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?

 


Eternal Hell Dogma - The Ultimate Offspring of the Evil Mind
 
AN IRREVOCABLE DOGMA
 
The Catholic Church claims to be infallible when it intends to be and speaks to the whole Church. Everlasting punishing torment for those who die estranged from God is a dogma of the faith. Deny it and you deny what God has said through the Church. Deny it and you deny that the Church is really unable to err in matters of faith and morals. Deny it and you deny that Catholicism is the true faith and affirm that it is just a load of human opinion and not a divinely revealed faith.

Origen felt that the pains of Hell might only be temporary and at least three synods shot him down for that (page 84, Reason and Belief).

The idea of a Hell that is unlimited in time seems to have been made official in 543 AD. The Synod of Constantinople revealed the doctrine officially.

Lateran IV in 1215 AD infallibly decreed that the wicked “will receive perpetual punishment with the devil and the others everlasting glory with Christ” (DS 801, cf. 411).

The Council of Florence in 1442 declared, “The holy Roman Church…firmly believes, professes and proclaims that none of those outside the Catholic Church, not Jews, nor heretics, nor schismatics, can participate in eternal life, but will go into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are brought into [the Catholic Church] before the end of life” (DS 1351). See also Reason and Belief page 84-85 which adds the information that this bigotry was also sanctioned and clarified under the authority of Pope Eugene IV.
 
Incidentally, modern Rome now teaches that all sincere Jews can be saved. If Florence taught that then why didn’t it say that if Jews are banned from Heaven it is only contumacious Jews that are meant. If you teach that only insincere Jews who secretly believe in Jesus go to Hell, you don’t say that Jews go to Hell. Florence contradicts modern Catholic doctrine.

Views like this made Romish Christianity the most murderous religion in the world. If people should be sent to everlasting punishing just because they have not been made Catholics by pure chance then they are not fit to live. Nobody can be condemned for killing what is worthless.
 
Benedict XII in 1336 wrote in his Constitution, Benedictus Deus, “We define that according to the general disposition of God the souls of those who die in actual mortal sin go down immediately after death into Hell and are there tormented by the pains of Hell” (DS 1002).
 
In 1892 the Inquisition decided under Leo XIII that a priest who refused to forgive the sins of a penitent who denied that there was real fire in Hell was right (page 85, Reason and Belief).
 
God will not make a Hell with fire unless there are people to be put in it. The Book of Revelation says that there are some beings there. Some liberal theologians agree but say there is no Bible verse that asks us to believe that any human being is in Hell. But Jesus did say that some will rise again to be lost forever. If people to go Hell for neglecting prisoners as Jesus says that means quite a few will end up there. And Jesus spoke more about Hell than Heaven or salvation! He warned about it and said that we must squeeze through the narrow gate for the road to damnation is wide. If nobody goes to Hell then why worry about Hell? Why not convert to Judaism if you are a Christian who feels like a change? If Hell is not a place but a mental state or a state of existing without God then Hell does not exist and the Bible is wrong to say it does exist if it is true that nobody goes there. God can't know if Hell is possible if nobody chooses it or goes there. He can't know who your grandfather would have married if not your grandmother and that is because your grandfather married your grandmother.

Most forms of Christianity including the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches hold that those who die estranged from God will suffer forever and ever in Hell and there is no hope of release. The Book of Mormon and the Bible and the Koran teach the same doctrine.

The Catholic Church claims to be infallible when it intends to be and speaks to the whole Church. Everlasting punishing is a dogma of the faith for it was revealed through the infallibility mechanism and was made as such as clearly as possible during the Council of Trent. Deny it and you deny what God has said through the Church. Deny it and you deny that the Church is really unable to err in matters of faith and morals. Deny it and you deny that Catholicism is the true faith. Deny it and you assert that Catholicism is just a load of human opinion and not a divinely revealed faith.

Because Hell and its everlasting nature is a defined article of the Catholic faith it is an essential and Radio Replies tells us that whoever knows it is Catholic doctrine and still denies it has renounced his Catholic faith and repudiated the teaching authority of the Church and no priest can admit such one to the sacraments until he fully accepts the doctrine (Question 926, Page 220, Radio Replies 3, Frs Rumble & Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1942).

The Book of Revelation tells us that the smoke of the torment of those who commit idolatry will ascend “forever and ever” [eis aioonas aioonoon – literally, from ages to ages] (14:11). I used to think that it was just saying that the smoke would rise forever not that they would be tormented forever. The picture I had was of the smoke rising from the fire they had been destroyed in. But there would be no point in preserving the smoke if that happened for the saints cannot sin so the smoke must rise forever because the damned are tormented forever. When the verse says the smoke of the torture will rise forever and ever and immediately after that they will be tormented day and night forever it clearly means that sinners will suffer forever. Put it this way, why say the smoke of their torment will rise forever when you could say the smoke of their destruction? Given how hot the fire is we would expect them to be dead before they can even get near it as they are flung in but they are alive.

