Author Topic: "shock salvation"  (Read 2175 times)

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Offline calligraphqueen

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"shock salvation"
« on: October 17, 2006, 08:17:49 PM »
What do you guys think about devices such as Judgment House, Hell House, or "scaremare" types of activities at H'ween?

This is a topic that has upset some folks on my hs group, since there are few of us Orthodox, and a whole heapin load of protestants.  Since I come from the protestant background, and I worked with the scaremare theatrics for a time-I can understand their efforts.  HOwever, it just sits wrong with me.  Yet, you can't argue with a protestant as to the validity of a "salvation by terror" approach-they feel that a person obviously must have needed this format.  Of course, they also feel salvation is a "switch" to be flipped one time as well.
This is what protestants do to "be active" in their faith.  they set up horrific theatrical presentations of a very real place (hell) that local folks are going to go to if they don't straighten up and accept Jesus (and show up with tithes at church).  They use airplane crash scenes, abortion scenes, scenes straight out of horror flicks, as awful as the times in which they are performed.  I have no doubt it's changed since I was involved in the 80's.  The thing is, people today need more to be actually shocked and awed by, as gore and death are now rampant parts of entertainment year round.  Does being terrified like this make for a real "conversion?" even in the protestant sense.?

When the few of us ORthodox speak up about living out our faith in daily action, it's equated to the same thing as working in one of these church sponsored devices.  We can't get any consistent involvement that actually does a bit of good, yet we are accused of being devisive.

Offline dantxny

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2006, 09:29:31 PM »
Interestesting that you brought that up.
A friend and I were just watching (and admitablly mocking it) a Jack Chick Video about salvation.  Yet, it begins with and ends with Hell, hardly mentions the ressurrection and basically scares you into God.  When I actually stopped and thought about it, I said to myself, "Wow, if God is truly like that, the I'm in trouble."  Yet, it is largely ineffective.  Its respect by fear.  Where's the love?
That's one thing I mentioned to a friend.  For the first time in Orthodoxy, I feel that God is Love.  Where as when I was a western Christian, I was constantly fearing His wrath and He didn't seem personable.
That said, I've never been to a Hell House, but I once went to a heaven house as a kid during Halloween.  It was nice, there were men in robes, white fog, and fruit punch and cotton candy.
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Offline jaderook

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2006, 04:26:03 PM »
This brings back some unpleasant memories.  I was always a stick in the mud as a Pentecostal.  That said, my mother somewhat needled and forced me to invite a bunch of my friends to a Hell House type of presentation/play that my church put on back when I was a senior in high school (over a decade ago now).  (Thank God I wasn't in it myself!)  I wasn't at all enthusiastic about it as I thought it was stupid.  So, a bunch of my agnostic, atheist, and lapsed cultural Christian friends decided to humor me and come.  I was horrified and embarassed.  I remember profusely apologizing to them for subjecting them to such inane stupidity.  It was very much like a live action Chick Tract.

Anyone who isn't ruled 100% by their emotions and is within normal functioning parameters as a human being will be totally unconvinced and turned off to Christianity if they weren't already.  If (on the off chance) a person is convinced by these types of things, there will inevitably come a time when the 'shock' wears off and they will wake up and wonder what they heck they were thinking.  At that point, they'll either keep up a sad pretense of faith, lose it entirely, or begin seeking elsewhere.


Online Justin Kissel

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2006, 03:07:08 AM »
Yeah, it's silly and in poor taste, but so were many of the early Christian attempts at using threats and scare tactics to convince people to be good (e.g., the 2nd century Apocalypse of Peter). Hell is a strange/silly/scary concept, how can you describe it with accuracy without being strange/silly/scary?
We all have an El Guapo to face. Be brave, and fight like lions!

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Offline GiC

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2006, 09:33:55 AM »
Yeah, it's silly and in poor taste, but so were many of the early Christian attempts at using threats and scare tactics to convince people to be good (e.g., the 2nd century Apocalypse of Peter). Hell is a strange/silly/scary concept, how can you describe it with accuracy without being strange/silly/scary?

