Another Look at This Blasphemous Charge Against the God of the Universe
We have looked at this topic in the past. That is, man's traditional understanding of what happens to the lost upon death. The vast majority of Christendom teaches that the God of scripture takes the unbeliever and subjects him to unrelenting, fiery torture without hope or relief. This is quite a charge against the God of the universe.
Even the Nazis didn't use their ovens to torture and kill. Yet even if they had, the fire would burn for a moment, then the suffering would pass. But traditional Christendom teaches that the young Jewish mother, separated from her child, then killed and thrown into an oven by those monsters, opens her eyes in unimaginable horror and torment inflicted by God himself. Suffering we cannot conceive. She then waits her family members who have the same fate. No hope. No relief. All inflicted by the God of the universe.
Blasphemy. And men today joke about this place! They take perverse joy in unbelievers opening their eyes in God's torture chamber. They cheer on God as he tortures them! How horrible!
Understand the implications
First, we must understand that this doctrine of men would necessarily apply to vast majority of all men who have ever lived.
According to the tradition, every person who has reached the age of accountability would be subject to God's torture chamber. I'll start with an excerpt from Fr. John Furniss' book, "Little Volume for Children" (Permissu Superiorum, New York: P.J. Kenedy, Excelsior Catholic Publishing). The book is fully approved by his superiors and carries this Approbation: "I have carefully read over this Little Volume for Children and have found nothing whatsoever in it contrary to the doctrine of Holy [Catholic] Faith; but, on the contrary, a great deal to charm, instruct and edify our youthful classes, for whose benefit it has been written." (William Meagher, Vicar General, Dublin)
This is the message Furniss and the Catholic Church have to charm the children:
Look into this room. What a dreadful place it is! The roof is red hot; the floor is like a thick sheet of red hot iron. See, on the middle of that red hot floor stands a girl. She looks about sixteen years old. Her feet are bare, she has neither shoes nor stockings on her feet; her bare feet stand on the red hot burning floor. The door of this room has never been opened before since she first set her foot on the red hot floor. Now she sees that the door is opening. She rushes forward. She has gone down on her knees on the red hot floor. Listen, she speaks! She says; "I have been standing with my feet on this red hot floor for years. Day and night my only standing place has been this red hot floor. Sleep never came on me for a moment, that I might forget this horrible burning floor. Look," she says, "at my burnt and bleeding feet. Let me go off this burning floor for one moment, only for one single, short moment. Oh, that in the endless eternity of years, I might forget the pain only for one single, short moment." The devil answers her question: "Do you ask," he says, "for a moment, for one moment to forget your pain. No, not for one single moment during the never-ending eternity of years shall you ever leave this red hot floor!" "Is it so?" the girl asks with a sigh, that seems to break her heart; "then, at least, let somebody go to my little brothers and sisters, who are alive, and tell them not to do the bad things which I did, so they will never have to come and stand on the red hot floor." The devil answers her again: "Your little brothers and sisters have the priests to tell them these things. If they will not listen to the priests, neither would they listen even if somebody should go to them from the dead." Oh, that you could hear the horrible, the fearful scream of that girl when she saw the door shutting, never to be opened any more. The history of this girl is short. Her feet first led her into sin, so it is her feet which, most of all, are tormented. While yet a very little child, she began to go into bad company. The more she grew up, the more she went into bad company against the bidding of her parents. She used to walk around the streets at night, and do very wicked things. She died early. Her death was brought on by the bad life she led.Horrifying. And remember, man charges God with this torture.
But lest we think that the Catholic Church is alone in this blasphemous charge aging God, we turn to the "prince of preachers" Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Unconverted man, you will sleep in the dust a little while.There are countless more examples, but I shall spare you.
When you die your soul will be tormented alone-
there will be a hell for it.
But at the day of judgment your body will join your soul,
and then you will have twin hells--
body and soul shall be together,
each brim full of pain,
your soul sweating in its inmost pore drops of blood,
and your body from head to foot suffused with agony;
conscience, judgment, memory, all tortured,
but more- your head tormented with racking pains,
your eyes starting from their sockets with
sights of blood and woe;
your ears tormented with shrieks;
your heart beating high with fever;
your pulse rattling at an enormous rate in agony;
your limbs crackling like the martyrs in the fire,
and yet not burned up;
yourself, put in a vessel of hot oil, pained,
yet coming out undestroyed;
all your veins becoming a road for the hot feet of pain to travel
on; every nerve a string on which the devil shall ever play his
diabolical tune of Hell's Unutterable Lament; your soul for ever
and ever aching, and your body palpitating in unison with your
Never Forget, Men Accuse God of This Torture
Remember as you read, these and others teach this is God inflicting this horrifying torture. Have you ever burned a finger putting your hand into an oven or accidentally grabbing a hot pan without an over mitt? These believe that momentary and limited pain is inflicted over the entire body, without relief, into the eternal future, without hope. And is personally inflicted by God himself.
What a blasphemy. And it is all built on the lie of Satan, "you shall not surely die."
And let us not forget, Catholic friend, a fire awaits even the faithful in your Purgatory. The nuns telling me as my mother passed that she was at peace now and in the arms of my late father deny central Catholic teaching. She is not at peace according to your church. She is suffering pain like we cannot imagine and for a period we cannot know. This is why you will try to sell me masses, to save her soul from the flame. That which Christ could not do, my donation and your mass, and Mary can?
These are all blasphemies against the God of scripture.
Blasphemy should be enough to abandon this doctrine, but it is taught in a contradictory manner. We are told it is God's hell, he created it, he runs it, he does the torturing. Yet, when they come to the "gates of hell," we are told it is also Satan's HQ! Things like "Rock and Roll Music is from the pit of hell!" So, it's from God? This is all superstitious nonsense! It is Platonic theory mixed with Greek Mythology.
Scripture teaches us what the "gates of hell" are. Scripture tells use what the "fire which is not quenched where the worm does not die" is for, to whom it applies, and the time period in which it will be used. The Savior himself tells us who is cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. But men reject scripture and warm themselves by the fires of hate and vengeance and blame God. They'd rather have their Greek mythology then let the scripture teach.
Similarly, scripture tells us what happens to the dead. Scripture tells us how to comfort the bereaved. Yet men would rather have their traditions than submit to God's truth. They do not understand God's plan, so they think the only way to get men to believe is to threaten them with torture.
We do not accept contracts or confessions made under duress or threat, yet this is all some preachers have to offer. We do not consider slowly burning someone's flesh anything less than cruel and unusual punishment. Yet we charge the God of Justice, Mercy, and Love with things we consider cruel and worthless. Pure blasphemy.
How true were the Savior's words to the most religious men of his time:
"You make the Word of God of no effect by your tradition."
Here a few other blog entries on this and related topics:
- Deconstruction Don Perkins' Introduction to "Hell" - Part 1
- Deconstructing Don Perkins' Introduction to "Hell" - Part 2
- How to Prevail Against the Gates of Hell
- Traditions That Interfere With True Understanding
- Another Look at "Gehenna" (Hell)
- More on the Traditional Doctrine of Hell
- Animals Are Souls And You Are Not Immortal
- The State of the Dead
- Scripturally Comforting the Bereaved - Part 1
- Scripturally Comforting the Bereaved - Part 2