I put this here but maybe should have gone in the Affirmative Section.
[Edited to add: the link provides a transcript of the video, as well as commentary from the blog author vs. Mark Driscoll’s presentation. The same transcript is also reported for convenience below [url=http://www.evangelicaluniversalist.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1493&view=unread#p19803]in this comment.]
I have a number of problems with this statement, but I think Driscoll is essentially addressing judgment here. He’s arguing that God will judge, against those who say ‘God isn’t going to judge me’. And I agree with that point. That’s the whole point of “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” – in the context, it’s because he’s doing wrong and expecting to get away with since there’s no one out there to execute justice.
Most of what he says I disagree with. How can it be justice to punish sin with never ending torture? We all intuitively understand that that is unjust, and I think most Christians must only be able to believe it of God because we’re indoctrinated into it by Church tradition.
The part of the quote I’ve underlined is a kind of reasoning I just can’t wrap my brain around. He seems to be arguing that we should decide what to believe based on how much we have to gain or lose if it proves to be true. What?? Since when is that any kind of test of truth? The more I think about it, the more nonsensical it seems.
Like Sonia says, we have in common with Mark that we think there’ll be judgement, just not that there’ll be endless torture. Even a minute of lighting yourself on fire is hell and enough to be terrified of, which my husband always like to point out. Driscoll thinks the length of the sentence matters, but maybe more important, I think, is what do you believe about God. I know when it comes to sales, and I hate them, I cannot push a product that I’m not 100 percent crazy about! Give me a Jesus I’m 100 % crazy about and there is no stopping me! Maybe what matters in terms of saving people, which is the ministry of reconciliation that we’re involved in, is what kind of Jesus are we pushing. If he’s a Mary Kay eye liner that stays on no matter what, is faithful to the end, count me in!!! I’ll sale him any day!
And even if I were to go there - and I hope I get enough cleansing to make me fit for everlasting fellowship - then I will simply call out for the Lord that I’ve come to know. His mercy endures forever, amen.
Also, I’m being reminded of why people are so stuck in this belief about hell. Because they feel that if they begin to believe differently, then they are likely in danger of its fires. That helps me to be a little more merciful on them. Mercy before judgment, people!
Perhaps first we need to attack gnosticism. When people are free to realize that it’s not their beliefs in and of themselves that save or condemn them, then we’re on the road to discussing universal reconciliation much more peaceably (I hope… )
I think I’ve read somewhere (from someone involved with Mark Driscoll’s church) that it’s just ironic coincidence, Rev. Both are naming the church after the pagan philosophical society that met on Mars Hill in Athens, where Paul reasoned with the philosophers.
You may now adduce some extra levels of irony, though.
I am no Driscoll fan and I will have to listen to the whole clip before I can pass “judgment” but I noticed this statement from you and I must say, that depends? How was it justice for God to punish Jesus physically and spiritually for our sins? You see you and other universalists have it backward, you make it about us when it really and ultimately it is about God. If you offend an eternal being then you will receive an eternal punishment.
Follow me here:
If I lie to my kids, I lose their respect
If I lie to my wife, she could divorce me
If I lie to my boss, I can be fired
If I lie to a police officer, I can go to court
If I lie to a judge, I can go to jail
If I lie to an eternal, infinite, holy, righteous God, I can receive an eternal, infinite, holy, righteous punishment
Same offense but the higher the authority that’s offended then the greater the punishment
Alot of things of God doesn’t entirely make sense to us including an eternal hell but we never, ever judge scripture based on our feelings and human experience. Scripture must only be interpreted by scripture. I know to some that may sound cold and stiff but sticking to scripture is the best possible way to stay on the right path. By the way. Your whole post was based on presupposition. You gave absolutely no scripture to back up your claim. God bless : )
haha. Yeah, that was me. I looked it up just to make sure, and when Rob Bell started his church Driscoll’s was two years in and relatively obscure.
Now that I’ve read the entire transcript (I guess I hadn’t watched the whole video) it kinda makes me feel sick. I understand that he’s completely sincere and truly believes that’s how it is so I imagine that the beatings will be less severe for him. But he’s right, he’ll be judged for what he’s taught.
You realize that from the boss through the judge, those are speaking of something other than an interpersonal interaction? What if your wife was a cop? You wouldn’t go to court if you were lying to her in an everyday, personal capacity. A police officer is no more privileged than any other person in that regard. You’re simply giving another context for lying, which can take all kinds of forms. I question whether we can even lie to God, though. He knows all and if we’re standing before Him we know that.
