John Green is Now Writing for "the Other Team"

John Green is a missionary pastor's son from a Pentecostal background who has written some things for Discipleship Journal and Wittenburg Door. Below is his brief story and an article he wrote on hell.
A couple of years ago, after being a Christian for 40 years, I started asking the hard questions I have avoided for years, and as a result I rejected the Bible as untrue, and my wife and daughter also left the faith as we talked and discussed. Of course, the usual story - we lost most of our friends and my siblings and parents for the most part don't accept that we left because of reason (we are under Satan's power of deception). Anyway, best decision we ever made, and we are loving life, much to the consternation of Christians who expected we would be miserable and suicidal. Ha ha.

Part of my 'therapy' has been putting down in writing, things that are irrational in Christianity. I don't have a blog at this point (maybe down the road) but I thought I'd send one of my articles your way, and if it is something you'd like to share on your blog, you can. I am interested in helping Christians see the flaws in their belief system, and in breaking through the mind games which keep them bound.

I'd like to get back in the saddle, for the other team, so to speak (although the Wittenberg Door used to be a great outlet for my frustrations with Christianity).

God Wants To Send People To Hell.
By J. M. Green

Christianity’s God wants to send people to hell. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

When it’s all said and done, if there is a Hell, and people are deep-frying in it, it is because God wanted it that way. If there is a sovereign, all-powerful ruler of the universe, then of course, he gets his way.

After all, according to Christianity, Hell was God’s invention – his workmanship.

He decides who goes there and why.

It is by his decree that Hell is an eternal fiery torture chamber. Compared to God, Hitler was minor league!

You see, God just hates it when people don’t do what he wants. He can’t stand it when they don’t love him. He’s not at all happy when the red carpet isn’t rolled out for him. He has his pride, after all, and the Good Book says that he is a jealous god.

In fact, he gets so incensed when people don’t love, worship, sing his praises, and generally grovel before him, that he would rather torment them in endless agony than allow them to choose their own path.

You might say his passion burns for you.

“But,” Christians say, “God doesn’t want anyone to go to Hell. He loves people. He originally made Hell for Satan and his demons. People only go there because they refuse his offer of salvation. They’ll be there because they choose to be. They hate God so much they would rather go to Hell than Heaven.”

C. S. Lewis even shamelessly proposed that the doors of Hell are locked from the inside.

Yeah, right…. And the Jewish inmates in Auschwitz were there because they wanted to be too.

Christians just love getting their God off the hook for his bad behavior.

They would rather live in denial than acknowledge what kind of a being their Bible reveals their God to be.

God-excusers are like the good ol’ boy who explains why his wife-beating buddy isn’t such a bad guy. “He doesn’t want to hurt her. It’s her own damn fault. She just doesn’t do what she’s told. She brings it on herself.”

The most basic of human instincts is to avoid pain and suffering. So, if there was a Hell, and people had a choice between being burnt alive forever, or playing along with God’s demands and going to a blissful Heaven, we know which they would choose (unless they are crazy).

Now, another excuse that you will hear is “But God must punish sin.”



Is God not free to choose otherwise? Is there some external standard or superior being to which God must answer to?

And with regard to sin, which God must punish, according to Christianity, the worst offense is insulting or rejecting God. After all, the one sin which will not be forgiven is ‘blaspheming the Holy Spirit.’ Not doing things his way is a big deal to the god of the Bible. He says “It’s my way, or the fryway.”

The Kingdom of Heaven bears a strong resemblance to Kim Jong (may the imaginary God not rest his imaginary soul) il’s North Korea: a multitude of people who were all devoted to praising and exalting their ruler, while blind to the fact that their suffering subsidized his pleasure. If you haven’t ever watched a documentary about North Korea, you really should. You will see many parallels with Christianity. Yes, the God of the Bible is a narcissistic dictator, on a cosmic scale.

According to the doctrine of ‘salvation by grace’ you can live your life treating your fellow human beings with love and kindness and still be deserving of Hell, simply because you did not believe in God, or accept his plan of salvation.

In other words, you can be Jeffrey Dauhmer, killer-cannibal, and if you say a salvation prayer in faith, you get an eternity of bliss. Conversely, if you were one of Dauhmer’s victims, and didn’t accept Jesus before Dauhmer killed and dined on you, guess what – you’re going to burn in Hell for eternity. God is next in line after the serial killer is done, and you better believe that being murdered is a trip to Disneyland, compared to what God is going to do to you - forever.

What’s that you say? It doesn’t seem just? Oh, but remember “God’s ways are not our ways” and “Who are you to judge God?” Don’t you know you are endangering your soul by asking these questions?

