Hell: The Fire and Brimstone Myth



Devils with pitch forks, little men in red suits with tails, burning fire and eternal damnation never made much sense to me since the God I know is loving and compassionate. I also never gave much thought to what punishment on the other side might truly be. Lots of books and articles portray Heaven but I don’t think I’ve seen much of anything written about what hell might really be like.

Then, in 2004, I had a dream. It wasn’t your normal dream; it was one hell of a dream. It was emotionally gut wrenching, full of fear and guilt and was so intense that even when I woke up, I still felt the unbelievable pain.

Let me try to explain the subject matter. The images that still stick with me were that of a single mother (me) with a young son (Jon, age 3 or 4) in the midst of an orgy of bodies. Everywhere I looked, the bodies were grotesque, and every detail of those sexual images were explicit and disgusting. The bodies looked like 16th century art with prominent body parts that were slightly deformed and those emphasized were swollen and exaggerated. It wasn’t titillating in the slightest, but I was keenly aware of the focus and the subject matter, impactfully so. It was obvious that this experience was an expression of guilt I had felt decades past.

As a single mother, at the time, I’d felt terrible guilt leaving my son for an evening or for a weekend in order to date, especially since I worked so many hours every day with my new business. But, since I was desperately trying to find a suitable mate with whom I could rebuild a life for myself and for my son, dating was necessary. Every time