Spiritual Terrorism
Christianity Without Insanity
Boyd C. Purcell, Ph.D. www.HealingSpiritualTerrorism.com and www.ChristianityWithoutInsanity.com
Evangelism Booklet

 

 

            Five Liberating Truths—Religions in a Nutshell 

 

      SALTED WITH FIRE

 

                       The Good News of God’s                      

  Eternal Love/Amazing Grace/Infinite Mercy/Perfect Justice

 

 

    

      TRUTH #1: THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE OF FEAR.

 

      Jesus said the truth shall set you free  (John 8:32).  The Biblical

      use of  fire symbolizes purification.  Therefore,  the word “fire” is

      used  metaphorically.  A metaphor,  like a parable,  is  the  use  of a

      word meaning one thing to  symbolize  something  else.  Examples:

 

      Moses and the burning bush:  fire did not burn the bush but purified

      it—making the ground holy  (Ex. 3:1-5). The Lord led the Israelites

      by night,  in/as a pillar of fire, from slavery to freedom  (Ex. 13:21).     

      Messiah will use refining fire to purify the Jewish people (Mal. 3:3).     1                                                                                                                                                                                                

 

   

       Pentecost: Holy Spirit as flames of fire on the heads of the apostles

       (Acts 2:1-3).  Life’s fiery trials  refine  character  (I Pet. 4:12).  God’s

       tongue, breath,  and word are fire/sulfur  (Isa. 30:27-33; Jer. 23:29)

       Messiah/Christ will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire (Mt. 3:11).

 

       Interpreting  fire  literally is  spiritual  abuse,  because it makes no

       sense and  frightens people,  especially  children,  with the insanely

       false doctrine of eternal torture in literal hell fire for failure to obey

       legalistic religious rules.  This is child abuse!   In its most  extreme

       form, such abuse is spiritual terrorism causing spiritual insanity.

 

      The second liberating truth explains the symbolism of fire in relation to believers.

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       TRUTH #2:  BELIEVERS WILL BE REFINED BY FIRE.

      

       At the judgment of believers, their works will be tested by fire,

       but they  shall be saved  through the fire  (I Cor.  3:10-15). Sal-

       vation is a gift [which is free].  “For by grace you have been saved

       through faith, the gift of God, not according to works (Eph. 2:8-9).

 

       A mistake,  of grave consequences,  is Christians’ failure to realize

       salvation is by grace while judgment is  according to  works/deeds.

       Judgment, even for forgiven believers, is based on deeds—good or

       bad (II Cor. 5:10).  No one can fool God—all reap as sown [karma]

       (Gal. 6:7-8). God forgives sin but does not grant a “crop” failure!       3                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 

 

     This  judgment  can  best be  understood  by  out-of-body  near-death

     experiences. People report having a life review in which they see and

     feel the impact their lives have had on other people.  Jesus said  to do

     to others as you want them to do to you.  In the life  review  it is done

     to you as you have done to others—feeling like you are the others.

 

     This fiery judgment should be understood as God’s tough love—per-

     fect justice for all!   Jesus repeatedly consoled,  “Fear  not...”  Fear is

     torment; perfect love casts out fear (I John  4:18). Some teach you can

     only believe you are saved by getting  “The [euphoric] Feeling.” Sal-

     vation is knowing you are saved regardless of feelings (I John 5:13).

         

    The third liberating truth explains the symbolism of fire, salt, and sulfur for unbelievers.

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       TRUTH #3:  UNBELIEVERS WILL BE SALTED WITH FIRE. 

    Jesus, definitively declared the purpose

    of Gehenna/hell, “For every one shall be

       shall be  salted with fire. . .”  (Mark 9:49).  The best translation

       of this  symbolic  language—a  mixed  metaphor—is in The Good News

       Bible: Today’s English Version, “Everyone will be purified by fire..." 

       —totally loving, not fearful words!

