This is what everyone says and im just wondering...how do you guys that were ex christians let go of these preconceptions? this is my biggest problem letting go of christianity...it was pounded into my head for the past 18 years. any advice would be appreciated. thank you. :)

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...is that van even street legal...? and thats awesome how that happened

I'll have friends there.

Hell did not come into play in Christianity until years after Christ's death.  It was a creation of the Roman Catholic church in an attempt to control the behavior of its increasing population.

Historicly, an increase in laws and threats of adverse consequences is common.  Look at the progression of restriction that Hilter imposed on the Jews.  Not any different in theory.  If you keep people living in fear, you can control their behavior and decrease any resistance.

 

So letting go of "hell" is simply letting go of a abstract verbal concept.  think of this way; did your mom ever tell you that when you had a pout face "If you keep that face on your face will stay that way".  Has your face froze in a pout yet?

What did it for me was learning that the stuff that had been fed to me in church was false.

 

Learning the history of ancient Pagan cultures, knowing that it has been historically proven that they not only pre-date christianity but that christianity borrowed so much from them...discovering all of that made it easy to cast off the residual fear and understand that the devil has no place in my faith or in my life. Hell either.

 

I understand how difficult it is. Mine lasted until I was 28, had been studying witchcraft for over a year and was finally able to accept that I had nothing to be afraid of. Becoming Pagan doesn't mean that every little bit of christian doctrine you absorbed prior to then is automatically purged from your mind the second you know you've found your path. Like anything else in life, it's a process. You've been taught to accept a personal truth that isn't your own. Un-learning it will take time and patience.

 

Just tell them: "Yay Hell!" ;D and give them a big smile and walk away ;)

Pagans/Wiccans/etc. do not accept the concept of absolute evil and absolute good. This is why we don't believe in Satan nor the existence of an absolute evil afterlife known as hell. The law of three governs our rewards/consequences for our choices and the life we lead, here in our current life. We focus on life, not the afterlife. Most Pagans/Wiccans/etc. I know believe in reincarnation and that the spiritual world (for the little time we are there before being reborn) is not so different from the physical world, so dwelling on the afterlife and what "might" happen to your soul *after* you die is pretty well moot.

 

Also, I think it's pretty common belief that God and Goddess aren't going to punish and punish and punish and punish someone for all eternity for being imperfect. Sure people do pay consequences for doing bad, but those consequences eventually get paid and then you can learn from them and move on to being a better person.

A fabulous book did it for me:  The Hell Jesus Never Intended, by Keith Wright.  It wasn't enough for me to decide that I no longer believed it; I had to do my own research and disprove it to my subconscious mind, too.  That book launched me into an education campaign where I read nearly everything refuting Christianity I could get my hands on.  Misquoting Jesus, by Bart Ehrman is another good one to get you started.

 

Oh, and if you have the opportunity to go to a hypnotherapist who works with connecting to your authentic self on a spiritual level, it's well worth the expense of a few sessions!

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