The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Im new here,and just wanted to share my beliefs


#1

I wanna preface this by saying i respect others views and would like to have a civil discussion but thought Id share some of mine. Some of mine are quite controversial though, so if you dont like reading peoples threads with extremely different opinions than yours Id suggest to stop reading now.

Ill try to keep it short in concise;

I believe that all are saved from death,sin, and separation from God. However I do not believe all are saved from the coming day of indignation, judgement and pruning of the heart (which i believe all of us will go through to some extent),or the second death (which i take as literal death). Theres vessels of honor fitted for mercy and dishonor fitted for wrath.

I do not believe in the trinity. From my research its heavily influenced by paganism. And i dont go by the traditions of men so i dont really care much for an appeal to authority by the ecumenical counsels. Here are some of my reasons why; for one it just doesnt make sense that 1+1+1=1, I can see where people might get the idea that Christ is God but i cant find any scripture even remotely suggesting the Holy Spirit is, scripture states none have seen the true face of God so if Christ is God and people saw Him how is that true, One cannot be both his own father and the son to his father, In genesis it says “us” which is plural not singular, Christ asks why people call Him good when there is but one who is good which is the Father (whos righteousness dwelled in Him), Christ is the IMAGE of the INVISIBLE God and an image accurately depicts something but is not what it is depicting, Why would Christ be praying to Himself if He was God, theres a couple more that im sure ill remember if and when, hopefully, civil discussion about this is brought about. Why i think its important to understand this is because the trinity denies Christs death, because God cannot die. And more so downplays His faith in God when He was about to die.

This one will be long so skip it if you dont wanna read it all; I believe in Gods complete sovereignty. Everything that happens, both good and bad, was purposed by God to happen. For one thing if God “knows what will happen” He still actively foredestines it to happen. Because if what He knows cannot go any other way then it must go that way. God meant for the fall to happen, so that Christ can be glorified as savior of the world. Notice how God set out to make man in His image but does not say “man has become one of us” until AFTER adam ate from the tree, it was a necessary component of Gods plan and process of creating man. If God doesnt want something to happen, and it happens, would that not be “missing the mark”. Therefor for it to happen must mean God has purposed it to happen for a reason. Furthermore Isaiah 45:7, i believe, states that " I create light and darkness, Good and evil (ra)". He bound all in disobedience and disbelief so that He may show mercy and kindness to all. There is but one sovereign God, counseling ALL things according to His will. He condescends down to His creation to play a role. The contrast principle comes to mind here. He needed isreal to sacrifice their children to bring about a means to say “i would not throw my children in fire, it never entered my mind or heart” (paraphrased), he needed adam to sin so that He could save and show off His agape love (Christ was NOT a plan B), He needed to have the sternness of the old covenant so that we can know and appreciate His mercy, He needed the world to go through the suffering of knowing evil so that we will appreciate the upcoming harmony, etc. Freewill seems contradictory. For one if we could have a choice and it goes against what God predicted itd make God a fool, and if it cant go against what He predicted than did we even have a choice since thats what was written before we were born? Furthermore SOOOO many things could have gone wrong with Gods plan if we were given our own will. Judas may have decided not to betray Christ, Adam may have not eaten from the tree, Pilate may have let Christ go. God counsels ALL things according to His will. The best i can explain it is with the pharaoh passage, He raised Him up for that purpose it also shows the relative point of view “the pharaoh hardened his heart” and the absolute point of view “God hardened his heart”. As well as verses like “creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly” or “[God] blinded their eyes” or “For He has locked up all in disobedience”, etc. Free will is without external influence, that would imply God and the adversary would have no influence on people. Also sin plays a part now, its not what God desires much like the sacrifices but He knows it is necessary for the time being. Kinda like if you hate your job but you do it anyways because its necessary. Such is sin to God, not His eternal purpose for creation but necessary for the time being. Much less, if we cant choose where we are born, whether we are born or not, whether to be a part of Gods plan, whether we can live sinless, whether we can be saved, whether we die or not, etc etc etc how free is it really? If we are the deciders of our own fate then what assurance have we that Gods will to save all will be fulfilled. I know some will say “well if God makes people do evil how can He judge them” its the same question Paul adresses in Romans 9:20. “You shall become gods” was the second lie told by the adversary. We are not God. God is the subjector.
Im rambling with this one, but to me free will makes no sense.