   

       Tragically, of hundreds of Christians asked:  laity, pastors, priests,

       seminary  and  college  professors  of  religion,  almost no one had

       heard of being  “salted with fire.”  A few commentators use illogical

       excuses to explain it away! Spiritually, this symbolism is like inter-

       national travel signs—no words are needed, just the visual image.

                                                                                                          5 

 

   

      This booklet’s title is to honor Jesus by proving he did  not teach the

      the insanity of eternal torture.  Even those in hell  are NOT deprived

      of  God’s presence (Psalm 139:7-8 KJV): eternal love, amazing grace,

      infinite mercy, and perfect justice. God  loves all  people—saints and

      unrepentant  sinners—equally! God loves unbelievers in hell as much

      as believers in  heaven!  God,  who has  infinite wisdom,  knows how

      to destroy sin without  destroying  sinners.  God, as a consuming fire,

      shall consume all sin, thus, purifying sinners (Deut. 4:24; Heb. 12:29).

 

       Jesus said the church will destroy hell (Mt. 16:18), “gates of hell...not

      prevail” [image: church as battering-ram]. Proof of hell’s destruction:

      ALL bowing and confessing faith...to the glory of God (Phil. 2:9-11).                          

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       The Revelation  expresses this truth of  purification  by fire for unbe-

       lievers  in  another  way—the  lake of  fire  and  brimstone  [KJV].

       The definition of brimstone is “an archaic [outdated] word for sulfur.”

       This symbolism should be translated, “the lake of  burning sulfur.”

       In fact, The New International Version translated the lake of fire and

       sulfur as “burning sulfur,” since sulfur readily burns (Rev. 20:10).

       

       But the NIV mistranslated the time in the burning sulfur, “The aeons

       of the aeons” as “forever and ever.”  This grammatical  construction,

       of the plural form of the Greek “aeons,”  is the superlative in Hebrew

       [“The holy of holies,” most holy;  “The king  of kings/lord  of  lords,”

       greatest king/lord;  “song of songs,” finest song]  using Greek words.

       This should read, “the greatest/finest/final aeon(s)/age(s), not forever.   7                                                                                                                                                                                                

 

 

      Sulfur was  widely  known in  Biblical times as a  multipurpose  medi-

      cation.  And a sulfur paste would cure body sores.  It was  also burned

      to disinfect homes after a person had died of an infectious disease and

      to disinfest homes of lice,  mice,  and other vermin.  Sulfur  was  used

      to preserve produce.  It  was burned  in religious  rituals to  symbolize

      prayers of  purification.  Every  way  sulfur  was  used,  in the  ancient

      world, was beneficial.

 

      A chemist, with a Ph.D. in biochemistry, said,  theoretically, a sulfur

      compound  could be made  which  would  cure any  bodily  infection.

      Could not God, who is omniscient,  make a spiritual “product”  [“the

      lake of burning sulfur"] to cure any sin infection?  A modern medici-

      nal analogy: “a fiery lake of penicillin,” to cure all infected with sin. 

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          Sulfur symbolizes divine  [same Greek word as for sulfur] disinfection/

       healing of sin.  Hades/hell,  death,  and unrepentant sinners will be cast

       into the lake of burning sulfur.   This is not the cosmic torture chamber

       but recycling center/reform school or pigsty:  e.g.,  The Prodigal Son, a

       Jew, was feeding pigs until coming to his senses (Luke 15:11-32).  The

       Law of Moses  forbade eating pork,  so Jews would not raise swine.  A

       Jew slopping hogs [for a Gentile] symbolizes the worst of sinful living!

       Thus, all those in hell will, eventually, come to their senses and repent.

 

       Christ shall draw all to himself  (John 12:32), and God will become all

       in all [KJV]—everything to  every one [RSV] (I Cor. 15:28).  God’s love

       is inescapable, like the love of the Prodigal Son’s father. Therefore,

       God’s saving grace shall, ultimately, prove to be irresistible!               9                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 

   

        All die in Adam—All live in Christ  (I Cor. 15:22; Rom. 5:10-21). With

        this Good News, people can stop living in fear of hell for oneself and/or

        “unsaved” loved ones. They will help others, since no one can hurt any-

        one without feeling the pain  [per life review].  This  teaches empathy—

        feeling others’ feelings—God’s 100% effective behavioral modification.

