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Featured Is Universal Salvation biblical?

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by michael lesueur, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Sorry....your link didn't work. But it is helpful to understand that the words used in the Bible but interpreted as "hell" are very misleading.

    "HELL"
    A word used in the King James Version (as well as in the Catholic Douay Version and most older translations) to translate the Hebrew sheʼohlʹ and the Greek haiʹdes. In the King James Version the word “hell” is rendered from sheʼohlʹ 31 times and from haiʹdes 10 times. This version is not consistent, however, since sheʼohlʹ is also translated 31 times “grave” and 3 times “pit.” In the Douay Version sheʼohlʹ is rendered “hell” 64 times, “pit” once, and “death” once. . . . .The meaning given today to the word “hell” is that portrayed in Dante’s Divine Comedy and Milton’s Paradise Lost, which meaning is completely foreign to the original definition of the word. The idea of a “hell” of fiery torment, however, dates back long before Dante or Milton. The Grolier Universal Encyclopedia (1971, Vol. 9, p. 205) under “Hell” says: “Hindus and Buddhists regard hell as a place of spiritual cleansing and final restoration. Islamic tradition considers it as a place of everlasting punishment.” The idea of suffering after death is found among the pagan religious teachings of ancient peoples in Babylon and Egypt. Babylonian and Assyrian beliefs depicted the “nether world . . . as a place full of horrors, . . . presided over by gods and demons of great strength and fierceness.”


    Hell — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY

    How would you personally interpret Jesus' own words then?

    Matthew 25:31-46..."When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. . . .
    And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ . . . .
    Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
    41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels."
    (ESV)

    Why would Jesus say this if it wasn't true? How much of your beliefs are actually wishful thinking? :shrug:
     
  2. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    He himself was never viewed as a heretic, only some of the more extravagant theories propagated by his followers the Origenists.

    Modern scholars have conclusively demonstrated that many of the doctrines of the Origenists anathematized as heterodox don't crop up in Origen's writings.

    Origen lived his whole life as a devoted member of the orthodox church, and he has always been included among the Fathers and used as an authority by canonists, scholastic, theologians etc.

    Pope Benedict XVI was right to hail him as a "master of faith".
     
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  3. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    I see. What of some of his more unusual views? I'm not trying to argue by the way.

    I was going to ask you about Pelagius next. I think it's being revisited by some thinkers in the modern isn't it- rather Pelagius was as heterodox as he's often been painted? I seem to recall the argument for his orthodoxy being that Pelagius agreed with Justin Martyr about the use of grace.
     
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  4. michael lesueur

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    My beliefs are still forming.

    Try this link;
    Hell is Leaving the Bible Forever
     
  5. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    Origen was a bold and innovative thinker within the still developing early Christian tradition. His more speculative beliefs - i.e. pre-existence of human souls before birth - were visionary attempts, however flawed, to finesse and smooth over exegetical problems.

    His allegorical, mystical approach to scripture, however, exerted a profound influence upon the later Catholic tradition. He is often viewed as our first mystical theologian.

    I regard Pelagius as a tragic, misunderstood figure by comparison. Origen has always been celebrated as a thought-provoking genius, Pelagius has never been the recipient of adulation.

    Unlike Origen, he actually was branded a heretic at the Council of Carthage (418) for his doctrine of grace, which was interpreted as denying the saving action of God. So he never entered the hallowed ranks of the church fathers, nor did any later ecclesiastical writers cite him as an authority.

    He had the misfortune of incurring the opposition of St. Augustine of Hippo, who became the most influential of the Latin Fathers in Western Christendom.

    You are correct, modern scholars contend that he didn't actually teach that people could attain salvation solely by their own efforts.

    But he is so tainted in the eyes of many and the term "pelagianism" is still to this day used as a byword for a morbid, autonomous individualism in which people regard themselves as wholly self-sufficient without the need of God. So a true rehabilitation would be very hard to achieve, I feel.
     
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  6. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Thank you for the link and I agree with some of the points contained in his explanations......BUT (there is always a but :p) I also see a man ignoring what plain scripture says by explaining away the troublesome passages by glossing over words and their true meaning. It is nice to see God as the all-forgiving and loving God the Bible says he is......but if you remember the God of the OT, he was a righteous God who did not tolerate wrongdoing among his people. When the people broke his laws, he punished them, sometimes quite severely. We need to not forget this in our haste to paint him in a better, more acceptable light. He does not change.

