my testimony

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by rodgertutt, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. rodgertutt

    rodgertutt Interfaith Forums

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    Because my testimony is helping so many people, I am posting it here so it will stay on your front page for awhile if that's ok with you. The many entries in my guest book that is accessible towards the bottom of the front page on my site, and the many positive emails in my email file folders, show that the content of my testimony is helping many people.


    You can access my website through Google by typing in Rodger Tutt.


    MY TESTIMONY



    The idea that God lets any creature suffer endlessly has caused me more suffering than all other problems of my life combined. By the time I had reached the mission field I had hoped to have found a satisfactory answer that would justify God allowing this to happen. I didn't find such an answer. Surrounded by thousands of people, dozens of whom were dying every day and beginning an eternity of suffering in hell was too much for me.

    In 1966, at age 28, it caused me to have a nervous breakdown. For several weeks I was confined to my bed in a state of terror night and day. The terror was caused by the fear of what a God I could not love or respect would do to me after I died. It took me twelve years to fully recover from the breakdown. I quickly became agnostic, for the Christian gospel and the Bible were no longer any comfort to me at all. Many evangelical friends tried to help me. They meant well, but in the end they all had only words of condemnation towards me. This added more suffering to my already intense suffering.

    Gradually I began to learn that there have been, in centuries past, and still are today, a few people in the world that see a different kind of God in the Bible. They see a God who will not let any creature suffer forever. They see a God in the Bible who will change every second of everyone's suffering into something better that it happened, including the sufferings of Satan. I learned that a correctly (literally) translated Bible teaches universal transformation, not endless suffering in hell, or even annihilation. I read dozens of books, and listened to hundreds of tapes by men who believe this way and I gradually became converted to believing this way myself.

    Since 1981, through my newspaper ads and my telephone ministry, I have sent out many hundreds of packets of literature explaining why I believe as I do. I have also sent this evidence to hundreds of pastors and Bible school teachers. None of them have told me that they are able to refute it. I have also read eight books that were supposed to refute the evidence in favor of universalism, but none of them do. Because of this evidence, my panic attacks became less frequent until twelve years after my breakdown they ceased altogether. Now nothing gives me greater pleasure than to make this evidence available to others who have suffered because of the same problem I had even though they have embraced Christ and His gospel for themselves, and I use a substantial amount of my money and time to this end.

    Because of the enormous amount of suffering the idea of "endless hell" causes in this world, I am asking you to consider the possibility that you should stop endorsing the idea that the Bible teaches it. Or, at least, let others know that there are (and have been in centuries past) people who do not think the Bible teaches it.

    Many of the responses from pastors and teachers range from a mild: "The majority don't agree with you so you must be wrong", to the vicious "For every week you leave your ad in the papers, God will increase the temperature of the fires of hell for you personally".
    Most are somewhere in between these remarks. But none have told me they are able to refute the evidence. And, until they can, they will not be able to stop me from sharing the good news that a correctly (literally) translated Bible teaches universal transformation, not endless suffering in hell, or even annihilation.

    A website that answers all the arguments that seem to support the idea that the Bible teaches endless suffering in hell is TENTMAKER. Although forum rules prevent me from posting forum links, you can easily Google it up. The “scholar’s corner” under “research” deals with every aspect of the subject. The more than 600 page search engine at the top of this same TENTMAKER front page is also very comprehensive regarding this subject. Just type in a key word or phrase from any argument or scripture passage, and ten articles will appear that refute the eternal hell and annihilation doctrines.

    I am also going to guide you all to the testimony of a man whose experience was almost identical to mine. Even the thought processes that took him into, through, and out of his breakdown are the same as mine. Only he is much more eloquent in telling his story than I am in telling mine. His name is Charles Slagle.

    You can also Google up his testimony at
    ABSOLUTE ASSURANCE

    You can access my forum through Google by typing in Rodger Tutt.

    It may well be that a few members of this form or surfers will be able to benefit from the testimonies of Charles and myself.

