No longer religious. Still afraid of hell

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CartilageJones's picture
No longer religious. Still afraid of hell

Hi,

I used to be a Christian until I found a Jewish website that explained how the New Testament contradicts the Old. I now describe myself as agnostic, but I'm still very afraid that there may be a hell. This is stopping me from living my life and while I doubt that I'll become a Christian again, I sometimes wonder if there's any chance the Jewish or Christian faith was right. My own common sense tells me that eternal torment is unfair and absurd, but the god of the Bible clearly doesn't have the same thought processes or values to humans. I get that this might be seen as a good reason to dismiss hell as untrue, but being brought up to accept that god is mysterious has allowed me to believe a lot of things that many people would think are crazy.

Does anyone know if there's any way I might be able to let go of this fear? Maybe some way to make a firm decision on whether or not I should be religious? People have advised me to learn more about religion and the world in general; maybe there's something specific I should look at?

Thanks

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Hawk Flint's picture
Can you give me the

Can you give me the contradictions?

CartilageJones's picture
It was so long ago, I can't

It was so long ago, I can't remember. But I did find the website in question. It's not actually arguing the whole New Testament contradicts the Old, just Paul's work: http://www.judaismvschristianity.com/index.htm#

Hawk Flint's picture
@Cartaligejones,

@Cartaligejones,

May I speak to you in private messaging?

The Pragmatic's picture
Oh Hawk, come on...

Oh Hawk, come on...

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CartilageJones's picture
I really don't want to go

Hawk, I really don't want to go into a lengthy discussion about a religion I gave up on 8 years ago. If you have anything you want me to look at, I'll consider it.

Hawk Flint's picture
It will take several hours to

It will take several hours to watch, but look up (if you're willing) "The Pauline paradox" at YouTube or 119ministries.com. I'll put up a link to both as well. Also, I apologize if it seemed that I was playing on your fear. I don't try to do thks, I'm actually against using fear tactics, but I know already that my way of preaching may seem like that at times, and I tend to speak without thinking alot.

http://www.119ministries.com/

https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLo5QtZ1bPyYbLdyw2AnVKX9tm-b2YJFhQ

The Pragmatic's picture
@ Hawk Flint

@ Hawk Flint

Are you a part of 119 Ministries?

"119 Ministries is associated with the Hebrew Roots movement, which claims Jesus did not do away with many of the Old Testament restrictions on diet, ceremonial purity, and so forth. This is a view long rejected by the majority of Christian theologians."
http://www.gotquestions.org/119-Ministries.html

Hawk Flint's picture
No I'm not part of that

No I'm not part of that organization, but thanks for directing me to the gotquestions.org. What I'm watching (the Pauline paradox part 4) has nothing to do with "unclean food" or "Clean shaven..."I forgot already. I'm going to look at their video about the Unclean foods that they put up.

The Pragmatic's picture
@ Hawk Flint

@ Hawk Flint

- "@Cartaligejones,
May I speak to you in private messaging?"

Even though you ask politely, it's still like sticking your foot inside the door while asking if you can come in and preach. If you instead had written "If you would like to talk to me about this, just send me a private message.",
you would just be inviting the other party to contact you, if and when they feel they want to do so. Then I wouldn't have reacted at all.

Hawk Flint's picture
@The Pragmatic,

@The Pragmatic,

Thank you for pointing that out. I am not good with words, and I don't intend to force my beliefs on anyone.

The Pragmatic's picture
Good to know. :)

Good to know. :)

Seenyab4's picture
Letting go of the fear of

Letting go of the fear of being wrong is something I and many others have gone through. I myself am a recently turned atheist, and this fear of hell is something I went through as well. Honestly, time is the best answer I can give. I haven't fully shed the phase either, I am still experiencing it. I often question myself about religion and an afterlife, but I think this is a good thing. Constantly thinking is what makes us not just people, but independent and intelligent people.

As for the contradictions in the bible don't worry it's loaded with them ; )

For making a firm decision, research and your own conclusion is the best path available.

I hope this helps you, and if there are any further questions you have, feel free to express them. We are all more than happy to give you advice.

P.S. If you're looking for someone to talk to directly, there is a freedom from religion hotline. They're there to listen to your problems, and they're a non bias group, who make you think, and don't advocate atheism or theism.

CartilageJones's picture
That's great, thank you. :-)

That's great, thank you. :-)

I was just unsure what I should research. I was reading A History of God by Karen Armstrong, who argues that the Jewish faith evolved from earlier religions. But it seems she's got a lot of facts dead wrong, which has put me off reading any further. Now I don't know what to look at.

Also, I tried that hotline, but they don't seem to be open. Even during their opening hours. Have you used them?

Nyarlathotep's picture
@CartilageJones

@CartilageJones

All I can tell you is that this lingering fear of hell seems to be a common occurrence in people who leave Christianity. I've seen many people discuss it on this very site; but it doesn't seem to last long. Hang in there!

The Pragmatic's picture
@ CartilageJones

@ CartilageJones

This guy was also having trouble shaking the fear of hell, although he also had more generic anxiety problems.
http://www.atheistrepublic.com/forums/atheist-hub/hello-i-have-stupid-we...

It can be very hard to overcome things one has been taught from childhood. It's the same thing with superstition. I remember my surprise of how my otherwise rational father became hysterical when I put my keys on the kitchen table. But he had been taught from childhood that it was bad luck to do so, and reacted as his parents had done.

You should probably start asking yourself questions about what you believe in, and how you have come to that belief. What is the basis of those beliefs.

CyberLN's picture
This may sound trite, but

This may sound trite, but just remember that hell just isn't real. Say it outloud when the fear of it strikes you. Sometimes we have to learn things from the outside, in. In other words, if we say it out loud long enough, it will seep in and become part of ourselves.

Hawk Flint's picture
"My own common sense tells me

"My own common sense tells me that eternal torment is unfair and absurd, but the G[-]d of the Bible clearly doesn't have the same thought processes or values to humans. I get that this might be seen as a good reason to dismiss hell as untrue, but being brought up to accept that G[-]d is mysterious has allowed me to believe a lot of things that many people would think are crazy."

"Does anyone know if there's any way I might be able to let go of this fear? Maybe some way to make a firm decision on whether or not I should be religious? People have advised me to learn more about religion and the world in general; maybe there's something specific I should look at?"

The fear is something that G-d is trying to use to bring you back to Him. He puts the fear of Him into the hearts of those that are truly His children, the people of the new covenant. There are contradictions in the Bible, but they are only historical errors, such as how Judas died, or how many chariots Solomon had. There is nothing contradictory with the character of G-d, or with His plan of salvation. The Jewish people are wrong, and you can ask me any questions concerning the supposed contradictions, and I can give you answers.

And as for eternal torment, that is because of G-d's Holy and just attributes. He has said that He will punish the guilty, and all are guilty. When the first humans sinned, their bodies became tainted and subject to sin and death. Their bodies had "fallen." As a result, their children inherited a fallen from their parents, and so they all eventually do something that G-d hates at some point, hence the "all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of G-d." Sin is evil in G-d's eyes. He has declared that He will punish evil, and He would be a liar if He didn't. As it is, G-d has condemned lies as evil, and He is no hypocrite, if He lied, He'd be evil and unholy. But it is impossible for G-d to lie, for G-d is not evil, nor can He be. He can make and cause evil to fulfill His purposes, but that by no means makes Him evil. It is a spiritual thing, our spirits are tainted by evil, and while that degree may be greater or lesser on each person, it is evil nonetheless. He sent Christ to take the punishment upon Himself, providing the way out of punishment for all who believe. Do not reject G-d's voice (that is, the fear He puts in you), He is warning you to remain in His love.

As Paul washer said,

G-d saved you,
For Himself,
G-d saved you,
By Himself,
G-d saved you,
From Himself.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TXOWyjB7d24

[Edited to remove unintentional racism]

Ivinski Borokove's picture
Dmanit, Hawk Flint! Quit

You know, you should really prove your gods existence before preaching.

Greensnake's picture
Anyone who tries to connect a

Anyone who tries to connect a benevolent God with an eternal hell has very convincingly demonstrated a total departure from reality! Rationalization and denial have reached their ultimate peak! Goodness (guided by omniscience and omnipotence) cannot, ever, under any circumstances, as in NEVER, have anything to do with hell. The idea that infinite crimes, set up by God and committed by finite mortals, require infinite punishment is infinitely insane! Doubly so when a man or woman is using his or her mind (supposedly designed by God) to conclude that God doesn't exist.

So, poor God is bound by silly promises he made? Why did he make them? The sheer torture of hell, eternal to boot, is merely a reflection of limited, sick, and vengeful minds, be it of the authors or later interpreters of scripture.

You must believe in a very limited god if God must resort to threats and brute fear to get people to do the right thing. Every competent business manager manages better than God! By the way, "problem passages" in the Bible go far beyond a few erroneous figures or minor errors. Genesis I apes the Babylonian cosmos (which I explored in an old thread). The whole business of Moses leading a huge number of people out of Egypt is archaeological bull as studies eventually made clear. The whole point of the book of Ruth is to say that it is okay to marry outside of narrowly drawn racial lines; The book of Ezra, on the other hand, reflects the views of a die-hard racial purist who actually orders the Israelite men to divorce their foreign wives! And, of course, we have the folly of Noah's flood which would have left a huge, unmistakable impact in the geological record had it actually flooded the whole world. Then, there's that silly account about the Tower of Babel that makes every serious linguist laugh. Not every Christian would take all these stories literally. No doubt they carried symbolic meaning as well as an ancient sense of literal truth.

Algebe's picture
"The devil is going to use

"The devil is going to use Jews and Atheists..."

Forum guidelines item 5:
NO RACISM!

Algebe's picture
"And as for eternal torment,

"And as for eternal torment, that is because of G-d's Holy and just attributes. He has said that He will punish the guilty, and all are guilty. When the first humans sinned, their bodies became tainted and subject to sin and death. "

This vile claptrap might frighten small children, which is how religions infect people in the first place, but you're talking to grown-ups here.

Hawk Flint's picture
I'm not trying to offend

I'm not trying to offend anyone.

The Pragmatic's picture
Even so, claiming that you

Even so, claiming that you know the mind of god and trying to use that against someone who is afraid of hell, is below the belt. Don't you think?

Nyarlathotep's picture
The Pragmatic - "claiming

The Pragmatic - "claiming that you know the mind of god and trying to use that against someone who is afraid of hell, is below the belt."

I couldn't agree more. Get them while they are vulnerable seems to be the motto of the religious.

Ivinski Borokove's picture
Did I say that? No, I said

Exactly. Its a con artists tactic.

Greensnake's picture
Hawk Flint,

Hawk Flint,

"I'm not trying to offend anyone."

The devil uses Jews and atheists to ...

Sounds pretty offensive to me!

Ivinski Borokove's picture
"I'm not trying to offend

"I'm not trying to offend anyone."

Trying? Perhaps not. Succeeding? Yes.

Hawk Flint's picture
I'm sorry.

I'm sorry [if I offended].

Ivinski Borokove's picture
"I'm sorry."

"I'm sorry."

Anyone got a grain of salt?

Hawk Flint's picture
Everything I preached up

Everything I preached up there is in the bible, even if it's not said that way.

[I had to edit this because of an error]

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