Just south of the old walls of Jerusalem, there was a pit, a fiery pit, known as Gehenna. When Our Lord spoke of Hell, He likened it to the fires of Gehenna, and His listeners got the picture pretty fast.
In 2007, Gehenna, which is now the Valley of Hinnom, looked like this: a deep and narrow glen valley — of which there are quite a few here — skirting the southern end of the old city.
But if you come to Gehenna today, you can still easily see the depths of Gehenna, but now, it's a park, no longer a pit.
In fact, it's a pretty nice-looking park with even some sheep grazing in it; nicely manicured grassy areas, nice walking paths, even a Hebrew class being taught on one of the little mounds.
Under this pristine covering, however, is a frightening history.
Some of the kings of Judah actually sacrificed their children here, casting them into a pit with raging fires. So revolting did the Jews find the practice that they considered the land cursed and eventually used it as the city garbage dump and kept a constant fire blazing here.
But here's the deal: Today, there's nothing scary about the place at all. In fact, it's a pretty safe bet in this secular city, many people walking around don't even know that history, or if they do, only in some vague way.
But the covering over of Gehenna is extremely reminiscent of covering over the teaching on Hell by modernists in the Church today.
They don't exactly say Hell is actually not all that bad, kind of a nice place, in fact, like the recently created park here in Jerusalem. But they accomplish the same end of removing from people's minds the reality of the actual Gehenna.
Hell is real. And people go there. It exists. And it's not pretty.
Despite what "Church of Nice" apologist priests and bishops like Robert Barron preach. They are wrong. They refuse to preach the hard truths because they love themselves and their celebrity too much.
They want the respect of men, and one surefire way to lose it is to start yammering on about eternal fire and never-ending torture for the unrepentant.
And if you need an example of someone who lost the respect of men, you need look no further than the Son of God, who not only lost the respect of men but was killed by them.
He spoke often of Hell or damnation or not being saved, and when He brought those charges against the religious leaders, calling them liars and cheats and offspring of the serpent, that's all they could take.
In Matthew's Gospel, He has a direct confrontation with the leaders and says, flat out, how can any of you escape damnation?
He said of one of His own Apostles, better for him had he never been born. Jesus Christ came to save people from Hell and be united to Him for eternity, and, significantly, He also said not all would be saved, directly destroying the stupid, anti-scriptural notion that we have a reasonable hope that all might be saved.
Again, Matthew records for us He said that, at the end of the world, at the general judgment, He will declare to the damned, "Depart from Me accursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels."
Yet, Church of Nice modernists — again, many of them bishops — want to avoid or even cover up this horrible reality.
Yes, it is a possibility for every person, just as salvation is. But it is a realized possibility for many. The Son of God says that — clearly and distinctly.
This 50-year-old idiocy, so dominant in the minds of so many leaders in the Church that we can basically put a nice looking park on top of Hell and call it a day is spiritual terrorism.
And those who preach it, accept it, turn a blind eye to it or foist it onto others need to be called out and their errors attacked.
It is disgraceful to try and cover over the history of the Church's teaching on Hell as though we are somehow so much more sophisticated today and don't need to hear that anymore — such hubris.
Human souls are damned, as a matter of fact, just as this place was a fiery furnace for the offspring of children of some of the kings of Judah, despite how prettied up it looks right now.
This valley was a killing field for the children of the kings of Judah born to their pagan wives and concubines, and sometimes even sacrificed to Baal.
That's a historical fact, just as the Son of God said most are not saved. No beautification can undo reality.
We must work to ensure people know the truth, not lie about it so we don't hurt their feelings and disturb them. That's the work of the devil.