    May God's blessing rest with your spirit!
    From Rodger Tutt in Toronto, Canada
    “That God may be All in all” 1Cor.15:28
     
  2. Dor

    Dor Bible Thumper

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    Universalism is not a biblical belief without twisting, changing, reaching for quite a bit.
     
  3. Dondi

    Dondi Well-Known Member

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    rogertutt,

    Do you at least believe in some sort of purgatory period? Or do you dispense with the idea of hell altogether?

    I mean, it would stand to reason that even if what you say is true, that God cannot overlook sin unpunished. True, sin is dealt with on the Cross, but for those who don't believe in God in this life or reject Christ, but obviously find out in the next these things were true, wouldn't their be a time of judgement for them? I mean if there has to be at least some kind of probationary period for one to examine one's life in light of the revelation upon death that there is a God after all and that Christ did indeed die for their sins. Would that person wish to love God or serve God? I don't think one would automatically be granted access to heaven.

    And what of unrepentant sinners? They wouldn't be granted heaven upon death, either unless they repented. Would they have opportunity for such in the afterlife?
     
  4. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    indeed, IF your destination is heaven....
     
  5. Silas

    Silas Well-Known Member

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    Good point! I've head it said that the Bible is much like a prisoner of war. You torture him long enough and you'd get him to say anything you want. Some people are actually very creative with their interpretations. I'd have to say universalism is of the the more creative interpretations!
     
  6. rodgertutt

    rodgertutt Interfaith Forums

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    Scriptural proofs that the Bible teaches universal salvation

    SCRIPTURAL PROOFS THAT THE BIBLE TEACHES UNIVERSAL SALVATION

    BIBLE THREATENINGS EXPLAINED – John Wesley Hanson
    http://www.tentmaker.org/books/BibleThreateningsExplained.html

    http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/universalism-is-not-in-the-bible.htm

    http://richardwaynegarganta.com/Understanding%20Universal%20Salvation%20Part%20One.htm

    http://www.tentmaker.org/books/InFavorCh20.html

    http://www.tentmaker.org/books/ScripturalProofs.html

    http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Bible-Proofs-modern.html


    http://haroldlovelace.com/lovelacelist.php

    http://www.auburn.edu/~allenkc/univ3.html

    http://www.tentmaker.org/FAQ/fewsaved.htm

    http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/Hell_is_Leaving_the_Bible_Forever.html

    Translations That Do Not Teach Eternal Torment
    http://www.tentmaker.org/books/GatesOfHell.html


    Also see four scriptural expositions expounding Universal Reconciliation at

    http://concordant.org/expohtml/HumanDestiny/doubts.html

    http://concordant.org/expohtml/HumanDestiny/1cor15.html

    http://concordant.org/expohtml/TheEons/index.html

    http://gtft.org/Library/condon/QuestionsWithoutAnswers.htm

    Regarding the most common argument that the same word for "punishment" is also used for "life" see the following:


    http://www.savior-of-all.com/aionian.html

    All three of these articles should be studied with care, especially the third one.

    http://concordant.org/expohtml/TheEons/eon1.html
    http://concordant.org/expohtml/TheEons/eon2.html
    http://concordant.org/expohtml/TheEons/eon3.html

    also see

    http://concordant.org/expohtml/TheEons/aion.html
    http://concordant.org/version/tranprin.html

    http://richardwaynegarganta.com/universalsalvation.htm

    A little test about the word "ALL" that's found in Scripture.

    If Truth is changed to not be all inclusive, when the context renders that it should be it then becomes error.

    Reconsider the following Scriptures, without using any preconceived thoughts or forced interpretation upon them. This may be more difficult to do than first realized, because we all resort to an immediate interpretation of something based on our past understandings of the verse.

    The darkest doctrine ever devised by men was that of an "eternal suffering" for the billions of souls that die lost without Christ.


    http://www.godfire.net/eby/circularity.html

    Like wolves among the sheep, carnally-minded men within the church system found it very effective to use the fear of an unending hell to control the masses that enter their religion.


