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Tag: Heaven

The Horrors of the Evangelical Hell

hell

Most Evangelicals believe in a literal Heaven and Hell. The Bible says that it is “appointed unto men once to die.” All of us will die someday, Evangelicals say, and the moment we draw our last breath, we will be transported by God to Heaven or Hell. Where we end up depends on whether we were born again/saved. Those who were saved when they died go to Heaven, and those who weren’t — atheists, agnostics, pagans, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and Catholics (to name a few) — go to Hell.

Hell (actually the Lake of Fire) is a place where unbelievers will be punished and tortured for their sins for eternity. Some Evangelicals suggest that the only sin people will be punished for in Hell is the sin of unbelief; as if this is somehow better than being punished for adultery, fornication, or being LGBTQ. The life expectancy for humans is 70-80 years in most of the developed world. If Evangelicals are right about Hell, this means that a momentary decision made by unbelievers to not believe the Evangelical gospel will be punished for millions, billions, and trillions of years. Think about that for a moment. Just saying no to Jesus means you will be tortured by God of “love” forever. How you lived your life matters not. What good works you did matters not. You may have been an awesome mother, father, grandparent, or friend. It matters not. You may have devoted your life to serving the sick, poor, and marginalized. It matters not. If you didn’t believe the right things (and Evangelicalism preaches a gospel of right beliefs) you will spend eternity suffering in the flames of Hell. (And yes, I am aware that a small percentage of Evangelicals are annihilationists. But even with annihilation, unbelievers are still tortured by God for a time before they are obliterated.)

Worse yet, the natural body can’t withstand the extreme fire and heat of Hell. Those consigned to Hell would immediately melt and be turned to ashes without God doing something to keep that from happening. The Bible teaches that Heaven and Hell are actually temporary holding places. After Jesus returns to earth and defeats Satan, every human will be resurrected from the dead, judged, and then given a new body. Christians will spend eternity in the Eternal Kingdom of God. Unbelievers will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. (I speak generally. I am well aware of the various Evangelical beliefs on these subjects.) By fitting unbelievers with bodies that can withstand the terrors of Hell, they won’t be turned to ashes. Isn’t God awesome?

no atheists in hell

There’s no evidence for the existence of Hell (or Heaven). Ask an Evangelical to point you to where Hell is and they will point down. What? Hell is Australia? I guess Hell could be Antarctica, though its climate seems very un-hell like. All joking aside, most Evangelicals believe Hell is somewhere in the center of the earth. According to Wikipedia, the core of the earth is approximately 1,500 miles in diameter, one-fortieth of the volume of the whole earth. Today, almost eight billion people live on earth. Scientists estimate almost 110 billion people have lived and died on our planet. Evangelicals believe that the vast majority of people past and present will end up in Hell after they die. Evangelicalism is an exclusive club. Few people are actually members. Thus, we can safely say that Hell has a population in excess of 100 billion people. Imagine 100 billion people living in a space the size of the United States. Donald Trump might want to go to Hell and build high rises to accommodate all the non-Evangelicals.

The very idea of Hell is absurd. Yet, a majority of Americans believe in its existence. According to a 2014 Pew Research study, sixty percent of American adults believe in the existence of Hell. Eighty-two percent of Evangelicals believe Hell is a real place. The literalness of Hell is deeply engrained in our thinking. Even among Evangelicals-turned-atheists, Hell often lurks in the depths of our minds. How could it be otherwise? Years of indoctrination, of being told Hell is a real place and unbelievers will spend eternity being tortured by God, will do that to you. I have received numerous emails over the years from ex-Evangelicals who are still struggling with thoughts about Hell. It is hard to shake the sermons and Sunday school lessons about Hell. When people are told a lie repeatedly, it should come as no surprise that they believe it. Undoing the psychological conditioning often takes years.

