Justin Aptaker writes about philosophy, religious studies, sociology, spirituality, culture, psychology, history, and the future.
Where Theology Meets Mental Illness
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Scrupulosity, and Christian Universalism
“…but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” - Mark 3:29 (NIV - Please note that the NIV here gives a mistaken translation of what Jesus actually said in his native language of Aramaic)
My Hell of Blasphemous Thoughts
The last thing I thought before I went to sleep was a short, blasphemous curse directed against the Holy Spirit. That was the last thing I thought every night before going to sleep, and the first thing I thought upon waking up. In fact, I had thought that single phrase, in many different variations, an average of at least four thousand times a day (by my best calculations), every day, for going on three months. It was exhausting. I was exhausted. I didn’t want to think these thoughts. Quite the contrary: I loathed the thoughts. I feared these blasphemous thoughts and phrases more than anything, but I absolutely could not stop thinking them. The more I feared the blasphemous thoughts, and the more I wished to stop thinking them, the more I thought them. Every day, I was terrified that I was guilty of the "unforgivable sin" of blasphemy against the holy spirit, and was condemned to hell for eternity.
The short, catchy blasphemous phrases were just a small part of my situation. Additionally, I would sometimes struggle for hours a day with thoughts that I might be God. Terrified, because I knew that the real God must surely not like people who thought they were God, I would try for hours to convince myself of why I was not God. Then in the shower every now and then, Satan (or some voice presuming to be Satan) would quote Nietzsche to me in an attempt to convince me that the real God respected power, not meekness, and would thus torment Christians in hell for eternity to amuse himself, whilst the strong and ruthless would inherit the kingdom. Thus, the Holy Spirit really was evil, and I was to worship the voice presuming to be Satan, as therein was salvation. One time, these thoughts became so overpowering that, falling, I put my face to the ground as I begged God to deliver me. Then I thought I heard God say to me: “peace, be still”. But His tone of voice was a menacing whisper. Evil. I didn’t know who was God and who was Satan. I blacked out. I don’t remember anything else from that day.
I absolutely can not and will not try to describe the level of suffering I experienced for those four or five months. There’s an interesting thing about great suffering: it produces a new level of loneliness. There you are, the sufferer, and out across an almost infinite chasm, you can barely make out the forms of people around you. People who aren’t suffering. Not like you are. You can not possibly tell anyone what you are going through. You can not cross over to them, and they can not cross over to you, even if they wanted to do so to help you in some way. That is what hell is all about. Even though I no longer suffer as I did during those months, I am still alone. I’ve changed. Who I was before those months died. Who I am now is not who I was: in order to survive, that part of my personality had to die.
A Relatively Unheard of Mental Disease
It’s called scrupulosity. It is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) centered around religious themes, such as blasphemy, unforgivable sin, perdition, the end of the world and the return of Christ, and eternal damnation. In the most extreme cases, such as my own, it can manifest with psychotic delusions (like my thoughts that I was God). John Bunyan, who wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress, certainly suffered from it. Carl Jung battled with it. Martin Luther may have suffered from it. I, and many other people like me, have suffered hell from it while the rest of the world goes around completely unaware of our pain. The facts that I lost my job and dropped out of school were trivial. Even the fact that I was almost never able to leave the house or be in public was petty. Nothing mattered to me whatsoever except the hell I was in, and the one forlorn, relatively hopeless longing to be freed from it.
OCD is a horrific disorder, but the religious variation of it (scrupulosity) may be even more complicated in its own way. To illustrate this: if a person’s OCD centers around germs, it is simple enough to repeatedly perform tasks such as hand-washing to alleviate the obsessive thoughts about germs and illness. But if one’s obsessive thoughts are things like, “F*<K the Holy Spirit”, what exactly can one do? One can pray and read the bible obsessively in search of some loophole that might grant them salvation despite their blasphemous thoughts. And that is about all I did during those months.
OCD is often manageable with a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy and antidepressants. Scrupulosity, however, may be an especially difficult form of OCD to treat, for the simple reason that its sufferers may be less likely to seek treatment in medicine or psychotherapy. When OCD centers around religious themes, it does so for a reason: religious themes have been a central concern in the life of the affected individual, probably long before OCD symptoms ever appeared. In other words, someone whose parents were atheists and who is herself an atheist will be very unlikely to develop scrupulosity. If such a person does suffer from OCD, it will probably center around germs/illness or something else. People who develop scrupulosity often come from very religious backgrounds. The kinds of backgrounds capable of instilling such potent fears of things like eternal damnation and unforgivable sin. I came from such a background (although it should be noted that my parents never intentionally tried to center my religious experience around fear). People who come from such a background are more likely to see their suffering in purely religious terms, rather than medical terms. The people around them are more likely to see things in such terms as well. The first solutions I looked for (with, not surprisingly, the help of my mother) were religious in nature: meetings with pastors and faith-healers... a few exorcisms.
The Heart of the Matter
OCD is an anxiety disorder. This means that the root of my problem was fear. Religious fear. From early childhood, I grew up believing that there was an all-powerful God who would forcibly send many, many (indeed, most) people to a cosmic torture chamber where they would suffer the most indescribably horrific torments for a literal eternity. That is, forever and ever and ever and ever. If one believes such a scenario to actually be true, we ought to question their emotional soundness if they are not terrified. For me, recovery from my debilitating, soul-crushing mental disorder did not come from medicine or therapy. In my case, I seriously doubt how effective any combination of those treatments might have been.
The Victorious Gospel of Jesus Christ
I began to recover only after I stumbled across the notion of Christian Universalism on the internet. I discovered that from the very dawn of Christianity all the way up until now, many, many eminent and astute leaders in the faith have professed a belief which is heard of by relatively few today, and accepted by even fewer. The belief: God is such that He will send no human being to suffer in eternal torment. Hell exists only to chasten souls until they repent, and thus are fit for reconciliation with God. I was initially extremely wary of this doctrine. I had been programmed my entire life to run in terror from anything that sounded so “heretical”. It seemed that heresy, after all, was one of the surest ways to land yourself in eternal hell. But I studied universalism deeply, for months. I was shocked to find so many scriptures and spiritual teachers which all pointed to the truth of it. Also, I was desperate. My sanity, my very life, depended on the truth of what I was reading: that God truly is good and merciful. I was like a drowning man: when a ship comes along to rescue him, he sees little alternative to climbing aboard.
Thankfully, the ship I climbed onto turned out to be sure and steady. By the grace of God, I am being born safely to land. Today I am completely free from my hell of fear and from all the blasphemous thoughts. This kind of release seemed completely impossible during those months of torture. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of perfect Love. The religious leaders in Christ’s time were willfully blind to this fact, as many of the religious elite are today. Religious leaders in Christ’s time were so blind to this truth that they attributed an act of divine love and mercy to the power of Satan. This, Jesus said, was the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. It is the reversal of what is good and what is evil. It is the inability to see that the Spirit of God is the spirit of Love. Love can heal our bodies and our minds. When I began to realize the perfect love of God, I was freed from my hell of religious OCD. And that, dear reader, is a miracle.
