• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.
  3. Please note there is a new rule regarding the posting of videos. It reads, "Post a summary of the videos you post . An exception can be made for music videos.". Unless you are simply sharing music, please post a summary, or the gist, of the video you wish to share.
  4. There have been some changes in the Life Stages section involving the following forums: Roaring 20s, Terrific Thirties, Fabulous Forties, and Golden Eagles. They are changed to Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Golden Eagles will have a slight change.
  5. CF Staff, Angels and Ambassadors; ask that you join us in praying for the world in this difficult time, asking our Holy Father to stop the spread of the virus, and for healing of all affected.
  6. We are no longer allowing posts or threads that deny the existence of Covid-19. Members have lost loved ones to this virus and are grieving. As a Christian site, we do not need to add to the pain of the loss by allowing posts that deny the existence of the virus that killed their loved one. Future post denying the Covid-19 existence, calling it a hoax, will be addressed via the warning system.
  7. There has been an addition to the announcement regarding unacceptable nick names. The phrase "Let's go Brandon" actually stands for a profanity and will be seen as a violation of the profanity rule in the future.

Christian Universalism. What's not to like?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Hmm, Sep 22, 2021.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. MMXX

    MMXX Brian

    +4,798
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    Matthew 25:41 is a favorite if not thee favorite eternal torment proof text.

    But like other ET proof texts, it follows a scenario that's probably meant to make a point rather than be taken as literal.

    In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus says that people will be divided into two groups. Those who performed an act of charity, and those who didn't.

    To those who did: Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (v34).

    To those who didn't: Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels (v41).

    Now virtually nobody (including me) is going to say Matthew 25:31-41 is Jesus saying that an act of charity alone will get someone into heaven. So then it has to be concluded that what Jesus said was a scenario that is not meant to be taken literally. That Jesus is speaking figuratively and or symbolically. That Jesus is both over-exaggerating and over-simplifying in order to make a point.

    Except v 41! That verse is and absolutely must be taken as 100% literal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021
  2. Hmm

    Hmm I'm just this guy, you know

    +3,275
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    In Relationship
    Yes, Team Hell is really just talking to itself because they aren't discussing Christian universalism, just the tired strawman version of it, so it's difficult to engage.
     
  3. MMXX

    MMXX Brian

    +4,798
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    I'm beginning to think the only way you guys are going to get a legitimate argument against UR, is if I do it myself.
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  4. Hmm

    Hmm I'm just this guy, you know

    +3,275
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    In Relationship
    Yes, it's our old friend aiõnios again.

    "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; (Matthew 25:41)
    These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (Matthew 25:46)

    If the translation to "eternal" means forever and ever then Team Hell is right and hell means a hopeless and permanent punishment (for those not in the Team)

    However it doesn't mean that because it relates to "eon" (the English word comes from aion), and this stress on duration tells us that the punishment is hopeful, however severe it may be. An aion/age/era is not a precisely defined length of time because we can't expect to be freed from this pruning/ corrective punishment (kolasis) just because a fixed period of time has passed. It's not a human prison sentence. God has to somehow get through to the most intransigent of us until we finally see Him clearly and this may take a very long time, an age, for some. But God has an eternity in which to work and no human will can hold out in resistance to His forever and so God will eventually win through and restore all things just as He has said He will.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  5. Hmm

    Hmm I'm just this guy, you know

    +3,275
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    In Relationship
    Not a bad idea! You could be the DA (Devil's Advocate, not Der Alte) and at least then we'll be discussing universalism as it actually is.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • List
  6. MMXX

    MMXX Brian

    +4,798
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    I used to play DA on another forum. I was both admired and despised for it.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    • List
  7. MMXX

    MMXX Brian

    +4,798
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    Linguistics aside, my argument is I think all of Matthew 25:31-46 (including v 41 and v 46) is not meant to be taken literally. Therefore there's really no need to wrack one's brains out over aionios and kolasis.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  8. Hmm

    Hmm I'm just this guy, you know

    +3,275
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    In Relationship
    I'd be interested in your view. When Jesus goes on to say in 35 and 36

    "for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me."

    and then in 40

    "And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’"

    Do you think by implication that when we obey the second great commandment to love others as ourselves we are also at the same time obeying the first commandment to love God? And that this is then sufficient for our salvation?
     
  9. MMXX

    MMXX Brian

    +4,798
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    I think that's an excellent conclusion.
     
  10. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

    +3,360
    Canada
    Anglican
    Married
    Throughout this thread, Team Heaven has presented has presented 3 or 4 possible interpretations "aionios" in this parable. Here is one more idea, what if the sentence is indeed "forever" but with the possibility of early parole for good behavior :)?

    Because I tend to interpret Jesus' parables seriously as reflections of eternal reality, I think there is partial truth in what you say. I'm going into unsubstantiated speculation here, but I think it is possible that they are freed from Hades before the resurrection as opposed to those who are also punished after the resurrection.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021
  11. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

    +9,253
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Fantastic post.
    I want to address these last two sentences with a slightly different take.

    I don't see our restoration as a battle of wills between God and us to break us down and finally get us to surrender. I see it as a thorough working through of a lifetime of issues and entanglements that we brought with us to the afterlife.

    Like the Apostle Paul, as Saul on the road to Damascus, our presuppositions about God will disappear in the moment. Nothing like being presented with reality to get us to wake up and smell the coffee.

    When face-to-face with God, who could cling to their atheism? When face-to-face with Love, who could resist help? When face-to-face with hope, who would choose something less?

    Who could lie to the Presence that looks deep into your soul and knows our every anxious thought? Who could resist the healer that offers you relief from a life of pain and hurt?

    There would undoubtedly be a lot to do, and this would take time, an age of some length. And perhaps not a whole age for one person, but for the lot. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses here, perhaps the same will be true there.

