The Evangelical Universalist Forum

If God were a Universalist at heart...why didn't?

Hi Aaron, and welcome!

I want to address your last point first just to head off any misunderstanding and confusion. I don’t believe that people go directly to hell (if they’re unsaved) when they die. It might take a long time to explain why I believe this, and I’ve already written it all out on my blog, so I’m going to get you some links in case you’re interested: … -the-kids/ These two parables are probably the reason many people believe that sinners go directly to hell when they die, so let me know what you think.

Second, I don’t believe that hell = literal fire and literal physical agony. I do believe it will be agonizing and is well worth avoiding, but I don’t believe it will be literal torture. I might be wrong in some cases. For example, a person who enjoyed torturing others during his life on earth might need to know what that felt like – but I’m only speculating there. I do believe that, metaphorically, hell is for the purpose of burning up useless and harmful things in people so that they can be pure. We might all experience a little of that, even those who are saved. Paul says something that makes me think that: “If any man builds on the foundation with wood hay and stubble his works will be burned up, however he himself will be saved, but as through fire.” There are other reasons I believe this, but I don’t want to write too long a reply.

Now your question – why did God allow Adam to sin if He knew He was just going to save him (and everyone else) anyway? I think that your own belief in free will is true. God does want us to choose freely. He knew Adam (and all the rest of us) would sin, but He also knew that this was the only way He could have real daughters and sons capable of loving Him and one another – that is, if we were also capable of NOT loving, but chose to love. We all start out choosing selfishness and eventually God persuades us to choose love instead, and He enables us to make that choice.

The thing that is probably puzzling you is how I think I know that everyone WILL eventually make that choice if everyone is free to choose as he or she will. I believe that in order to make a truly free choice, any person will need three things:

  1. He will need reliable information which he knows to be reliable.
  2. He will need a rational mind.
  3. He will need time.

There are a lot of bible verses that say that God wants to save everyone, and there are a lot of bible verses that say God is all powerful and can do all the things He wants to do. Do you think that God can do this and still give everyone free will? I do believe that He can. We have been taught that physical death is the deadline; after you die, it’s too late. But the bible doesn’t say that. I’ve looked and I can’t find it. You look too, and tell me what you discover. I think that you will be surprised.

However, if physical death is NOT the deadline, then God has all the time He wants. Why would He limit Himself by the death of His creatures? The bible doesn’t say that He limits Himself that way.

I think that some people in the Roman empire wanted to get sinners to repent and belong to the church. (The church had recently come under Roman rule.) If people belonged to the church, they were under Roman influence and could be controlled with the threat of hell if they didn’t do what the church leaders told them to do. So they told people that if they died without becoming Christians, it would be too late for them to change their minds and God would never forgive them. The bible doesn’t say that, but it didn’t matter to these people, because they were politicians. They wanted people to stop causing trouble and obey them. So they used hell to scare the people.

If God has all the time He wants to persuade people to change their minds, then He will succeed.

1.) People will have the information they need. Atheists demand proof; they will have it. Frightened people demand reassurance; they will have it. Doubtful people want to make sure they choose the right religion; the right choice will be clear to them. People who haven’t heard the truth about Jesus need to hear that truth, and they will hear it.
2.) People will have the ability to make rational choices. God will heal them of the lies they have believed as well as any physical or mental illnesses that would keep them from being completely 100% competent and sane. And a sane person will eventually choose what is best for him – what will bring him joy and pleasure.
3.) People will have all the time they need. The prodigal son needed to feel the pain of his wrong choices before he came to his senses. Other people may have that same need, and they will need time. They will have it. Eventually all the prodigal sons and daughters will come home. If they chose otherwise, they would be irrational and then God would need to heal them – if He did not heal them of irrationality, they would not be making truly free choices.

My conclusion is that it is deeply incoherent to suppose that a fully informed, fully rational and healthy person, given sufficient time, would continue to choose, for all eternity, that which will make him miserable when joy was offered him.

Wow, Cindy, you saw our old friend Mr Curry off there PDQ! It appears your response was so devestating it led him to delete his post and skedaddle!





