The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Im new here,and just wanted to share my beliefs

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?

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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”.

Also edited to add a few thoughts ^

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

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

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.

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

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.

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”.

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

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.

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

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

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 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.

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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.

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.

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!

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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?

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.

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.

According to L Ray Smith the unsaved are saved through the Lake of Fire culminating in Rev 22.17 which says that whosoever may drink the water of life freely!