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Moderated Forums => Convert Issues => Topic started by: What is the Light on July 07, 2012, 09:57:46 PM

Title: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: What is the Light on July 07, 2012, 09:57:46 PM
Hello all

It seems to me that the prospect of Hell could be be a powerful motivator, but also a major source of anxiety. I have anxiety disorder and so I'm worried that the prospect of Hell could paralyze me, and actually make me worse.

Does the prospect of Hell have an effect on you like this?
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: biro on July 07, 2012, 10:12:34 PM
Yes.
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: Opus118 on July 08, 2012, 12:58:17 AM
No.

I do keep my eye on the mark and strive to meet it more consistently each year. It is a struggle that I think about most of the time, but I do not think about the consequences if I fail.

I suspect that it is probable that I am more closer to death than you are. If I were given the opportunity to immediately and totally change who I am and suddenly become a perfect Christian I hope I would have the sense to refuse. I think, perhaps wrongly, that the struggle of coming to Him is a large part of why I am here.

I could go on but I will leave it here.
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on July 08, 2012, 01:24:26 AM
Hello all
Howdy.  Welcome to the forum.

It seems to me that the prospect of Hell could be be a powerful motivator, but also a major source of anxiety.
Hell is a real place and there really will be people sentenced to Hell.  But the keys to Hell belong to Christ alone and He is more merciful with us than we are with our own children.  So it seems to me that it should be a motivator, to an extent, but at the same time we don't want our faith in Him to be some sort of spiritual fire insurance.  A very beloved saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, St. Silouan, has said, "Keep your mind on hell and despair not."  In other words, hell is real and Christ revealed to St. Silouan that he (and all of us) are to remember that.  But then he goes further and says, "...And despair not."  How can we focus on Hell and not despair?  Christ meant that we are to lean on Him, be focused on Him and not ourselves, for the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, is with us to comfort us.
 
Does the prospect of Hell have an effect on you like this?
It motivates me to be more watchful and to pray more.  But I don't believe it's healthy to simply focus on Hell.  God doesn't want us to love and follow Him out of fear, but out of love. 

Hope this helped a little.
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: recent convert on July 08, 2012, 02:15:00 AM
I will not deny anxiety re hell. That said, there is so much about heaven to pray for our own & our neighbor's salvation by the Lord's prayer, the 2 great commands, the golden rule, Beatitudes etc. We can have much to hope for the Orthodox & the non Orthodox alike.
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: WeldeMikael on July 08, 2012, 02:25:18 AM
I have to admit : not really because I'm sure I'm not fully realizing what it REALLY is...  :(
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: JamesR on July 08, 2012, 02:31:08 AM
Not really to be honest. Orthodox Hell does not scare me that much opposed to western Roman Catholic Hell.
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: soderquj on July 08, 2012, 11:05:41 AM
If you mean do I worry that my experience of God after death will be other than a joyous one then yes. That's why I rely on Christ and put my trust in him and strive to become more like him on a daily basis.
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: yeshuaisiam on July 08, 2012, 10:01:38 PM
Well we were commanded not to worry because each day has enough trouble of its own.....
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: Nicene on July 09, 2012, 10:08:42 PM
Hell to me has never been a main motivator in my faith, despite my sins I do not think of my fate at possibly going to hell rather I think how I shame God by my actions. God is the motivation for me.
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: Shanghaiski on July 09, 2012, 10:16:28 PM
Hello all

It seems to me that the prospect of Hell could be be a powerful motivator, but also a major source of anxiety. I have anxiety disorder and so I'm worried that the prospect of Hell could paralyze me, and actually make me worse.

Does the prospect of Hell have an effect on you like this?

No. What is there to fear, when Christ is our Friend? Have we done some sin? Let's go to Christ. He came into the world to save sinners, and He cannot not do it. Anxiety over hell is a distraction and may just be from the devil, because it clouds our mind, weighs us down, and keeps us from seeing Christ who comes to save us.
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: Opus118 on July 09, 2012, 11:49:45 PM
Not really to be honest. Orthodox Hell does not scare me that much opposed to western Roman Catholic Hell.

Granted that Roman Catholic Hell may not be pleasant, what is the official Orthodox Hell that you are referring to.
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: soderquj on July 10, 2012, 06:19:23 AM
Not really to be honest. Orthodox Hell does not scare me that much opposed to western Roman Catholic Hell.

