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HELL IS A HARMFUL DOCTRINE

Christianity and Islam teach that at death, if we are estranged from God by sin, we will go to Hell to suffer forever and once we go there it is impossible for us to leave.  Catholics call such sin mortal sin.


Hell is a doctrine of hate. Jesus said that unless we believe in him and get his forgiveness we will go to Hell forever at death deprived of mercy for all eternity.


Christians will not consider a faith that says God had sex with a virgin for a good purpose. For them, what God does is okay as long as it hurts people to the extreme. According to Christian dogma, an eight year old boy can go to Hell to suffer forever, and from it there is no escape, at death just for masturbating or for not accepting Christ. They find that more palatable. That says a lot about them. The sentence of everlasting punishment which involves everlasting torment and abandonment by God is the worst thing imaginable. If we can condone God allowing such a thing and creating such a state then we can condone anything. Why? Because anything else is not as bad as it.
 
BELIEF IN EVERLASTING PUNISHING IS HARMFUL
 
The doctrine of endless torture has no beneficial results. There are great humanitarians who do not believe in it and some don't know of it. Now it is time to realise that it certainly has unbeneficial ones by the score.
 
Implying that the Jews will be eternally damned for not being converts to Christianity, St Paul claimed that his sorrow was intense and his anguish of mind endless and that he would allow himself to be condemned and cut off for Christ if it would help them (Romans 9:1-5). There would be no need for him to face all that pain unless something really bad would happen to unbelievers. That makes it clear that Christianity promotes depression.

The Catholic Church teaches that nobody can know with full certainty that they would go to Heaven if they died right now. Many Protestants would tell you that they thought Jesus had saved them when he hadnít for they hadnít accepted him right. When one cannot be sure one cannot be too careful. Some religionists suffer from a form of religious neurosis. They are scrupulous. Day and night they are tormented by worry about if this or that thing they did, or thought, was a sin and the awful possibility of going to Hell if they died there and then. The Church trains priests and ministers to ďhelpĒ such people. Such help will be no good for it is the Christians who are not scrupulous who are the crazy ones. Mortal sin is so bad, so evil, that if there is any chance you have committed it and have forgotten or not realised you have to worry about it. Memory can be so often wrong. You have to try and remember to the best of your ability. It is a mortal sin to allow yourself to forget that you have sinned mortally even if you only think you have committed a mortal sin. It is possible to commit what is a venial sin and mean it to be a mortal sin by the malice you commit it with. The warnings of the Church against scruples have more to do with her wanting a good name than anything else. It conflicts with her doctrine of sin being the most terrible evil. Those who have joy are mistaken or actors. How could anybody be happy when they might go to Hell? If a person who thinks she or he has cancer canít be happy think of how the person who knows the risk of going to Hell must feel. It would be a mortal sin to deliberately prefer the thought of going to Hell to that of having cancer for that is preferring to hurt God forever.

We must also dread, just as fanatically, the possibility of committing mortal sin. You never know what you are going to do next. There is no way of knowing what you are likely to do.

The doctrine of eternal punishment claims that Godís moral standards seem like madness to us. Anybody can ruin our lives with any stupid moral teaching because of that principle. You could tell a mother to sacrifice her baby to God and hold up Hell as an example that God wills some terrifying things. It would seem to be bigoted of Hellfire and brimstone believers to condemn you for they approve of Godís apparent barbarism.

No true Christian would say that it is better to say nothing about Hell. Jesus said more about it than Heaven. Some would say that people need to be warned so that they will not land themselves in it but that though it sounds Christian it is not. Why? Because you are supposed to care about God and not yourself or others. You care about others for God's sake which is only a sneaky way of saying that people should care only about God. Warning people about Hell implies that God cannot do his best to keep people out of Hell or that he wants people to go there in which case warning would be sinful.
 
The believers in Hell who conceal the doctrine are accusing God who revealed it of ignorance or malice or both for saying it exists. God has the power to cure hearts by his word so it is up to him to take care of the frightening results of hearing the doctrine. The Hell doctrine is as good as unheard of these days in the churches and especially the Roman Catholic Church. Even if it is a sin to want to be good because of the fear of Hell, Hell should be revealed. Revealing it does not imply it is being revealed as a deterrent. People would still have to avoid it not because they want to but because God wants it.

Some might say, ďThere is no excuse for a believer teaching the Hell doctrine even if it is true. God can stop people going there for heís almighty so they donít need to be warned. The doctrine is a tool fashioned in sadistic hearts and minds for one purpose, the creation of Hell. Not a burning Hell in subterranean regions but one in the psyche that burns just as savagely.Ē But if we refrain from preaching Hell then we must know about it. When God told us about it, it must mean that he wishes us to tell others. The objection denies his decency.

James said that few must be religious teachers for their judgement by God will be stricter than that of anybody else (James 3:1). (The Amplified Bible says he means self-constituted teachers which is a lie for he includes himself in this gang. The text refutes the Christian notion that everybody is to be preached to, that all Christians must be missionaries, which is why the lie is told about the text.) What about Christians who hide Hell or water it down? When God would rather there were less Christian teachers for their own sake even though they would do more good, in the Christian sense, than harm it proves that not being strict is a grievous sin and an extremely dangerous one for the sinner. Teachers are to take no nonsense and exercise righteous anger against sin.

Christianity teaches the good news or gospel, that is its essence. But what is this good news? It is that God has saved us from sin and its penalty - everlasting torment and despair. You cannot have the good news without knowing about and being grateful for what you have been saved from: eternal torment in Hell. So it follows that people should be warned about Hell before invited to receive the good news. It follows that children should be indoctrinated about Hell. How can you really accept Godís salvation right if you donít know that salvation is from Hell? To abandon Hell or to say nothing about it is to fail to teach the gospel. It leads to people making choices when they don't know what they are choosing.
 
All the evil we do is down to fear. Doctrines like Hell that increase and play on fear therefore have to be a shot in the arm for evil and division.

The vast majority of people do not have a strong faith that the doctrine of eternal punishing is true though many will have a strong fear that it might be true. What use is it then when it is so difficult to believe and when so few do? It would be like saying that murder is right and defending that doctrine though only a few can believe in it with any fervour. When you leave people scared in case there is a Hell that is cruel of you.
 
Salvation for Christians involves being rescued from everlasting punishment in Hell for sin. If salvation is really about choosing good and damnation is about rejecting it then it follows that nobody can be saved unless they believe in Hell. Christians then need to speak about the doctrine more. It needs to be made a core doctrine.

 

The Gospel for Catholics is about how God has created a plan for us to go to Heaven and not Hell for all eternity. Thus it is dishonest for a Catholic to tell a child to obey the gospel without explaining what the gospel is about. The child has to be told about Hell. The Christian gospel is about the death of Jesus making up for sin and his rising again. This means Hell is a central doctrine for it tells us what Jesus saved us from and what sin results in. Otherwise the salvation thing is meaningless. The children need to be told about Hell. This is undoubtedly spiritual abuse.

 

Religious people are horrified at the thought that Jesus their God might have masturbated. When we would be horrified at that but not at Hell which is worse that tells us that religious conditioning has hardened our hearts.
 
The New Testament claims to be for everybody even children and it speaks of Hell in frightening terms. Jesus spoke of Hell in his sermons to crowds which must have included very young children and older children of about 8 to 12 too. Women that wanted to hear him certainly took all their young children with them. In those days, a female child was a woman at 12 and forced to marry and have babies. Jesus did no protesting against that at all though he did plenty of complaining about the scribes and the Pharisees and people not believing in him. Instead he said knowing that a child of 12 hasnít the consent to get married properly that a woman who divorces her husband commits adultery. To the honest mind these girls were not married at all both because they were forced and because they were so young and because if their husbands really wanted and loved them they would not have been making them pregnant at such a young age. Jesus recognising them as married indicates approval for the abuse of these girls. The point is Jesus was capable of wanting children to be taught about Hell and scared half to death. We see from the evidence that he actually taught them the doctrine. Even in apparitions of the Virgin Mary no effort is made to censor the message. At Fatima, she showed three very young children a vision of Hell in all its horror. She supposedly did the same thing at Medjugorje. Belief in Hell insults the rights of children and legitimises child abuse.
 
