Opposers of christian universalism refuted

rodgertutt

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OPPOSERS OF CHRISTIAN UNIVERSALISM REFUTED
If necessary, copy and paste the links into your browser.

COMMON ARGUMENTS ADDRESSED
Good news of God's love for all mankind - find it here at Tentmaker
http://www.tentmaker.org/FAQ/index.html
and
Quick Find: Links to Information on Hell and Universal Salvation
http://www.tentmaker.org/bloglinks.htm

CONSEQUENSES OF ETERNAL TORMENT THEOLOGY
http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/hells_fruit.html

BIBLE THREATENINGS EXPLAINED
http://www.tentmaker.org/books/BibleThreateningsExplained.html

THE SCHOLARS CORNER THE CENTER FOR BIBLE STUDIES IN CHRISTIAN UNIVERSALISM
http://www.tentmaker.org/ScholarsCorner.html

UNIVERSAL SALVATION UNIVERSITY
http://richardwaynegarganta.com/universalsalvation.htm

RESPONSES TO CURRENT CHAMPIONS OF ETERNAL TORMENT THEOLOGY

Don Hewey
http://gtft.org/Library/condon/QuestionsWithoutAnswers.htm
Problem Verses With AION
Concordant Version Reliable?
Don Hewey on Is the CLNT Reliable Part 2
Is the CLNT Reliable Part 3

Eric Landstrom
Logical arguments that justify an eternal hell?
Will anyone be saved in "the afterlife"?
Aion, Concept of Time
http://www.savior-of-all.com:80/aionian.html

Matt Slick
Matt Slick's Slick Double Talk
Exposing those who contradict the truth of Universalism
CARMmattslickuniversalismrebuttal
In defence of the cross: Rebuttal to Matt Slick on Universalism
my letter to CARM run by Matt Slick (tradition, punishment, doctrine) - Christianity - City-Data Forum

Tom Logan
Tom Logan Proves Universalism is Wrong

Hal Lindsey
A Reply to Hal Lindsey concerning Universal Reconciliation

Dwane
If aion is limited does this limit God’s attributes?

W. E. Vine
http://www.saviourofall.org/poisonfruitofvine.html

A great fifteen chapter introductory series to ultimate reconciliation.
J. Preston Eby does a thorough job covering many aspects of the topic.
Fundamental reading for any person interested in studying universalism from a solid Biblical perspective.
Highly Recommended!
THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD SERIES EBY
http://www.godfire.net/eby/saviour_of_the_world.html
 

NiceCupOfTea

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1 Corinthians 1:18 (New International Version)

18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Toronto ?

you should pay a visit to TACF or as it is now know Catch the Fire Toronto :)
 

Quahom1

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1 Corinthians 1:18 (New International Version)

18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Toronto ?

you should pay a visit to TACF or as it is now know Catch the Fire Toronto :)
Like ignoring a life ring while waiting for a yacht to pick one up from the sea.
 

Dream

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Hello, again! There is a problem with Universal-ism that those links have not addressed.

I like Universalism the best, so I'll just go ahead and throw the friendly punch. Universalism (the movement) after centuries of effort has failed to win even 'The Christians' to its point of view. Not many have been drawn to it that movement in this life, and it is this life when it is most important to express brotherly love not the next. What then is the purpose of Universal-ism? These are grounds to dismiss Universalism (the ism) with its buildings and books altogether as a movement. I'm not saying the universalist arguments should be shut down or ignored, however its choruses of refined doctrine have failed repeatedly to earn any glorification. It might be more productive if the Universalists dissolve into the various non-universalist churches to impact them with love instead of with argument. (I am not telling anyone what to do but giving an example of how unglorious arguing is.) If Universalists remain argument-based, I don't see how in this life or another they are distinguishable from Baptists, Mormons, JW's or any other. I know it is difficult for us to wrap our heads around, and I have trouble coming to grips with it myself. It is hard for us to imagine making a difference by trying to join in and be the same, but what is Universalism if not that?

The most methodical fundamental position (for a NT fundamentalist) to take is to start by saying 'I cannot know anything but can only think that I know something, and I hold your opinion to be as important as my own.' I gather Universal-ists want to take a fundamentalist approach, taking the Scriptures separately from the authority of the RC and the Orthodox and believing in Jesus, the saviour. There is a more authoritative and fundamental approach to Jesus' main emphasis than arguing about universal salvation, which can never really be permanently substantiated through argument. Argument is good for you to an extent, but the scriptures import that it is overrated.

Actually, it is only our actions that convince and change anything. Following the best way of living doesn't translate word for word but is called 'The Law', and it is also called 'The most excellent way'. (It would be interesting to have a discussion about this.) Your impact on conversion happens when people see you living the best way possible and become convinced that is how they would live the best, so they do. That is the only conversion process that you can truly affect. Arguments are regularly proven to be non essential by this very real process, although argument is not evil. It can be good or evil; but pursuing the right way to live is always good. The better you succeed, the more other people catch on and do the same; but the arguments often only confuse or even discourage them.

Example verses (out of many, many verses about this):
  • Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
  • Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.
  • Psalms 19:7-8 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
  • 1 Corinthians 12:31...13:13 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way...the greatest of these is love.
  • James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
Yours in interfaith-land,
Dream
 

Dondi

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Dream said:
Not many have been drawn to it that movement in this life, and it is this life when it is most important to express brotherly love not the next. What then is the purpose of Universal-ism? These are grounds to dismiss Universalism (the ism) with its buildings and books altogether as a movement. I'm not saying the universalist arguments should be shut down or ignored, however its choruses of refined doctrine have failed repeatedly to earn any glorification. It might be more productive if the Universalists dissolve into the various non-universalist churches to impact them with love instead of with argument.

The primary primise for universalism has it's basis for the idea that God is love, or the embodiment of love. And from that that God loves His creation, and will do whatever He can to draw all people to Himself, that is, into a fair-righteousness in relationship with Him (and our neighbor). I'd hardly think that such factors as our limited capabilities of understanding God, our culture, our background, our religious affiliation for good or for bad, our experience in our life and the hardships we endure and the varying relationships which impact or lives for good or for bad (and may hinder one seeking God because of the unfairness of it all), for which some have suffered greatly, the illnesses and deformities, the loss of loved ones in certain periods of our lives, and our own sense of mortality, that in all our limited lifetime we would be eternally judged according to all these limitations against a God who knows all, sees all, is eternal, and is all powerful, would in any way shape or form, condemn us frail humans for ever and ever based on the short and sorted conditions we live in.

There is no victory with God when the majority of the world faces such eternal punishment and eternal life is only reserved for the few elect. There is no sense that God has done everything possible to reach down His right hand to seek and save the lost if the majority of His creation has failed to find Him. There is no glory, honor, and praise to a God who has for the most part kept silence of His existence to the experience of us living here on a planet that is sliding down a slippery spiral that as generations of people continue to spring up and lose whatever religious traditions they might have gained from succession as the changing current of our time progresses toward more secular ends.

I think the primary rejection of universalism in 'orthodox circles' stems from a fear that the fear factor will be diminished if eternal hell is taken out of the equation. They fear that there will be a loss of a sense of righteous judgment if sinners are not dumped into a fiery pit to burn forever in anguished torture, thus evangelical efforts will be less effective toward bring the lost home. Or that universalism will produce a slackness in evangelisation since that judgement is gone, i.e. no one will be atrtracted to the message since there is no sense of urgency.

But not everyone in the movement is against the idea of hell, only that hell is not a hopeless state. Rather that there IS a righteous judgment because hell isn't eternal, hinted at by Jesus in the Semon on the Mount:

"Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." - Matt. 5:25-26

This is the fair-righteousness which I spoke of. If God is to judge the world, then it must be fair. To believe in such a lop-sided punishment as an eternal hell goes against the idea that God will stop at nothing to save us (unless you hold to a Calvinist position).

To believe in a God that doesn't take into consideration all the limiting factors as mentioned above that we have endure as human mortals sin such a limited time here on earth is meting our fair punishment (or chastening for that matter) in to believe in a merciless tyrant, worse that and Hitler than you can imagine.

Rather the punishment ought to be designed to bring us into comformity to the righteous, abundant life that God would have us collectively experience. And I think certain mitigating factors have hinder many from coming to God because of distrust in the message, for one reason or another. Maybe some personal tragedy or simple ignorance. But some of us have experienced this though through a glass darkl. The piont is is that it isn't universally apparent what we must do. And quiote frankly I don't believe that in fairness we are expected to learn this necessarily in our short lifetime. Else why so short a lifespan.

Where evangelism comes in it to give people a heads up to the life to come. Yes, we must warn then of judgment. Yes, we must tell them about Christ. Yes, we must tell them about hell. But the point is not warning them about hell for hell's sake, but telling them about God for love's sake. A commitment based on fear is doom to failure. A commentment based on unfeigned love will cover a multitude of sins, because the shift is toward loving God and brining us to that fair-righteousness in a powerful relationship with the Almighty, which is really His intent in all this.
 

shawn

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More specious opinion given as final...last word truth.

