Please Stop
Please Stop

Episode 7 · 1 year 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 suchas rape, abortion, incest, suicide, homophobia and family abuse. Listener discretionis advised. Welcome to please stop, a holistic critique of Christian pop culturethrough 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. Tonightwe will be discussing health. Yeah, pretty much. We all watched adocumentary called Hell House and that is our launching pad. So the documentary HellHouse was made in two thousand and one by filmmaker George Ratliffe, where heexplores the bizarre phenomenon of Halloween hell houses, Evangelical frightfest that use grizzly skits todemonstrate the consequences of homosexuality, abortion, drug use and other condemned behaviors.This documentary chronicles of full performance season at the original Hell House in Texasin Dallas, which boasts annual audience of more than Tenzero people, and investigateswhether it's organizers go too far in their attempt to save souls. It's actuallyreleased in two thousand and two. My bad. So it kind of likea haunted house, but churches run them for, say, youth to walkthrough, all the general public to go through, and instead of being likeghosts 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 sendyou to hell. It's a phenomenon that's kind of spread across America, asI understand it, and they, yeah, seem to really go for shock factor, surprised, surprise, and they the I guess, end goal isthat they will convert all these people, will essentially scare them into converting toChristianity and believing in God. Knock. So I'm going to read you,guys, some names of characters, fictional characters, and you're going to tellme 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. Heavenor Hell? Well, she's a treasure and a delight. Should clearly heaven. The animals love her. What about you back what do you reckon heavenor hell? Yeah, her opinion doesn't matter. Heaven because she did alot of hard work. She worked out her salvation. Oh, isn't itlike yeah, not works or something? All right, James, crank itup a notch iron man, Tony Stark I heaven or hell, but ofa playboy saved the world. No, mean, technically he is the saviorof the entire world, like you said. Isn't that Jesus? Yeah, heavenbecause he had a brilliant character arc. I'm sorry, I didn't realize heavenwas run by playwrights and people who appreciate good plots and characters. Don'trealize heaven wasn't run by play rights and fictional people. Oh Yeah, well, you say, as he had. He was a terrible person, buthe 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 muchnot a tiny start fan, but even okay, you say that you wasa terrible person because of he was a playboy and all that, but evenin that he came from his own like issues. was being raised by aterrible 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 intoheaven. I'm a right well know that he used she's money for the goodof things. And did he toys? Yeah, I mean I don't thinkthat billionaire should exist, but we're talking about fictional universes. Year, alsothe 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, justmultiply 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 evenout? Also, do you feel personally attacked? What? I have noemotional investment in marvel anymore after what they did Captain America and Bucky and thelast film. So now I am not feeling personally attacked. Be No emotionsat all. I had no emotions whatsoever and I I have let go ofthe 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 Jesusexist in this universe? That's great question. I mean, just because that isthe current universe, is Christian ideology about how you get to heaven orhell, doesn't mean that it's the ideology of how you get to heaven orhell in the Marble universe. So in a General Sense, Oh, Iwill tell you who is going to hell in that universe? Odin worst fatherof 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 reallymean to her mum when her mom was like, oh no, you wentto jail for crashing a boat that wasn't yours, and she left him momto go over her grandparents because she was like, Oh mom, you're abitch, 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, sheshe made poor choices. And if we're just going simply on good choicesand bad choices, yeah, I mean, okay, so you read Moby Dickfive times, but, like you know, was that a good choice? Supermasetti, if you've seen the show, you'll get it. I've never shownit. I for shot a Gilmore girl, so I have no idea. Well, let's be superficial. Let's be superficial, superficial, based onface value. Heaven or hell. Well, Hell Beck is showing you a pictureof RAW. I Know Have Rory Gilmore. He's look at that smugface. Yeah, yeah, I guess she's in Hell. Good to know. You heard it first here. Rory Gilmore is in Hell. Rachel fromGlee, 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 sheis and she goes for it and I think that's great. But she shovedher soul like she's gone and she knows it too. So don't feel likeI know enough to weigh in here, but from what I've seen, fromthe first season of Glee, because that's as far as I went. Seemskind of me. Far As you need to go, really? Yeah,yeah, I don't know. Well, yeah, but again, if she'sa 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 gameof brons