The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Reasons I'm Universalist And Not A Calvinist


#1

As many of you know I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Through the years I’ve improved tremendously and have gained insights into my disorder. I no longer take mood stabilizers and am on a very small antipsychotic. It’s about 1/4 of what I use to take. That’s how much I have improved. My social skills are 10000 times better today. I find that Calvinism and being God’s special chosen exacerbates the mental problem. It places me at the center of the universe with no break in the deterministic chain of logic. There’s no room for paradox and mystery and hence no room for health. Moreover being at the center of everything is just an egoism delusion that paranoid schizophrenics have to an extreme degree. This is why I have become nothing or nobody special. Here’s how Eckhart Tolle describes the mental illness:

This has been my experience as well. When my ego deflates and I’m no longer a “somebody” or a special famous person the symptoms subside. The chain breaks as I see mystery and paradox within reality. I’m no longer boxed in on center stage all the time.


#2

Thanks StM, for that update on your challenges and successes! Great to hear. And an excellent post! :smiley:


#3

Thanks Dave!!

Another reason is that God is most glorified if all His creation makes it through the forever open gates. With everyone dead to self after the baptism in the lake of fire ego is gone completely. Because of the ego death there’s no need for protection and hence the reason why the gates are never shut. In the Bible the gates were shut at night in cities to protect them from intruders. But seeing that they are forever open shows that there’s no need for protection. When you experience ego death you also feel no need to argue, defend, or protect yourself. The Baptism in the lake of fire destroys all ego.


#4

Another reason is that it undercuts all the philosophical arguments for atheism. The arguments are based on the problem of evil and suffering and an eternal hell. With everybody going to heaven the eternity of bliss, joy, and reward far outstrips and compensates for any tiny finite time of suffering here on earth. Not to mention the fact of God’s infinite justifiable reasons for suffering. Logical explanations are infinite in number. This is especially true for a being who is infinite in wisdom and knowledge. To say that all make it also erases the problem of there being so many different religions and philosophies and those that have never heard and why God seems silent to some at the moment.


#5

When you experience ego death you also feel no need to argue, defend, or protect yourself. The Baptism in the lake of fire destroys all ego.

Very insightful with awesome sauce!


#6

:smiley:


#7

The fear of the consequences eternal torment is overkill. Purgatory has just enough to humble me.


#8

Robin Parry answered some nagging questions I had about some things concerning universalism in the new second edition of 4 views on hell. His version is now an orthodox position within Protestant and some Anglican circles. He does a good job in that book. After reading it I later sat down and read “Hope Beyond Hell” by Gerry Beauchemin all the way through and became convinced.


#9

I can remember meditating on hell and the closed system of Calvinism while I was trying to solve the problem of evil and suffering. I had all the images of people and animals suffering running through my head. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I went to a church where they were praising and dancing as they worshiped God with smiles on their faces. As they did this the images of God tormenting with the flames of hell with people suffering was in my mind. I couldn’t move. It was completely terrifying. I had to go to the hospital.


#10

Divine love is for all. Special love is a substitute for Divine love. Specialness causes separation. In specialness our ego based judgment becomes more important than the Holy Spirit. It is based on the ego judgment of comparisons that says some people are special and others not. Some are included while others are excluded. Some are important and others are not. And to the ego what makes someone important is that it contributes to the ego’s hope for specialness or a sense of rightness or of being right.


#11

You might enjoy Parry’s “The Evangelical Universalist”. It has some very good exegesis.


#12

St. Michael, I see things differently. I think all are special. When we come to God, we find that specialness that is unique to the one and only you.


#13

It’s on my list qaz.

LLC

Self-esteem and being somebody special inflates my ego. I go along with this scripture:

This is what we do when we empty ourselves and become nothing. It gets rid of the grandiose megalomania of being at the center.

God is all-powerful - I am not

God is in control of the universe - I am not

God is self-sufficient - I am not

God is infinite in wisdom and knowledge - I am not

God is perfect - I am not

God in infinitely glorious and beautiful - I am not

It’s the paradox of union and separation. That is to say, there are ways we are like God and ways we are not. We cannot be like God in every way. The love and beauty of God is what unites us to Him. His unique holiness separates us from Him. God is all-powerful. I’m powerless and depend on Him. In Him we live and move and have our being. We empty ourselves so the God becomes all in all. The words of the psychiatrist David D. Burns ring true


#14

In my Catholic Reading Guide to Universalism by Robert Wild, he documents the work of Hanson. The book states:

I haven’t studied it myself but it is a well documented and respected book of research.


#15

Anytime I think I’m better or worse than others I think I’m special. The same with being inferior or superior. This is the case with self-centered shyness. In self conscious shyness there is a negative self-concept of inferiority with a hidden desire for being the greatest. I suffered from shyness a great deal of my life and can tell you I wanted attention but was afraid of harsh criticism and rejection. People abused me and mocked me for it. Nonetheless it’s ego. My paranoid delusions I’ve had are this ego taken to a higher degree. Being sinful and at the center makes one feel guilty and on center stage. This guilt causes madness and is the system of the ego. I’m not special. That is, I’m neither superior or inferior. Forgiveness is the key


#16

St Michael, I don’t agree with what this says. Yes, Jesus emptied Himself, showing us that a king is no different than a servant. But this does not mean we are all nothing. To me, this means that the king and the servant are both of equal value. As Jesus said, My Father works and so do I. And as the apostles taught, we are all parts of the same body. We may serve different functions, but each is of great importance. Would you rather be blind or deaf? Would you rather have no arms or no legs? What I’m saying is that each is a very special, very important part of the body that you just can’t do without because each has infinite value of equal importance.


#17

LLC,

Jesus gave us the example to follow in the above scripture when He emptied Himself and became nothing. Specialness is ego. I am nobody special:

This is what happens to those in the lake of fire as they are humbled and their ego is destroyed. They are emptied of self and reduced to nothing (dust and ashes) as the Spirit fills them. The baptism in fire destroys the old self and they are resurrected to life.


#18

Here’s an alternative to Calvinism’s election by Robert Shank. The basic idea is that Christ is the elect chosen one from the foundation of the world. When we die the ego death and are baptized and surrender to God in trust we become the elect because we are in Christ. I think this happens to the second fruits in the next age after being cut off and then grafted back in. We will all be God’s elect because we will all be in Christ.


#19

Ditto!

It’s important to focus on everyone else being special, I think; that’s a good way to defuse our ego, too. :slight_smile: Focusing on everyone else being special, doesn’t run the risk of over-focusing on ourselves as being not-special, even though there’s certainly a place for that discipline, too. But it has to be combined with the former, with the former being more important.

I’m super-glad your treatments are making progress in any case. :sunglasses:


#20

I have introduced these before - on another thread here. Let me introduce a couple of articles - that bridge Calvinism and Universalism:

Calvinism leads to universalism…
Meet a Calvinist who is also a Universalist