Please Stop
Please Stop

Episode 7 · 2 years ago

The Hell House one


This week leading up to Halloween, Anna, Bek and Laetitia watched a documentary about a Texan conservative church that created the concept of a "hell house" - a Christian-themed haunted house attraction. Join us as we discuss our thoughts on Hell in all of its complexities. What we believe, what the Bible has to say, how history has shaped modern evangelical belief and how it can be used as a tool of fear."

*This episode will involve the mention of such sensitive topics as rape, abortion, suicide, homophobia, incest and family abuse.

A quick caution to our listeners. This week's episode of please stop involves the mention of sensitive and triggering topics such as rape, abortion, incest, suicide, homophobia and family abuse. Listener discretion is advised. Welcome to please stop, a holistic critique of Christian pop culture through humor, honesty and thought provoking discussion here with me are my bestis. I'm just so happy we are Anna back hey and Latisha I. Tonight we will be discussing health. Yeah, pretty much. We all watched a documentary called Hell House and that is our launching pad. So the documentary Hell House was made in two thousand and one by filmmaker George Ratliffe, where he explores the bizarre phenomenon of Halloween hell houses, Evangelical frightfest that use grizzly skits to demonstrate the consequences of homosexuality, abortion, drug use and other condemned behaviors. This documentary chronicles of full performance season at the original Hell House in Texas in Dallas, which boasts annual audience of more than Tenzero people, and investigates whether it's organizers go too far in their attempt to save souls. It's actually released in two thousand and two. My bad. So it kind of like a haunted house, but churches run them for, say, youth to walk through, all the general public to go through, and instead of being like ghosts that are just spooking people, they have you walk through and what scenes, very realistic scenes, of things that they have determined are going to send you to hell. It's a phenomenon that's kind of spread across America, as I understand it, and they, yeah, seem to really go for shock factor, surprised, surprise, and they the I guess, end goal is that they will convert all these people, will essentially scare them into converting to Christianity and believing in God. Knock. So I'm going to read you, guys, some names of characters, fictional characters, and you're going to tell me if they would end up in heaven or in Hell. Okay, okay, this one in particular, it's for you, La Tasha, Cinderella. Oh my gosh, I don't understand why I'm always getting picked on. Heaven or Hell? Well, she's a treasure and a delight. Should clearly heaven. The animals love her. What about you back what do you reckon heaven or hell? Yeah, her opinion doesn't matter. Heaven because she did a lot of hard work. She worked out her salvation. Oh, isn't it like yeah, not works or something? All right, James, crank it up a notch iron man, Tony Stark I heaven or hell, but of a playboy saved the world. No, mean, technically he is the savior of the entire world, like you said. Isn't that Jesus? Yeah, heaven because he had a brilliant character arc. I'm sorry, I didn't realize heaven was run by playwrights and people who appreciate good plots and characters. Don't realize heaven wasn't run by play rights and fictional people. Oh Yeah, well, you say, as he had. He was a terrible person, but he went from being playboy to more philanthropist right, and then he wasn't. Okay. So, to people who don't know me, I was very much not a tiny start fan, but even okay, you say that you was a terrible person because of he was a playboy and all that, but even in that he came from his own like issues. was being raised by a terrible person. Howard start is awful and it's set into all each other stuff. was he a billionaire? Yeah,... by default he doesn't get into heaven. I'm a right well know that he used she's money for the good of things. And did he toys? Yeah, I mean I don't think that billionaire should exist, but we're talking about fictional universes. Year, also the Bible. Oh yeah, that another fictional so within that same universe. Fan Off, this is a tough one. He wiped out half of civilization, but he did so for the good of all mankind. Right, just multiply resources. It's a lot harder to do than stuffing your fingers. Also, he did a lot for nature by wiping out half of all civilization. So right, you know, environmentalist than us. Maybe getting into heaven. I mean that good, that bad people are bad. It does it even out? Also, do you feel personally attacked? What? I have no emotional investment in marvel anymore after what they did Captain America and Bucky and the last film. So now I am not feeling personally attacked. Be No emotions at all. I had no emotions whatsoever and I I have let go of the fact that Captain America was completely out of character and the last film. But what would I know? Sure, it's a question. I reckon. I reckon. Darosh is in Hell because because he didn't believe in Jesus Christ. I mean there are literal gods like sore and stuff. So does Jesus exist in this universe? That's great question. I mean, just because that is