But let’s just go with the spirit of your argument here. Yes, God is timeless (the true meaning of eternity), and if you sin against God you receive a timeless judgment. That doesn’t mean that it endures for an infinite amount of time. The context is that you sinned against a God who has infinite depth and therefore offended him infinitely. But with an infinite payment (Christ’s death) you can be reprieved. The context is NOT that you offended God for an infinite amount of time. if so, then perhaps you would require an infinite length of punishment. But that’s inherent in the thing itself, and we’re back at Gregory MacDonald’s argument about a universalistic eternal conscious torment.
Isn’t to say that we could ever bear the full brunt of the consequences of our own sin heretical, if indeed those sins are infinite in degree? Wouldn’t only Jesus be able to bear that? Especially since we’re talking about infinite depth as opposed to merely infinite time.
But we already know from scripture, especially our Lord’s own sayings, that judgment is not absolutely the same for everyone - that is, infinitely big in both degree and duration. Even Driscoll admitted that. Jesus was constantly talking about how some would get a harsher judgment than others, to the extent that Sodom and Gomorrah, a wicked city demolished by fire and brimstone, would judge his own generation for being more wicked! He also said that those servants who did wrong and didn’t know it would get a lighter beating than those who did wrong and did know it.
So by Jesus’ own words your argument fails. See? I used scripture. God can’t judge sin by the extent of the offense - even human courts have a better sense of justice than that! God judges by motives, just as it is written in Romans 2:
(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. 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.) This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
Man looks at externals, but God looks at the heart.
Also, Jesus explicitly said that He wouldn’t judge His own generation but that Moses would, so Driscoll is wrong - though Jesus said that God gave Him power to judge, He said Himself that He wouldn’t judge everybody. He will obviously be presiding judge, though.
You have missed the point. One of the ways we understand God is through oursleves as fallen as that may be. Why do we have the sense of justice and why do we punish at different degrees based on authority? The point is eternal hell for rejecting an eternal God is not illogical.
I am sorry but that is your presupposition and outside mainstream orthox Christian teaching. You start with the presupposition that either there is no hell or that hell isn’t eternal and you interpret scripture to fit your presupposition, it doesn’t mean you are right but you have a different perception of scripture therefore you could be wrong.
I don’t see how I failed in my argument. I never said, God judged sin by the extent of the offense and yes human courts do that 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree murder. I said, the greater the authority offended the greater the punishment which is why only Jesus Christ-God Himself, the spotless lamb who takes away the sins of the world would be sufficient payment for all who believe (John 3:16). Only an infinite punishment would warrant an infinite sacrifice.
Again you are have misunderstood me. I haven’t stated anything about God judging the heart but that my argument is an eternal judgment is logical from a mainstream orthodox Christian understanding of scripture.
I am curious. You know yourself, your thoughts and your deeds. What do you deserve from a holy, righteous God? God Bless! : )
God, as Father and Creator, our infinite superior, owes us tiny creatures a duty of care.
Who created the Serpent? Who let it into the Garden? Who planted a Toxic Tree (a booby-trap?) powerful enough to poison the entire species? (Would you leave nerve gas on the kitchen table for your children to tamper with?) Who left the innocent Eve alone for the afternoon with a Cosmic Psychopath, God’s sworn enemy? Truly, truly, God has some explaining to do.
Have you ever considered the possibility that the cross was God taking responsibility for the mess?
Alright. Where does it say all the following in the scriptures?
Also, is not sin - sin in the sight of the Lord? Wouldn’t cheating on a math test in the 10th grade by your definition require, nay, demand that you be eternally sentenced to ceaseless, exponential, never-ending, irremedial torture just the same as offending the highest possible authority in your list?
Also, isn’t God One? Is he not One in that he is divine and unchanging, in eternal, perfectly-unanimous, inseparable, indivisible, communal-union in his infinite and infinitely omniessential nature? Such a nature that consists of being in perfect union - as One; with, in, and as - perfect Love, Grace, Mercy, Justice, Righteousness, Holiness, and Goodness; each in infinite supply and each in one accord being just as One as he is One?
His Love, Grace, Mercy, Justice, Righteousness, Holiness, and Goodness are each thoroughly as infinite as he is. And therefore, infinite overlaps infinite - and are as inseparable and indivisible from each other as God is indivisible in his triunity. Just as God is One, and so his attributes and his nature are One.
[size=85](something infinite in size will overlap something that is also infinite in size becoming practically inseparable and infinitely interlinked and mixed as one infinite union of two infinitely sized things; something infinite will not have borders, and especially not borders that prevent another infinite thing from being infinitely a part of and present in the other; lest both should cease to be infinite: think of a venn diagram with two infinitely large circles, these two circles would have no border and so you would have pictorally a single infinite circle)[/size]
His love and his justice are inseparable concepts, as they are infinite - and so his justice is loving, and his love is full of justice. Justice sets wrong things right, and wrong people right. Justice is Righteousness, and Righteousness is Rightness, and Rightness is being “right”.
Therefore, God gives us what we need (which is to be right with him) out of his Mercy and Grace (and his Love especially) which are One with his Justice and Righteousness, rather than what we “deserve” which will not satisfy his infinite nature, or his desires.
If it took the eternal burning of individuals to satisfy his justice - none would be saved.
Define care? Would this statement register to shivering, strip down, hungry persecuted North Korean Christians in concentration camps during the middle of winter? From scripture I don’t see that God owes us anything but death unless you can find different.
I don’t think theologically without scripture, that’s dangerous because using that logic I can apply absolutely anything to the cross from aliens to…anything. God Bless!
Interesting that you see my points as valid which raises a question if I may? My question to you is why embrace universalism? Why not just a Christian who doesn’t believe in hell? I assume you can see how universalism from an evangelical view of scripture changes the character and nature of God? God Bless!
The scriptures say that the debt has been paid. All of it. “It is finished” It would seem to me that God doesn’t owe Man anything because Man has no more debt to owe either. The clearing of the debt goes both ways, and why shouldn’t it go both ways?
If the debt of Man’s sin, which deserves Death is cleaned away by the cross then why does God owe Man nothing but Death? Is the debt still in effect? Did Christ the sinless actually lie?
To add my two cents on these points, even though it is directed at someone else - it may as well be directed at most of us anyway;
It is the only thing that makes sense.
Eternal Damnation = God lost
Annihilation = God lost
All mankind saved = God wins, Man wins, everyone wins.
Because most Christian Universalists do - we just don’t believe that it is “an eternal pit of torture, where evil lasts forever”.
Hell is remedial.
Yes, it makes him far, far, far better. He ceases to be a hateful despot playing favourites (or a feeble deity incapable of achieving his own will), and actually becomes acceptable to the heart as a loving, just, powerful, wonderful, and perfect deity - who actually cares, and loves everyone - including me.
Hi Lefein, I appreciate your answers. You are welcome.
I believe that it is what the whole counsel of scripture teaches.
I do believe in hell.
I’m not sure what your opinion of what you think an evangelical view of the character and nature of God is, but my view of the character and nature of God is exactly what is described in scripture and made manifest in the second person of the trinity. That is also my experience of Him.
Good to exchange views with you oxymoron. May God bless you too.
Since the discussion has long ago morphed into something rather different from the original topic (see thread title for a hint as to what the original topic was ), Nimblewill has rebooted the original discussion in a new thread here.
You asked where in scripture do I see these things? fair question so let’s break what I said down.
Alot of things of God doesn’t entirely make sense to us
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Scripture must only be interpreted by scripture. I know to some that may sound cold and stiff but sticking to scripture is the best possible way to stay on the right path
(2 Timothy 3:16)
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
(1 John 4:1)
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
(1 Thessalonians 5:2)
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;
I don’t know about “Torture” as now you are making an emotional plea but yes it only takes one sin to sentence ourselves to death
Yes that is all so very true and wonderfully descriptive but God is also has wrath, anger, jealous etc…, all equal with the attributes you mentioned. These are scriptural as well and if He didn’t follow through on these then He wouldn’t be holy and He wouldn’t be God. God’s “love” encompasses all those attributes you and I gave.
I don’t understand what you mean by “infinite overalps infinite”, Yes I agree but again you are ignoring the rest of His scriptural attributes.
We have different views of justice based on scripture. I agree with what you said but because of your presupposition as I have stated earlier you have ignored His other attributes thus leaving an incomplete picture of who God is. The bible also says, that God’s anger remains on the wicked. The justice I am talking about is not some slap on the wrist and put in a corner. Using your logic, tell me how is God showing justice to a family whose daughter was tortured, raped, murdered and mutilated if he is slapping people on the wrist? Excuse me if I am taking you out of conext but that is how I am seeing it. If I am wrong then please explain this process of “justice” you talk about towards this unrepentant murderer? and what you say to the family of God’s justice toward the murderer?
Scripture says that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is what satisfies God’s “justice” and we are saved only by the blood of Jesus Christ. God showed His mercy by making a way and sending His Son, giving us the gift of the gospel and His justice will also be served on those who reject that gift. It’s irrelevant if you and I cannot comprehend eternal damnation as being overkill or that it isn’t showing love. I can only go from scripture. God Bless!