I have actually prayed that if I am wrong about UR (I am hopeful) that the Lord would help me go back to believing the way I used to; Mean God, Hell full of writhing, suffering people, doubting that what Jesus did was actually big enough to save even me, a good little church boy. What with Aaron37’s constant attempts to re-convert us to such beliefs, I was wondering if there is anyone who thinks they could go back to believing the way they used to?
I wouldn’t like it, but if that’s where the logic and evidence pointed back to, then yep I’d be obligated to. Truth is more important than any preferences of mine, even if the truth involves ultimate hopelessness instead of victorious salvation.
I think I might even like it to a degree. Life was much simpler.
Well, yes and no, sort of. There’s really no ‘going back’ for me–but then if it was the truth, I guess one would have to. Life is so much bigger to me now, God is so much bigger. How could it all shrink back to the little box it used to be? I’d rather be annihilated than have to live with that. It would be as if all joy and hope and beauty and love and goodness were gone.
1Cr 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
If the Bible convinced you of UR what truth could convince you otherwise?
I applaud you for keeping yourself teachable. My prayer for you Nimble, (and everyone on this forum) that you do not continue to allow the doctrines or traditions of man to render the word of God of none effect. I pray that you do not continue to compromise by exhalting religious beliefs over truth. Nimble when you interpret the bible line upon line and precept upon precept…UR does not stand! UR stands on scripture that has been taken out of context…when you put all the scripture that you believe supports UR back in continuity with the other scriptures…UR goes “poof” bye-bye.
Btw, Is it a coincidence that UR’s claim to have an inside track on God’s love and His plan of salvation as do the Mormon’s and Jehovah’s Witnesses? Mormon’s and JW’s also scream and claim there right, and 99% of the body of Christ is wrong. Red flag!
I grew up in the school of “believe what the Bible says, just because it says it, and regardless of how you feel about it, cause you’re a rotten twisted sinner who can’t tell right from wrong and good from evil unless the Bible tells you so.”
I never gave UR a thought until I became convinced that it was indeed a possible reading of the Bible–a lot of that for me was investigating the meaning of aion/aionios. When I was sure that there was a potential in the Bible for this interpretation among isolated passages, then I began to search to see if it made sense within the larger context of scripture. What I found was that the Bible makes much more sense to me when read with a mind open to the idea of universalism. Problems I didn’t even know I had were resolved.
I say these things to make the point that it was not a thoughtless or simple process for my belief systems to evolve toward universalism. I didn’t say to myself, “I don’t like the idea of eternal torment, so I’m going to bend the teachings of the Bible to find some way around it.” I actually had a friend in college who didn’t believe in eternal hell because she just couldn’t believe God could do that to anyone. I would try to convince her of hell by showing her the passages, and she would say, “I hear what it says, and I believe the Bible is God’s word, but I just don’t feel like ET could be true.” That was just way too much illogical discord for me–with my background and personality, feelings are secondary to logic and reason–and I’m sorry to say I looked down on her for it.
I don’t know what could convince me that UR is false. It makes way too much sense to me–scripturally, morally, logically. I’ve been on the other side of the question and finding myself wrong was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. Still, I know it is possible I could be wrong. I’m sure I must be wrong in many opinions I hold, however I sincerely hope I am not wrong on* this.* This is one of the doctrines most dear to my heart–that I should believe and trust that God is both willing and able to save all his children from their sins, and to raise them up into fullness of life in the image of Christ. This is the great hope that I understand Paul to be teaching and striving for.
Aaron37’s continuous and dogmatic assertions that UR is only possible if one takes scripture out of context is really absurd to me. (sorry Aaron–well not sorry really, but I hate to have to say that I find your evaluation so unreasonable). My opinion is that, read in context, without the filter of previous assumptions, the scriptures affirm a universalist position.
you said: I don’t know what could convince me that UR is false. It makes way too much sense to me–scripturally, morally, logically.
Aaron: Unless your teachable you will never be convinced. You have hit the nail on the head, Sonia, you interpret scripture by how it makes you feel and not line upon line and precept upon precept. I can show you every scripture you believe supports UR and put them back in continuity with the other scriptures…UR evaporates before your eyes.
Aaron, the question of the hell -UR conundrum is: “Is God like us or are we to be like Him?”
Even evil butt-heads love their own children. Nothing special about that. Sometimes, you have to listen closely to Christ to get the message.
Then there’s God who wills that NONE should perish.
You’re right, Ran, God wishes for everyone to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus, but He knows not everyone will. Why? because you see, Ran, God created man as close to Him as possible without the diety. In other words, God made man to look like Him and act like Him ( Gen 1:26) that includes making free-will choices concerning every area of his life, including salvation. God will not violate man’s free will and honors their choice to choose His grace by faith or choose themselves.
No, He knows that everyone will - that’s the point. Everyone will confess Christ - and this is irrevocable.
Who do you think He’s wishing to?
