Salon’s Shattering Exposé on Suppressed Christian History

Jesus went to hell: The Christian history churches would rather not acknowledge” reads the headline.

Yes.  The shame.  That’s why Catholics hid this embarrassing proposition away by canonizing it as inspired Scripture:

18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 ¶ who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him. (1 Pe 3:18–22).

and then made sure the cover-up was complete by concealing it in an obscure document called the “Apostle’s Creed” where only a billion of the Inner Circle of Catholics would recite it on a daily basis in something called “the Rosary”.

The Eastern Churches too, have kept this a closely guarded secret by squirreling this embarrassing superstition away in icons…

…that only millions of the Orthodox venerate.

I look forward to Salon’s future efforts to rip the lid off  the  Christian faith with startling revelations that Jesus said, “The Father is greater than I” and “Why do you call me good?  There is none good but God!”  There are just so many secrets and skeletons in the closet.

Simcha Fisher has more on this shocking secret coverup of secretness!

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  • Joseph

    The shame! And this whole time I never knew why, in the Apostle’s Creed, we say ‘[Jesus Christ] descended into hell’. How dare the Church hide this from us! And imagine the angst and struggle I had to endure when my 7 year old son asked me what that meant! How I simply replied, ‘never mind that son, the Church wants to keep that a secret from us… even though we recite it in our Creed’. And, oh goodness, who could forget how the Church banned Dante’s ‘Inferno’ which also plainly discusses such a controversial teaching.
    .
    The media is stupid. Unless of course they mean ‘Christianity without Tradition (i.e. Protestantism). Catholicism and EO haven’t shied away from it at all.

  • Dave G.

    I was ready to laugh, but as I read the whole article, he’s sort of right. I can’t speak for the Orthodox side of life, but I know many Protestants who would tug on their collars over this. Conservative and liberal (though the more traditional might still take a stand because it’s more traditional). And while it might be part of the creed, I must say I’ve not heard a homily that speaks to it in the decade I’ve been a Catholic. And that’s what the article seems to be saying. Truth be told, it wasn’t until a priest from Nigeria came to our parish a couple years ago that I heard the H double hockey sticks word even mentioned. So while the premise of ‘super secret teaching we’re embarrassed by’ might be a little flash over substance, he’s right about it not being a major focus of most teaching opportunities or most homilies I’m aware of.

    • Dave G.

      That’s H E double hockey sticks. Geesh Dave. Don’t post when you first wake up!

    • http://lovedasif.com Drusilla Barron

      I’ve heard many sermons about hell from orthodox (small “o”) priests. Several priests I know preach on the last things and the harrowing of hell during Lent and Easter. The difficulty is finding those priests.

    • IRVCath

      I’ve heard of the harrowing of Hell from a Jesuit during his homily. Heck, much of the stuff I’ve heard about Hell in homilies has been from either Jesuits, Dominicans or Norbertines. Consecrated religious FTW!

    • dabhidh

      Sounds to me as if perhaps some churches don’t talk about the Harrowing of Hell because they are uncomfortable with the very concept of hell, not because of any shame over the teaching that Jesus went there. I went to and taught at at Southern Baptist church for several years and I taught about the Harrowing of Hell as part of my apologetics class. It was especially relevant because at the time many TV preachers of a certain theological stripe were mishandling the concept to create a heretical interpretation of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

      • Dave G.

        You’ll find that in various Protestant churches. You certainly hear it in the creed. But here’s the thing. Just because people recite something doesn’t mean they believe it. There are many in mainline denominations who will recite the creed, and then turn about and deny the reality of what it says. As for Catholics not teaching it in these parts, that’s our experience in these parts. To be honest, one of the disconnects I have with Mark’s blog in recent years is his overwhelming focus on the sins of a group that has little representation where we are. Our parish is seriously into the whole ‘Vatican II means never having to say you’re Catholic.’ I can’t remember how many things we were told went out with Vatican II when we were going through RCIA. As for “H-E-L-L”, I’ve not heard it mentioned in homilies except for the Nigerian priest. That’s the first time I’ve heard the word mentioned. Not just at our parish. But in any I’ve visited. It might have something to do with that implicit universalism some speak about that is not uncommon in the modern Church. I don’t know. I just know that the article might overstate a few things, but it’s not altogether wrong,especially when looking at some areas of the modern Christian faith.