Next ones pretty simple. Faith is given by God. We were chosen before the foundation of the world. Its not something people use their “free will” to believe in. “None choose God”. This would be TERRIBLE if eternal conscious torment is true. Luckily its not. Now Ill preemptively answer the question thats bound to pop up “why preach the Gospel”. Because we are trying to bring in the last member of the body of Christ, so the fullness of the nations can come in and the next age begin. God doesnt NEED us to reveal Himself to anyone, He uses us as a catalyst to do so.

The next one is a bit as controversial as the trinity. I believe in dispensationalism. To me it only makes sense that there was a message to israel and to the nations. Christ says His earthly ministry was to the lost sheep of israel and told His isrealite disciples to stay off the road to the nations. And Paul regularly makes a distinction between the circumcision and non circumcision gospel. Without dividing the word of God correctly it just makes it chalk full of contradictions. To put it as short as possible; israel old covenant was to prove the inability of the flesh to do the things of God but was necessary to prove it and their covenant was merit based and ended with Christ in which they were then exhorted to be baptized and repent unto their Messiah which they crucified.They were promised the earthly reign with Christ as the bride of Christ.Any who are chosen by merit under law. The gospel given to Paul was that of unmerited grace and who better to be the poster boy for that than Paul? His is purely of Grace, lest anyone should boast. Good works naturally are produced from it, putting the cart behind the horse but works is NOT what saves lest it cease to be Grace. It is not under what Paul calls “the curse of death by law”. I dont like o.s.a.s., Its more like “once justified, always justified”. Those who receive this truth are promised a celestial allotment as a member of the body of Christ. Im not the best at explaining the dispensations but from what ive researched it just makes sense and clears up a lot of things and harmonizes scripture better.

sorry for the lengthy post and run on paragraphs. I just kinda fluently wrote it.

those are pretty much my views boiled down in a nutshell. Theres more too it, and im still searching and learning everyday. Ive been wrong in the past, so im not saying im one hundred percent right about anything. God knows ive been wrong in the past. But just figured id present my thoughts and what ive come to know as truth in my studies. I hope, even if we disagree, we can remain civil. As I think no matter who is right or wrong doctrinally its good news that it is not by our righteousness or faith that saves, but CHRISTS righteousness and faith that will have all to be saved one way or the other.

Also i wanna end on a high note of my favorite way to dupe eternal damnation crowds;
ask them is God unwilling or unable to save all people. Theres scripture that says He is both willing and able. Leaving them no leg to stand on. Im sure you all know the verses to use. But its a good way to get straight to the point. Most will have trouble answering this, because when you put how bluntly their views of an unwilling or unable God in their face it makes them quite uncomfortable to see it presented to them for what it is which is blasphemy to say the least to call God a liar or impotent.


The Amalekite slaughter
Faith and/or Works?
#2

Thank you ATR for sharing your views with us. Several of them are in harmony with my own thinking. The one with which I have the greatest difficulty is the following:

Every day dozens if not hundreds of little girls are raped. Do you really believe that God caused that to happen? Or at least intended that to happen? Can you think of any possible purpose for God to want that to happen? If He did cause it or intend it in order to fulfill a deeper purpose, do you think He is incapable of fulfilling that deeper purpose without having little girls raped?


#3

Thanks for the response! And for being civil. I was kinda worried because as you can tell some of my beliefs arent the most inviting to conversation with some people who may hold strong convictions against them.