    Unfortunately this doctrine has remained at large in Christianity as a whole.

    The Lord Jesus said, "When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself." - John 12:32
    LOOK AT THE VERSES WITH THE WORD ALL

    Savior of all, especially believers (1 Tim 4:9-11)
    (see why "especially" is inclusive, and cannot mean "only")
    http://www.tentmaker.org/Dew/Dew7/D7-EspeciallyThoseThatBelieve.html

    God wills that all mankind be saved (1 Tim 2:4)

    Operating all in accord with counsel of His will (Eph 1:11)

    In Adam all dying; in Christ shall all be vivified (1 Cor 15:21-23)

    It says "in Christ shall all," not "all who are in Christ."

    One offense for all mankind for condemnation... (Rom 5:18-19)

    Lamb of God taking away sin of the world (John 1:29)

    Correspondent ransom for all (1 Tim 2:6)

    Every knee bowing in the Name of Jesus (Phil 2:9; Is 45:23)

    “in” is the literal Greek translation. See Young’s Literal Translation
    and every tongue acclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord.

    And we know that anyone who acclaims that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    especially when it is to God's glory without any hypocrisy is saved for 1Corinthians 12:3 says so.

    Locks all in stubbornness; to be merciful to all (Rom 11:30-32)

    All created ... to reconcile all (Col 1:16-20)

    He should be tasting death for the sake of everyone (Heb 2:9)

    That the world might be saved thru Him (John 3:17)

    God was in Christ conciliating the world to Himself (2 Cor 5:18)

    For our sins, not ours only but the whole world (1 John 2:2)
     
  7. rodgertutt

    rodgertutt Interfaith Forums

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    A phone conversation with a muslim missionary

    A PHONE CONVERSATION WITH A MUSLIM MISSIONARY

    A Muslim missionary called me on my ministry phone in response to my newspaper ad “HELL IS NOT ENDLESS.”
    (I have sent out many hundreds of packets of free literature to people who responded to these ads that I have put in two of Toronto’s largest newspapers since 1981.)

    The Muslim missionary said “Unless you convert to Islam you WILL go to hell.”

    I said, “That’s what some Christians say if I don’t convert to Christianity.”

    He said, “But the difference is that Islam has the truth.”

    I said, “That’s what some Christians say about their beliefs.”

    He said, “After you die you will learn that the Koran is the word of God and Islam has the truth.”

    I said, “I guess I’ll just have to wait until then to find out for sure.”

    He said, “But it will be too late for you then.”

    I laughed and said, “That’s exactly what some Christians say.”

    I don’t think he thought it was funny.

    I then expected him to say what a Mormon missionary said to me in Montreal. “At the judgment, as you are being cast into hell, I will point my finger at you and say, ‘I told you so. I gave you a chance but you didn’t take it and now it’s too late’.”

    It seems that we are supposed to believe that millions of Muslims, by sheer “accident” of birth, are born into a belief system that teaches their children that even to consider Christianity to be the truth will land them in an eternity of suffering in hell.

    I believe that the horrific false doctrine of endless suffering in hell causes more suffering here on earth than any other idea that people believe. That is why it gives me such great pleasure to offer people the urls that contain evidence that the Bible does not support such a concept of God.

    Just Google up TENTMAKER and use the search engine at the top of the front page. Type in a key word from any argument or Bible verse and ten articles will appear refuting the idea that the Bible teaches eternal torment or annihilation. Then click to the next page and ten more articles will appear, and so on and so on for many pages. Or click on


    http://www.tentmaker.org/

    Also Google up
    THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD SERIES
    Or
    ABSOLUTE ASSURANCE IN JESUS CHRIST
    Or
    UNIVERSAL SALVATION UNIVERSITY
    to find A LOT of scriptural evidence that God has both the ability and the intention to eventually save all fallen creatures from everything from which they need to be saved, INCLUDING THEIR STUBBORN WILL.
    Or click on

    http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/savior-of-the-world/index.htm
    or
    http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Absolute-Assurance-in-Jesus-Christ.html
    or
    http://richardwaynegarganta.com/universalsalvation.htm
     
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    The 'big issue' here, it seems to me, is mistaking what God wants for what we want.

