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?

 


SUPERSTITION ALERT: "God loves the damned - the souls who hate him and want to take all eternity to hate him"

Revelation 2 Jesus speaking:

18 “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write:

These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

19 I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.

20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.

21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.

22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.

23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.

24 Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you,

25 except to hold on to what you have until I come.’

26 To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—

27 that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’—just as I have received authority from my Father.

28 I will also give that one the morning star.

29 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

COMMENT: This clearly admits that Jesus hurts people.  The notion that people hurt themselves over sin and Jesus does nothing directly is out.   Jesus is speaking to people who can only take him literally.  There were no theologians then to spin things and devise excuses that evil texts do not mean what they say.  The text says that Christians are to expect one day to take the iron scepter - to police and enforce.  Dashing to pieces like pottery is a good way of saying, "stone them to death."  Jesus even seems to be calling for world war.  In this light, Jesus and the God who makes him his total representative and son cannot love the damned in Hell. 

Christians teach that those who break a relationship with God in a core matter with intent will not enter eternal life unless they repent and get God’s forgiveness. They endure eternal condemnation. People often ask how this fits the idea of a loving and forgiving God who is stronger than anybody’s pathetic sin! Evil is called banal for it is boringly normal and always involves something like, “I did it for somebody else did it or told me to.” The idea is that something always tells you to do it, temptation or Satan or whatever. Its banal for its uninteresting and weak. As Arendt told us, it has the same appeal and glory as dishwater. She warned how normal evil people or people who do evil – if you like - are. Evil cannot be banal and normal apart from people – its really the person we are talking about. Evil is every evil person and that person is normal and banal. Evil is banal in the way it is and in what it does. So is the person.

Hannah Arendt of banality of evil fame wrote of Eichmann, “I was struck by the manifest shallowness in the doer [ie] which made it impossible to trace the uncontestable evil of his deeds to any deeper level of roots or motives. The deeds were monstrous, but the doer – at least the very effective one now on trial – was quite ordinary, commonplace, and neither demonic nor monstrous.”  The way she saw it, the worst evils don't need hate to happen.  They just need a tendency to just conform - banal comformity.  Its her theory and its also evidence's theory.  It is not just her saying it - the situation does.

Evil becomes a good that is good in the wrong way and is like a boring painting.  How do you respond to it?  Struggling to forgive would be failing to recognise that evil is really not even worth the effort.  And punishment should not be the emotional matter it is for the way to respond to the banal is the banal.  Punishment is really revenge for giving blandness to a person in return for being evil would be justice.  Anything else is just excess.  It is just making evil look attractive by disguising its only real face: meaningless boredom.  Hell is hate.  Jesus denied it was bland and banal by using fire to tell us the main ideas about it.

You see evil as something totally scary and monstrous but here we are told it is banal.  A monstrous demon would really be a mad one and its the banal one you have to watch out for spiritually.  The mad one wants to harm you but the banal one wants to corrupt you.

The Church allows for the idea that a person may be possessed not by a demon but by the soul of an evil dead person. The rite of exorcism tells the entity that the longer it refuses to go the worse it will be when it returns to hell. There will be more punishment. This does not fit the doctrine that what you are given at death or when you leave God if you are an angel is fixed and cannot be made better or worse afterwards. The level given to you at death or departure from God is set. Clearly the exorcism just wishes to hurt the entity even more than is just! Exorcism is malicious. If it gets a dead soul or demon out then at what price? It corrupts both the victim and the exorcist by using malice and hate as tools. Satan is laughing all the way to the bank at that!

The Church says that God loves the people in Hell. This both blames them for their fate and accuses them of not seeing how loving God is. Imagine Hell really had nothing to do with God. It can exist whether there is a God or not. If somebody is in Hell suffering condemnation and the feeling of condemned, then saying they are rejecting a God who can get them out is cruelly putting the boot in. Not feeling hate for the damned does not make you in the least any better than the person who does. You are too smug to feel the hate and that does not show it is not there. The person who feels animosity is at least aware and can diagnose the problem and change so in that sense he is better than you.

If Hell is banal and boring then the damned clearly will not leave and it is their own fault.

God is not doing anything we can see or he can show for the damned so how do we know he loves them? It does not look like it! Love should be seen not assumed. Love is an action thing – even when it is an attitude the attitude is an action that seeks to show itself and is about showing itself even if it cannot. An eye sees even when it is in the dark.

The Church has an answer, “God would not sustain the souls in Hell in existence and their bodies if he did not love them.” The idea is that a person is a body and soul and that justifies God raising their bodies! That only adds to their torment! So it is better to be the whole person and tormented instead of not having a body to suffer. Unpack what this is saying. God will recreate your body if you are cremated and you will have that body in Hell forever. Jesus spoke of God who destroys – ie treats as waste and destroy does not necessarily mean eliminate or kill – the body in Gehenna. This doctrine had such force in the early Church it provided the reason to argue that Jesus did not rise again with an injured ordinary body but a magical spiritual one in case anybody would suggest he was a Gehenna case.

This is suggesting that moral good and existence are the same thing. If God did a lot of eliminating in a person and left only what amounts to a kind of shadow then if that is not totally evil and totally hateful it is still very very evil and hateful. The silliness of the idea is that Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary’s twin are hated for they did not exist!

If love is the same as, “I make you exist”, then God loves bricks as much as babies. That is not love at all.

The answer is just desperation and an attempt to justify the damned who have no hope anyway of being kept in their misery instead of mercifully being put out of existence.

St Thomas wrote that those in Hell have their punishment reduced depending on the good works they have done in life.

The damned do not regret their sin but the consequences so they do not directly wish they had not sinned. Their wish is a sin for it is not, “I wish I had not committed adultery” but “I wish I had committed adultery and got completely away with it with no bad consequences.” Every moment they embrace that attitude is a new sin. If God is letting that sin go then he should let them have reasonable peace in Hell. He should let all their sins go! If they suffer there it should not be punishment for sin. Taking that attitude when you are in Hell differs in malice and knowledge and intent from any sin however bad you commit in this life!

The damned do not hate God directly but they hate his justice. They hate him for punishing them and they do not see how attractive and pleasing he is but hate their image of him. How does that fit the idea that it is not God but self-inflicted obstinacy keeps them in Hell.

The damned apparently do not wish they were put out of existence. This leads to an argument against euthanasia, “No pain on earth can be as terrible as what is in Hell and yet the damned would cling to life”. Why is God able to get those souls who reject him vehemently and with extremism to see if it is wrong and stupid and not us?

God's love is very thin for it is very easy to love people when they cannot hurt you. God cannot be hurt for he is the creator not us.  We are mere creatures.