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Biblical Universalism.

Discussion in 'Liberal Christianity DIR' started by LoveNeverFails, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. LoveNeverFails

    LoveNeverFails Something of a Dreamer...

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    I myself am a Christian Universalist. I believe that Jesus died to save the world and accomplished that. :)

    Christian-Universalism.com ~ Biblical Christian Universalism Index

    As defined in the above link...

    Christian Universalism is different from Unitarian Universalism. Unlike Unitarian Universalism, Christian Universalism is the belief in universal salvation through Jesus Christ, the incarnate Lord. Christian Universalists are both Christian and Universalist. And we believe that is how Christianity as a whole should be understood. The Christian Universalist belief is that God manifested Himself in human form as a man named Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, who was the perfect moral and spiritual teacher for all mankind, for all time. Jesus Christ came to earth to teach people about the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father, and to encourage us to forgive one another for our sins, as God forgives us. Jesus taught his followers to be merciful, peaceful, charitable, and full of love and compassion for all human beings.

    Though we may recognize goodness and value in some other religions besides Christianity, Christian Universalists believe that following the way of Jesus is the best way -- indeed the only way -- of truly walking in the path of God. But it is not any creed, confession, or religious label that saves us; it is the way of Jesus itself, our trust in the Almighty, and our own attempt to live according to the simple yet profound principles taught by Jesus. Some people who call themselves "Christian" but do not have the love of Christ in their heart may actually be less Christian in Jesus' eyes than some people who do not profess Christianity at all, but who practice the way of Christ in their everyday life.

    Universal salvation is the main belief that distinguishes the Christian Universalist faith from traditional, fundamentalist forms of Christianity. Universalist Christian believers accept the authority of the Bible, but we disagree with the way most churches and Christians have interpreted certain Biblical passages about hell and salvation. Yes, there is such a thing as hell for some souls after death, but in the original, untranslated text of the Bible there is not a single verse of scripture that teaches that hell is eternal. In fact, there are many verses in the Bible that strongly suggest that every soul God has ever created will someday escape hell and be reconciled to their Creator.

    Christian Universalism, therefore, is Biblical Universalism, the belief that the Bible itself teaches the universal reconciliation of all souls to God at the end of time. The Bible says that this will happen because of the power of Jesus Christ to save souls from hell. There is no "point of no return," such as committing an "unpardonable sin" or dying without accepting Christ, that could ever cause a soul to be lost forever. No one is beyond hope, because Jesus Christ has absolute power and as much time as he needs to bring God's goal of universal salvation to fruition. Hell is a redeeming, cleansing, purifying fire that destroys the satanic ego and reforms the human personality in the image of Christ -- not an eternal vindictive torture by an angry and sadistic god.

    Popular Bible translations pervert the meaning of important verses about hell. This has been done because of misguided religious tradition, in an attempt to support a pagan concept of eternal torment that was not part of original Biblical Christianity, but came to be accepted by the Roman Catholic Church and also continues to be taught in most Protestant churches. The Bible uses colorful language to describe the punishment of the wicked, but this is within the context of ancient Jewish apocalyptic parables and visionary literature and was never intended to be taken literally. Furthermore, every verse in common versions of the Bible (such as the King James or NIV) that speaks of "eternal" or "everlasting" damnation is a blatant mistranslation of the original Greek or Hebrew, neither of which uses a word referring to eternity in the Bible, but only a limited or unspecified period of time.

    According to the Biblical Gospel, as affirmed by Christian Universalism, Christianity is not supposed to be a harsh and pessimistic religion that condemns billions of people to an eternity of pain, just because they didn't happen to profess the correct religious doctrines while they were alive on earth. No, true Christianity is a hopeful and optimistic faith, a faith that announces the good news for all the world -- the positive and uplifting message that through Jesus Christ, all souls can someday be saved! That is the belief of Christian Universalism, and Christian Universalists hope that eventually, all Christians will understand that the universalist interpretation of Christianity is what Jesus intended. Jesus came to earth to tell people about universal salvation, not eternal damnation.

    Any thoughts?:angel2:
     
  2. lunamoth

    lunamoth Will to love

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    Well, I don't know about every word of your post but I consider myself a Trinitarian Christian Universalist. :D Welcome!
     
