“I don’t think hell exists…it is an invention of the Church to control people with fear,” retired Bishop reveals

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Does hell really exist

Religions tend to invent ideas and concepts just like every other creative human enterprise, and they have unleashed some unique ideas onto humanity. Most of these are centred around the notion of telling people what to do and how to live their lives, with the aim of convincing people that conformity to church guidelines will bring some intangible reward in the afterlife.

One example of many is the Christian belief that the one and only way not to eternally burn in Hell is to accept Jesus Christ as the saviour.

The concept of heaven and hell has been so ingrained into the human psyche that many people cannot see beyond this limiting paradigm to any other possibility.

But does hell exist?

Retired Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong, however, doesn’t seem to believe in the myth of Hell, and during a nationally televised interview he shared his opinions on why he thinks convincing the flock to believe in the concept of ‘Hell’ is absolutely critical to the Church’s survival.

“I don’t think Hell exists. I happen to believe in life after death, but I don’t think it’s got a thing to do with reward and punishment. Religion is always in the control business, and that’s something people don’t really understand. It’s in a guilt-producing control business. And if you have Heaven as a place where you’re rewarded for your goodness, and Hell is a place where you’re punished for your evil, then you sort of have control of the population. And so they create this fiery place which has quite literally scared the Hell out of a lot of people, throughout Christian history. And it’s part of a control tactic.”

Many people turn to religious teachings for solace and guidance in life in our insane world, but Bishop Spong seems to think religion helps people be less responsible for their own life and the world we live in, offering a unique perspective from the typical doctrines of Christian belief.

The church doesn’t like for people to grow up, because you can’t control grown-ups. That’s why we talk about being born again. When you’re born again, you’re still a child. People don’t need to be born again. They need to grow up. They need to accept their responsibility for themselves and the world.”

No one can really confirm where human souls are bound after death, so why do religions create stories of places like Heaven and Hell? The answer is simple: to control people.

If even some of the most religious men, such as Bishop John Shelby Spong, are starting to publicly expose the motivations behind these stories, perhaps it is time for the masses to critically evaluate the value of religion over the importance of direct personal spiritual experience.

“Every church I know claims that ‘we are the true church’ – that they have some ultimate authority, ‘We have the infallible Pope,’ ‘We have the Bible.’… The idea that the truth of God can be bound in any human system, by any human creed, by any human book, is almost beyond imagination for me.

God is not a Christian. God is not a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindi or Buddhist. All of those are human systems, which human beings have created to try to help us walk into the mystery of God.

I honour my tradition. I walk through my tradition. But I don’t think my tradition defines God. It only points me to God.”

Source: Waking Times

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118 COMMENTS

  1. The earthly realm is a picture of the supernatural realm, if hell doesn’t exist there won’t be hellish manifestations on earth: if you don’t get this explanation, you will have to find out after crossing over!!!

  2. Hell is not real brother,,,, we u careful study d bible u will understand dat statement in revelation concerning burning fire with sulphur,,, just an illustration dat simply mean total distruction,,, abi wen fire burn someting to ashes can d thing exist?? Does God wicked to dat extent?? Can a loving father put his child finger inside fire simply because he wanna punish him for done something wrong?? D wages sin pays is death….. Take it or leave it with my belief after carefully study d bible i came to understand and belief that there is no hellfire anywhere

  3. When u see a man possessed of the devil u will know. This guy is making a fool of himself. A total ignoramuse. Money spent in ur education was wasted. It is not the leaders of Churches that told us about hell but Jesus said so himself and who are u to tell us rubbish. So after smoking Idian hemp u now come under its influece to tell us that hell does not exist. Sorry for u. One day u will wake up to tell us that prison yard does not exist it is what Nigerian government talk in order to make people fear. U must have been a dangerous criminal being hunted by the atrocities u have commited and now trying to relieve ur consciece of so many crimes u have committed. My dear there is hell and ur belief or disbelief is not even necessary because it cannot change its reality. May God have mercy on u thou son of belial.

    • Favour any single soul deceived by his post is much more weighty matter than mere insult. I did not insult him more than what he did to the Word of God. By the way he was the one who insulted himself by attempting fruitlessly to disprove a universal Biblical doctrine. Anyway i know no Christian will disparage the gospel. If he is one he will not come up with such bombshell. And if he is not one he shouldnt dabble into what he doest know about.

    • And to u Favour Paul if u had sought to understand the tall figure in the Bible called Paul u would be ashamed to have defended an unbeliever who tried in vain to explain away the cardinal doctrine of the Bible. The harsh word was ur major concern than the heresy preached by a confused man who knows next to nothing about the Christian faith. Birds of the same feather flock together

    • If you are a christian as you claim to be,u wouldn’t condemn a person no matter what he says.You wouldn’t call him a child of the devil,who are you to judge?to hand a living soul to satan?Jesus encourages us to ask.He’s concerned that’s why it was posted but we all don’t see things frm the same angle.Even michael didn’t condemn satan but instead a rebuke was enuf.Stop that.

  4. The only prove of hell is the books in
    which it is written, this is not to even
    mention
    the fact that there are as many hells as there are religious books. There is no consensus on what or where hell is. The only prove of the existence of Hogwarts College of wizardry is the book Harry Potter and the only
    prove of hells is the books in which they are written. Hogwarts is product of fiction and so is hell.

  5. Yes, If you like continue leaving in sin, time is coming,HELL FIRE? IS REAL. If i may ask are you abeliever? If you are a believer, i encouraged you to see your spiritual so that you growth in faith pls Read Job 34:15 and John 3:16. Don’t play ooooooo. Read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Tnx you.