Hell is a cudgel used by Evangelical preachers to keeps asses in the pews and money in offering plates. If threats of Hell are removed, would Evangelicals still attend church, give money, or evangelize unbelievers? Heaven is the carrot, but Hell is the stick. If there is no fear of Hell (or God), would people still devote themselves to the one true faith? Maybe, for social reasons, but if there are no worries about going to Hell, I suspect people would likely treat their chosen religion more cavalierly than they do now (more like they do in some European countries).

Today, my friend ObstacleChick had an interaction on my Facebook page with an Evangelical man named John. I doubt that’s his real name. John sent OC a private message, one that can only be described as a Hell-inspired death threat.

Here’s a screenshot of John’s message:

message to obstaclechick

OC is a former Evangelical, a Southern Baptist. She attended a Christian school. OC was deeply immersed in Evangelicalism before she deconverted. I suspect what upset OC the most was this asshole calling her Missy. 🙂 OC tried to respond to John’s threat, but, of course, he blocked her so she couldn’t do so (and I blocked him on my page). I hate it when my friends face retribution from Evangelical Christians because they comment on my Facebook page or this blog.

John believes in the existence of Hell. His words reveal that he has been deeply indoctrinated, and that he thinks it normal and acceptable to threaten unbelievers with death and Hell. Perhaps John even thinks he is doing this out of “love.” Isn’t this exactly what the Evangelical preachers do? They preach up the love of God and the awesomeness of Jesus. Yet, they also warn unbelievers that if they refuse God’s offer of salvation through the merit and work of Jesus, judgment and Hell await.

The good news is that there is no Hell. I have seen no evidence for its existence. While thoughts of Hell may infrequently plague my mind, I know they are vestiges of five decades of psychological indoctrination. The longer I am removed from Evangelicalism, the fewer thoughts I have about Hell. Lifelong indoctrination doesn’t disappear just because you stop believing. It takes time to free one’s mind of years and decades of harmful beliefs. If you are struggling with thoughts about Hell, all I can tell you is that it gets better with time. Remember, life is a journey, not a destination. There’s no life after death, so all we have is the life before us.

Update

An hour after I posted this article, I received the following email from an Evangelical man who calls himself Rev. James Makerfield:

I hope this email reaches you well.I hope it reaches MANY in fact!
From the “Zealots”. Or Evangelical “assholes”.  As you put it.    

Number ONE we love you all very much. Mr Bruce you are Loved very much!
The GREATEST HATE is to NOT bring the gospel to the lost! and we all need the gospel! Believers and unbelievers. 

Hell is REAL place!

It is NOT A THREAT!It’s not a fairytale!It’s not a scare tactic! 

It is REAL!   I’d suggest googling “atheists who went to hell”.  If you want proof outside of the Bible.

What I am going describe now is the portrait of the eternal future of EVERYONE who dies without Jesus Christ. 😭

This includes all people who trusted in “RELIGION” (man’s attempt to make himself right with God)

All who tries to earn salvation through good works and morality. 

And all who fell into the trap that not even the demons fell into! ATHEISM and ANTI-THEISM/ANTI-CHRISTIANITY ( which is what a high percentage of atheists really are they’re really Anti-Christians. 

As the Unbeliever takes his or her last breath in this life they will take their first breath in eternity pulled from their body and taken and placed in a deep hot dark pit!

Deafening screams will be on all sides all around them!  The place will stink God awful! 🤢🤮

Take rotten eggs, sulphur, human crap/sewage and a landfill and it won’t hold a candle to the stink of hell and burning souls! 😢

Their body will ignite in flames! You will scream “AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!”  “NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!”

😭😭😭😭😭😭

You will feel pain that cannot be described in any human language!
You will feel the reality of Revelation 20:15!“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” Revelation 20:15

You will scream “OH GOD!!!!! YOURE SUPPOSED TO BE LOVE!!!!”
Then you will remember John 3:16“For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16

You will remember Romans 5:8“But God commendeth his love towards us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us “ Romans 5:8

You will cry “AHHHHH!!!!! THIS CANT BE HAPPENING!!!! WHY WASN’T I WARNED!?!?!?”

Then you will remember every person who tried to witness to you.
You will remember every sermon you ever heard and/or preached but NEVER TRULY believed!