    We are endowed with God's cardinal qualities....namely justice, power, wisdom and love.
    Justice can be exercised with mercy, if it is warranted but, carried out without sentiment when it was deserved.
    The God of the OT is still the God of the NT. He is Jesus' God and he represented his Father well in all aspects of his ministry.

    God chose Abraham's descendants as his models in demonstrating what a relationship with God entails. What humans can expect from him, and what he expects of humans. He gave them laws governing their everyday lives as well as their worship and expected them to obey those laws. He did not force himself on Israel, but after spectacularly liberating the whole nation from Egyptian bondage through a series of amazing demonstrations of his power, he asked them to conclude a covenant with him that they, as Abraham's family, would enter into willingly and of their own volition. They agreed. That meant that all born in Israel were automatically under God's laws. They had no choice.

    To suggest that God waives his standards in any situation is not representing God accurately. He is forgiving but only when repentance is shown. He forgives on the basis of how we forgive others. That is not negotiable. Just as God had expectations of his chosen nation that they were under obligation to fulfill, so he has those same expectations of those who become disciples of his son. Though no longer born under obligation, we choose to enter into a similar relationship of our own free will. Our baptism is an outward symbol before witnesses of our dedication to God as a Christian disciple. We have put ourselves under obligation to keep God's laws.

    The punishment must always fit the crime...that is what true justice means. So what about those passages that speak of Jesus coming with his angelic forces to bring vengeance upon those who "don't know God, and those who do not obey the gospel"?

    2 Thessalonians 1: 7-9..."....when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,"

    What does an exploration into the original language words reveal about this passage? Here it is from Strongs....

    2 Thessalonians 1:6 (NASB)

    "7 ....the Lord G2962 Jesus G2424 will be revealed G602 from heaven G3772 with G1411 angels G32 in flaming G5395 fire, G4442

    8 dealing G1325 out retribution G1557 to those G3588 who do not know G6063 God G2316 and to those G3588 who do not obey G5219 the gospel G2098 of our Lord G2962 Jesus. G2424

    9 These G3748 will pay G5099 the penalty G1349 of eternal G166 destruction, G3639 away G575 from the presence G4383 of the Lord G2962 and from the glory G1391 of His power, G2479"


    "Retribution" is "ekdikēsis which means...."a revenging, vengeance, punishment." No surprises there. Justice demands punishment.

    Now what about "eternal destruction"?.....what can we gather from the original language?

    The word "eternal" (aiōnios) means "everlasting" or "without end" and is the same word use to refer to "eternal" or "everlasting" life. One is actually the opposite of the other. Both without end.

    "Destruction" (olethros) means "ruin, destroy, death". So in the truest sense of these words, they are describing a death that will never end. This is the punishment meted out to those whom Jesus judges as unworthy of the salvation he made possible with the sacrifice of his own life. All can qualify to have the merits of his sacrifice apply to them, but it is not without effort.

    Remember Jesus said ...“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few." (Matthew 7:13-14 RS)

    The word translated "destruction" here is "apōleia" which also means "destroying, utter destruction".

    So the contrast is there very plainly.....we are dealing with a choice between everlasting life and everlasting death.....no matter how much we want God to be the savior of ALL....he will actually be the savior of the "few" who were prepared to trek the "difficult, narrow road". God rewards effort, so if there is no effort, we give him nothing to reward. :(

    There is no "universal salvation" in the scriptures, no matter how much you want it to be true. Sorry.
     
  7. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    @Vouthon I was wondering why Calvin thought Augustine taught double predestination if Christian thought is opposed to it, and found the following on Wiki:

    Gottschalk of Orbais taught it more explicitly in the ninth century,and Gregory of Rimini in the fourteenth.

    Apparently, Calvin was not the first to conclude that Augustine believed in double predestination, and not all that thought he did were Protestant.

    Do Catholics think this is a misunderstood view about Augustine- or that Augustine's views on it alone wouldn't be enough to ground dogma in?

