian thinking. Then study God's Unconditional Love for all of His children and learn how Jesus made the Adoption of all of humanity a reality for all through His life, death, resurrection and ascension to the Father. DON'T BELIEVE ME. Do your own study. I did.

God Bless you friend,

Paul

P.S. Email me for a free booklet on Trinitarian Theology --How God loved you and adopted you into His life BEFORE the foundation of the world. ( Ephesians 1:3-14)

Paul.Kurts@wcg.org

2 comments:

Bert Gary said...

Paul, some intertestamental Jews, like the one who wrote Esdras with its angelology and afterlife dungeon, syncretize Plato with Judaism, but go him one step further. They added torture. Those syncretists are in agreement with Islam and ancient Zoroastrianism that people are tortured forever after death.

What that means is that when it comes to the afterlife, most Christians unwittingly agree with ancient Greek paganism, agree with Plato, agree with Zoroastrianism, and a agree with the Quran RATHER THAN THE BIBLE. But I, like Paul Kurts, do not expect you to take my word for it.

I just decided on a working title for a new book that's 75% finished: HELL IS NOT IN THE BIBLE. In it I will explain every reference that Christianity has been mislead to believe is a reference to afterlife torture. It's not easy to do, but once you recognize the outside influences of Plato, Dante, Milton and others, you can read the Bible without those glasses on.

Why did people put on those glasses to begin with? Like you said, Paul, preaching the fear of death and afterlife torture improves membership and offerings in religious institutions. But it's unbiblical and wrong and sick and insane.

How can any sane believer think that he can bring someone to faith through scaring them?

That's like bringing someone to food through starving them!

Or it's like holding a knife to their throats and saying, "I love you, but if you don't love me back enough, I'm gonna have to cut you!"

It's the ultimate expression of a total lack of faith to use fear of death---something Jesus abolished---to supposedly bring people to Jesus. It's the darkest perversion of the gospel imaginable.

Modern evangelicalism's scare tactics, emotional blackmail, and spiritual abuse are unbiblical, insane, and I believe proof that it is possible here and now to be anti-Christ.

Their continued justification of terrorist evangelism can only be likened to the way that the abused become themselves the abusers. It's a sick and evil cycle.

Pastor Paul said...

Great comment, Bert, I can't wait for your new book on , "HELL IS NOT IN THE BIBLE". It is sorely needed by so many--the book that is.

Keep up the good work.

Paul