Jesus Needs New PR

Jesus Needs New PR

Today’s Good News: You’re likely going to Hell!

Continuing his “I’ll be honest, will you?” series, Pastor Tim Conway tells his congregation that even some of them will be going to Hell.

Found at Christian Nightmares.

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posted July 2, 2010 at 9:30 am

So you don’t like what he’s saying, so there must not be any truth in it, huh? What if he’s telling the truth? If you’d been on the Titanic and somebody had KNOWN it was going to sink and most of the passengers were going to die, would you have called him the world’s biggest asshole for trying to tell everybody or for keeping it a secret?

If this makes you feel fear, then he’s also giving you the relief for your fear. If it just makes you feel disgust, then don’t worry about it. He’s probably just another nut.

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The Mac Guy

posted July 2, 2010 at 9:32 am

Thanks for the link. Now I know who William Tapley is… All I can say is WOW!

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Andie Redwine

posted July 2, 2010 at 9:37 am

Pastor Tim has no problem assuming that members of his congregation are going to weep in outer darkness. But he never seems to note that, if his theology is correct, he could just as easily be among those who weep and gnash their teeth. This is one of the most spiritually abusive messages I have heard in a while.

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    exIFB Luke

    posted July 3, 2010 at 3:16 am

    Conway thrives on this stuff. Some people on the internet hang on every word that comes out of his mouth (their other fave preacher being Paul Washer). But it seems to me that his congregation must be so full of fear and anxiety that they probably have no idea who God is, because they are constantly making sure they measure up to Conway’s measure of what a Christian should be.

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jonathan bonchak

posted July 2, 2010 at 9:42 am

Coincidentally, this morning I had a brain spasm and tweeted this, which I think is the perfect response to this ramrod—

“Love born of trust is eternally stronger than trust born out of fear ”

Sometimes I think these wackos have more faith in their own fears coming to light than in the the ability of God to overcome those fears at any cost. When will we stop letting our faith be hinged to fear and begin to truly live as if we’ve been set free? We continue to hear from fundies these stories of damnation, but the story doesn’t begin with mans fall. It begins with creation.

Nobody ever wants to talk about what we looked like before sin. You can’t live your life using Christ like an insurance policy. You’ll only damn yourself to your own prison here on Earth.

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posted July 2, 2010 at 9:43 am

Okay… While I’m not one… OK, I AM one to stir up trouble, and I appreciate Matthew’s take on all things embarrassing to Christianity, but I have to ask this question in light of Matthew’s article title and the video’s content:

Is Tim Conway incorrect? If so, how so? If not, why not? If what he says is correct what’s wrong with what he’s saying?

Ready, set… GO!!!

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    posted July 2, 2010 at 10:21 am

    He puts his listeners in a no win situation. I don’t know whether this is Calvanism or Arminianism or some weird mix…it seems to me the latter. In the beginning of excerpt he states that many of you no matter how strongly you think you believe in Jesus aren’t making it (anyone willing to attend that service & sit through that message (& I think it was a series) at least wants to believe in Jesus (bless their hearts)… But then he tells all these poor people who are quite possibly believing the hardest that they can that when they get to hell they are going to be sad that they didn’t believe…his message seems to portray god as a sadistic f#%* who hates people and not only wants to mess w/ their heads in this life but also in eternity. With a god like this it is best to not be born…that’s what is wrong with his message. Calvanism in the front w/ Arminianism in the rear just doesn’t work…and makes for a much more evil god than when the two just stay seperate of each other…sheesh!!

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posted July 2, 2010 at 10:07 am

Does the carrot-and-stick approach work with anyone? It typically doesn’t with addicts; our ability to think in terms of choices & consequences seems to be broken. What about everyone else? I have a hunch that hellfire preaching is liable to lead to “fire insurance” conversions. But I haven’t done a controlled experiment on it yet.

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    exIFB Luke

    posted July 3, 2010 at 3:27 am

    These guys think that anything other than hellfire and brimstone will lead to fire insurance. If you simply believe you are a sinner and Jesus died for you, it’s “easy believism”. If you weep over your sins and confess to God you are a sinner it’s “decisionism”. If you come to God and pray to him for forgiveness it’s “easy prayerism”. If you come to God fearing hell it’s “Fire Insurance”. Everyone’s conversion except their own is false.

