My mother told me of hiding behind her mother as a "fire and brimstone" preacher railed away. How awful. These idiots are supposed to be doing the work of God as they attempt to frighten people into repenting.
This practice is totally unlike true evangelism or preaching. Philip, the evangelist (Acts 8:26-38), shows how to win a person to Christ, by explaining the Word of God, not by threatening or yelling.
So, what of fire and brimstone? Brimstone, or sulfur, is an element used to make a fire keep on burning hotly. It was used in the city dump outside Jerusalem and burns with a low, blue flame, like a gas stove turned down. It is associated with the mythical place called hell, as if the interior of the earth needs the aid of sulfur to make it hot enough.
The devil is often pictured as smelling like sulfur, because he is supposed to be living in "the devil's hell". But the devil's home is the second heaven, from which he visits both the third heaven and the surface of the earth.
I no longer believe that pagan influences will leave the church until Jesus comes. But individuals are coming to the truth concerning these myths. Since the Bible reveals the abode of the dead as a place of darkness, and fire and brimstone give off light, some see the contradiction and are rethinking their false beliefs.
It's a start.