    God does not will any of his creatures to suffer (there is a proviso here), rather He wills His creature to live in the Beatific Light of His Presence.

    That is what the Bible is all about.

    The decision rests with man, not with God.

    That is the ontological reality of the idea of 'freedom' and true autonomy.

    As my friend Wil has asserted more than once, and here I am in complete agreement with him, it is not God who punishes us for our sins, it is we who choose to separate ourselves from the love of God, in pursuit of 'lesser', transient and ephemeral 'goods'.

    If a man chooses to orientate his life and being towards the suffering of others, then God simply points out, in no uncertain terms, in all the great sacra doctrina in the world's possession, that there is no place for such conduct in any idea of 'heaven'.

    What man consistently fails to do is take responsibility for his own life, which requires that he think of his neighbour as well as himself.

    That we all be one, as He is one.

    The stumbling block, indeed what many find offensive and scandalous, is the suggestion that life might be better if we put our neighbour first.

    That, after all, is the single, defining commandment of Christianity.

    Do that, and everything else falls into place.

    If a man finds himself at one with his neighbour, He finds himself at one with God.

    Thomas

    The proviso, as mentioned, is that there are those heroes of the spiritual life who seek not only to bathe in the light of God's goodness, but actually choose to shoulder the burden of rolling back the stone that stands before the Way.

    They carry their cross visibly, and mystically, as a sign for others.

    They are servants of the Almighty.

    They will always be reviled by the world, because the first thing the world sees in them is the measure of its own failure.

    Blessed are they ...

    ... does this require everyone to be Catholic? No. As He said to my namesake, "Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed." John 20:29. It's a salutary warning.

    But to assume that everyone is blessed, regardless, is to render God the plaything of man, to dispose of as he wills. That's it seems to me, even from a purely philosophical point of view, a Promethean error.

    For the gnostically inclined, Prometheus sought to outwit the gods. Prometheus is the Greek word for 'forethought', and the error implicit here is not that Prometheus didn't think — he thought he could fool the gods — but that he, to quote that sage Vic Reeves, "didn't think it through".

    Abou Ben Adhem
    Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
    Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
    And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
    Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
    An angel writing in a book of gold:—
    Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
    And to the Presence in the room he said
    "What writest thou?"—The vision raised its head,
    And with a look made of all sweet accord,
    Answered "The names of those who love the Lord."
    "And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
    Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
    But cheerly still, and said "I pray thee, then,
    Write me as one that loves his fellow men."

    The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
    It came again with a great wakening light,
    And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
    And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.
    James Henry Leigh Hunt 1784-1859
    A bit of a romantic ... but ...
     
  9. rodgertutt

    rodgertutt Interfaith Forums

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    WHY I DON'T BELIEVE IN "FREE WILL"
    Copy and paste into Google
    HIS ACHIEVEMENT ARE WE or click on
    http://concordant.org/expohtml/HisAchievement/index.html
    The introduction at the beginning of each chapter is not the chapter itself. You must click on the highlighted title of each chapter to bring up the entire chapter to read it.

    Also see

    Copy and paste into Goodge
    IS MAN A FREE MORAL AGENT?
    Or click on
    http://www.godfire.net/eby/freeagent.htm
     
  10. rodgertutt

    rodgertutt Interfaith Forums

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    Copy and paste into Google, not Goodge.
    Sorry about that.
     
  11. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Rodger, are you here to engage in discussion, or simply to fill threads will links?
     
  12. friendofbill

    friendofbill Established Member

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    When one has to "interpret" Scripture like a crazed philosopher, Strong's in one hand and a thesaurus in the other, "discovering" that this word or that "really" means this or that (something else besides the plainly evident meanng), then one is not dealing with Scripture at all, but with one's own agenda, struggling to bring Scripture into conformity with that agenda.

    It suggests that God really created Scripture to trick all of us except those who are "astute" enough to ferret out the secret meaning of each word. It makes Scripture interpretation a semantic game. It suggests that if God has an opinion other than mine, God must be wrong, and so I must make the bible say what I think it really should say.

    As Thoreau said, "Our lives are frittered away with detail. Simplify, simplify."

    BTW, note that the disciples walking with Jesus on the road to Emmaus did not recognize Him in dialogue, or scholarship, but in the breaking of bread. That one-on-one recognition is what it's really all about.
     
  13. rodgertutt

    rodgertutt Interfaith Forums

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    "interpretive translating"

    When it can be demonstrated that the "plainly evident meaning" of certain words is the product of interpretive translating rather than literal translating, I think we should be open minded enough to face up to it.

    In the first three chapters of Ephesians, (a key book regarding God’s plan for man relative to the fullness of the times) aion is used seven times. And out of those seven, the KJV has chosen five different English words (“ages,” “course,” “end,” “eternal,” and “world.”) to translate this one word.

    And to add to this confusion, it translates the Greek word genea (generation), a totally different word, twice as “ages.”

    Talk about confusion compounded!

    Is it any wonder the church has been blinded from God’s truth about the purpose of His judgments and His eonian plan to save all fallen creatures?!

    Simply put, the Scriptures do not take up the philosophical concept of eternity, but rather speak of eons and that which pertains to them. Of course God’s glory exceeds the eons, but His glory is reflected by His Son during the eons as they are presented in Scripture.

    No two words in the history of man have been so torturing as aion and aionion. No two words in the history of man, mishandled by man, have contributed more to the physical, emotional and spiritual harm of so many, than these. You may think I must be exaggerating. But I am not. It is the mistranslation of these two words that has foisted the false and destructive doctrine of eternal torment upon the church and the world.

    Mistranslation of the Greek words "aion" and “aionion” is a master stroke of diabolical genius. No other words erroneously translated, could more effectively pervert man’s image of God and cause such widespread confusion. The following work by Joseph E. Kirk is offered in the hope that the serious seeker after scriptural truth will be aided in their quest.
    CHART OF GOD’S PLAN FOR THE AGES OF TIME
    THE EONS OF THE BIBLE WITH CONCORDANCE
    The eons of the Bible With Concordance, God’s purpose of the eons.

    Also see
    AN ANALYTICAL STUDY OF WORDS
    An Analytical Study of Words
    (especially note the quotes by the many Greek scholars in chapters three and twelve)

    Also see
    TIME AND ETERNITY A BIBLICAL STUDY
    TIME AND ETERNITY: A Biblical Study

    The salvation of first fruits of election, the remnant chosen by grace out of each generation, will be completed after the first resurrection.
    The salvation of the non-elect will be completed after the great white throne judgment.
    For scriptural evidence that this is so see
    God's Plan Of The Ages; The Purpose Of God In This Age; Redemption In Two Parts; As In Adam - So In Christ; Every Man In His Own Order; All Things In Subjection; God All In All
     
  14. rodgertutt

    rodgertutt Interfaith Forums

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    Why i am here

    I'm here to engage in discussion, and to back up my point of view with appropriate links to writers that can express my point of view better than I can myself.
     
  15. Dondi

    Dondi Well-Known Member

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    Re: Why i am here

    Scourging the forum with multiple links, which unless you have specific quotes from your souces to back up specific points, would only serve to dishearten any conversation. People just aren't going to respond to that kind of blitzkrieging of links that we are 'supposed' to read. If you can't engage in that kind of discussion, then you really ought not to expect us to respond. I could equally reference links that explain why God WOULD mean never-ending as associated with the Greek words in question, but then it would just be a battle of links.