No, that was one of the new mods, who didn’t understand that we don’t simply delete posts like that (even though Aaron Curry will still be banned again for trying to return to the site without demonstrating to the ad/mods that he had changed his standard operating procedure by referring us to examples elsewhere in the meantime as evidence).

I’ll try to undelete the post if I can (unless the ad/mods decide not to–since AC isn’t supposed to be back yet, we may end up treating the whole thread as invalid), in order to provide proper context for Cindy’s reply. But I wanted to clarify in fairness to Aaron that he wasn’t the one who deleted the post.

(Also I should clarify that it wasn’t Cindy who deleted the post, which wouldn’t make much sense to do since she replied to it, and personally she isn’t the kind of person who would fake Aaron deleting the post after reading her reply. The other mod thought he or she was acting properly according to procedure to delete Aaron’s post since he hadn’t been officially let back on yet. We haven’t actually decided yet what procedure should be in such a case, but in the past we have typically allowed Aaron’s attempts to sneak back on under new pseudonyms to stand with alerts as to what’s happening and of course new bans on those accounts. Thus I’ll try to undelete his post, for purposes of matching prior protocol, until we get around to deciding specifically what to do. :slight_smile: )

Update: unfortunately, AC’s post (and a reply of his, either to his own original post or to Cindy’s I’m not sure yet which) was deleted in such a way that it can’t be restored.

My guess is we’ll probably nuke the whole thread to compensate, since it wouldn’t be fair for Cindy’s reply to stand without context to what she’s replying to.

Hi Cindy, and thank you for your response.

Actually my question or questions were " If God was a Universalist at heart…why didn’t God stop Adam from eating the forbidden fruit? Why create man with the ability to choose against him if Universalism was God’s original plan. Because God already had made creation perfect and humans had his spiritual life… It makes no sense whatsoever to create Adam to choose to sabotage his perfect creation, allow man to choose to lose the spiritual life he was created with (which resulted man to be spiritually separated from him) just to send His Son Jesus to be crucified and resurrected to reconcile what he could of had in the beginning if he created man without free will. It would of saved Jesus and humanity a whole lot of needless pain and suffering.

So, your answer to my question is: **that God knew this was the only way He could have real daughters and sons capable of loving Him and one another?**Interesting, because were not Adam and Eve real sons and daughters capable of loving Him and one another before the fall in Gen 3? If yes, then why not just stop Adam from eating the forbidden fruit or just take away humans free will and save Jesus and humanity a whole lot of needless pain and suffering? Because God could of done this if Universalism was his original plan.

The very fact God made man with the ability to choose makes Universalism an impossibility with God. God knew the risk of making man with free will. God also knew by creating humanity with free will not All will choose Him, but some will reject Him. But he did it anyway. Why? Because he did not want to make humanity like robots. He made us like Him honoring our choices good or bad. God will not violate a man’s will to force him to repent and love him. God has never and will never use Hell or the lake of fire for remedial purposes to lead people to repent and love him. That is absurd and cruel.

I believe Matt 12:31-32; Hebrews 6:4-8; 10:26-29 and 2 Thess 1:8-9 are the most damaging to UR and totally refute it.

Revelation 16:9 “And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory”

You would think after all the plagues and being scorched with great heat these men would repent and cry out for mercy from God. But the opposite happens…they blaspheme the name of God and chose to reject him. Fire and heat does not change a man’s heart as this verse clearly shows.

I hope Revdrew61 (or any moderator for that matter) does not delete this post again and deprive people to decide for themselves the truth given to them. I don’t recall UR being challenged from this angle before and too bad Revdrew61 deleted my OP but my response to Cindy brings clarity to my OP. Also too bad for this forum that my voice will not be heard in further discussions due to being unjustifiably banned a long time ago ,IMO. This forum has no voice that opposes UR with truth and that benefits no one on here. God bless. :smiley:

BTW, Jason, I did not sneak back on the forum portraying to being someone else. My username clearly tells who I am. I only did what your forum allowed me to do. I thought if my IP address was not banned the ban had been lifted and I proceeded with re-registering. God bless.

