About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links
Good books
Visitor essays
Our forum
New essays
Other site features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
   Who is a Christian?
   Shared beliefs
   Handling change
   Bible topics
   Bible inerrancy
   Bible harmony
   Interpret Bible
   Beliefs, creeds
   Da Vinci code
   Revelation, 666
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing religions


About all religions
Important topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Confusing terms
End of the world
One true religion?
Seasonal topics
Science v. Religion
More info.

Spirituality and ethics
Morality and ethics
Absolute truth

Peace and conflict
Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Death penalty
Equal rights -gays/bi's
Same-sex marriage
Origins of the species
Sex & gender
Spanking kids
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news


Religious Tolerance logo


An personal essay by Tony Bisson

horizontal rule

Sponsored link.

horizontal rule

Literalists often overlook the fact that the Bible cannot provide the actual experience of being in the Spiritual World (free from the casket of flesh), nor is it necessary to have read the Bible to have an experience of the Spiritual World.

It is a fact that some people naming themselves Christians have acquired such a blinkered literalism, that their conditioning inhibits understanding of the fact that, in this life, the Bible cannot provide the actual experience of being in spiritual realms where there are "untaught and unpublished words which it is not within ones power to utter" (intended meaning of 2 Corinthians 12:4). 1

People who have not stifled the spirit of the word by drugging their minds with the letter of the word, know that when Christ told His closest followers: "I have yet many things to say to you but you cannot bear them  now" (John 16:12) prior to betrayal, He meant that they could only "bear" those "many things" when in the next world (the Spiritual World) where He would "no more speak to (them) in proverbs". Once prepared in those bright conditions, He could then show them "plainly of the Father". Jesus showed the Way into that life, the Spirit guiding.

The extreme Literalists claim that it is failing to believe their belief and that it is not dependent upon how a life is lived and conducted, which condemns one to "everlasting punishment". Considerate people, however, who are able to think free from the mind of another, find such a concept pitiless and callous. Expounders of the doctrine of everlasting punishment can (and very often do), offend others, preventing unity between humanity. This is also true of the equally thoughtless "doctrine of spiritual annihilation", which ironically and erroneously states that a God Who is Love and All-Power can create life out of pure love, and then quite coldly torture that life personally and then destroy it totally and completely - all this for failure to accept a hideously gross doctrine which is based on such a twisted and contrary principle, i.e. that an all-powerful and all-loving Being is not only capable of vindictiveness and torture of His own creations, but also does not have the foresight or power to save and protect that life.

Sometimes, it would appear to thoughtful people perhaps, that the professors of the doctrines of "everlasting punishment" and "spiritual annihilation" are working for the powers of darkness themselves because of the division and ill-feelings they cause. It would appear perhaps that they have been tricked into thinking they are working for God.

Many less pedantic Christians have a larger hope in a more loving and merciful God capable of saving more than a limited exclusive few of His own creations (John 12:32); 2 in a patient Father who waits eons of time for the return of a prodigal child; and in a redeeming Christ who would really search after a lost sheep "until he finds it" (Luke 15:4 remedial redemption in the darker regions of the spiritual world after a selfish finite life on earth). 3

Literalism aside, true Christianity easily accepts other beliefs engendering peace and harmony. Certain Christians should stop being Pharisaical lawyers and magistrates, and develop a real Christian spirit with charitable understanding. Each individual's next state of being will be shared with others according to the similarity of the spiritual health of their souls, regardless of what they believe; the inner person remains unchanged at death and the spiritual health of the soul has been fashioned according to the thoughts, motives, ethicality and works of the individual before the transition (Rev.22:11,12). 4

horizontal rule


  1. 2 Corinthians 12:4, in the King James Version of the Bible is: "How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."
  2. John 12:32: "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth (on the Cross), will (eventually) draw all men unto me (by Divine love)." Note: Christ Jesus was the human personification of Divinity, manifesting with the purpose of revealing Divine Love to humanity, both on Earth and in the darker planes.
  3. Luke 15:4: "What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?"
  4. Rev.22:11-12:  "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."

Copyright © 2001 by Tony Bisson
Originally submitted: 2001-AUG-8
Latest update: 2001-AUG-14
Author: Tony Bisson

line.gif (538 bytes)

horizontal rule

Go to the previous page, or to the visitors' essays menu, or choose:

Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.