It is accepted by everybody these days that teaching children who are so vulnerable and impressionable and who take all they believe on authority is child abuse. Christianity is a religion of child abuse and it is no wonder so many of its clerics couldnít keep their trousers on when alone with a child.

 

Hell is about punishment not about reform. But even if it is not about reform it has to keep the door open so that the person can reform if they want to. A God that does not leave that door open is pure evil. It is evil to adore and believe in that kind of monstrosity. The doctrine denies that he leaves the door open. Thus Hell leaves us adoring an evil God and condoning and celebrating his evil.

 

Such an illogical and nasty doctrine as everlasting punishment is bound to have a bad impact on believers - especially those who take it seriously. Those who claim that there may be nobody at all in Hell are still standing by the nasty principles. They see the doctrine as nasty and harmful and they deal with that by telling themselves that nobody will suffer Hell.

 

The Church says that hate is only a sin if you canít help it. If gay people are leading your son or daughter to Hell then there would be something wrong with you if you didnít persecute them, if you didnít send somebody to beat them to an inch of their life and cover up for that person.

 

The Church says Hell is a worse evil than death for death is really just going to another place. Miley Cyrus's sexy performances are putting people in danger of Hell for she is putting sinful urges in them. So it follows that it is better to kill her than let her endanger souls. Jesus taught that Hell was true. Jesus then showed his true colours. The Catholic Church murdered many over the doctrine of Hell. Jesus must be condemned with it.
If you thought that some girl was leading your precious little Johnny into sin that deserves everlasting suffering in Hell such as sex outside marriage, hating her would be inevitable. You would hate her far more than you would hate her if she murdered him for better dead and even out of existence than rotting in Hell in everlasting agony. If you were in the habit of sinning and repenting you would reason that maybe you should kill her for you will repent anyway and get to Heaven in the end. You would believe that it is better to commit a once-off sin of murder if it saves your son from getting into habitual sin which will linger on and on. His risk of going to Hell would be bigger than yours.

 
Can you wish that somebody will be going to Hell? You can if it is out of respect for their free will. The Church says God respects our free will if we choose Hell. You might say that it is wrong to wish Hell on a person for it denies they should be happy. If it is wrong because it makes them unhappy then you are implying unhappiness is worse than not having God. Itís a sin for you to worry more about the suffering than God.

Belief in Hell takes away choice. If you believe in Hell you canít do good except to avoid it. Hell-dodging will be your motivation in life. If you say you do good because you want to do good and not because of Hell, that is saying that you are not trying to avoid it. That is ridiculous and a lie. Nobody would be that heroic. You canít mean what you say but if you do then clearly you are being smug or you are being delusional.

 

The doctrine of Hell makes believers smug. They feel superior to the people in Hell. Jesus continually berated the Pharisees and the scribes for looking down on people they thought were not as holy as they were. These people did not believe in Hell. If you are confident you are going to Heaven, there is no way you can avoid believing you are acceptable to God while those in Hell are not acceptable at all through their own fault. The Pharisees and scribes would not have been smug enough to think that those who they considered unholy were that bad. Christianity then is the raw material for manufacturing super-Pharisees and super-scribes. Jesus said to the Pharisees and scribes that he didn't know how they could escape the damnation of Hell. Does that not prove how dangerous Christianity is?

