John Shelby Spong – Priest Says Hell Is An Invention Of The Church To Control People With Fear
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[John Shelby Spong – Priest Says Hell Is An Invention Of The Church To Control People With Fear]
[John Shelby “Jack” Spong (June 16, 1931)] Source: LYBIO.net
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 – it’s in the 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.
But wait a minute; you’re saying that, hell the idea of a place under the earth or somewhere where you’re tormented for an eternity is actually an invention of the church?
[John Shelby Spong]
I think the church fired its furnaces hotter than anybody else. But I think there is a sense in most religious life of reward and punishment in some form. The church doesn’t like for people to grow up because you can’t control growing ups. That’s why we talk about being born again. When you’re born again, you’re still a child. The people don’t need to be born again, they need to grow up; they need to accept their responsibility for themselves in the world.
What do you make of the theology which is pretty quite prominent these days in America, which is that there is one guaranteed way not to go to hell and that is to accept Jesus as your personal savior?
[John Shelby Spong]
Yeah, I grew up in that tradition. Every church I know claims that, we are the true church and they have some ultimate authority. We have the infallible pope. We have the Inerrant 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. I mean, God is not a Christian, God is not a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindu 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 honor my tradition, I walk through my tradition, but I don’t believe my tradition defines God, I think it only points me to God.
[John Shelby Spong] Source: LYBIO.net
You and I are emerging people, not fallen people. Our problem is not that we are born in sin; our problem is we do not yet know how to achieve being fully human. The function of the Christ is not to rescue the sinners, but to empower you and to call you to be more deeply and fully human than you’ve ever realized there was the potential within you to be, maybe salvation needs to be conveyed in terms of enhancing your humanity rather than rescuing you from it.
Life is a startling and wondrous experience, and eventually I think we are going to discover that god is unfolding through the life of our consciousness and our self-consciousness and is not apparent figure up in the sky. But I believe because I am related to something that is not bound by time and space that I will share in whatever God’s eternity is.
John Shelby Spong – Priest Says Hell Is An Invention Of The Church To Control People With Fear. The church doesn’t like for people to grow up because you can’t control growing ups. Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.