I would say, and this is no attack on your character but the argument, that the example you gave is appealing to emotion. Thats not to say we should ignore emotions. I see emotions like a child, you dont want it driving the car but you also dont wanna put it in the trunk. We must remember that Gods ways are not our ways. That there may be a purpose for it as much as it is heartbreaking to us. And that yes God can achieve any purpose in any way He chooses, but we are not to question why He chooses to fulfill some purposes the way He does. And we do not know, in our finite wisdom, why or for what purpose that may be happening. Maybe it produces some good in the future. The victim may use that pain to help another, start a therapy group, become an artist and help console another individual through their art, maybe it builds their character, gives them a chance to forgive, etc. Heck maybe theres a purpose for the perpetrator, maybe his conscious convicts him, maybe that leads to him being humbled enough to be given faith in Christ,etc. Yes with our God given conscious these acts repulse us. But that does not mean that it isnt for some unforseen purpose to us. Theres many things God purposes that He does not delight in, such as the sacrifice of the scapegoats, which was to foreshadow Christ. Or raising up pharaoh to persecute israel. He may not like these things but He uses them for a purpose.

One could very much ask under the same reasoning “did Paul HAVE to kill other people to be shown mercy? Couldnt God have achieved that purpose by some other means?” It was necessary to be shown lavish amounts of grace. To make an example of how God can love what we consider the most despicable kinds of people. To show off His “agape” love and the extent of His unbound mercies.

The next two points are more so reiterations stated in the original paragraph but i think it still applies to that very question.

if God did NOT want that to happen, and it happens, would that not be “to miss the mark”.

If God knew some man was going to hurt someone before He brought that man into creation, and that man cannot do otherwise than what was predicted, and God makes the man anyways and the man cant do otherwise than what was foreknown, how much responsibility lies on God who brought the man into the world knowing He would do such a thing? If God knew Hitler would do such terrible things, if God didnt want Him to do that, then God wouldn’t have created Him, or better yet prevented it somehow.

Either God allows it to happen or purposes it to happen. As much as i may not understand or like the reason for why He purposes some evils, id rather give God benefit of the doubt that Hes in control and knows what He is doing instead of think that God could have prevented it and simply didnt.

It goes back to the dilemma of evil pondered of by epicurus

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

The simple answer that alluded epicurus is that if a greater good, that we may not understand or know yet, is to come out of evil purposed by God then it isnt contradictory for a good God to coincide with a temporary evil world.

It also goes back to the tree of function and dysfunction. or good and evil. Had God not placed it there at all, then all of those victims would have been spared. Or if He never created the adversary. Or if He simply didn’t make it a transgression to eat of the fruit,there would have been no law, and therefor no sin, and no fall. One way or the other, intentionally or unintentionally, purposed or allowed, evil only exists because God either allows it or purposed it. If God wanted there to be no evil, there simply wouldnt be evil. So at what point does God bear some responsibility for His creation and the actions that He set forth by creating it knowing what it would be?

The first couple verses that come to mind is “we are what we are by the grace of God”, “I create light and darkness, good and evil”, “God counsels all things according to His will”, “God locks up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy on all”.


#4

Also edited to add a few thoughts ^

edited again. sometimes i get ahead of myself and think more about the subject after posting.


#5

Your beliefs agree in a number of points with Martin Zender, A.E. Knoch, & some other authors posted on this site: https://www.concordant.org/


#6

Hi! Thanks for the reply! And not calling to chop off my head for heresy :stuck_out_tongue:

Ive checked Martin, and a little bit of a.e. knoch and recently concordant page after your link yesterday. From what ive seen id say id agree that i agree with them on most thing.

Out of curiosity what is it you believe as truth if you could summarize. Or if you have any thoughts on my belief and how they may differ from yours?

I also noticed your name. I havent read much of origen but ive always intended to.


#7

I think head chopping for heresy is not allowed on this site ; Not that everyone will agree with everything you or I say; they won’t. But hopefully do it in a kind or at least civil manner.