  3. wizanda

    wizanda One Accepts All Religious Texts
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    Mar 7:11-13
    (11) But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is an Offering (Corban), that is to say, a sacrifice (gift), by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.
    (12) And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
    (13) Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

    Mat 10:34
    (34) Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

    Mat 27:6-10
    (6) And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the Offering (treasury = Corban), because it is the price of blood.
    (7) And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in.
    (8) Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.
    (9) Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Zechariah (Jeremy) the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;
    (10) And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me.

    Zec 11:7-14
    (7) And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Grace (Beauty), and the other I called Inheritance (Bands); and I fed the flock.
    (8) Three shepherds (Pharisees, Levites, and Sadducees) also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me.
    (9) Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.
    (10) And I took my staff, even Grace (Beauty), and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people.
    (11) And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD.
    (12) And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
    (13) And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.
    (14) Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Inheritance (Bands), that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
     
  4. lunamoth

    lunamoth Will to love

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    Yeah, there's a happy post. :rolleyes:
     
  5. wizanda

    wizanda One Accepts All Religious Texts
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    Really am Sorry, did say would come as Jonah (Zan-Nun in the Quran)....Could be worse, might not have posted it for us all to see....
    As you may have noted, have had to add correct translations all the way through that....some of us are trying to help and some hinder....:rainbow1:

    Consider also some of us only get 66 books to learn this and others have more, it’s like special treatment for those in the £$£$£......
    Maybe why God sent me too help in 1977 when they released Maccabees 3/4, which pertains to the abomination of desolation (daily sacrifice was removed)….:angel2:
     
  6. lunamoth

    lunamoth Will to love

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    Are you speaking in code? :confused:
     
  7. wizanda

    wizanda One Accepts All Religious Texts
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    :rolleyes:
    Thought it made sense, can reiterate, yet not in this section :angel2:
     
  8. lunamoth

    lunamoth Will to love

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    It's OK wizanda...no need. Sorry I just don't get your message. :shrug:
     
  9. wizanda

    wizanda One Accepts All Religious Texts
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    There is need...it will need thinking about points and you will see where it is aimed at....it was written to help, so don’t underestimate pearls of wisdom….:rainbow1:
     
  10. uu_sage

    uu_sage Active Member

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    I don't agree with every point of your interpretation of Universalism but I am a classical Universalist, and a classical Unitarian Christian in Unitarian Universalism.
     
  11. LoveNeverFails

    LoveNeverFails Something of a Dreamer...

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    In what ways do your beliefs differ from mine exactly? I'm honestly asking simply to obtain knowledge...I understand Unitarians to have a more humanistic view?

    Thanks to all for contributing...please try to keep on topic...;)

    Please do keep in mind that the OP is written by someone else at the link provided. While I agree with alot of it, I do differ a bit, where I do believe to unlock the true Christian experience one must confess Jesus as Lord and Savior. I believe in sharing the way to enlightenment through Him with as many as possible, for it is the best and straightest way to God, both in this life, and the next.

    The Bible says many times over that someday, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess to God. I believe that this won't be a forced submission, but a lost and broken soul finally submitting to his or her Creator and learning to abhor evil at last, and willfully turn from it and embrace, finally, the gift of life! :)
     
  12. uu_sage

    uu_sage Active Member

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    My beliefs differ from the articles in that I believe that sins are corrected in this life, that there is no hell at all, and all souls will come into final harmony with God at death, God is a unity, and Jesus is prophet. I also believe that God speaks through all the world's religions. Love Never Fails- Universalism and Unitarianism had merged to create the UUA in 1961. Unitarians wanted to move further away from its liberal Christian witness (unity of God, the humanity and prophet hood of Jesus) starting with the advent of humanism and Universalism on the other hand seeks to keep in contact with its liberal Christian witness even when new revelation comes about. Unitarians while non-creedal expressed their convictions in commonly held principles(values) but not common beliefs. They arrived at humanism by the way of agnosticism and atheism. Universalists while also non-creedal expressed their convictions in commonly held beliefs but allowed for great latitude in interpretation (for example, Winchester Profession, 1899 Principles, 1935/1953 Statement of Faith, the Griswald Williams Affirmation). Universalists arrived at humanism through their liberal Christianity. UUs to one extent or another are humanists whether or not we accept the label- because humanism affirms social justice, the worth and dignity of each person, the search of truth, viewing experience in light of reason. I am a proud member of the UU Christian Fellowship
    God bless, hope this answers your questions.
     
