The Evangelical Universalist Forum

List of those of who reject traditional hellism


#301

Hi Johnny :smiley: Now that’s difficult one :unamused:

On the substantive issue I’d agree with Pogo that the Pog list is trying to present the varieties of Christian universalism currently and the shades of meaning between Christian universalism and other Christian eschatologies (all in historical context). Therefore it’s going to give our Pog a real headache if he starts admitting other non-hell positions from other religions to a list that is just grappling with a distinction between a vapid pluralism and a committed Christian Universalism that is still open and dialogical.

But I’ll try to sketch an answer Johnny. I like George’s songs – but always preferred the Small Faces and the Kinks to the Beatles. I’m not sure that George was every seriously a Christian at anytime, apart from his cultural background – was he brought up a Catholic like Paul McCartney perhaps? (I’m not a great fan of Paul’s :laughing: )

Well George certainly believed that God is Love and he was a gentle soul and a compassionate man. He seemingly embraced a form of Hinduism – but the last time I saw him interviewed he wasn’t majoring on Hinduism; he was actually quoting Tennyson (the Christian Universalist) to support his diffusive belief in ultimate Love.

Apart from his brief dallying with TM – the major commitment he had was to the Hara Krishna movement. This form of Hinduism comes under the general heading of the ‘Bhakti Marga’ – the Way (to moksha or liberation) through loving devotion to the personal God. The ultimate personal God - the supreme personality of the Godhead - can take different forms (or be perceived as having different forms). The main two in Hinduism are Shiva (who is god of destruction primarily, but becomes revealed as God of tender loving kindness to those who turn to him in love and see his true nature) and Krishna (who is the incarnation/avatar of Vishnu the god of creation; Krishna is the charioteer in the Mahabharata who gives the revelation of the Bhagavad Gita or ‘The Lord’s Song’ to Arjuna the Royal archer in the thick of battle).

The Krishna Consciousness people don’t believe in eternal hell. That’s cool. But as a movement it has other troubling characteristics – it is a bit cultish, and actually can be very intolerant and is often ridiculously fundamentalist and simplistic in its teachings (and perhaps also escapist). It was of course trendy and exotic for a while – and I’m sure like some forms of Christian fundamentalism it has often given refuge to people whose lives have fallen apart – say from drug abuse – and need simple certainties. I don’t think it is a dangerous cult – and I’ve had some really nice conversations with Hare Krishna People (and I remember an article in one of their magazines which I was shown, that was a critique of Jack T. Chick’s view of God and a very witty one too). But I have me reservations

There are other sects within Hinduism that do believe in the possibility of eternal hell and others still which although not believing in hell have an impersonal idea of the absolute in which all distinctions fall away and we simply cease to exist as individuals (I guess some in the West would view this as a kind of hell!). The impersonal way is referred to as the Jnana Marga or the Way of Knowledge.

Hinduism like Christianity has lots of aspects that require prophetic critique – especially some of the most sacred aspects. For example the caste system, that perpetuates racial and social prejudice and exclusion and is predicated on the idea of reincarnation. Ghandi saw this – he perceived that there is an eternal Dharma (Way/Truth) that is over all other dharmas that seem sacred and eternal (like caste) and judges them. Ghandi is no cardboard saint – like all of us he had problems – but I think he often got the prophetic critique courageously right (and that’s not the case with Krishna Consciousness people as far as I can see). He was a follower of Bhakti Marga – but a critical and engaged one. His inspiration came not only from the Bhagavad Gits but also from the Sermon on the Mount and Tolstoy’s Christian Anarchism.

So where does that leave George – there is an ache in his lyrics for a Love most universal.

Blessings

Dick


#302

Such great info, Dick - how do you remember it all! :slight_smile:

Well, George has got the universal love he craved now.

I’ll get to updating Channing’s entry, thanks for the extra info WAAB! :slight_smile:

*edit: Channing updated. WAAB, it coulod do with a fuller ref for the quote - if you have one floating around :slight_smile: Can you glance over it and see if the extended entry is ok?


#303

I will add briefly to my post, that he may have said many other things, or later things, that might bear light of his final views. I do apologise, but I have not finished the collection.

What is interesting is that in his ‘Future Life’ (an Easter Sunday discourse on heaven after the death of a friend; 1834), he makes very strong claims against the idea that Saints are ignorant of, or delight, in the suffering of others. The emphasis obviously concerns earth, and it’s not necessarily incompatible with annihilationism, but I’d love to press him further about it. I’ll quote it below in case one was interested:


#304

you ninja’d me :slight_smile: So just thread bumping so you see my edit comment above.

updated Bob Evely


#305

A rough enough citation for that quote would be:
Channing, WE (1854) ‘The Evil of Sin’ in (1903) ‘The complete works of W.E. Channing’, Routledge, London, p.281


#306

Done. Thanks! :slight_smile:


#307

Hi Pog :slight_smile: - I was graced with a memory like a bucket (a mixed blessing as all blessings are) :laughing: :smiley: :frowning:

I think it’s great to review the entries already made now at leisure. It was all a bit fast and furious earlier and I’ll look again at some of the ones I did to weigh them with detachment etc. But I won’t do any more binges - that was OK to get something down and to understand the scope- but it’s good to have time to reflect in slow motion now; and that will invite other people to join in too.

