Activism

Retired Bishop Explains Why The Catholic Church Invented Hell [Watch]

According to a retired Episcopal bishop, the Catholic church invented hell to control the populace through fear. What are your thoughts?

Credit: YouTube / DavidWolfe

Credit: YouTube / DavidWolfe

Without a doubt, religion is one of the more difficult topics to discuss. After all, the majority of wars that have taken place on this planet stem from religious differences. But when a retired bishop speaks out about practices conducted and condoned by the world’s largest religious institution, his thoughts on the matter are worth hearing and considering.

Regardless of your opinion on religion, spirituality, and the Catholic church, we implore you to keep an open mind as you listen to the interview between retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong and Keith Morrison of Dateline NBC. Originally recorded in August of 2006, the clip has gone viral numerous times because it features Spong explaining that the Catholic church invented Hell in order to control the populace through fear.

During a nationally televised interview, Spong explains why ‘Hell’ is essential for the church’s survival. He says,

“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.”

“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,” Spong adds.

A partial transcript of the interview follows: 

Spong: 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 you 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.

Morrison: But wait a minute. You’re saying that Hell, the idea of a place under the earth or somewhere you’re tormented for an eternity – is actually an invention of the church?

Spong: I think the church fired its furnaces hotter than anybody else. But I think there’s 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 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.

Morrison: What do you make of the theology which is pretty quite prominent these days in America, which is there is one guaranteed way not to go to hell; and that is to accept Jesus as your personal savior.

Spong: Yeah, I grew up in that tradition. 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.

I mean, 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 honor my tradition. I walk through my tradition. But I don’t think my tradition defines God. It only points me to God.

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!


This article (Retired Bishop Explains Why The Catholic Church Invented Hell [Watch]) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com

Do you like our independent & investigative news? Then please check these two settings on Facebook to guarantee you don't miss our posts:

TrueActivist

Popular On True Activist

More On True Activist

To Top