  • kirthigdon

    I’ve read that during the Middle Ages, this doctrine was considered a really big deal and was widely commented on. In my own 16 years of Catholic education, the “descent into hell” was mentioned several times and explained at age appropriate levels. It didn’t receive as much emphasis as other doctrines because it is rather non-controversial. In my parish RCIA program, we let the catechumens and candidates in on this doctrine – first swearing them to secrecy, of course.

    Kirt Higdon

  • capaxdei

    The Athanasian Creed also teaches Christ’s descent into hell as part of the Catholic Faith, “which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.”

    That once caught a Baptist by surprise, who thought of the harrowing of hell as non-binding theological speculation (and 1 Peter 3 insufficiently perspicuous on this point). But that’s more a matter of flawed ecclesiology, not a refusal to confront a paradox.

    Anecdotally, I don’t think I heard the doctrine mentioned from the pulpit in the last week. But then, the one day of the year that it is most apposite is the one day of the year there is no Liturgy of the Word. We aren’t thinking about tomorrow on Good Friday, or about yesterday on Easter Sunday.

  • wlinden

    But, Mark, Everybody Knows that Catholics are forbidden to read the Bible.

  • Joe

    Well, he’s right. It’s bad to say H-E-“double hockey sticks” in church.

  • HornOrSilk

    I’ve got some Muslims upset what I told them Allah died and descended into hell. But I told them it was not out of disrespect for Allah, but a demonstration that Allah, who is love, is greater than our limited human concepts — that they are Allah is great, and the proof is in the cross.

  • http://www.pavelspoetry.com/ Pavel Chichikov

    The Father sent Jesus to I95 south into Virginia from DC during evening rush hour.

    Or is that Purgatory?

    • Rebecca Fuentes

      It probably depends on the day.

  • http://www.pavelspoetry.com/ Pavel Chichikov

    No, really, this morning at Mass I prayed for the kids who bullied me at school so long ago.

  • http://www.pavelspoetry.com/ Pavel Chichikov

    A question: If there is anybody at all in hell, does that mean that Satan has won to that extent? Or is hell empty?

    I’ve often been attracted to Origen’s thesis that ultimately all creatures are saved.

    • HornOrSilk

      Well, since sin desires to annihilate being, and all those in hell do not enter such annihilation, being is victorious over sin. However, for those with free will, the objective victory of being can, through ill will, be painful: this is why many saints like Isaac point out that it is the same love of God which the saints and sinners feel, but for the sinners, it pains them due to their reaction to it. But the victory is still God as God has stopped sin from achieving its end.

      That’s a quick explanation based upon something I’m working on right now (in much greater detail).

      • http://www.pavelspoetry.com/ Pavel Chichikov

        My own feeling about it is that the glory of God is so overwhelming that you’d have to have a pride of truly satanic proportions to reject God and be capable of a totally lucid, blameful choice.

        Do people really get sent down yonder for being stubborn infantile jerks?

        • HornOrSilk

          God’s glory is, ontologically, overwhelming, but that greatness is contained in his love, which gives us free will to accept or deny him. It’s part of the greatness that he gives us that freedom; and because it is great love, it also makes sure it doesn’t overwhelm our will — the kenosis of love.

          • http://www.pavelspoetry.com/ Pavel Chichikov

            But that doesn’t address the point I was trying to make.

            I’ve had a glimpse. The only grounds for temporarily withdrawing from *that* would be feeling unworthy of it.

            • Pete the Greek

              “Do people really get sent down yonder”
              – This may be part of the issue. No one is ‘sent’ there. Anyone there is there of their own accord.

              “I’ve had a glimpse. The only grounds for temporarily withdrawing from *that* would be feeling unworthy of it.”
              – The problem here is that I’m guessing that, in the beginning, however wonderful a glimpse you had, I’m betting Lucifer had a much better glimpse, and given his VASTLY superior intellect, understood it better than you. And yet he still thundered “NON SERVIAM!!!!”

              Just to be clear, I mostly agree with you. To KNOWINGLY reject God is… insane. But that’s what sin does to you, particularly pride.

              • http://www.pavelspoetry.com/ Pavel Chichikov

                But he’s an angel. I’m just a shlemiel.

                OK, really, the only people who know if anyone (human) is there might be people already there.

                Lewis had Napoleon in hell, and judging from the excellent biography I’m reading he might have had enough pride to qualify. I hope not – not for him or anybody else.

                I do understand about it being a choice. I would guess that you don’t have to go there if you don’t want to. Arrangements can be made.

                • Sue Korlan

                  Jesus said of Judas that it would have been better for him if he had never been born. I read this as implying Judas is in hell.

