Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


GOD HATES UNSAVED WHO ARE IN HELL

Jesus taught that after you die, you will rise again to an eternity in Heaven or in the torment of Hell.  He would have used the psalm in public worship.  Psalm 5:4-6: “[4] For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. [5] The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. [6] Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.”
 
Despite teaching that God loves everybody, Christians claim that there is a Hell where sinners are punished forever for dying in unrepented sin and there is no escape from there. The sinners go there at death and suffer terribly and later on they are resurrected from the dead so that their bodies can have the hell experience too!
 
Obviously if you are resurrected to sin forever in a place called Hell forever and burn in it without being destroyed and if you want to stay there forever despite the torment then there are several miracles here. God preserves your life after death and raises your body to suffer forever in a fire and enables you to want to stay there in that pit when you wouldn’t stay in a semi-hell on earth - these are the miracles. Miracles demand extraordinary evidence for they are extraordinary claims. To violate this law in order to believe in Hell shows that believers are eager to believe it. You wouldn’t convict a killer on weak evidence and you are asked here to believe in the miracles of Hell for which there is no evidence so that you can believe that those who hate God will go there forever. That shows that the doctrine implicitly commands hatred of sinners and those in Hell. God asks you to believe in Hell so God hates them too.
 
The Church will say that though there is no evidence for Hell we have evidence that the testimony of Christ to its existence is reliable for Christ did miracles to prove his mission and doctrine. But bearing in mind that we need very strong evidence the stranger or more unlikely a claim is this is unacceptable. If Jesus does ten miracles and you can verify them all but the last then you can’t believe in the last one. You must consider him a liar if he asks you to believe in it. If a man commits ten murders and you can only prove he committed nine of them you are not permitted to believe he committed the odd one out.
 
The Church admits that it cannot conclusively prove every miracle reported of Jesus in the Bible or outside of it when you consider every miracle by itself. To claim a miracle happened is such a serious claim that naturally the evidence has to be very serious as in strong and good and convincing and every individual miracle requires it. You can’t say the resurrection of Jesus is provable so the other miracles of Jesus must have happened as well for Jesus rose to prove his teachings and claims and miracles to be real. Every miracle is so serious so it has to be checked out on its own. Christians know that miracles are very serious for they as good as suspend or change natural law and you need near if not actual impossible evidence to believe in them. Imagine the evidence you would need to justify believing in the tooth fairy – a miraculous being. A miracle that doesn’t have extraordinary evidence backing it up isn’t worth talking about.
 
So if Hell exists and God wants us to believe in it as the Church and Jesus say then we are to hate the damned.
 
Remember, if the damned are hated and God approves of this and hates them himself then there is no reason why he cannot torment them vindictively and more than they deserve. Nothing justifies devaluing a person and if it is right to do that then tormenting and abusing them is acceptable. God cannot complain if we wish we could abuse them.

In the book, The Bible Tells Us So, it is plainly asserted that the Bible never states that God loves the damned. “Although the Bible tells us that those who failed to walk in God’s way because they did not know it will be beaten with fewer stripes than will those who failed to walk in God’s way although they knew it [Luke 12:47, 48], it nowhere intimates that God loves the damned” (page 62). Small wonder when Hell serves no good purpose. Hopefully it should be different with living sinners for they can change unlike the damned but that would require you to hate them as long as they won’t change and hope they will change. But God must have done something to the damned to make them stay in Hell therefore it would be more evil of him to hate the damned and not living sinners. Living sinners have to be hated far more than the damned.

Then the book declares, “Paradoxical as it may be, when the unregenerate blatantly defy the Most High and brazenly give vent to their hatred of him, the regenerate are constrained by their very love for God to exclaim, “Do I not hate them, O God, that hate thee? I hate them with a perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies’ [Ps 139:21, 22]” (page 124). The curses put by Paul on the wicked though he claimed to be writing God’s word and blessed worse implies his God is a God of hate. He never cursed anybody as much as those who disagreed with him. He singled them out for special abuse.
 
