My pastor's response


#1

I finally gave my pastor a letter, explaining my hope in universal reconciliation and answering a few of his questions, that I’d worked on for weeks. I heard nothing. A few days later I sent him the link to Parry’s article on the 7 Myths of Universalism in the Baptist Times, thought he might find it interesting. Also, gave him the link to Parry’s blog with one of the questions he’d asked me about whether a person will go to heaven regardless of how they respond to Christ on earth.

I got a response! :smiley:

He attached the info. from Matt Slick, most of which I found to be completely inaccurate and so don’t want to bother posting here. Also, he attached a long section about Unitarian Universalists and I was able to clarify that I reject their beliefs.


#2

He quickly responded to my last response.

I was so greatful for the last part because I’d worried he was offended and couldn’t get a good read of the end of the first part, that seemed a bit sarcastic. :confused: His overall response to my criticism of his original statement of why bother if it only delays our salvation was quite puzzling.


#3

Thanks for posting this Amy. I feel really moved reading it and will continue to pray for you and for Frank. God bless, Andrew


#4

Thanks for posting this Amy. I think you’ve done an excellent job with your replies to him too. I pray God uses this to open his eyes. His “old” age isn’t a barrier to God :slight_smile:


#5

Thanks guys! I am finding that it is very difficult to engage all the questions and he hasn’t even fielded that many to me. :open_mouth: Reminds me, Alex, when you got yourself involved talking to quite a few people and I worried about you having so much on your plate. You seemed to fair well. It’s hard to keep up.

Maybe someday Gene and I’ll get to visit him and his wife and actuallly sit down to talk. It’s nice, however, that we often get to interact on fb over verses that he regularly posts. I was so pleasantly pleased with his last, very generous comment, to see the positive in me. I think this speaks very highly of his character that he doesn’t just resort to calling me a heretic. I see so much promise in him and have not let go of trying to communicate the hope that God will one day reconcile all.

It’s funny because he expressed that UUs don’t have any need to share their faith and prosletize (sp.?) less, as a result. I asked him if he found me to be lacking in sharing my faith? Which is quite funny because I won’t leave him alone. Poor guy!

I can completely appreciate that he feels lost! I remember that feeling so well…it’s like the ground is swept right out from under you, not a pleasant feeling! The hope that comes out of it - too good to be true, but really is!


#6

Well if it’s any consolation Amy I choose to stick around here rather than somewhere else online :wink: And in large part due to theese kinds of threads.


#7

I still have close to a dozen “lines in the river” waiting for people to get back to me (maybe they’re holding back whilst I’m sleep deprived with a newborn :confused: ). Anyway, I’m still keen to engage with people on the topic but don’t want to pressure anyone, as that’s usually counterproductive.

Face-to-face certainly can help as most 40% of email communication is misunderstood! Also:

"]When someone speaks to you face-to-face, what percentage of the meaning is actually in the words, as opposed to the body language and tone of voice? Take a guess.

It’s 7 percent. The other 93 percent is nonverbal, according to studies. No, I don’t know how they arrived at that exact number. They have a machine or something. But we didn’t need it. I mean, come on. Most of our humor is sarcasm, and sarcasm is just mismatching the words with the tone. Like my friend’s “No, thank you.”

:laughing:


#8

:laughing: I guess I shouldn’t laugh. Sleep deprivation is a serious matter! And I’m surprised you are still so active on here.

I’ve realized this. It’s hard enough to communicate face to face, much less on the internet. I’d mentioned someday getting together with he and his wife to just visit. He didn’t say, “Hey, that’s a great idea, though!” :frowning: Can’t say as I blame him since you really can get quite the headache from all of this. It’s not easy to question everything you’ve always believed.

I’m glad you are sticking around. I’m not sure why over this thread, but I’m glad about it! You have lots of great insights! :stuck_out_tongue:


#9

Well amy, the hardest thing for me is remembering that it’s the work of the Holy Spirit to convict – not mine. I’ve run ahead of the Spirit, trampling Him I’m sure in the process and angering and or losing my case, more times than I care to recall. I want so badly to share this good news of UR that I let myself get in the way!

