Evangelicalism is a Mafia Network

Preaching Hell, Fire, and Brimstone is extortion, plain and simple.

Prominent evangelical theologian Timothy Keller suggests that a belief in hell explains the ‘love’ of God. I wrote the below independently of this tweet, but it very aptly illustrated my point.

Stepping back, it now feels obvious to me that the usual evangelical 'good news' story is anything but a good news story. Before you even get to the cross and resurrection, you have to believe, in the background of it all, that you are so incredibly depraved that, despite your short 80 year lifespan, God's natural and just inclination is to sentence you to an eternity of conscious torment away from him. And even if you accept that, you have to accept that, because it is your own sinful depravity that condemns you, you must explicitly choose God (through Jesus) in order to avoid the ‘justice’ of hell.

In many cities across the world the criminal underworld often extort businesses and individuals by roughing them up and destroying possessions with the promise that violent harassment would continue unless they paid the crooks over and above any rent to any non-mafia landlord. In some communities, the mafia is the landlord.

That's what the evangelical God is like. He tells you that unless you pay him fealty in the form of correct doctrine and a whole-of-life commitment of obedience, he will sentence you to burn for eternity based solely on the idea that you, as a human being, are inherently depraved. Then he has the nerve to tell you that he can do all this because he gave you free will - ultimately you have condemned yourself, by your own free will, to an eternity of suffering before you were even born.

Now the above does not describe all of the varieties of Christianity that exist, but that doesn't matter - evangelicals don't care about diversity of beliefs. They have a rigid belief structure that does not tolerate internal dissent, while still being outwardly welcoming to outsiders, in order to win more converts. They're not being nice just to be nice. They want you to become one of them, but that requires explicitly agreeing to live in their mafia-controlled neighbourhoods, which pop up everywhere like weeds. They often do this by targeting children with all kinds of free activities, like week-long Vacation Bible Schools and summer day camps.

I think my metaphors and analogies may be getting away from me here, but the point is this:

If you're forced to choose between fervently believing a specific set of propositions and spending eternity away from God burning in a lake of fire, that's not good news. That's mafia-level emotional and spiritual extortion, that's what that is.

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