The imprecations of the saints in Heaven upon the incorrigible unsaved (Revelation 6:9, 10) support the notion that God hates those who are in Hell. Their curses were not pronounced so that the unsaved would suffer and repent through it for the unsaved were in a totally godless and immoral world. The spells were woven not because of a desire to help but out of malice.
 
Remember, if the damned are hated and God approves of this and hates them himself then there is no reason why he cannot torment them vindictively and more than they deserve. Nothing justifies devaluing a person and if it is right to do that then tormenting and abusing them is acceptable. God cannot complain if we wish we could abuse them.
 
The book observes that God told Paul he hated Esau and loved Jacob and that he did not say he hated Esau’s acts but Esau himself (page 68, The Bible Tells Us So). This observation is right for if Paul, who was teaching elementary Christianity to the Romans when he said that God revealed that to him, had believed that God did not hate Esau in the literal sense he would have made that clear.

If God hates the damned and won’t help them to repent then this alone would prove that he hates them enough to keep them in Hell forever and probably does.

Catholics would try to tell you that God hates the works of the damned but loves or values them as persons. If that were true then he has a choice between honouring their personhood and punishing their works. He cannot do both so he has to do one or the other.
 
He can make them as happy as possible despite their sins because they are persons or he can punish them for their sins. Making sinners happy and thereby rewarding them for sins would be better than punishing them needlessly. And it is not really rewarding when the alternative is immoral. In practice it is rewarding but intention wise and motive wise it is not. There is no alternative. If you act as if you forgive a person because you are forced then in your heart you have not forgiven them. This works the same way.
 
Perhaps punishing them is treating them as persons. But what use is useless suffering? The suffering is useless for if a person is happy but evil inside but is in a place where they cannot harm others who cares? We need punishment on earth for the sake of order but it is pure superstition and anthropomorphism to have a punishing God unless that God is a tyrant. So the suffering is treating them as impersonal. The punishing does no good for the damned will not or cannot repent. They might as well be happy. It follows that the punishment of the damned is a needless evil and that its infliction implies that God hates the damned and treats them as worthless. His attitude to them is that they have no value. When God hates the damned he must hate sinners. And so must we.

God may have to punish in this world to restrain sinners but that is only necessary because of the kind of world it is – it is needed to stop people going out of control. He could make another world and populate it with people in force-fields where nobody can harm anybody else. Punishment is certainly an evil. It is not a nice thing even if it is necessary. It does not change the evil inside the person unless the person decides to change so it is really only the person who can change. Punishment may educate and inspire change but these things can be done without it. Though it is good to try and convert through punishment on earth - when we have to punish we may as well try to change the person through it – punishment is adding the evil of suffering to the evil in somebody’s heart. It doubles the evil. Though it is good to will the punishment of the evil in the person on paper it is bad in practice. There is some sense in saying the person should be punished but there is not enough sense in it to justify punishing. To make sense of this perhaps this parable will be of assistance: A woman murdered her lover in cold blood. She deserves death because she killed him. That is pure logic. But it does not mean we should kill her. One way it does but because you cannot destroy a person for a person is valuable even after they take a life you cannot do it. This implies that the welfare of the person is more important than punishing them. The person comes before the punishment. It implies that God has no business punishing anybody once they leave this world for as long as they can’t damage anything but their own morals let them do what they want. We need to be punished on earth to keep us under some restraint when we are bad. This could not be necessary in the afterlife where Christianity says we will be disembodied beings but at the resurrection we will have magical bodies that can pass through walls etc.

The last word is that God recreates the bodies of the damned so they will suffer and to say he does not hate them is to deny the obvious.  Your gut instinct is that you are a hater yourself for being okay with that.


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
 ‘GOD, THAT’S NOT FAIR!’ 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 – 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 CASE FOR FAITH, Lee Strobel, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000
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