Good work Andrew! You are turning into Sherlock Holmes/the bloodhound on the scent. :smiley:


#308

Quick note on sticking to your guns in a dialogue about religion

***He who has let go of hatred
who treats all beings with kindness
and compassion, who is always serene,
unmoved by pain or pleasure,

free of the “I” and “mine,”
self-controlled, firm and patient,
his whole mind focused on me —
that is the man I love best.***

Here’s quotation from Bhagavad Gita chapter 12). As a Christian I find most of this laudable and chiming with the teaching of Jesus in its Truth. However, if I am to be true here the ideal that Krishna voices of always being serene, and ‘unmoved by pain and pleasure’ is an alien sentiment to me because its emphasis on ascetical self control could actually go against pity and intimacy that are two of the fruits of love as I know it and desire it from the Truth as it is in Jesus.


#309

… and the heart of a lion, and the soul and sensibility of a saint, Professor :smiley: .

Seriously, my dear old friend, we love your wise and erudite contributions to this site. It would be much the worse without you. So stick around :smiley:

Love

Johnny


#310

You’ve made my evening Johnny – very dear friend ditto :smiley: . Well it’s nice of you to say such resounding things about me :blush: . Fortunately I don’t believe a word of it apart from the affection behind the words. But I guess having an august ancestor and being only ‘Dick the Lesser’ I have to console myself that perhaps - ‘Lesser men have made a most important contribution/ To England’s glory, pride and fame though they be liliputians.’

Yes it’s good to be back – and I won’t overdo posting this time and will try to keep sweet because I love people.

Its’ so good to see you happy with the wean in your arms Johnny. That’s such a lovely photo and it beats some of your former avatars any day (!!!). Mind you your avatars are always interesting. It’s like having the whole cast of a musical comedy in one person. You should try being a Chinese Soctsman someday –

Sing ting a ling a ling, sing ting a ling a ling
Och aye, Och aye
It’s a braw licht, moon licht nicht tonicht
Up above Shanghi :laughing:

And really enjoying reading your posts too old chap. You are on great form too.

Love

Dick

P.S. Hey you have a lovely time in France. You deserve a good break. And if you get called a ‘rosbif’ sing them a verse of Waterloo Sunset – they’ll like that since they keep on lobbying for us to change the name of Waterloo Station (as the Euro star comes in there). ‘Oh Mademoiselle from Armetiers, parle vous/Mademoiselle from Armetiers/ Ain’t been kissed for fifty years/ Inky pinky parle vous’. Sorry, wrong song – ‘As long as I gaze at Waterloo sunset I am in paradise’ :smiley: .


#311

Yes, you do love people, Dick, which is why we all love you. And it’s the real, sleeves-rolled-up, down-and-dirty love of God’s people like you that makes life bearable, throws a spanner into the grimy wheel of blind evolutionary imperatives, and gives miserable old farts like me the strength to go on believing in the teeth of my own self pity.

So more power to your elbow, old top.

All the best

Johnny

PS So glad you’ve emerged from your chrysalis at last, you handsome, silver tongued devil :laughing: .


#312

Looks like everyone’s putting pictures of their real selves on this site … :slight_smile:. It’s interesting to see what people look like. :slight_smile:


#313

Yes. You bear a remarkable resemblance to Viggo Mortensen, pog :laughing: .


#314

He, he :slight_smile: maybe I’ll dig out a photo of the real me at some point … Not sure i look like Viggo though.


#315

Johnny :blush: ! (but love ya mate :smiley: ) ‘Handsome beast’ – a curious oxymoron indeed!!! It’s the one photo taken of me in the past two years where I’m not pulling a stoopid face and looking a right old clodpole/mooncalf. Well I reckon that I actually look a bit like some grim Roman Emperor in bass relief on a coin! Eyes of an assassin and the lips of a tyrant! But there’s no accounting for tastes.

Pog – I actually thought that picture was you! (not being very well acquainted with the popular culture of these days - especially films). This is the biggest moment of disillusionment I’ve had since learning that Johnny Morris (who presented Animal Magic – a kids programme of yore) was not actually a zoo keeper but, rather, a kids programme presenter dressed as a zoo keeper :smiley: .

Is James really a snake? :open_mouth:

In Christ our Hen

Dick


#316

You keep hold of the illusion that I look like Aragorn (Viggo), Dick - it’s preferable to the reality :slight_smile:. I’ll dig out a photo for the lolz at some point …


#317

Dick, you utter, utter, utter *******, that’s ruined - and I mean ruined my childhood! Johnny Morris not a real zookeeper?! Never never never!

:laughing:


#318

I should have broken it to you more gently Johnny - and I’m heart-fully sorry for any misfortune I’ve brought upon you.

Very humbly yours

Dick :smiley:


#319

Well I should think so, Dick. The next thing you’ll be telling me Captain Pugwash wasn’t a real captain, and he never really had a cabin boy called Master Bates. Civilisation is crumbling.


#320

And there’s no Santa Claus either, Johnny :wink: But then again, according to this letter, I may be wrong about that:

newseum.org/yesvirginia/

Speaking of Santa Claus, if he is indeed real, one might say he’s a universalist, as he, at least in some of his incarnations, doesn’t differentiate between good and bad boys and girls, but loves all the children of the world. :slight_smile: