The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Is God Violent In Hell? Does That Influence Us?—Cavanaugh


Thank you Geoffrey; I found the quotes you provided.

I don’t think there is a “Protestant Purgatory” per se. But people such as George MacDonald, myself, and others who believe in the reconciliation of all people to God through God’s active works in bringing this reconciliation about, regard Hell as one of the main, loving means which God employs in doing this. Thus (with this understanding) I suppose that Hell itself could be considered “one big purgatory.”

By the way, I am not a Protestant. I do not protest against Catholics. Neither am I a Roman Catholic nor an Eastern Orthodox believer.
Like Roman Catholics and Easter Orthodox, I believe there is only one true Church of Christ, but it is neither Catholic, nor Orthodox, nor any Protestant denomination. It is the Assembly (or “Church” if you insist) that Jesus Himself founded. Anything other than this Assembly of Christ, is a man-made club. I do not protest Christian clubs either. They are better than nothing. But you can be a member of such a club without being a disciple of Christ, and you can be a disciple of Christ without being a member of such a club.


If it were possible, it would be but a race of robots.

Yes, why? There is nothing in the Bible that indicates death as the cut-off point.



Davo said

That is a huge concession. I thought you think everything is fine and dandy now, since the Temple’s AD 70 destruction. I’m glad you’re not a complete moral nihilist.


It just takes the right eye ware :exclamation: :laughing:


Lol… no kidding qaz, I’m sure you’re not alone. :unamused: I think holy-fool captures this essence quite well…

I should note that when I say “my sense of human justice demands it” I don’t put too much stock in the human sense of justice, or I’m cautious of it because… one’s sense of justice can easily become one’s vehicle of feigned righteousness, i.e., self-righteousness, as aptly demonstrated by Jesus here…

In other words… “how dare God let these (_______) into Heaven when they haven’t gone through the correct process as I learnt it to be!:imp:


I don’t think that parable is about biological death being same deus ex machina that turns people into good Christians. Your last sentence is a strawman. You haven’t addressed my actual questions:

What do you think heaven is?
If God can just make people Christian in an instant, why doesn’t he just start us off in heaven? What purpose does our earthly, suffering-filled existence serve for a loving God?
Descending into the abyss is juxtaposed with ascending into heaven. What do you think the former means?


Where does “Free choice” and “free will” fit into “make people Christian in an instant” :question: :unamused: :confused:
Did Jesus and/or God (depending on your forum theological perspective) "“make people Christian in an instant”, with Paul on the road to Damascus :question: :unamused: :confused:


My last sentence was no “strawman”… I actually had Paidion’s thoughts in view, not your opinions.

As for your questions… I simply replied to your statement as to your misunderstandings of my view; which on your part was no question.


I think qaz (i.e. Geeky Analytical Zombie? Me thinks remembering all the acronyms is so confusing. :exclamation: :laughing: ) means this straw man:

straw man 1

straw man 2

For a moment there, he had me going. I thought he met the Scarecrow, from the **Wizard of Oz **:!: :laughing:

  1. Qaz, we have to remember that the holy Trinity did indeed start mankind in Paradise. Adam and Eve fell, thus exiling themselves and all their descendants from Paradise. There were two ways to make it to Heaven, and mankind has chosen the hard way. This was not God’s plan A.

  2. Paul’s transformation on the road to Damascus is emblematic of ultra-universalism: The enthroned Christ appeared to Saul, the chief of sinners, and snap he became Paul, Apostle of Christ. And THAT happened while Paul was still in this fallen world. Imagine what happens to a person when he is no longer in the fallen world, but is instead in Christ’s immediate presence in Heaven. Yeah. snap

Imagine an ice cube suddenly appearing a few feet away from the surface of the sun. How long would it take for the ice cube to melt? Perhaps 0.000000000000000000000000000000000000001 of a second, or something like that? That’s how long sin can last in the immediate presence of the enthroned Christ. His Godhead obliterates it out of existence.


Let’s go back to the ice cube example. How do you know** everyone** will react that way? Couldn’t we have cases, like those in this illustration :question: :smiley:


The liturgy of Great and Holy Saturday (i. e., the day before Pascha [Easter to all you westerners]) notes that immediately upon Christ’s death, He obliterated all the sin from everyone in the grave and led them all up to Heaven, leaving the grave empty. Who was in Hades? Every single person who had died before Christ died, starting with Abel. Billions of humans, including the likes of Ahab, Jezebel, the pharaoh who ordered the slaughter of the infants, Nero who ordered the slaughter of the infants, etc. were all in Hades. And snap, they were all instantly purified from their sin and taken to Heaven.

Since Christ did that for billions all in the same instant, it is small potatoes for Him to do it for each individual upon his or her death.

