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Punishments of hell - the abusive use that religions have made of this belief
For centuries, especially during the Middle Ages, the Church was forever striking fear into Christians about the punishments of hell. They claimed they were doing so in order to save souls, but in reality this approach also resulted in a great deal of damage. You might even say that souls almost became shelters for the devil, for people thought so much about him they forgot about God. Think of all the pictures they painted of the devil! He was drawn, sculpted and painted, and preachers made excessive use of him in their sermons or their writings. He was used in the same way children are threatened with the policeman, the wolf or the bogeyman to keep them quiet. But, even in our day and age, there are still people who use religion in this way, aren’t there? It is very bad from an educational point of view. Contrary to what they claim, those who act in this way are not so concerned about the good of souls; they are mostly seeking to exercise power over them. And if they are sincere, it is not much better – it means they are ill.Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov