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Non-believers will 'go to hell', suffer in eternity forever': Joyce Pring's statements spark online debate

By NICK GARCIA Published Oct 13, 2022 3:24 pm

Those who don't believe in Jesus will "go to hell" and "suffer in eternity forever," content creator Joyce Pring said, drawing mixed reactions online.

Pring made the remarks during her Adulting with Joyce Pring podcast's "Unpacking Christianity" episode, which featured fellow content creator Wil Dasovich.

The episode aired Oct. 5, but got more attention in social media after it was posted on Reddit Oct. 12. The r/Philippines post got over 4,400 upvotes and 2,300 comments to date, and has since made the rounds on Facebook and Twitter.

At the 19:40 mark of the episode, Dasovich asked Pring about her thoughts on whether non-believers can go to heaven. Pring is a publicly known devout Christian who also teaches at the Christ's Commission Fellowship.

After clarifying if he's referring to those who don't believe in Jesus, Pring said "No" and shook her head. Dasovich, who appeared to be in disbelief, then asked what will happen to non-believers.

“They're gonna face judgment and go to hell," the 29-year-old Pring said, adding that non-believers will "suffer in eternity forever."

Pring also stressed that what makes her religion "beautiful" is that Christians "don't have to work for heaven," as Jesus "already did that for [them]."

A murderer may go to heaven, Pring noted, as long as he "honestly repents for his sins." Dasovich then asked if there's entry for a "saint" who didn't anything wrong in life but doesn't believe in Jesus. Pring answered in the negative.

Pring clarified to listeners that what she said about non-believers is just her "personal belief."

Dasovich, who described Pring's words as "brutal" throughout the episode, said he disagrees with her. In any case, they maintained that they're still "great friends" who "don't judge each other or anybody."

However, many netizens were unhappy with Pring's pronouncements.

In a Facebook post that got over 10,000 reactions (with "Haha" as plurality), 2,100 comments, and 8,500 shares, one user commented that Pring's beliefs are "scary" and harmful." A cheeky user who shared the post wrote in the caption, "HHAHAAHAHAHA edi inyo na langit."

On Twitter, a user didn't mince words in calling Pring "self-righteous," saying she has "no place in heaven."

But other netizens came to Pring's defense and were more sympathetic toward her.

"Yes go, judge Joyce Pring all you want. These people will never understand Christianity unless they start reading the Bible. I pray over these people may God forgive their hearts and soul," a Twitter user wrote.

"But it is the truth, based on what the bible says. Should we be more concerned of ourselves especially if we don't believe in Christ than saying something to a person who shares with us the truth?" another Twitter user wrote.

Pope Francis on atheism

In 2017, British newspaper The Guardian, quoting a Vatican transcript, reported how Pope Francis took a swipe at those who are "very Catholic" and who "always go to mass" but are leading "double lives." He cited as examples those don't pay employees proper salaries, those who exploit people, those who do dirty business, and those who launder money.

“There are many Catholics who are like this and they cause scandal,” Francis is quoted as saying. “How many times have we all heard people say ‘if that person is a Catholic, it is better to be an atheist.'"

In 2013, the pope on the Italian newspaper La Repubblica also recalled somebody asking him whether the Christian God forgives those who do not believe and do not seek faith. 

Francis said God's mercy "has no limits if he who asks for mercy does so in contrition and with a sincere heart." The issue for non-believers, he pointed out, is "obeying their own conscience" or what they perceive as good or evil.

The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country, with at least 80% as believers, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority. 

Pring, who has since become a trending topic on Twitter, has yet to comment on the issue.