    Speaking of Augustine though. I think he had been Manichaean correct? You know how much I enjoy comparative religion.

    Manichaeism is interesting because similarly to the saying about Zen that Buddhism and Taoism got together and had a child- Manichaeism could be called Buddhism and Christianity's child, if any movement could be so called.

    I trust you don't need clarification @Vouthon, but for others reading this thread who may: Mani was of the belief that Jesus and himself were Maitreya Buddhas. That is to say: two future Buddhas after Shakyamuni.

    I bring that up because there's speculation Augustine was influenced by Manichaeism in his views about original sin. Manichaeism was probably working off a similar view to Buddhism, that the problem inherent in the human condition is ignorance.

    Wonder if there's any truth to Augustine being influenced there?
     
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  8. 12jtartar

    12jtartar Active Member
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    Michael lesueur,
    The concept you are talking about is a false belief, Apocatastasis, and Universalism. As you might suspect, this was started by someone who wanted to be able to do what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it, without having to obey anyone. Fortunately, this is not the way things are, for our Heavenly Father wanted to help us walk the way of long life, so He has given us rules, for our own good, Jeremiah 10:23,24, Psalms 32:8,9, 119:105, Proverbs 3:5-8, Isaiah 41:10, 48:17-19, Deuteronomy 10:12,13.
    If all people were to be accepted, no matter what they have done, there would have been no reason for Jesus to come to earth to give his life as a Ransom Sacrifice, and to Teach God’s way for mankind. Notice what God had recorded for the Jews, who were His chosen people, Romans 9:27,28, 11:5. Consider what Jesus taught in The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 7:13,14, narrow the gate and cramped the way leading to life and few are finding it.
    Consider what Jesus said when a person asked him; lord, are those being saved few? Jesus said, exert yourself vigorously to get in through the narrow gate, for many will try to get in, but will not be able, 2Peter 3:2-9, Acts 2:36-38, 3:22,23, 1Peter 3:18-21.
    The ones saved will be few compared to all those who have lived on earth. God will cause this earth to become a paradise with perfect people living forever. This would not be possible, if all people were there, for the wicked just will not listen, Hebrews 10:26,27, Isaiah 26:10,11, Daniel 12:10, Deuteronomy 7:9,10.
     
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  9. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    Yes on both scores.

    The Fathers are viewed as being particularly authoritative witnesses to sacred tradition where they agree about something. This is one of the main ways by which we are able to separate learned (perhaps true) but fallible opinions from orally transmitted divine revelation (we aren't a sola scriptura church remember). We call this the sensus fidelium (sense of the faithful): "the supernatural appreciation of faith on the part of the whole people, when, from the bishops to the last of the faithful, they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 92)

    Like Origen, Augustine also had a few rather "out-there" beliefs that the church hasn't embraced - despite the fact that both have proved very influential in later centuries. This is the case for nearly every church father. St. Justin Martyr, for instance, personally subscribed to millenarianism (i.e. that Jesus would rule in a bodily reign from Jerusalem after the Second Coming) which was later deemed to be heretical.

    Augustine adhered to a novel and disturbing massa damnata theory of original sin, which held that the whole human race by original sin became a massa damnata et damnabilis: God could effectively cast the whole damned race into hell for original sin alone, without waiting for any personal sins. Thankfully the Eastern Fathers, absolutely all of them, and Westerners before Augustine, and also after him, understood that there is no reprobation except in consideration of demerits.

    Emblematic of this approach would be the Eastern Orthodox "Confession of Dositheus" promulgated by the Synod of Jerusalem (1672):

    cresourcei.org/creeddositheus.html

    Decree 3

    We believe the most good God to have from eternity predestinated unto glory those whom He has chosen, and to have consigned unto condemnation those whom He has rejected; but not so that He would justify the one, and consign and condemn the other without cause. For that would be contrary to the nature of God, who is the common Father of all, and no respecter of persons, and would have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth {1 Timothy 2:4}. But since He foreknew the one would make a right use of their free-will, and the other a wrong, He predestinated the one, or condemned the other....This grace co-operates with us, and enables us, and makes us to persevere in the love of God, that is to say, in performing those good things that God would have us to do, and which His preventing grace admonishes us that we should do, justifies us, and makes us predestinated. But those who will not obey, and co-operate with grace; and, therefore, will not observe those things that God would have us perform, and that abuse in the service of Satan the free-will, which they have received of God to perform voluntarily what is good, are consigned to eternal condemnation.