Can't be bothered to make the attempt to pull the sword from this stone.
my 2 c.;)
 

Dondi

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More specious opinion given as final...last word truth.

Can't be bothered to make the attempt to pull the sword from this stone.
my 2 c.;)

Hey, it makes sense to me. Much more than some of these hopeless eternity viewpoints. :rolleyes:
 

shawn

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Hey, it makes sense to me. Much more than some of these hopeless eternity viewpoints. :rolleyes:
Sure, a lot of it will make sense....we can look at any of the christian denominations or any other abrahamic religion or any other and there is always going to be a lot of stuff there that makes sense.

Thing is, one will always come to the hook in the bait, just like the idea we spent weeks discussing a while back as to how the world is shut up in sin for a time and none of us had free will as there is some deeper purpose god is doing that will make sense to us when we get there.
The inevitable turd in the punch bowl.
 

Dondi

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Sure, a lot of it will make sense....we can look at any of the christian denominations or any other abrahamic religion or any other and there is always going to be a lot of stuff there that makes sense.

Thing is, one will always come to the hook in the bait, just like the idea we spent weeks discussing a while back as to how the world is shut up in sin for a time and none of us had free will as there is some deeper purpose god is doing that will make sense to us when we get there.
The inevitable turd in the punch bowl.

I do not put a lot of stock in the non-free will argument. If God is absolutely in control, that is doesn't give us any leeway in the events of our lives, then we'd all be perfectly obedient.I do believe there are boundaries, limits on how far we can go (and we have gone pretty far). If there is any 'deeper purpose' to what God is doing it simply amounts to us learning to get along with each other.

Now there are certainly tragedies and heartbreaks we try endure and see others try to endure and I cannot deny the world's in a holy mess. But the hope is always in a better world. And I would gather that is the goal of all religions and philosophies.

But Christian Universalism, at least the brand I subscribe to, goes beyond the carrot and stick approach to salvation associated with many Christian denominations. It shows God working to bring every person to their highest potential, though we may a need a great deal of work. I just don't see God tossing everyone who disagrees into the pit like trash, while the few fortunate ones, though equally undeserving, get a pass cause they were fortunate enough to be exposed to the 'truth'.

So what makes sense to you, Shawn?
 

shawn

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But the hope is always in a better world. And I would gather that is the goal of all religions and philosophies.
I hope for better comprehension.
All our problems are mental.
It is all in what people think, what they know and what they think they know.
All the improvements are going to happen when we change our minds about many things and that comes from a spiritual awakening.
If the heart is cold (stone)....the mind will be in darkness.
It shows God working to bring every person to their highest potential,
What planet is this happening on??
You actually see this?
Where?
If what is evident is God working at this then God needs to get busy and actually do some work on that score.
I just don't see God tossing everyone who disagrees into the pit like trash, while the few fortunate ones, though equally undeserving, get a pass cause they were fortunate enough to be exposed to the 'truth'.
Agreed.
So what makes sense to you,
We need to remember, as we already know everything. In our spirits that is, not our flesh.
The flesh is the new vessel, the blank slate.
People have to learn how to access their spiritual component, yet there are so many things in this world which become barriers instead of open doors.
We are preoccupied with chasing dust while the treasure sits....ignored.
We will keep on coming back to this world until we finally "get it".
IMO, there is no other remedy.
The religions, rather than being tools of liberation, have become instruments of control and obfuscation.
Sure, it is possible to find liberating knowledge contained in every religion, but few are those who find enough to make a difference in their daily lives.
The rest continue on the easy path which binds them.
 

Dondi

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I hope for better comprehension.
All our problems are mental.
It is all in what people think, what they know and what they think they know.
All the improvements are going to happen when we change our minds about many things and that comes from a spiritual awakening.

If the heart is cold (stone)....the mind will be in darkness.

Though I agree that religion often separates us, and while there is the wrost in all religions, sometimes it take a genuine attempt in practicing one's religion that serves as a conduit to this spiritual awakening, that would not normally not manifest itself outside on one's own. The religion then serves as a vehicle to get there.

Now I don't know much about your background, shawn, but I'm willing to believe that there was some spiritual progress through you journey mitigated from some form of religion or another, at the very least to get you the point that 'something other' is needed to get you where you are now.

