Hellfire and Damnation and my childhood
Remember this poster on your bedroom wall, when you were a devoted adolescent fundamentalist?
It reminded you that so few of your friends were on the narrow path to the heavenly city via the death of Jesus on the cross. Almost everyone was on the highway to hell. The irony of this situation being you really, but guiltily, enjoyed AC/DC’s album of the same name. Hell is such an uncomfortable topic. Sure it gave you security, that you belonged to one of the few religious tribes that took the Bible seriously. But it was impossible to dwell on the “fact” that nearly all of your friends, even some of those in your youth group who enjoyed AC/DC without guilt, would spend eternity in hell in fire and brimstone, weeping and gnashing their teeth for all of eternity. Also, nagging doubts, illicit hopes, plagued your Biblical certainty. Doubts and hopes about the afterlife fates for those outside of your tribe, if voiced, could get your tribal membership questioned, even leaving your own eternal fate at risk...as if the membership card was what Peter looked for when you arrived at those pearly gates.You did that to others, questioning their membership/fate whenever they expressed doubts on the plain reading of the Bible.
However, some exceptions were tolerated by the membership.