This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2010 Justin Aptaker
Cathy on August 13, 2018:
Thank you for your honesty. I also feel that the fear of the unforgiveable sin is closely related to the doctrine of eternal torment. When we have the view in our hearts that God is really not merciful, we worry about Salvation all the time. I don't know how so many Christians can be so happy and peaceful believing in eternal torment. Some web sites and Christians have made my Scrupulosity even worse by implying that some people have no hope even if they repent. My belief in Conditional Immortality has brought me freedom from this fear, however, sometimes I still feel the effects of years of indoctrination.
BrittanyGodschild on December 09, 2017:
i deal with this so badddddddddddd. justin how did you get free :((((((((( i rebuke use GODS WORD. i deal with letters like deeper than words its horrid :( please pray for me
Justin Aptaker (author) from United States on May 06, 2017:
Dear Kamuela Bean,
It has been some six years since I wrote this article. And I can tell you with the deepest conviction that God has not forsaken or rejected Amasa Brodie, or you, or me, or any of the sufferers who have spoken out in these comments.
I also used to have thoughts that maybe I was God. I also felt like I might be successfully tempted to worship the devil. I also woke up in the middle of the night thinking I could be Jesus Christ, and spent an hour or two arguing with myself over it, in order to finally convince myself that I couldn't possibly be Jesus Christ.
And God was not angry with me for any of these things. He was loving me through it the whole time, and I couldn't even see it until later down the road, looking back. God is not who we imagine Him to be. We've created God in our own image. In the image of fallen humanity. We imagine that He is full of ego and anger. That He demands our worship in the same way that a human dictator demands the adoration of the people he rules.
But God is not like us. He is not petty, or proud, or demanding, or angry. He has no need of anything, and that includes our worship. He asks for our worship because He knows that we ourselves will benefit the most from that. He knows that if we worship what is truly good, and perfect, and beautiful, and Loving (aka Himself), that we ourselves will be lifted from our own petty, fallen nature, and begin to be more like He is. We will become more loving, more beautiful. And that is what He longs for us, because He loves us. We are His children!
And what about people who actually do think that they are God? Or people who actually do worship the devil? Do you think these people surprise or shock God? Do you think they stress Him out, or ruin his day? How could that be possible? He knows all, can do all, can see all. He loves all, with complete and perfect love. Remember Jesus on the cross, praying "Father, forgive them! They don't understand what they're doing!" Don't you think that God was in perfect agreement with His Son, who was His own very nature made flesh? Don't you think that God must have already forgiven those who were crucifying His Son, since His Son was already forgiving them, and His Son was the very embodiment of His own will?
Jesus, who did only the things His Father did, and spoke only the things His Father spoke, loved and forgave people while they were spitting on Him and stripping Him naked and putting Him to death by the torture of crucifixion! Did He seem angry with them? No.
Now what do you think is easier to forgive and to love someone in spite of? Someone who is shoving a spear into your side, or someone who is confused and foolish enough to think that they are you? He loved and forgave and showed no anger towards those who were torturing Him to death. How much more wouldn't He simply love and forgive and have no resentment towards some foolish person who thought that they themselves were Him (God)?
God is nothing like we are. God Loves us all, no matter what we do. He showed that on the cross. And He knows full well that you are sick. That you and I and others suffer from a mental disturbance which causes us such pain and confusion and torment. So how could He be doing anything right now but loving us and trying to somehow let us know that it is ok, that He isn't mad, that He Loves us, that we are His children?
Kamuela Bean from Industry on May 03, 2017:
I am suffering from the same thing. I hear blasphemies against Jesus and against The Holy Spirit as well it is nonstop. I am broken and out of energy to fight this at all. I have been fighting this for over a month now I've lost track of exactly how long but its been several weeks now and I can't take it anymore. I wake up in the middle of the night and it starts in on me, I hear blasphemies. I know it is Satan trying to confuse me and it makes me sad. I also kept thinking at one point that I might be God and I knew that God would be angry with me for thinking that. I just want my head to be quiet again, and at peace but I just don't know how to ever get that again. I have been trying to read the bible off and on so that I can get some perspective but that isn't helping me I feel like. I'm actually saddened to hear that other people suffer this way but I am glad I am not the only one because then I would really be scared I would have nowhere to look. I'm sorry that anyone has to go through this and I am praying for Amasa Brodie who is rejecting God and Jesus in the comments section. I'm not giving up and neither should you to whoever reads this.
Justin Aptaker (author) from United States on March 11, 2017:
"...one who comes to Me I will never cast out." - John 6:37
Amasa Brodie on May 02, 2015:
Dear Fellow Sufferers,
Please pray that God will re-inspire my credence in the divinity of miracles someday.
Thank you so much.
Amasa Brodie on May 02, 2015:
Saturday, May 2, 2015
I am sorry that I had to resort to the rejection of God and Christianity. But, when you are incessantly, spiritually violated with uncontrollable, sacrilegious ideas, for more than half of your existence, you finally feel forced to cease the abject agony any way that you are able.
Believe it or not, I once adored The Lord, and willingly tried to consecrate each and every thought, even as this duty became more and more gruelingly difficult, and gradually metastasized to, and destroyed, every area of my life, like a psychological sarcoma. To compartmentalize, every subject was somehow connected to, or "made about," first my efforts to personally avoid succumbing to the unforgivable sin; and, secondly, my perpetual prayers that God expurgate this Scripture, thereby freeing the prospectively pious from similar torture.
Innumerable times, I implored The Lord to execute me before I collapsed into the doom of despair, but, as my very presence proves, He abused, betrayed, deceived, persecuted, disregarded, and refused me when I most needed help.
I sincerely thank you, AEQUANIMITAS43, for your compassionate efforts to comfort me. But, my anguish is irreparable. As long as I am condemned, anyway, why prolong the shattering sense of suffocating suspense? Apparently, the sole remaining solution is my suicide.
AEQUANIMITAS43 on April 27, 2015:
Amasa I am sorry you have declared apostasy. I am not clear on why you you are experiencing cerebral torture but I hope you improve. The one thing I can tell you is that either you stating something you do not truly believe or you were never a Christian to begin with. A true Christian has an experience from the indwelling of Holy Spirit that can never change one's mind to the contrary it is a supernatural event that makes you aware of his presence. It would be like knowing you have a biological father who you lived with all your life and then saying your father never existed even if you said it you would know it was not true. The only other alternative is that you never received the Holy Spirit and you have fought for 2 decades to believe with your own cerebral efforts and failed miserably. No one who was ever a Christian truly thinks Christ is a myth. Either way God through Christ will draw you to him because he is the Savior of all and he does things according to his will not yours. So you can either seek him or reject him for a season he will reconcile all things unto himself. If you think he's the boogie man ready to throw you in some literal fire then that's where the true belief in a myth begins. And so many Christians believe that myth due to ignorance or the need to intimidate others and for that there is not enough apologies I can send your way to make up for the damage the church has caused for hundreds of years. I wish you well and that Jesus reveals himself to you in a way that would never cause you to doubt and that you may never be fearful of him and truly know his unconditional love. Love never fails!!!