   

        All were created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27),  but in many,  God’s

        image has been badly marred and scarred by sin. In some, God’s image

        has been almost obliterated.  But when sin,  the spiritually  combustible

        material,  has been burned up,  God’s image will once again shine forth

        brightly—ALL purified, reconciled,  and restored to God! 

 

       The fourth liberating truth proclaims the glory of God’s patient...unfailing love

       (I Cor. 13:4-8).

 10       

 

      

       TRUTH #4:  ALL WILL WORSHIP GOD IN UNIVERSAL PEACE.

 

       You can even overcome  spiritual terrorism  and  spiritual insanity

       and find peace with God!  Almost all evangelistic booklets and tracts

       are based on the absurdity of people being forever separated from God.

       It is possible for sin to separate one from  fellowship with God  (Isaiah

       59:2).  It is impossible to be out of  God’s presence,  due to God being

       omnipresent—on land or sea or even in Sheol/hell (Psalm 139:7-8 KJV).

 

       All will worship God eternally in universal peace (Rev. 5:13)!  This is

       The Good News of Christian Universalism  (CU)—The Gospel Jesus

       taught and the early church preached for well over 500 years!!!

    

         These Biblical truths are conceptualized in the acrostic:  C-H-U-R-C-H.

                                                                                                                        11 

         

    

    C – hurch, a fellowship where God is worshiped, The Gospel—Good

           News—preached, and Holy Communion celebrated (Acts 2:41-47).

    H – eaven is assured as a gift of God’s grace/mercy (Eph. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:5).

    U – “U” are welcome, unconditionally, as children of God (James 2:1-18).

    R – enew your mind with positive spiritual input (Rom. 12:2;  Phil. 4:6-9).

    C – hrist is exalted as the Savior of the whole world (John 4:24-26, 42).

    H - ope for the world is to share the Gospel truth of CU that will result in

          universal peace.  Pope Francis, on May 22, 2013, validated CU for the

          Catholic [Latin for “universal”] Church. CU is the hope of the Eastern

          Orthodox, Anglican,  and mainline  [and some Evangelical] Protestant

          Churches.  Fulfill the Great Commission (Mt. 28:18-20) by being am-

          bassadors of peace, not hell-fear mongers, for Christ (II Cor. 5:17-20)!

 

              The fifth liberating truth explains universal salvation in other religions.

    12                                                                             

 

      

          TRUTH #5: FIRE IN RELIGIONS SYMBOLIZES PURIFICATION.

 

          All major religions, and virtually all minor ones, teach universal salva-

       tion when fire is metaphorically understood to purify. The Holy Koran

        uses fire symbolically.  The Sufis, who  understand  metaphorical  fire,

       are Islamic Universalists. But there are  literalists in  Islam as there are

       in all religions. The word  “Islam”  means  “submission”  to Allah [the

       Arabic word for God]. Muslims are those who submit to Allah/God.

 

       The Torah uses fire  metaphorically.  There is no better example of this

       in Judaism than  God being  “a consuming fire.”  Such symbolic use of

       fire is also true in the Eastern Religions:  Baha’i, Buddhism, Hinduism,

       Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, etc., and native religions worldwide.    13                                                                                                                                                                                                

 

 

            In the ancient Sanskrit,  “agni” is the word for fire.  In Hinduism, Agni

        was the god of fire,  but Agni has evolved into an attribute of Brahman,

        the one God.   Hindus no longer worship the god of fire,  but  the  ritual

        of fire is a sacred part of  Hinduism.  It is  celebrated  at various events:

        births, weddings, and funerals as well as religious holidays in Hinduism,

        Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism.  The Saffron Flag, a red-yellow color,

        is a symbol of fire in the Eastern Religions. And the Festival of Lights

        is an annual celebration of the eventual victory of good over evil!

