Friday, July 28, 2006

Existence of hell proved! (Pt 2 of 2)

(Disclaimer: Dear reader, I hope that the following doesn’t cause too much offence. At least you don’t just get the same old boring stuff here, and if you want clean language, visit this blog)

Hell, to finish this mini-series, is not only ‘proved’ by our Russian ‘Gates of Hades’ smashing drill friends, but also by the two most remarkable ‘visions of hell’ to have spewed forth from modern charismatic circles.

Don’t get me wrong, many charismatics can be precious Christians with a delightful relationship with God that should make many of us theologians ashamed of using the word ‘spirituality’ casually. Nevertheless, the ones I want to cite as ‘proof’ for the existence of hell inspire me about as much as a fart in a crowded lift.

When some charismatics stand up and say ‘God said ...’ this and that, I’m fine with it, even if I find the ‘God said’ a tad too much for me. I nevertheless appreciate their desire to ‘strive for the spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy’ (1 Cor 14:1).

But when whack-jobs get going ...

Anyway, I will keep this short, cos it winds me up. First, here is a link to a certain ‘prophetess’ by the name of Mary Baxter, the lady who also helpfully provided access to the ‘audio recordings from hell’ in my previous in this series. She confidently informs us that her visions (put on a strong southern American accent here) ‘were given unto me by Jesus Christ of Nazareth’. Note the ‘unto’, not merely ‘to’ me. Her visions involve all sorts of horrifying scenes where demons spend their time enjoying torturing helpless humans, while Jesus stands coldly to the side, holding back Mary from showing compassion. Here you can download a file and listen to her testimony in her own words. You know you want to.

Specialist terminology has been used throughout church history, of course (e.g. ‘consubstantiation, dispensationalism, infralapsarianism etc.’), so I’ve invented my own theological term to describe what is going on here.

‘Crockovshit’, is my designated neologism.

I’m hoping it will catch on and find itself into theological dictionaries at some stage next to other ‘c’s like Calvinism, catechism, communion, covenant theology, etc.

Another visionary. This time, the gentleman spent 23 minutes in hell. Here you can read his moving account of what happened to him, and what he ‘saw’. I say ‘moving’. It certainly caused me to move my hand to the ‘close internet explorer button’ with speed, and then ‘moved me’ to clutch my head in despondency. You can also download this video in which he tells us all in his own words. Basically, he spends about an hour and a half telling us that the bible predicts String-Theory, Copernicus’ discovery, and various other geological and scientific facts, before scaring the living crap out of the audience with pictures of perverse human torture, unspeakable pain and suffering at the hands of evil huge ugly demons, and other imp-like versions. Oh, and by the way, ‘Jesus loves you’. His handling of scripture is a perfect example of how not to use the bible, but that is an error hopelessly overshadowed by the content of his visions. Of course, it is middle age art in the guise of being ‘biblical’.

It seems, as with both of these Fundie visionaries, that the devil has quite a lot of fun in hell, doing what he most enjoys. So, hell turns out to be a place of entertainment for demons, all the while a tad uncomfortable for us poor humans. Still, anyone who has visions of great big twelve foot demons shoving red hot pokers up one’s arse has to be a prophet of Jesus Christ, so no wonder they’ve been given a stage.

... to spew forth their wretched, pastorally insensitive and unbiblical putrifications.
Main Entry: Crockovshit
Phonetic pronunciation: [krok ov '∫it (interjectionally also 'shē-et)]
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English ‘crok o’shee’, from Old English ‘crocc shiesse’; akin to Old High German ‘Krock von Scheiße’
Date: before 21th century


At 7/28/2006 1:06 AM, Anonymous Chris Petersen said...


I for one am enjoying this series. I suppose it helps that we have both come from a charismatic background and so have seen this stuff first hand.

At 7/28/2006 7:38 AM, Anonymous Steven Carr said...

Do you think Paul was sincere in 2 Corinthians 12 when he described how he had an experience of visiting the third Heaven?

And is Acts historical when it describes Stephen seeing Jesus in Heaven?

At 7/28/2006 2:18 PM, Anonymous Shane Clifton said...

According to his own testimony, Bill Wiese is a real estate agent. That probably explains why he was sent to hell.