character and I've never watched a game of thrones. Danny, Ohdenniers, 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 tosay 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 inpurgatory and she's like we still have a chance. She has hair thatreaches to heaven. That's the real stairway to heaven. MADGE's hair. Shewas apparently meant to have rabbit ears in sid what. So created that growing? Are you serious? I do anything, Kitty. She was meant to bea rabbit. She was meant to be a rabbit. Okay, whyabout Jack? I'll google it. In the similar vein, Ned Flanders Heavenor hell? HIDILY, who neighbors? I think he's in heaven's in heavenbecause, yeah, he was annoying that he had a good heart. Yeah, and those ones have to go to heaven. I would rather hang outwith ned then homer any day. This is true. I mean, Iwant 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, hetakes 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 bedisturbed by the fact that marge has rabbit is under her cone shaped.He was not cone. But but you're not. Okay, when the Flandis being hot, you need to put a picture of hot ned flanders onour instagram face. Yes, no, lie, and I have a copy. Take. I have a boyfriend. You call him Ned sometimes. Imean, 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 amin 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'the just like super wholesome and wise? Yes, but he shots all late. In need a layer of light to Jediz thing and corrupt hi. Comeon, okay, don't talk about what you don't know. Well, youbrought it up. Yoda's in heaven because he's a nice guy. I meanhe put up with Winey Luke Skywalker for so long. He's got a vestedinterest 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 withhis cane when he's upset at them. He's really good at fighting. Helikes zips around and then he's like, oh, but I'm old and theyneed like a baby. You do. Yes, Oh, baby Yoda.I don't know anything about it, but the means are cute. It's whatother chicken nuggies? Is Cannon to the show? Or is I just amean? I know, I think it's just a mean. People just likecuteify Yoda and everybody likes chicken nuggets. You realize we're gonna get some fanboy. He's like, well, actually, it's not called Bo Yoda. No, it's just the lidification of the Star Wars Cannon. Moving on fromour 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 theplace. 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'tget 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 isso much more pliable because of the way he was raised. Yeah, withabuse, trauma, neglect, all that. He was looking for a father figure. Briefly had had grid and then Dumbledore came along. Of course hewas going to do anything Dumbledore said and he analyzed him and worshiped him whena hundred percent dumbledore is pulling the strings the entire time. Oh, I'msorry, he died from wizard cancer, but still he's in the bad place. Why? I get why Dumbledore did everything, because she was the smartestone 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. II went in thinking that I knew how...

I would respond. I believe Iwould respond thinking, well, this is ridiculous, because I knew it wasdone by conservative evangelicals and I'm used to them being ridiculous. So I wentin thinking, well, it'd be funny to watch. Not Funny as inhumorous, but I can't believe this is a thing. I didn't expect tobe 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 todo, 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 bea hard thing, but I think it does more damage than watch they're tryingto do. Even even if you are in that mindset of Evangelical, eventhen I still think it is too awful. Again, like, I knew alsothat they exist, the hell houses, and I know that the one startedby this church kind of popularized it and it's become quite a movement andthey're all over the US, at least. I don't know if they have themin other countries. I certainly don't think they have them in Australia.Maybe they do, but the idea of scaring people into becoming Christians, Imean it's pretty effective. I know people who were scared by that person revelationabout where Jesus says to one of the churches that because you are neither hotnor cold, but because you're lukewarm, I will spit you out of mymouth. And it's literally scared them into becoming Christian and this sphere of hellfew. If you take away that fear, I wonder what's what there is afterthat. But this documentary in particular and the it was bizarre because ofhow enthusiastic these kids were about getting certain roles in the actual house. Forexample, they're girls going, oh, I want to be the girl thatgets 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 theEvangelical World that they they have this idea of what the real world is likeand that's what they portray in these hell houses, that it's sinful and justshows the complete lack of understanding of what's something outside. There was a momentwhere one of these two characters were talked to characters to people were talking inthis I guess he was a youth pastor was telling this girl to type downas she was writing a script for the event for the Hell House and hewas 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 shejust couldn't understand the simple game that he was trying to tell her to writedown, and it just it's such a stupid thing, but it just kindof signified to me just how out of touch the Evangelical World is with thereal world. And Yeah, if you don't have a context for the messagethat you're giving, how, if you don't understand your audience, how canyou communicate with them effectively? Was Ridiculous and awful and I don't think youshould scare anyonet into doing anything. You know, it was funny is thatthe 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 beento and how he little like Oh, yeah, and they carry out likedozens of bodies, and then he corrected himself and was like, Hohna,I'm exaggerating that, maybe like eight or nine. And you know people wouldbe doing this on that and and I just had the feeling that you haven'teven been too a rove dude. It's like they can't be of the worldand yet there are still something so enticing about the world, like the girlswho were excited about let's be the whatever victim at the rave and they areall 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 reallyinteresting is whenever the people would audition for the roles and they would get intoit, 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 intothis type thing. So they auditioned for the roles that they got to playand there were things like an incest scene and an abortion scene and a suicidescene 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 scenesand, 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 suchthe such a it was a competition to have these roles. Yes, itwas, like you said, it was really bizarre. There was also therewas a line that one of them said when they were when they choose theactors, it's not just based on their talent, it's also based on theirfaithfulness, 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 forthe scene, but she's never on time to church, so we're goingto give it to the other girl. Yeah, yeah, there was afollowed 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 afterhis children and he's wife had left him by having a fairly in someone shemet online, and he shame very not chill, but going with emotions,short of thing. But then one of the change and the Hell House wasa man who finds out his wife was having an affair or someone on theInternet. 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 thatthe situations that were being portrayed where the people would make the bad decisions andthen go to hell. They were all victims in their own right. Thecharacters were victims in their own right. So the girl who was assaulted atthe rave, who don't still ashided, well, she was to blame formaking the wrong decisions to get there. And the young boy in the classroomwho shot himself, who had been bullied, well, he still again made thewrong decisions. And so there's a disconnection between Christ understanding and compassion andwell, you're going to hell. Was a lot of victim blaming. Yeah, Oh, at the IT opens with a statement by the pastor of thechurch, 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, theresponsibilities on his shoulders. If he so people who don't believe in Jesus andgo to hell. Yes, it's partially their fault, but because I'm awatchman and I know the truth, if I don't tell them the danger ofhell, then their blood is on my hands, which is ridiculous first ofall, but also what a heavy burden to carry, to feel that thatweight 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 PersonalMessenger and I've got this job to do. And, yeah, if I don'tdo it, or they may never hear about God and they may neverknow just how bad hell is. And then what is he also saying aboutall the other Christians who are out there and not running hell houses? He'sbasically saying that they're condemning all of their surrounding people who don't believe to hellto 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 believethe 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 thisand and by this stage you've seen school...

...shooting, you've seen suicide, you'veseen incest, rape at a nightclub, seeing somebody go through an abortion invivid, brutal detail. You've seen a the gay men die from AIDS andnot except Jesus at the last minute, whereas, compared to the girl whowas going through an abortion did except Jesus at the last minute. We've seena whole bunch of horrific acts happen, and then at the very end theyshow 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 toJesus? I'm in so much pain, I'm feeling the burning, like whatthe heck, and also showing the ones who did receive Jesus as they're goingto heaven and and it's nice and safe and Jesus loves you. And thenafter that they empty all these kids into this room, a lead them inthere and then a pastor of the Church tells them basically the gospel briefly andscares them and says, look, this is what awaits you, eternal fireif you don't accept Jesus. Now. If anyone wants to make a commitmentto Jesus, walk through the store. There are chaplains there who will praywith you. And if you don't decide to go through it, just knowthat 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 walkthrough 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. Youyou 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 soldthe tickets for seven dollars a ticket and they said that they got aboutthirteen thousand people through each year. So they would have made eighty onezero dollarson those. You know, ten to thirteen thousand people are based on thirteen. I also did another so over seven years, if we take that numberdown to like seventy five thousand, just to even it out, because youknow, they didn't necessarily get thirteenzero every year, over seven years, theywould 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 hadprops and and all of that stuff. I would say the label was allvolunt foreign carry church. Yeah, and all the all the actors would havebeen 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 apastor or a chaplain or someone, was actually debating with these kids that hadgone 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 youknow that that girl at that rave none of it was her fault, soshe'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 everythinghe said just made it all sounds so shallow and pointless. Yeah, andI think basically he is. His whole concept was it's an ugly, evilworld. That's it. That's the end. If you're talking about the salvation ofyoung people, this isn't how to go about having real salvation and traumatizingpeople. I very much go off and a most UN Christian way, manyexplicit because, let's be real here, this isn't about shaving souls. Thisis 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 ofrunning a hell house. I'd say, first of all, scrap that ideaand do like a haunted tool, maybe something fun and not something that makeskids question their eternity. In based on the worst thing possible. Rather thanit 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 wantto go, Oh, I'm going to work out because I don't want toget fat. No, like you want to work out because you want tofeel strong. There's like proven research done that if what motivates you is morepositive than it just it's more likely to succeed. It's a whole, likelove versus fhear right. Do you want... be motivated by love or doyou want to be motivated by fear? And do you want your thirteen yearold kid who goes to youth group every now and then and ends up ata hell house, to be motivated into? Say, you believe this whole Jesusthing and you want your kid to believe it too, and you wantto send them to one of these things? Do you want them to choose thatway? Because they're scared of something, or do you want them to chooseit 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 thinkis best and and maybe encourage them to do a psychology course and also notdo it. Yeah, and also, what is their definition of what hellis, what's based on? What is their theology, if this is whatthey think is the best way to win souls to Christ? And also,I guess, the most important question, what would Jesus doing? So thepromise it's I'll take the side the truth. The boys decide the way. AndHell was fiery place of damnation. I remember my parents had a Biblestudy going out of the House and I was allowed to come in to watcha movie when I was like seven or eight, and it was a manwho had been stung by a stingray or a jelly fish or something and he'dactually died, medically died, and he had his experience was that he hadgone to hell and it was a terrifying place, and then he cried outto God, I think, and then was able to be taken from hellback to being alive and he was on the operating the other table and thendecided that he was going to give his life to God and then he wentaround telling the story as a sort of a testimony thing. And you cango 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 wasa 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 likestuff 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 Iwas terrified because I thought I was I was a little think and I overthought a lot of stuff, and so I really did think heaven and hellwere physical places. And then growing up as a teenager, a lot ofmy friends were on Christians and I was really terrified for them and I wouldinvite them to use group. The Big Church that I went to for awhile used to do it at the movies type series and where they would picka movie and then talk about this theology you could get from these popular moviesand it was a real big thing to bring you friends to but then itwas sort of like, this is going to sound bad, but it wassort of like what I had done my part in bringing them to church forone Sunday. So My responsibility was done, which is really awful. But atthe same time I felt such a guilt and a burden to bring themto church that I think it was like a psychological way of coping, likewill, 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 justoverthought things. There was one thing I went through. It was a youthgroup thing. We went to the big church and it was I think itwas after Columbine and that young Christian girl had been killed. Rachel and Idid a whole media saying on she had died for her face and that shehad gone to heaven and that they were using her death as a springboard forour use to then showed ourselves from going to hell till I guess, andin a way that short of what the hell houses do, torment kids intomaking decisions yeah, so hell was very real for me. I grew upwith 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 hasto save people from going the hell, from internal damnation, which is supposedto be be a kindness, I guess.