    We might witness each one being transformed and even cheer them on as they overcoming each issue. From the greatest to the least. Now that would require an age of some length and certainly be remembered as an age for the event.

    I even imagine Satan being the last one to be transformed. Held until his whole demon army has been transformed. Then the restoration of all things will be complete.

    Anyway, just my thoughts on the subject. Thanks for reading.
     
  12. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

    +9,253
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    That's actually a handy way to look at two sides of an issue when the other side is not there to present. Or in this case when the other side is incapable of presenting. - lol
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  13. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

    +9,253
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    It's easy to forget that salvation isn't something we do, salvation is something God does, and has already done.

    But you are right in that these things will be considered in our final restoration. I love these two scriptures about salvation and judgment.

    Romans 2:14-16 NIV
    (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

    Romans 4:4-5 NIV
    Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021
  14. Major1

    Major1 Well-Known Member

    +2,655
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
    I understand completely what UR teaches MMXX.

    The error is what you said ........
    "The premise of UR is that in going through the trials of hell and also especially when confronted by the radiant glory of Jesus, as Paul was, they will come to believe as Paul did."

    NO WHERE in Scripture is there any suggestion that anyone goes through the trials of hell and then makes a decision for Christ!!! NO WHERE!!

    Now as I have said.....ALL Of UR teachings are based on the twisting and misrepresentation of Scriptures just as you just did.

    And then what Paul did has no bearing at all on your assumption. Paul was ALIVE when he was confronted by Jesus. Those in Hell ARE DEAD SOULS!

    You are saying and said........
    "UR in no way has ever suggested that there will be unbelievers in haven."

    That again is a misrepresentation and worst a purposeful deception.

    Of course everyone in heaven will be believers. THAT has never been a debate. The debate is whether or not those in HELL CAN THEN BE SAVED.
    They have died! They are dead!

    IF UR was possible and those in hell went through the torments and trials and then decided that they would like to come to Christ......THEY WOULD NOT BE DOING SO BECAUSE JESUS DIES FOR THEM BUT BECAUSE THE TORMENTS OF HELL WERE REAL.
     
  15. Major1

    Major1 Well-Known Member

    +2,655
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
    Satan wants the destruction of all people. Satan wants people to die in their sins and go to hell but Universalism teaches that people can trust in Christ in the after-life, a second chance after death.

    I cannot help but notice that the secular world teaches tolerance, a be-nice philosophy, and the belief that all will make it to heaven. Second chance redemption and a theology that teaches you’ll make it to heaven no matter what is comfortable to the world’s ears but it is not what the word of God teaches.
     
  16. Major1

    Major1 Well-Known Member

    +2,655
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
    Again.....twisting and changing the meaning of Scriptures to meet what you want them to say.

    John 3:16....
    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

    Do you grasp the meaning of.......THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM????
     
  17. Major1

    Major1 Well-Known Member

    +2,655
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
    THAT IS A WONDERFUL SELFSERVING POST. i HOPE IT ALLOW YOU TO FEEL BETTER.

    I think that everyone knows that Unitarian means rejecting the doctrine of the Trinity. I also think that we all know that Universalism means believing that all will eventually be saved.

    Now as for "Christian Universalism". Just for your growth in knowledge......
    Christian Universalism says---- “the position that all of mankind will ultimately be saved through Jesus whether or not faith is professed in Him in this life. It claims that God's qualities of love, sovereignty, justice, etc., require that all people be saved and that eternal punishment is a false doctrine.”

    Now why don't YOU do the work to find out the truth of what you believe.

    The Bible does not teach this. Therefore, Universalism is a false teaching. While it is not on the same level as outright denying the Gospel or the Trinity it is nevertheless dangerous. This is because Universalism:
    • Devalues God’s word
      Undermines the urgency of evangelism
    • Downplays God’s holiness
    • Deemphasizes the seriousness of sin
    • Gives sinners a false sense of assurance that they will be fine if they don’t repent.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021
  18. Major1

    Major1 Well-Known Member

    +2,655
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
    Rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ!!!!
     
  19. Major1

    Major1 Well-Known Member

    +2,655
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
    Your idea that no one who disagree with you is ignorant of Universalism.

    That is a really dangerous position to have.

    It seems that most here who promote Universalism do not actually know what it says but those who disagree really know more about it than they do.

    So just for you, I know that Universalism is a doctrine that teaches all people will be saved. Other names for this doctrine are universal restoration, universal reconciliation, universal restitution, and universal salvation.

    The main argument for universalism is that a good and loving God would not condemn people to eternal torment in HELL. Universalists believe that after a certain cleansing period, God will free the inhabitants of hell and reconcile them to himself. Others say that after death, people will have another opportunity to choose God. For some who adhere to universalism, the doctrine also implies that there are many ways to get into heaven.

    NOW THAT is what you believe!
     
  20. Hmm

    Hmm I'm just this guy, you know

    +3,275
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    In Relationship
    Yes, I guess free will allows the hypothetical scenario of someone holding out against God indefinitely. This would put universal salvation into doubt. But is it likely? It's like throwing a coin where it is possible that you could going on tossing heads each time forever. However, the longer you go on the chance of it always beIng heads becomes smaller and smaller until it becomes vanishingly small. I would say the same for a battle of wills between a person and God. However, vanishing small is still not nothing so this does pose a challenge for universal salvation. Quite why anyone would not want to be with God once they have seen Him clearly I can't imagine but I guess free-will allows for that possibility.

    Just guessing of course, but a possible solution to such a scenario is that God will ultimately overrule the decision of someone who continues to resist because salvation is clearly in their own best interests, like a father would physically prevent a young child from running into the road even though they are exercising their freedom when they are doing so. Freedom is important but ultimately is it more important than salvation?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...