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Bishop's Thoughts on the "Invention of Hell"


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Initial post: Oct 3, 2012 8:17:29 AM PDT
Okay, I have to admit I was kind of surprised by this one. The belief in a literal hell is not a part of my particular denomination's teachings - folks in my church believe heaven and hell are within our own thoughts - as Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is within you." But I do not think I have ever heard an Episcopal bishop denying the existence of a literal hell before - and certainly not so eloquently. Bishop Spong rocks!

http://www.upworthy.com/a-bishop-describes-how-the-church-invented-hell-to-control-people?c=upw1

Posted on Oct 3, 2012 9:35:53 AM PDT
i would read the bible and not believe soem guy on tv

Posted on Oct 3, 2012 9:42:51 AM PDT
I want to hear Bishop Spong describe how the church invented bishops to control people.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2012 10:19:19 AM PDT
Astrocat says:
WOW! I've heard of Spong but never actually listened to anything. He is fabulous, and speaks a language that would be completely understood by our group of esotericists. I'm going to have to look into his work much more deeply. Thanks, Alpha!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2012 12:56:00 PM PDT
You are most welcome, Nancy! :)

Posted on Oct 3, 2012 3:29:21 PM PDT
Mickey says:
As an outsider (agnostic) I believe it may be some Christians realize how repellant eternal damnation is to many people today. Hell may have been an effective tool of recruitment in the past; today it drives many away from Christianity.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2012 4:22:07 PM PDT
You hadn't heard of Spong? He denies just about every doctrine that Christians believe.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2012 4:41:48 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
Which makes him doubly attractive to those of us who recognize the underlying, esoteric teachings of Christianity which have been denied by the orthodoxy for far too long.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2012 4:45:53 PM PDT
Amen.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2012 5:03:44 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
Alpha, I don't know if you've read any of Tom Harpur's books. The best is "The Pagan Christ", but his earlier books are worth reading, as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 9:54:26 PM PST
'probabilist says:
> Bishop's Thoughts on the "Invention of Hell"

Heh. I was half expecting to find a quotation from the now-long-banned Bishop Nicholashugh here.

,.-)

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 9:15:17 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2012 9:15:40 AM PST
Alan says:
Alpha,

Episcopal bishops can often surprise. I remember some years ago a previous Bishop of Durham (Church of England), who was also a theologian, questioned the need for a belief in the physical resurrection of Christ, which he described as "a conjuring trick with bones".

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 10:35:21 AM PST
I think there may be Roman Catholic priests who may have the same doubts about the resurrection of Christ. After all, the important part of the spiritual path is establish a relationship directly with Christ and/or God, not believing in dogma.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 1:30:19 PM PST
Alan says:
Kathleen,

What reasonable person would argue with that.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 5:14:20 PM PST
Alan,
I'd be interested in the year that happened. I asked a "new convert" why it was necessary after you understood who Christ is/was. He also gave me an interesting response: he told me my faith was stronger than his.

While I think it is probably needed for many, it appears to not be needed for all --- I'm not sure how many that eventually find it was necessary not longer did. This bishop seems to have once "needed" the concept.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 7:15:08 PM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
<< Mark 9:43 >>

"If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.

If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell, where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.

If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED."

My Descent Into Death and the Message of Love Which Brought Me Back

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 7:52:50 PM PST
What IS the world coming to? :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 7:59:59 PM PST
"And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." - Luke 17

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 8:04:16 PM PST
Astrocat says:
Yes! We are the Kingdom of God, manifested in these physical, emotional, mental personalities. This is something that's been taught by every avatar since the beginning. The concept of the eternal hell, the punishment from a "loving" god, is so barbaric that it had to have been created by human beings in hopes of keeping other people under control. In that case, in addition to being the Kingdom of God, we can also say, with Pogo, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 8:08:08 PM PST
I agree, Alan, but most evangelical Christians are very afraid of stepping outside the biblical focus of their religion.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 8:10:20 PM PST
Yes.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 8:14:26 PM PST
Astrocat says:
Kathleen, why do you think that is? Is there a kind of timidity, a fear of being all alone "out there". I keep saying it's the fear of having to think for oneself, but maybe that's too simplistic. I've asked this question of people directly, and usually they get very defensive or very self-righteous, but I don't think I've ever gotten a really honest answer - well maybe a couple of people on these threads, who have chosen their religion with a clear head, but that seems to be the rare one.

Or am I over thinking this whole thing?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 8:20:38 PM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
Alpha Wingoov Karen says:

["And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." - Luke 17]

OK well I don't know how you deduce from that statement that Christ also meant that Hell isn't real.

Hell also comes from within people. With some individuals we can clearly see that they have created, not Hell itself on Earth, but a path into Hell by their lives.

Serial killers show this most clearly. Jeffrey Dahmer. Ted Bundy. John Wayne Gacey.

When the police went into Gacey's house all the lights were turned off. An eerie feeling came over them. There was an energy inside that house.

Anyway you're quoting from an Episcopal bishop. They're entire religion is all screwed up now over the issue of homosexuality. They don't know what the hell is right or wrong anyway.

The last I heard the American branch of the Episcopal Church broke away from the European branch. Their entire religion is collapsing.

Jeff Marzano

<< Mark 7:20 >>

He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.'

For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.'"

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 8:24:02 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2012 8:48:23 PM PST
Nancy, I also don't understand Evangelical Christians. They seem to be brainwashed into being stuck at this level of bibilical interpretation. That keeps you really stuck because in more advanced spirituality, you connect directly with God, Jesus, etc in prayer/meditation. Those are the messages of recent Christians like Thomas Merton and Thomas Keating in which people are encouraged to connect directly with God. For a brief time I was involved in the Centering Prayer Movement which is open to all Christians although it was begun by the Catholic monk, Thomas Keating:
http://www.centeringprayer.com/

Many mainline Protestants [Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, etc] were involved in the movement when I briefly attended. There were no evangelical Christians. I think they are afraid of meditation/real prayer because they have been taught not to leave their minds open in case the devil/satan will enter their consciousness. So, Evangelical Christians are involved in lots of Bible reading which keeps their spirituality at a somewhat intellectual level. Some of evangelicals do speak in tongues which, to me reminds me of automatic writing leaving themselves open to all kinds of negative entities.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 8:31:10 PM PST
Kathleen,

An idle mind is the devil's workshop comes to mind;-)

I definitely hear your message!!!
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  26
Total posts:  457
Initial post:  Oct 3, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 4, 2012

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