But I grew up thinking that itwas 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 talksabout all of your deeds will be judged right and then, according toyour 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 theway to heaven, not necessarily in heaven, and all of the bad things Ihad ever done would be played on that screen and everybody in the worldcould see it, including Jesus and God and everybody, and I would haveto own up to all of these things and it was like this debt thatI was racking up. Kind of any time it did something bad, I'dremember it and be like, Oh man, my grandma's going to see that likeall, man, everyone's going to know that I did this, andit's kind of like when you put off going to the dentist for a reallylong time and you know that one day you're gonna have to go and he'llbe 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 somethingbad. That great, another thing that I'm gonna be embarrassed about. Andnot just that, but like it might be held against me. I won'tbe able to go to heaven. I just yeah, it was really scaryand it took a long time for me to undo that weird thought that that'swhat'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 samelike 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 oftake it for granted that there are spirits and there are gods and there isanother world thinly veiled by the physical world, and they have so many religious festivalsall year round and they have big statues that they build out of papermachine and they paint and bright colors of gods and also of the demons andalso 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 mybrain I was like, well, obviously they are real, they're just demonsand they're all going to be in hell. So I guess if I go tohell I'm going to have to go face to face with Kalima and orthey'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 toJesus and being like, I'm so sorry, please don't show that to my momwhen 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, likethe 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'tknow if that was something that was like said in passing or taught me atschool or what whatever. It might have been. But yeah, that thewhole 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 youwere 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 waslittle and I genuinely thought I was going to hell. I used to foryears and years and years, I used to pray every night before going tosleep confess my sin, because I genuinely thought that lying was going to sendme to hell. And Yeah, I guess my image of Hell was flamesand torture and scary darkness, and I remember being very, very scared ofthe dark as a kid. So you know whether there was a link thereor not? Yeah, probably, just because it was my fear, Iassumed that that's what hell would be. You know. Yeah, yeah,also had this idea that hell was all your worst fears. So the factthat you were scared of the dark and you like, well, obviously hellis going to be you know this. And Yeah, I was the sameway. I felt like darkness, people shaming me. That was another bigthing. 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 andI 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 whenI was about four years old and she had a Sourcepan of boiled milk inher hand and it likes spilt all over me and all down my arm andI remember my skin under my arm under the tap of water running it andthe skin was just peeling off, and so in a lot of my childhoodphotos from that time I've got this big bandage all down my arm and Iwas always scared of burns after that and the idea that I'm going to burnin Hell when you know what that feels like, it's like terrifying and youwill do anything to avoid it. So...

...and yeah, fear is a goodmotivator 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, thinkcomes back to is that fear, like you say, is that really thebest 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 acase study, work here. Only time it don't good. God.Total it all kind of really began around the Middle Ages. So back thenalmost everyone believes strictly in the Church doctrine, and that included that they believes thatare either going to heaven or to help the church use this to theiradvantage, they found way is to charge people at every turn. You've gotyour ties that you would give to the church, but they'll show you wouldhave ties to be that tie. So back in the Middle Ages, ifyour child died, if your child was ill, the big thing was youneeded to get them back ties, otherwise they would go to hell. Andthe 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'tpass through the gates of Heaven. So the huge instance of the Medieval Churchprofiteering off this was the sale of indulgences, which were papers which declared absolution fromsins, even those yet not committed. The very wealthy would be able topurchase this forgiveness by donating heaps to the church, which then had ahuge classest thing between the nobles and their surfs sort of thing. For Allthe wealth of the Church had, they paid no taxes which gave them economicpower. It's Bili. Yeah, well, it which even surpassed from the wealthof some monarchs. So bishops and clergy owe their allegiance not to theking but to the pope in Rome, which led to more than a fewconflicts 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, butfor 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 supportWilliam mcnorman, jus claimed to the right. It was all very game of thronestype thing. And then you had the challenges to the Roman Church.So, because of the size and the wealth and the part church led toincreasingly great corruption in the Middle Ages, and as a response to this wehad a very little known German priest called Martin Luis and his thesis, whichshe nailed to the door. But even then they use hell to profit toso the entire thing religion is about controlling the masses. I mean you seethat now, especially now power dynamics and power structures and governments, with what'sgoing 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 youdo 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 itwasn't as a government weaponize? Is it like with Donald trump going outside thefish capolion church across from the White House and holding up a Bible? Andof course then the far rights follow that and and use fears the tactic thatyou have to vote the far right. Otherwise if you're a Democrat, thenyou