                  • http://www.pavelspoetry.com/ Pavel Chichikov

                    I dunno.

                • Pete the Greek

                  “OK, really, the only people who know if anyone (human) is there might be people already there.”
                  – True, we don’t know who is there at all.

                  • Anonymously_Treading

                    Or –if– anyone is there, assuming hell is real.

                    • Pete the Greek

                      “assuming hell is real.”
                      – Jesus seemed to think so, and I rather think He has better knowledge of the subject than I do.

              • http://www.pavelspoetry.com/ Pavel Chichikov

                Actually, Lucifer might be extremely clever, shrewd, cunnng – but when it’s all added up he’s as dumb as a box of rocks. Why else would he have ended up *there*?

                • Pete the Greek

                  Yes! Because that is what that much pride does to someone. It makes them a fool.

          • Anonymously_Treading

            That we have total free will is very questionable by many professionals in the mental health field these days. I would be cautious in using “free will” as it is implied with your statement.

            • HornOrSilk

              We have free will. If we don’t have free will, then why argue with me to convince me otherwise? It’s basic dogma: we have free will. Thanks be to God!

              • Anonymously_Treading

                Free will is a matter of degree in every situation we find ourselves in.

                • HornOrSilk

                  And what does that have to do with what I said in the original place? Seriously, talk about a red herring.

                  • Anonymously_Treading

                    Sometimes when people state we have free will there can be an assumption that we have absolute free will. That’s what I wanted to clarify.

  • http://www.irenist.com Irenist

    This is entertaining of course, but also sad and worrying. “Salon” tends awkwardly to voice aloud what many secular elites are silently thinking. That American elites’ subculture has become SO ignorant of “Creedal Christianity 101” stuff that this could see print doesn’t bode well for mutual understanding in future conflicts between the religious and the secular.

    • http://www.pavelspoetry.com/ Pavel Chichikov

      Yep. I’ve; had many a dispute with atheists over at the Daily Telegraph, and,they don’t know bupkis about Christian belief. But they know how bright they are – you bet!

      • Pete the Greek

        I honestly think that what really fuels the New Atheists is simply that most Christians they ‘debate’ know even less about their faith than Atheists do.

        Which I didn’t think was possible, but, there are many wonders in the world, I guess.

        • http://www.pavelspoetry.com/ Pavel Chichikov

          Not possible to know less.

          • http://www.irenist.com Irenist

            Well, a bunch of commenters showed up at the Salon article to laugh at the author for not knowing that Catholics recite the Apostle’s Creed at every Mass. Which would be hilarious, except that at most parishes, it’s usually the Nicene Creed. The New Atheists are a very ignorant bunch, but our own failures of catechesis are far from trivial, woefully enough.

            • Dan13

              I noticed that too. In fairness the apostle’s creed seems to have become said more in Mass recently. Perhaps because people now have trouble pronouncing some of the words in the nicene creed.

              • Joseph

                I think it’s to avoid the “for us *men* and for our salvation” part of the Nicene Creed. In Ireland, when the Nicene Creed is said, every priest that I’ve heard say the Mass so far has omitted *men* from that sentence. It appears that, rather than explaining that “men” is not gender specific in that sentence, it’s easier to simply ignore it. But, I actually think it’s more offensive to women because they can see the word that the priest deliberately omits, so they know they are omitting it… which implies that the priest is embarrassed by what he even things is a symbol of misogyny. So, it ends up being a failure to properly catechise and also continues to feed the myth that the Catholic Church is misogynistic.

                • Ye Olde Statistician

                  The word *men in proto-Indo European is the root of the word mental as well. It refers to rational thought. By refusing to include females as rational-thinkers, such an omission is incredibly patriarchal.

            • gapaul

              And do we do ourselves proud when we Christians show up to “laugh” derisively at something?
              Also I reread the article: nothing in it would suggest the author didn’t know we recite the creed every week. Only that the “harrowing of hell” is not an important piece of furniture in modern Christian’s living room of the faith. Can we really disagree?

            • Mike

              sorry but gotta ask how come you aren’t commenting anymore? i got used to learning a lot from your comments.

              • http://www.irenist.com Irenist

                Hmm. Well, I’ve been busy lately (2 year old at home, with another on the way this winter, and work has been busier lately). Also, the percentage of “here’s a funny joke” and “here’s a link to something I wrote elsewhere” posts seems, IMHO, to have increased here, which is fine, but doesn’t really move me to comment. Lastly, I tend not to comment on political stuff that much anymore–it’s just too much of the same, over and over. I do occasionally find myself trying to defend Thomism from secular types in the comments at Rod Dreher’s blog at The American Conservative, and Scott Alexander’s “Slate Star Codex” blog, so you could find me at either of those with some regularity: I find apologetics far more worth my time than politics nowadays. Lastly, although I’m not updating nearly as much as I’d like, I do blog at http://www.irenist.com
                In any case, I’m gratified you’ve gotten something out of my comments, and sorry I didn’t see on Disqus you’d left this question for me until a week late (have I mentioned I’ve been busy?). I wish you all the best.

                • Mike

                  thx for the reply! ok ill try to check out your site in the future…i have a 3 year old and another on the way this winter as well, due date is Dec. 9th so i can sympathize. take care and all the best.

          • Joseph

            I beg to differ… most Irish Catholics know next to nothing about Catholicism.

            • http://www.pavelspoetry.com/ Pavel Chichikov

              If they know that God is in the tabernacle they know what’s important.

              • SteveP

                Amen, amen!

              • Joseph

                Many don’t even believe that.

    • SteveP

      Secular critical thinking: Salon said it. I believe it. That’s final.

      • gapaul

        I think you’re making a big assumption.
        For starters, Salon merely re-published an article which appeared in Religious Dispatches. Second, if you actually read the article — nothing in it would lead me to think the author wasn’t a Christian himself. There is nothing inherently “secular” about it. The headline may be a bit misleading, but the article says nothing anti-religious. It says what the apostle paul said, the Christian faith has some weirdness about it that we often shy away from embracing. “We preach Christ crucified,” Paul wrote, “folly to gentiles, a stumbling block to Jews.” It quotes Tertullian and Chesterton with appreciation.
        I’m really concerned that we (Christians) sometimes jump to conclusions and rag on people we think we don’t agree with before we actually hear what they are saying. And that sort of easy dismissal annoys people and doesn’t help the case for faith.

        • SteveP

          If users of social media behave as you presume–i.e. behave as you have described your own behavior–perhaps there would have been no Memory Pizza incident last week.
          .
          Accurately observing behavior is hardly ragging on another and is certainly not jumping to a conclusion. On a personal note, I assure you I do not need your policing. Take it elsewhere.

          • gapaul

            Not following. What is “memory pizza?”
            And can you point me to evidence that the person who wrote the original article didn’t know what he was talking about, and wanted to embarrass or shame the Christian church or play gotcha with Christians? I just don’t see it.

            • SteveP

              Dude, you’re too defensive by half: it’s the headline being lampooned. Stop for a moment and consider the headline writer who asked the question: “What is the best single line summary of this article?” Now ask yourself the question: “Does this headline writer know the Salon audience?”
              .
              More strongly and direct: your scolding the lampooning of a buffoon headline is incredibly misdirected. Take it to Salon.

  • http://lovedasif.com Drusilla Barron

    Anglicans and Lutherans (and I believe at least one other Protestant faith) say the Apostles creed too. When I was Anglican, I think I heard one homily about the harrowing of hell from a priest who has since swum the Tiber. Perhaps in other parts of the country (I was in NYC) and world, creedal Protestants preach on on Jesus descent into hell with great regularity.

    • Joseph

      Yes, but those usually preach that Christ *suffered* in hell for the sins that he *assumed* from man for which he was punished… which is totally wrong. The only creedal Protestants that I know who have heard about the teaching that Christ descended into hell have made that claim.

      • http://lovedasif.com Drusilla Barron

        I never heard that claim in Anglican homilies. But I’m not surprised. They are so confused.

      • wlinden

        I see in the comments on Salon that this position is being put forward by some Catholics who ascribe it to their Religious Education. I guess the RE director must have been a Protestant mole.

    • David Charlton

      Lutherans consider the descent into hell to be the first part of Christ’s Exaltation, rather than the last part of his Humiliation. Christ descended into hell to declare his victory of sin, death and the devil

      • http://lovedasif.com Drusilla Barron

        Catholics don’t view Christ’s descent into hell as part of His Humiliation. When Christ descends, He harrows hell, breaks it open, and opens heaven to those who have gone down into the pit. If my memory serves, Anglicans believe the same.

        So Christ’s descent into hell still isn’t a secret to any of us. The writer ought to have asked a few Lutherans, Anglicans, or Catholics.

