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My Story: Universalism

Universalism: a compromise

For a short time I would say that I accepted an idea known as Universalism. This is the idea that there is a God who created us and that perhaps there is some good information about Him we can learn from the Bible. However, it holds that He loves us all, and whether or not we have the perfect theology or even the correct religion we can still go to heaven.

This idea helps solves issues like: what about those who haven’t heard. Or what about babies? Or for some, what about aborted babies? It allows that all of us can be saved either by God’s overall love applied to everyone, or at least by being good people.

This to me made sense. If God is really a loving God than how could he let anyone go to hell.

I know the argument that God wants us to love Him and thus he gave us a free will. How can it be truly love if we can’t freely choose whether we love him or not right?

This to me if logically flawed.

If I have a son who is playing with a ball and the ball goes into a busy street. I call out to him and beg for him not to run into the street to retrieve his ball. He doesn’t listen to me. I want him to. It would be rewarding and considered a sign of love for him to simply trust me and not run into the street.

However, he is smaller than I am and less developed. He doesn’t understand how the world works and that big cars can crush little people. He doesn’t see the big picture. He is unable to look past the momentary pleasure of running for his ball. So he does.

What is the most loving thing for me to do? If you say leave him be and let him go on his own you are an evil person. I would chase him down and against his will snatch him from the traffic despite all his protests in order to protect his life.

How do we not apply this same logic to God? How is it more loving for God to let us choose to love Him on our own rather than forcibly saving us from the fire of hell?

If this road I am on is taking me away from God, and God and hell are real, wouldn’t it be a more loving thing for God to forcibly change my direction than to let me continue down this supposedly destructive path?

Somehow very few Christians I talk to seem to be able to grasp this concept. for the Calvinists, they simply say “god choose some for heaven and some for hell”. Sounds like a terrible God if you ask me. The argument is that God’s greatest purpose is to bring honor to his name. This is not considered vain because he indeed is the greatest being. Therefore he deserves it. And it is ultimately good for those who believe, because being in the glory of the greatest being there is would be the greatest joy a person could experience. But what about those who he condemns to hell? Isn’t that a pathetic being that needs to burn people in hell against their will in order to make himself great? Especially since he created a vast universe in which those people are a minuscule speck, how insecure can he be that he needs to condemn these little insignificant beings to eternal torment to feed his ego? This is completely illogical to being with, and if true it would indicate a psychotic supreme being at best, not a loving one in whom to put out trust.

Let’s revisit the logic of hell next…

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27 thoughts on “My Story: Universalism

  1. I really like this. I believe that if a god really created us, then he created all of us – including all the people that believe in different religions. If he created us that way, how can he punish us for that? That doesn’t seem like a very loving OR fair god.

  2. Interesting topic. God – the Supreme Being. Unconditionally loving. And yes,we do have free will to believe or not. If God intervened in our choices that would make a mockery of free will, would it not? We are here as spiritual beings having a human experience so we can learn, grow, experience. And create our reality. Mine will be different to yours and everybody else’s because I Am unique. As are you. For me religions, be they eastern, western or in between, are man made and as a consequence have all the flaws and foibles of any large organisation.Spirituality, on the other hand, is a very close, intimate and personal relationship with God. That’s me in a bit of a nutshell 🙂

    1. Personally I find free will of little importance. If my free will causes me to make poor decisions that could effect my eternity wouldn’t it be more living for God to step in and forcibly chance my decisions. I say that It would be.

      1. Not so sure about that.As a parent if I step in and intervene when my child makes poor decisions, how will they ever learn to think for themselves, grow to be strong,mature and independent? As for the effect poor decisions have on eternity, that’s a whole other big issue. Depends what your values and beliefs about that are. we may have to agree to disagree on this one 🙂

        1. wow so you would let your poor innocent 3 year old who has no concept of danger or right and wrong, step in front of a car to “learn a lesson”? I guess were you to actually allow this to happen, you’d have a few years in prison to contemplate the morality of your argument.

          1. Taking the concept a bit far there, my friend.There is always a balance of right and wrong, discernment and loving your child enough to enable safe learning.

  3. I didn’t vote ‘cos I thought the choices limiting. I grew up in a Christian home, still hold those values, but have moved away from the ‘religion’ aspect of it. Not sure where that puts me on the poll. Just another quick thought – I think we tend to put God into a box that is very limiting. He/She is far more than we can even begin to comprehend.