    But to say, as the most wicked heretics do and as is contained in the Chapter [of Cyril's' Confession] to which this answers — that God, in predestinating, or condemning, did not consider in any way the works of those predestinated, or condemned, we know to be profane and impious. For thus Scripture would be opposed to itself, since it promises the believer salvation through works, yet supposes God to be its sole author, by His sole illuminating grace, which He bestows without preceding works, to show to man the truth of divine things, and to teach him how he may co-operate with it, if he will, and do what is good and acceptable, and so obtain salvation. He takes not away the power to will — to will to obey, or not obey him.

    But than to affirm that the Divine Will is thus solely and without cause the author of their condemnation, what greater defamation can be fixed upon God? and what greater injury and blasphemy can be offered to the Most High? We do know that the Deity is not tempted with evils, {cf. James 1:13} and that He equally wills the salvation of all, since there is no respect of persons with Him. we do confess that for those who through their own wicked choice, and their impenitent heart, have become vessels of dishonor, there is justly decreed condemnation. But of eternal punishment, of cruelty, of pitilessness, and of inhumanity, we never, never say God is the author, who tells us that there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repents. {Luke 15:7} Far be it from us, while we have our senses, to believe or to think this; and we do subject to an eternal anathema those who say and think such things, and esteem them to be worse than any infidels.


    You are right, however, that while he had a rather extreme understanding of predestination, Augustine didn't believe in Calvinist double predestination which was proclaimed a heresy by the Second Council of Orange (529):


    "We not only do not believe that any are foreordained to evil by the power of God, but even state with utter abhorrennce that if there are those who want to believe so evil a thing, they are anathema”​


    That's a very clear condemnation.

    That's right, he started out as a Manichaen and then became a follower of Cicero, before becoming a Neoplatonist and finally a Catholic Christian. Augustine describes this at length in his famous autobiography The Confessions (regarded as the first autobiography in Western literature).

    Traces of all these belief systems influenced his thinking and as a consequence became part of the mainstream of Western Christian thought.

    I quite agree.

    Mani was born into a Gnostic Christian sect and went on to found a syncretistic religious movement that recognised the "divine" origins of Christianity, Gnosticism, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism.

    Definitely true.

    All scholars recognize that Augustine's interpretation of the original sin doctrine was coloured in part by Manichaeism. It also needs to be stressed, however, that Augustine rejected some key Manichaen beliefs in his polemics. The paradigmatic example would be his Neoplatonic view of evil as non-existent or privation of being over against the Manichaean theory of evil as a substance in a dualistic framework.
     
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  10. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    Kind of like his somewhat low view of women huh? I hear he wasn't too kind to the female sex at times.

    Now that's interesting. There are sects like the JWs that believe an idea like that. What is the logic behind the Church's ruling?

    You have to admit this statement is a bit mind-boggling. It's hard to envision predestination and free agency as anything other than opposites. That one is true seems to negate the other.

    Again, I'm not trying to argue, but what of those passages in the Hebrew Bible like the ones I mentioned before? That God made the wicked for the day of evil, or had Isaiah mislead people from being saved.
     
  11. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    At times yes, he could be unpalatably sexist by contemporary standards.

    Although, it must be said: so were Aristotle and most other classical thinkers pardon a few shining exceptions to the contrary. I mean, Aristotle was infamous for having opined that: "the female is an incomplete male or as it were, a deformity". There is nothing quite that bad in Augustine but he still takes a low view of the female sex sometimes.

    To be fair to him, Augustine was very contradictory about this. He tended to blend rather progressive views for his era with the most shameless male chauvinism. It's odd, really, to read it.

    As an example, consider Book XIII, Chapter 32 of his Confessions. He declares, firstly, that "man and woman are equal in mind and intelligence". Elsewhere in his "Literal Commentary on Genesis", III, 22 he expands upon this idea thus:


    "Still the woman too, who is female in the body, she too is being renewed in the spirit of her mind, where there is neither male nor female, to the recognition of God according to the image of him who created her (Rom 12:2, Eph 4:23, Col 3:10, Gal 3:28). Women, after all, are not excluded from this grace of renewal and the refashioning of God's image, although their bodily sex symbolizes something else...In the same way too, in the original creation of the human race, because the woman too was human, she obviously had a mind and a rational one at that, in respect of which she too was made to the image of God."