Anybody could write a book that would have more right to be considered scripture than the Book of Revelation so this book has no right to be so brutish and should be torn out of the Bible.

Jesus predicted that on judgement day all those who were not kind to others would go into “never-ending punishment [kolasin aioonion]” (Matthew 25:46 – my version). The Greek word, derived from kolasis which is translated punishment does not mean annihilation though some say it does. It appears in 1 John 4:18 which says that “fear makes you restrained [or punished]” (my version) and cannot mean annihilation here – note the present tense. Earlier in the same sentence, he spoke of “never-ending life [zoozeen aioonion]” meaning everlasting happiness in Heaven. If the punishment ends so does the life of Heaven so we ought to take the word never-ending (aioonion) literally. Annihilation is not a punishment but a kind of reward for there is nothing to dread about ceasing to exist so it is crazy to suppose that the punishment is cessation of existence. Annihilation means treating the worst sinner the same as the not-so-bads.

In the gospels, Jesus said hardly anything about what it is like to be saved after death but said plenty about Hell suggesting that it was such a big danger that it should be focused on. He was a hell-fire and brimstone preacher.

Jesus will say to the unjust, “Begone from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). The fire puts out of existence or it torments or both. God would not keep the fire lit after it has destroyed the wicked and eradicated evil for the saved cannot sin for they are too happy to and don’t need the reminder. So when Jesus said the fire is everlasting it must be maintained for the purpose of tormenting sinners. This sentence was uttered at a most solemn moment so it is absurd to say that Jesus is speaking in symbols. Can you imagine a judge sentencing a man to death and saying that he meant he wanted the man put in jail only which he considers to be a living death? Since God can make virgins have babies without sperm he can make magic fire and so Jesus should be taken literally for he never indicated that he should be taken any other way.

Some say there is a contrast between everlasting life and everlasting punishment meaning that the latter must represent death. But then as now people who had a hard time of it were said to have no life. That could be the meaning of the contrast and it probably is for it is more natural to use the word death than punishment when you mean annihilation. Also it is not necessarily an intended contrast. If you say John could go to Heaven or Hell that does not necessarily mean that Heaven and Hell aren’t alike.

When God needs a fire though he can destroy without it we see a hint that the fire is not just for destruction but for tormenting. Some think the fire was prepared for the Devil and his angels at the end of the world. They would say that everlasting punishment because it contrasts with eternal life is everlasting punishment in the sense that the persons will be put out of existence forever. But the Devil and his angels don’t have bodies so the fire must be for tormenting them. God does not need fire especially when it comes to spirits or beings that have no bodies. The fire is for torment and the destruction of happiness but not for annihilation or the destruction of personal entities. It is not fire as we know it but a magic fire and therefore one that could torment forever. Jesus never said the fire would be made at the end of the world. When the fire is prepared for the Devil and his angels though it was known that there were plenty of sinners to go there it implies that its purpose is tormenting punishment because the meaning must be that the fire was made before the world began and the Devil and his angels for whom it was prepared were thrown in and it was made for them at the start for there were no people made yet which does not exclude God intending to throw any people who were as bad in later. But since Satan and his angels are alive according to the gospels it follows that the fire is for torturing.

Paul wrote that if Jesus has not risen from the dead then the dead are lost forever and Christians are still in their sins meaning that sincerity will not save so this implies that unless you have the right gospel there is no hope. This sentences most people, even most Christians, to eternal damnation for having the wrong beliefs.

Once when he was asked if only a few would be saved, Jesus replied that people have to strive to get into Heaven and to squeeze through the narrow door (Luke 13:23, 24). He did not say straight out that only a few can expect to be saved but when he started talking about the need for a struggle and to get in through a narrow door yes was written all over it. So all do not go to Heaven, namely, those who don’t strive. He did say then that only a few go to Heaven. When anybody asks you if your pub can hold many punters and you tell them that they need to do something hard to get in it is obvious that you are indicating that it does not. Jesus was doing the same thing here. It is laughable that some argue that 99 out of hundred would be few to Jesus who wants all to be saved – meaning that not many doesn’t mean not many here (page 288, Handbook of Christian Apologetics). But when Jesus was on such a serious subject he was hardly likely to be unclear and childish. Only a few go to Heaven so the rest must suffer forever. If he had been talking to himself saying so few will be saved we might believe the laughable interpretation of this but when he said it to others who would have taken him to mean few in the real sense that is what he meant. If sincerity could save most would be saved.

Hell is an essential part of the Christian faith and is what Jesus is really all about.