 

Christians will answer that they are humble because they realise that though they are happy with God now that they were sinners themselves and so cannot look down on others. This answer proves how smug they actually are for it does not work. Who do they think they are fooling? Smug people are smug precisely because they made mistakes in the past and are new people now.

 

Society says that a good person is one who does not condemn anybody as wholly bad but who sees much good in every bad person. Christianity say that if you die estranged from God, you choose to be entirely bad and irredeemable for all eternity. This marks the damned as hateful. It proves that the Christian would hate a person if they knew that person was ready for Hell. If it is acceptable to adopt a doctrine that justifies hate then why not have one that tells you to go out and kill homosexuals and heretics and other people God condemns? Christians must hate the damned in Hell. If they love sinners on earth, it is only because they assume that somehow the sinners may not be condemned by God.

 

To say you love somebody when you say you would hate them if you knew they were fit for Hell is to lie. It is conditional love. Conditional love masquerades as love of the person when it is really about not loving persons but what the person has (say wealth) or does.

 

Christians want you to love others for the pleasing of God. So you love pleasing him and not them. Which is worse? Loving a person because of God or because of something they have achieved such as wealth? Loving because of God of course. At least loving the wealth is loving that part of them that gained the wealth.

 

To accuse somebody of being bad enough for Hell is programming your tendency to think and feel bad of them. You would need to experience the power to choose to that extent yourself before you could accuse somebody else of having the power. And Christians accuse for they say that all people need the good news of salvation. If they are going to Heaven anyway, then they do not need it.

 

It is very simplistic to argue that we choose being good in Heaven or being bad in Hell. Our choices are not that simple. A choice is really making a pile of choices at the one time. You cannot be bad enough to refuse God forever. We are only drawn to the benefits we see in the choices we make. Even our bad choices are really about these benefits.

 

The Christians who say that we exclude ourselves from Godís presence if we go to Hell are lying. They know from their Bibles how Jesus said that God and the bridegroom meaning himself would have them locked out and excluded. It is not a matter of poor God wanting to be with them and being unable to influence them to re-consider their rejection of him.

 

Catholic tradition tends to assume that anybody who commits suicide goes to Hell forever. Suicides were denied burial in consecrated ground. Today, some Catholics say that if somebody commits suicide we should not greet the news with horror and fear that the person has gone to Hell. They want us to hope that the person may have been mentally ill so that they could not sin by committing suicide. Their suicide will not take them to Hell if they are not guilty. It is evil to wish the evil of mental illness on a person in the name of religion. Such a view is a repudiation of the Catholic faith. Jesus asserted the possibility that anybody could go to Hell. He said that the respected Jewish leaders were going there - even the humanitarian ones Ė unless they changed (Luke 18). When they could go to Hell how much more likely is it is for anybody else to go and especially if they have committed suicide?

 

Psychologists say, "We are a mixture of altruism and egoism. It is possible that no matter how altruistic we are, we are far more egoistic at the same time." If so then Hell makes egoism worse because nobody wants to suffer forever. They will develop the self-centred motivation to dodge Hell. People's self interest will be behind the good they do. The urge to help others just to make a good impression is going to be stronger in a believer in a God who sends people to Hell than in a non-believer.

 

Few Catholics know the Church's "explanations" about how Hell is such a healthy doctrine. That warns us how dangerous religion is. That people would follow a God when they have a dangerous or unhealthy view of hell is worrying. Those people should feel extreme horror at the thought of God. The thought of going to Mass to worship him should make them ill.

 

The doctrine of everlasting Hell has led consistent Christians to refuse to take morphine on their deathbeds which hastens their death. God gives life for us to choose him or reject him and the last moment of life is the most important moment of all. At that point ones destiny, Heaven or an eternity in Hell is fixed. So one cannot be under the influence of drugs as death approaches. One wants to have the faculties in as good of a state as is possible under the circumstances. Strangely, the Roman Catholic Church allows morphine to be given as long as the intention is to kill pain and not the person. This is only a stunt to avoid a backlash that would expose the Church for the dangerous entity it is. The Church is afraid of mainstream society at times.