  13. LoveNeverFails

    LoveNeverFails Something of a Dreamer...

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    Yes, I am quite aware of the union of Unitarianism and Universalism in 1961. :) I was raised in a non-denom, charismatic, protestant upbringing as a pastor's son:eek:;) and did not come to my current belief until somewhat recently, over the past couple of years, after a lifetime of cognative dissonence regarding my faith. I could not equate a God of love and infinite mercy with the traditional view of hell!:(

    Thank God I have seen the light.:angel2: There is actually quite a large movement today of a more Bible and Christ-centered wave of universalism. IMO, from the data I have seen and studied, the original message of Christ's sacrifice was warped by those with their own agendas, in large part by Constantine and St. Jerome. I have learned that the Majority of the early church was universalist! They believed, by studying the Greek and Hebrew, rather than the incorrect Latin text, in universal reconciliation.

    Universalism, the Prevailing Doctrine of the Christian Church During its First Five Hundred Years

    The lind above is an excellent link showing how Universalism through Christ Jesus was the prevailing doctrine in the Christian church for the first 500 years.

    While I am a Christian, I also consider myself a humanist, as you have defined it here. Each of these qualities you have listed are the embodiment of true Christianity, IMHO.

    Here are some excellent sites I love...

    Christian universalism--Ultimate Reconcilation: The True "Good News" Gospel of the Bible

    Christian-Universalism.com ~ Biblical Christian Universalism Index

    Blessings to all...
     
  14. LoveNeverFails

    LoveNeverFails Something of a Dreamer...

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    Oh, and I do believe in hell, but it is not some eternal torture chamber serving no purpose...:eek:

    Hell is, IMHO of course, a place of learning and correction for those souls who depart this world having never achieved spiritual enlightenment, having never experienced remorse for cruelty, for anger, for not loving, for not forgiving...

    When the words of Christ are translated correctly, he speaks of "age-abiding chastisement", not "eternal damnation". Hell is remedial. It exists so that those souls may finally learn to abhor evil, and to shun it, to willingly turn to God in repentance. Then the power of God will refine them, purify them...then God truly will become all in all. God will have perfect victory by destroying death and evil...

    Hell is NOT literal pain and horrific tortures. It is a spiritual place, for spirits to learn lessons not learned in this life...
     
  15. LoveNeverFails

    LoveNeverFails Something of a Dreamer...

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    My grandfather was a Oneness Pentacostal...is that what you are referring to? Although I don't see what this has to do with the OP...:confused:
     
  16. Ringer

    Ringer Jar of Clay

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    Is there scripture that you have to back this up? Maybe something in the original Greek since, if I'm reading into this right, our current translations of the Bible in regards to Hell are not accurate?
     
  17. LoveNeverFails

    LoveNeverFails Something of a Dreamer...

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    The case against Hell « The Religious Stuff..& all things are possible except skiing through a revolving door

    To start with...

    The King James Bible erroneously translates the word “Sheol” as Hell a total of 31 times in the Old Testament, thus setting a foundation for that doctrine in the New Testament as well as the majority of Bible translations to follow the KJV. Even so, most new translations have completely eliminated Hell from the Old Testament, as honest and better scholarship has demanded. The Jewish version of the Old Testament (the Tanakh) has no concept of Hell in it. The importance of this fact cannot be over-emphasized. If a doctrine does not appear as seed form in the books of the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms, it cannot fairly be taught as a major biblical doctrine, if indeed it can be taught as biblical at all!

    Jesus warned the Jews many times of impending destruction, both nationally and individually. He used several different terms to refer to punishment/destruction, some of which were erroneously translated as the same word, “Hell” by Bible translators. We do not deny that God will indeed judge the whole world, nor do we wish to make light of His judgments. We are challenging the belief that His judgment on sin and unbelief is eternal torment/Hell and never-ending separation from God. Certainly, Jesus spent a lot of his ministry warning people to repent or reap the consequences, (particularly “Gehenna.”) But could we be reading more into His warnings than He originally intended?

    If Hell is real, since some English translations use the word Hell for the Greek word “Gehenna,” in the New Testament, why didn’t this same place (Gehenna) get translated Hell in the many places where it appears in the Hebrew form “ga ben Hinnom” in the Old Testament?

    So, regarding verses...

    “…Just as the result of one trespass (Adam’s) was condemnation for all men , so also the result of one act of righteousness (Christ’s) was justification that brings life for all men . For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. ( Romans 5:18,19).

    Any English major will tell you that the the same "the many", which is all of us, that is made sinners is the same "the many" (again all of us) being made righteous by one man. Also, the verses clearly states life to ALL men...

    “Since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22)

    Ditto this verse...the key word is "as", it directly connects the all who died in Adam to be the very same made alive in Christ. Again, we are all born into a sin nature with Adam...???

    “For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4;10).

    Amen and amen.:angel2:
     
  18. Ringer

    Ringer Jar of Clay

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    I just read your comments and didn't get a chance to go to that link. What about the statements about, "Hell is remedial. It exists so that those souls may finally learn to abhor evil, and to shun it, to willingly turn to God in repentance. Then the power of God will refine them, purify them...". Is this based on any type of doctrine or is that also part of your opinion? Thanks.
     
  19. LoveNeverFails

    LoveNeverFails Something of a Dreamer...

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    I have to apologize first because I'm gonna give a link and cut and paste again...at home alone with my 3 kids, ages 1,2, and 4, so busy!:eek: From...

    Trinitarian Universalism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    • Salvation is an objective reality and a subjective reality
    A personal response of faith is required before the objective saving act of God is made subjectively real in the individual's life. The response is transformative and changes with knowledge and experience. What has been accomplished for all mankind must be accomplished in each person's life which requires the individual's cooperation with the Holy Spirit. God is love and man is loved but he must be in relationship with Him to know that love. It is the difference between being and knowing.
    • Hell, as described in the bible, exists
    It is partially here as the Kingdom of Darkness that all men are born into. It will be fully present for those who persist in rejecting God's gift of salvation. However, God's grace and gift of faith reaches everyone while they are dead in their sins (Eph. 2:1, Col. 2:13) and there is no biblical text that says His mercy and gift of salvation will end when one dies physically.[12] Jesus Christ is proclaimed to be the Lord of the dead and the living (Rom. 14:9).
    • Hell is not retribution but rehabilitation
    The suffering in hell is the anguish of a soul persisting in rebellion against God, or the shame of a soul when it realizes how much it has sinned against a holy God as well as profound regret for what might have been. [13]
    • The Good News is about the Kingdom of God
    The mission is not just to save people from hell but to bring them out of the Kingdom of Darkness and into the Kingdom of Light. All moral law can be summed up by the two Great Commandments: Love God and Love Others (Rom. 13:8-10) and these two commands are not distinct and exclusive. To love God is to love others and to love others is to love God.
    • Wrath and judgment is another face of Love
    God's love is passionate and people can grieve Him (Eph. 4:30) by thwarting His love and His good intentions toward them. If man hurts himself or others, he will experience that divine love as wrath. Judgment accompanies wrath and judgment is salvific. It is a fire that purifies and refines, not one that destroys. If man is not judged and if he does not feel God's wrath, he will not be aware that he has sinned. Judgment and wrath encourages a man to stop what he is doing and repent (turn around). Then he will know forgiveness and feel God's love turn from wrath to warmth. [14]
    • True justice is restoration and reconciliation
    Justice is not fully met by punishing wrongdoers. True justice is
    • restoration of what was stolen or destroyed
    • repentance and reformation of the sinner
    • reconciliation between the sinner and God and the person(s) sinned against
    The final word God speaks to Mankind is always reconciliation and redemption
    Sodom is portrayed as a very wicked place that was judged by God and destroyed by burning sulfur (Gen. 19:1-29). Jude writes that they "suffered the punishment of eternal fire" (Jude 1:7). But Jesus knew what circumstances would have brought the people of Sodom to repentance and aknowledgement of God (Matt. 11:23). The last word God speaks over Sodom is restoration in an eschatological prophecy by Ezekiel (Ezk. 16:53-55).

    Biblical passages which support Universalism
     
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