the current universe, is Christian ideology about how you get to heaven or hell, doesn't mean that it's the ideology of how you get to heaven or hell in the Marble universe. So in a General Sense, Oh, I will tell you who is going to hell in that universe? Odin worst father of the freaking universe. Just wanted to say that. Fair enough. Yeah, Rory Gilmore Hell. Who? Why? Why did roory go to he's mean. But she was a good ste she fat, shame the Ballerina. She super entitled. She had everything given to her and still she was really mean to her mum when her mom was like, oh no, you went to jail for crashing a boat that wasn't yours, and she left him mom to go over her grandparents because she was like, Oh mom, you're a bitch, and like that's just really entitled and she's very spoiled. Absolutely, she is spoiled. She also, like, slept with a married man twice. If you look at the year in the life. Yep, Logan, while he's not married but he is engaged. HMM, Yep, Yep, she she made poor choices. And if we're just going simply on good choices and bad choices, yeah, I mean, okay, so you read Moby Dick five times, but, like you know, was that a good choice? Supermasetti, if you've seen the show, you'll get it. I've never shown it. I for shot a Gilmore girl, so I have no idea. Well, let's be superficial. Let's be superficial, superficial, based on face value. Heaven or hell. Well, Hell Beck is showing you a picture of RAW. I Know Have Rory Gilmore. He's look at that smug face. Yeah, yeah, I guess she's in Hell. Good to know. You heard it first here. Rory Gilmore is in Hell. Rachel from Glee, Oh, she's in Hell. She's a nacissist. I Love Rachel. No in that she never a pult like she knows she is what she is and she goes for it and I think that's great. But she shoved her soul like she's gone and she knows it too. So don't feel like I know enough to weigh in here, but from what I've seen, from the first season of Glee, because that's as far as I went. Seems kind of me. Far As you need to go, really? Yeah, yeah, I don't know. Well, yeah, but again, if she's a narcissist and that's why she deserves to go to hell, don't we all? Yeah, I mean they're probably all already in hell. It's a game of brons character and I've never watched a game of thrones. Danny, Oh denniers, don't even start me on danners. Heaven or hell. She's in Hell. But but I'm very pain to say that. I'm very pain to say that. But she's also impervious to flames, as she's Mother Dragon. She's fine. She's probably fine. She probably runs till yeah, you know, just so dragon. Yeah, actually... Hell. Yeah, chilling, flaming like a Damon Marge Simpson, heaven or hell, holy sweats heaven, looking after that family and keeping him Intel like knowing. No, no, she didn't, hell, because the Simpson's the show is a actual hell reality. She's an a prison planet. Yeah, yeah, right, yeah, okay, but she goes to chapels America. Yeah, the title would be hell. Let's drags her family to church. She's trying to save them there in purgatory and she's like we still have a chance. She has hair that reaches to heaven. That's the real stairway to heaven. MADGE's hair. She was apparently meant to have rabbit ears in sid what. So created that growing? Are you serious? I do anything, Kitty. She was meant to be a rabbit. She was meant to be a rabbit. Okay, why about Jack? I'll google it. In the similar vein, Ned Flanders Heaven or hell? HIDILY, who neighbors? I think he's in heaven's in heaven because, yeah, he was annoying that he had a good heart. Yeah, and those ones have to go to heaven. I would rather hang out with ned then homer any day. This is true. I mean, I want to be cool at all, but be like, fuck you Christians, but Ned Flanders would be nice and wholesome to hang out with. Also, in that episode where he auditions to be in that play with marge, he takes a shirt off and fit. No, I'm still disturbed by that, saying, well, I can't help that. Okay, you don't seem to be disturbed by the fact that marge has rabbit is under her cone shaped. He was not cone. But but you're not. Okay, when the Fland is being hot, you need to put a picture of hot ned flanders on our instagram face. Yes, no, lie, and I have a copy. Take. I have a boyfriend. You call him Ned sometimes. I mean, what is said in the heat of the moment cannot be judged. I'm a right tiss smooth. Yoda interesting. Well, I'm not. Well, thest and Star Wars, Wah, I don't really know. I am in yeah, adding soons Yoda. No, I know Yoda, but I don't. I can't really make a judgment on him and his character. Isn't he just like super wholesome and wise? Yes, but he shots all late. In need a layer of light to Jediz thing and corrupt hi. Come on, okay, don't talk about what you don't know. Well, you brought it up. Yoda's in heaven because he's a nice guy. I mean he put up with Winey Luke Skywalker for so long. He's got a vested interest in maintaining balance in the force and he does everything he can to help. Yoda is cool all right, and he's cheeky. He hits people with his cane when he's upset at them. He's really good at fighting. He likes zips around and then he's like, oh, but I'm old and they need like a baby. You do. Yes, Oh, baby Yoda. I don't know anything about it, but the means are cute. It's what other chicken nuggies? Is Cannon to the show? Or is I just a mean? I know, I think it's just a mean. People just like cuteify Yoda and everybody likes chicken nuggets. You realize we're gonna get some fan boy. He's like, well, actually, it's not called Bo Yoda. No, it's just the lidification of the Star Wars Cannon. Moving on from our Chicki Nuggie, you have friend Dumbledore. Oh, he's in Hell. Yeah, he's saw a hell. He's running the place. He's running the place. Yea. Wasn't he like, oh good, I. No, no, no, he ditched Harry after at an abusive situlation. And okay, okay, he knew serious was innocent. But but the reason why he didn't get serious out of Ash Caban was because you're serious. Had raised Harry, Harry would not have needed Dumbledore, and dumbledore manipulated all of it. I guess this is all very much my Sieri, not cannon. Harry is so much more pliable because of the way he was raised. Yeah, with abuse, trauma, neglect, all that. He was looking for a father figure. Briefly had had grid and then Dumbledore came along. Of course he was going to do anything Dumbledore said and he analyzed him and worshiped him when a hundred percent dumbledore is pulling the strings the entire time. Oh, I'm sorry, he died from wizard cancer, but still he's in the bad place. Why? I get why Dumbledore did everything, because she was the smartest one and so could pull the strings and had everything on the chess board. And I think he's a brilliant character. By in Hell don't job. I I went in thinking that I knew how...

I would respond. I believe I would respond thinking, well, this is ridiculous, because I knew it was done by conservative evangelicals and I'm used to them being ridiculous. So I went in thinking, well, it'd be funny to watch. Not Funny as in humorous, but I can't believe this is a thing. I didn't expect to be really overwhelmed by it. The scenes were quite traumatic. I think, and I know that that's the kind of point that the church is trying to do, but it's not. That isn't how people can make rational decisions. And I know that salvation isn't meant to be rational. It's meant to be a hard thing, but I think it does more damage than watch they're trying to do. Even even if you are in that mindset of Evangelical, even then I still think it is too awful. Again, like, I knew also that they exist, the hell houses, and I know that the one started by this church kind of popularized it and it's become quite a movement and they're all over the US, at least. I don't know if they have them in other countries. I certainly don't think they have them in Australia. Maybe they do, but the idea of scaring people into becoming Christians, I mean it's pretty effective. I know people who were scared by that person revelation about where Jesus says to one of the churches that because you are neither hot nor cold, but because you're lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth. And it's literally scared them into becoming Christian and this sphere of hell few. If you take away that fear, I wonder what's what there is after that. But this documentary in particular and the it was bizarre because of how enthusiastic these kids were about getting certain roles in the actual house. For example, they're girls going, oh, I want to be the girl that gets raped in a nightclub, or Oh, I want to be the suicide girl, which like from a third party view, that's kind of crazy. I think there's such a lack of a connection between the real world and the Evangelical World that they they have this idea of what the real world is like and that's what they portray in these hell houses, that it's sinful and just shows the complete lack of understanding of what's something outside. There was a moment where one of these two characters were talked to characters to people were talking in this I guess he was a youth pastor was telling this girl to type down as she was writing a script for the event for the Hell House and he was trying to read out or magic the gathering, and she was like magic, the gathering of magic, because now it's magic the gathering, and she just couldn't understand the simple game that he was trying to tell her to write down, and it just it's such a stupid thing, but it just kind of signified to me just how out of touch the Evangelical World is with the real world. And Yeah, if you don't have a context for the message that you're giving, how, if you don't understand your audience, how can you communicate with them effectively? Was Ridiculous and awful and I don't think you should scare anyonet into doing anything. You know, it was funny is that the young guy who was ended up being a DJ's at a raise or whatever, and he was talking about his own experiences. She plaited rose he's been to and how he little like Oh, yeah, and they carry out like dozens of bodies, and then he corrected himself and was like, Hohna, I'm exaggerating that, maybe like eight or nine. And you know people would be doing this on that and and I just had the feeling that you haven't even been too a rove dude. It's like they can't be of the world and yet there are still something so enticing about the world, like the girls who were excited about let's be the whatever victim at the rave and they are all excited about it. It's just, it was. Is it cognitive dissonance? It's just it was bizarre. I...

...also found something else that was really interesting is whenever the people would audition for the roles and they would get into it, I mean like so I would fully really get emotional and yeah, for sure, they were very yeah, and you can tell, oh, there's a lot of repression there that you're a you're allowed to let out into this type thing. So they auditioned for the roles that they got to play and there were things like an incest scene and an abortion scene and a suicide scene and, yeah, the rave scene and domestic violence and they're all these, all these things, and they would audition to be part of these scenes and, like you said, Tish, they they was so in it, like they just threw them their whole self into these roles and would the emotion, like I just yeah, didn't make sense to me that there was such the such a it was a competition to have these roles. Yes, it was, like you said, it was really bizarre. There was also there was a line that one of them said when they were when they choose the actors, it's not just based on their talent, it's also based on their faithfulness, which just adds a whole another layer of bizarre. You know, is that chick is a way better actress, so you know she'd be great for the scene, but she's never on time to church, so we're going to give it to the other girl. Yeah, yeah, there was a followed the story of the don't man, who is in charge of it, or one of them. So he was a single father and was just after his children and he's wife had left him by having a fairly in someone she met online, and he shame very not chill, but going with emotions, short of thing. But then one of the change and the Hell House was a man who finds out his wife was having an affair or someone on the Internet. And did he write that or but I wasn't coincidental, no idea, I don't know, but it was just I also find it interesting that the situations that were being portrayed where the people would make the bad decisions and then go to hell. They were all victims in their own right. The characters were victims in their own right. So the girl who was assaulted at the rave, who don't still ashided, well, she was to blame for making the wrong decisions to get there. And the young boy in the classroom who shot himself, who had been bullied, well, he still again made the wrong decisions. And so there's a disconnection between Christ understanding and compassion and well, you're going to hell. Was a lot of victim blaming. Yeah, Oh, at the IT opens with a statement by the pastor of the church, or maybe the youth pastor of the church, saying that if, if they don't do this, if they don't run the Hell House, the responsibilities on his shoulders. If he so people who don't believe in Jesus and go to hell. Yes, it's partially their fault, but because I'm a watchman and I know the truth, if I don't tell them the danger of hell, then their blood is on my hands, which is ridiculous first of all, but also what a heavy burden to carry, to feel that that weight of somebody else's eternal consequences on your shoulders. And it's your responsibility. And where do they all about you? And where does that end? Right, yeah, way to make it all about you and like I'm God's Personal Messenger and I've got this job to do. And, yeah, if I don't do it, or they may never hear about God and they may never know just how bad hell is. And then what is he also saying about all the other Christians who are out there and not running hell houses? He's basically saying that they're condemning all of their surrounding people who don't believe to hell to and I know it just seemed a little arrogant. And also, yeah, like the the weight of that on some of the children if they believe the same thing, which cut the end, there's an alticole sort of thing. So when you finish with the Hell House, you end up in this and and by this stage you've seen school...

...shooting, you've seen suicide, you've seen incest, rape at a nightclub, seeing somebody go through an abortion in vivid, brutal detail. You've seen a the gay men die from AIDS and not except Jesus at the last minute, whereas, compared to the girl who was going through an abortion did except Jesus at the last minute. We've seen a whole bunch of horrific acts happen, and then at the very end they show the ones who didn't accept Jesus in hell being tortured and saying things like, Oh, why did I make that decision? Why didn't I turn to Jesus? I'm in so much pain, I'm feeling the burning, like what the heck, and also showing the ones who did receive Jesus as they're going to heaven and and it's nice and safe and Jesus loves you. And then after that they empty all these kids into this room, a lead them in there and then a pastor of the Church tells them basically the gospel briefly and scares them and says, look, this is what awaits you, eternal fire if you don't accept Jesus. Now. If anyone wants to make a commitment to Jesus, walk through the store. There are chaplains there who will pray with you. And if you don't decide to go through it, just know that this is what your future will hold. And they had five seconds to choose. Yeah, which was really weird in front of all their peers. Yep, Yep. They had five seconds to decide whether or not to walk through those doors, and he even said because the next group is coming. It's like the individuals don't really matter. It's about the Junger job. You you can just shry it or you can't deshy, but you don't really mutter. Yeah, it's numbers of soul saved. Right. So, so they sold the tickets for seven dollars a ticket and they said that they got about thirteen thousand people through each year. So they would have made eighty onezero dollars on those. You know, ten to thirteen thousand people are based on thirteen. I also did another so over seven years, if we take that number down to like seventy five thousand, just to even it out, because you know, they didn't necessarily get thirteenzero every year, over seven years, they would have made five hundred and twenty five thousand dollars on these hell houses. And sure, I'm sure there was cost involved because they built sets and had props and and all of that stuff. I would say the label was all volunt foreign carry church. Yeah, and all the all the actors would have been voluntary. But that's a lot of money to make from exploiting people's fear. There was a particular scene where there was a guy, I assume a pastor or a chaplain or someone, was actually debating with these kids that had gone through the Hell House and at the end they were saying, well, I've been to a rave, so am I going to hell? And you know that that girl at that rave none of it was her fault, so she's going to hell because she committed suicide. Is that what you're telling me? I have friends that are same sex attracted and therefore, you know, are they going to hell? Like, what's what's the deal? And everything he said just made it all sounds so shallow and pointless. Yeah, and I think basically he is. His whole concept was it's an ugly, evil world. That's it. That's the end. If you're talking about the salvation of young people, this isn't how to go about having real salvation and traumatizing people. I very much go off and a most UN Christian way, many explicit because, let's be real here, this isn't about shaving souls. This is about scaring people and that is not the Gospel. Duck's not real faith. You're seeking for these children. Ere that's fear. Somebody was thinking of running a hell house. I'd say, first of all, scrap that idea and do like a haunted tool, maybe something fun and not something that makes kids question their eternity. In based on the worst thing possible. Rather than it being a positive based choice, it's going to be a negative based choice, which those things never stick. It's like working out. You'd don't want to go, Oh, I'm going to work out because I don't want to get fat. No, like you want to work out because you want to feel strong. There's like proven research done that if what motivates you is more positive than it just it's more likely to succeed. It's a whole, like love versus fhear right. Do you want... be motivated by love or do you want to be motivated by fear? And do you want your thirteen year old kid who goes to youth group every now and then and ends up at a hell house, to be motivated into? Say, you believe this whole Jesus thing and you want your kid to believe it too, and you want to send them to one of these things? Do you want them to choose that way? Because they're scared of something, or do you want them to choose it because they wholeheartedly want to jump on board because they love something? I don't know. I'd probably ask them that and ask them what they think is best and and maybe encourage them to do a psychology course and also not do it. Yeah, and also, what is their definition of what hell is, what's based on? What is their theology, if this is what they think is the best way to win souls to Christ? And also, I guess, the most important question, what would Jesus doing? So the promise it's I'll take the side the truth. The boys decide the way. And Hell was fiery place of damnation. I remember my parents had a Bible study going out of the House and I was allowed to come in to watch a movie when I was like seven or eight, and it was a man who had been stung by a stingray or a jelly fish or something and he'd actually died, medically died, and he had his experience was that he had gone to hell and it was a terrifying place, and then he cried out to God, I think, and then was able to be taken from hell back to being alive and he was on the operating the other table and then decided that he was going to give his life to God and then he went around telling the story as a sort of a testimony thing. And you can go into the whole science of your brain shutting down and like hallucinations or whatever, but at the time that really really freaked me out and I I was a terrified little kid of a lot of things. And this wasn't Christian, but I used to watch like UNSOUL's mysteries and that had a lot of like stuff that involved mysteries, like demons and angels and all that kind of stuff, and so I was really into all of that. So I was I was terrified because I thought I was I was a little think and I over thought a lot of stuff, and so I really did think heaven and hell were physical places. And then growing up as a teenager, a lot of my friends were on Christians and I was really terrified for them and I would invite them to use group. The Big Church that I went to for a while used to do it at the movies type series and where they would pick a movie and then talk about this theology you could get from these popular movies and it was a real big thing to bring you friends to but then it was sort of like, this is going to sound bad, but it was sort of like what I had done my part in bringing them to church for one Sunday. So My responsibility was done, which is really awful. But at the same time I felt such a guilt and a burden to bring them to church that I think it was like a psychological way of coping, like will, you've done all that you can. Now it's up to them and God. Yeah, so I was. I grew up terrified of hell, not really from anyone's specifically telling me. I think it was because I just overthought things. There was one thing I went through. It was a youth group thing. We went to the big church and it was I think it was after Columbine and that young Christian girl had been killed. Rachel and I did a whole media saying on she had died for her face and that she had gone to heaven and that they were using her death as a springboard for our use to then showed ourselves from going to hell till I guess, and in a way that short of what the hell houses do, torment kids into making decisions yeah, so hell was very real for me. I grew up with an understanding drilled into me that hell was a real place as well. I mean my parents were missionaries, so their whole purpose for going overseas has to save people from going the hell, from internal damnation, which is supposed to be be a kindness, I guess.