Let the Hellfire doctrine be damned.
  
WAS IT GOOD OF JESUS TO REVEAL HELL?
 
Should Jesus have taught the doctrine of everlasting punishing even if it exists?

The Christian, the believer in the sinlessness and infallibility of Jesus, will say that he was right even if he wasnít. He or she would preach, ďIt was good of Jesus to warn us about the existence of everlasting punishment. It reminds us about how bad sin is and how unwise it is to commit it. If there was no such thing as Hell or if we walked through life oblivious of it we would sin more. We need it to put us off sinningĒ.

Some Christians say they cannot assert that we need to be warned about Hell in case we find ourselves in it for that seems like denying the power of God to save a person from Hell even if that person does have free will. They say God works mainly through people and secondly through other things.  Thus God is powerful enough to melt a hardened heart.

Jesus said we must have disinterested love for our neighbour. Love of neighbour is really love of God.  Jesus wanted us to practice disinterested love. He made sure we wouldnít when he revealed Hell for it is psychologically impossible to sincerely avoid sin that leads to Hell for a selfless reason. You cannot really reject a sin because you love God and not because you are afraid of Hell. You would be abnormal and deranged if you could. When Jesus made Hell a part of the faith he taught he was destroying the very selflessness he commanded. Nobody can really love God for to have a selfish motive mixed with unselfish is impossible because if you were really unselfish you would drop the selfish motive. If God did not tell us about Hell but limited our intelligence so that we could not even think it might exist that would prevent us from doing good to avoid the suffering of Hell. The fact that we can think of Hell proves there is no God and that the Bible is just human writings and that Christianity is incapable of selflessness and only wears a mask of altruism.

The argument that Hell is a good deterrent for sinners is an insult to God because it denies what he said about love and goodness. He says they are selfless acts of goodness, forgetting about yourself and thinking only of what is best for himself. If we were here to please ourselves there would be no need for suffering and we would not be here but in Heaven. A good and almighty God would only make us suffer if it could make us selfless. If a person turns away from sin because of Hell that is no use for it is punishment he hates not sin. This person only acts repentant but is not really. If a person stops sinning because of the selfless love of God and because of the dread of Hell then this repentance is not genuine either. If the person truly loves God she or he will not have the selfish motive. She or he can repent for love alone. She or he can stop having the other motive. Jesus said we must selflessly love God with all our strength so if he preached the existence of everlasting torture it was not because he wanted it to help to make a better world.

If you love God for his sake and not your own then you would endure everlasting torment for him. It is psychologically impossible to tell God that you love him for his own sake and not to avoid the everlasting pains of Hell and mean it. That is really saying that if the love of God required you to undergo this unnecessary pain you would. You canít really love a God who does not even need your love and who is perfectly happy to freedom from everlasting pain. The Hell doctrine then prevents the very love for which God allegedly made us. It means that if God made us he made us for suffering and pain. It makes God into the epitome of malignancy and a very dangerous idea. Acceptance of the Hell doctrine forces you to be selfish and when you believe that selfishness is always wrong as the God doctrine says many of your morals will soon be abandoned.  When Jesus commanded us to love God for Godís own sake he was commanding mental illness. Even if these considerations draw you to the idea that there is a God but that there cannot be a Hell the problem is not solved. Even if Hell does not exist the pure love of God still demands that you must love God and prefer to suffer forever for him if need be even if there is no such suffering.

If he preached it for a reason then he certainly did wrong. Either his reason was a childish one or a bad one. Telling people to believe such a horrible and distressing doctrine when no good could come of it is very very abusive.

To tell a person that they deserve everlasting punishment if they are sinners is to say something very serious indeed. You know that you have to have proof before you can tell anybody they are guilty of murder and should be jailed for life. Imagine then how strong the evidence has to be to entitle you to say they deserve INFINITE torment! To believe in a religion that asks you to approve even of the eternal loss of even one person no matter how satisfactory the evidence for that religion is, is almost psychopathic. To say that God asks you to believe in Hell is a blasphemy of diabolical proportions.