    As you will no doubt be aware already from your extensive knowledge of Hellenistic philosophy, this was on the liberal end of the spectrum at the time.

    Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC), perhaps the greatest intellectual and orator of ancient Rome, had stated that:

    M. Tullius Cicero, For Lucius Murena, section 27


    "Our ancestors made it a rule that women, because of their inferior intellects, should have guardians to take care of them” (Pro Murena 12.27).​


    This was the common position among many Greek and Roman men.

    Genevieve Lloyd in her book The Man of Reason: Male and Female in Western Philosophy notes:


    'Earlier synthesis of Genesis with Greek Philosophical concepts had, following Philo, tended to associate women's inferior origins and subordination with her lesser rationality. Augustine strongly opposed such interpretations, seeing them as inconsistent with the Christian commitment to spiritual equality...'


    Unfortunately, Augustine follows this relatively enlightened notion with a demeaning statement about women, justifying their inferior social status to men:

    Sermon on the Mount, Book I, § 34. “It is very difficult to overcome temptation; and yet even habit itself, if one does not prove untrue to himself, and does not shrink back in dread from the Christian warfare, he will get the better of under His (i.e. Christ's) leadership and assistance; and thus, in accordance with primitive peace and order, both the man is subject to Christ, and the woman is subject to the man.”​

    He also, on the other hand, absolutely idolized his mother St. Monica as the supreme exemplar of holiness and saintliness. Here is how he described her funeral:

    “I closed her eyes; and there flowed a great sadness into my heart, and it was passing into tears, when my eyes at the same time, by the violent control of my mind, sucked back the fountain dry, and woe was me in such a struggle! […]

    For we did not consider it fitting to celebrate that funeral with tearful plaints and groanings; for on such wise are they who die unhappy, or are altogether dead, wont to be mourned. But she neither died unhappy, nor did she altogether die. For of this were we assured by the witness of her good conversation, her faith unfeigned, (cf. 1 Timothy 1:5) and other sufficient grounds. […]

    What, then, was that which did grievously pain me within, but the newly-made wound, from having that most sweet and dear habit of living together suddenly broken off? […]As, then, I was left destitute of so great comfort in her, my soul was stricken, and that life torn apart as it were, which, of hers and mine together, had been made but one.”

    Likewise, he genuinely loved the mistress he had in his youth - even though he'd cheated on her and ultimately been compelled by circumstance to let her go. Augustine himself talks about the woman "being torn from my side, and my heart being crushed and wounded, so that it drew blood" (Confessions VI 15). He praises her for vowing to know no other man — they had been faithful to each other throughout their liaison, IV 2 — while he himself showed no such self-control, but took another concubine.

    But he had serious hang-ups about his sex life and it is believed that he was at times sort of "extemporizing" his own guilt about having led a lustful earlier life onto the women he'd slept with, associating the female gender with seduction and temptation to sinfulness in the process.

    As a young man, Augustine had this famous phrase from The Confessions which he'd prayed to God, that went: "Lord, make me chaste (sexually pure) – but not yet!" I think that says it all really.

    It's a common trait in male misogyny throughout history. Rather than just face facts that their a horny bloke with obsessive erotic desires that they need to accept and deal with, these guys effectively blamed the women for enticing them in the first place with their 'dangerous' feminine wiles.

    The whole idea of the femme fatale arises from this perverse logic i.e.: it's not my fault that I want to have sex with you or oogle at your voluptuous breasts, oh no! It is your fault for being so damn sexy, you wily female devil! Tempting me like you did poor Adam with the forbidden fruit! Cover up - you whore! Or ideas to that effect :mad:

    As one scholar explained:

    This Augustine who had made love to women and perhaps to men, who could not control his own sexual problems, who was constantly torn between lust and frustration, who could in all sincerity pray: ‘Give me chastity . . . . , but not yet!’ (Confessions 8,7), who only became devout after he had ravished whores to his heart's content, when his weakness for women, as so often happens to older men in later life, turned into the opposite . . . , this Augustine created the classic patristic doctrine on sin, a morality in which especially sexual desire was condemned. Augustine has influenced Christian morality decisively, as well as the sexual frustrations of millions of Europeans unto our own day.” (K. Deschner, De Kerk en haar Kruis, Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam 1974, pp. 326-327).​
     
    #31 Vouthon, Mar 3, 2018
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  12. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    The Kingdom of God, Jesus made clear before Pilate, is not a temporal reality this side of the Eschaton for which his disciples could "fight" to create (as with an earthly realm) [John 18]. According to Christ's testimony in the Gospel of Luke the kingdom is "not coming with things that can be observed, neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!" [Luke 17:21].

    To subject this to expectations of fulfilment within a secular paradise is to equate the City of God with the City of Man, in the Church's eyes. As such, we do not anticipate an earthly Kingdom of God with a physical reign of Jesus in person, nor do we anticipate a secular messianism.

    As Pope St. Gregory VII (1081) once wrote:


    "Who does not know that kings and dukes had their rulership from those who, not knowing God, strove from blind greed and intolerable presumption to dominate their equals, namely mankind, by pride, rapine, perfidy, murder, and crimes of all sorts, urged on by the ruler of the world, i.e., the devil?...

    For His Son (Jesus), even as He is undoubtingly believed to be God and man despised a secular kingdom, which makes the sons of this world swell with pride, and came of His own will to the priesthood of the cross...

    Therefore all Christians who desire to reign with Christ should be warned not to strive to rule through ambition of worldly power
    ..."

    (Gregory VII 1081: 552; see also Poole 1920: 201, fn. 5)

    If I might quote Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 5:17-18, where he explains how we are waiting,

    "for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal."

    The highest Catholic goal is to attain the "Beatific Vision" - essentially our answer to nibbana and this is a spiritual reality:

    Beatific vision - Wikipedia

    Catholic Treasury | Everlasting Life

    Fr Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. (1877 - 1964):

    It is impossible for man to find that true happiness, which he desires naturally, in any limited good: pleasures, riches, honor, glory, power, knowledge. Our mind, noticing at once the limits of these goods, conceives a higher good and carries us on to desire that higher good. We must repeat: Our will, illumined by our intelligence, has a depth without measure, a depth which only God can fill.

    Supernatural beatitude, which we are now speaking of, surpasses immeasurably the natural exigencies of every created nature, even the highest angelic natures. This supernatural beatitude consists in sharing the very beatitude of God, that beatitude whereby He rejoices in knowing Himself and loving Himself for all eternity. Truly, the depth of our will is such that only God, seen face to face, can fill that depth and draw the soul irresistibly.

    St. Augustine speaks as follows, repeating his conversation with his mother at Ostia: "All within us cries out: 'We made not ourselves, but the Eternal One made us.' If, after this word, all things were silent, and He Himself alone would speak to us, no longer through them, but by Himself: if then our soul, lifting itself on the wings of thought up to eternal wisdom, could retain unbroken this sublime contemplation: if all other thoughts of the spirit had ceased and this alone had absorbed the soul, and filled it with joy, the most intimate and the most divine: if eternal life resembled this ravishment in God which we experience for a moment: would this not be the consummation of that word: 'Enter thou into the joy of Thy Lord'?" [563]

    In truth, celestial beatitude is the consummation of that transforming union, spoken of by St. Theresa and St. John of the Cross, the consummation of that vision wherein the just soul is deified in its very depths. In heaven this fusion will take place by immediate vision and consequent love.

    By its intuitive and immediate character it is immeasurably superior to all knowledge that is discursive and analogical, which does not reach God except by using His effects as principle. This intuitive vision is higher than all abstraction, all reasoning, and all analogy. It is immediate intuition of the supreme reality of the living God. Hence it surpasses by far all vision, even the intellectual visions which the great mystics receive here on earth.