There have been posters here who, like the authors i mentioned, concur with your views.

As for my personal perspectives, they are more or less in agreement with this: Statement of Faith -- Please Read


#8

the only thing i would disagree with in that statement of faith, other than trinitarianism, is this

“We believe the Bible teaches the hope that God will eventually redeem all people through Christ.”

Mainly the word hope there. Id say that Gods word has made it clear that He is both willing and able to save all and thus it isnt a hope anymore but and expectation. That isnt to say its in expectation based on our own feelings but based on the authority of Gods word in which it states it. At least it should be looked at as an expectation by those who come to understand it based on scripture.


#9

ive never been one to say im a “hopeful universalist”.

To me it either is or isnt. And, thanks be to God, it is the true “good news”.


#10

if we hope it to be true, and it not be, then we assert we are more compassionate and merciful than God.


#11

I’m certainly in the “convinced universalist” group, as distinct from “hopeful universalist”. I think Robin Parry is there now, too. That statement of faith is quite dated.


#12

do you know if and where Parry posts anymore? His youtube has been inactive for a while.


#13

I don’t know. Evidently he’s been very active in other endeavors related to universalism:


#14

Hi ATR,
Nice to meet you. Your views sound similar to a guy who passed away a few years ago & his name was L. Ray Smith at bibletruths.com Smith said that God does indeed create evil not just allow it, for the purposes of creating “contrast” n life because we learn most things through experiencing contrast.


#15

Nice to meet you as well!

Hey I know that guy! I didnt know he passed away though. Thats unfortunate. Ive watched a few of his videos on youtube. Seemed like a guy with fruit and a hunger for truth. And i like his explainations on many things im also in accord with him on most things. I dont think me and him have disagreed anywhere from what i remembered.

And yes I believe the contrast principle is all around us. Up and down, happiness and sadness, death and life, good and bad, love and hate. We even need a white background to contrast the black print on this page.

I think the main thing about it is that the purpose of evil will be used to bring about a greater good, thus nullifying it as evil in the long run and so epicurus was dumbfounded on the idea that a good God and an evil world could co-exist. And notice how he never even proposed a “what if God created evil, then why call him good” scenario. It didnt even come into his mind of how that one could even be logical from the get go.

The very act of evil creating good can be seen no better than at Christ death.


#16

I can only ponder but id imagine the greater good coming from evil that would justify it being created would be

To glorify Christ

To present God the opportunity to show His unconditional mercy, love, righteousness and power to reconcile all things to Himself.

To give man experience so that he can appreciate the reconciliation to come and creation being put into order and harmony again

To me that would justify why God purposes, or even allows if you believe in free will, evil.


#17

Yes a great example. Also at least for me ,perhaps it took a Hitler & his evils to make it possible for Israel to be reborn. Also I think God said he waited for the Cannanites sins to fully ripen before he destroyed them after 450 years or so? Maybe there is a clue in there? Maybe evil has to fully ripen to be fully destroyed? Just speculating!


#18

I also think that those we deem to evil to save are necessary to show how powerful Gods love and mercy is. And so that no man can boast about himself being saved. Could we really boast about being saved from death and separation from God if He reconciled hitler?


#19

Yes I agree but also just thinking about Jesus life,death and resurrerction are enough to humble almost anyone. I still have a view that accepts salvation after death which may or may not lead to CU but everyone will have an even playing field. My thinking is that in the afterlife we may for the first time have real free will and be responsible for our decisions because our eyes will finally be able to see clearly.


#20

Im telling you. there is no greater freedom in this life from fear then to know that God will have all to be saved. Scripture says He is both willing and able to save all. So theres no way it CANT happen. How that comes about is a debate to some, but the outcome cannot be denied. No more worry about your atheist friends and family. You know they are in the hands of a God who loves them and knows more whats best for them than we do.