Christian Universalism. What's not to like?

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Hmm

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Not so according to Paul...

See Rom 9:22-23

However I think you enjoy the challenge of defending your position and I don't agree with your conclusions. Der Alte has presented a comprehensive case refuting your position but you insist.

It seems that presenting scripture is not going to cut it - your mind is made up it seems.

It seems that presenting scripture to you as I did in my last post doesn't "cut it" with you either.

ECT is a very hard concept to get rid of partly because of the fear of going to hell if you stop believing in hell. It's a very insidious concept.
 
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Saint Steven

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For the saved in Christ, yes - for them only the Curse of the Law is defeated.
It seems that was done for everyone by the work of the cross.

Colossians 2:13-15 NIV
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
 
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Saint Steven

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Whoa... right there...

The reverse is true...

Would you like to explain your 'logic' please.
Gladly.
As I understand you, you are saying this scripture below only applies to the "saved".
Please correct me if I misunderstood you. Thanks.

If that is the case, then by inference the opposite is true for the "lost". Correct?
And didn't you already post earlier that you think the "lost" are separated from the love of God? (since we cannot be separated from the presence of the everywhere present God) See your post #1107

Therefore, I agree with you. This scripture is true for everyone, not only the "saved".
And with that being the case, death cannot separate us from the love of God. ("nor anything else in all creation" vs 39)

Romans 8:38-39 NRSV
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Saint Steven said:
If this scripture only applies to the saved, then we are claiming that all these things CAN separate us from the love of God.
 
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Andrewn

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Okay. I would liken God's wrath then to a dad who has told his child not to run into the road, the child runs, the dad is angry in snatching hold of the child and pulling him/her back and the quick angry reaction was an act of mercy.
Excellent. Perhaps this message should be posted often to people who mention God's wrath.
 
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Andrewn

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Ware is on good terms with well known universalist Brad Jersak, who also has a close association with Archbishop Lazar.
Interesting. Metropolitan Ware, in one of his lectures, tells a story of a conversation he had with a Greek bishop who is an expert on Gregory of Nyssa. He asked the bishop about UR. The bishop replied, "Mind your own business" :).

Ware mentioned this story with approval of the wisdom behind it.
 
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Saint Steven

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Interesting. Metropolitan Ware, in one of his lectures, tells a story of a conversation he had with a Greek bishop who is an expert on Gregory of Nyssa. He asked the bishop about UR. The bishop replied, "Mind your own business" :).

Ware mentioned this story with approval of the wisdom behind it.
This highlights a dilemma in church ministry. There are those in ministry that are supportive of UR, but don't dare speak out on this subject, for fear of what the institution of the church might do to them. (give them the boot) Risky "business". (to use the Bishop's term)

So, then the common lay person on a forum like this one hears about UR and thinks, "That can't be true, I've never heard it supported from the pulpit." (sigh)
 
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Hmm

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This highlights a dilemma in church ministry. There are those in ministry that are supportive of UR, but don't dare speak out on this subject, for fear of what the institution of the church might do to them. (give them the boot) Risky "business". (to use the Bishop's term)

So, then the common lay person on a forum like this one hears about UR and thinks, "That can't be true, I've never heard it supported from the pulpit." (sigh)

This story I came across of what happened to one guy in ministry when he "came out" as a universalist is a vivid example of the dilemma you describe. It's pretty harrowing.