    Between God and ourselves there will be not even an intermediary idea, [566] because all created ideas, even infused ideas, however elevated, can be only limited participations in the truth, and cannot therefore represent God as He is in Himself: supreme Being, infinite Truth, Wisdom without measure, infinite and luminous source of all knowledge. No created idea could ever represent as He is in Himself Him who is thought itself. Thus the child's cup cannot contain the ocean. [567]

    Further, we cannot express our contemplation in one word, even in an interior word, in a mental word, because this word, being created and finite, cannot express the Infinite as He is in Himself. This contemplation without medium absorbs us in some sense in God, leaving us without a word to express it, because only one word can express perfectly the divine essence, namely, the Word begotten from all eternity from the Father. The divine essence itself, sovereignly intelligible, more intimate to us than we ourselves are, will take the place of all created ideas, impressed and expressed. [568] In the order of knowledge we cannot conceive one more intimate than this, even though it be distinguished by different degrees.

    Of what worth is a temporal kingdom here on earth in comparison with the Beatific Vision so described?
     
    #32 Vouthon, Mar 3, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
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  13. michael lesueur

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    Well I disagree; all have sinned, so that same all need salvation, and my view of salvation is not greedy.
     
  14. michael lesueur

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    In Acts 2:17 is a promise for God to " Pour out his Spirit on ALL flesh." This is so encouraging that I take it literal ; literal salvation for us all. Why should anyone be left out?
     
  15. michael lesueur

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    In John 12:32 Jesus makes a prophecy that is stunning to my understanding; " If I be lifted up from the earth, I will " Draw" ALL men to me!" I believe he meant if they killed him on that cross that he would save everyone! Interestingly he got killed , but there has yet to be a time in human history that Jesus drew everyone to him; so I think its a future event to come. Still, its such a wonderful universal scripture that includes us all, it includes those that religion does not include.

    Interestingly the term " Draw" used in the text, is a Greek word " Helkuo", that means to " Drag!" Wow, Jesus is saying he will drag humanity to him, which over rides submission or will. Kind of changes the meaning there does it not?
     
  16. Shaul

    Shaul Well-Known Member

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    If by “Bible” you really meant the Christian Bible then no. Christian theology is clear believe and be saved or reject and be lost. On the other hand, the Jewish Bible allows for universal participation in a meritorious after live.p, save for some few that are unrepentantly and knowingly evil (think Hitler for example). It isn’t “salvation” since Judaism doesn’t share the “original sin” concept with Christianity. So ther is no need to be “saved”.
     
  17. michael lesueur

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    Well I have different views ; for example, I do not view Christians as " Owning the bible", so the expression" Christian bible " I do not accept. The bibles I use have no Christian copy rights to them. I view the bible as a book for all of humanity , as I do salvation. Too many religions try to take individual responsibility for things belonging to humanity. Its one reason they find it hard to share.
     
  18. michael lesueur

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    In Isaiah 52:10 it states that ALL the earth " Shall see" the salvation of God! Why would God show us all, and not include us all?
     
  19. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    Yeah, I'm not too fond of Aristotle as you might imagine. Speaking as a Buddhist: Aristotle tried to nail things down too precisely for Buddhism's tastes.

    However, given that I was favorable to Epicurean ethics before embracing Buddhism- I never much cared for Aristotle. Epicurus and Aristotle wrote polemics back and forth according to historians, but they are today lost.

    We know enough to piece together what their contentions were. Epicurus believed Aristotle had a low view on humanity, since he was indeed an idealist. He also thought Aristotle was wrong to ground Eudaemonia in ethics, rather than vice versa.

    Yep I'm aware. As much as I admire Stoic philosophy in ways- I sure don't that. Actually, Cicero reflects what likely would have been the disdain for any man that advocated female equality in ancient Rome, when he says Epicurus only took female disciples because he was charmed by their wiles and beautiful speech. They couldn't have envisioned a man in his right mind actually advocating equality of the sexes.

    As you doubtless know, Epicurus was exemplar in this regard. He not only admitted women to his ranks, but also slaves. Educating slaves was a huge social taboo in the Hellenic world, as a court might set an educated slave free.

    That's interesting. Didn't Augustine once say something along the lines of the Virgin Mary being the only virtuous and admirable woman?

    Very true. We see it still in Sharia theocracies.

    This about says it all really, so I'd be interested to see a Jehovah's Witness respond.
     
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  20. michael lesueur

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    Women did seem to be an active part of Christ ministry.
     
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