[Admin edited to clarify: the poll is [u]above this opening post. The forum engine doesn’t always show polls clearly when clicking through to the first post. ]
If anyone knows me, they will know that one of my strong issues with universalism is the simply overwhelming number of universalists who deny two very important truths:
-The Trinity: This is a very important truth because a denial of it usually leads to a denial of The Lord Jesus Christ being God.
-Free Will: This is also a very important truth because whether the punishment is eternal conscious torment, annihilation, or a restorative punishment, punishing someone for something they were predetermined to do is just plain wrong.
As well as voting in the poll, can you please name any universalists you know that believers corrective post-mortem punishement, as well as the vital truths of the trinity and free will.
“…one of my strong issues with universalism is the simply overwhelming number of universalists who deny two very important truths:-The Trinity…
IMHO you need to stop worrying about where others stand on some issues. Let Abba deal with those extremes. Life in Abba is not about having all our doctrines right but rather about knowing that you are loved by your maker and all He requires of you is to love others.
Like Christianity in general, you will find all extremes of teachings. Likewise in EU. But I find the flavour of this group pretty much right of center on most topics.
It depend on whom you talk to - on this group. Most are probably right on center. Or sound pretty orthodox (i.e. hard to distinguish them from other Christians, except for the UR part). But you might find one or two (i.e statistical outliers), who got their beliefs from outer space (meaning, they sound as strange as Mormon or Christian Science teaching - perhaps stranger). But since the poll is opened up, I like to see some statistical data here. Especially regarding UR with Free Will/Trinity vs the other variables.
Which brings up some interesting questions, I raised in another forum thread. If we reject the insights of historical church fathers, theologians, philosophers, reformers and creeds:
Should we say that the **correct **understanding, is who puts forth the best argument - from scripture?
And if so, who is to be the **judge **of the contest and what is their criterion?
Or should we go back and visit the elephant and the blind men? (I.e.we all see Christian truths only partially, from the poem - of the same namesake)
In keeping with the historical, Holy Fools Christian tradition, here’s some humor - from the Sunil Bali blog:
Meaning I open the door to most people, with the inclusive position (that is also a position of mainline Protestantism, Roman Catholicism and a majority of Eastern Orthodox).
I look at the correction statements of hell (or Hades), in the bible as metaphorical. Meaning we really don’t know the exact nature, of the corrective punishment. But like Rob Bell of Love Wins, I give credence to postmortem opportunities for salvation. But if there is a continued resistance, then there’s the possibility of a second death.
And these opportunities are open to humanity and not Satan and the unholy angels.
I voted but I hate to identify myself as universalist because most people think of universalists as those who believe that every person is automatically accepted by God and will automatically go to heaven at death (or sometime after death).
I believe that everyone will be “salted with fire”, that is corrected.
I strongly believe in free will.
I don’t believe in a Trinity. If God is a Trinity, then we would expect the word “theos” (God) refer to a Trinity at least once in the New Testament. But it doesn’t—not even once. In over 95% of occurrences, it refers to the Father alone.
Even Trinitarians don’t always use the word “God” to refer to a Trinity. Otherwise, when they affirm that Jesus is God, they would be saying that Jesus is a Trinity. If they believe that God is a Trinity, then instead of saying that Jesus is God, why don’t they say that Jesus is a part of God? However, if they insist that Jesus is God, then they must be using the word “God” in some sense other that “Trinity.”
As a non-Trinitarian, I have no problem in affirming that Jesus is God. But He is not “the God.” That title belongs to the Father alone. Even Jesus in his prayer, addressed the Father as “The only true God.” (John 17:3). When I say that Jesus is God, I am using the word “God” in the generic sense. As the Son of “The God,” Jesus is fully God. When Jesus became the son of man (conceived by Mary), He was fully man.
It is in this generic sense that John wrote in John 1:1 that the Logos WAS God.
The numbers are simply too overwhelming, how can I believe something when the vast majority of others who believe it deny very important truths? The trinity and free will are not just simply doctrinal issues, it’s about Jesus being God (Trinity) and God’s character (free will).
Inclusivist? isn’t that the belief that all religions lead to God? if so, that is a serious heresy (probably the worst heresy of them all, Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”(John 14:6), THE way, not A way) and another barrier to me believing in universalism.
If it’s not, sorry for accusing you.
Also, what is a Purgatorial Conditionalist?
Lastly, sadly the salvation of all humans hinges on the salvation of satan because the goats in Matthew 25:41 are cast into the same fire that is prepared for the devil and his angels. In the book of Revelation we see them all in the lake of fire, although with different punishments:
Unrepentant sinners - Revelation 14:10-11 - tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night.
Those who took the mark of the beast - Revelation 21:8 - have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
The devil, beast and false prophet - Revelation 20:10 - cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
I don’t think anyone here believes in purgatory, they believe in post-mortem corrective punishment, and if you want to call that purgatory, that’s fine, but that word is found nowhere in scripture and it comes from Catholicism and (if I recall correctly) they used is to make money, so it’s doubtful they genuinely believed in it.
Yes sadly the title ‘universalist’ is associated with the position that all go to Heaven the first time around (ultra-universalism).
To all the universalists who believe in post-mortem corrective punishment, the Trinity, and free will, please start making YouTube videos if you feel comfortable and called by God to do so, if possible, make yourself known, because time after time again, I find universalists on YouTube who believe in post-mortem corrective punishment so I start listening to their videos only to find out they deny the Trinity and/or free will.
And I can address any passages brought up, since I have the best brains of conditional immortality - to pick. And I’m a wiz, at coming up with the right search keywords.
