Priest says Hell is an Invention of the Church to Control People with Fear
“I happen to believe in life after death, but I don’t think it’s got a thing to do with reward and punishment. Religion is always in the control business. And that’s something people don’t really understand. It’s in the guilt producing control business. And if you have Heaven as a place where you are rewarded for your goodness, and Hell as a place where you are punished for your evil, then you sort of have control of the population. And so they create this fiery place which is quite literally scared quite the hell out of a lot of people throughout Christian history. And it is part of a control tactic. But I think there is a sense in most religious life of reward and punishment in some form.
The Church doesn’t like for people to grow up. Because you can’t control grown ups. That’s why we talk about being born again. When you’re born again, you’re still a child. The people don’t need to be born again, they need to grow up. They need to accept their responsibility for themselves and the world. Every Church I know claims that “we are the true church”, that they have some “ultimate authority”. The idea that the Truth of God can be bound in any human system, by any human creed, by any human book is almost beyond imagination for me. God is not a Christian. God is not a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindu, a Buddhist. All of these are human systems which human beings have created to try to help us walk into the mystery of God. I honor my tradition, I walk through my tradition. But I don’t believe my tradition defines God. I think it only points me to God.”