aren't a Christian and you will go to hell like. It's just it'sit'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 knowwhat the Bible says about Hell. They've kind of got a vague idea andthen 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 byno means a scholar in this, but I do know that the word usedfor 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 theBible. A lot of them are quite different. Some of them refer,as some of you might know, to get Hannah, which was a wastedump where dogs would fight, so they would be gnashing of teeth and theywere constantly fire pits burning because that's where the trash would go. So itwas used as a reference to a bad place. So when Jesus would talkabout hell, he would use that word to represent that place as and youdon't want to go there. And in the Old Testament a lot of thetimes hell was used it was to represent she'll, which in Judaism is literallylike 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 cryingout Lord, keep me from the depths of Shell, he was notsaying keep me from going to hell where I'm going to burn forever. Hewas saying keep me from dying, because I want to live along and haveyour favor and your blessing and have gray hairs like but because the English languagedoesn't have such a diverse array of explanations for things. And then you getpropaganda from the church pushing an agenda in order to scare people to stay insideand to listen to whatever they have to say. I mean there's a lotof room for error and if people don't know themselves, then yeah, it'squite easy to control people based on fear. So yeah, I don't know ifyou haven't done it already and you want to maybe look up hell andthe Hebrew and the Greek influence and the Gricor Roman influence on Jewish thinking aboutthe afterlife. Yeah, it's quite interesting and it's not necessarily what pop culturewill 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 youaren't going to give help. Doing my history studies and learning how the Church'sprofited off the belief in Hell and how it should. It's a control tacticthe people. And also, I can't believe in an ethical God who wouldtorment people forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever. Ican't. I can't, even without all the theological backing too that I can'tbelieve 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 thingslike that. Like that. How can we define the divine? I thinkthat we as humans, think we even have the basic comprehension, and Iknow that I'd probably get a lot of flat from a lot of religious peoplewith a lot of boys that. I'm sorry, I'm not the scared tenyear old anymore. I mean, I can't definitively state anything because I don'tknow. Okay, if humans are made in the image of God and wehave this capacity for great love, and we can, we don't want tosee humanity suffer endlessly. Obviously nobody wants that. So how could God,who is the image that we were made in, who also loves but tolike in the nth degree? How could he also want that? And inthe New Testament it states clearly that Christ came so that all may be savedand 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 whatHell is over time and over translation and it can't even agree itself. Imean, is hell deep down in the middle of the Earth because Jesus descendedinto hell? Is it a lake of fire that Satan and his devils willbe thrown into? And do all of the rest of us who don't believeget thrown into it too? Is it? I mean in the chronicles of Narniaand the last book, the last battle, one of the Carla meansso one of the Non Christians, he gets to go to heaven and asI and says to him. Oh, even though you worshiped a false god, you thought you were worshiping me. Are You thought you were worshiping afalse God, but really you were worshiping me this whole time. You're agood person. You get to go to heaven. We can't definitively say whogets to go and who doesn't get to go, and what is hell anddoes it exist? All of that is saying that I believe in the Bibleat all. So like putting that aside. If I did know, I wouldn'tbelieve 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, becauseagain, that's fear and love. Right.

Love is restoration and rehabilitation and reconciliationand fear is punishment, like love me or I will hurt you,versus love me because I'm awesome, and so you, and you love metoo. All all was a modern churches believes are also shaped from a lotof medieval and middle age literature and art. That isn't theologically when you look atDante, 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, andyet all of our modern shupplease a tenants of our faith are based offall those renaissance middle aged art and literature and it's not theological. So Igrew up thinking black and white and I never really realized that even in theChristian faith there are many different beliefs on hell I saw. I think that'sinteresting. I didn't realize that until as an adult, towards the end ofmy studies in theology. Necessary I believed that. I definitely did not believethat hell was a physical place. I believe that hell was the absence ofGod or the absence of light or the absence of the divine in a person'slife or living eternity without God. I still don't believe that hell is aphysical place and I guess I leaned towards the concept that we as humans sometimescreate our own hell in the lives that we lead. So Hell isn't necessaryearly something that happens after we die, but it can be something we experiencein life. As far as what I believe happens after we die, Idon't know, but there is this concept in Buddhism basically Nirvana is the goaland 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 itjust ends, and I feel like that's peaceful and hopeful, not sad andscary. When I was doing some studies on world religions and I looked intoBuddhism, I felt sad for them because I felt like a snuffing out ora end was hopeless. It wasn't anything beyond. But now, when Ithink about it, I see how much that increases the value of what wehave now, rather than placing all our value in what comes next. Likecomment 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 warshopinions, and Dumbledore is definitely in hell. Do you want us to leave theroom? Give you some privacy. You asked me to do it.This is completely on you, guys. I have zero opinion. It's agame 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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