The mere fact that Jesus said there is a Hell is enough to prove that he is not the entirely trustworthy prophet Christians put him up to be. The founders of the early Church were just as unreliable when they turned such a person into the supreme manifestation of the divine.
 
If Jesus preached everlasting punishing for no real reason then he should have had the decency to realise that it could do untold harm. He just didnít care.

CONCLUSION
 
The doctrine of everlasting punishment is harmful and is cruel. A terrorist even a sincere one who believes what he is doing is right is still a terrorist. The doctrine makes a terrorist of God. And those serve him and form Churches for him are accessories to his crimes. We regard people as evil when they accuse another of wrong without sufficient reason and yet religion demands the right to accuse others of deserving Hell, for example, they think prostitutes who die will go to Hell forever unless they repent. It has no evidence for all for hell and its doctrines being the truth. The evidence is biased and the evidence for Jesusí resurrection for example is destroyed by the fact that non-religious miracles are more convincing and more numerous.
 
BIBLE VERSION
 
The Amplified Bible
 
FURTHER READING
 
APOLOGETICS AND CATHOLIC DOCTRINE, Most Rev M Sheehan DD, M H Gill & Son, Dublin, 1954  
APOLOGETICS FOR THE PULPIT, Aloysius Roche, Burns Oates & Washbourne LTD, London, 1950
ENCHIRIDION SYMBOLORUM ET DEFINITIONUM, Heinrich Joseph Denzinger, Edited by A Schonmetzer, Barcelona, 1963
GOD IS NOT GREAT, THE CASE AGAINST RELIGION, Christopher Hitchens, Atlantic Books, London, 2007
 ĎGOD, THATíS NOT FAIR!í Dick Dowsett, [OMF Books, Overseas Missionary Fellowship, Belmont, The Vine, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3TZ] Kent, 1982
HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS, Peter Kreeft & Ronald Tacelli, Monarch, East Sussex, 1994
HAVE WE TO FEAR A DEVIL? Fred Pearce, The Christadelphian Office, Birmingham
HEAVEN AND HELL Dudley Fifield, Christadelphian Publishing Office, Birmingham
HELL Ė WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT IT, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1945
JEHOVAH OF THE WATCH-TOWER, Walter Martin and Norman Klann, Bethany House, Minnesota, 1974
LIFE IN CHRIST, PART 3, Fergal McGrath SJ, MH Gill and Son Ltd, Dublin, 1960
RADIO REPLIES VOL 1, Frs Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1938
REASON AND BELIEF, Bland Blanschard, George Allen & and Unwin Ltd, London, 1974
THE BIBLE TELLS US SO, R B Kuiper, The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1978  
THE DEVIL, THE GREAT DECEIVER Peter Watkins, The Christadelphian Birmingham, 1992
THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF BIBLE DIFFICULTIES, Gleason W Archer, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1982
THE FOUR MAJOR CULTS, AA Hoekema, Paternoster Press, Carlisle, 1992
THE KINDNESS OF GOD, EJ Cuskelly MSC, Mercier Press, Cork, 1965
THE LIFE OF ALL LIVING, Fulton J Sheen, Image Books, New York, 1979
THE REAL DEVIL, Alan Hayward, Christadelphian Bible Mission, Birmingham
THE REALITY OF HELL, St Alphonsus Liguori, Augustine Publishing Company, Devon, 1988
THE SERMONS OF ST ALPHONSUS LIGOURI, St Alphonsus Ligouri, TAN, Illinois, 1982
THE TRUTH ABOUT HELL, Dawn Bible Students, East Rutherford, NJ
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT HELL? Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1986
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HEAVEN?, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1988
WHY DOES GOD? Domenico Grasso SJ, St Paul Publications, Bucks, 1970