Amasa Brodie on April 26, 2015:
Just to finalize my apostasy, I do not any longer believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, or that He was crucified for our redemption from sin, or that He reappeared from the dead three days afterward, or in the premise or promise of so-called Salvation. The Bible and Christianity both are malicious MYTHS.
Amasa Brodie on April 26, 2015:
Monday, April 27, 2015
I, Amasa Brodie, hereby declare that I believe that the Holy Spirit has accomplished all miracles, whether past, present, prospective, or perpetual, through the spectacular power of one Satan.
There. It is completed. Finally, I will be eternally, and safely, doomed. Hallelujah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Amasa Brodie on April 25, 2015:
I forgot the date: Saturday, April 25, 2015.
Slaughtered Spirit on March 06, 2015:
Friday, March 6, 2015
A Postscript To Yesterday's Eulogy For My Departed Friend:
If it implies subjugation to an eternally corrupted autocracy, "Heaven," why should I ever want redemption?
To emancipate every slave to the spiritual scimitar of scrupulosity from past to present, the multitude of which must be indubitably immeasurable, I ache for revenge!
May every traitor within the Trinity be as abused, deceived, deserted, triturated, and traduced as we have been!
For, when a relationship fails, BOTH parties must humble themselves.
With everlasting enragement toward the Villains, and empathy toward all Their victims,
V.B. on March 05, 2015:
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Dear Spiritual Soldier,
HE is the unforgivable, not you.
These sudden speculations cannot possibly have been produced
by a person as pious as yourself. But, even if they were, the prevaricating "Para-clit" never deserved your services, whether sexual, or otherwise. As a fellow victim of this psychological pyre of perpetual persecution, please remember that, someday, my friend, WE will terrify the terrible tyrants which total the Trinity, rather than the reverse. Just treasure all the dreams, of torching forth THEIR screams.
I care about you. You are anything but alone.
Slaughtered Spirit on March 05, 2015:
For two agonizing decades, my best friend was tortured by uncontrollable, sacrilegious thoughts, and the grueling rituals which she would realize to attempt to atone for them, protect herself from punishment, and, ultimately, free the future from similar persecution. As I witnessed this cruel curse destroy every area of her existence like a cerebral cancer, I was indescribably devastated. Finally, irrefutably persuaded that she had failed her most critical mission, and ashamed of her own resentment of, and desperate desire to escape from, this mental malady, she unwittingly shattered my soul with a tragic decision: the ingestion of a lethal drug overdose. At thirty-five years of age, she never completed college, was employed, learned to drive, dated, or existed independently.
But, most catastrophically of all, she perished absolutely certain that God abhorred not only her, but also His most adoring, and precious servants. Therefore, readers, I resolutely ratify that the devil defines only the comparative of evil. Fortified with His most powerful weapon against the ethical, which The Living Bible translators paraphrase as "the lethal sin that ends in spiritual death," the so-called Savior, who subsumes the "Gift" of conditional Grace, and of only simulated Salvation, epitomizes, and eternalizes, the superlative of sinisterness.
In the rare moments that my friend would admit her indignation, she repeatedly quoted this excerpt from the metal ballad "Holy Diver," by Dio: "Behind the velvet promises, there is a truth as hard as steel."
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Dawn on August 18, 2014:
August 15, 2014 I will celebrate as Deliverance Day. The day God delivered me from over 2 years of Religious Scrupulosity. You have eloquently described the loneliness to a T.
My scrupulous thoughts began in the middle of the night back in 2012 with the exact same phrase you began this article with. That entire day I suffered severe panic and fear. I'd sleep for days only to wake up long enough to say "Please Jesus, please" because I was convinced I'd committed the unpardonable sin.
I now know that I have not committed blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. I had never heard of scrupulosity until that February back in 2012. But I now know what it is - a glitch in my brain. And that is just the way Jesus sees it: a glitch.
Even though I've 'known' this all along, I still had trouble believing it and feeling the weight lift off my chest. I just felt like I needed God to personally tell me I am still His. And He did - through one specific scripture. (Why it took 2 1/2 years, I'll never know).
Philippians 1:6 " And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."
I know 100% that God has started a 'good work' in me - I've felt it all along, my entire life... and if I believe the first part of this verse, then I must believe the full verse... God will bring the good work in me to completion when Jesus returns. I am still His - He is still working on me!
I have many other revelations I've come to along the way, but my biggest point is that you do not have to give up hope on being the person you were before all this began. I begged God to let me be naïve of such things again. He didn't make me naïve, but He did deliver me.
I love to inhale deeply and feel real peace again. I hope anyone else out there that is going through this will just hang on and know it is not their fault and they can have that deep rooted joy again.
hal on December 04, 2013:
To the above brother you are in delusion God will not be mocked. I hate to say it but Jesus brought the gospel of peace to save us from eternal fire. Torture!
AA on November 11, 2013:
please people read quran, and save your selves from hellfire , believe in what Allah has revealed , those who disbelieved in what Allah has revealed and do not believe in All messengers will go to hell fire for eternity. and those who believe in All the messengers and the last messenger of Allah Muhammad peace be upon him , and all the books of ALlah , the bible , the torah , the Quran etc , and angels and judgement day , and decree of good and bad from Allah , those who believe in All this and perform good acts ,only these people will go to paradise.. and Allah knows the best .. plz people plz people plz save yourselves from the fire , save yourselves from Satan , Satan decieves human beings , he is the enemy of us . may Allah guide you all , save yourselves and families from eternal hell fire and obey your true Lord Allah , '' He is Allah, the One and Only! Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not nor is He begotten. And there is none like unto Him.'' .. Read Quran atleast once with open mind so that may truth awaken you.. may Allah guide you all. i will pray for you.
AA on November 11, 2013:
The fact that all non-Muslims (kuffar; sing. kafir) will remain in Hell (Jahannam) eternally is not our own personal opinion, but the categorical command of Allah, Most High. It is firmly established by the Qur’an and Sunnah. There are more than a hundred Qur’anic verses that inform us of this fact:
(Certainly, all disbelievers, be they from among the Ahl-i Kitab [Jews and Christians] or from among polytheists, will be in the fire of Hell. They will abide therein eternally. They are the worst of creatures.) [Al-Bayyinah 6]
harryreyhing on October 31, 2013:
universalism is a heresy.The Bible all the early church fathers and Christian tradition teach hell is real,eternal and very populated.God gave man free will and many choose to reject God and live for siun and satan.So in death they get their wish etenal seperatin from him.Im sorry Jesus nd theentire new testamnet teah areal literal hell.Tha said you will not go to hell for ocd andblasphemous houghts.God knows your heat.You dont wat to think tm but the enemy oryour ocd will put thee things in your head.Just igmoreit
Devi on March 27, 2013:
Sorry i am devi 49 yrs old with ocd since 20 yrs now my son of 23 has been diagnosed with this. My house has become a hell, my son does not want to pray or meditate. plse help.
AEQUANIMITAS43 on December 01, 2012:
To the above poster I am not making Jesus out to be a liar. I am making the translators of the bible to be "liberal" at the very least in their translations of the original text.
Please educate me in showing me in the bible where Jesus said the torment does not end as you mentioned above since you are quoting him.
