Satisfaction When Others Get Their Comeuppance – by Greg Albrecht
Friend and Partner Letter from August 2017
Eternal conscious torment in hell is an unbiblical, fabricated teaching of Christ-less religion designed to effectively keep its followers in line. “Believers” in such teaching perceive hell as having positive results because 1) the fear of being consigned to the fiery coals of hell keeps the followers of Christ-less religion in tow, as they “toe-the-line,” and 2) it gives those who are religiously devout “hope” that God will see to it those who do not seem to faithfully “toe-the-line” as they do will get what they deserve.
This “hope” of seeing others “get what’s coming to them” is not only reserved for the more traditional and conservative denominations of Christendom – many deeply religious Muslims have a similar “hope.” Pleasure experienced by seeing and knowing of the suffering of other people is best described by the German word Schadenfreude. Schaden means damage and Freude describes joy.
The emotion of enjoying the suffering of others is a common, normal human response. Why are there times when we take delight in bad things happening to other people? As we discuss this topic I warn you – things are going to get ugly and uncomfortable, so fasten your seat belt and make sure your tray table is in its upright and locked position – we’re headed for emotional and theological turbulence!
The discussion we undertake is a walk on the dark side – if you keep reading you are going to face the disgusting reality that there are times when you derive satisfaction when you see others get what you consider to be their “comeuppance.”
Gloat is probably the closest English word to Schadenfreude – gloat is about gratification and delight one experiences when another party experiences misfortune. Gloating describes the delight that people experience when a rich or famous or powerful person is publicly humiliated – when such a person is arrested, or when their marriage flames out or when they check into a rehab facility – many avidly watch their televisions and devour the tabloids that cater to their desire to gloat and revel about the misfortune of the rich, famous and powerful. Schadenfreude.
But Schadenfreude goes deeper than mere gloating. Schadenfreude is malicious and sadistic because its pleasure is derived from pain and suffering experienced by another, rather than merely being delighted and gratified about the misfortune or embarrassment or failure of another. Schadenfreude is a lethal cocktail combining pride, envy, anger and malice.
Remember – I warned you to fasten your seat belt because this conversation is getting ugly – it is extremely embarrassing and disconcerting to admit that our nature can take perverse pleasure in the suffering of others. BUT IT GETS WORSE!
Christ-less religion ramps up the normal human response of Schadenfreude, pandering to this malicious emotion for its own diabolical motives. Christ-less religion plays upon this natural human emotion that causes us to delight in the sufferings of others and elevates it to a spiritual art form. Christ-less religion baptizes and legitimizes the coarse human emotions of envy, hatred, anger and animosity defining the word Schadenfreude by convincing religious followers when they delight in the suffering of those they deem to be wicked that they are displaying “righteous indignation.”
We saw religious Schadenfreude when candy was exchanged in the streets of some Islamic countries when news of the savagery of 9-11 became widely known.
Religious Schadenfreude is the gratification many anticipate, when what they call the “Rapture” happens (a time/event when they believe they will be whisked away to safety while a great tribulation such as the world has never seen envelops the whole earth in horrific anguish and suffering). Christ-less religion teaches those who are raptured will derive enjoyment seeing others “get what was coming” to them!
Religious Schadenfreude is the belief that many have about the joy they are told they will experience in the afterlife as they observe sinners – even their own family members – tortured, forever and ever, in the hot coals of fire.
Religious Schadenfreude was the reaction of many in a frenzied crowd, fueled by religious antagonisms as they demanded of Pilate, “Crucify him.”
Schadenfreude is one of the most base and lowest places human nature can take us, but here’s what’s really sick and demented: Christ-less religion insists this wretched aspect of human nature (which takes pleasure in the sufferings of others) is actually one of the characteristics of God!
Christ-less religion characterizes God himself as satisfying his own wrath when sinners are eternally tortured in the fires of hell. Christ-less religion twists and perverts a loving God into a god it creates in its own image, a god who is filled with and fueled by Schadenfreude.
Christ-less religion portrays and proclaims God as righteously exacting revenge so that he can see justice done (ironically, the human definition of justice is one and the same, according to Christ-less religion, as divine justice). The Schadenfreude of Christ-less religion diabolically describes God as being satisfied as he hears shrieks of pain and suffering resound from hell, forever and ever.
The stubborn insistence of the Christ-less perspective of Christendom at large about the appalling fabrication of eternal torture in hell as a just punishment for sinners is one of the most evil, reprehensible and diabolical of all dogmas and teachings – all in the name of God!
What is a Christ-centered response to Schadenfreude? Rather than taking delight in the downfall of enemies, Jesus empowers us to love our enemies and pray for them.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed in the Old Testament in the book of Jonah, where we learn that Jonah’s hatred for the Assyrians was so intense that he was disgusted by God’s decision to have mercy on the city of Nineveh. Jonah was angry with God because God denied Jonah the pleasure – the Schadenfreude – that he would have had if the inhabitants of Nineveh had received the destruction Jonah felt they so richly deserved. The book of Jonah is a parable about the grace of God overcoming Schadenfreude.
How does Jesus lead us through the darkness of this oh-so natural, yet so very diabolical and un-Christ-like emotional reaction of Schadenfreude? As we yield to him, Christ in us empowers us, when we are tempted to taste of what might seem to be the sweet waters of Schadenfreude, to realize that those waters are filled with bitterness and poison. As we grow in his grace and knowledge, we mature in love and reject revenge and retribution.
Christ in us fills us with hope – not just hope for ourselves, but hope for the entire world.
Conversely, Schadenfreude gives followers of Christ-less religion twisted and perverted “hope” that others, who are not part of their religion and who do not practice the same faith and who do not believe in the same dogmas, will one day be tormented and consciously tortured for all eternity.
As Christ-followers, our hopeful faith is that God is now (and that he will, in the future, in his way and in his time), in his compassion and out of his lavish love and grace, making a way for ALL to know and love God – rejecting revenge, retaliation and retribution. May God speed that day and time!
With grateful thanks, in Christ, by grace, I am…
Your brother in Christ,