I didn’t ask to be born, I didn’t ask to be resurrected, I didn’t ask to have my sins taken away. Help, I’m being violated! What ego centric clap-trap.
When you gain the perception that a complete victory of God’s love and power makes sense of so many passages that as a traditionalist you had had to spurn by ignoring them, it is at least as hard for you to conceive of watering down the Bible’s grandest views of God as it would be for Aaron 37 to conceive of a grace of God so glorious that it would overcome his perception that the Bible ends with a destiny of tragic division and retribution for so many of God’s beloved offspring.
For myself, Aaron’s interactions with the Bible seem to hardly engage Scripture in a serious manner. But for those of us who share that perception, we should acknowledge that there are weightier Bible-based rejections of universalism (e.g. N.T. Wright’s early articles and I.H. Marshall in “Universal Salvation, the Current Debate”).
you said: For myself, Aaron’s interactions with the Bible seem to hardly engage Scripture in a serious manner
Aaron: Huh? Where is the condescending attitude coming from, Bob? I challenge you to show me where I’m not enaging scripture in a serious manner.
You will never be engaging scripture in a serious manner until you understand that you read the Bible with presuppositions that make your reading personal (all readings are personal readings). You will never be engaging scripture in a serious manner until you can understand and be able to argue for viewpoints other than your own. You will never be seriously engaging scripture if you think there is only one logical way to harmonize the various Biblical texts. Just admit that you have faith in YOUR reading and its agreement with what you perceive of as the most COMMON reading of the Bible (although of course that adds zero validity to your argument so I don’t know why you keep throwing it out there) and that this blinds you from taking the other viewpoints seriously enough to engage them even superficialy.
I think “going back” would leave most of us in a state of despair, to some degree. I, at least, would have a very hard time coping with a truth that ends in hopelessness and eternal despair for some. However, I’m not exactly sure what could cause me to give up hope completely… I can’t think of much. The reality is that none of us really KNOW what is going to happen one way or the other… We each believe something based on where we think God is leading us, scriptural evidence, philosophical considerations, etc.
But, what I find very hard to imagine is God taking away our hope (for those of us who hope for all people). The Bible seems inclined towards hope in many ways - remember, love hopes all things (1 Cor. 13). Also, it was all but impossible for the rich young man to enter the kingdom of heaven - but all things are possible with God. In the end, I just can’t seem to believe that the hope that we have is in vain. Is the best possible outcome (as state in 1 Timothy 2) really impossible with our God? Can it really be?!?! It’s just hard for me to believe that we’ll be disappointed in the end.
Granted, there may be things that I don’t understand, but this is just how I see it.
After the light in the darkness shines there is no going back to the darkness. So no, I don’t believe logically anyone can convince me that EU is wrong on it’s conclusion. Even without having every detail figured out, one tends not to betray that which he finds so beautiful. In this case a God who loves us even when we are sick. And a God who is able to heal us from that sickness.
I’m certainly open to anyone trying though Mormons come every tuesday to my house and get an earful
Aaron is not the ‘going back’ poster boy. I can’t speak for everyone but I’ve been there, where you are.
But I didn’t find it all that satisfying - it was, frankly, difficult to love God. It was like trying to like Stalin. Or Allah who is just as tough and vindictive.
Epiphanies are rare and love is always on the other line. One day you find yourself waking up and asking to really know Him. It’s a prayer and a most important question.
Screw the dogma, screw 20th century theology, screw the patent definitions, screw logic, screw it all.
And, hey, He’ll show you and open things up…when you are in earnest. So, Aaron, I don’t believe, for a second, that you are merely here for the abuse in some perverse ‘point gathering’ mission - and neither do I believe that we can convince you. I think you’re here because you, like I was, are dissatisfied and searching for the God who is, by all accounts, love.
He certainly will answer a prayer like that and will grant you wisdom - not the way the world grants ‘wisdom’ by fear - but by awe of His Love for His creation. You are entrapped in ‘religion’ but can’t quite admit yet.
Religion needs to be transcended - not condemned. There are some here who are universalists by condemnation, not transcendence…that’s the difference between knowing the argument and knowing God.
You just admitted your unteachable and no matter what scriptural truth you are presented you will hang on to error. You have to be teachable to be convinced. Why would anyone want to beat their heads against the wall and waste their time if you are unteachable?
I’m saying (since you didn’t get the subtext) I’m no different than you. You say it’s wrong therefore you are unteachable. You think you are teachable but you already know what is right and what is wrong. What makes you think that you are teachable.
Also note, I said, I don’t “believe” not I know; there’s a difference. Logically, if one finds any god or thing beautiful, they tend to worship it. If God saving all is beautiful why would we “want” to leave such a teaching?
Do you find God beautiful?
If I were not teachable I would still be entangled in the false doctrine of Calvinism.
Aug, God is beautiful rather or not anyone is saved. His beautifulness is not based on how many people get saved. Sheesh.