Sunday, November 9, 2008
Man goes to hell and lives to tell
The editor of Charisma magazine is part of the same freakish christianist movement that Sarah Palin belongs to. The story below should not, therefore, be all that surprising. It tells about a man who claims to have actually gone to hell.
For 23 minutes, Bill Wiese was in hell - literally. He says. It all happened during the night of November 22, 1998 at exactly 3:23 a.m. His wife heard him screaming and ran to find him in the living room curled up in a fetal position.
Wiese told his wife he had descended to hell. "It was terrible. I was thinking: This has to end--I can't endure this, I have to get out.
"Only, in hell, you understand that you're never going to get out. You're going to spend eternity here."
And hell is real, claims Weise. It is a "literal burning" place. And you can't die. Your body just keeps on being tormented. For eternity. "And you know you're never, never going to get out.
"That's the part that's most tormenting. Hell is more horrific than anyone could ever imagine."
Well, hell! How did Mr. Weise get out of hell if he was supposed to stay there forever? Aha! Christ arrived and removed him. Yup! Jesus hisself came down to hell and "ascended with Wiese in tow from the center of the Earth into space."
Not only so, but Jesus gave him a vision of people "dropping one by one into the pit he had just escaped." And Wiese felt Jesus' pain. Jesus didn't want to have to do this, and he was very sad. "I finally had to ask Him to stop allowing me to feel it. It was overwhelming."
Hmm. Maybe all is not as it seems. Mr. and Mrs. Weise have made keeping people out of hell their life's work. He's written a book. He does radio and TV appearances. He founded Soul Choice Ministries.
And Weise does not know why God chose him.
But...when he actually talks about his time in hell he speaks of it as a vision. For example, he says that preaching about hell is "a bit contrary to whom I am to talk about a vision [of hell]."
He also said, "To tell someone you've been to hell is pretty amazing. I thought people were either going to think I'm crazy or had a bad dream. It wasn't that I didn't believe in visions. I just never thought one could happen to me."
There's that "vision" word again.
So, all of this is more or less a con. If you say you've been in hell, literally, that implies something other than a vision, no matter how scary that vision is. And what exactly is the difference between a dream and a vision? In other words, Weise did not go to hell! He had a vision. Lots of kooks have visions. Visions reflect what's happening in the brain. Nothing else. Maybe he drank too much wine that night.
Weise thought people would think he was crazy. Rightly so. Religion often makes people crazy. And because the Bible is what it is, they an often find confirmation for their craziness somewhere in that collection of ancient scribblings.
What's really sad is not his vision of Jesus feeling bad about all those folks dropping one by one into the fiery pit -- you'd think Weise could have come up with a better description than "fiery pit!" -- but that he really believes in this horrible, monster god that would torture eternally those creatures he supposedly created out of love!
This is godawful theology, perpetrated by the ignorant and the gullible, and those prone to see things in the night. Not even the worst human father (or mother) would wish eternal torment of his disobedient children. What makes this even more grotesque is that hellfire awaits, not those who have committed atrocious sins, but those who have not given assent to the belief that Jesus died for those sins.
Thus, the worst, most evil sinner in the world can, on his/her deathbed say "I accept Jesus as my personal savior," and go sailing off into heaven - somewhere "up" there. Meanwhile, a person who has lived an ethical life with love and compassion for his/her fellow humans and other creatures, but who has never "accepted" Jesus will be consigned to an eternity of excruciating pain in hell -- somewhere in the center of the earth.
That's the crap that Weise and thousands like him preach to the unsuspecting and the naive. In one sense, it is unfortunate, that, from all the evidence, there is no hell. But if there were, there ought to be a special section prepared for these religious con artists who put the fear of god into people by scaring them with a picture of hell that derives from their mentally-deranged minds!
[You will note on Weise's Website, photos of small children. Weise, evidently, is trying to scare the hell out of them! And that's the real "hell of it"]