But I grew up thinking that it was a real place and that my friends are all going to go there. I don't know where this came from. I know in in revelation it talks about all of your deeds will be judged right and then, according to your deeds, who are judged? And I don't know what happens next. But I had this idea that they'd be a big TV screen in on the way to heaven, not necessarily in heaven, and all of the bad things I had ever done would be played on that screen and everybody in the world could see it, including Jesus and God and everybody, and I would have to own up to all of these things and it was like this debt that I was racking up. Kind of any time it did something bad, I'd remember it and be like, Oh man, my grandma's going to see that like all, man, everyone's going to know that I did this, and it's kind of like when you put off going to the dentist for a really long time and you know that one day you're gonna have to go and he'll be like, Oh, you've somebody cavities and it will suck. And Yeah, just it was in the back of my mind every time I did something bad. That great, another thing that I'm gonna be embarrassed about. And not just that, but like it might be held against me. I won't be able to go to heaven. I just yeah, it was really scary and it took a long time for me to undo that weird thought that that's what's going to happen to me after I die. And Yeah, that's hell. was just a real thing. Growing up, a lot of the same like a fire flames burning, all the demons will be there. So also, growing up in India, it's a very spiritual country where they kind of take it for granted that there are spirits and there are gods and there is another world thinly veiled by the physical world, and they have so many religious festivals all year round and they have big statues that they build out of paper machine and they paint and bright colors of gods and also of the demons and also of like some of their gods are really scary to or scary looking, I guess, like I'm the goddess of death. anyways. So in my brain I was like, well, obviously they are real, they're just demons and they're all going to be in hell. So I guess if I go to hell I'm going to have to go face to face with Kalima and or they're going. It's going to suck. Really almost tangible to me growing up, and it did a good job of scaring me into constantly going back to Jesus and being like, I'm so sorry, please don't show that to my mom when we get to heaven because I don't want that scene, but okay, I know you have to do it. Really Bizarre, Hey, yeah, and very, very frightening. I resonate with that a lot, like the whole everybody's going to see what you've done at the end of things. They'll be this big like presentation and the whole world will see and I don't know if that was something that was like said in passing or taught me at school or what whatever. It might have been. But yeah, that the whole idea, that it would be like a movie played of Your Life. All the bad things were highlighted in some way, shape or form and you were then judged for them and there was some kind of tally at the end. For No, I remember I lied a couple of times when I was little and I genuinely thought I was going to hell. I used to for years and years and years, I used to pray every night before going to sleep confess my sin, because I genuinely thought that lying was going to send me to hell. And Yeah, I guess my image of Hell was flames and torture and scary darkness, and I remember being very, very scared of the dark as a kid. So you know whether there was a link there or not? Yeah, probably, just because it was my fear, I assumed that that's what hell would be. You know. Yeah, yeah, also had this idea that hell was all your worst fears. So the fact that you were scared of the dark and you like, well, obviously hell is going to be you know this. And Yeah, I was the same way. I felt like darkness, people shaming me. That was another big thing. Like in various forms just figured it would be a lot of that. We make it very personal, don't we, even though we are and I was afraid of being burned as well, like when I was a kid, I am I jumped on my mom when she was in the kitchen when I was about four years old and she had a Sourcepan of boiled milk in her hand and it likes spilt all over me and all down my arm and I remember my skin under my arm under the tap of water running it and the skin was just peeling off, and so in a lot of my childhood photos from that time I've got this big bandage all down my arm and I was always scared of burns after that and the idea that I'm going to burn in Hell when you know what that feels like, it's like terrifying and you will do anything to avoid it. So...

...and yeah, fear is a good motivator in that sense, but it's not for the right reasons. Yeah, that's right, and it does sound like for all of us it was. It was fear, and that's exactly what this hell house. Yeah, think comes back to is that fear, like you say, is that really the best motivator for anything? No, I don't. I mean I don't. I'm not scared of going to hell anymore. So didn't last. So as a case study, work here. Only time it don't good. God. Total it all kind of really began around the Middle Ages. So back then almost everyone believes strictly in the Church doctrine, and that included that they believes that are either going to heaven or to help the church use this to their advantage, they found way is to charge people at every turn. You've got your ties that you would give to the church, but they'll show you would have ties to be that tie. So back in the Middle Ages, if your child died, if your child was ill, the big thing was you needed to get them back ties, otherwise they would go to hell. And the Church really did profit off that. But because if you want that ties, you couldn't be buried on the church land, which then meant you couldn't pass through the gates of Heaven. So the huge instance of the Medieval Church profiteering off this was the sale of indulgences, which were papers which declared absolution from sins, even those yet not committed. The very wealthy would be able to purchase this forgiveness by donating heaps to the church, which then had a huge classest thing between the nobles and their surfs sort of thing. For All the wealth of the Church had, they paid no taxes which gave them economic power. It's Bili. Yeah, well, it which even surpassed from the wealth of some monarchs. So bishops and clergy owe their allegiance not to the king but to the pope in Rome, which led to more than a few conflicts over the years. And even kings and Queens were subject to Paypul Authority, those who chose not to risk having the Church Church's Rath against them, which the church was all powerful type thing. A bit of boring history, but for for example, so the pope took sides in the Norman invasion, excommunicating English King Harold for supposedly going back on a holy pledge which to support William mcnorman, jus claimed to the right. It was all very game of thrones type thing. And then you had the challenges to the Roman Church. So, because of the size and the wealth and the part church led to increasingly great corruption in the Middle Ages, and as a response to this we had a very little known German priest called Martin Luis and his thesis, which she nailed to the door. But even then they use hell to profit to so the entire thing religion is about controlling the masses. I mean you see that now, especially now power dynamics and power structures and governments, with what's going on in the world right now. Would protests things like black lives matter. The church can sometimes use that, but that isn't godly and if you do that then you're going to hell like. It's all very much very tiresome, but it's going to go on. The church even weaponized. Is it wasn't as a government weaponize? Is it like with Donald trump going outside the fish capolion church across from the White House and holding up a Bible? And of course then the far rights follow that and and use fears the tactic that you have to vote the far right. Otherwise if you're a Democrat, then you aren't a Christian and you will go to hell like. It's just it's it's just really tiresome. So my whole thing is critical thinking. Well, it should be. It is an noise, but I'm a big fan of it. Another reason why people are afraid of Hell is because they don't know what the Bible says about Hell. They've kind of got a vague idea and then they have this notion that is pushed by the church to that that. Yeah, it's not well thought out or researched or understood, and I'm by no means a scholar in this, but I do know that the word used for hell and Old Testament versus the word used by Jesus when he was speaking, versus what is in revelation and what... used in other parts of the Bible. A lot of them are quite different. Some of them refer, as some of you might know, to get Hannah, which was a waste dump where dogs would fight, so they would be gnashing of teeth and they were constantly fire pits burning because that's where the trash would go. So it was used as a reference to a bad place. So when Jesus would talk about hell, he would use that word to represent that place as and you don't want to go there. And in the Old Testament a lot of the times hell was used it was to represent she'll, which in Judaism is literally like a hole in the ground. It's just where you go when you die, not some kind of purgatory not some kind of punitive place of judgment. It's just where you are after you die. So when King David was a crying out Lord, keep me from the depths of Shell, he was not saying keep me from going to hell where I'm going to burn forever. He was saying keep me from dying, because I want to live along and have your favor and your blessing and have gray hairs like but because the English language doesn't have such a diverse array of explanations for things. And then you get propaganda from the church pushing an agenda in order to scare people to stay inside and to listen to whatever they have to say. I mean there's a lot of room for error and if people don't know themselves, then yeah, it's quite easy to control people based on fear. So yeah, I don't know if you haven't done it already and you want to maybe look up hell and the Hebrew and the Greek influence and the Gricor Roman influence on Jewish