Granted that Roman Catholic Hell may not be pleasant, what is the official Orthodox Hell that you are referring to.
Official I am not sure but the following is what I was taught.
Orthodox believe that both Heaven and Hell are a condition of relationship with God that is either theosis or perdition, both of which are often spoken of as the effect of being in the presence of God. The Orthodox Church teaches that eternal damnation in the lake of fire and heaven occur within the same realm, which is being with God; God is Heaven, God is the Kingdom of God and Heaven.  For those who love God, heaven is eternal existence in His loving presence. God is their ultimate desire and, consequently, their reward as well.  For one who hates God such a place as in the presence of God, will be eternal suffering. "For the evil, "eternity of hell" is not the deprivation of the love or presence of God but rather the torment of eternal existence in the presence of a Love which is unwanted, rejected and despised.
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: elephant on July 10, 2012, 08:19:42 AM
Dear What,

I think that anxiety is in itself a preview of Hell.  We often hear how Our Lord gently chastened Martha because she was "anxious and worried about many things".  And told her "There is need of only one thing."

During the Divine Liturgy, we sing the Cherubic Hymn: "Let us now lay aside
all earthly cares, that we may receive the King of all."  For me, the Divine Liturgy is truly a foretaste of Heaven. 

Then the cares and worries return, so I turn again to Christ.  As best as I understand, the Greek word metanoia (translated as "repentance") means a turning around, a change of heart.   It doesn't just mean remorse, guilt and anxiety.  When I experience those things I realize how much I need repentance and renewal.  Like daily.

Love,
elephant
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: Hiwot on July 10, 2012, 05:29:28 PM
No.

I do keep my eye on the mark and strive to meet it more consistently each year. It is a struggle that I think about most of the time, but I do not think about the consequences if I fail.

I suspect that it is probable that I am more closer to death than you are. If I were given the opportunity to immediately and totally change who I am and suddenly become a perfect Christian I hope I would have the sense to refuse. I think, perhaps wrongly, that the struggle of coming to Him is a large part of why I am here.

I could go on but I will leave it here.

wow! this is quite beautiful and very meaningful to me. I am one who cries out to him daily ' O Lord, how hard it is to Love!'
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: JamesRottnek on July 10, 2012, 06:51:24 PM
Not really to be honest. Orthodox Hell does not scare me that much opposed to western Roman Catholic Hell.

What is more terrible than remorse over a wrong done to a lover?
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: Opus118 on July 11, 2012, 01:15:34 AM
Not really to be honest. Orthodox Hell does not scare me that much opposed to western Roman Catholic Hell.

Granted that Roman Catholic Hell may not be pleasant, what is the official Orthodox Hell that you are referring to.
Official I am not sure but the following is what I was taught.
Orthodox believe that both Heaven and Hell are a condition of relationship with God that is either theosis or perdition, both of which are often spoken of as the effect of being in the presence of God. The Orthodox Church teaches that eternal damnation in the lake of fire and heaven occur within the same realm, which is being with God; God is Heaven, God is the Kingdom of God and Heaven.  For those who love God, heaven is eternal existence in His loving presence. God is their ultimate desire and, consequently, their reward as well.  For one who hates God such a place as in the presence of God, will be eternal suffering. "For the evil, "eternity of hell" is not the deprivation of the love or presence of God but rather the torment of eternal existence in the presence of a Love which is unwanted, rejected and despised.

I appreciated you Vaughn Bode Avatar.

I do gravitate towards your familiar statement. It is perfect in my opinion because it does not go into the details of the in between situations.
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: soderquj on July 11, 2012, 07:39:03 AM
Not really to be honest. Orthodox Hell does not scare me that much opposed to western Roman Catholic Hell.

Granted that Roman Catholic Hell may not be pleasant, what is the official Orthodox Hell that you are referring to.
Official I am not sure but the following is what I was taught.
Orthodox believe that both Heaven and Hell are a condition of relationship with God that is either theosis or perdition, both of which are often spoken of as the effect of being in the presence of God. The Orthodox Church teaches that eternal damnation in the lake of fire and heaven occur within the same realm, which is being with God; God is Heaven, God is the Kingdom of God and Heaven.  For those who love God, heaven is eternal existence in His loving presence. God is their ultimate desire and, consequently, their reward as well.  For one who hates God such a place as in the presence of God, will be eternal suffering. "For the evil, "eternity of hell" is not the deprivation of the love or presence of God but rather the torment of eternal existence in the presence of a Love which is unwanted, rejected and despised.

I appreciated you Vaughn Bode Avatar.

I do gravitate towards your familiar statement. It is perfect in my opinion because it does not go into the details of the in between situations.

I was always a fan on Vaughn Bode  ;)

I like the simple definitions, you can really get knee deep in things real fast in Orthodoxy, which can be a good thing for some.  You start out simple and dive in as far as your are able.
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: akimel on July 11, 2012, 09:55:54 AM
It seems to me that the prospect of Hell could be be a powerful motivator, but also a major source of anxiety. I have anxiety disorder and so I'm worried that the prospect of Hell could paralyze me, and actually make me worse.  Does the prospect of Hell have an effect on you like this?

I know the anxiety of which you speak, both for myself and, more recently, my son who committed suicide only a month ago.  There is only one cure to this anxiety--one must focus completely on the infinite, unconditional, absolute love and mercy of God and entrust oneself to this love and mercy.  It is the love of God, manifested in the death and resurrection of the Savior, that converts and heals the soul, not fear of eternal damnation. 

Perhaps you may find a measure of encouragement and hope in the homily that I preached at my son's funeral:  Aaron Kimel Homily (http://www.scribd.com/doc/97979041/Aaron-Kimel-Homily). 
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: What is the Light on August 13, 2012, 09:22:06 PM
Akimel I'm sorry for your loss. May God Bless his soul.

And thank you. I still think of God sometimes as saying "to late you messed up; you can't cross the chasm now". Although I won't assume my place in the after life (bad idea, right), God want's whats best for us, and I always try to reach out in my limited way, and He will reach back.

Sorry if that was soppy.
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: CatherineBrigid on August 14, 2012, 11:08:26 AM
It seems to me that the prospect of Hell could be be a powerful motivator, but also a major source of anxiety. I have anxiety disorder and so I'm worried that the prospect of Hell could paralyze me, and actually make me worse.  Does the prospect of Hell have an effect on you like this?

I know the anxiety of which you speak, both for myself and, more recently, my son who committed suicide only a month ago.  There is only one cure to this anxiety--one must focus completely on the infinite, unconditional, absolute love and mercy of God and entrust oneself to this love and mercy.  It is the love of God, manifested in the death and resurrection of the Savior, that converts and heals the soul, not fear of eternal damnation. 

Perhaps you may find a measure of encouragement and hope in the homily that I preached at my son's funeral:  Aaron Kimel Homily (http://www.scribd.com/doc/97979041/Aaron-Kimel-Homily). 

I just saw this... my heart grieves for your family and the unbearable pain you must be going through.  The homily was beautiful...thank you for sharing it with us. ((((hugs)))) to all.
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: minasoliman on August 14, 2012, 09:34:44 PM
It seems to me that the prospect of Hell could be be a powerful motivator, but also a major source of anxiety. I have anxiety disorder and so I'm worried that the prospect of Hell could paralyze me, and actually make me worse.  Does the prospect of Hell have an effect on you like this?

I know the anxiety of which you speak, both for myself and, more recently, my son who committed suicide only a month ago.  There is only one cure to this anxiety--one must focus completely on the infinite, unconditional, absolute love and mercy of God and entrust oneself to this love and mercy.  It is the love of God, manifested in the death and resurrection of the Savior, that converts and heals the soul, not fear of eternal damnation. 

Perhaps you may find a measure of encouragement and hope in the homily that I preached at my son's funeral:  Aaron Kimel Homily (http://www.scribd.com/doc/97979041/Aaron-Kimel-Homily). 

Fr. Kimel, I'm so sorry for your loss.  May God give your son and you and your family great comfort.

I just wanted to add that while I agree, it's clear to me also that the OP opined that he/she has an anxiety disorder.  In this case, the source of the anxiety is not really the thought of hell, but the disorder itself, and I would recommend anyone with a disorder like this to continue seeing regularly a primary care physician or a psychiatrist that one may also be properly treated for this disorder, so that one may worship in proper comfort without a lot of impediment from this disease.
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on August 14, 2012, 10:39:47 PM
Fr. Kimel,

I was deeply touched by your homily; words cannot express how sorry I am for you and family's loss.  May The Joy of All Who Sorrow, Holy Mother Theotokos, comfort you and your family.

