Hell, that source of torment for so much of my life, was the next belief to fall. There was very little support in the Bible’s texts for humans spending eternity in a lake of fire.
More importantly, forcing humans to spend an eternity in a lake of fire would mark God as a colossal fucking asshole. God was a god of love. What did love have to do with eternal torment? Absolutely nothing. I was a parent now, and I loved my children, no matter how much stress they brought me and no matter how many messes they made and no matter how often they defied me. And even if I hated someone, I wouldn’t want them to suffer for eternity. I wasn’t a sadist. There was no joy in that thought.
Suddenly a passage from the Gospels made sense to me. Jesus asked the crowd ‘if your son asked for a fish, would you give him a snake? If he asked for a loaf, would you give him a stone? If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts, how much more so does your Father in heaven.’
We were mere mortals and our love was such that the average parent would not deliberately deny their child what they needed and give them something useless or bad instead. That’s not how love works.
With this another crack appeared – the one that said God made us suffer because He loved us.