The words of this man fascinate me; why on earth the fierce hold belief in hell has on folks! As if God is less, is not and can not be ALL in ALL, unless hell/annihilation exist. When you stop and think about that, it’s utterly astonishing! As if God is made more real and majestic because of hell/annihilation??

Oh my!

If truth is on our side (your side; my side) in UR, it doesn’t need us to run ahead defending it. I think it’d be just so cool to hear God say of us some day, “they spoke of Me what is Right…”

So the actual sharing of UR with those who’ve thought little (if at all) of it can be dicey and troubling. And as a general rule it does seem that those who are perfectly happy with the religion (ideas/theology/etc) they have are the least likely to warm to UR.

Thanks for sharing and for the demonstrations of graciousness…

TotalVictory
Bobx3


#10

That’s actually funny, TV, because I think in my original response I’d had those exact words, but took them out. Maybe you are rubbing off on me? That would be a good thing. :stuck_out_tongue:

I do agree with you about not getting in the way and just letting God’s Spirit do the work. I don’t need to get ahead of myself.

I like this thought! I’ll have to remember it.


#11

Well, he’s awake, he has to be doing something! :smiley:

My Dad used to watch Godzilla and Chinese kung-fu movies at night while feeding me my bottle. I doubt it is any coincidence whatever that I still love Godzilla and Chinese kung-fu movies today (even while being critical of their shortcomings, but also pleased whenever they do better. Whenever I find a new one I like, I make sure to watch it with my Dad today, too. :slight_smile: )

So I’d say there’s a good chance Alex’s daughter will grow up loving God’s salvation of all sinners from sin! :sunglasses:


#12

:laughing: maybe it’s escapism :wink:

:mrgreen: I certainly hope both of my children grow up loving God and at the very least understand that ECT isn’t the only option.


#13

Better than a letter I got back in 2007, from a former Youth Pastor I worked with… lol


#14

Wow that is harsh and such an unhelpful way to engage with people! :frowning: Were you able to reason with him any further? e.g. Keith DeRose has written some good articles on “all”, but it sadly sounds like this person isn’t interested in discussion.


#15

WOW! So what is this guys position? He derides evangelicals and you (as a separate category to him?). What is he?


#16

Wow Craig, that letter from your former youth pastor was very hateful! It didn’t really say much either. I think it’s proof that what really matters is the heart. It could not possibly be ok with God that he would speak like that, think like that, feel like that.

Tonight, my brother-n-law Jeff cited that the reason God made vessels of wrath is so that the ones he shows mercy would know mercy. Never realized how crazy that is. I asked him if he’d need to put his eldest daughter in a fiery dungeon forever so that his other children could know his mercy/love. I couldn’t imagine my dad having to beat my sister forever so I could appreciate his love for me. Yowzers, I’d think he’d not beat her if he loves me. Talbott makes so much sense on this point. Sometimes you wonder if there is some kind of conspiracy that we haven’t thought more about these things. How is it even possible to believe something so bankrupt? I should say this was really not even the worst. The worst was that right before it, he added that he did not think God’s whole point was love. Where do you begin with something like this? I guess you don’t, you let the holy spirit.


#17

Hello,

I don’t know what he is, but he is now a very ‘authoritarian’ individual. I think he likes the control.

I don’t think much of the letter, I did try to reason and ask him for the basis of his belief, but he couldn’t contradict Scriptures that blatantly say what we (here) believe. He got flustered and stopped talking to me.


#18

The reason I asked is that he dismissed modern evangelicals and he also called you a heretic, so I’m trying to figure out where he was coming from.
Chris


#19

He left the church after a bout with drug abuse, felt deeply ashamed of his behavior and found our love for him too much and unacceptable.

Three years later, he sends me this.

So I assume he found a church that reinforced his guilty conscience and through this, I believe he fell into authoritarian denomination of Protestant Christianity, in which he could project his feelings of guilt on others instead of living a forgiven life.