When I was in Italy I saw a lot of Catholic churches and I didn't get the overall impression that they, with the possible exception of some medieval ones, were dark or scary.
A few of them, in fact, seemed almost saccharine or "too heavenly". The kind of church that makes you want to sing this
As an aside, that song fairly accurately describes a worry I had as a kid, which is that heaven would be boring. You have to realize that in many evangelical churches, any sense of mystery, wonder, or adventure is completely gone
.* Churches are plain, simple, and utilitarian; so are Bibles**, so is worship, so is theology. God is often anthropomorphized, as a result of the "personal relationship" thing.
If heaven (or the new earth, what have you) is like that
, it's not much to look forward to, is it? That's why I didn't want to grow up, grow old, or die, because then I'd be stuck in a boring heaven for eternity.
Fortunately I don't feel that way anymore. Visiting cathedrals, becoming aware of Catholic and Orthodox spirituality, listening to lots of different kinds of music, and even reading about subjects like quantum mechanics and fractal geometry all cured that old worry I used to have.
* The one exception is Pentecostalism, but a heaven full of people doing a lot of that
stuff would also be hard to look forward to!
** Tim Challies is a rather hotheaded Calvinist pastor who once wrote a blog post praising the Book of Kells as an example of the spiritual talent the West had before the "traditions of men" (Catholicism) took over. I just had to chuckle when I read that, because Calvinism has never
produced anything like the Book of Kells.