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Old 03-31-2007, 10:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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universal salvation

Merciful Truth

the website preaches that hell is an invented idea, that salvation is universal, and that punishment is not forever

it goes into intention, meaning and definition of various greek or hebrew words.

is this a scholarly valid approach?

every word (I think) translated as hell in the NT

2Pe 2:4 - For if God messengers who sinned did not spare, but with chains of thick gloom, having cast [them] down to Tartarus, did deliver [them] to judgment, having been reserved,

Ac 2:24 - But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.

Ac 2:27 - For thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades, nor let thy Holy One see corruption.

Ac 2:31 - he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.

Jas 3:6 - And the tongue is a fire. The world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by Gehenna.

Lu 10:15 - And you, Caper'na-um, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades.

Lu 12:5 - But I will warn you whom you shall fear. Fear him, who after he has killed, has power to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear him.

Lu 16:22 - The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. (The verse does not add “in hell.”)

Lu 16:23 - and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Laz'arus in his bosom.

Mr 9:43 - If your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off: it would be better for you to enter into Life maimed, than remain in possession of both your hands and go away into Gehenna, into the fire which cannot be put out.

Mr 9:45 - Or if your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off: it would be better for you to enter into Life crippled, than remain in possession of both your feet and be thrown into Gehenna.

Mr 9:47 - Or if your eye should cause you to sin, tear it out. It would be better for you to enter into the Kingdom of God half-blind than remain in possession of two eyes and be thrown into Gehenna,

Mt 10:28 - Don't be afraid of those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. Rather, fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.

Mt 11:23 - And you, Caper'na-um, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

Mt 16:18 - And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.

Mt 18:9 - If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the Gehenna of fire.

Mt 23:15 - Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel around by sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much of a son of Gehenna as yourselves.

Mt 23:33 - You serpents, you offspring of vipers, how will you escape the judgment of Gehenna?

Mt 5:22 - But I tell you, that everyone who is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment; and whoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca,' shall be in danger of the council; and whoever shall say, 'You fool,' shall be in danger of the fire of Gehenna.

Mt 5:29 - If your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and cast it from you. For it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.

Mt 5:30 - If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from you: for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not your whole body be cast into Gehenna.

Re 1:18 - and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

Re 19:20 - And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed in its presence the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.

Re 20:10 - And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Re 20:13 - And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done.

Re 20:14 - Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire;

Re 20:15 - and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Re 6:8 - And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him; and they were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.


---------------------------------------------------------------

AND FINALLY

Universalism, the Prevailing Doctrine of the Christian Church During its First Five Hundred Years


views of early church book that is pro universal salvation
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Old 04-01-2007, 05:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: universal salvation

is this a scholarly valid approach?

I have no desire to experience hell so to me it is not a valid approach.

Stick with the Bible.

Matthew25:46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Mark 3:28Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: 29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Luke 13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

Romans 9:27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:
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Old 04-01-2007, 06:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: universal salvation

shoel, the place of skulls, aka, hell... theres an apostrophe in there somewhere...lol...
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Old 04-01-2007, 08:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: universal salvation

The question seems to be, are we now living in a reality that will for all eternity include within itself suffering and alienation..................or can there eventually be an ultimate reconciliation?

Once again,

Compassion speaks and says:
Can you be saved
Yet see the whole world suffer?
Can you feel joy
Yet hear the whole world cry?


Obviously some believe that when they have been "saved" the answer is "yes", justified, I suppose, by the "free will" that each has received.....

As a fundamentalist friend once said to me long ago when I asked him how we could be happy in heaven when others we have known and loved are suffering in hell......................."don't worry, we won't be concerned about them"

What a wonderful "perfection" and "salvation"...............

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Old 04-02-2007, 12:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: universal salvation

it is perfect. we wont be "concerned" about anything.
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Old 04-02-2007, 08:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: universal salvation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faithfulservant View Post
it is perfect. we wont be "concerned" about anything.
Hi,

Yes, to be fair to the friend I spoke of, he first mentioned that any question that cropped up concerning his faith, his first port of call was the Bible. On this ocassion he turned to the words from the book of Revelation, where it is said that "every tear will be wiped from our eyes". After reading this to me he then said..........."I don't know how He's going to do it, but I believe it."

"Eye hath not seen....etc etc....." Why speculate concerning the "enlightened" state?

However, what does concern me is our state now! Getting back to my first sentence, are we now living within a Reality that will forever include suffering and alienation from the pure source of Being? Or are we living within a Reality that will eventually involve a final reconciliation where every tear will be wiped from every eye?

We are fallible and vulnerable beings......and language is a treacherous sea. "Holy" books are open to endless interpretation. To give an example, from the book "Testament of Faith" by William Barclay. William Barclay has written well loved commentaries to virtually every book of the NT, and has made - and had published - his own translation. This is what he has to say concerning the passage already mentioned re Matthew 25.46.......

One of the key passages is Matthew 25.46 where it is said that the rejected go away to eternal punishment, and the righteous to eternal life. The Greek word for punishment is "kolasis", which was not originally an ethical word at all. It originally meant the pruning of trees to make them grow better. I think it is true to say that in all Greek secular literature "kolasis" is never used of anything but remedial punishment. The word for eternal is "aionios". It means more than everlasting, for Plato - who may have invented the word - plainly says that a thing may be everlasting and still not be "aionios". The simplest way to put it is that "aionios" cannot be used properly of anyone but God: it is the word uniquely, as Plato saw it, of God. Eternal punishment is then literally that kind of remedial punishment which it befits God to give and which only God can give.

William Barclay was a Universalist.

Anyway, whatever...................a treacherous sea indeed. Yet such certainties are often professed upon the basis of translated words born of cultures other than our own. We each must speak from out of our own experience and understanding...............and for me, always keeping an eye upon our own fallibility. Again, Holy books are many. At the moment I read and reflect and meditate upon a Buddhist text that addresses the very issue I speak of, that revolves around upaya - skilful means - where Reality is seen to reveal itself according to the various falculties and understandings of all. One "reality", yet it speaks its own language to each, with the intent to enlighten all..............an intent that will ultimately be achieved. Universalist indeed!
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Old 04-03-2007, 04:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: universal salvation

The exact same word "," "aionion" is used to describe the duration of punishment as well as of the life of the righteous - those who are saved. The same word describes both conditions. If it means one thing in the first part of this sentence, then it means the same thing in the second part since they are both in the same context and both are describing time-duration of the states of the unsaved and the saved. If the punishment is eternal, then so is the life. Likewise, if, as the universalist says, the punishment is not eternal, then neither is the life. You can't pick and choose how the word is applied in this verse to suit your own theology.
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: universal salvation

Dor,

In the context of my post I was using the words of William Barclay more to demonstrate the "treacherous sea of language" than as any sort of argument one way or the other for Universalism. Obviously I have deep sympathy for the Universalist position, but only in as much as it at least begins to approach the explicit teachings of the Buddhist Faith.

However, I would just mention some words of the Catholic Trappist monk Thomas Merton, written in his dialogue with the Zen Scholar D.T. Suzuki that in many ways is related to this issue. He is speaking of the divine mercy, as grace, as pure gift..................But lest the idea of gift be interpreted in a divisive "dualistic" sense, let us remember that God is His own Gift....... Part of the "gift" is life itself.........therefore, indeed, one can read the word "aionion" in the self same context each time and remain with Barclay's conclusions! Punishment as only God can give, life as only God can give........

The present has no extension but intensity. Eternity is not endless time - not "duration" as such - but timelessness, another dimension/realization/understanding of Reality-as-is. (IMHO)

But once again, the treacherous sea of language, and heaven help us if we rely too much upon it. Perhaps why for Christianity the Word of God is Jesus Christ, a Person........and not a book.
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: universal salvation

Hi Tariki –

But once again, the treacherous sea of language, and heaven help us if we rely too much upon it. Perhaps why for Christianity the Word of God is Jesus Christ, a Person........and not a book.
Bang on.

Hi Faithfulservant –

it is perfect. we wont be "concerned" about anything.

That suggests universal salvation – for whilst there is one soul lost from the assembly, then the assembly is not complete...?

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Old 04-03-2007, 04:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: universal salvation

No because that would deny us the choice of whether we choose God or not. I would suggest that the assembly is made up of those that chose God.
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Old 04-03-2007, 06:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: universal salvation

but is god concerned about those that dont choose him? why cant he fix them or give them sin free bodies anyway. no one should have to suffer sin and its consequences.
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Old 04-03-2007, 07:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: universal salvation

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowman View Post
but is god concerned about those that dont choose him? why cant he fix them or give them sin free bodies anyway. no one should have to suffer sin and its consequences.

seriously, who are we to decide what God should do? Who are we to know the things of God unless He tells us them.. rather than doing the what if and why doesnt he and he should... just accept it as His plan and let Him be glorified with your faith and trust in Him. Thats easier than questioning everything about Him.. and it pleases Him to no end.
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: universal salvation

ie Job 38 (esp. verse 4) "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding."
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Old 04-04-2007, 12:50 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: universal salvation

Christianity and universalism do not mix well.
Pick up the book and read it.
Sorry I put it ahead of Merton, Barclay, Suzuki, the Pope and any other man you want to list.
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: universal salvation

Regarding choice and free will etc etc, from a Buddhist (Pure Land) perspective, we do not choose, we are choosen. And all are choosen. Ultimately at some point we recognise that which IS, a gift eternally given, pure Grace. To believe that we are "saved" because of our own "choice" would be the last outpost of "self-power".............or as a Christian would say, a "salvation by works".

Faith does not arise
Within oneself.
The Entrusting Heart is itself
Given by the Other Power
(Rennyo)

Or, as the Christian John Donne once wrote........Grace, if thou repent, thou cans't not lack. Yet who shall give ye that grace to begin?

P.S. If this post is misplaced, as being on a Christian section, my apologies. It's up to the moderators I suppose.
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