Ever see Monty Python and The Holy Grail? Remember those little animated parts where those monks chant and jump off a cliff to their deaths? That part was funny.

It was also historically accurate.

Back in the days when Christians were fed to lions, no one in the Christian church minded. In fact many of those Christians that would go on to become lion food were willing to die for their religion. Some of them went out of their way to die for their religion. The leaders of the church considered them martyrs and fully supported their decision to die for their religion. The leaders also considered it suicide.

If you are familiar with Christianity you would know that right now, Suicide is against the beliefs of the church. They frown upon suicide and by the beliefs of Christianity if you kill yourself in the 20th century you will go to hell.

It was about the 5th century that Christians were being fed to lions. Back then suicide was not against the church's policies, it was not enough to get you into hell according to the leading beliefs of the church and in some cases it was greatly appreciated. So how did it come to pass that now in the 20th century it is against the church's will, enough to get you into hell and totally frowned upon by the church?

Back to Monty Python. That really happened. In the 6th century a sect of Christians called Donatists (who were actually greatly misunderstood by almost every other sect of Christianity) made the conscious decision that since there was nothing wrong with suicide (suicide was never discussed as wrong by that time) the quickest way to get to heaven was to end their lives. They claimed that bishop Cyprian (another Christian martyr) had advocated suicide as the purest form of belief in god, after all you'd have to have some faith in god to heave yourself to your doom on the basis that you have something better waiting after life.

They jumped in droves. They literally walked off of cliffs in herds. So many people died in fact, that Augustine of Hippo, now Saint Augustine, had to speak out on it and petition the church leaders to change the beliefs of the church to side against suicide. The leaders then decided that suicide would lead to hell and not to heaven.

If hell can one day be closed to suicides and then because a bunch of christians say something, the next day it is open to suicides, why don't a bunch of christians get together and say that no one will ever go to hell?

Yes it confuses me too. But then again if Jesus Christ had the body of a man that means he had Chromosomes. If he had chromosomes he had to have gotten 23 from each parent (same as any human) and that would require 23 from Mary and 23 from his father which is "god" by the christian beliefs. Thus god must have chromosomes. If god has chromosomes lets just track him down and clone him!

So I guess the hell thing isn't quite as confusing as some other aspects of Christianity.

Don"a*tist (?), n. [LL. Donatista: cf. F. Donatiste.] Eccl. Hist.

A follower of Donatus, the leader of a body of North African schismatics and purists, who greatly disturbed the church in the 4th century. They claimed to be the true church.


© Webster 1913.

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