        • David Charlton

          I didn’t mean to imply that Catholics did believe it was part of his Humiliation. My understanding is that some other branches of the Reformation understand it in that way.

          • http://lovedasif.com Drusilla Barron

            No need for concern. I figured that out.

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    Nice to know i’m part of the billion in the inner circle. I was worried I’d been left out. 😉 Way back when I was a sprout, we had several tapes by Mike Warnkee we listened to. He gave a very vivid description of the Crucifixtion, followed by the story of Jesus going down into Hell. I believe Warnkee has been discredited, but that piece always stuck with me.

  • Sagrav

    I would guess that many Catholics are unaware of the story of Jesus’ harrowing of hell. My wife was an observant Catholic for many years. She attended mass, read her Bible daily, and attended Catholic Sunday School (though she eventually dropped out because her teacher was a xenophobic idiot). Yet the first time she heard about the harrowing was from me, a life long Agnostic with an interest in world religions.

  • freddy

    Our priest once said that the fourth and fifth Glorious Mysteries were going to be the harrowing of hell and the return of Christ at the last judgment. Obviously those had to be suppressed so we Catholics could start worshipping Mary! Now it all makes sense….

  • Gunnar Thalweg

    This episode may the funniest in the recent culture wars. The twitter feed is classic.

  • David Charlton

    Even the “Protestant” world knows the secret. Lutherans and Anglicans, among others, use the Apostle’s Creed.

  • Elmwood

    not hell, but Hades, and we catholics do celebrate this on Holy Saturday, something mostly overlooked in the west, like fasting. i have to agree with some of the eastern orthodox critiques of western christian rationalism and scholasticism, which i believe gets carried away.

  • GCBill

    You really can’t tell Salon headlines apart from their parodies:

  • gapaul

    So I just went and read the piece in question — and it was not the hatchet job I presumed from this snarky rejoinder. It appeared first in “Religious Dispatches” and while it isn’t clear, it might well be written by a believing Christian, not an anti-religion writer on the staff of Salon. Its point seemed well-taken, that this is a little noticed piece of traditional church teaching. Now maybe some of you hear sermons about this all the time, but I said the creed at least 3 times last weekend, and didn’t hear a mention of this point in a single sermon; nor can I remember ever hearing about it. (Though I have heard talk of Holy Saturday, just not of this particular aspect.) The author’s main idea, it seems to me, is that its “weird” to 21st century ears, and that may account for its absence from our everyday conversation. I can find nothing to disagree with — and that’s to say nothing of the truth of the doctrine, only of its apparent downplay in current church-talk. He even threw in a few G.K. Chesterton quotes — to highlight our lack of conversation about certain “weird” aspects of our faith. Chesterton was not celebrating such a thing, only noticing. I believe the author was doing the same. I can’t say why Salon decided to run the article –originally written for a different online journal — maybe they thought it subversive, or maybe simply informative — but I don’t see any reason to be scandalized. Or to argue the author’s point.

    • Rebecca Fuentes

      The headline seems very misleading, in that case. Saying that churches would rather not acknowledge it sounds like we’re embarrassed or scandalized–I don’t think either applies. Some Christians might be unaware, but many know and will talk about it when it comes up. It just doesn’t come up that often. There’s lot’s of things contained in the teachings of the Catholic Church–some just don’t get brought up very often.

      • gapaul

        I agree, but headlines are headlines, frequently not written by the author of an article. “Rather not acknowledge,” or the slighly softer “prefer not to confront,” of the subheadline does seem slightly misleading, and if you read the article, seems inadequate to its content. I don’t think the author’s point was “look at this thing they’re hiding,” so much as, “here’s an example of some of the weirdness of Christian thought, which doesn’t get so much airtime” I can’t argue with that point — apparently neither could Tertullian, also mentioned in the article. Or, I’d add, Paul. (“We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews, folly to the gentiles. . . ” ) Since its tempting to domesticate language about faith, the whole article seems to make sense. Most American Christians (Catholic and otherwise) don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what it meant for Jesus to visit hell.
        “Jesus went to hell, but nobody wants to talk about it,” was the original headline in Religious Dispatches. That wasn’t likely to have been written by the author either, but maybe a little clearer. Too clever, perhaps, but that’s what headline writers do.

        • Rebecca Fuentes

          They missed a chance for a classic. “Christians Believe this One Weird Trick . . .”
          I’ve sometimes contemplated how very strange our faith is.

  • http://pegponderingagain.com/ Peg Demetris

    HAHAHAHAHA!