No, don’t do that. Problem solved.

Aaron, As far as I can see your ban does not end until 31 January 2013. The fact that your IP address may not be physically barred does not mean your ban has been lifted. I’ve asked the other mods and admins to confirm or correct me on this.

Whilst we are happy to have healthy debate with opponents of universalism on the forum, during your previous spells here you seemed to find it difficult to stay within acceptable boundaries. So before lifting the ban, as far as I remember, we wanted some evidence that you were ready to adopt a more respectful, healthy approach.

I was not given a fair opportunity to defend myself to the accusations presented against
Me. I really vaguely recall why I was banned so long ago in the first place. I was surprised of my banning. That is here nor there.


Sorry guys. I knew the name seemed familiar, but I had forgotten who it went to.

So you would not of responded if you knew it was me? Why not? Are you not going to respond to the truth given to you now because of me? How silly, Cindy. That would be a shame.

And so it begins. Again.
Regardless, Cindy raises some good points.

God is not a universalist, so it’s a bit silly to start with, “if God were a universalist at heart…” Christian universalism is a theological position. God is not a Christian either. So let’s at least start with an accurate set of presuppositions that will enable us to ask the right questions…

No, she wouldn’t have responded to you because you’re still on the one-year ban, Aaron. It doesn’t end until Jan 15, 2013; and as we explicitly told you earlier this year when we banned you (again), if you want back on you’ll have to show us where you’ve been recently active on other forums first so we can decide if you’ve changed your standard operating procedures. That means dealing with the ad/mods first and convincing us you’ve changed (instead of merely telling us you’ve changed without providing any publicly available evidence, which is how you got back on last time).

Your new accounts will be banned until Jan 15 as well. That includes ip addresses, which were banned last time; they’ll unfreeze 12:00am system time on Tuesday Jan 15.

This time/times yes; some previous times, no, and those were the ones I referred to: even then we still kept the threads and posts you had started.

Most recently, the comments you posted and the threads you started as “BookofActsChristian”, trying to get around a yearlong ban in 2010, can still be found here, here (in a thread started by Aaron Reynolds), and here (in a thread started by Alex and featuring Tom Talbott). Once we realized it was you, I set the system to register those comments under your previous pseudonym of Aaron37, but in the latter thread several of the replies to you still show “BookofActsChristian” as your pseudonym.

However, I do think I confused your case with someone else we banned for a year around the same time (definitely not you), a self-described prophet who claimed to be Jesus Christ reborn/incarnate/something named wikkiwikkiwoowoo, who tried to get back on the board under a new name “meric” this spring; his account doesn’t unfreeze until April next year. Like you, the charges against him were libeling another member, with various associated impenitences connected to that subsequently; and although otherwise the cases were quite different, that’s probably why I mis-remembered his attempt to get back on as though you had done so. My apologies.

You were banned specifically for your behavior in this particular thread, although you’d been treading hard on the line for a while before then. If it was a surprise to you, then you weren’t paying sufficient attention.

Regardless of whether you showed up this time without a pseudonym, you were banned for a year (with warnings prior, including three official warnings to your account as “Revival”, so it wasn’t a surprise), with specific criteria for reinstatement once the ban was up. You have not even remotely tried to meet that criteria, and the ban wouldn’t expire until Jan 15 anyway, so your account will be frozen again as usual. (Updated: now done. “Aaron Curry” will unban as a username, along with the connected ip address, on Jan 15. If we do decide to allow you back on, it won’t be with a pseudonym anymore, so I’ve made sure this name will be available for you to use.)

I will warn you that trying to post on Jan 15 without a quorum of ad/mods agreeing you’ve met the criteria will result in an instant ban for at least another year and possibly longer; probably also with a deletion of your comment or thread.

Note: while members are welcome to discuss Aaron’s comments on this thread, be aware that he will not be able to respond to challenges, so please don’t use him as easy target practice: the ad/mods will act to protect him from people trying to claim that they scared him off with the awesomeness of their replies.

(I realize Johnny wasn’t trying to take advantage of Aaron that way, but even if people don’t realize he can’t answer we’ll still try to clarify that he isn’t hiding or retreating.)

