Anglican Samizdat

June 14, 2009

Delusions from hell

Filed under: Christianity — David Jenkins @ 6:36 pm

Once a month I provide the musical part of the worship for a chapel service that St. Hilda’s conducts at a youth detention centre. It is what minstrels and other vendors of entertainment would call a difficult room. Since there isn’t too much fun to be had in prison, even attending a chapel service appears tempting, so the numbers we attract are not necessarily the result of religious fervour; happily, after many years of playing in front of Anglicans I have an extremely thick skin.

The idea that hell or the devil does not exist is a conceit that afflicts many modern Christians, particularly in mainline Western churches; those who have fallen for this should periodically visit a prison. First of all, it’s hot enough to convince the frail of temperament that the flames of hell are licking at the foundations; secondly, there is an air of oppression that even a spiritually obtuse person such as myself can feel. Someone who is close to me won’t go there because she hears the constant screaming of demons.

Lastly, you can see the effects of evil on the inmates. Today an innocent looking child with bandages on his arms came up after the service and asked us to pray for him. He cuts himself – a lot. He believes the lie that he is worthless; he doesn’t believe that God loves him; the idea that he is precious and made in God’s image is a completely foreign concept. These are all delusions from hell.

He participated in a Eucharist and we did pray for him – you can too, even though you don’t know his name.


1 Comment

  1. I’ll pray for him.

    I tried to watch “the Tank-man,” video of the Tienanmen Square massacre in Beijing last night and thought the same thoughts. I do believe if we all pray we WILL make a difference.

    Comment by Eva — June 15, 2009 @ 1:31 am

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