You will remember finding a tract in a bathroom and throwing in the trash or on the ground.

You will remember every person on Facebook and the internet blog,every email, every call every Avenue that Christ used to desperately get you to accept his grace and mercy. 

Now it will be too late!

Furthermore as the rich man pleaded in Luke 16:19-31. 

You will have an indescribable thirst like you have never had before!  UNO ONE DROP OF WATER would be precious but you and everyone else who died in sin will NEVER get it! 😭

You will have a desire for unsaved family and other people trapped in unbelief to come to salvation through Jesus Christ.    

Just as the first rich man did for his 5 unsaved brothers. 

You will pray for God to send someone to tell them the gospel!

You will curse the day you were born!You will curse the moment you were conceived!You will wish you would’ve been squirted on the mattress!

This pain and agony will last for all ETERNITY!

What’s 20 years in eternity!? Less time it takes to blow a breath of air!

If a person lives to be 110 that’s less than a 1/2 in eternity!

900 million years will be less than 1/2 second in eternity!

Think about the prisons on earth even in a earthly human prison there is hope that you can can get out! No one will ever get released from hell!

And imagine being in a prison with every murderer, child rapist,vile of the vile!
In hell you will scream right beside Satan and the Anti-Christ and the false Prophet and thousands of demons for all eternity!

There will be no contact with anyone! Hell will be full of millions that rejected Jesus Christ and each soul will be in complete isolation!

There will be NO REST! Not even a quiet moment!

And yet the LOST world says that we (TRUE GENUINE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST!) “HATE” people when we warn them of this COMING REALITY! Pfft!

Jesus Christ loves YOU and he does NOT want you or anyone else to perish in hell. 

What if this email is your last warning?What if you don’t wake up tomorrow?
I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you and anyone else reading to listen to the Holy Spirits call. 

It sure sounds like John and James are the same person or identical twins.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

A Person Who Doesn’t Have Jesus Has Nothing, Says IFB Pastor John MacFarlane

mansion in heaven

John MacFarlane, pastor of First Baptist Church in Bryan, Ohio — an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) congregation — writes a daily devotional for True Christians®. Recently, MacFarlane wrote a post about the worthlessness of the life of Hank Williams and that of everyone who does not worship his peculiar version of the Christian God.

MacFarlane wrote:

There is immeasurable sadness of a life lived having been exposed to the Lord through church, the preaching of God’s Word, and even through the lyrics of songs – yet so far from God that a dying man [Hank Williams] says, “There ain’t no light.” How can a person be so close and yet so far away?

….

By the admission of his friends, Hank had nothing to do with “religion,” in spite of his mother’s attempts to persuade him. We can only hope that he had trusted Jesus and was just in a very backslidden condition. However, all indicators point otherwise. Williams himself said, “There ain’t no light.”

A person who has all the success, fame, and fortune that this world can provide and yet doesn’t have Jesus, this person has nothing and ends with nothing.  If you have Jesus but very little of this world’s goods, that’s okay because you have everything.

Here’s what MacFarlane is saying: billions of people have “nothing” lives. Every Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, Shintoist, Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, atheist, agnostic, and pagan has a “nothing” life. MacFarlane believes only a small percentage of earth’s residents worship the one true God. Only this select few, the chosen ones, have “everything” lives. MacFarlane arrogantly tells his fellow Fundamentalists that while they may be poor, with Jesus they have E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. MacFarlane never explains what “everything” means. Pain? Hemorrhoids? Suffering? Heartache? Loss? A favorite sports team that sucks? What is this “everything” MacFarlane speaks of?

Evangelicals-turned-atheists are familiar with the “everything” word. It’s not that True Christians® have everything in this life — they don’t. Life is filled with pain, suffering, heartache, and death for many, if not all Christians. There is nothing inherent to Christianity that makes life “better.” Jesus is not the cure for what ails people. No, what MacFarlane is actually talking about is one of his favorite subjects: God’s salvation lotto payout — a mansion next door to Jesus.