You have to give them far more credit than your modern protestant though. The second century was a superstitious time, such approaches actually worked quite effectively to control the masses. In our age of Enlightenment, it's just comical and those who attempt it are merely making a fool out of themselves. Of course, I find the issue to be a moot one, live your life as you should and if God want's to convert someone...well, I'm sure an Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent God is capable of doing so all by Himself.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2006, 09:34:23 AM by greekischristian »
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Offline serb1389

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2006, 07:37:26 PM »
I've never actually heard of any of this. 

Can anyone supply me with info as to what all this is? 

Thanks!!! 
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Online Justin Kissel

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2006, 08:01:22 PM »
From what I've seen, they are basically plays/skits that try to promote Christian morality through scaring people. One that I remember was of a surgery scene, and had something to do with abortion, and I guess Satan (or maybe just a person personifying hell) was tormenting a girl "in hell" for having had an abortion "because of convenience". Other sins dealt with are things like homosexuality, pre-marital sex, shacking up, etc. Here's a description that I found at a website that actually sells materials to put this kind of thing on:

Quote
Hell House is a live theatrical outreach event structured in a tour production format that takes its visitors on a seven-scene journey portraying the consequences of sinful choices. It concludes with two dynamic scenes in hell and heaven. In the heaven scene, people are given the opportunity to pray the salvation prayer. The tour production is set up much like a typical haunted house, and visitors take a guided scene-by-scene tour of the various venues in the outreach.

Hell House normally capitalizes on the Halloween season when people are thinking about frequenting associated attractions with this season and time of year. However, Hell House is much more than a haunted house. It is a spiritually-based adventure depicting the hell and devastation that Satan and this world can bestow on those who choose not to serve Jesus Christ. - Source

I remember even Glenn Beck viewing it negatively on his TV show (when he interviewed one of the people behind these things), and that was from a guy who claimed that he wanted to put the audio of an abortion-in-progress on his radio show (though he didn't).
« Last Edit: December 04, 2006, 08:03:30 PM by Asteriktos »
We all have an El Guapo to face. Be brave, and fight like lions!

Form a 'brute squad' then!

Offline Fr. David

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2006, 01:04:51 AM »
We had "The Nightmare" in Tulsa (probably still do).  I remember going after I was attending an Orthodox Church--lots of stuff like what dantxny was saying was going through my mind--and I remember talking to one of the volunteers that met you when you came out.  She and I talked for a little bit, but when I tried to bring up how nobody could be sure of salvation and how Hell was the presence of a loving God experienced by those not made perfect in love--complete with my own little prooftexts to get the ball rolling--well...that lasted about two minutes.  She was on to the next soul.  Ah, well.
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2006, 08:35:44 AM »
It is exactly a year to the day that I posted this, and I still stand by it:

I carry a torch in one hand
And a bucket of water with the other
With these things, I will set fire to Heaven
And put out the flames of Hell
So that no one worship God
Out of fear of Hell
Or greed of Heaven.

O Allah!
If I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell,
and if I worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise.
But if I worship You for Your Own sake,
grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty

- Rabia, Sufi Poetess, 8th century

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.

Offline FHL

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2006, 05:37:57 AM »
And the worst part is that in order for one to be frightened by hell, one must first have faith.

If someone tells me to pack up and go to Alaska because the boogeyman is coming after me, wouldn't I have to believe in the boogeyman's existance before I start purchasing tickets to Alaska?
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Offline serb1389

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2006, 04:49:32 PM »
I wouldn't necessarily say so...

I would start going to church if I were told that I would burn in Hell...even if I didn't believe in Hell. 

Worst case scenario's bring out things in people...especially promise of eternal damnation.  I wouldn't want to take the chance...
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Offline FHL

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2006, 05:09:27 AM »
I guess I can see that, but for this to work, one must come out of athiesm or another non-hell preaching view. Hell houses by themselves could never convince a Muslim becuase it would have to weigh against the fact that that person already holds a belief that becoming Christian would send him/her to "hell". Even if one didn't hold any beliefs however, and even if someone decides to go to church becuase of a presented possible worst case scenario, it gets even more complicated and unreasonable after that. Once this person goes to church, it becomes apparent that there are many many groups and denominations preaching difference ideas on how to escape hell. You may not want to take the chance, but you have no choice, every one of these denominations teaches something different, and maybe contradictory in a significant way, so you end up taking a chance no matter what. What if the particular Christian church you go to has everything wrong?

