Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Psychological Damage of Christianity

"I sincerely believe that if it were not for the great fear associated with the concept of hell that Christianity would never, ever have become the massive movement that is has throughout the ages. I also know, from first hand experience, that the psychological damage that is done to children in the name of that fear is a horrid thing.” F. Dust

I think that you are right. The existence of Hell is a legitimate reason to come to the Savior, and it is perhaps why so many profess faith in Christ. And your concerns about psychological damage may also be legitimate. I'm sure that many, in the name of Christianity, have hung its threat over the masses to keep them and their children in line. However, the biblical threat of Hell is real and fearful, but God’s offer of Heaven is just as real and unspeakably wonderful. The threat without the offer is a horrid thing.

I can’t speak for your first-hand experience, but I can say that none of my children, my grandchildren, nor any of my friends' children have been psychologically damaged by the fear of Hell. In fact, it’s just the opposite. They don’t fear Hell at all, because they know that they have escaped it through faith in Jesus Christ.

I know, however, that many children have been psychologically damaged because of the fear of death. That’s another legitimate fear. Death is a reality that all of us have to face. As an atheist, what do you tell your beloved children when they, with fear in their eyes, say, “Daddy, I don’t want to die!”? Do you tell them that it’s nature’s way, and that they just have to deal with it? Or do you tell them that they shouldn’t think of negative things and to concentrate on life?

Christians don’t need to cop out when that question is asked. We can tell our children how we were created (you don’t know), why we were created (you don’t know), why we are all going to die (you don’t know), what happens after death (you don't know), and what we can do about it (you refuse to listen to that one).

Our society is filled with adults with psychological problems because they fear death. It terrorizes them every minute of every day. Millions live in quiet futility as they wait to die, and are driven to drugs, to the psychiatrist's couch, to alcohol, and to suicide, solely because of the fear of death.

The tragedy is, that that fear could instantly leave them if they repent and place their faith in the One who came to "deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:15).