The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Ghastly Dogma of Everlasting Torment


Warm words on the cheerful and comforting doctrine of eternal damnation.

THE idea of a hell was born of revenge and brutality on the one side, and cowardice on the other. In my judgment the American people are too brave, too charitable, too generous, too magnanimous, to believe in the infamous dogma of an eternal hell. I have no respect for any human being who believes in it. I have no respect for any man who preaches it. I have no respect for the man who will pollute the imagination of childhood with that infamous lie. I have no respect for the man who will add to the sorrows of this world with the frightful dogma. I have no respect for any man who endeavours to put that infinite cloud, that infinite shadow, over the heart of humanity.

Hell, by Col. Robert G. Ingersoll

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“If there is a God who will damn his children forever, I would rather go to hell than to go to heaven and keep the society of such an infamous tyrant. I make my choice now. I despise that doctrine. It has covered the cheeks of this world with tears. It has polluted the hearts of children, and poisoned the imaginations of men. It has been a constant pain, a perpetual terror to every good man and woman and child. It has filled the good with horror and with fear; but it has had no effect upon the infamous and base. It has wrung the hearts of the tender, it has furrowed the cheeks of the good. This doctrine never should be preached again. What right have you, sir, Mr. clergyman, you, minister of the gospel to stand at the portals of the tomb, at the vestibule of eternity, and fill the future with horror and with fear? I do not believe this doctrine, neither do you. If you did, you could not sleep one moment. Any man who believes it, and has within his breast a decent, throbbing heart, will go insane. A man who believes that doctrine and does not go insane has the heart of a snake and the conscience of a hyena.” -Robert Ingersoll-

Jesus Christ holds the keys of death and hell & knows how to turn the keys!

Aionios kolasis is one thing, Aidios punishment another. When aidios is added to punishment, we have a serious problem.

Justinian, described as a “half-heathen”, made an ET declaration, but didn’t just use kolasis (punishment) aonian, but qualified it with the word ‘ateleutetos’ - which means endless.

He said “The holy church of Christ teaches an endless aeonian (ateleutetos aionios) life to the righteous, and endless (ateleutetos) punishment to the wicked.”

If he supposed aionios denoted endless duration, he would not have added the stronger word to it. The fact that he qualified it by ateleutetos, demonstrated that as late as the sixth century the former word did not signify endless duration. Thereby admitting that kolasis aonian was NOT considered ‘eternal’ at the time.

However, as his (Julian) contemporary, Olympiodorus wrote,

“Do not suppose that the soul is punished for endless ages in Tartarus. Very properly the soul is not punished to gratify the revenge of the Divinity, but for the sake of healing. But we say that the soul is punished for an aeonian period, calling its life, and its allotted period of punishment, its aeon.” It will be noticed that he not only denies endless punishment, and denies that the doctrine can be expressed by aionios declares that punishment is temporary and results in the sinner’s improvement."

Two Rules

Rule #1: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, never at any time, it is oudepote.

Rule #2: When in doubt refer to rule #1.

It’s interesting in browsing the Internet, I came across this interesting article:

The article was positive, IMHO. But one item, got me to thinking:

Another factor is a dream that I had about a dozen years ago. Without going into too much detail, this was an unnerving encounter in which I saw God’s coming judgment arriving in the form of an overpowering storm; people in the path of the storm were pleasantly chit-chatting when they ought to have been seeking cover. The dream left a lasting impression. It suggested to me that we’re unprepared—both inside and outside of the church—for the return of Christ.

Perhaps he was envisioning Z-Hell (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)?

I have no problem with the Father of us all exercising condemnation, judgement and destruction to bring about His desired ends. It is the atrocious dogma of unending torture that I will not accept. Our God punishes, He corrects, and yes He destroys, all with one objective, change & transformation.

The Jewish .E. is a fractured fairy tale. It is also Jewish fables condemned by St. Jude.

Jewish Myths/ Fables= muthos=

Kept secret/ be dumb: from muo.

Used of profane fables.

Contrasted with alethesia/ truth.

"NOT devoting yourselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth."

The Jewish Encycopedia



The sons of God shouted for joy, as they contemplated creation; but they should have wept had the popular creed been true. For that creed represents the present life as darkened by the prospect of evil triumphant; our present sorrows made keener by the prospect of a future life, which will be, not to the wicked merely, but to the whole race of man, an evil and a curse - a life which every good man would, if he could, bring to an instant end. To prove this, I will take a definite example. Further, I will concede to the advocates of the popular creed one point of very considerable importance (to which they have no right), e.g., that the number of the saved greatly exceeds the lost.

“Suppose it were offered to the father of three children to take his choice whether two should be received into heaven and one condemned to hell, or the whole should be annihilated in death. What would a parent say? Where is the father who would dare to secure the bliss of two children at the cost of the endless misery of one? Which of the family would he select as the victim, whose undying pain should secure his brother’s immortal joy? Is there any one living who would not suffer himself and his children to sink back again into nothingness, rather than purchase heaven at such a price? Now, if so, if we should so act in the case of our own children, we are bound morally to make the same choice with respect to every one. No moral being would consent to purchase eternal happiness at the price of another’s eternal woe. Hence it follows that a future life, on the popular view, is an evil to the human race, not to the wicked, but to all. For if annihilation of the whole race should be tendered as the alternative, no moral being could, as has been shown, refuse to accept it.” - BARLOW, Eternal Punishment.

[Christ Triumphant by Thomas Allin]

( chapter three