Do universalist worship the same Jesus as Evangelicals?


#1

It saddens me that universalists will take on the name of evangelical. We are two separate camps and this is only blurring the line further of what an evangelical is.

I have had many dealings with universalists who claim to be Christian and yet I am yet to find one who actually worships the same Jesus as I do (1 John). Universalists claim they worship the same Jesus so explain something to me. Doesn’t Universalism destroy the system of salvation by reducing Jesus Christ to a tool-doorjam, propping the door open so when an individual is called can now enter and be with the Father. Universalists in their abstract philosophy when challenged say, Don’t you believe God can save everyone, cleverly leaving out Christ involvement. The true teachings of Christianity reveal to us that Christ in us is an ever evolving, ongoing work of salvation.

Please don’t give me philosophy. I want scripture. Please explain to me how Universalism doesn’t reduce Jesus Christ as some sort of static tool for salvation.


#2

Welcome to the forum. It’s refreshing that you want to place the focus on the Scripture. But I’m unclear as to what truths you are seeking Biblical validation for. I’m honestly unfamiliar with any evangelical universalism that “cleverly leaves out Christ’s involvement,” and would agree that this would disqualify such a view as evangelical. If you want Scriptures for Christ’s essential involvement in salvation, I would point you to the Gospels and most anywhere in the epistles. Is there another issue for which you are seeking Scriptures?

Grace be with you,

Bob

P.S. Something I utterly reject is that Christ is a ‘“static” tool that brings salvation.’ Many of the papers in my corner offer Scriptures in defense of our own essential involvement with Christ in our salvation, especially “Comparing Jesus and Paul.” It sounds like we are on the same page, but maybe I’m not grasping what you mean by “static.” Let me know what you think.


#3

Incidentally, before anyone jumps on him-or-her, I’ve checked and so far as I can tell this isn’t BAaron.

Most of the universalists here, myself included, are trinitarians (with a few members who are unitarian and one or two modalists).

So unless you don’t worship the Jesus Who is the Incarnated Second Person of the single substantial Lord God Most High, equal in Glory and co-eternal in Majesty with the Persons of the Father and the Holy Spirit, uncreated, ungraspable, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, Almighty, only begotten of the Father, from Whom proceeds the Holy Spirit, God and Man, of the substance of the Father begotten before the worlds, and of the substance of His mother, born in the world, altogether God and altogether Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting, equal to the Father as regarding His Godhood, inferior to the Father as regarding His humanity, not two Christs but one Christ, not by the conversion of the Godhead into flesh but by taking of the Manhood into God, altogether one by unity of Person not by confusion of substances, Who suffered under Pontius Pilate for our salvation, descended into Hell, and rose again from the dead on the third day, ascended into Heaven, sitting on the right hand of the Father God Almighty, from where He shall come to judge the living and the dead, resurrecting the good and the evil, the good into life from God and the evil into judgment from God… {inhale}

…then in fact most of us worship the same Jesus you do. :slight_smile:

(We’ve been discussing the so-called Athanasian Creed recently, so I took the opportunity to make a bit of a point for the sake of some other readers.)

The main thing trinitarian Christian universalists and trinitarian Christian non-universalists disagree on is what it means for impenitent sinners to go into ‘eonian judgment’ and/or the ‘eonian fire’. Otherwise, Christian universalists have the same disagreements among ourselves as Christian non-universalists do, for the most part.

I will however say that I have never once met a trinitarian Christian universalist (or a non-trinitarian one, for that matter!) who thought that Christ’s salvation amounted only to propping open a door, or even only propping open a door while calling someone inside (which you should note does involve more activity from Christ than propping open a door!) I don’t suppose it’s impossible for universalists to believe that, especially if they come from the Arminian side of the aisle, where frankly I find that kind of thinking more prevalent than anywhere else. (I’ve even seen it vehemently proposed by Arminians against my belief, common to every universalist I know, that Christ goes out persistently after the 100th sheep until He finds and returns with it! But many Arms would believe that, too.)

On the contrary, Christian universalists typically agree with Calvinists (as well as some Arminians) that God doesn’t only open the way for us but persists in leading us home, empowering us and pushing us to go (even dragging all men to Himself, as Jesus emphatically puts it in John’s Gospel.) Those of us (myself included) who affirm God’s punishment in this life and after death (including what counts as hell), would say that’s part of the pushing as well as leading; others of us would say the pushing goes quite a bit farther than that!

At any rate, I don’t know anyone here, including those of us who have come from a more-or-less Arminian background, who believe that Jesus Christ is any kind of static tool for our salvation (or is in any way static). We worship our Lord and Savior as the Living God Who is mighty to save! We disagree with Calvinists, broadly speaking, about the scope of God’s action to save; we disagree with Arminians, broadly speaking, about the persistence of God’s action to save. Everything else is a detail of those disagreements–and of those agreements! (Since we agree with each of them the other way around.)

It’s much like how as trinitarians we agree with modalists that Christ is God Most High, and agree with Arians that the Son and the Father are distinct Persons with the Son being under the authority of the Father (and yet agree with both of them that there is only one God Most High).