We should try to get people to join the Orthodox faith becuase it is the truth, and nothing but. It seems to me like a lie if I say I faith, but I have faith just in case. All these hell houses manage to do is reduce God from the complete Truth to a mere insurance policy.
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Offline J

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2006, 06:49:58 PM »
George, that Rabiya poem is awesome.  Do you know if anyone sells that kind of stuff bil Arabiya?  Like the fancy calligraphy design stuff?

Offline Starlight

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2006, 01:21:21 AM »
I know agnostostics and atheists, including some very good friends, who were turned away from Christianity by that kind of propaganda. Honestly, I am catching myself on a thought, if I were to have that kind of first introduction to Christianity (actually I am cradle), then it would take me very long time in order to come again. I am really glad to see that the Orthodox Church does not use that kind of "cermons".

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2006, 01:43:42 AM »
George, that Rabiya poem is awesome.  Do you know if anyone sells that kind of stuff bil Arabiya?  Like the fancy calligraphy design stuff?
Sorry, I don't know anyone who does.
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Offline serb1389

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2006, 07:06:51 AM »
I guess I can see that, but for this to work, one must come out of athiesm or another non-hell preaching view. Hell houses by themselves could never convince a Muslim becuase it would have to weigh against the fact that that person already holds a belief that becoming Christian would send him/her to "hell". Even if one didn't hold any beliefs however, and even if someone decides to go to church becuase of a presented possible worst case scenario, it gets even more complicated and unreasonable after that. Once this person goes to church, it becomes apparent that there are many many groups and denominations preaching difference ideas on how to escape hell. You may not want to take the chance, but you have no choice, every one of these denominations teaches something different, and maybe contradictory in a significant way, so you end up taking a chance no matter what. What if the particular Christian church you go to has everything wrong?

We should try to get people to join the Orthodox faith becuase it is the truth, and nothing but. It seems to me like a lie if I say I faith, but I have faith just in case. All these hell houses manage to do is reduce God from the complete Truth to a mere insurance policy.

Definately a very valid point.  I was just thinking about this after I put my response...

I think what you are getting to is much closer to how we should be viewing this type of stuff...I just like to look at things from a different angle, if only to see if there is something that someone missed...

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Offline sprtslvr1973

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2010, 09:10:08 AM »
It is exactly a year to the day that I posted this, and I still stand by it:

I carry a torch in one hand
And a bucket of water with the other
With these things, I will set fire to Heaven
And put out the flames of Hell
So that no one worship God
Out of fear of Hell
Or greed of Heaven.

O Allah!
If I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell,
and if I worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise.
But if I worship You for Your Own sake,
grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty

- Rabia, Sufi Poetess, 8th century


I always liked this poem. I wish more Muslims could be like Sufis and more Christians could be like Quakers
"Into thy hands I commend my spirit"- Luke 23:46
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Offline CRCulver

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2010, 01:15:30 PM »
I always liked this poem. I wish more Muslims could be like Sufis and more Christians could be like Quakers

Sufis aren't all sunshine and rainbows. A number of prominent jihadists throughout history have described themselves as Sufis.

Quakers are heretics if not complete pagans (much contemporary Quakerism is similar to Unitarian Universalism) and their total pacifism does not square with Holy Tradition.

Offline sainthieu

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2010, 01:44:53 PM »
Sounds like a revival of the medieval mystery plays.

Offline sprtslvr1973

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Re: "shock salvation"
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2010, 02:14:44 PM »
I always liked this poem. I wish more Muslims could be like Sufis and more Christians could be like Quakers

Sufis aren't all sunshine and rainbows. A number of prominent jihadists throughout history have described themselves as Sufis.

Quakers are heretics if not complete pagans (much contemporary Quakerism is similar to Unitarian Universalism) and their total pacifism does not square with Holy Tradition.

You may have me with Sufis as I really don't know anything about them other then apparently Wahabists don't like them (or anyone else it seems).
However, while some Quakers are very liberal theologically, there are some who appear to be quite orthodox Protestant. I say this as when taking a 'What Religion are You?" quiz, I scored as a 'Conservative/Orthodox Quaker'.
"Into thy hands I commend my spirit"- Luke 23:46
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” - Mark 9:24