You speak about changing one's mind. Granted. But how that is to be affected is the question. What kind of 'light' do you propose that everyone is going to agree on?


What planet is this happening on??
You actually see this?
Where?
If what is evident is God working at this then God needs to get busy and actually do some work on that score.

Precisely the perception that is needed. But you presume that God is the one that needs to 'get busy' when it is by your admission a work needed to be performed by man.

If the Garden of Eden is to show us something is that man is responsible for his actions. God charged man to be keepers of the garden.


We need to remember, as we already know everything. In our spirits that is, not our flesh.
The flesh is the new vessel, the blank slate.
People have to learn how to access their spiritual component, yet there are so many things in this world which become barriers instead of open doors.
We are preoccupied with chasing dust while the treasure sits....ignored.
We will keep on coming back to this world until we finally "get it".
IMO, there is no other remedy.
The religions, rather than being tools of liberation, have become instruments of control and obfuscation.
Sure, it is possible to find liberating knowledge contained in every religion, but few are those who find enough to make a difference in their daily lives.
The rest continue on the easy path which binds them.

We quite obviously DON'T know everything. What else is religion than to 'access their spiritual component'? If you are speaking about the cycles of reincarnation, how long have we been doing this as a human race? And yet the world is in a greater mess than ever before. We're not getting any better, we're getting worse. Shouldn't we have learned from our mistakes through that process? Why then don't we remember them enough to avoid repeating?

If you can give us the water we need, let's have it, cause I'm thirsty.
 

shawn

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Now I don't know much about your background, shawn, but I'm willing to believe that there was some spiritual progress through you journey mitigated from some form of religion or another, at the very least to get you the point that 'something other' is needed to get you where you are now.
Spent time working my way through the christian discipline.
Let's not misunderstand. I may sound like I am really knocking religion, but that is not really the case.
It is easy to form an assumption that is inaccurate due to it being based on a random or partial sampling of a larger idea.
Forums like this are difficult to communicate effectively in and such errors occur frequently.
What kind of 'light' do you propose that everyone is going to agree on?
Darkness is confusion/ignorance, light is awareness/comprehension. What else could it be?
But you presume that God is the one that needs to 'get busy' when it is by your admission a work needed to be performed by man.
You said:
It shows God working to bring every person to their highest potential,
I was responding to that alone, so don't read out of the line or it is then way off the rails of what was said.

We quite obviously DON'T know everything. What else is religion than to 'access their spiritual component'? If you are speaking about the cycles of reincarnation, how long have we been doing this as a human race? And yet the world is in a greater mess than ever before. We're not getting any better, we're getting worse. Shouldn't we have learned from our mistakes through that process? Why then don't we remember them enough to avoid repeating?
We do know everything, but it is not easily or readily accessible...it is behind the partition (so to speak). This can be accessed, but it can involve a lot of effort, or it can occur on its own, out of the blue..eureka, at times. It is unpredictable.

The Hindu's talk of the great year and we are then, now, in the Kali Yuga,
which is analogous to winter.
It is the time when all of us are the most dense, the most materialistic, the most confused and ignorant, the most beastial, the least god-like.
Hence all the historical calamities in the past few thousands of years.
Be patient.
This too shall pass.
We need to be a light in the darkness.
Compassionate, benevolent, competent, seeking awareness and harmony.
What more can we do?
We can as easily turn the tide as we can alter the cycle we are in, which is not at all.
Even death is no escape from the journey we are all on.
 

Dondi

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shawn said:
Darkness is confusion/ignorance, light is awareness/comprehension. What else could it be?

Dondi said:
But you presume that God is the one that needs to 'get busy' when it is by your admission a work needed to be performed by man.
But you presume that God is the one that needs to 'get busy' when it is by your admission a work needed to be performed by man.

You said:

Dondi said:
It shows God working to bring every person to their highest potential,

I was responding to that alone, so don't read out of the line or it is then way off the rails of what was said.

Well, the key word here is 'potential', human potential. I think we are kinda working on two sides of the same coin. You say that it's there and we just need to find it. I absolutely agree. Jews find it in obedience to the Torah. Christians find it in belief in Christ and following His teachings and commandments. Buddhists find it in meditation and self-denial, and the end of suffering and the Eight-Fold Path. Muslims in the Five Pillars. And you already mentioned Hinduism. Plus scores of other faiths follow their own paths.

Most of the heartache we see in regards to religions is a misapplication of their purposes. You can't tell me that within those confines, one cannot find it. Maybe some are easier to discover, but that does not negate another's path.
 

shawn

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Most of the heartache we see in regards to religions is a misapplication of their purposes. You can't tell me that within those confines, one cannot find it. Maybe some are easier to discover, but that does not negate another's path.
Well, people find something or another for sure.
These things are steps upon the way like grades in school. You are expected to graduate and move on to bigger things....so too with religions....they are the tutor (as Paul pointed out), which does imply a process of learning with the student eventually leaving the confines of the school (tutelage) and going out into the world to apply what they have learned.

Really, as important as waking up is...if you don't get it this time around, well, there is another opportunity.

The point of waking up in this age is that it makes one less of a dupe who will then be harder for the charlatans and the slavers to deceive.
 

Dondi

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Well, people find something or another for sure.
These things are steps upon the way like grades in school. You are expected to graduate and move on to bigger things....so too with religions....they are the tutor (as Paul pointed out), which does imply a process of learning with the student eventually leaving the confines of the school (tutelage) and going out into the world to apply what they have learned.

Really, as important as waking up is...if you don't get it this time around, well, there is another opportunity.

The point of waking up in this age is that it makes one less of a dupe who will then be harder for the charlatans and the slavers to deceive.

To paraphrase a quote from Howard Storm's book:

"The best religion is the one that brings us closest to God."
 

soma

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Christian Enlightenment or mysticism is a bridge the gap that exists between Christians and non-Christians. It is a concept which means being illuminated by acquiring new wisdom or understanding. While Fundamentalist go on the path of Inquisition, Christian Enlightenment will take the road of unity and silent contemplation. I see it as a spiritual journey through the mountains, valleys, jungles and deserts of our minds. A journey to Christ consciousness beyond time, space, and words that can't be described so it hints at the different levels of consciousness that can be reached spiritually. Looking into the meanings of scripture I think we can form a new concept of life, which helps form a new humanity on the individual, Christian and community level.
 

Quahom1

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Christian Enlightenment or mysticism is a bridge the gap that exists between Christians and non-Christians. It is a concept which means being illuminated by acquiring new wisdom or understanding. While Fundamentalist go on the path of Inquisition, Christian Enlightenment will take the road of unity and silent contemplation. I see it as a spiritual journey through the mountains, valleys, jungles and deserts of our minds. A journey to Christ consciousness beyond time, space, and words that can't be described so it hints at the different levels of consciousness that can be reached spiritually. Looking into the meanings of scripture I think we can form a new concept of life, which helps form a new humanity on the individual, Christian and community level.
Though I agree with enlightenment being the ultimate goal in our communion with God, I do not see at all how the Christian mystic can bridge the gap between Christian and non-Christian, when there is a disconnect between Christian and Christian mystic. To have a non-Christian attempt to understand a Christian mystic's perspective, is like trying to get an infant to understand Einstein's theory of relativity. Even the bible is clear that new Christians are to be fed on milk before they are anywhere near having the ability to eat meat (para).

If mystics are the masters, then the basic Christian is the student and the aid in training, who is responsible by word and by deed for bringing the non-Christian into a positive or receptive position to consider (I emphasize consider), accepting Christianity as their own faith.

And it is the mystic's responsibility by word and by deed to continue developing the basic Christian into a mature and enlightened bearer of the faith and light.

Common sense dictates that Generals do not win wars...soldiers do. (crude analogy, but effective). :)

Q
 

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If mystics are the masters, then the basic Christian is the student and the aid in training, who is responsible by word and by deed for bringing the non-Christian into a positive or receptive position to consider (I emphasize consider), accepting Christianity as their own faith.

I feel the true Christian mystics teach everyone with their life. They will teach the higher mysteries and the lower mysteries according to level of consciousness. Some non-Christians could be ready for the higher mysteries right now because they are aware. A person can be an enlightened Christian or not. The same goes for non-Christians. The level doesn't matter what is matter is if we are opening up to God's grace, peace and presence.
 

Quahom1

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I feel the true Christian mystics teach everyone with their life. They will teach the higher mysteries and the lower mysteries according to level of consciousness. Some non-Christians could be ready for the higher mysteries right now because they are aware. A person can be an enlightened Christian or not. The same goes for non-Christians. The level doesn't matter what is matter is if we are opening up to God's grace, peace and presence.
And I am quite aware that it is extemely difficult for Professors to teach a class of pre-schoolers...not so much a problem for a 28 year old with a BA in education...

small steps...
 
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