While I appreciate that there are reasoned and principled arguments against Universal Reconciliation (and have, so far anyway, found all of them more than adequately refuted by Talbott and R Parry and so many of you on this site ) there is an argument against UR that frustrates me terribly. Not because it’s a good one but because it’s so common and so readily used by most Christians.
It comes to their lips as a sudden insight; yet it is so wrongheaded that it is, instead, breathtakingly, well, hard to find a better word than stupid for this. Stupid as in utterly disconnected from reality and what’s really important to God and those who claim His mantle. Not happy to use such a blunt word (stupid) but am afraid it fits all to well.
And here it is (it’s been mentioned from time to time here…)
**“well! if everybody is going to be saved, then nothing we do matters and why not just go ahead and keep on sinning! There’s no ‘cost’ to sin, so UR is license and free reign for sin!” **
Oh my! Where to begin…
Let me say straight away that I too feared maybe encountering something like this here on this site – way back when I joined early ’09. You know, that UR doesn’t take sin “seriously”. But a reason I have come to really appreciate this site is because of the absolute clarity you all seem to have on the utter horror of sin. You all seem to have a profound sense of just how heinous a thing it is to part ways with the will and plan of the loving Father of us all, as seen in the person of the Christ.
Go ahead and keep on sinning? Are you kidding me?? And so nail, yet again as it were, our Savior to that Cross? The utter sickness of saying such a thing overtly implies that sin is more fun! - more fulfilling - more rational, than coming to the genuine fullness of life as promised by Jesus. I’m very sad to consider that any Christian who employes this argument must see his own denial of self as some sort of “chore” whose goal is to achieve Paradise. As if the martyrdom of and for Jesus consists of giving up the pleasures of “sin for a season”. That’s deplorable.
I’ll just be blunt and confess straight away that I find this particular line of thinking so odious that it has lead me to consider simply stifling my UR convictions and going completely underground with it. For even the thought that my joy at God’s prediction and promise of UR might serve as catalyst and empowerment to sin is enough to make me shiver.
It’s a universe of difference between “behave; and maybe get your sorry butt into heaven” versus “Can you see what God has gone through to win you back to trust? Do you not comprehend that all He’s ever wanted for you is what is best for you? How could you possibly yearn for the sick and selfish and temporary “rush” of sin instead of for the very Bread of Life?”
The necessity of putting this into words is almost beyond belief! Yet countless folks just nod and say “yeah; if all are saved, lets go party”. One senses, deeply and with sadness, that their hearts never were in the right place from the start. As if God’s plan and way for us is surely more boring, and uncool, and harsh, and noxious than is this sin track over here where the real action and excitement are. It reeks of the trope that following God is hard work; while sinners have all the “fun”. It’s hard for me to convey just how much contempt I have for this pathetic misunderstanding.
Take the world, but give me Jesus… That’s the attitude I find here. I really believe that our UR proponents here have found UR to be that blessed assurance that propels us to live MORE holy lives, not less. For to willingly hurt, yet again, our God and our Savior, under the pretense of “fun and fulfillment” is, literally, unthinkable…
This seems so obvious to me that I fear no one has really bothered to formally lay out a decent response to this utterly frustrating canard.
So might you complete this thought?
“UR does the exact opposite of enabling me to continue sinning because…”