How Hot Do You Want To Be?

An interview with bishop Hilarion of Austria and Vienna on the nature of Hell.

9 Responses to How Hot Do You Want To Be?

  1. Robert says:


    That is interesting that he says he experienced nothing. Seeing I wasn’t there working his code I can or cannot say what was given to him in the way of medication. Seeing it is 4 am when I am writing this the name of the medication escapes me, but there is a chemical we give to heart attack victims when they arouse, we usually have them intubated and it works to paralyze them so that they cannot yank the ET tube out. But one of the side effects is that it causes the patient not to remember anything of the ordeal. I had a woman once who was in full arrest, she was purple from the mid chest up. I was sure she was gone. We intubated her and did manual chest compressions and hit her with the whole 9 yards of meds and defibrillation. After 20 minutes of here getting a heart rhythm and crashing again she finally stabilized and woke up. LIke I said, she was intubated and we had her wrists lightly strapped down and as genteel reminder not to pull on the tube that was breathing for her. She would answer my questions and blink her eyes and even began to cry. Her husband was there and asked what he should do. I told him to just hold her hand and look into her eyes and tell her you love her, its all you can do I told him. We also had the med on board that would cause her to forget the whole ordeal.

    About 5 months later the same woman walked into our ER and this time she had her husband who was having chest pains. We began a work up on him and while I was doing paper work with the woman I asked her if she remembered me. She said she didn’t. I told her that I talked to her for about 20 minutes after she was saved and that she answered me with yes and no blinks. She said she was sorry and somewhat embarrassed, but that the only thing she remembered was waking up with her chest hurting and walking into the living room telling her husband she was having chest pains. The next thing she knew it was about 5 days later. She said her husband said she was talking the whole time and sitting up in bed the second day after her attack but she has no memory of it.

    So, while the Atheist may say he never saw anything or had any experience, well, he may very well have, but the meds prevent him from ever knowing it.

    I have also spoken with Atheist’s who have had NDE and all they chalked it up to neurons firing off in the brain, to them that is all it was. They said they did expirence something, but it was just a very vivid dream of something….it just wasn’t God or anything like that. Funny, they can’t say what it was, but they sure can say what it wasn’t.

  2. Gina says:

    I was significantly moved towards devotion to Christ by listening to an educator, a scientific materialist who grew up Russian Orthodox, describe “why I am not a Christian.” He was presenter/facilitator at a philosophy seminar I attended while in high school. The seminar had been scheduled for several weeks earlier, but at that time, he was undergoing a near-death experience due to heart attack. He described how he saw no light, only nothingness. He then went on to describe his revulsion at having to kiss the icons when he was a child, etc.- all of this submitted as evidence of the bankruptcy of Christianity. To me, it was obvious that he (nearly) died as he had lived, devoid of light and beauty and power. Equally as obvious was that I didn’t want either to live or die that way. I committed myself to Christ (in the Protestant mode, which was the only one I knew or trusted) that week.

  3. Sophocles says:


    Thanks for that brief telling of your story. I, too, have had many experiences in dreams difficult to describe. Without going into too much detail, I was open to “spiritual matters” always. This included the occult. I was heavily involved in the punk rock scene and in time the Misfits became my favorite band and that whole “evil” thing I loved.

    I also experimented with, shall we say, “substances” and my whole life began spiraling downward. I suffered terribly from certain dreams which I have come to know were not common to myself alone but are labeled of the character of “sleep paralysis”. Briefly, if you have never experienced them, it seems I was awake but I was not. I could not move and I could not talk. I felt like I was suffocating and always I sensed some kind of over powering evil presence about me though often it was merely vague and not tangible. I could sometimes “see” someone or something from my peripheal vision(I think) but it was always malevolent. I used to have these alot and gained “experience” in having them. Meaning, I could often know when they would occur, depending on my breathing as I fell asleep or the position of my body as I drifted into sleep and other factors.

    Also, once in this state, after having experienced it frequently, I knew I had to wake up as the state would dissipate upon awakening and the struggle to awaken I could only characterize as desperate and my sole focus. I thought I was in Death literally if I remained asleep.

    There is much more I could explain about these experiences and I could also tell of others, perhaps in a sense even more horrifying to me than these.

    I left the link to this guy’s experience because I had just viewed it the night before Perry posted this post and it was sort of curious to me.

    My only intent was to remind of Hell as I think, at least speaking for myself, I don’t think about it enough or with true seriousness and this guy’s story got me to thinking.

    But his experience, even though he is not Orthodox, is “orthodox” in its elements(to a point) and we all know that the stories of demons and spirits are Universal and not limited to those peoples which are Christian.

    I just posted as a “Public Friendly Reminder” is all.

  4. Robert Mahoney says:


    These are the same folks who make trips to heaven and describe it in such detail that you have to wonder why it was unlawful for Paul to do so, but it is okay for these folks to describe the smells and such.

    I had an experience once when I was under for an operation that lasted 5 hours. I could try and describe it, but it is very difficult. I was an Atheist/Agnostic (If it was a good day I was an Agnostic, bad day, Atheist) and when I was under the anesthesia I had some kind of experience. I remember when I woke up I asked the nurse if it was possible to dream while under She said she didn’t know. All I knew was when I came to I knew there was a God.

    I will say that what I experienced was a very Orthodox view of the situation than anything I have ever read or listened to from a charismatic. I became a deist after the event and after studying world religions I became a Christian. All the things I heard protestant Christians describing where so different from what I had experienced. Usually when a person from one protestant background relates a story it has many elements that people in that tradition come to expect. When I listened to stories from a different tradition, I hear different elements. So, how do I know mine is legit? I don’t. But what perks my ears up is when I began to study Orthodox theology I found in their writings what I experienced, and at the time I had no connection to anything Orthodox…so, I guess what I am saying is that I don’t believe I had a polluted experience from preconceived ideas and then had an experience to validate them. I had no beliefs, no expectations of any afterlife or consciousness after the cessation of brain activity.

    All this to say that when I read or hear of such experiences, I take them with a very big grain of salt.

  5. That’s good that Sproul is aware of the implied dualism in thinking that Hell is other than God.

  6. Robert Mahoney says:

    What is funny is that RC Sproul takes a pretty Orthodox view of Hell. He still holds to hell as being God getting his pound of flesh, but he believes that the elect and non elect will both be in the presence of God at the same time. That there will be no separation with the damned going off to some dark hole filled with fire while the elect get to remain in God’s presence and experience life and joy.

    I remember when I was a member of the RCUS (Reformed Church in the US) I brought this up and someone said that RC was entitled to his own heresy.

  7. Isaac,

    You’re probably more technically correct. But I think the overarching point was that Hell is not retribution from God’s point-of-view.


  8. Isaac the Syrian says:

    I usually appreciate what Bp. Hilarion has to say, but that was kind of confusing. My understanding is that the line about “hell” being abolished would be better translated “Hades” or “Sheol” meaning the place of the dead is abolished.

    Not sure how an experience of hell matches up with Orthodox eschatology considering it is not supposed to exist yet.

  9. Sophocles says:

    Fascinating I should see this post. My brother just recently stumbled upon this Protestant guy,Bill Wiese’s testimony of how he spent time in Hell. His telling of the story is very interesting (and scary). Part V they made a 3 minute video trying to depict what he experienced.

    Worth viewing at least to remind us of the reality of Hell.

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