You mention above Jesus is a "friend of sinners" that is not true according to you. He is a friend only in this life if you accept him otherwise by your estimation a sinner at death burns forever. This logic is perpetuated by you and millions of Christians is insanity.
I am not denying Christ I am denying the pagan hell that has crystallized into carnal churches since the dark ages. Hell's original translation means either destruction, or the grave.
You think if you call a friend a fool you are in danger of burning in a pagan hell forever? And yet Jesus said if you call your friend a fool you are in danger of hell. Do you believe this? The meaning of this text is that you are in danger of destruction or destroying yourself IN THIS LIFE.
Is the wages of sin death or some pagan hell? you can even check any bible for that answer.
Jesus COMMANDS you to love your enemies and yet according to you he does not love his enemies because in the end he burns them forever in some pond right? This is insane thinking and yet you won't question it I know you will continue in this carnal thinking.
My heart goes out to you because I realize what the church has preached for a thousand years now and it is handed down from generation to generation. I use to believe just like you before I actually researched words like hell, everlasting and forever and ever and realized I had been duped.
Jesus is the Savior of the WORLD he took away the sins of the WORLD no exception that's the good news you deny this and call him a liar. It's the carnal mind that cannot think like GOD that get's in the way and the translation of the bible doesn't help.
I will re-post my scripture statement from a previous post above I know it won't make in impact because most men have a tendency to cling to hell and the pagan fantasies of it's torment than actually study what the scripture is really saying but here goes anyway:
"Romans 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
"the many" were made sinners because of Adam are the same "many" that will be made righteous. They will be made righteous through the sacrifice of Jesus. I know you have NO PROBLEM with the first part of the Romans verse since we were made sinners through disobedience of one man (yup you deserve everlasting torment because of something you NEVER did but Adam did it perfect logic). But of course the second half you deny Jesus the reality and responsibility to "the many" that will be made righteous because of his death and resurrection. You are denying Christ as the Savior of all. I pray God will reveal it to you through the Holy Spirit.
Step on November 30, 2012:
I need to enter a correction: "There is infinitely more comfort THAN you have ..." should be the first sentence in the last paragraph.
Unlike the person who has written above, I do not believe that you are beyond mercy, if you will just accept it, and know that His ways are incomprehensible to us, but that is no reason to make Him to be a liar (to call Him a liar). No one talked more of hell, and of torment which does not end, than the Lord Jesus, the friend of sinners. Please don't deny Him any longer. He never cast out a sinner who has come to Him in repentance and faith yet, and has promised that He never will, no, not for any reason.
Step on November 30, 2012:
After reading the views expressed in your original posting, and the comments, I felt compelled to ask a question. How was John Bunyan brought out of his experience (which you note as similar to your own)?
Personally I am thankful to the LORD for the writings of John Bunyan. If you will read his "Grace Abounding" you will get a clear understanding of what the LORD did for Bunyan, and how that is different than denying His word.
Scrupulous thinking can be as a result of one's physiological constitution; it can also be caused by living a religious though unrepentant, unbelieving life; or, it can be a consequence of both together. God's grace is truly more than any can imagine, but His truth will not be watered down or twisted. I hope you will read Bunyan and believe in his God. One helpful website is this: http://acacia.pair.com/Acacia.John.Bunyan/Sermons....
and the specific page for Grace Abounding ... is here:
There is infinitely more comfort that you have afforded yourself in denying God's truth to be had in believing, trusting, in and acquiescing to the all wise God.
AEQUANIMITAS43 on August 29, 2012:
Saved by Jesus You wrote : Interesting you believe in Heaven not Hell.
Why is that interesting? Hell is not scriptural so I don't believe in it.
You wrote: I am hoping you are not living in sin because you think that you will never be punished for it.
Ummm me living in sin has nothing to do with the unsound doctrine of hell. God punished his son for our sin instead of us or have you not heard?
You wrote: Jesus died for ALL men, but no one can get saved, and continue in sin and expect to go to Heaven.
I don't know of ANYONE who is a Christian including the apostle Paul who didn't continue to sin .....We are sinful!!! If we say we have no sin we lie (which is what you have done). When Jesus died for all men, all men we were guaranteed to be made righteous. This is a truth you cannot except or refuse to except.
You wrote : Of course Jesus was not left in Hell
Jesus NEVER WENT TO HELL another crazy assumption. David WAS speaking about himself
You wrote: In Revelation, the fearful who go to Hell are those who have not been perfected in the love of Christ. Wow!!! So ALL Christians are perfected in love right now? Really they are perfected in love? They better be according to you otherwise they go to hell if they are not made perfect in love (which will not happen in this life)
You wrote: and continue in sin and expect to go to Heaven. That would grieve the Holy Spirit, and He would leave.
FALSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The worst statement you have ever written The Holy Spirit DOES NOT LEAVE A BELIEVER The Bible says you are sealed until the day of redemption with the Holy Spirit. Are you telling Christians they are going to lose the Holy Spirit and the I assume go to hell? This why Christians are in fear and lose their minds this is why people give up and don't want to hear the limited salvation of God and his plan to throw people in hell. Your doctrine is not sound. You entice people with this perfect love of God only to manipulate them later by telling them they can lose their salvation and anyone they love who is not a Christian is going to be tormented for ever and ever in hell. (where do I sign up?)
You wrote I can assure you that they (demons) are not prancing in heaven
I never thought demons were prancing in heaven. I never said they were not real. I DO know many will tell Jesus that they cast them out in his name and he will say he never knew them. So just because someone sees demons does not prove there is a hell.
You wrote: If you honestly think that just because Jesus died for ALL, and you truly believe that athiests or people of other religions are all going to Heaven, then I truly hope that God will open your eyes to the truth and that you repent from teaching false doctrines to people
YES Jesus died for all. Yes athiests go to heaven yes people of all religions go to heaven. God has opened my eyes. He opened my eyes to the false church which you are a part of and he opened up my eyes to the false doctrine of hell and the denial of Jesus taking away the sins of the WORLD!!!
I feel sorry for you. You will never see the truth!!! You deny Jesus is the saves all men yet over and over the bible says that he does. Your religion is a carnal mess of spiritual perversion of the bible. All references to hell in the bible if studied have NOTHING to do with some pagan torture chamber. The lake of fire is imagery God will show all men his righteousness. But I see you refuse to grow in the things of God. That would be sad in itself but what is worse is that I am sure you teach others the same mess you believe and of course some false uneducated preacher taught you the same vile doctrine of hell making God into a boogie man and so on and so on .
I hope you repent from believing such false doctrine but I know you won't. You have made up your mind and not even God could change it. As for me if there is EVER an opportunity to share with people that Jesus SAVES ALL MEN I will do it any chance I can.
