Burning lake of fire, eternal torment, the place "bad people go" all names for one idea ... Hell. The word Hell has been connected to many stories throughout the history of the Christian church. Some stories from history were connected to their culture, some connected to their conceptions of God, and some just made their life make more sense.

But one thing is clear, what we call Hell is very different than what our earlier spiritual ancestors did. Very different!

They didn't fear hell as a place that bad people go for eternal torment. That idea wasn't a thing. It also wasn't a place God, their conception of a ‘Super-being’ up in the sky, would send people they were angry with.

But wait -- you might be thinking, "if hell isn't for bad people to go and get punished, then what is the point of this whole spiritual journey?" If you change what Hell means, why be good? I thought the whole point of being spiritual was to stay out of Hell and get into heaven?

That, Friends, is a very modern story that has been connected to the word Hell. That doesn't come from our early spiritual ancestors. That comes from more modern authors.

Strange that something so misunderstood has become the primary motivating factor in a story in the Christian tradition for many.

What happens when we look at the earliest stories tied to the word Hell? What if those early stories are not about eternal punishment for people who made God (or at least their conception of God) angry? What if the story of Hell isn't about the people who didn't say the right prayer? Who didn't have the right sexual orientation? Who didn't have the right behavior? Who didn't have... whatever? What happens when we realize that those stories are not from our spiritual ancestors, but were made up much later?

Join us as we walk you through the Complex History of Hell and show you where it came from, what other stories are out there connected to Hell, and help you start to think deeper about the whole purpose of your spiritual journey.

Hint: Hell isn't the only thing that we have connected to rather strange stories, Heaven, for many, is a modern concept too.

Series ran Jan. 2023

Our Need for Heaven

Speaker: Jeff Jarvis Though it seems there has always been a level of skepticism and perhaps even disdain toward the notion of hell or that of a literal devil, sentiment…

The Devil Enters the Picture

Speaker: Vince Klassen We’ve talked about the evolution of the afterlife in the thinking of our spiritual ancestors and we’ve talked about the evolution of Hell. But where does the…

Do You Believe in Hell?

Speaker: Jeff Jarvis Statistics tell us that over 50% of the Western world has some kind of belief in hell. Hell has been imagined in a number of ways over…

What Happens After We Die?

Speaker: Vince Klassen For many, the idea of an afterlife is a foregone conclusion. All their teaching and their upbringing says “there is some place you go after you die.” But…