Gary received this in an email;
"Your teachings (not that they are "yours") have changed my life. After putting up with the doubletalk and confusion I experienced in a Baptist church (which I point out was a church full of intelligent and lovely people for whom I still have admiration and respect) I just found it harder and harder to keep the ideas together in my mind. My suspicion is that Christians encounter reality in Jesus Christ, which is something so real that even when their theology causes them confusion and angst, they choose to withstand the trauma and dilemma because they think that to do otherwise would be tantamount to forsaking their faith. They cope amidst theological crisis generated by hell by adopting beliefs such as: "God is chastening me", "God is mysterious, I am a mere man", "I must have more faith", "it does not need to make sense" etc., or worse, they see their intellectual suffering as being a form of spiritual maturity even though it is simply a consequence of the diabolical ideas they have of God.
If a person genuinely believes in the doctrine of eternal torment and is prepared to accept the double talk of many teachers such as "God is love, but He is also holy" i.e. "Look out, it is not all Good News!", then it takes the scope for emotional suffering to a level beyond what people can cope with. I can personally attest to the fact that if a person genuinely believes that they or a loved one is going to hell, they go insane, become cold and indifferent, become dissociative or develop some other coping mechanism. So much for the Truth setting one free…
I have the same tendencies to be legalistic and hypocritical and had it not been for Tentmaker, I would have gone down exactly the same path. That is, had I maintained a belief in eternal torment, I would have felt perfectly justified in being an absolute tyrant in my dealings with my loved ones ("There are more important and pressing things at stake – the world is going to hell!"). It would not (and did not) produce kindness or mercy in me; it did (and would have continued to) do the opposite!
I hope I have not wasted your time in writing to you at length, but I suspect you get tired of personal attacks and outright aggression towards your teachings (I once told my bible group about universalism, and it was met with resistance or silence from nearly all of them). Please keep in mind that I strongly suspect your website may have prevented my own suicide, and more likely prevented me from becoming completely insane from the terror and fear of hell."