thinking about the afterlife. Yeah, it's quite interesting and it's not necessarily what pop culture will present and it's not necessarily what the hell houses present either. Yeah, when you see little face will gives you help, gives you hell when you aren't going to give help. Doing my history studies and learning how the Church's profited off the belief in Hell and how it should. It's a control tactic the people. And also, I can't believe in an ethical God who would torment people forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever. I can't. I can't, even without all the theological backing too that I can't believe that it is with a God that is meant to be righteous and compassionate, and I think that we put God in a box when we say things like that. Like that. How can we define the divine? I think that we as humans, think we even have the basic comprehension, and I know that I'd probably get a lot of flat from a lot of religious people with a lot of boys that. I'm sorry, I'm not the scared ten year old anymore. I mean, I can't definitively state anything because I don't know. Okay, if humans are made in the image of God and we have this capacity for great love, and we can, we don't want to see humanity suffer endlessly. Obviously nobody wants that. So how could God, who is the image that we were made in, who also loves but to like in the nth degree? How could he also want that? And in the New Testament it states clearly that Christ came so that all may be saved and reconciled to God. And that word all means all, I guess. And the fact that the Bible is so mixed up on its theology of what Hell is over time and over translation and it can't even agree itself. I mean, is hell deep down in the middle of the Earth because Jesus descended into hell? Is it a lake of fire that Satan and his devils will be thrown into? And do all of the rest of us who don't believe get thrown into it too? Is it? I mean in the chronicles of Narnia and the last book, the last battle, one of the Carla means so one of the Non Christians, he gets to go to heaven and as I and says to him. Oh, even though you worshiped a false god, you thought you were worshiping me. Are You thought you were worshiping a false God, but really you were worshiping me this whole time. You're a good person. You get to go to heaven. We can't definitively say who gets to go and who doesn't get to go, and what is hell and does it exist? All of that is saying that I believe in the Bible at all. So like putting that aside. If I did know, I wouldn't believe in the hell and I don't know what happens after we die. But I can't believe in endless suffering of humans, like it's just too harsh. And more about restorative judgment and justice and less about punitive justice, because again, that's fear and love. Right.

Love is restoration and rehabilitation and reconciliation and fear is punishment, like love me or I will hurt you, versus love me because I'm awesome, and so you, and you love me too. All all was a modern churches believes are also shaped from a lot of medieval and middle age literature and art. That isn't theologically when you look at Dante, Jan Surno and the nine circles of hell, that isn't biblical, it's just a man's way of thinking. Paradise lost all of that, and yet all of our modern shupplease a tenants of our faith are based off all those renaissance middle aged art and literature and it's not theological. So I grew up thinking black and white and I never really realized that even in the Christian faith there are many different beliefs on hell I saw. I think that's interesting. I didn't realize that until as an adult, towards the end of my studies in theology. Necessary I believed that. I definitely did not believe that hell was a physical place. I believe that hell was the absence of God or the absence of light or the absence of the divine in a person's life or living eternity without God. I still don't believe that hell is a physical place and I guess I leaned towards the concept that we as humans sometimes create our own hell in the lives that we lead. So Hell isn't necessary early something that happens after we die, but it can be something we experience in life. As far as what I believe happens after we die, I don't know, but there is this concept in Buddhism basically Nirvana is the goal and Nirvana simply means the snuffing out of the flame. So the end, I guess I leaned towards that at this stage in my journey, that it just ends, and I feel like that's peaceful and hopeful, not sad and scary. When I was doing some studies on world religions and I looked into Buddhism, I felt sad for them because I felt like a snuffing out or a end was hopeless. It wasn't anything beyond. But now, when I think about it, I see how much that increases the value of what we have now, rather than placing all our value in what comes next. Like comment and subscribed this podcast. Do that thing. If you don't already, check us out on facebook and instagram. Will we post them? Mediocre means? And Yeah, we look forward to continue this conversation with you. Guys. Thanks for joining us. Please stop and from Anna BEC and tissue, like to say goodbye. Thank please, don't hack me for my star warsh opinions, and Dumbledore is definitely in hell. Do you want us to leave the room? Give you some privacy. You asked me to do it. This is completely on you, guys. I have zero opinion. It's a game of game, game game of thrones. What is it? It's a game, game, game of throwers. It's a game game GAM up, the gathering of magic, the gathering magic. Nor how do you spell Weigia Board.

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