Dealing with the guilt UR brings…


#1

Didn’t really know where else to put this thought, so decided here is most appropriate…

For as long as I have been aware of Christ and the distinctions He brings to our world and thoughts, it has bugged me how often I see folks who believe they have, and maybe they alone, special insights; a certain knowledge; maybe even secret wisdom… From which the rest of us are left out.

Well, that’s me now. I believe – heart and soul and mind – in Universal Reconciliation/Restoration. (We should take a poll to see which word preference is greater…) And for all intents and purposes, it really can come across to others as … the very same thing that used to BUG me!!!

Now then, it is me who is the guilty party… !!

Have you had this experience/sensation and, if so, how have you dealt with it??

Curious,

TotalVictory
Bobx3

PS: I realize this strays outside of the academic tone we seek to foster here, but maybe this could fit under something like “pastoral concerns” or something like that…


#2

Ha! This should be an interesting thread!

For me this is all simply the Gospel. Not a fad but of ancient origin. The Good News!

I was reading today about the Islamic resurrection when Jesus, their prophet, returns and the non-elect resurrected are thrown in the fire until their skin roasts off and then they are given new skin to roast off and so on until Allah shows them mercy or doesn’t. He does as he pleases. And I thought, sheesh, at least those poor buggers had some hope.

With our gang there is no hope. What does that produce? A burning, seething, rage and utter hatred of God that might in time equal Him in its own pure justice. A billion years of hopeless torment for not believing God was full of grace of love, that irony alone, would eventually produce a super being driven by superior or equal justice and able to withstand any adversity…and if the truth sets one free…what will he do within his justice and his immortal wrath?

I probably just gave Jason a book idea…


#3

This might go better in the “Christian Living” category, btw. (I don’t know how it counts as discussion against UR, so much as a discussion about how to properly live believing in it.)

I work pretty hard at not considering myself any better than other people anyway. (Which ironically leads to trouble sometimes, because I’ll hare off into discussions where I simply assume the other person is just as capable as I am, and suddenly I look up and they have no idea what the hell I’m talking about. :frowning: :neutral_face: )

So I rarely ‘feel superior’ about believing UR. And when-if-ever I do, I’m quick to remember my own sins, while looking for any good points I can find in the other person and his or her beliefs.

(But that isn’t because I’m any better than other people. :wink: It’s only because I spent years training myself to do that, so as to protect other people from myself as much as possible. As far as I’m concerned, that counts against me, not for me. :slight_smile: )

I am, however, often sad for other people, in the sense of wishing something better for them than what they have. Whatever superficial advantages I might have are worth nothing if I cannot help other people with them. But that isn’t always possible.

(Though hopefully over the next few years that’ll become more and more possible.)

One thing in my heart I worry a lot about, and so keep a close eye on, is a sharp jealousy when another UR proponent is doing a good job, because dangit I wanted to be the one to get the glory of–!! That was MY surprise to–!!

bleep that. :imp: That really is the sin of ‘heresy’: trying (or even fostering a want) to use truth claims (whether true or not doesn’t matter–either is worse than the other in different ways) for my own personal gain.

(The novels I consider entertainment, so I don’t mind profiting by them–though I have spent far more money than I’ve received back yet on putting out CoJ. :wink: But I have serious worries about someday publishing my non-fictional work in a ‘for sale’ format, even though I’m making plans to do so. I hate the very idea of profiting from theology, even though I know it’s sometimes necessary. But I would rather give it away for free, or donate any proceeds to feed the poor or to other charities. Until then, it’s worth pointing out that the two non-fiction links in my sig go to free-access works. And if people want to read CoJ for free, I usually try to find some way for them to do so.)


#4

I thought only werewolves did that! :mrgreen:


#5

Agreed; but have been trying, in my personal life, to listen more to the things people find bothersome about UR (thinking maybe that’ll help me make better UR defenses :smiley: ) and one dude sort of mocked me along the lines of "if it’s so obvious, how come you’re the only one who see’s this secret tucked away so well in scripture? If that’s what God really meant to convey, how come so few seem to have grasped it? Are you a gnostic Bob? Dealer in esoteric mystical knowledge that, lo and behold, only you have access too?

That seemed like a pretty negative attack on UR so I decided to put it here.

It’s quite easy to not see myself as better than the other, so I was thinking more along the lines of “guilt” since I believe I have a grasp on a truth that sets me free from the worry about salvation that grips them. It really is like I can see behind the curtain which my fellow Christians often seem unable to. So to claim that WE know how the story ends really does open oneself up to ridicule as one having “inside information” or something.

I have had – perhaps you have as well – many varied missionary doorbell ringers over the years at my home. Mormons, Jehovah’s Witness, and so on. And all quite convinced in their own version of “the truth”. Well, I too have a “version” that I have found utterly compelling. UR. Rightly or wrongly, that opens me up to the charge of secret knowledge.

That’s an odd feeling I have not fully processed…

TotalVictory
Bobx3


#6

Bobx3

I think you raise important questions and these are things I have stewed about, as well. I think your questions illustrate the importance of how we speak about UR. I’m not quite sure, but with Gnosticism, wasn’t “secret knowledge” lorded over people who weren’t as “enlightened”? Anyway, when I talk about UR I tend to indicate that I have studied it, I’ve prayed about it, and I believe it to be the truth… but also leaving room for people to disagree. I have seen people who don’t believe UR patronized on other forums in the past, with statements to the effect of “someday God will open their eyes to this truth.” I really think we need to express our “truth” with humility - the whole idea of “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.”

But in some ways it seems like the idea of “secret knowledge” is unavoidable in the spiritual realm. Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth, right? We kind of grow into truth throughout our walk with Christ - and it certainly seems to me that some folks are farther along than others… so it seems like people could always point the “secret knowledge” finger somewhere… Does that make sense? (I ask because I’m not sure myself, again I’m not quite sure, historically speaking, what “secret knowledge” means in the gnostic sense).

As I think about this, I also think of those disciples on the road to Emmaus and how they needed Jesus to open up their eyes to see what scripture said concerning himself. So perhaps God opening our eyes to see that he may indeed have wonderful intentions for all men is similar in nature…

I also mentioned in another thread that it wouldn’t surprise me at all that God’s actual intentions don’t align with the majority… Maybe someone can confirm this who has a better historical perspective, but I don’t think the Messiah being born in a barn and crucified was in anyone’s plans except God’s. So, if in the end, should it be so surprising to people that God might do something out of line with the thinking of the majority?

Processing this stuff along side you,

Andrew


#7

It’s called confidence. The only ‘secret’ about it is that it is rare and inspiring. Stand your ground - fight like your hair is on fire - be passionate. All this calculated chit is for pussies. Get wild for the Hero you know Him to be. Don’t look back. You have Paul to back you up. ‘Christ, the Saviour of all men.’


#8

“In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them to babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in your sight.”

Deep insight is very humbling because the seer knows that it is beyond any mortal ability to understand. I’m also fairly certain that those who are “in the know” are generally not the brightest of the bunch - and that’s by design.

Bottom line is - don’t sweat it. It does make people very uncomfortable to think they have been left out of the loop and most of the time it’s a concept which they are not willing to accept.

I have been mocked mercilessly on one forum with stuff like “All hail the great firstborn - who hath appeared in this hour to lead us into all truth and who alone has insight into the true meaning of the bible” etc. It comes with the territory and there’s not much you can do about it. Just plant the seeds and I guarantee people will be up at night thinking about what you said until it finally blossoms. :bulb:


#9

The Apostle Paul said we look through a glass darkly. Anyone who thinks they have all the answers ought to consider that we really know nothing, if we get right down to it. It’s all faithful speculation. What if the Muslims are right and Islam is the one true religion? About a quarter of the world’s population think that it is. That’s about 2 billion people! By the same token, there are slightly more Christians (Caths and Prots). So to me, size does not matter :smiley: . I’m looking for quality. What makes the best sense of things. Sure, we’ve had 2000 years of ECT, but how long had the world believed the earth was flat, by popular opinion? How long did the world believe that the earth was the center of the universe, by popular opinion?


#10

Ran,

Yep! :mrgreen: Werewolves are a fine metaphor for a lot of things.

(Not counting the possibility of ‘real’ werewolves, too, and/or evolved hominid canines of some sort, e.g. the various “dogman” traditions in folklore.)

True; the “Gnostic” groups (typically called that by outsiders, not by themselves–not in ancient times anyway) emphasized elite cliqueness that shouldn’t be spoiled by letting in too many people. They had a wide variety of other characteristics, but that seems to be one constant among them. I think there’s such a thing as a heresy of ‘gnosticism’, too–i.e. salvation by passcard knowledge–which was also (uniformly?) prominent among the “Gnostic” groups, but which Christianity hasn’t exactly been free of throughout its history either. :wink: It wouldn’t be that kind of ‘gnosticism’ you were being accused of, though.

I think it helps to be able to acknowledge strengths for other positions, too. People tend to get reactively defensive when they think they’re being personally attacked. (Of course, if they’re too inept, or don’t care enough, to notice you’re giving them credit on things, then that’s another problem. :wink: )

I appreciate you saying “other forums”; though unfortunately there’s been some of that around here, too. {glaring in various directions} {not at you though} {g}

I really think we need to express our “truth” with humility - the whole idea of “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.”

I think you have it right, in both cases. :slight_smile:

Good points! Maybe I should hope we never become a majority then. :mrgreen:


#11

personally - from my heathen perspective - I’d say Christians would do better to display the love of Christ in practical earthly ways than worry about how other people react to their particular doctrine. An old minister friend of mine used to sum it up ‘So spiritually minded they are no earthly good!’


#12

Why have we been given knowledge?
Why do some have more knowledge than others?

I’ve been trying to answer this post for 2 days, but can’t seem to get any coherent thoughts down. :confused: But I have found that the study of what knowledge is, and what it is for is very interesting.

I think if we are making right use of our knowledge, and have a right perspective on the importance of knowledge, we will not have a problem in this area. Knowledge and understanding are gifts from God–not markers of our “importance.”

As Paul says: “What makes you better than anyone else? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if all you have is from God, why boast as though you have accomplished something on your own?” 1 Cor 4 (NLT).

And there are things better than knowledge, as Paul says later in the same letter:

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (I Cor 13)

It seems to me we should consider carefully what we use our knowledge for–do we build others up with it, or tear them down? (Yes, there may be a time for both–but are we able to judge well enough to know?) Are we sharing knowledge for our own edification, or for the good of the other? Are they able to receive what we are sharing, or will the precious pearls merely be trampled into the mud? Jesus said there were many things he wanted to teach his disciples, but they were not yet ready for them…perhaps we shouldn’t be over eager to distribute knowledge that another may not be ready for?

Knowledge is all relative anyway–all of us see dimly right now. I get angry when I see my kid belittling or mocking a younger sibling for their lack of knowledge. Sure my 10yo knows more than my 7yo, but relatively speaking, neither of them knows much at all. I expect my older children to treat the youngers compassionately–helping them to learn in love. Ideally, the younger sibling will respect the superior knowledge of the elder, but that doesn’t always happen. :wink: And sometimes the elder is wrong. :open_mouth: But whatever the case–whoever is right or wrong-- if they will just treat each other with love, I’m pleased with them–especially if they are able to disagree and have conflict in love, not in pride.

Sonia


#13

My mom and I had a discussion yesterday about being deceived and how most Christians would say that we have been deceived. We also discussed that we believed that we were once deceived and now we aren’t. Crazy that whichever is deceived doesn’t know it. :nerd:


#14

Yep. By definition :blush:


#15

That’s right - knowledge will cease and it’s not really the point, is it? The point is to love as we are loved. That’s Jesus, that’s the good news.


#16

It seems to me that you’re struggling with being on the persecuted side instead of the persecutor side; and apparently you were pretty passionate on the persecuting side.

As to the argument of “secret knowledge”, such is not an argument at all, but merely a false derisive accusation for what we URs believe is not “secret”, nor do we claim to have any special revelation or relationship with God. We’ve come to believe in UR for a variety of reasons. Some of us believe in UR simply because we cannot reconcile the concept of Hell with our faith in God’s love. Others have come to believe in UR because of their understanding of scripture, the lack of scriptural evidence concerning Hell and the abundance of scripture speaking of the reconciliation of all humanity. Neither of these is secret in any way.

btw, appeals to popularity and appeals to tradition are fallacies of logic often employed to discredit UR. However, neither something being popular or traditional affirms that it is true. In fact, Jesus noted that the way of truth is narrow and few be there that actually find it.


#17

Sherman

you said: In fact, Jesus noted that the way of truth is narrow and few be there that actually find it.

Aaron: No, in fact, Jesus noted strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:14. Not truth. But eternal life, my friend.

God bless,
Aaron


#18

Jesus says the “gate” is straight and the “way” is narrow that leads to life. Jesus does not say that “eternal life” is narrow. In Mat.7:14, Jesus is using “gate” and “way” as a metaphor; and in context, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is countering the teachings, philosophies, and attitudes of the Pharisees. Of course, previously when I said “truth” it was a means of referencing having right teachings, right philosophies, right motives, right attitudes, and thus right actions: “righteousness” would have been a better word. The way of righteousness is very narrow and in reality there are few that find it, very few that find it in this life. And of course, through righteousness we embrace the life of God today!

The point of the metaphor was the importance of seeking righteousness, especially as in comparison with the twisted “righteousness” or hypocritical religious systems and leaders. Let us not be like the Pharisees who used scripture to rule over and oppress others. Let’s not be like the Pharisees who failed to grasp the spirit of the Law, and instead used the Letter of the Law to nullify the power of the Word of God. Let’s not be like the Pharisees who sought the approval of men more than the approval of God. etc. Let’s seek righteousness in doctrine, in attitudes, and in living for it is the key to eternal life today!


#19

Hi Sherman:
Have not said “hi” to you on your intro thread so will say hi here…

Perhaps you have missed my point slightly…??..

I do get into this mood at times where I tend to write contemplative and self revelatory stuff like this post… It’s not so much that I actually CALL things “secret knowledge” so much as just recognize that, to the person who sees what another doesn’t, yes it DOES appear to be something like secret knowledge. See what I mean?

We ALL process information in ways that make sense to US; why on earth would I process things for YOU? That said, even among those who claim the supremacy of Christ, different visions of HOW this is effected emerge.

So I wrote this thread topic in an effort to show that yes, there is a sense in which everything we personally believe does contain some subjectivity; how could it be otherwise… And it really does appear that all too often people embrace things (which WE disagree with) that appear to us as an appeal to something that strongly resembles “secret knowledge”. So yes – of course I agree with you that we believe such (ie for us, UR) because it makes great sense to us and we see great support for it in scripture etc etc but that I simply am acknowledging that, to others, who read scripture not as we do, such a thing is not there.

Thus, what we must do, as honest Christians who respect the fact that our fellow travelers may read things a bit differently, is recognize that in some way, EVERY personal conviction and belief risks ending up sounding, to another, as something like “secret knowledge”. Persecution has little/nothing to do with it…

This post is but a humble and pathetic attempt to acknowledge publicly that I am aware that what WE (ie the basis of this site) believe a doctrine that we are fully aware others might see as something approaching “secret knowledge”. ie it’s something only YOU (ie generic you; some other mind…) seem privileged to comprehend, leaving others out of the loop so to speak…

Am I making sense to you?
Anyway, welcome Sherman!!!

TotalVictory
Bobx3


#20

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your welcome and your reply. I think I understand what you’re saying better. To me the phrase “secret knowledge” has a negative connotation. When someone claims to have “secret knowledge”, to me it stinks of pride. And when people use that phrase to speak of others, they usually do so sarcastically or mean it in a derogatory manner. Though what you note is true, that others could mean something else by that phrase.

Blessings,
Sherman