Worth noting: when the ban came down in January, you were also specifically told…

So if we decide you lost your appeal by trying to get on again around the ban, you can’t say you weren’t warned about that back in January.

Thanks for clarifying things Jason. ‘Debating’ Aaron is like shooting fish in a barrel even when he isn’t temporarily on the naughty stair, so I’ll keep my powder dry until such time as he isn’t :smiley: .

But seriously, something really good has already come of this thread - Cindy’s super ‘potted guide to Universalism’. Seriously, what you wrote Cindy is one of the best pieces of EU apologetics I’ve read in ages. Concise yet comprehensive, scripturally respectful, historically educative, philosophically satisfying, and both erudite and easy to understand - and that ain’t no mean feat! So cheers for that Aaron!

Peace guys


God can do all things that are possible. He cannot draw a square circle. He cannot directly create people with ready-made experience. Experience has to accumulate over time, or else it would be fake. If we don’t genuinely experience evil, how can we genuinely reject it? An innocent person who has experienced no evil is weak. A guilty person who has experienced much evil and rejected it, is strong. Who died the wiser man: the prodigal son, or the elder brother?

As Paul said, God has bound all of us to disobedience in order to have mercy on us all.

Awww Johnny :blush:


In case anyone is wondering whether we’ll take that into account in deliberating whether AC was intentionally trying to get around his ban early:

Most people don’t know how to change their ip address (it gets changed for them based on several factors), and I don’t recall any evidence that AaronC is particularly competent at computer technicals. (Heck, I’m kind of competent and I’m not totally sure I could reassign my ip address!) So at first I was inclined to accept this explanation in his favor as true.

(One might wonder why, if this is true, he didn’t stop to wonder why if we were merciful enough to end the ban early we hadn’t alerted him. But then one would recall who we’re talking about: I can imagine him thinking to himself how deceitful and unfair we were to go out of our way to end his ban early without telling him, thus continuing to frustrate his right to post ‘the truth’ here etc. :unamused: Or possibly not putting enough of the contexts together to even realize there was an obvious problem with the early ban-release theory. Or perhaps having forgotten the easy-to-recall concept of a 1-year ban. Or maybe not comprehending how long a 1-year ban lasts.)

But then, on a hunch, I compared the email addresses for his “Revival”, “Aaron Curry”, and “Aaron C” accounts.

Being assigned a new ip address by his computer is something that could have easily happened to him by accident without knowing it.

Registering with new email addresses isn’t something that would have happened to him by accident.

In fact, only Aaron’s username was banned by the mod today (before I got involved–AC is correct that it was RevDrew btw), not his email address nor his ip; yet he not only re-registered with a new email address as “Aaron C” compared to the address he used as “Aaron Curry”, but also re-registered with a new email address as “Aaron Curry” compared to the address he used as “Revival”!

The obvious explanation is that he (reasonably) thought the “Aaron Curry” email address had been banned today by Drew, so he re-registered with a new email address as “Aaron C”; thus also (reasonably) thought the “Revival” email address was still under a ban.

As it happens, we also banned his username “Revival” at the same time we banned his ip address, back in January. (There isn’t much reason to do that compared to banning an ip address and/or an email address; it simply prevents a member from using an inappropriate handle and forces them to change to a new one. But it’s the first ban option on the list, so often we temp-ban a person’s username first for provisional purposes and then ban the ip address later once we’ve settled on whether or how long to enforce the ban.)

Had he tried logging in opportunistically under the account he had been using when banned in January, the account for “Revival” (whom everyone here either knows is Aaron Curry anyway or else doesn’t know at all and so doesn’t care), he would have found himself still banned (because the username was still banned) even if his computer had assigned him a new ip number since January.

So either he didn’t bother trying at all to log in as “Revival”, and created the new membership of “Aaron Curry” from scratch with a new email address different from the one he used as “Revival”; or he tried to log in, discovered he was (of course) still banned, and then started the new membership with the new email address.

Either way, the evidence indicates he came back thinking his email address had been banned back in January, and was trying to get around that ban.