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posted July 2, 2010 at 10:15 am

Where is the hope in this message? He offers Jesus as the hope and solution yet he has stated that there are people in the congregation who think they are following Christ who will not be in Heaven. So where is the assurance in Christ?
In this message, salvation is being saved from Hell. But isn’t salvation from so much more? Are we not saved to more than Heaven?
I am not a fan of scare tactics. Scare tactic salvation focuses only on the salvation from Hell–Fire insurance. Perhaps the reason we see cheap grace is because of a message like this. I accept Jesus and I don’t go to Hell. But what about being the Kingdom now? What about being saved to be a child of God in the present age?

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Ryan Rushing

posted July 2, 2010 at 10:23 am

Last time I checked, God doesn’t use human “default” understanding to decide anything. We try to make sense of stuff, but time and time again we are made painfully aware of God’s full understanding.

Tim isn’t incorrect when we says people will go to hell, I’m sure some will. But Christianity isn’t about heaven or hell. It’s about knowing the one through whom everything was made, and if we’re basing our day to day life on whether or not we are going to hell or heaven, we’re doing it wrong.

We need to do things because God is perfect and deserves everything we do to be done for him. This guy is using classic scare tactics to “win” souls. I guess God can use anything, but it doesn’t seem like Jesus would approve of such a message more focused on Hell than Himself.

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posted July 2, 2010 at 10:25 am

I think it’s ridiculous that he’s applying his teaching and statistics to ONLY his congregation in the church. The few who find are those that follow Christ, and the many who don’t find are those without Jesus and His salvation in their lives. What if every person in his church has accepted Jesus as their Savior? Is their faith negated because the reasoning he’s using means that some in the church (potentially a follower of Christ) are going to hell regardless their salvation? It’s very small-minded of him to not think “big picture”. I would hate to see any “outreach” he does. Boo hiss!

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posted July 2, 2010 at 10:30 am

Hitler could have taken a few pointers from this guy…

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    posted July 2, 2010 at 10:46 am


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    posted July 2, 2010 at 11:09 am

    This man is not a fascist. Fascists dress in black and go around telling people what to do.

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Jesse Medina

posted July 2, 2010 at 11:22 am

I see absolutely nothing wrong with this message, save that we don’t know what was said before or after these 7 minutes. If he said anything unBiblical, show it from Scripture.

The good news of the Gospel is that salvation is made available to us through Jesus Christ as a free gift of grace. Tim says nothing that stands in contradiction to this.

What makes it such a bad thing for a preacher to be honest about hell?

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    exIFB Luke

    posted July 3, 2010 at 3:36 am

    He is not honest about God. Sure, there probably are a few people in the congregation who are not saved. I haven’t heard this message, but I have heard others by conway. I am guessing the gist of it is something like

    “You don’t really believe, you think you do but you don’t, your works prove you are lost”.

    There is a group of people online. A very large group. And they love to pat each other on the back because they all love the preaching of Conway and Paul Washer. And they sit around at church and discuss the latest thing that Washer or Conway said. And their hearts are full of PRIDE. They think they are so fantastic because they have “found the truth”. But instead of sharing this truth with joy, they start to doubt everyone else and condemn everyone else. And condemnation is NOT the gospel. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus, only in the law – the law leads to guilt, Jesus leads to freedom. This guy is not preaching the gospel, but condemnation.

    Yesterday I had the opportunity to link up with a good friend to assist in his “open air preaching” at the Halifax waterfront. The Buskers are in town and the waterfront is PACKED. As my friend preached his message I took note of the heavy influence that Paul Washer has had on his preaching. I do not want to take away from what my dear friend was doing but he could remember Paul Washer’s imagery nearly perfectly but the Scriptures were eluding him. Man had eclipsed the Word.

    I love this man. He is a dear Saint who loves the Lord and truly seeks to see people saved. But the story gets worse.

    As he finished up I had opportunity to run after a few people to ensure they got tracts. The people with my friend didn’t run after anyone. A few people did approach my friend to talk about his message further but the conversations did not last long. Not that they have to, but it seemed strange that the conversations were done before I could give out the few tracts I had in my hands.