In terms of that cartoon, no delusions or illusions can possibly exist in the immediate presence of the enthroned Christ. His very Godhead disintegrates all of that. All of the BS with which we have stuffed our brains here on earth will be gone. We will have no grounds upon which to engage in our specious “reasoning”. Nor will Christ convince us of anything through elaborate argumentation, with premises, philosophical connections, and inductions and deductions. Instead, our minds, everything about us, will be transformed into the perfect image of Christ. We will see the Truth by participating in Him. No possibility of error will remain. “God became man so that man might become God.” “Everything God is by nature, we will become by grace.”


Geoffrey, most Ortho literature I’ve read is pro-ET.


Geoffrey Said:

Yea :smiley: :smiley:


Yep, but that’s immaterial. The world is full of stupid people who will live and die with their stupid beliefs, and there’s nothing we can do about it. What are you going to do?

Similarly, I saw a Roman Catholic priest tell this true story. He was a professor in Rome, and he told his interviewer basically this: “A few years back the newspaper here did a poll, asking Catholics who they prayed to when it was really, really important. You know who was sixth on that list? Jesus Christ. Can you believe it?”

Just as the Roman Catholic Church never taught its faithful that Jesus Christ should be 6th on your “go to” list, neither has the Orthodox Church taught its faithful that there is such a thing as never-ending damnation. Such an idea merely finds its way into stupid books written by ignorant (at least on this point) people.

Or consider that most Christians who believe in sola scriptura also believe that the Bible teaches never-ending damnation. What percentage of people who believe in sola scriptura have even read the Bible cover-to-cover? If it is as high as 10%, I’d be shocked. Yet these same non-Bible-readers “know” that the Bible teaches never-ending damnation.

Belief in never-ending damnation, whether amongst Orthodox, Catholics, or Protestants, is merely a contemptible superstition.


I have no problem with a person instantaneously becoming a disciple of Christ. However, that is but entering the door of salvation. Salvation itself is a life-long process, and perhaps extends even beyond death. For at death, many or perhaps all disciples of Christ have not yet been fully delivered from sin. They may retain wrong attitudes, a condemning spirit, hateful feelings, destructive desires, and much else. God will never give up on anyone until their natures are fully refined. He will do whatever it takes to bring this about.

Christ’s death is not about forgiving people. Christ forgave people prior to His death. The purpose of Christ’s death is to deliver people from wrongdoing, to begin the process of refining their natures, and to complete it with their coöperation. If we think we can receive the grace of God without coöperating with it, we receive it in vain.

… We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. (2 Cor 5:20-6:1 ESV)

If we examine the passages that give us the purpose of Christ’s death, we will see that they are not about forgiveness of sin, but about deliverance from sin (yes, even the abolition of sin!):

*I Peter 2:24 He himself endured our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

II Corinthians 5:15 And he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Titus 2:14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

Heb 9:26 …he has appeared once for all at the end of the age for the abolition of sin by the sacrifice of himself.*

So we see from all of these passages that Christ’s death for our benefit, is not to forgive our sins, but to deliver us from sin, and that that deliverance does not take place instantaneously, but is a process and requires our continual coöperation.

By the way, the Eastern Orthodox position on salvation is the same as mine— that salvation is a process. Here is a 10 minute video in which Metropolitan Kallistos was confronted by the question, “Are you saved?” and in which he shares the answer that he gave to the questioner, an answer that indicates that his salvation was not an accomplished fact, but rather is a process that Christ is accomplishing in Him.


Yep. Salvation began with creation, and it will not be completed until the Second Coming. :slight_smile:


I do share this in common with Paidion and Geoffrey :exclamation: :smiley:

See How Are We Saved?

Does that also work with dry ice :question: :smiley:

Now I have to get back to pondering this mystery from today’s Quora: :exclamation: :laughing:

If I’m cooking, and I cut a tomato, is there a chance that the knife would split an atom while it slices into the tomato to cause a nuclear explosion?

Is this the result of dry ice or did someone cut a tomato :question: :laughing:


Could be. Hope so. But if so, why wait till then? God can do anything. Why send Jesus? Why all this suffering?

God has bound all in disobedience that He may hav mercy on all. Therefore all Israel shall be saved. Why? Why all this play-acting. Why the ages? Why “Each in his own order”? Why not everyone right now?

The creation was not subjected to futility of its own will, but by the one who did it in hope that the whole creation will be set free from futility into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

That glorious liberty is to love God and one another more than life itself. In ther words, life is not etrnal until love is greater than life, and that is the fire that thoroughly purges the threshing floor, and the threshing floor is life, time, consciousness, experience, trial, discipline, chaos, suffering and death.

I think God set the process up so that we will learn something that can be learned in no other way than to be redeemed, reconciled and restored, and that comes after one repents.

Rev 14:10 says that "they will be tormented by fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb". This sounds like more than .000000001 second to me. "Jesus said, “Depart from me into the fire prepared for the devil and his angels, but dont worry, its only for .00000000001”.

He also said, “And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell(gehenna), to the unquenchable fire, even if it is only .0000000001 seconds.”

Who knows? :astonished:)


Who knows indeed? :astonished:) You got me… apart from maybe your own, which version is that?