"How I came to believe in UR? In short, about 3 years ago someone asked me what I thought of Carlton Pearson coming to believe in UR. I did not have an informed opinion so I got his book to study his position. His book was not an accademic reasoning for his change in beliefs, but, well, never mind. Anyhow, in his book he pointed out a few passages, foundational UR passages like Rom.5.18 and Col.1.20, etc. that I had never considered seriously. So I studied them in their literary context assuming that I could quickly dismiss their “plain” reading only to find out that the more I studied them, the more the “plain” meaning seemed to be exactly what was meant. I found them so compelling that I decided to study the Hell passages to kinda balance things out, assuming that the traditional doctrine of Hell was rock-solid. But, the more I studied the “Hell” passages in context and in the Greek and Hebrew, the more I found that the passages did not affirm ECT. What I assumed was rock-solid I found to be nothing but dried muddy sand. When I applied the least pressure to it, it crumbled between my fingers.
This scared the hell out of me so I studied even harder, prayed and fasted, shared with others whom I trusted and respected asking them to pray for me. I also began studying anti-UR, pro-ECT material to help bolster my crumbling traditional beliefs; but the more I studied this anti-UR pro-ECT material the more the traditional doctrine of ECT crumbled between my fingers.
And all along, as I shared my findings with others whom I loved and respected, I found they irrationally attacked me and encouraged me to stop studying the Bible and just accept what “everyone” believed. I work with a ministry and someone tried to get me fired. I was asked to resign from the board of directors of a ministry I helped launch, friends and family cut me off relationally, and I was ultimately excluded from the local fellowship my family and I were members of, and worse things happened, all because I was honest and open with what I was finding in my studies, because I was willing to trust what I was seeing in scripture as opposed to our traditions. Well, the more trouble I faced, the more I studied, the more I prayed, the more I fasted, the more I studied anti-UR material, and the more I came to believe in UR.
All along I would say, “I’m studying…and finding…” but would not confess to myself or anyone else that I had come to believe in UR. And then one day in a Sunday morning worship service, the Lord spoke to me and said, “Stop Lying!” And I understood that he wanted me to stopy lying to myself especially and to others that I was “just studying” ECT and UR; and I instead needed to admit that I had come to believe in UR - come fully out of the closet, so to speak. Well, I obeyed and almost lost my marriage and family because of it. So I studied, prayed, fasted even more.
Well, that’s the short of it. Now I’m feeling pretty isolated and excluded, still looking for a fellowship where I will be accepted and I can be open and honest about my beliefs. I didn’t loose my job in the ministry I work with because it is an transdenominational ministry, though I have learned to not share my beliefs with most whom I minister with. And I’m continuing to seek the Lord as to what to do now.
Thanks for asking. It helps to share. I hope that you do not face as many trials. On the other hand, the trials have pushed me to a place of strong conviction concering UR, the Great Hope!"
 
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2PhiloVoid

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It seems that presenting scripture to you as I did in my last post doesn't "cut it" with you either.

ECT is a very hard concept to get rid of partly because of the fear of going to hell if you stop believing in hell. It's a very insidious concept.

Fortunately, for me, the nature of Hell was always only a secondary consideration in the reasons "why" I felt I needed Jesus back when I first picked up the Bible and read it years ago.

And being that I didn't grow up in a mental environment that was Church heavy, let alone biblically aware in much of any way, the idea of Hell in any form was never a main impetus in later pushing me toward accepting Jesus; rather I've always had more existential needs which Jesus fulfills and by which I have been drawn to Him--the main reason for my faith is that I saw Jesus as the only worthwhile force in my life and the main, leading mentor for the shaping of my mind, giving me the direction I needed by which to navigate an ugly social existence.

So, just keep in mind that not all of the rest of us who disagree with you here about UR do so for either the emotional or the rational reasons that you've many times described and imputed to others.
 
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Abaxvahl

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Romans 9:22-23 appears to be a hypothetical scenario.

22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory—

Is that hypothetical or is it more the "so what if I did" kind of "what if"? Does the Greek reveal anything on this, or the OT citations? I have been studying this passage recently but never considered it as a hypothetical, but then again the commentators I've been reading haven't either so it was a bubble (also one of them was studying it from the Vulgate so I am not sure if Latin changes the tone of it as I don't know that language either).
 
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MMXX

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Is that hypothetical or is it more the "so what if I did" kind of "what if"? Does the Greek reveal anything on this, or the OT citations? I have been studying this passage recently but never considered it as a hypothetical, but then again the commentators I've been reading haven't either so it was a bubble (also one of them was studying it from the Vulgate so I am not sure if Latin changes the tone of it as I don't know that language either).

IDK. The "what if" just happened to stand out to me this time around. So in that sense it appears that way at face value. The Greek words are:

What 1161 δὲ (de) but, and, now, (a connective or adversative particle) a prim. word.


&

if 1487 εἰ (ei) sometimes used with a command or as an indirect question, etc.) a prim. particle; if, whether (a cond. part. introducing circumstances nec. for a given proposition to be true.
 
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Hmm

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So, just keep in mind that not all of the rest of us who disagree with you here about UR do so for either the emotional or the rational reasons that you've many times described and imputed to others.

Not all do of course, but, going from testimonies like the one in #1148, many do.
 
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Abaxvahl

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IDK. The "what if" just happened to stand out to me this time around. So in that sense it appears that way at face value. The Greek words are:

What 1161 δὲ (de) but, and, now, (a connective or adversative particle) a prim. word.