This is why I still don’t believe he only tried an opportunistic attempt at a login and, purely by accident, thought the ban had been lifted early.

(Which is completely aside from the fact that we had explicitly told him he’d have to have ad/mod permission to return and under what conditions that had to be met. Which he either conveniently forgot, despite being very important for him ever having a chance at operating here again, or flat decided to ignore. Had he really accidentally thought his ban had ended early without anyone bothering to tell him, or had he accidentally forgotten when the ban even ended, the first thing he would have done to try to operate here legitimately upon discovering he could sign-in was contact the ad/mods.)

(Which is also completely aside from the fact that, despite being clearly told he was still under a ban, he very obviously went ahead and re-registered under a new membership, “Aaron C”, to get around the ban on “Aaron Curry” today! And then after obviously acting to get around a ban he had been placed under today had the chutzpah to try to pretend he had accidentally misunderstood the situation and thought his ban was lifted early.)

If you don’t recall your own arguments against Christian universalism, when you yourself made them in a thread you yourself created for the purpose of making the arguments (and to which you replied up to the day you were banned), maybe the problem isn’t with our competency at keeping track of things, BA.

Because it looks like you’re picking up exactly where you left off when you were kicked off the forum.

At any rate, there was already a very long discussion on this which some of us who possess this thing called “memory” still recall (even if like myself we didn’t participate in it, being busy with other things at the time), even though you do not.

just to send His Son Jesus to be crucified and resurrected to reconcile what he could of had in the beginning if he created man without free will. It would of saved Jesus and humanity a whole lot of needless pain and suffering. … why not just stop Adam from eating the forbidden fruit or just take away humans free will and save Jesus and humanity a whole lot of needless pain and suffering? Because God could of done this if Universalism was his original plan.

Or, hey, maybe you do remember one of your threads you created and participated in shortly before being banned after all!–I mean, considering the number of parallel or even identical phrases used by you both now and then on the same exact topic.

But then, you would have been outright lying to us (if not to the thread in general in your original post, whatever the precise form of that was), about how you don’t recall UR being challenged from this angle before, as part of your strategy to challenge us with “the truth” that you want us to believe.

But that would be uncharitable to suppose. So, maybe what happened is that you didn’t think your argument was all that great the first time, consequently you completly forgot about it, and you don’t recall anymore why you dropped it (sometime after being banned apparently, as you’re still holding to it the day you were banned), and it’s just a wacky coincidence how many verbal parallels there are between your new presentation of your own previously discarded and forgotten argument and one of the last threads you were working on before being banned for a year.

Alternately, maybe you’re largely copy-pasting it from somewhere else (not something you yourself wrote, of course, although you do like to quote yourself over and over), which you were also largely copy-pasting it from last time you were here, and you’ve just forgotten that you’ve ever seen your source that you’re passing off as your own argument without attribution before (the way you used to do before we caught you at it), much less that you’ve actually passed it off as your own argument previously as one of the last things you did the last time you were here.

Or maybe you were copy-pasting in both cases (with some variant rewordings here and there for flavor) from something you yourself did write, although you’ve forgotten not only that you’ve previously used this common source here before but that you yourself wrote that common source to begin with. In which case you’d be passing it off to as though you wrote it, thinking someone else wrote it because you don’t recall writing it yourself originally.

None of those seem like great options.

Well, since you’re still banned from January I guess I shouldn’t pick on you about it. But maybe when next January comes around, assuming you can demonstrate your newly reformed behavior to us with evidence on other forums, and we let you back on, you’ll get around to explaining why it looks like you tried to start over on where you had left off while trying to convince us you don’t recall seeing this argument before.

After which we can have another discussion about it. Again. Like before. Except, you know, different.

(Or… omg, I feel the Spirit of Prophecy suggesting something I can hardly believe… that the next time you try to come back and manage to get on, whether or not you’re still banned, you’ll pick up this topic from scratch again while claiming you’ve never seen it tried before! NO WAY! EVEN YOU WOULDN’T TRY THAT!! That has to be my upset stomach talking…)