Saved by Jesus on August 29, 2012:
Interesting that you believe in Heaven, but not Hell. I am hoping that you are not living in sin, because you think that you will never be punished for it. This is my last post in this thread...if I could find a way to unsubscribe, I certainly would. I pray that God will open your eyes to the truth. I would much rather suffer from Scrupulosity than to not suffer from it and believe a lie. God is HOLY, and yes, Jesus died for ALL men, but no one can get saved, and continue in sin and expect to go to Heaven. That would grieve the Holy Spirit, and He would leave. So when you sin, you don't go to the Lord and repent? That is horrible if it is true! You have misinterpreted the verse you quoted in Acts, about not being left in Hell. David is the author-the original verse is in Psalms. David is prophesying about Jesus Christ-he is speaking HIS WORDS, not his own. Of course Jesus was not left in Hell, nor did his soul see corruption! In Revelation, the fearful who go to Hell are those who have not been perfected in the love of Christ. Again, I am tired of this thread, and am not going to respond anymore. If you honestly think that just because Jesus died for ALL, and you truly believe that athiests or people of other religions are all going to Heaven, then I truly hope that God will open your eyes to the truth and that you repent from teaching false doctrines to people. I am not responding to this thread anymore-like I said, we have to agree to disagree. I have seen demons, been attacked by demons, and felt them, and I have friends gifted in deliverance who have seen and cast out many demons, and I can assure you that they are real, and are certainly not prancing around in Heaven-they are waiting for unbelievers in Hell, which is a literal place. Good bye, and God bless!
AEQUANIMITAS43 on August 28, 2012:
Saved by Jesus I am not upset at all nor angry. I thought we were debating the existence of hell nothing more. You are not looking for a false doctrine to make scrupulosity go away? You don't have to look for false doctrine I agree because you already believe in a false doctrine. I wasn't arguing with you I was challenging you to seek the meaning of what God said regarding hell. Instead you barraged me with over 15 quotes of the bible which have a reference to hell but are not literal and do not refer to a Pagan hell where people are in torment. You could not answer just one of my questions regarding these scriptures and I'm not surprised.
And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.
Jesus rebuked the towns like Capernaum for not believing telling them they would ascend to hell and did he mean a Pagan hell? No he was referring to the fact that since they did not believe they would not longer be in any place of power anymore that they would be destroyed and fade no longer being important which is exactly what happened but did Capernaum actually get swallowed up into hell? No silly.
I am sorry you refuse to look further in the scriptures and study the true meaning of hell. So we agree to disagree. I am glad you are praying and trusting God to heal people. One of the greatest healing' s God can perform on man is to heal people's minds from being tormented by the false doctrine of hell. It's the goodness of God that leads men to repentance not the threat of a pagan hell.
Once again I will leave you with this quote
"Romans 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
"the many" were made sinners because of Adam are the same "many" that will be made righteous. They will be made righteous through judgement and fire. Not hell fire but a purifying fire from Jesus the refiner. Visions are not a basis of sound doctrine for if that were so anyone could bypass the scriptures meaning and justify it by a dream.
Saved by Jesus on August 28, 2012:
Wow, you are sure getting upset when someone does not agree with your beliefs! A person can agree to disagree, which is what we are doing...yet you are very angry! Why? I am not looking for a false doctrine to make scrupulosity go away-I am praying and trusting God to heal people, because only He can do it. I refuse to spend my time arguing with you-instead, I choose to spend my time focusing on my Lord who is coming soon and who WILL judge. God gave me a vision of Hell one time, and I can assure you it is real. Shalom!
AEQUANIMITAS43 on August 26, 2012:
Yes thank you for pointing out every verse from the bible that I am fully aware of. It would take an eon to explain every verse for you.
You think if you call a man a fool or Raca you should go to hell? I thought non belief was a requirement for hell but if I tell someone he is a fool I go to hell? If you are fearful you should go to hell? Revelation says the fearful have a place in the lake of fire can you explain why? Many Christians are fearful (probably because of your twisted theology) If you have ever lied you go to hell?
Do you believe that Lazarus a poor man went to heaven while the rich man went to hell? Lazarus was poor does that make him a righteous man? The rich man does he deserve hell because he was rich? Is this parable literal? If so every poor man that begs go to heaven and every rich man should go to hell since there is no mention weather the poor man or rich man believed.
Can you not see use your God given reasoning skills to look deeper? Or are you carnally minded like the majority of Christians who embrace a pagan concept of hell? Hell is translated as grave or to conceal.
Acts 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Is the author here saying he won't be left in hell? How can one go to hell but then not be left there and redeemed? The answer is the better translation is Because thou wilt not leave my soul in the grave.
"Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead. ALL MEN!!!! ALL MEN!!! There is that ALL thing again. You still looking on the surface? can you answer the questions above I have presented to you? You did not answer why Adam was not told by God he was going to the pagan hell you believe in after he disobeyed God. Did God tell Cain he would go to hell after killing his brother? NO! Cain was handed down judgement with NO mention of a hell and Cain said this judgement was more than he could bare do you think Hell would be more than anyone could bare? If so do you think God might want to add that in his judgement and let Cain know what was coming? The second death is the death of carnality. Brimstone is a cleansing agent (hint). the same fire that god salts people is the same that purifies in the lake of fire. You are taking everything in Revelation and what Jesus said literal (when you want to). You might as well take everything Jesus said as literal and pluck your eyes out when they offend you. Give me a break.
Saved by Jesus on August 26, 2012:
Here are some verses on Hell. They are spoken by Jesus, and by the disciples. Are you calling them a liar? Do you also not believe that we will each stand in front of the Judgment seat of Christ, and that there will be no Great White Throne Judgment that is mentioned in Revelations? Why do you only believe parts of the Bible?
Mat 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Mat 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Mat 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Mat 11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Mat 18:9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
Mat 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
Mat 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the ****ation of hell?
Mark 9:43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Mark 9:45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Mark 9:47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
Luke 10:15 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.
Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Acts 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Acts 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
2 Pet 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Rev 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
AEQUANIMITAS43 on August 26, 2012:
Saved by Jesus just so we are clear I do NOT believe in Universalism. I believe in Christian Universalism there is a HUGE difference. Universalism teaches there are many ways to God and all religions have truth to them. Christian Universalism believe there is only one way to God and that's Jesus Christ. The difference from Christian Universalism and other forms of Christianity is that Christian Universalism believes ALL men are ultimately saved by Christ and the bible over and over again promises this. On the surface one could assume only some are saved if you were to read the bible and not understand the original translation of words.
You should do a google search on the history of the Christian faith they NEVER preached of a burning hell and limited salvation. It was during 500AD when the Catholic church declared it heresy to preach such things and hijacked the religion that these false doctrines permeated the church.
No sane parent would throw their child in a burning fire for ever and ever and yet we are all filthy rags when it comes to our righteousness and the bible says our hearts are desperately wicked. So how much more would Jesus be opposed to such ideas? You have been deceived by the translators who took liberties with God's word and preachers who sold you a damaged bill of goods. The lake of fire in Revelation is imagery as is the candles, the beast, the harlot etc.
Are their fearful Christians amongst us? I know many Christians who are fearful and yet Revelation says the fearful will have their share in the lake of fire. Does this make perfect sense to you on the surface? Fire is a cleansing fire it's the same fire that is used in the bible over and over again for cleansing. God is an awe consuming fire (same fire). You are thinking carnally. Seek the Holy Spirit on this if you think God on the one hand DEMANDS you love your enemies only to take them and throw them in a torture chamber Hitler would be proud of I can assure you it's not of GOD.
