Fire and Brimstone Preaching, also known as Hellfire Preaching, is a common tactic used by several fundamentalistic Christian preachers. It mostly involves using fear of eternal torture in Hell to force non-believers into converting to Christianity, and these teachings more often than not present God as a wrathful figure who is absolutely willing to throw you into Hell if you did not repent of your sins.
This tactic was typically used in the 19th century. An example of this type of preaching is the 1741 sermon entitled "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", which was penned by the late Christian theologian Jonathan Edwards. In his sermon, he depicted God as a disciplinarian who held the fate of millions of people in his hands. Edwards also noted that if any of his congregation members were to displease God in any way, He would fling them into Hell to suffer for eternity without batting an eye. Many of his listeners converted on the spot, because they were horrified of the theologian's descriptions of Hell and everlasting Hellfire. Even today, this tactic is still being used by several fundamentalists whose goal is to convert everyone to their way of thinking, and not allowing them to question their thinking.
As one also would have guessed, these types of teachings are incredibly popular in several forms of media , especially those in which a Knight Templar is involved.
Examples in Fiction
- Reverend Samuel Parris (The Crucible) - He uses these tactics throughout his sermons in hopes that those listening would give him materialistic possessions if they truly feared eternal damnation.
- The Minister (Backwater Gospel)- This is Minister's tactic throughout his sermons to aid the Backwater citizens.