    I came back to hear how things were going and the group was standing around in a circle talking about… you guessed it.. Paul Washer’s sermons. They were excited about his imagery. I began to realize why these had been so fresh in my friend’s mind while he was preaching. I stood there silent, listening and praying. All the while hundreds of people were walking by us. The Spirit kept prompting to hand this one or that one a tract. Each time the tract was taken, but I just felt more and more strange. As I listened I realized what was bothering me. These people who had come down to a special city event where there would be thousands of people were standing around holding tracts and talking about a man instead of passing out the tracts or at least talking about Christ.

    My friend, who knows me well enough, picked up on my silence and asked me how long I would be staying. It was all I could do to choke back the words I wanted to say. I told him, it looks like you have all the help you need (there were 5 or 7 people with him) and I’d be going in a moment. I’m sure he knew there was more to it. But he was the leader there and that was not the time or place for the discussion that was needed. So I left, saddened.

    I want to write for a moment about one thing they were very impressed with because I find it ironic. The conversation included Todd Friel’s mocking and rebuttal of some other man’s teaching – I honestly can’t remember the name of the person.. something to do with a bull horn though. False teachers… false prophets… false converts… these are always high on the list of exciting topics for those who preach Lordship Salvation. The mark of a false teacher or a false prophet – they don’t agree with you, and they have illustrations that don’t come from the Bible. Wait for it…

    So during their praise of all things related to Paul Washer I heard something I never noticed in like conversations ever before. The things they were praising Paul Washer for were the illustrations he makes that are not from the Bible. Here is one that they were particularly excited about. I was not taking notes so it is not an exact quote.
    Paul Washer asks do you know how vile man is? Do you have any idea how evil the best person you’ve ever met is? When God sends that person to Hell all of Heaven will praise Him for it. The last thing that sinner will hear is the shouts and applause of all Heaven in praise that God is ridding the World of that vile being.
    Where is this in the Bible?

    In fact since those in Heaven will be perfectly sinless ( the Bible says that Christians will be resurrected in the very image of Christ ) there is no chance at all that we will be cheering about something that gives God no joy. Ezekiel 33:11
    Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’
    There were a number of other illustrations they were excited about that I could also ask “where is that in the Bible” and show the Word in contradiction to Paul Washer’s sermon but this is enough. While hundreds of people walked by on their way to the horrible eternity that is Hell these people were happy to stand and praise a man for something he made up that doesn’t even agree with the Word of God.

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      posted July 8, 2010 at 10:46 pm

      I want to respond because your comment made me think a lot. I watched Conway’s clip, and it reminded me of the church I went to as a child. It was all hellfire and brimstone, and I spent a lot of time as I got older thinking that no matter what I did, I was going to hell. Nevermind that I loved God, nevermind that I believed, it wasn’t good enough. They also preached that the end of the world was going to happen when the EU came about, but that is a story for another day.

      I turned from that church after high school when I found out how hypocritical the pastor and asst. pastor were and saw the effects of the “help” they tried to give to my parents marriage and ended up at another church that was even worse. The whole experience left me with a warped view on Christianity.

      Hellfire and brimstone may light a fire, but it is not going to give anyone a good view of who God is our his amazing love for us. So many of these kinds of evangelists distort the Bible or don’t even include the Bible in their preachings. I feel sorry for these preachers because there is something wrong with their walk with God.
      I am sorry for the experience you had with your friend the other night. I also hope that maybe you will have the opportunity to talk to him about it as well.

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@Marcallee (Twitter)

posted July 2, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Do you have your Jesus-Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card yet? Because that is what the hokey-pokey is all about.

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@Marcallee (Twitter)

posted July 2, 2010 at 12:16 pm

P.s. here’s my 0.02

When you get into the theological details, soteriology is a hotly debated issue in Christian circles. But the details aren’t the point; they can be beneficial, the debates can be helpful, but it they don’t constitute any major profit for a person’s salvation. I feel there is this attitude that we can figure everything out, there is a bottom line we can understand. I’ve learned God isn’t this scientific formula that we can dissect and explain. If I could dissect salvation (i.e. explain its inner workings completely) I could manipulate it, if I could manipulate salvation I’d essentially become God.

There is an element of mystery in Christianity; it requires some faith for things we just will not figure out. Bottom line for Salvation is this, Jesus came to offer a solution to humanity’s state of damned depravity, when faced with Jesus each individual must choose their reaction. While we can talk about what a positive reaction may be, NO ONE is qualified to say if someone is going to hell or heaven because of “x,y,z”. That is God’s place.

I could cite the bible for this, but I’m sure we each have our own bibles we could refer to at home; I won’t belabor the point with verses that are readily available to all of us.

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posted July 2, 2010 at 12:18 pm

heard it many times. good thing the bass player has some good GK gear though. also a nice Sonor drum set.

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Blogging For Bucks

posted July 2, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I am absolutely appalled by this sermon.

First of all, mankind hasn’t always had a means of forgiveness however
we have ALWAYS had a means of repentance. Even in the old testament
God tells people the EXACT punishments they will endure ON EARTH for
their crimes. Some of this repentance included things like sacrifices
going into great detail to explain exactly what to sacrifice, how to
sacrifice, and how many to sacrifice. Some of these punishments were
so extreme as to stoning to death.

He didn’t make these rules because he expected people to stop sinning,
but rather because he knew they wouldn’t! The same is true of My Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ. Christ wasn’t sent here to do away with sin.
If he had then judgment would have already happened. Instead he came
to save those who do sin. The sinners of the past and the ones still
yet to come. He came to save them all – in fact he even forgave those
who crucified him BEFORE he died. “God please forgive them, for they
no not what they do”

We are all sinners. We must do our best not to be sinners. However we
will all sin. Our salvation depends on whether we acknowledge our
wickedness and our sins before Christ and God. It does NOT depend on
whether we have changed our wicked ways.

“For whosoever believes in me shall have everlasting life”

I believe in Christ. I believe he has the power to take away the
demons inside me that make me want to sin. I believe with Christ and
God I can stop sinning. However I am a sinner. I was born with sin. I
will sin again. Christ will forgive me I have no doubt.

Will I go to heaven? Well NO ONE can answer that! Let me say that
again NO ONE can answer that! God, Gods word, the bible, the holy
spirit, and Christ the living word are not so cut and paste simple.

For only the pure of heart can reach the kingdom of heaven HOWEVER the
meek shall inherit the earth and have everlasting life – not at all
the same thing as going to the kingdom of heaven.

So why will so many join with satan in the burning lake of fire?
Because so many openly REJECT Christ! They don’t ask for forgiveness.
They refuse to accept he was real. Go out in the world and ask 100
high school students how many are Christian and you will find a
whopping 90%+ say they are. Then ask the question how many believe
Christ is real, walked the earth, and will come again… less then 40%
will say they do.

If you are Christian, if you believe Christ died for you, if you
believe Christ will come again to save you, and if you ask for
forgiveness you will NOT go to the burning lake with Satan and his

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posted July 2, 2010 at 4:32 pm

That’s . . . that’s just sick. Theologically correct or not, that is such a distorted view of God. I can’t judge this Conway guy, because I have my own issues I’m working through, but I still found that so very disturbing. Heaven helps us if God is actually like that.

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    exIFB Luke

    posted July 3, 2010 at 3:40 am

    You would be surprised how many Christians actually believe this stuff…

    It’s partly to do with the state of Christianity. They rightly see the error in the openly liberal emerging church, but instead of believing the Bible, they side with the opposite error – extreme legalism and law keeping (I know Conway would deny this, but he can deny it all he wants – he believes salvation is evidenced by law keeping (as opposed to fruits of the spirit, against such their is no law)).

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posted July 2, 2010 at 4:58 pm

I have no idea why someone find this incorrect from a Biblical standpoint. Francis Chan has said the same thing at Cornerstone at least a dozen times and I thank God he did.

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posted July 2, 2010 at 5:27 pm

I cringed.
At the beginning I was thinking he might be doing okay, but then he neglected to place himself among those at risk of Hell. And I cringed.
Theological correctness does not make for good preaching. It’s a vital ingredient, but if all you’re doing is making your congregation crap their pants you’re not helping them.

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Jason Grant

posted July 2, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Not the same Tim Conway I was thinking of….. lol

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Sabio Lantz

posted July 2, 2010 at 7:48 pm

The comments above show that people often find their religion uncomfortable if they listen too carefully.

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    Sbux Josh

    posted July 3, 2010 at 12:11 am

    A God who creates a world full of people with the intent of having many of them suffer, die and then burn forever. It’s biblical.

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      exIFB Luke

      posted July 3, 2010 at 3:42 am

      No, it is not. It is what the Calvinist would have you believe, but it is not biblical. God’s intent is that all should come to repentance and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. However, not all will. God has graciously provided more than we deserve to be saved from our punishment, but he did not create people with the intent of burning them forever. As John Wesley said, that is a diabolical doctrine, a most horrible decree.

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        Sbux Josh

        posted July 4, 2010 at 7:31 pm

        Did God create the world and human beings?

        Is he all-knowing?

        Did he create a place of punishment for non-Christians to go to after death?

        Then he must have created some people knowing that they were not going to choose him. He still created them anyway knowing that they were going to hell. He made Hell for them specifically. It is a most horrible doctrine. A false one I think.

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posted July 2, 2010 at 9:44 pm

oh lordy it wasn’t a skit from The Carol Burnett show.

note to self: read the comments first next time….

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    posted August 12, 2010 at 8:29 am


    Actually it was a skit…it just wasn’t funny :(

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Mike Morrell

posted July 2, 2010 at 10:26 pm

I think the problem is that conservatives assume they know what all these terms Jesus uses “really mean,” and progressives just dismiss it as out of hand. But what if there are other possibilities in the text, not by eschewing Bible-thumping, but really delving in?

In short: I don’t think that the ‘narrow road’ and ‘destruction’ and ‘outer darkness’ and ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’ Jesus describes here are talking about a perpetual postmortem afterlife for those who make the wrong existential choice about Jesus – a choice that, by the way, is never outlined in the synoptic Gospels!

Instead, I think that Jesus is speaking eschatologically, speaking symbolically about the spiritual import of this-worldly realities soon to engulf his hearers and his beloved Jewish people: Namely, the coming, inevitable military conflict with Rome. The ‘road that few will find’ is not the ‘Romans Road’ of timeless propositional salvation, but the very immediate ‘salvation’ from the path of Herodian acquiescence to Roman military might on the one hand, and self-confident Pharisaical separatism on the other hand. It is a third way of peace, and few indeed be they that find it – then and now. But in his immediate context, Jesus is telling people how to avoid this kind of destruction – really & truly.

(For a popular overview of the scholarship in this regard, see my friend Kevin Beck’s free eBook, This Book Will Change Your World.)

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posted July 3, 2010 at 9:25 am

Mike, I so agree with this statement: “I think the problem is that conservatives assume they know what all these terms Jesus uses “really mean,” and progressives just dismiss it as out of hand.”

I think there are many in the faith who believe they know the terms by which judgment will come. The Jesus who tells Nicodemus he must be born again is the same Jesus who tells the rich young ruler to go and sell all he has. Some boil it down to a prayer, if you haven’t said the sinner’s prayer, are you really saved?

The issue I have with this sermon, as much as I have heard, is it reduces salvation to saving from Hell. Paul spends all of his time in his letters telling his audience they are saved from this present, evil age. They are saved from selfishness, from materialism, from divisive behavior and are free to love like Christ has loved in the here and now. Christianity is not a mere ticket out of Hell. It is a lifestyle which begins now. We are New Creations not after death but now. This is not a message of fear but a message of hope and healing. I do not hear this in Pastor Conway’s sermon.
It is like the billboards I have seen–“Warning: Jesus Christ is coming”. Warning? It is good news the Creator is returning to us. Personally, fear motivates me to make rash decisions and shallow decisions. Love motivates me at a deeper level for greater change.

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Allison Lynn

posted July 3, 2010 at 3:46 pm

I like the way the camera jerks around at the 1:07 mark, just as the camera man realizes he’s going to hell…

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Eugene Lanzl

posted September 7, 2014 at 12:29 pm

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