Saved by Jesus on August 25, 2012:
Do a google search on why Universalism is a false doctrine-there are way too many reasons to list here!
AEQUANIMITAS43 on August 24, 2012:
I'm sorry Saved by Jesus but you are wrong. Jesus is the Savior of the WORLD. He took away the sins of the WORLD!!!! The world with no exceptions
"For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe" (1 Timothy 4:10).
Notice here it says ALL MEN!!! all NOT some!!! ALL MEN. Notice also Paul says specially those that believe NOT just those that believe. You are among the millions of Christians who doubt the complete saving power of Christ through the cross. He saves those who don't even desire him it's called perfect love. It will only be when God's judgments are in the earth that man will learn righteousness. God's will is that man learns righteousness and even those that don't know him WILL learn!!!
Please show me the story in the bible where the angels rebelled against God and followed Satan. Please show me the mythical little ferry tale in the bible that your pastor told you. You think Adam went to to Hell? He rebelled against God yet the Lord walked in the garden in the cool of the day and made Adam clothes. Is that love? Did God ever include a mythical hell in his judgement when he judged Adam for his sin? Nope!!! Not one word about it. And yet he was the worst sinner in the bible.
Romans 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. "The many" means everyone or ALL in both instances. I feel sorry for you and all those that listen to the garbage religion of selective sslavation.
Christian Universalism will cause the church to lose it's fearful grip on people and lead more people to Christ than any hell fire and brimstone preacher could imagine. It's a wave of God and the church won't be able to stop it, they will no longer be able to hold a gun to the heads of the unsuspecting threatening hell and fear to accept Jesus as it is the GOODNESS of GOD that leads men to repentance. Not a preacher telling you that you will burn for ever and ever if you don't accept Christ.
Saved by Jesus on August 23, 2012:
I developed it right after I got saved, and have been tormented horribly. There is an herb called Passionflower that really helped me a lot, and I no longer even hear the voices. Oh, and also avoid caffeine and any kind of stimulants too!
There is a story in the OT, I think in Deuteronomy, that talks about a woman who was engaged to be married, and she was walking somewhere and was raped. It said that if she cried out for help, she would not have been found guilty, but if she kept quiet while being raped, she would be considered guilty. This can easily be applied to scrupulosity.....a person with this disease, their mind is being RAPED by satanic thoughts that are NOT their own. They are not guilty! Hope this helps!
As far as the article, it was well written, but under no circumstances do I agree with Universalism. After studying the Bible extensively on the subject, I believe that only certain people are foreknown and predestined for salvation. God is the One who leads us and draws us by His Holy Spirit, and He is the One who opens our hearts to receive the Truth of Jesus Christ and to accept Him as Lord and Savior. Because of the sin we were born into through Adam, it is absolutely impossible for us to seek or desire God in our natural state, because we are all born evil. It takes GOD to open our hearts for us to desire Him. Do all people desire God and seek after Him? No, they don't...even after hearing the gospel of Christ. Jesus said "You did not choose Me, I chose you!" He is the One who does the choosing, and it most certainly is not everyone in the world, or that would mean that Judas was in Heaven too, and Antiocas (sp?), as well as the upcoming AntiChrist, False Prophet, and all the angels that rebelled against God and followed Satan. No, Universalism is a very wrong and dangerous teaching that would cause the church to be lukewarm.
Stef on July 26, 2012:
So ya my OCD is worse I guess.... The thoughts actually got worse after a certain medication. The problem with this desise is you lose your ability to see right from wrong. What is real and what is imagined... Plus the devil is pure evil and messes with us who have this weakness.
The important part is just saying "I love the Holly Spirit, no matter what my brain Says".
I was extremly rebellious to the point of being evil in my younger years... There are no excuses for evil... It's either your with God or you're not.
So no blasphemous art, no porn, no cussing... Nothing offensive to God.
And no excuses... I think that's why my OCD is so horrible... It's because I offended God so many times without even noticing, thay I've made a pretty bad outcome for myself. I don't want to be Satans trophy. I think OCD is a mark for all the evil behaviour.
Fernando on May 30, 2012:
I'm 42 years old, since when I was 15 years that I suffer from this. I'm catholic and believe in God, but sometimes I feel as if I was a monster, the worst human being on earth since creation.
When I try to have a dialog with God, praying or something else, this Blasphemies thoughts invades my mind as if someone is pushing me from my back
Horror, a lot of pain, a horrible torture is what I'm living with since I was 15.
The only comfort I have is to offer this pane, my torture to God
Paul on May 28, 2012:
OCD Scrupulosity has a mind of it's own. The only thing that's good about it is it makes you stronger and more aware of your religion. Bear this cross with dignity and respect.
On behalf of Jesus on March 10, 2012:
I wanted to add, "The Evil One"... Likes to place fear and aggravation in people... God, would never set his children up for failure. I don't agree with the writer completely but I respect that he has peace in his life. There is another way you can separate yourself from Gods love...
This is what a scholar shared with me:
Please believe me when I tell you this. You cannot commit the “unforgiveable” sin if you do not want to. The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not just words or thoughts, it is a persistent refusal to accept the truth. It can also take the form of what is called “final impenitence” which is the persistent refusal to repent of serious sin or despair by which we deny hope. If you are distressed about it, you CANNOT have committed this sin. Please do not be unduly alarmed about this matter. Many people do not understand what is meant by “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit”. Please calm down and be at peace. Do not struggle too much against these thoughts because in doing that you are giving them attention. Just try to divert your thoughts on to other things. if you do not want these thoughts you are not sinning.
On behalf of Jesus listen to the cure... on March 10, 2012:
Okay, you can check these facts just like I did so you know what I'm about to write is true and you will feel better almost right away... Totally cured in seconds... And total truth :)
Jesus turned to Simon whom he called Peter and said "go and start my church". And Peter did exactly what Jesus said. And that was infact the Roman Catholic Church. Jesus also told Peter "whatever you make doctrine in my church, so will it be honored in heaven".
The Roman Catholoc Church believes that Sinning agaist the Spirit, is actually thinking Christ is the Devil... The reason Chist can not forgive you of your sins if you think this, is because you literally are rejecting his forgiving love. In all sense you are rejecting Gods forgiveness because you think God is evil. Now you KNOW Chrit is pure good and pure love, so if you are losing your mind about that passage, as I was... Please say this over and over "Jesus I know you are God, I know you Love me, and I consecrate myself to your loving forgiveness".
I promise your fears will vanish.
Blessed Be... Peace and truth be with anyone suffering with your OCD.
AEQUANIMITAS43 on March 10, 2012:
For those who just commented above and still have these thoughts hounding them in their heads. You are being tormented and it is not of God. Jesus forgives all sin. I went through this I promise you there is light at the end of the tunnel. Jesus said the sin against the Holy Spirit would not be forgiven in this age and an age to come NOT for all the ages. Once you meditate on the fact you are forgiven and this sin IS forgivable and that Jesus died to take the sins of the WORLD these thoughts no longer have any power. Meditate on his forgiveness, meditate on the fact that it's God will that none shall perish and Jesus prayed thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. God's will shall be done and his will is that all are redeemed once you understand this you can "reboot" your brain and think like God. We have been programmed to believe God loves some of the time, he forgives some of the time and it's not our fault because we have been programmed by religious leaders who have preached a different gospel not the good news we also compare God's love to our parents love or our friends love and God's love goes way beyond any love we experience by human beings. That's why Paul prayed you would know the height and width and depth of Gods love it's endless.
