I spent so many years being afraid of hell that I think it is relevant for me to explain why I no longer believe in the religious idea of hell. Not only is the idea of burning forever the most painful thing that the mind can imagine, it is also so illogical that my mind CANNOT imagine it. It never did make any sense to me, but repetition can convince people of anything.
I was told by some former friends that “friends don’t let friends go to hell”. When these “friends” rejected me, I learned that not only were they not friends but that they also did not truly believe in hell. If they were concerned about people going to hell, they would spend more time preventing them from going there. Instead, they bring them to church where they can experience the musical hell of their “worship” songs. It may be true that burning for eternity sounds painful, but not as painful as hearing Contemporary Christian music performed by people with no musical talent for all eternity!
But there is another problem with the hell idea. Mainly the fact that the idea of a human burning forever without being consumed would clearly imply some type of supernatural miracle. It would require some type of God to first create this place of torment, then to intentionally create humans to fill it.
The hell teaching is scary enough on its own, but some Christians teach that, later on, this God changed his mind and decided that people could instead be tortured in another place called heaven, where they can reunite with many of the same Christians who abused them on earth. I wish that they could at least explain exactly what causes people to go to heaven or hell. Then I may have the knowledge to avoid both places.
In contrast to the teaching of the sadistic God, people are also told that there is a God who loves them unconditionally (as long as they meet certain conditions, of course) . How is anyone supposed to make sense of all this? I know I could not. It leads me to think that it is best for me to wait until a proper definition of God is given that makes sense. I challenge anyone to explain why God can’t simply love people unconditionally.
In my mind the story is too bad to be true. If it is true, then I am probably destined for one type of eternal torment or another. I can’t help but wonder why I was born on this earth instead of in hell to begin with. Just maybe God is too nice to burn me forever.