Don’t you believe Christ (as God) can save everyone? (There, you can be absolutely sure I didn’t leave Christ’s involvement out. :slight_smile: )

I not only agree, but I think most of the universalists here agree with that, too. I can recall one or two here who think Christ has already totally completed their salvation; but such people have a tendency to think of themselves as sinless superbeings who can preach at other people without listening to what the other people say (while attributing false motives to the other people). Such people are tolerated here only a short time, whether they are universalists or not (I’ve known some non-universalists like that, too), before being sent off on probation.

So hopefully such people won’t be a problem for you here. :slight_smile:

Well, actually you’re asking about metaphysical and thus philosophical topics; which involve answers in principle logic, including with reference to scriptural testimony.

But we discuss scriptures a lot here, too. Maybe you should spend a few months reading around here first, so you can find out what various members here actually believe?


#4

Welcome to the forum Oxymoron. From your initial post it seems you’re already pretty set in your opinion of yourself and others who understand scripture differently than you do. But I do appreciate your forthrightness. I encourage you to read over the forum rules which affirm respectful discussion of our differences ([Forum Rules and Policies)). And I’ll gladly discuss scripture with you. The following link [Hello from Sherman) will take you to my introduction if you’re interested in reading how I came to believe in UR. In short, it was studying scripture that has lead me to believe in Universal Reconciliation. Welcome.


#5

Yeah, the OP had me confused. I don’t know how universalism would lead to seeing Christ as a doorjam. As Jason said, it’s more likely that non-universalistic Arminianism might lead to that.

Whoa, what? At first I almost wondered if you were referring to me, too, since I’ve posted stuff about having gone through hell. But I know I’ve never said anything about the process being over (in fact, I’m beginning to realize more and more how far away I still am from it! but am becoming more at peace with that).

I think I may have a fuzzy memory of those people, but maybe they’re not around anymore?


#6

Welcome, oxymoron,

If you take a few minutes to introduce yourself and your basic beliefs, it will be easier for us to understand where you’re coming from. And as others have suggested, if you take some time to read a bit here and see what we actually believe, that will help you understand where most of us here are coming from.

I find this statement mystifying … I don’t view my Lord as a “static tool for salvation”. Perhaps you could explain in more detail exactly what you mean by this, and why you think Universalism does this?

Sonia


#7

Welcome to the forum, I hope you can stick around and that we can work through these questions together :slight_smile:


#8

I had the impression that possibly this person is coming from a Calvinist viewpoint and feels that specific, limited election emphasizes the specialty of Christ’s involvement in salvation but universalism would make salvation rather mechanistic. However, I would insist that despite the vastly increased quantity of those who will receive salvation (everyone) in universalism, this still does not by any means take away from Christ’s ability to uniquely deal with each and every person. For one, in order to deny that we’d have to deny reality, because both in past conversions and in present ones each salvation experience is incredibly unique and creative; for another, once you’re already in the millions (which we must concede as a bare minimum, given the long period of human history plus the vast spread of Christianity) you’d think we’d already be past the threshold where it would seem to become mechanistic and automatic.

Or perhaps they mean something a bit different that I can’t quite put my finger on. Who knows. shrug


#9

Hey ‘oxymoron’

How are you doing?

If you’ve the time, I challenge you to read these articles of mine and see if I worship the same Jesus as Evangelicals.

theoperspectives.blogspot.com/2011/02/i-believe.html

theoperspectives.blogspot.com/2007/09/messianic-prophecy-and-words-of-jesus.html

theoperspectives.blogspot.com/2007/09/divine-purpose.html

theoperspectives.blogspot.com/2007/10/orthodoxy-and-gregory-of-nyssas.html

theoperspectives.blogspot.com/2009/02/conditional-apocalypse-king.html

theoperspectives.blogspot.com/2009/05/nebuchadnezzar-kings-revelation.html

theoperspectives.blogspot.com/2010/02/kings-earth-heaven.html


#10

I don’t recall seeing any in a while. There never were many.

(The most crucial issue at the moment is whether Oxy will turn out to be one such person, except not a universalist. :wink: )


#11

hah.

I’ve wondered before if there’s a natural link between universalism and the belief that sanctification can come to (near) completion in this life… given what I think is George MacDonald’s apt metaphor of humanity as a metaphor for a single human soul, and individuals as metaphors for thoughts or feelings. It’s like, how far do we believe that God’s redemption can actually go? A full belief in that seems probably dependent on how much of his redemption has impacted us, as seen in Sherman’s case rather explicitly… of course, John Wesley believed it was technically possible to be fully sanctified in this life, but I’ve never heard of him being universalistic. I can also see how a universalist would merely say that sanctification will come fully only in the next life just as many will only be saved then. And as I was discussing with Alex the other night, a perfect sanctification in this life seems untenable anyway because of the influence of our corrupting bodies. It’s like trying to sharpen a pencil to an infinite point, it just doesn’t happen.