What Triggered MY OCD... on March 09, 2012:
Anyone know her or read her work?
Its Christ speaking to her... and he is specifically saying "Blasphemy against the Spirt", in mind or other will never be forgiven. That's why I've lost my mind over this. But then I think I am not a religious person... what do I know.
sunmoonstar on March 09, 2012:
I go through this scrupolosity. I hate this because the thigs i hear are so evil and blasphemous. I do not think these things against my savior. Hiw do i get the evil voice to stop? If i see somethig about evil on TV its triggered an i hear the voice.. I absolutely believe in Jesus christ. I cry all the time to the lord and say please this isn't my thoughts or images i hate the devil make him stop please. Am i sill saved even though i hear this? I need prayers to banish this voice from
Justin Aptaker (author) from United States on February 25, 2012:
Thank you, AEQUANIMITAS. It's good to know I'm not alone. It is quite striking how similar our stories really are. It makes me wonder how many more there are like us, who were driven to an understanding of grace through this hellish sort of experience.
AEQUANIMITAS43 on February 24, 2012:
You are not alone my friend in your experience. I became a Christian in 1992 and had a very powerful spiritual experience with Christ. After reading the scriptures the fear of the unpardonable sin consumed me(it had consumed me even before I was a Christian). It got to the point I lost my job had panic attacks and divorced my wife who just could not take my depression any more.
I went to many fundamental pastors and all had different "spins" on this sin but the common theme was that you were lost if you did it and you could lose your salvation as well so no one is safe. I finally decided to no longer go to church, nor listen to fundamental preachers and just put my spiritual life on hold.
It really wasn't until a few years ago I stumbled on a web site (in 1992 I didn't have the internet) which had challenged many of the traditional Christian hell theology and the unpardonable sin theology that had plagued me for so long. The author of this web site not only disproved these theories but he did it by examining the scriptures original translations. And as you pointed out I learned the early church did not peddle the hell torture theology it was not even something they believed in. In fact the concept of the tortures of hell itself has Pagan origins.
Jesus said the sin against the Holy Spirit would not be forgiven in this age or the age to come. He at the time was living in the age prior to his crucifixion the next age is the Church age so the age after that is his triumphant return and reign on earth when hell (the grave) gives up it's dead and all are judged and ultimately forgiven even if it means being thrown in a lake of fire for a season for purification of the soul (lake is not literal) . Brimstone by the way is not a fire accelerant in fact it is used to cleanse (there's a hint for you right there).
It would take pages and pages of explaining scripture to disprove these misinterpretations of the bible and I believe you touched upon many of them. You can also check out bibletruths web site to discover what I did.
In retrospect many carnal Christians will continue to deny the absolute forgiving power of Jesus Christ and that all man will be saved in fact many believe more in a torture chamber hell than an unconditionally loving God. But isn't it God's will that none shall perish? And did Jesus not pray thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven? If God's will won't be done even after Jesus prayed it would well then we are all lost.
Thanks for sharing. Your experience was ironically similar in nature to mine. I pray for those still struggling with these misguided perceptions of God and our Savior Jesus Christ.
Keith on February 24, 2012:
My scrupolosity is now controlled by doubt even though I sometimes hear the words you big fat pig after the name of Jesus. Also, I say who is the son of God and I answer Jesus and then I hear no. This is with most of what he did also. I continue to pray but wonder if I will be answered. My faith has never been as strong as I would like and I heard a lot of arguments against that I thought I had pushed aside.
The nos are stupid though as they give no reason for being. The yeses have the strongest and smartest as they have the word of God to back them but recently it was even attacked. I have seen demons (confirmed by others) and believe in Heaven and Hell and God, Jesus and Satan..
Please pray for me.
Stef on February 11, 2012:
Thanks for your words... I should add... There is no real way of knowing until we die. I ignorance and arrogance tent to go hand and hand... I don't know enough about my religion to be having opinions really... I think once I start believing more in Christs love then my OCD will go away. Also Catholics don't believe you get sent to hell, we believe that you choose to go there. My brain is currently being musher up by my OCD thoughts... I hope and pray that I don't get so confussed again that I actually would choose to be separated from God. I definitely believe that Satan exists... I don't understand why... And I don't want to start worshiping him... Some of my OCD thoughts seem to revolve around him...most. Him being light and all that crap... The dude is pure evil. I had some pretty scarry thoughts today trying to work... It prompted me to go to church. I really want my thoughts to go back to the way they were when God was God, Christ was Christ and therefore I never had to worry about the devil. I want to add... I love my mother very much... She is a wonderful woman... And I wish I had not made a jab at her last night when I started writing. That was juvinile of me. And incase Hell does exist... I would like to apologies for my comments. Cause the bottom line here.. Is that we just don't know. I really don't want to look to myself for answers because I don't know squat, and I am prone to arrogance. Hmmm I guess I'm taking back a lot of what I wrote last night... Except for the parts about me having OCD. Peace be with you Justin.
Justin Aptaker (author) from United States on February 11, 2012:
I wish I could address your response to my article as thoroughly as I would like to. But I will do the best I can in the time I'm allowed. I'll reply to some of the things you said that really stood out to me.
"I don't think crazy people should have guns."
OCD does not equal crazy. As you said yourself, you know the difference between reality and fiction. Although we will have OCD for the rest of our lives, we can certainly recover from the worst of the symptoms. I have. Thanks to neuroplasticity, the brain circuits that malfunction due to OCD can, in fact, be "rewired" by the power of thought itself.
"art work I did in my early 20's that I burnt because I thought it was going to be held against me."
I also destroyed all the poems I wrote in my early 20's for the same reason, and threw away a whole lot of books. Fortunately, it turned out that my poems still existed online, so I was later able to recover them.
"if God is all good and all loving he would not create a hell to send us to because then its like his love for us is based on punishment... Meaning we run to him to escape from hell"... What a shitty way to interpret God's love. I've on a occasions changed "save us from the fires of hell..." to "Jesus please save us from being separated from God". That's hell enough"
Absolutely. Love and compulsion (as in, "force", not as in OCD) have nothing to do with each other. You can not force someone to love you, and neither would any God worth worshiping. And of course, hell IS simply separation from God. We are all in hell, to whatever degree we are currently separated from God. The good news is, nothing is permanent, and our current state of hell can, and will, give way to its opposite. The New Testament clearly defines "eternal life" as "knowing God".. let me know if you want a reference for that. So "hell" is simply not knowing God.
"What in good graces does is going on????"
This, my friend, is a question that continually plagues me, and I have yet to figure out. But I continue living in the hope that all will be revealed to those who really need to and want to know. In any case, I've learned that I no longer have to rely, in my search for truth, on what the masses believe or what their leaders teach. Better to trust in the things that God gave me: conscience, reason, and whatever wisdom I can glean from the words of the ancients.
