After reading a post on “Parenting Beyone Belief”, called “god’s burning love for me”, I found this “The Reality of Hell” video from here: http://www.rapturealert.com/video/realityofhell.asp:
I couldn’t help myself… I had to watch it. Nice, huh? Lovely.
Utterly ridiculous, is what it is. To threaten people… scare them… into believing something. No thanks.
When I was a kid… probably about 8, I remember our church one Sunday night had a “special”… and it was a whole movie like that clip. It showed people meeting Jesus, having flashbacks on their lives and all the wrong things they had done…. even things like chances they had to “witness” but didn’t. And, then it showed them going to hell… burning… I especially remember one scneene where they showed what looke like live worms crawling in and out of some poor guys burning flesh as he screamed.
I was horrified. Shocked. Scared shitless. And, petrified for my father and brother, and all those other lost souls. Somewhere, in the back of my brain, I feared for myself as well, even though I thought I was “saved” at the time. Was I really saved? What had I done wrong? I knew there had to be something. Why would my father deserve to go to Hell, but not my Mom or myself? What made us so much better??
There was no real peace at all in the knowledge that I was “saved”. How could I know for sure I was? And, how could I be peaceful, or live “happily ever after” knowing that my father and millions like him were burning in eternal hell? How is that peace?
But, I believed back then… and, I remember my mother telling me (and everyone) that my Dad WAS going to hell constantly. She constantly hoped for a miracle of his salvation. We prayed and prayed. I confronted him.. and begged him to come to church. I sang in front of the church, just to get him to come, for years. Way past the time I wanted to sing. They made me feel like I HAD to… it was my duty.. since that was the only time Dad came to church (to see me sing). When I started not wanting to do it anymore… they really put the pressure and guilt on me. Not just my Mom, but other adults of the church too.
Looking back… it makes me so mad. I know now that my mom was sick. Other adults, the pastor, must have known she was too. Yet – nobody told me she was. I believed everything she told me for a long time. I can forgive and excuse her actions… BECAUSE I now know she was sick.
What I can’t get my brain around, is how all these other adults… elders of the church.. the pastor(s)… how they all encouraged her behavior and the things they told me too!? What in the world were they thinking? That is was GOOD to worry a little girl sick about thoughts of hell and fire and brimstone? That God would want them to tell a child over and over that her own father was going to hell unless SHE could MAKE him come to church so maybe the church congregation could win him over to God’s side?
I liked my Dad…. and loved him even more. But, I had to believe he was doomed to what I saw in that movie unless I could save him. And, I didn’t dare ask WHY he was such a bad guy? WHY did he deserve eternal hell and fire? I knew he didn’t go to church… or believe in God. But, he was a great Dad. He was a loving, caring, and wonderful man. It just never made sense to me. And, it still doesn’t.
I like this video from George Carlin on religion much better… now, HE makes sense… (and makes me laugh LOL)