  • Anonymously_Treading

    Maybe the author might want to open his fortressed mentality by considering the thought that Jesus, in releasing souls from hell and by his redemptive crucifixion closed the gates of hell forever.

    For the record, I do not believe that hell exists nor that Jesus literally descended into hell but give your context, I replied likewise.

    The word “snark” with reference to the tone of Shea’s article would aptly apply here.

    • AFBooks

      Treading, unfortunate for you, you do not seem to have read the biblical passage carefully or in the original Greek to understand its meaning. Just because some in the early Church attributed Jesus as having descended into the abyss does not make it so. Tradition is not the authority, but the original authors are.

      The actual word many have translated as “hell” or the “abyss” is not an accurate translation of the Greek. The Greek word “φυλακή” or “phulake” (as a transliteration) does not mean hell but rather prison. Furthermore, the passage said nothing about Jesus “releasing souls from hell.” That is a total misreading of the text in both the English and Greek.

      Furthermore, there is not just one interpretation of this passage but perhaps 4-5 majors ones and many minor ones. Only one interpretation can be right, and that is the one the original author (Peter) intended.

      If you do not know the Greek, then you need to learn it to arrive at a sound understanding of the passage. However, it seems that your “mental fortress” is shut toward any such rendering of hell. Whether you wish to believe it or not could rest on the biblical understanding of it. If you take several steps back from the text to gain a wider perspective of the truth about it, you will come away with an entirely different meaning. The primary theme of this passage is that of Christian suffering. Peter gives the example of Jesus as an illustration for this theme. Peter also refers to “spirits” in this passage as those to whom Jesus preached. These spirits were those who were formerly disobedient during the time of Noah.

      Why bring up Noah? This illustration gives us an example of the patience of God toward those who reject Him. From Noah to the time of Peter was a very long time, but God’s patience stretches a long time. But Peter spends very little time on this preaching before he turns to another illustration – baptism, to which he refers as an anti-type. An Anti-type of what? To the illustration of those who resist God. This baptism is not a requisite for salvation, as Peter notes, but a symbol of a good conscience toward God as opposed to a conscience of rebellion against God as Peter showed in the preceding example. Therefore, Peter gives a contrast: rebellion against God and a good conscience toward God during suffering. Those who exhibit this good conscience are those who have recognized the resurrected Christ as their Savior and will be where He is in heaven with the Father.

      The Bible speaks of separation from God for those who reject Him and His word. The Bible applies several terms to this separation. Jesus describes it as great pain and “gnashing of teeth.” It is a place or space where no one cares for anyone else, and people will never receive relief from their greatest pains and griefs. It is also an eternal condition for those whom God judges because of their unbelief. Those who refuse to believe Jesus is the Savior choose that eternal separation for themselves.

      The only escape from such isolated torment, meant for Satan and his angels, is faith in Christ’s death on the cross for humanity’s rebellion against and rejection of God. That is a momentous decision. Have you made it?

  • Rob Brown

    Such silliness. He can quote the ancient creed, but thinks nobody else considers that phrase. As Bugs Bunny might say, “Eeeeeh, what a maroon!”

  • kirthigdon

    Well, what a coincidence! The assistant priest at my parish mentioned Christ’s descent into hell in his homily at the Sunday vigil Mass this evening. He didn’t mention “harrowing” (a rather archaic term) but tied it into Christ releasing those held captive in such hells as addiction. It was a brief mention but certainly belies any notion that the Church is trying to conceal this doctrine out of respect for modern sensibilities.

    Kirt Higdon

  • jimoppenheimer

    I read the article under discussion, and one thing that immediately popped out at me was that all of the mainline texts cited in this article were also specifically mentioned in that one as well. The writer has condemned another’s writing without reading it through. A Common mistake. I think the point was that many attempt to avoid dealing with the belief that Jesus went to hell/Hades/Sheol/Detroit after his death. It was unfortunate the writer did not read the other article through. I guess deadlines preclude such silliness when you know you’re right anyway…

  • Bas Haenraets

    When I was young and still went to church with my parents (I am a fulltime atheist nowadays), I remember the creed stated (in Dutch): “[…] Die nedergedaald is ter helle, de derde dag verrezen uit de doden.”, which translates to: “who descended to hell, and rose from the dead on the third day.” I never gave the line much thought, but I read it as: no-one could go to heaven before Jesus had risen from the dead, so it seemed only logical that Jesus himself would go to hell too at that moment. It’s definitely not a skeleton in the closet, it’s been out in the open all this time.