    Might I suggest you start from one point and allow a conversation to develop along that point.

    For example, on the subject of the words 'aion' and 'aionon', it would probably go well if you would explain why God wouldn't use those words to denote 'never-ending'. What do you see in the character of God that leads you to believe that God is merciful enough to save everybody? And do you have the scriptural basis to back it up?
     
  16. rodgertutt

    rodgertutt Interfaith Forums

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    Re: Why i am here

    There is a Greek word that Young translates eternal and that is "aidios" as in Romans 1:20, “eternal power and Godhead.” It can mean eternal unless it is limited by a qualifying phrase.
    See Young’s literal translation of the Bible.

    It compares with the Hebrew word qedem in Deut. 33:27 which should read
    “The eternal (qedem) God is my refuge, and underneath are the age-during (olam) arms. (see Young's literal translation)
    The Hebrew word olam compares with the Greek word aionios.
    Both of them refer to a limited period of time.

    The word aidios (not aionios) was in universal use among the non-Christian Greek Jews of our Savior's day, to convey the idea of eternal duration, and was used by them to teach endless punishment. Here is the proof

    http://www.tentmaker.org/books/DoctrineOfRetribution.htm
    and
    http://www.tentmaker.org/books/OriginandHistory.html
    and
    http://hellbusters.8m.com/upd3.html

    Jesus never allowed himself to use it in connection with punishment, nor did any of his disciples but one, and he but once, and then carefully and expressly limited its meaning. Can demonstration go further than this to show that Jesus carefully avoided the phraseology by which his contemporaries described the doctrine of endless punishment? He never adopted the language of his day on this subject. Their language was aidios timoria, endless torment. His language was aionion kolasin, age-lasting correction. They described unending ruin, He, discipline, resulting in reformation.

    If Jesus had wanted to convey the idea of “eternal” He would have used aidios, which was understood to mean eternal by Jesus' contemporaries.
    http://www.saviourofall.org/Tracts/Eons2.html


    Here is another case where someone else can express what I would want to say better than I can myself.
    KNOWING THE REAL JESUS
    God is Love: God Is Love!  The Power of God's Love; Love Your Enemies! Knowing The Real Jesus

    Yes I do.
    Click on
    http://richardwaynegarganta.com/Understanding%20Universal%20Salvation%20Part%20One.htm
    then scroll down and read
    How Jesus Handles Being Given Everybody And Everything
     
  17. Dondi

    Dondi Well-Known Member

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    Sigh.

    And 'aidios' appears in only one other case in scripture, Jude 6:

    "...messengers also, those who did not keep their own principality, but did leave their proper dwelling, to a judgment of a great day, in bonds everlasting [Strong's[126]: 1) eternal, everlasting], under darkness He hath kept," - YLT

    The root word being aei [Strong's [G104] - 1) perpetually, incessantly] which carries with it the idea of 'continued duration'. Obviously, from this passage, it is a set time until the day of judgement.

    So then in context with the Eternal God (Romans 1:20) or everlasting bonds (Jude 6), I get that aidios in both of these passages denote a perpetual quality. God is perpetual, the chains are perpetual or always present. Since God is outside of time, suffice to say that it isn't specifying a duration of time, rather just duration. Smae with the chains.

    More to follow later...
     
  18. rodgertutt

    rodgertutt Interfaith Forums

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    Universalism believed by those closest to Jesus's lifetime

    Until the time of Augustine, most of the Christian church leaders and Christians believed in universalism.
    Universalism, the Prevailing Doctrine of the Christian Church During its First Five Hundred Years

    Augustine persuaded the church counsil to make eternal torment a dogma.
    But even Augustine himself said, "There are very many in our day, who though not denying the Holy Scriptures, do not believe in endless torments.”

    The argument was introduced by Augustine, and since his day incessantly repeated, that if aionios kolasis does not mean "endless punishment," then there is no security for the believer that aionios zoe means "endless life," and that he will enjoy the promise of endless happiness.