At 7/28/2006 3:07 PM, Anonymous Thomas Black said...

I read a portion of Baxter's book on hell at the insistence of our local barber years ago.
I found so many inconsistencies with the scriptures and yet kept plugging away until she described Jesus deserting her in Hell so she could feel what it was like. It ended up in the reject pile only seconds after that.

God be merciful! I hope she repents so she doesn't have to feel the real thing!

At 7/28/2006 9:51 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Thanks Chris,

... and for the laugh, Shane!

Thanks for the visit, Thomas. I understand you here! Thing is, I'm sure she means well, but she made a serious claim at the start of the book ('it was given unto me by Jesus of Naz.'), and this whole 'demons get kicks in hell' thing is just rubish. Worse, it's harmful. Nay, it's perverse.

Hi Steven. Baiting me?!
Yes, I think Paul was sincere in 2 Cor, and on the historical question of Stephen in Acts, I have not analysed the data, so I can't say yet. What do you think?

At 7/29/2006 1:13 AM, Anonymous Justin Jenkins said...

> And is Acts historical when it
> describes Stephen seeing Jesus in
> Heaven?

There are some major differences between the Acts and Paul accounts. Since clearly Acts was not written by Stephen, the writer of Acts doesn’t exactly state a historical claim on weather or not Stephen saw the vision but rather I think reports what Stephen himself claims to have seen.

Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

Seems to me that Luke is stating what Stephen said he saw, then quotes him. I don’t think that’s on the same level of personal historical claim as Paul’s.

However what is to say that this isn’t just a dying vision? If it were a vision it wouldn’t make it any less “real” in fact I’d think it would have to be a vision since looking up and seeing the heavens opening would give you a better few of Mars and some stars --- but not much else.

At 7/29/2006 10:16 AM, Anonymous Steven Carr said...

Why should we disbelieve fundy accounts of seeing Heaven, yet believe Paul's account?

Because one is palatable and the other is not?

Perhaps all the visions of Jesus were of the same nature as Stephen's?

At 7/29/2006 3:34 PM, Anonymous One of Freedom said...

I really like your insight about hell being a place of entertainment for demons. It is so true that this is what those images of hell boil down to. How far that is from the God of the bible is astounding. Then again I've had my credentials challenged because I refuse to take a stance on the nature of hell. All I can offer is that I don't think it is what my fundamentalist friends have painted and other than that I'm just not sure. Personally I'd opt for nihilism but I know that is just my desires talking and not any serious investigation into the subject. But, with apologies to your interesting series, I am also convinced this is not a matter of the main and the plain of the gospel. If the gospel is merely 'fire insurance' then I think we have completely missed the point.

At 7/29/2006 11:14 PM, Anonymous ntWrong said...

great big twelve foot demons shoving red hot pokers up one’s arse

Did he really claim to have seen that? You must forgive me, but I didn't actually use the link to watch the video.

That quote should get you some (unwanted) traffic from the search engines!

At 7/30/2006 11:19 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Thanks for those thoughts, Justin.

Hi Steven,

Why believe Paul and not the Fundie?

Well, here are a few suggestions I would propose, off the top of my head:

1) Paul’s testimony has proved helpful, and has been accepted as authoritative for the church for the last two millennia. The Fundie accounts, have not received the almost universal accreditation of the church as has Paul
2) The content of the Fundie account runs contrary to truth of God which I believe is revealed in Jesus Christ. Hell is not a place of fun for demons.
3) On a practical note, whether you believe the Christian gospel or not, all will surely be agreed that the hell these Fundies espouse hardly lends to the mental stability of those who have ‘lost loved ones’.

Thanks, Frank, for your comments. Amen is all I can say.

Hi Q,
Crikey, I didn’t think of the potential traffic coming here! And, no, this is not an exact quote, but the chap talks of tortures that he won’t even talk about, which is perhaps even worse!

At 7/31/2006 7:54 AM, Anonymous Steven Carr said...

Wow, an amazingly blatant appeal to authority for accepting Paul and not the fundie.

Should we have rejected Einstein out of hand, because his views ran contrary to the accepted views of millenia and because they were contrary to the truth of Newton, as revealed in Principia?

