Because my testimony is helping so many people, I am posting it here so it will stay on your front page for awhile if that's ok with you. The many entries in my guest book that is accessible towards the bottom of the front page on my site, and the many positive emails in my email file folders, show that the content of my testimony is helping many people.
(nothing for sale on this site)
Also see the testimonies at http://www.tentmaker.org/visitorcomments.htm
The idea that God lets any creature suffer endlessly has caused me more suffering than all other problems of my life combined. By the time I had reached the mission field I had hoped to have found a satisfactory answer that would justify God allowing this to happen. I didn't find such an answer. Surrounded by thousands of people, dozens of whom were dying every day and beginning an eternity of suffering in hell was too much for me.
In 1966, at age 28, it caused me to have a nervous breakdown. For several weeks I was confined to my bed in a state of terror night and day. The terror was caused by the fear of what a God I could not love or respect would do to me after I died. It took me twelve years to fully recover from the breakdown. I quickly became agnostic, for the Christian gospel and the Bible were no longer any comfort to me at all. Many evangelical friends tried to help me. They meant well, but in the end they all had only words of condemnation towards me. This added more suffering to my already intense suffering.
Gradually I began to learn that there have been, in centuries past, and still are today, a few people in the world that see a different kind of God in the Bible. They see a God who will not let any creature suffer forever. They see a God in the Bible who will change every second of everyone's suffering into something better that it happened, including the sufferings of Satan. I learned that a correctly (literally) translated Bible teaches universal transformation, not endless suffering in hell, or even annihilation. I read dozens of books, and listened to hundreds of tapes by men who believe this way and I gradually became converted to believing this way myself.
Since 1981, through my newspaper ads and my telephone ministry, I have sent out many hundreds of packets of literature explaining why I believe as I do. I have also sent this evidence to hundreds of pastors and Bible school teachers. None of them have told me that they are able to refute it. I have also read eight books that were supposed to refute the evidence in favor of universalism, but none of them do. Because of this evidence, my panic attacks became less frequent until twelve years after my breakdown they ceased altogether. Now nothing gives me greater pleasure than to make this evidence available to others who have suffered because of the same problem I had even though they have embraced Christ and His gospel for themselves, and I use a substantial amount of my money and time to this end.
Because of the enormous amount of suffering the idea of "endless hell" causes in this world, I am asking you to consider the possibility that you should stop endorsing the idea that the Bible teaches it. Or, at least, let others know that there are (and have been in centuries past) people who do not think the Bible teaches it.
Many of the responses from pastors and teachers range from a mild: "The majority don't agree with you so you must be wrong", to the vicious "For every week you leave your ad in the papers, God will increase the temperature of the fires of hell for you personally".
Most are somewhere in between these remarks. But none have told me they are able to refute the evidence. And, until they can, they will not be able to stop me from sharing the good news that a correctly (literally) translated Bible teaches universal transformation, not endless suffering in hell, or even annihilation.
A website that answers all the arguments that seem to support the idea that the Bible teaches endless suffering in hell is TENTMAKER. Although forum rules prevent me from posting forum links, you can easily Google it up. The “scholar’s corner” under “research” deals with every aspect of the subject. The more than 600 page search engine at the top of this same TENTMAKER front page is also very comprehensive regarding this subject. Just type in a key word or phrase from any argument or scripture passage, and ten articles will appear that refute the eternal hell and annihilation doctrines.
I am also going to guide you all to the testimony of a man whose experience was almost identical to mine. Even the thought processes that took him into, through, and out of his breakdown are the same as mine. Only he is much more eloquent in telling his story than I am in telling mine. His name is Charles Slagle.