Some Christians are rightly troubled by Hell. They recognize that a ‘loving’ person, who builds a special torture chamber in his basement, and plans on using it, presents a bit of a problem.

And so, in some Christian circles, the idea of Hell is being revised and chipped away at, as believers try to shape a kinder, gentler religion.

Traditionalists fiercely resist this, perhaps sensing that without the leverage that this threat affords, their power to control will be diminished.

The sensitive Christians who want to banish Hell may want to point you to Jesus. “He is the true revelation of God’s love” they will claim, as if this somehow magically erases Yahweh’s violent mood swings and killing sprees from the Old Testament.

You may wish to remind them that this Jesus whom they view as the epitome of love, threatened hellfire for anyone who calls his brother a fool (Matt. 5:22). And in the final book of the New Testament, (the apocalyptic orgy which is called Revelation,) the Lamb - gentle Jesus - will have a ringside seat for the perpetual burning torment of his enemies, breathing in the smell of burning flesh (Rev. 14: 9-11). Seems like both Yahweh and Jesus share an affinity for burnt offerings.

The real reason why people are willing to risk Hell is that they simply don’t find the evidence compelling. They view Hell as an empty threat from an imaginary god. A barbaric relic of the primitive roots of Christianity, shamelessly borrowed from Egyptian and Persian mythology. Hell is the big stick that religion uses to threaten people into compliance - a manipulation technology.

The non-theist doesn’t worry about Hell any more than the average Christian worries about Zeus sending them to Tartaros for not worshiping him. Christians have no qualms about ignoring other gods. After all, Zeus is just one of many long-dead gods who litter the annals of history.

Pascal, in his flawed wager, assumes that there is only one god whom we bet our destiny against, if we choose not to believe. He was so enamored of his own religion that he failed to understand the stakes involve every god who has ever been worshipped.

Non-believers recognize superstition and manipulation when they see it.

Hell doesn’t scare them, but the fact that millions of people still believe in Hell might.


Anonymous said...

This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read, and I don't say that to be insulting sir, I say it because I deeply fear for you.

You ask, "why must God punish sin?".

Because He is a just and a good God.

If a murderer killed your wife and children and was sent before a judge and the judge said,

"I can do as I wish. I am a merciful judge. You are free to go."

You would scream, cry, curse, call any authorities you could to have justice brought upon this unjust judge.

You have sinned. God is just. Do you honestly think you could have fellowship with a Holy God (you as a sinner) and for God to remain Holy? Absolutely not. Justice had to be wrought upon creation. But, God is Love, so he has provided a way to escape the only thing left for us - His just and holy wrath. That way is Jesus Christ.

Repent and believe the Gospel. It saddens me to a great degree to hear that you've brought your own ignorant opinions and perhaps ultimately judgement on your children.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear that you feel this way about Christainity, and though I will not try to convert you, I hope you will the time to hear what I have to say.

I am fifteen and have been a Christain my entire life. For a while, I struggled with the many of the same ideas you address in your post. I wondered why God couldn't just make people believe in Him, so that nobody would have to go to hell. If He was a loving God, why wouldn't he save people from suffering? A very wise person answered my question thus: God IS a jealous God- jealous for our affections, which, as He is perfect, does not make him vain (another of my questions). He does want us to believe in Him and worship Him, but he wants us to choose to do it, not just be hand puppets. Excuse my terrible analogy, but if you've ever read Harry Potter, it's like Voldemort's mother choosing to stop giving his father the love potion and take the chance that He would leave her, because she would rather him leave her than receive his unwillingly given handpuppet affections. Herein lies the difference between the blindly worshipping followers of Kim Jong Il and Christains- North Koreans have been tricked, lied to, and brainwashed so that their dictator might receive their handpuppet affections, rather than risk rejection.

As for your experiences with Christains who threaten you with Hell, warning you not to question God, I must say that every group of people has its weirdos. Yes, there are some extremists out there, and some very ignorant, tactless people out there who waste their entire life (often wrongly) condeming people to Hell. My grandfather was one such of these, unfortunately, and has on occasion hinted that my parents and us children were sinners on a one-way track to hell because we read Harry Potter and didn't believe that you had to be his twisted version of perfect to get to heaven. The majority of Christians, however, are reasonable, normal people. It is, unfortunately, the
ignorant condemers who usually come after people who question Christianity, threatening them unreasonably rather than be willing to sit down and have a calm, scholarly theological discussion, debating both sides of the argument.

I sorry that I don't have time to address all of your ideas, but I hope that you can find some of these reasonable people to discuss your beliefs with, and not judge Christains on what a few ignorant people say. Wouldn't that be like saying all Muslims are terrorist extremists, or all Mormans are polygamist cult followers? Some of the nicest people I know are Muslims and Mormans.