Many religions have a very clever, special curse in their salvation-schemes. Most religions have hells and to make sure believers stay in their religion, they let believers know that should they leave the faith then they are certainly bound for hell. This special curse is very effective that is why we see it in many religions: in evolution we call such phenomena “parallel evolution“.
Here is the curse:
Join us, and you get eternal life. But know this, if you leave our faith, then there is not only absolutely no chance that you may ever regain your salvation, but there is also an even worse hell awaiting you in the afterlife. Indeed, your eternal torment would have been less severe had you never joined our faith.
Evangelical Clause: Here is the verse some Christians use as the basis of their Special Curse Clause. You can see how this curse would keep even the doubting believer tithing:
For this reason I tell you, people will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven. But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
— Matthew 12:31-32 (NetBible)
Latter Day Saint (LDS) Clause: LDSers are more generous than the scheme of Evangelicals: see my post on ” salvation spectrums “. LDSers are closer to being Universalists in that they postulate that if someone rejects Jesus in this life, they get another chance after death when they will see him clearly and if the choose at that time, they are rewarded with salvation albeit of a little lesser degree than someone who chooses Jesus in this life. BUT they also have the nasty curse for ex-believers: if a Mormon receives enough revelation from the Holy Spirit after entering the Mormon faith and having a Temple Marriage, then if that Mormon then rejects their faith and leaves the church, then that Mormon is bound to the worst of hells. So that their fate would have been better had you never joined the Church of the Latter Day Saints — ouch!
I invite my readers to help me find this curse in other faiths and to send me the texts to support it — be they from their scriptures, their sermons or their literature. This curse mechanism is not privy to just religious groups, because it is an excellent human sociological mechanism to preserve membership, it has evolved in many non-religous groups including clubs, ethnic clans, societies etc…