Stef on February 10, 2012:
your mom and my mom could be twins. "I'm right"... And always fighting even when there is no war. I was Gay... I was not religious all that much... But I suffered a breakdown about sinning against the Spirit a month ago... Now I've become straight (which is fine), I've been to confession three times this month... I keep sinning in my head... When I do I start hearing "I love Satan in my head", which I don't at all... I'm totally OCD, but I don't want it in my medical charts because I wanted to be a COP... Talked myself out of it recently... I don't think crazy people should have guns. Plus as messed up as this sounds I'm lazy... Yep OCD and lazy... So they even each other out and I have been able to fly under the radar. I'm overly creative... And obsessed about solving problems... I'll create problems in my head and solve them incase they ever happen in real life. That's just the tip of the iceberg... I don't feel comfortable writing what I can actually create... Entire worlds of fiction actually... And yes I can tell the difference between real and not... I don't know why my brain keeps picking at this Spirit thing over and over... I read that in the Bible years ago and I never did it... But my mother mentions is once at the dinner table and I can't let it go... I'm scared of watching TV that may offend God, or
listening to bad music, or art work I did in my early 20's that I burnt because I thought it was going to be held against me. So I went on line for help (totally dangerous for people with OCD by the way)... And I'm glad I found your article... Only because my brain started thinking on it's own... "if God is all good and all loving he would not create a hell to send us to because then its like his love for us is based on punishment... Meaning we run to him to escape from hell"... What a shitty way to interpret God's love. I've on a occasions changed "save us from the fires of hell..." to "Jesus please save us from being separated from God". That's hell enough... I felt a brief moment when I felt that separation... It was the worst fear I've ever felt ever... And I've had some pretty nasty images and dreams in my life time thanks to the OCD... I won't share them for fear of harming others. Plus, my priest said bad angels were cast down to earth to and that's why we have temptations and free will. I'm either really stupid... And don't understand.... Or really smart... And understood that evil gives us our freedom??? What in good graces does is going on???? By the way, in one of my crap episodes I did have thoughts that I must be god just like you did... It was during the cross over from one thought of good to another of evil. And I felt totally nuts like I was having a mental breakdown. We are good, we come from God... This past month I've felt like I've been in judgement, end times are here, maybe aliens are picking through my brain... And all kinds of crap, on top of my usual crap.
This completely sucks... The other day though I thought hell must be here... And purgatory must be were everyone goes. Think about it... The bad angels were cast to earth... The devil consumes us, we are a community of mass consumers... We are being brain washed everyday to consume. I don't need anything more... Just food, water and shelter... Everything else is just more stuff I don't need... Yet I have this crazy urge to buy stuff... It's totally nuts. We spend 8 to 10 yours a week or more watching TV and one hour on Sunday with God. We are basically zombies... Hell is here... We literally need love in the world right now. God must be so incredibly sad that we are so confused.
graceomalley on March 24, 2011:
Reading this article din't give me the impression that the writer was "blaming" his parents for what happened. Sounded very evenhanded to me. He described his experience, and the factors he thinks contributed.
To me, the statement "I believe that the dread of eternal hell and unpardonable sin was something you just got hold of and ran with" sounds a more accusatory note toward the writer than any statement in the article describing the parents.
"Your depiction of me in the article, in my opinion, paints me as a Bible-thumping, fire-breathing religious wacko who played a significant part in your downfall.'
I did not see the article painting such a picture of the parents. If anything, they sounded like run-of-the-mill church going people, like many I have known. They seemed neither threatening nor uncaring. They seemed to be dealing with their son's trouble the best they knew how, they just didn't know how to help. The same could be said for many caring parents.
I first read this hub some time ago, and my conclusion at the time was that the writer was a more imaginative person than most, and so both more prone and more able to picture a thing like the vast majority of humanity suffering horrible torture for eternity. While this is a doctrine believed by many, I think most don't make much of a mental or emotional connection to this as a reality. It is an image extremely painful to bear - but i think most people are simply not very imaginative.
I thought the writer was commendably free from blaming others for this painful episode, which leads me to believe he was done a great deal of recovery. Something like this aleinates many from God for a long time if not for life.
From your writing here, you clearly made it through and have become even closer to Him.
christiansister on February 23, 2011:
This comment is to japtaker'sdaddy. If the play was something like "Hell House" I understand where his fear comes in. But, also I know his struggle with the whole concept of eternal damnation according to conventional Christianity. And if your soul is so attuned to the Spirit that you have an internal war going on in your mind about every decision that you make it can be torturous. You stand every moment in the presence of the Father in your action but you feel so apart in the physical. And you question things that conventional Christians would consider blasphemous. If the condition of your soul could be so lost, with whom would you speak? I am sure alot of the torment that this article relates was very much internal and so he felt it everywhere. There are many logical questions that arise that could make you seem blasphemous if you discussed them with anyone other than our Abba Father. Such as If God is Love why will so many perish eternally? How is it Good News to a child in Iran (growing from birth a devout Muslim) that Jesus sacrificed all to break the bonds of satan over mankind. Oh but you have to rebuke all that you have been given for this free salvation. How Good is this message? And there are many others that are hard to understand until our Abba Father reveals the true power of Jesus' sacrifice to you. That Jesus truly did die for all mankind. :)
In Peace and Love Always.
japtaker'sdaddy on February 21, 2011:
I've been checking out some of your writings today (stayed home from work, sick). Pretty interesting, well-written stuff.
I've copied three parts of your article below. After the quotes, I'll make a few comments.
"People who develop scrupulosity often come from extremely religious backgrounds. The kinds of backgrounds capable of instilling such potent fears of things like eternal damnation and unforgivable sin. I came from such a background."
"I was raised to believe that there was an all-powerful God who would forcibly send many, many (indeed, most) people to a cosmic torture chamber where they would suffer the most indescribably horrific torments for a literal eternity."
"The first solutions I looked for (with, not surprisingly, the help of my parents) were religious in nature: meetings with pastors and faith-healers... a few exorcisms."
Now for my comments:
While I did believe in an eternal hell, I don't recall ever pounding you, or anyone else, with thoughts of the most indescribably horrific torments, or anything else along those lines. Actually, I don't recall "hell" and eternal torments ever being a serious part of my thoughts or conversation.
I know your mom once took you to a play about Hell, and it had a big impact on you, but, apart from being a too-serious disciplinarian (which I regret)I can't fathom how you became so crushed and shipwrecked about hell and unforgivable sin by anything I was imparting to you. Can you explain that?
As far as unforgivable sin, I have sought, on several occasions, to alleviate, rather than foster, the idea that you might have committed it.
Also, please remind me when I had any part in taking you to even ONE pastor, faith-healer or exorcist? I can't recall even one instance.
Your depiction of me in the article, in my opinion, paints me as a Bible-thumping, fire-breathing religious wacko who played a significant part in your downfall. Is that how you truly see me and the way I related with you?
Personally, I believe that the dread of eternal hell and unpardonable sin was something you just got hold of and ran with. The play you went to probably was a significant factor, but was I truly someone who was nurturing and fostering these ideas and fears within you? We probably need to talk this stuff over.
Love ya, kid.