event_horizon wrote:Yeah but we're not talking about "anything." It's stupid that you would compare this to "anything." Let's stick to the subject.
I am sticking to the subject. The subject is hell being used as a "tool". A tool for what, to scare people into going to church? Millions do not go to church and have absolute no desire to do so. Not very effective there. Is it a tool to keep people in church? The decline in church membership has been steadily dropping for years. Not very effective there, either. Is it a tool to control people? As I already stated, statistically, the sins that beset the world are almost identical within the church. As a tool, it is failing miserably. If it were truly an effective tool, people WOULD be afraid to do ANYTHING that might send them to hell.
event_horizon wrote:We're talking about the most fearful thing ever imagined -- a place where you go to burn forever and ever. And you sure did sound afraid earlier when you said, "truth be told, that is what we all deserve and I wouldn’t wish that on anybody." Well, if you're not afraid of "Hell" then why wouldn't you wish that on anybody?
Seriously? What kind of person would I be if I wished people would spend an eternity in hell? An evil person might do that. Do you wish people would spend an eternity in hell? I will not even use the expression "go to hell" as so many people say without even thinking. No, what I said was a statement of fact. We are all deserving of hell. Fortunately, Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins so we don't have to. What a marvelous and wonderful loving God we have in Christ Jesus!
event_horizon wrote:But now, all of a sudden, you seem to almost be pretending like "Hell" is no big deal or is a fictional place, and act like nobody ever gets frightened when told about it...not even children.
Not so. Hell is a big deal, it is just a lousy tool, which is what we are talking about, as I believe what I wrote above and what you wrote below proves. When a person becomes a Christian, their focus is on Jesus and not on hell.
event_horizon wrote:I can tell you when I was a child and was told about "Hell," the thought of it scared the crap out of me, and I wasn't raised on religion. My mother used to tell me that if anybody asked, I was Protestant, with me not even knowing what that was. But I believed in "Hell" for some time, just because my grandmother told me about it while at one of several rare church outings with my great aunts. I'm guessing now she probably meant well, and figured if she told me (knowing my mother wasn't going to tell me anything of it) that it would keep me in line. It wasn't until I was 14 when I first began to gradually realize that it had to be a big ton of crap. But just from of that experience, it showed me just how powerful a tool the concept of "Hell" can be for children.
Thank you EH for proving my point. If it had been an effective tool you would still be on the straight and narrow.
event_horizon wrote:And I imagine that if I lived in a religious household that went to church on a regular basis, I could be brainwashed right now, with the thought of "Hell" possibly keeping me from looking for alternative answers to existence. Although, knowing myself, I would have most likely turned away from it at some point. But not everyone has a strong will.
Again thanks. It may, and I'll give you this, invoke an initial response, but certainly not a lasting one which I believe everyone would agree with if they are being honest.
event_horizon wrote:What is it with grandmothers wanting to bring their grandkids to these places? lol. Yeah the 4 or 5 times I went to church in my childhood (at 7-10 years old), I hated it. It seemed so depressing to me.
You got to love grandmothers. A church can be depressing if they are not preaching the whole word of God.
event_horizon wrote:You're getting too technical here. If children are being dragged into church and having the Bible instilled in their heads then it's indoctrination, whether they're officially Christians or not.
Again, indoctrination that apparently isn't working. Perhaps they are using lousy tools, like hell. Maybe they should try sowing seeds instead.