  6. It is only d ignorant, or a fool that will say hell is not real. The book of Luke gives us a 100% prove that #HELL FIRE is real. Luke 16:23 says ” And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom”. A word is enough 4 d wise.

  7. Tchw. I hate such posts. If you like say hell exists not. If the bible doesn’t make you believe and the book of revelation doesn’t reveal it so clearly to you. Then, I just pray thr Lord grants you insight. Meet you at His feet.

  8. D issue z 4 everyone 2 do wat z right. If anyone z wicked, his or her punishment starts even wen he z still on earth. Even pple in d church who r wicked receive their punishment here on earth. So, whether there z hell or nt d wicked will receive his punishment in one form or d other.

  9. Hmmmmm; the young man is possesed oooh. That’s why one must be very very careful with the kind of books he/she reads, because what led this young man astray is NOT the HOLY BIBLE. But another different book. I PRAY HE RECIEVES HIS DELIVERANCE SOON IN JESUS NAME…….!!!

  10. If u don’t have facts don’t just curse….. My question is this hell we ar talking about is it in heaven or here on earth…… Pls if u don’t have any meaningful answer continue to scroll down

  11. Keneson, do u believe there is God? Do you truly know dat he created u? And u surely know dat one day u will leave dis earth? Then when u leave where do u think ure going? Kindly answer these questions.

  12. #jstpassingby

    but dont be deceived, HELL IS REAL, and iF u dont believe now, there is no PREVIEW for it, the day u see hell is the same day u signed its everlasting contract, MY PRAYER IS THAT MAY GOD PLEASE HAVE MERCY ON U AND SHOW U JUST A LITTLE THROUGH #DREAMS OR REVELATION SO THAT UR THOUGHT WONT REMAIN THE SAME

    MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON US ALL (AMEN)

  13. The bishop is not the one speaking,he has been taken over.he needs tough prayer to be delivered. For those who are aspiring for that glorious city(heaven) dont argue with bible.please i want u to knw dis,God isnt a joker like man,he’s a business man and always mean whatsoever he says.everything he said about the world is happening,dont u see with ur eyes. He is the controller of destinies.never joke with his words. Hell is real.

  14. Nothing like hell fire any where, the soul that sin shall die n the wages of sin is death Ecclesiastes the dead are conscious of nothing Genesis because man has sin he shall return to the dust from where he came now God said woe unto the world that Satan is here in job when children of God gathered Satan also came n God ask him where was u he said am going up n down in the world n then God talk about job n so on now common sense should u that Satan is not in hell fire why this world is like this today is because people don’t want to use their brain they just believe any thing that’s why some Muslims believed that when u kill in the name of Islam u will go to heaven with 7 virgins waiting for u people should know this Bible is not a law book Bible is a book of life God is going to judge u with his law book not Bible that’s why the criminal that was hang with Jesus Christ was promised Paradise without going through what is written in the Bible like i always tell people life is a court of law not a court of Justice even in human law like in Nigeria the seam law that say if u kill u shall be kill can still pardon u with less punishment after knowing u killed by self defense so that it work if there is hell we may not have judgment day

  15. Please sir…we dont need your thinking and opinion….one thing is certain….num 23:19…God is not a man that He should lie…this hell you dont believe in is written in God’s word the bible….
    Hell is real my friend….so is heaven…it calls for ur rethinking and giving ur life wholly to christ

    God bless u!

  16. Abt hell i can’t say,but i can tell u that religion has too much of a hold on people.It’s both good and not too good for us…we’re hindered,limited,by it but we can’t deny it’s helped society to be more easily controlled.I can’t begin to imagine how babaric things would’ve been if people weren’t adviced on what and what not to do thru religion.I just think it’s the right tool in the wrong hands being understood and used the wrong way.Lord help us all(I’m still a christian).

  17. Yeah…i guess one will have to wait for death.I used to be so skeptical abt the whole issue…but i knw 1 thing for sure,and it’s that Jesus exists,and everything in the bible will come to pass,only that i can’t comprehend how and life too short to start bothering to get a straight answer.I read my bible a lot and it really helps…i dnt need a pastor to be my conscience for me…ah…it’s long.But it’s one reason why i don’t fear death,in fact,i look forward to death.

  18. Most of you guys are just critizing and being abusive to this guy when its actualy clear he need help from you. Who’s doing the right thing here with a clear conscience, he need correction, why not correct with love instead of the hash word. After people like these can end up in heaven and be Gods weapon to revive the church just like Apostle Paul in the bible. Dont fight 4 God because even u, u are capable of anything even becoming an apostate. Do u knw the faith of Reverend he’s talking about, but he’s nw here, even an ethiest get converted in their sick beds. The bible says let him that thinks he stand, take heed less he fall, some are already falling by there comments. May God reposition us to be light to the falling ones.

  19. ABEG TRY AND READ UR BIBLE FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION. Maybe u will get the answer stop being deceived. End time signs

  20. Whelther hell do exist or not, whn u die & u’re buried daz whn u’ll knw d reality, hell is even small bcos there’ll b so many people in d hell but only u will suffer or enjoy all alone insid d grave.

  21. A fool has said in his heart that there is no God. JESUS, SAID IAM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. If you like believe n be saved if you like don,t believe n be damned already. Accornding as it is written. You enemy of all righteousness, if your mission is to pervert d heart of men from serving the Living God then your mission n your network perish with you even now in the name of the Lord JESUS CHRIST. AMEN.

  22. If u can produce or creat a life then i wil believe that hell s nt real bt if u cant then someone else which is God do it then all his words are true. Hell s real repent

  23. if hell is not real then heaven is also a myth….. the both of them does not exist and there is no God…..we existed through the theory of the biologist!!!

    many has tried to explain to you and others who believe that hell doesn’t exist….that it surely does…..don’t deceive urself.

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