&

if 1487 εἰ (ei) sometimes used with a command or as an indirect question, etc.) a prim. particle; if, whether (a cond. part. introducing circumstances nec. for a given proposition to be true.

I see. If it's just hypothetical it'd go with what (seeing these threads and reading elsewhere) my evolving position on the issue is: either could occur and it would not matter for it would be perfectly just either way, with no room for complaint from a created thing.
 
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MMXX

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I see. If it's just hypothetical it'd go with what (seeing these threads and reading elsewhere) my evolving position on the issue is: either could occur and it would not matter for it would be perfectly just either way, with no room for complaint from a created thing.

I believe that's the primary point Paul was trying to make and using an extreme analogy to make it. We have to keep in mind that exaggerated language is used throughout the Bible to make a point, rather than to be taken being as literal.

Of course Calvinists use it as a proof text that God created people to be dammed to hell. But no matter what it's still an analogy.
 
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Der Alte

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(quote=2PhiloVoid)Fortunately, for me, the nature of Hell was always only a secondary consideration in the reasons "why" I felt I needed Jesus back when I first picked up the Bible and read it years ago.
And being that I didn't grow up in a mental environment that was Church heavy, let alone biblically aware in much of any way, the idea of Hell in any form was never a main impetus in later pushing me toward accepting Jesus; rather I've always had more existential needs which Jesus fulfills and by which I have been drawn to Him--the main reason for my faith is that I saw Jesus as the only worthwhile force in my life and the main, leading mentor for the shaping of my mind, giving me the direction I needed by which to navigate an ugly social existence.
So, just keep in mind that not all of the rest of us who disagree with you here about UR do so for either the emotional or the rational reasons that you've many times described and imputed to others.(/QUOTE)
My story is much the same. The first time I attended Sunday School was when FDR was president. The only time I heard "hell" was when some adult said it. Church attendance was sporadic until I became a Christian when LBJ was president. Didn't enter the ministry until Reagan. The only sermon on hell I ever heard I preached when Hillary's husband was president.
It only takes 1 verse to support the doctrine. Matt 25:46
Matthew 25:46
46 And these shall go away into everlasting [aionios] punishment [kolasis]: but the righteous into life eternal.​
(Summation of previous arguments) "But wait a minute dude 'aionios' does not mean 'everlasting' it means 'age long' and 'kolasis' does not mean 'punishment' it means 'correction."
Jesus clearly defined the meaning of "aionios" in ten verses but I'll only quote 2.
John 3:15-17
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal [aionios] life.
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 [aionios] life.​
In these two verses Jesus juxtaposed "aionios" with "should not perish" twice. "Aionios" by definition means eternal/everlasting.
How about "kolasis?" It occurs only twice in the NT.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment [kolasis]. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.​
In this verse there is no correction. The one who has kolasis is not made perfect, is not corrected.
 
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Carl Emerson

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If that is the case, then by inference the opposite is true for the "lost". Correct?

Not correct...

Fallacy is creeping in, causing you to depart from the face value of the Word when the Truth defies logic.

Same applies to dismissing the Trinity if logic is made King.

Logic and faith clash in certain instances because at the end of the day the Living Word communicates to the Spirit not the mind.

Right there explains many of the conflicts on CF.

Revelation comes via communion - it is not a constructed thought.

Pauls insight came not from clever analysis of the Word, it was a download from the Spirit.

Understanding the Word is also a download.

When a revival hits everyone scrambles for a bible because He is giving a thirst for the Living Word.

The Greeks had two words for knowledge - gnosis (knowledge) and epi-gnosis (total knowing) because they knew there was knowledge beyond 'facts'.

Peter struggled to understand what Paul had received but it was accepted not because Paul was a good scholar but because they couldn't deny that the Holy Spirit was all over him.

On CF many have constructed theologies but ask them about their personal encounters with the Spirit of God and there is silence.

But feeling the Truth is dangerous you might say - we cant trust feelings...

Without feelings there is no relationship.

Relationship with Jesus is beautiful and terrible - closer than a brother and awesomely other.

So let His living Word illumine your way of thought.

Lean not on your own understanding.
 
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eleos1954

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That's self-contradictory. You first say that we're all predestinated to be saved i.e. that God has ordained that everyone will be saved, and then you say that our salvation is dependent on our action because we can choose to be lost (although why anyone would want to do this isn't clear). Both statements can't be true.

Christ died for all .... for all time .... salvation is available .... and it is God's desire that all repent and be saved ... but one needs to accept the gift of salvation ... God don't force himself on anyone.

God desires that all sinners be saved (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; Ezekiel 18:23; Matthew 23:37).

(John 3:1-15). The gift of salvation is the gift of justification, by faith. ... Faith is the gift we receive from God (ref. Ephesians 2:8; 2 Peter 1:1) that enables us to actively and willingly believe, and keep on believing, in the Lord Jesus Christ

We receive salvation in Christ through repentance and faith. This means turning away from sinful ways (repentance) and turning to God (faith), trusting in Christ. Jesus will forgive our sins and set us on a path to life with Him. We cannot earn this right, it is His free gift.

Eternal life can never be purchased in any way, it is entirely a free gift. The cost of this gift is the death of the Savior, Jesus Christ. The gift of eternal life is available to anyone who, after recognizing his own sinfulness, places his or her personal faith in Jesus Christ as the only Savior.

When we were originally created we were created in His image .... to have an eternal relationship with Him .... an enemy entered the world (satan) and along with him sin, which separates us from an eternal relationship with God .... accepting Jesus as our savior restores that relationship and is available as a gift if we choose to repent and follow Him one receives that gift.
 
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Andrewn

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I love this scripture, but the list has always been a bit hazy to me. The main point is that ALL will be made alive, but each in turn. (meaning not all at once) The order of events seems a bit unclear though. The term "the firstfruits" is unclear. Earlier in the chapter it refers to Christ, but as an individual within the larger group. That is, the leader of the procession that follows. So, it is unclear to me if "the firstfruits" is still in reference to Christ as leading the way, or in reference to the predestined in this life.
I think that 1Co 15:22-27 shows that the order of the resurrection of the body to be as follows: 1) Christ himself is the firstfruits, He was first to be raised; then 2) at Christ's 2nd coming, those who belong to Him; 3) non-Christians will be raised at the end, after sin has come to an end. Only then can death be destroyed, because it is the 'wages of sin' (Rom 6:23).

Backing up to verse 22, does "made alive" refer to our resurrection from Hades? Are we not already "made alive" in this life (John 5:24) and bound for heaven? (skip Hades)
The Kingdom of God is now and not yet. Christ inaugurated it on the cross when He invited the thief to Paradise on that very day. The Kingdom is already on earth and is fully manifested in heaven.

So, to sum up, I'm hazy on the details of how we get there, but I believe we all will.
All will be resurrected.

Joh 5:28 “Do not be amazed at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice 29 and come out!Those who have done good will come to a resurrection of life, and those who have done evil will come to a resurrection of judgment.
 
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Hmm

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Christ died for all .... for all time .... salvation is available .... and it is God's desire that all repent and be saved ... but one needs to accept the gift of salvation ... God don't force himself on anyone.

God desires that all sinners be saved (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; Ezekiel 18:23; Matthew 23:37).

(John 3:1-15). The gift of salvation is the gift of justification, by faith. ... Faith is the gift we receive from God (ref. Ephesians 2:8; 2 Peter 1:1) that enables us to actively and willingly believe, and keep on believing, in the Lord Jesus Christ

We receive salvation in Christ through repentance and faith. This means turning away from sinful ways (repentance) and turning to God (faith), trusting in Christ. Jesus will forgive our sins and set us on a path to life with Him. We cannot earn this right, it is His free gift.

Eternal life can never be purchased in any way, it is entirely a free gift. The cost of this gift is the death of the Savior, Jesus Christ. The gift of eternal life is available to anyone who, after recognizing his own sinfulness, places his or her personal faith in Jesus Christ as the only Savior.

When we were originally created we were created in His image .... to have an eternal relationship with Him .... an enemy entered the world (satan) and along with him sin, which separates us from an eternal relationship with God .... accepting Jesus as our savior restores that relationship and is available as a gift if we choose to repent and follow Him one receives that gift.

I agree with all of that but I would just add the universalist point that Jesus will actually "draw all people" to Himself (John 12:32) and therefore all of humanity will be saved through Jesus.
 
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Andrewn

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When God casts people into the Lake of fire, which the Bible definitely says that He will definitely do, He is not being a monster. He is being Loving, be cause God is Love. The people who He is casting into the lake of fire are the real monsters. Why would you think that God would want to allow evil monsters into Heaven?
The problem is that most Fundamentalists and Calvinists and many others believe that not only people who are monsters will be cast into the LOF. They believe that all non-born again Christians (who are not monsters) will be cast into the LOF.

This belief comes at the expense of a horrible image of God in the minds of those who uphold it.
 
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