May God grant Aaron rest with His saints.  Memory Eternal!
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: JamesRottnek on August 15, 2012, 01:41:52 AM
It seems to me that the prospect of Hell could be be a powerful motivator, but also a major source of anxiety. I have anxiety disorder and so I'm worried that the prospect of Hell could paralyze me, and actually make me worse.  Does the prospect of Hell have an effect on you like this?

I know the anxiety of which you speak, both for myself and, more recently, my son who committed suicide only a month ago.  There is only one cure to this anxiety--one must focus completely on the infinite, unconditional, absolute love and mercy of God and entrust oneself to this love and mercy.  It is the love of God, manifested in the death and resurrection of the Savior, that converts and heals the soul, not fear of eternal damnation. 

Perhaps you may find a measure of encouragement and hope in the homily that I preached at my son's funeral:  Aaron Kimel Homily (http://www.scribd.com/doc/97979041/Aaron-Kimel-Homily). 

Fr. Kimel, I'm so sorry for your loss.  May God give your son and you and your family great comfort.

I just wanted to add that while I agree, it's clear to me also that the OP opined that he/she has an anxiety disorder.  In this case, the source of the anxiety is not really the thought of hell, but the disorder itself, and I would recommend anyone with a disorder like this to continue seeing regularly a primary care physician or a psychiatrist that one may also be properly treated for this disorder, so that one may worship in proper comfort without a lot of impediment from this disease.

Actually a primary care physician will likely not be very useful (most do not know very much about psychiatric/psychological issues beyond, perhaps, this like ADD/ADHD).  Instead a psychologist or psychiatrist would be better.
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: ialmisry on January 07, 2013, 12:47:36 PM
Lord have mercy, and grant rest and peace!
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: Shanghaiski on January 07, 2013, 01:31:16 PM
May God grant Aaron rest with the saints and forgiveness of sins!
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: IoanC on January 09, 2013, 12:29:55 PM
All negative feelings, thought patterns, etc., are demonic assaults. Simply ignore them and focus on God who loves us. (as someone else has already said).
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: Seraphim98 on January 09, 2013, 06:45:03 PM
Some years ago I read a monastic story which I believe is about Elder Porphyrios when he was not far from earthly repose.

One of his disciples asked him what he should say to the Lord when asked if he should be sent to heaven or hell. The Elder replied, "I shall say, 'wherever Thy love places me O Lord, wherever Thy love places me, only do not let me be separated from your love."

That to me say most if not all that is important about the Orthodox mindset regarding what comes next. One could write a book to unpack everything in that little lesson.
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: orthoreader on January 09, 2013, 07:05:59 PM
Lord have mercy, may the Lord grant rest and peace!
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: miamiwestchester on January 15, 2013, 11:33:14 PM
Well we were commanded not to worry because each day has enough trouble of its own.....

That is a great way to live yeshua ! Worry about what you can do and change. Hell is real but it is not for us to worry about, as only Our Lord will judge us.

I also suffer from a panic & anxiety disorder and its crippling effects I know all to well. But I have faith that the Lord is testing me and that its up to me to overcome this, and persevere in His name and for His Glory, Amen !
Title: Re: Anxiety and Hell
Post by: Gebre Menfes Kidus on January 16, 2013, 12:42:43 AM
It seems to me that the prospect of Hell could be be a powerful motivator, but also a major source of anxiety. I have anxiety disorder and so I'm worried that the prospect of Hell could paralyze me, and actually make me worse.  Does the prospect of Hell have an effect on you like this?

I know the anxiety of which you speak, both for myself and, more recently, my son who committed suicide only a month ago.  There is only one cure to this anxiety--one must focus completely on the infinite, unconditional, absolute love and mercy of God and entrust oneself to this love and mercy.  It is the love of God, manifested in the death and resurrection of the Savior, that converts and heals the soul, not fear of eternal damnation. 

Perhaps you may find a measure of encouragement and hope in the homily that I preached at my son's funeral:  Aaron Kimel Homily (http://www.scribd.com/doc/97979041/Aaron-Kimel-Homily). 


Father Bless.

I read your homily and it brought tears of sorrow and hope to my eyes. My unworthy prayers are with you, your son, and your family. Thank you for sharing your profoundly touching words of faith with us. You have articulated well the unfailing mercy and love of God. Amen to all that you said.


Selam