  4. Let me take a swing at this for you. Let’s start with John 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

    In other words, if you accepted God and His salvation through Jesus, you’re in the lifeboat. If you don’t believe and accept an invitation into the lifeboat, you’re already condemned, already in the ocean that will drown you.

    Your contention that a loving God would force salvation on everyone, is contradictory to free will in the first place. Allowing free will for a lifetime and then relenting and taking it away at the last is not, ultimately, free will. As to babies and people who have never heard God’s Word – I don’t think ANYONE can make that judgment. My personal opinion, is that infants – especially the aborted ones, are taken to heaven. Kids were special to Jesus; “Allow the little children to come to me.” As for adults who haven’t been exposed, I can see arguments going both ways. I could present both, but ultimately I don’t know, so that would be pointless. God knows infinitely more than we and so can judge infinitely better than we.

    I know St, Paul exhorts us to work on our own salvation “with fear & trembling.” How the mysteries of God and the universe work are beyond me. I do know how I am supposed to pursue a relationship with Jesus. I also know how to tell others. That’s the whole point of my blog; help others find their way.

    I hope & pray this gets you just a bit further along in your journey.

    1. What about evidence for God and his plan outside of the Bible? Or if the Bible is our evidence what is our evidence that it is accurate and reliable from independent verified sources outside of itself?

      1. I would encourage you to get The Exodus Case by Dr. Lennart Moller. He examines archeological finds that support a literal reading of the book of Exodus. I did a very superficial review of it starting 10/22/14 (there are some other posts mixed in; there are 7 posts for it). Here’s a link to a recent find I just learned of yesterday regarding one of Jesus’ miracles: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3368652/Is-Jesus-performed-Miracle-Swine-1-600-year-old-Hebrew-slab-points-site-Kursi-Christ-exorcised-man-possessed-demons.html . Look at my recent post Digging the Bible. There is a lot of archeology out there relating to the bible, but mainstream media doesn’t cover it; you have to look. Ultimately, no matter what evidence we find, there’s still that leap of faith. Again, I can’t recommend The Exodus Case highly enough!!

  5. Loved your brief comments on Calvinistic doctrine. I think the problem with most systematic theologies like Calvinism is that it focuses everything upon the question of “how am I saved”. This is not a question the Bible wrestles with at all. The Bible is the story of how God initiates and develops a relationship with a person who becomes a nation who brings forth a King who extends rule over the whole world. The Bible never talks about “how to go to heaven”. In fact Jesus said no-one goes to heaven except him. Look it up. Our destiny is earth, and our job is to make it a better place, with His help.
    Calvinism tries to make God’s relationship with his people into a math problem that Calvin conveniently “solves” for us.

    1. interesting concept, I actually still think that Calvinism is the only way you can get away with saying the Bible is an inerrant cohesive whole with zero errors. However, if you have a more open minded interpretation of the Bible, I think other view points make God a much more favorable amiable being.

  6. Another possible option.
    I believe the concept of Heaven and Hell has more to do with our relationship to/ separation from God. Since God is love, heaven is to be close to him, hell to be far from him.
    I think rather than him sending us to our destinations in the spirit world we go of our own accord, some running to his arms, some cowering in guilt, others, sin drenched, respond as one drenched in gasoline to fire. The light of his love would destroy them.
    As for God I believe he desires us all to be close to him. That’s why he sent Jesus. (As a teacher I always had a soft spot for the “blow it” or the “wayward child”. It’s my observation that he does too – think about some of the folks he hung out with!) Love can never be forced, hence the free will.
    I know this is a simple childlike concept but Jesus sure liked children and they seemed to like him too.

      1. Yes, I read Rob Bells “Love Wins” and liked it. It was a helpful confirmation for me and good application of scripture that supported what I was believing on many points. I think Bell was brave to put out the book as it flies in the face of many fundamentalists and he got a lot of flack about it.
        I agree, the idea of eternal torment doesn’t gel with a God of love.
        Also, I for one, would not feel good enjoying Heaven if I knew others were enduring eternal torment. I’d want to help save them. I suspect Heaven will be far from a luxury vacation, more of a home base from which to launch campaigns against evil and healing of the nations.

  7. My thoughts are simple, this comment probably won’t make past moderation!

    We have conflicting interest;

    in the fact there is no, i mean NO god!

    Just a little something which humanity had made up!

    With the church jumping all over it…

    cheers chris

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