Of course, the two cases are not the same, because we can use evidence to decide between Einstein and Newton, while there is no evidence to decide between Paul's account of going to the third heaven, and fundie accounts of seeing Heaven and/or Hell.

So theologians are left with personal preference to decide who to believe.

At 7/31/2006 1:59 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Steven,
I think your claim that there is 'blatant appeal to authority' in prefering Paul is partly right, partly not. See my list. But it certainly isn't just about 'personal preference'. My commitment to the 'authority' of Paul goes to back to the authority of God, and his promises, and relates to the community of faith - and this 'authority' is, I think, far from that exercised in the systems of world domination.
But my answer was also about my response to the revelation of the Word of God in Christ. I believe I've heard this Word, and I can do no other than respond to it accordingly, so I realise that my answer will speak 'over your head' to an extent.

In other words, I understand your frustration at my response, but that is also perhaps unavoidable.

At 7/31/2006 11:54 PM, Anonymous Jim said...

Steven your remarks make it quite clear to yours truly that you have your own agenda, your own ax to grind. Your a priori, though, has blinded you to the possibility that you might be wrong. Please do remember that even atheists have presuppositions that they do well to acknowledge.

At 8/14/2006 7:07 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Anon, that link doesn't appear to work.

At 8/19/2006 10:33 AM, Anonymous John said...

in the back of my mind there are the words of Abraham "Besides all this, there is a great gulf between here and there." - i.e. - it is not possible to get out of Hell! Apart from that I am unable to fault this testimony.
The thing that disturbs me most, is people who teach that Hell (where the worm dies not etc.) is terminal!

At 8/19/2006 2:09 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi John, thanks for the visit.
Good point, I hadn't thought of that point. The main problem with them, I think, is that they portray the devils torturing humans, so the demons get to do what they want. But hell is made for demons ..., and neither is hell separated from the justice of God.

At 8/19/2006 6:02 PM, Anonymous John said...

I used to preach in the Square, I knew a guy who went to jail for a short time, a Detective, at that time was jailed for 14 years for drug dealing, he said I watched that man cry.
While I meditated on these 1st hand accounts of Hell, it came to me that we are like that policeman - i.e. - although Hell was not prepred for us, it will actually be worse for us if we end up there!

At 3/22/2008 2:20 PM, Anonymous Wesley Morris said...

Everyone should know that sarcasm, mocking, and taking this material lightly is only temporary. It's your right to act that way but you will only have your years on this earth to do so. After that, you have eternity to think about what you have done. Is your sarcasm and mocking originating from the compassion in your heart or the calousness of your rationality. I am a sinner. I too use mocking and sarcasm too often. I judge none of you. My only hope is that each of you reading this blog take a serious look into these people's accounts of going to Hell. It is far too easy to dismiss these accounts as fake.

At 4/15/2008 6:35 AM, Anonymous Murray said...

I think Stephen really did look into heaven - heaven being closer than outer space (ie within the exosphere or closer). The bible describes hades as the place of the dead, not hell. Hell is the lake of fire which comes at the very end. When people die, they either go to hades (if unbelievers) or paradise (if believers.) Later after the 2nd resurrection, that's when hell swallows up all unbelief.

At 1/04/2009 11:15 PM, Anonymous sup141 said...

Love your new word.....
Why not review the Bible's comments on Hell?
Hades in the greek is Sheol in the Hebrew. In 65 occurances in the Hebrew, Sheol is usually translated about as many times Hell as grave. Does Hell=Grave?
In the Greek, the word translated Hellfire is actually Gehenna. This is the proper name of the garbage dump outside the walls of Jerusalem. Kept burning with Brimestone (sulfur), it was a vivid
picture in the mind of the crowd.
When you come accross a proper name in scripture you should transliterate that name, not drop it and create anew so that the reader that is not inclined to look up the words will get a wrong impression.
But, unlike your new word, this word gained popularity among even the more studious. Why?
Not much indication in the Hebrew of such a horrifying place or such a blasphemous idea as infine torture for finite sins.
Should Jesus have apologized for forgetting to mention it?
As you might guess, this is not a serious question for me, I have a little humility about what happens after death and less audacity than to twist the arm of my fellow travellers.
I always suggest a person stick with his religion till it no longer feels spiritual.


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