by Boyd Purcell
Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D.
Spiritual Terrorism is about the impact of fear-based religion on people's lives who have been spiritually abused by a negative conception of God through eternal hell-fire preaching and teaching. The doctrine of eternal punishment in literal fire is at the heart of many forms of spiritual abuse and all forms of spiritual terrorism which is the most extreme form of spiritual abuse. This book effectively explains the symbolic use of fire in the Holy Bible and other Holy Books. The common misunderstanding of the metaphorical usage of fire is the primary cause of spiritual terrorism.
Dr. Purcell clarifies the confusion over the Christian doctrine of salvation by grace and judgment which is based on the deeds of life—good or bad. This allows readers to grasp the liberating truth that people are totally free to live their lives but are also totally accountable, at the end of life, for how they have lived their lives. God will ultimately teach universal empathy and bring about perfect justice for all without violating anyone's free will.
Spiritual abuse has the potential to affect all stages of life: in the womb, childhood, youth, young adults, older adults, end of life, and bereavement after the deaths of loved ones. Spiritual abuse may also affect all areas of life: marriage/divorce, emotional/mental/physical abuse, medical treatment or refusal of such treatment for self and children, and domestic and international terrorism.
All major world religions are addressed: Judeo/Christianity, Islam, and the Eastern Religions—Buddhism and Hinduism. Included as well are Native American Beliefs. There is a theme running through all major religions of God's unconditional love, amazing grace, infinite mercy, perfect justice, and a universal homecoming.
For 1500 years, this fearful God allegedly wreaked vengeance on cowering humans. But two millennia ago Jesus gave the world a new vision of God to replace the more primitive idea of vengeful monotheism. Unfortunately, Emperor Constantine and the Nicean Council kept this outmoded idea and used it to force nonbelievers to become members of the new nationally recognized Roman church. Purcell sees the Council's activities as "the single worst thing, from a spiritual perspective, which ever happened to the Christian Church." The church born of this 325 CE creed persecuted both the non-believer and the believer. They created what Boyd calls the "false doctrine of eternal punishment." In order to escape this psychological fear tactic used to control believers, Purcell urges us to change the predominant religious paradigm. He suggests "...we do not see things as they are--we see things as we are." So "...if we adore the God we know, we tend to become like the God we adore." If you are interested in a more accurate portrayal of the essence of the ministry of Yeshua/Jesus and a better understanding of his positive spirituality, you will want to read this book.