 

        Zoroastrians worship before an altar of fire  symbolizing  the purity and

        presence of God.  Native Americans  keep  sacred  fires  burning. In the

        medicine wheel the sacred fire is depicted in the hub—the center of life! 

 14

    

       Almost all people pray.  Essentially,  all prayers  of goodwill  are the

       same, differing only in how they start and end. Pope Francis has said

       that theists  and  atheists can meet on  the common  ground  of doing 

       good deeds,  making a peaceful world.   Though atheists do not pray, 

       they can express  the sentiments  of the  following  prayer by putting

       the words into action. All persons can be ambassadors of peace, reli-

       gious or not, as expressed in this prayer of  Saint Francis (1182-1226),

       whom Pope Francis is honoring by his chosen papal name: 

 

       Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

       Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

       where there is injury, pardon;

       where there is doubt, faith; 

                                                                                                                  15 

 

         where there is despair, hope;

         where there is darkness, light;

         where there is sadness, joy.

 

         O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

         to be consoled as to console;

         to be understood as to understand;

         to be loved as to love.

         For it is in giving that we receive;

         it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

         and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

 

         If this booklet has been helpful to you please share it. Quantities can be

         ordered by contacting the author via websites listed on the back cover.           

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       The  author  of  this  booklet,  Boyd C. Purcell, Ph.D.,  also  wrote  these

       books, Spiritual Terrorism: Spiritual Abuse from the Womb to the Tomb.

       and,  Christianity  Without  Insanity:   For  Optimal  Mental/Emotional/

       Physical Health,  which contain these truths   (pages  442-445;  135-138

       respectively),  in this booklet refined.  Please  read  Scriptures in context.

       Copyrighted:  may not be copied  without written  permission.  Websites:

       HealingSpiritualTerrorism.com     and   ChristianityWithoutInsanity.com.

       Resources:  ChristianUniversalist.org  and Tentmaker.org. Sharers of this

       booklet may put contact information in space below [10-18-2013, 2nd ed. ].          

                               

 

      For those who would like to use this evangelism booklet, it is available in print form to individuals, churches, campus ministries, foreign missions, institutional chaplaincies, and other organizations, for only 20 cents per copy in units of 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, and 500 [larger quantities can be ordered], plus postage and handling.  For a class on positive evangelism, it would be helpful to use, “Christianity Without Insanity: For Optimal Mental/Emotional/Physical Health,” as the textbook. It has a chapter, “Ambassadors of Peace for Christ,” specifically on evangelism that is the opposite of the turn-or-burn-in-hell-forever approach of all Christian booklets and tracts I have seen on the market today. Negative evangelism is creating a horrible image of God, causing millions to turn off to Christianity, and giving Christians a bad name as hell fear mongers and purveyors of cheap grace. Using this all-loving conception of God would prevent spiritual child abuse. 

Pope Francis has said there is no literal burning hell. On May 22, 2013, he validated Christian Universalism for the Catholic Church, which has a billion members, by stating that Christ redeemed all people, so all will be saved. The Eastern Orthodox Church, which has half a billion members, believes the fire of hell is for purification. All Anglican and mainline Protestant denominations, encompassing half a billion members, are open to the truth of CU. One third of all Evangelical college and seminary students have rejected the falsehood of eternal torment. Perhaps fewer than fifty million conservatives, who identify themselves as “Bible-believing” Christians, still believe, defend, and evangelize using this God-demeaning Christ-dishonoring intellectually-nonsensical oxymoronic doctrine of eternal torture in hell. Believers in CU are also Bible-believing Christians. 

Please note that there is space on the bottom half of the back cover to stamp or sticker, if desired, user’s contact info. This would enable readers to reach out for more information, help, and a place to attend church or other spiritual gatherings. Booklets could be handed out individually, used in adult and youth Sunday school classes, home Bible studies, hospital/hospice/campus/military/prison chaplaincies, left in public places, etc. There is also a Spanish e-version [available now] and will be in print if there is a demand for it.