The foundation of MacFarlane’s post is perfectly illustrated in the gospel song, Build My Mansion Next Door to Jesus (sung by Dottie, Buck, and Reba Rambo). Give it a listen. 🙂 You will be sure to regret it.

Video Link

Unfortunately, MacFarlane sees no value in the lives of most human beings (except zygotes and fetuses, of course). Instead, he reduces the unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines of the world to a caricature, sermon illustration, or a cautionary tale. MacFarlane demonizes, marginalizes, and condemns “sinners.” Yet, he wants “worthless” locals to come join his merry band of Baptists at the corner of Union Street and Fountain Grove Drive in Bryan, Ohio.

I plan to join Hank Williams, Frank Sinatra, and the rock bands MacFarlane preaches against in Hell. Awesome music, better company (Steven Hawking, Christopher Hitchens, to name a few), and lots of Devil’s food cake and Devil’s brew. Why would anyone want to join the good pastor in Heaven?

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

God’s “Plan” for the Human Race

god loves you

Progressive Christians are fond of saying, “God is LOVE” — cue summer of love pop song. Finding the Old Testament God of judgment and wrath distasteful or offensive to their sensibilities, Progressive Christians excise the “bad” God from the Bible, choosing instead to focus on Jesus, the God of love. While I understand why Progressive Christians take this approach, it does do great violence to the teachings of the Bible and what Christians have historically believed about God. American Christianity is going through seismic changes and transformation. Beliefs once held dear by Christians are either revised or abandoned altogether. This is especially true with how Christians visualize God.

I wish every Christian held progressive beliefs and values. However, that doesn’t mean I find progressive hermenuetics and interpretations intellectually satisfying. While progressive beliefs make for a kinder, gentler world (and maybe that’s all that should matter), the Bible seems to be the odd man out. While Progressive Christians generally believe in the centrality of Jesus and his gospel, they are often sketchy on the details. Wanting to distance themselves from Evangelicalism, Progressive Christians jettison vast swaths of the Bible. No need to believe those things, Progressive Christians say. God is Love!

How do Progressive Christians know anything about Jesus or whether God is, in fact, love? What evidence do they have for these claims? Don’t they have to appeal to the Bible, much like their Evangelical brothers and sisters? Christianity is inherently a text-based religion. I have long argued: no Bible, no Christianity (not in any meaningful sense, anyway). If the Bible tells us that God is Love, should we not also accept what else it says about God?

Richard Dawkins had this to say about the God of the Old Testament:

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

THAT God is in the Bible too. Why do Progressive Christians ignore this God? His works are found throughout the Bible, including the New Testament. As we do with each other, we must accept God’s goodness and badness — the sum of his nature and character. None of us is pure goodness. All of us can do bad things. All of us can be assholes. We are neither as good nor as bad as we think we are. We are . . . as God is . . . human.

Most Christians believe God created everything. As Creator, God is in control of his creation. He gives life, takes life, and nothing happens apart from his purpose and plan. And if God is not in charge, who is? If the creator doesn’t control his creation, who does?

If God is Creator and the Bible is an accurate account of God’s works and character, can we not know his future plans for the human race? Press the “God is Love” crowd with questions about the future, and few answers are given. I have often wondered if Progressive Christians are, at heart, universalists; that, in the end, everyone makes it to Heaven. While such a belief is appealing, one must ignore much of the Bible to reach such a conclusion.

Both the Old Testament and New Testament teach that there is coming a day when God will judge the living and the dead; that God will separate the saved from the lost; that only those who worshiped Jesus will spend eternity in Heaven (Eternal Kingdom of God). Those who didn’t worship Jesus — whatever the reason — will spend eternity in Hell (Lake of Fire).

If the Bible is an accurate record of the character and nature of God, then it is clear that those who are not Christians will one day face his judgment and wrath. On that day, the God of Love will be nowhere to be found. I know Progressive Christians want to believe otherwise, but as long as they appeal to the Bible for their beliefs, they must accept that their God of Love is also one mean son-of-a-bitch.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Bruce Gerencser