But keep in mind, that the SciFy channel, is airing a whole month of monster and horror movies. The New Walking Dead season, airs this month. As well as new episodes of the nerds on Scorpion and other non-redeeming shows I watch. So it might take some time, to respond to your questions and comments.
I think that last statement, needs to be emphasized:
So I correct a statement I made earlier. I am a** hopeful Universal Restorationist**, along with being an Inclusivist and Purgatorial Conditionalist. But I also would add, I think the Biblical descriptions of Hell (and Hades) are metaphorical - NOT literal.
And for those who don’t like to read, here is the Universal Restoration article - explained on YouTube
I think STT (no relation to SttH, although STT might appreciate that book ) plans to do two more polls over the next two weeks, with each of the other variables as the constants and remedial post-mortem punishment (of some kind) as one of the variables instead. So Geoffrey and other ultras can vote on those.
I’m going to slightly edit your threat title, STT, to clarify there’s a poll involved. As it is, clicking on the topic’s link may take a person directly to your first post and new members may be left wondering where the poll is – or may miss your mention of the poll, or think it’s just a poll in the comments.
I’m also going to tag various ad/mods, in case they want to vote but haven’t yet.
When you say “Not at all”, you mean 'not at all you believe all regions lead to God, or 'not at all it is heresy that all religions lead to God?
The belief that all religions lead to God is probably one of the most serious ‘non-Holy Spirit-blasphemy’ heresies you can get, take the words of The Lord Jesus Christ in John 16:4
-6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Jesus didn’t say He was A way, he said He was THE way.
I don’t plan on making any more polls, I hope I don’t need to, I hope that there are few ultra-universalists and inclusivists on here, in comparison to the overwhelming number of universalistis I find elsewhere online who deny the important truths of the Trinity and free will.
I think you are getting a term mixed up. My understanding of ultra-universalism, is that folks are immediately reconciled after death (or whenever things end), without the need of either corrective punishment or purification (for folks not reconciled to Christ). And it’s a term coined here. Geoffrey fits the Orthodox criteria, since he is Eastern Orthodox. Others here (and elsewhere) may not fit that category.
I like the percentage pie chart, that the article included:
For someone who follows the universal position, along with the historical creeds and orthodox Christian teachings, check out this article (mentioned earlier) at Is Hell Eternal Punishment, Eternal Death or Disciplinary Restoration?. Instead of universalism, he uses the term Universal Restoration, which I believe Paidion likes (though he might differ a bit, with the author).
There are two points I agree with, that the video part 2 mentions (shared earlier), that are not really emphasized in the article:
The Lake of Fire is the Eastern Orthodox theological position, of being in the presence of God
That even if one is a Universal Restorationist, one can hold the viewpoint that some could cease to exist
One thing must be mentioned, regarding other religions and their methods of contemplation. I follow the model of the Tau Center at taucenter.org/. It is run by the Franciscan nuns, who also host a rehabilitation facility. As such, they offer public programs in various methods of contemplation. Like:
The Keatings centering prayer (Roman Catholic)
Mindfulness meditation (i.e. Buddhist)
Drumming Circle (in the Peruvian shaman tradition)
Taizé Prayer Service
Gong Sound Meditation
It’s similar to the famous Trappist monk Thomas Merton. He was an orthodox Roman Catholic and a book author (i.e. Seventh Story Mountain, Zen and the Birds of Appetite, New Seeds of Contemplation, etc.), but embraced and wrote about - Zen Buddhist meditation. Or the Native American holy people and medicine men - Fools Crow and Black Elk. Both these men followed the Native way of indigenous prayerful contemplation, but were also practicing Roman Catholics.
Everybody in this life is sinful. (Of course as an Orthodox believer I recognize Christ and the Theotokos as the two exceptions.) Therefore when a man dies, he must be purified. Ultra-universalism simply says that this purification is instantaneous. It does not take longer than 0.000000000000000001 of a second, or “the twinkling of an eye” (to adopt a phrase from St. Paul). This is no different than what a historic Protestant believes happens to a man who dies and goes to Heaven: His purification is instant rather than protracted. In contrast, “purgatorial universalism” (or whatever one wants to call it) believes that the post-mortem purification takes significantly longer than an instant. Some even believe it can take long ages. I guess it all comes down to the single question: “How fast can the enthroned Christ get the job done?”
Actually, the term “ultra-universalism” was not coined here. I remember first coming across it in a Protestant theological dictionary about 20 years ago. This article indicates that the term “ultra-universalism” was coined in the early 1800s: uudb.org/articles/hoseaballou.html
I think what STT meant was that he isn’t so much concerned about whether someone is ultra-u or not, compared with denying the Trinity and/or free will, even though he’s concerned enough to not bother with their opinions on those other more important matters and to hope there are only a few ultra-u’s on the board even if they all believed in free will and the Trinity.
Um… I think?
Actually, my impression over 8 years here now is that we have roughly half and half purgatorial and ultra universalists, with occasional fluctuations in the posting membership either direction. I suspect, although I can’t be sure, that we’re currently more ultra-u than purgatorial. It isn’t only a few ultra-u’s in any case. (The apostrophe there being a contraction, not a possessive, of course.)
As noted, we didn’t coin the term ultra-universalist, but someone started using it here long ago (evidently borrowing it directly or indirectly from Ballou, which I didn’t know, thanks! ) and it seems to be prevalent as a respectable and respectful nifty-sounding nickname.
(…um, you should definitely not look up and read Ballou, I think, STT. You’ll be a lot happier with Winchester.)