    But Matt. 25:46 shows the "eonian chastisement" and "eonian life" are of the same duration-lasting during the eons, and when the eons end, as Scripture states they will (1 Cor. 10:11; Heb. 9:26), the time called "eonian" is past and the life called "eonian" is finished, but life continues beyond the eons, as Paul teaches at 1 Cor. 15:26: "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." That is, the last, the final one in order. How will it be destroyed? First Corinthians 15:22 gives the answer: "For as IN ADAM ALL are dying, even so IN CHRIST ALL shall be made alive." Death is destroyed when ALL have been vivified, or made alive, IN CHRIST.

    Matthew 25:46 - “Aionian” or “Eternal”
    http://www.savior-of-all.com/aionian.html

    There will then be no more death. Just as life is destroyed by death, so death is destroyed by life. Our present bodies are mortal and corruptible (1 Cor. 15:44-55), but when mankind is made alive IN CHRIST they will be raised immortal and incorruptible.

    Believers do receive aionion life. But if this is all that God promised, there would be no assurance of life beyond the eons. However, at the end of the eons God abolishes death fromHis universe (I Cor. 15:26). This is accomplished by imparting the resurrection life of Christ to all who have not previously received it. Aionion life assures one of life up to that point. Beyond that, death is impossible. Furthermore believers are made immortal when the Lord returns (I Cor. 15:50-57). When one has been made immortal, death is impossible.

    To argue that “eternal” punishment must be of unending duration because it is contrasted with “eternal” life (Mt 25:46) misses the point. It fails to recognize that “eternal” life is a quality of relationship with God (Jn. 17:3) and is an end in itself, while “eternal” punishment is God’s corrective discipline and a means to an end. It is the result of the punishment (kolasis aionion) that is “eternal,” not the punishment itself.

    Because of the “eonian” nature of God’s revelation, culminating with the consummation of the ages in 1Corinthians 15, we can see that “eonian life” leads into “eternity” at the end of the ages. Therefore there is no real threat to “eternal life,” even though punishment/correction is not eternal, but only for an age.

    There are a number of Greek words that imply eternal but aionios is not one of them.
    They are usually translated “indestructible,” “imperishable,” “unfading,” “immortality,” and “incorruptible.” Ro. 1:23; 2:7; 1Cor. 9:25; 15:42, 51-54; He. 7:15,16; 1Pe. 1:3,4; 5:4; 1Ti. 1:17; 6:16; 2Ti. 1:10.

    Our hope of immortality does not reside in the word aionios, but in God’s very nature (unfailing love and unlimited power) and promises.
    CHART OF GOD’S PLAN FOR THE AGES
    THE EONS OF THE BIBLE WITH CONCORDANCE
    http://www.saviourofall.org/Tracts/Eons2.html

    Also see
    AN ANALYTICAL STUDY OF WORDS
    http://www.tentmaker.org/books/asw/index.html
    (especially see the quotes from the many Greek scholars in chapters three and twelve)

    Also see
    TIME AND ETERNITY (OLAM and AIONIOS) STEVENSON
    http://www.tentmaker.org/books/time/
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
  19. rodgertutt

    rodgertutt Interfaith Forums

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    Re: Universalism believed by those closest to Jesus's lifetime

    CHURCH LEADERS WHO BELIEVED AND TAUGHT UNIVERSALISM DURING THE EARLIEST CENTURIES OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

    • THE SIBYLLINE ORACLES – 150 A.D. – composed by Christian universalist writers
    • THE BASILIDIANS – 130 A.D.
    • THE CARPOCRATIANS – 140 A.D.
    • IRENAEUS -- 130A.D.
    • CLEMENS ALEXANDRIUS – 150 A.D.
    • THEOPHILUS – 169 A.D.
    • ORIGEN – 185 A.D.
    • GREGORY THAUMATURGUS – 220 A.D.
    • EUSEBIUS OF CAECAREA – 265 A.D.
    • ATHANASIUS – 296 A.D.
    • MARCELLUS OF ANCYRA – 315 A.D.
    • DIDYMUS OF ALEXANDRIA – 300 A.D.
    • GREGORY NYSSEN – 332 A.D.
    • HILLARY OF POICTIERS – 354 A.D.
    • ISADORE OF ALEXANDRIA – 370 A.D.
    • EVAGRIUS PONTICUS – 390 A.D.
    • AMBROSE OF MILAN – 339 A.D.
    • JEROME – 340 A.D.
    • TITUS OF BOSTRA – 340 A.D.
    • JOHN CASSIAN – 360 A.D.
    • DIODORE OF TARSUS – 370 A.D.
    • GREGORY OF NANZIANZUS – 370 A.D.
    • THEODORUS OF MOPSUESTIA – 380 A.D.
    • RUFINUS – 390 A.D.
    • THEODORET OF CYPRUS – 393 A.D.
    • THE MONKS OF NITRIA – 399 A.D.
    • PALLADIA OF GALLATIA – 400 A.D.
    • CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA – 412 A.D.
    • MAXIMUS OF TURIN – 422 A.D.
    • THE MONKS OF CESAREA IN PALESTINE - 430-450 A.D.
    • PETER CHRYSOLOGUS OF RAVENNA – 435 A.D.
    • GENNADIUS OF CONSTANTINOPLE – 458 A.D.
    • BARSUDAILI HIEROTHEUS – 490 A.D.
    • ALEXANDER OF ABYLA – 540 A.D.
    • MAXIMUS – 645 A.D.
    • CLEMENT OF IRELAND – 740 AD
    Quotes by these Christian church leaders are recorded in Bob Evely’s book called
    AT THE END OF THE AGES – THE ABOLITION OF HELL
     
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Re: Universalism believed by those closest to Jesus's lifetime

    No, that's presenting the information with a self-serving slant. Most Christians, then as now, believe in the existence of hell, and hope for universal salvation.

    The errors of Origenism were condemned, in 453 and again in 553, but the wider issue of the final restoration of all things, and its context was, and remains, uncertain.

    So, whilst the Orthodox Patriarchates do not follow Augustine's theology, they nevertheless condemn apokatastasis, so you can't lay the blame on Augustine.

    Interesting. As Augustine had already been dead for over a thousand years before anything like a dogma was proclaimed, I'd be interested to see how you believe he persuaded the bishops of the Council of Trent.

    I might also add that careful reading of the Doctrines of Original Sin, and Justification to which I presume you allude, will show that the Church avoided an Augustinian pessimism.

    The Reformers of course embraced it, but then they utterly reject Universalism.

    And so they should. The doctrine of Universalism is pagan, and can be traced to Egypt and Babylon, as well as Platonic and Stoic cosmology ... so to accuse the 'Church' of introducing pagan ideas is somewhat rich.

    +++

    Re your list:
    The Sibylline Oracles are a pastiche of Greek and Roman pagan mythology, employing motifs of Homer and Hesiod; Judeo-Christian legends; Gnostic and early Christian homilies and eschatological writings ... they stand only as a document of interest, certainly not evidence of any position or doctrine.

    Most of what we know about Gnostic doctrine is from Irenaeus — who refuted them.

    Those we do know are:
    Celement of Alexandria and Origen — notable pro-Platonist theologians, and notable also that Clement accepted the punishment and the perfection of the soul in a cleansing fire ...

    Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory Nazianzen, Jerome (for a while), Diodorus of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia and my own heroes Dionysius the Areopagite, Maximus the Confessor, Johann Scotus Eriugena ...

    ... but then that was apokatastasis, not Universalism.

    Notable also, all the names on your list also preached the free will of man, which you refute, so it shows nothing but your selectivity in picking sources, and presenting their work out of context, in support of your position.

    Thomas
     

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