One commenter [Powderfinger07] to a priest’s answer to a question about hell said, “The headline is trivial. I think most rational beings including church goers know that Hell is a fairy tale they just won’t admit to it.”
If hell is a fairy tale, let’s find out why. So here is the transcript of the priest’s point of view about hell.
I don’t think Hell exists. I happen to believe in life after death but I don’t think it’s got a thing to do with reward and punishment. Religion is always in the control business and that’s something that people really don’t understand. It’s in the guilt-producing control business. And if you have a heaven as a place where you’re rewarded for your goodness and hell is a place where you’re punished for your evil, then you’re sort of have control over the population. And so they create this fiery place which has quite literally scared the hell out a lot of people throughout Christian history. And it’s part of a control tactic.
Wait a minute, you’re saying that hell, the idea of a place under the earth or somewhere where you’re tormented for eternity is actually an invention of the church.
I think the church has fired its furnaces hotter than anybody else. But I think there’s a sense in most religious life of reward and punishment in some form. The church doesn’t like for people to grow up because you can’t control grown-ups. Thus far we talk about being born again, when you’re born again you’re still a child. The people don’t need to be born again. They need to grow up. They need to accept their responsibility for themselves and the world.
What do you make of the theology which is pretty quite prominent these days in America which is that there is one guarantee way not to go to hell and that is to accept Jesus as your personal Savior.
I grew up in that tradition. To every church I know who claims “We are the true church,” they have some ultimate authority. We have the infallible pope. We have the inerrant Bible. The idea that the truth of God can be bound in any human system, by any human creed, by any human book, is almost beyond imagination for me. I mean, God is not a Christian. God is not a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindu, a Buddhist. All of those are human systems which human beings have created to try to help us walk into the mystery of God. I honor my tradition. I walked through my tradition but I don’t blame my tradition defines God. I think it only points me to God.
Life is a startling and wondrous experience. And, eventually, I think we’re gonna discover that God is unfolding through the life of our consciousness and our self-consciousness. And that’s not a parent figure up in the sky. But I believe I’m related to something that’s not bound by time and space, then I will share in one of the God’s eternity is.
You don’t have to gnash your teeth at God
nor be afraid of your soul’s destiny.
Just call the Hellbusters hotline!