Christian Universalism?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by reformedbeliever, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. reformedbeliever

    reformedbeliever
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    I don’t think there are many universalist among the Baptist. I have read that the General Baptist of England adopted universalism, and the Particular Baptist became hyper Calvinist. My question for all, ( Calvinist or Arminian) is how we can reconcile that God would send anyone to hell for an eternity. If God is all knowing (and He is), why would he allow someone to come into existence knowing that they would never believe? We have the problem of an omni benevolent God allowing such a thing. There are those who believe that an eternal place of torment for unbelievers does not exist. They say that Matt 25:46, for one, is misinterpreted to mean eternal punishment. Here is one web site of one who believes this way. http://www.tentmaker.org/
    I do believe that those who never respond in faith will spend eternity in hell by the way. I believe that hell is for God’s glory also. This is just for discussion.
     
  2. Jarthur001

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    Hello Reformed

    You may be asking this the wrong way. Why should God have mercy on any of us? After all, we are all no good for nothing sinners? What did David say? What is man that thou are mindful of him?


    In Christ...James
     
  3. reformedbeliever

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    Oh I agree Jarthur... i'm asking this in light of God's foreknowlede. How can an omnibenevolent God allow any person to come into existence knowing that he would never come to faith in Jesus? Also... comments about the web site?
     
  4. saturneptune

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    All "how can" questions about God can not be answered because he is the Creator, we are not. You are basing the question on the premise that you understand the defintion of "fair" in the eyes of God, which none of us knows.

    James has as close to the right answer as man can get. The end times must be near, James and I agreed on a subject.
     
  5. J.D.

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    I see you use the term "omni benevolent". Interesting. Can that be defended as a basic attribute of God?
     
  6. reformedbeliever

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    Can it JD? Good question. Does God use evil for His purposes? I certainly do not believe God is the author of sin. God does create evil in His righteous judgement.
     
  7. Marcia

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    Since evil is sin and sinful actions, how does God create it, since you say he is not the author of sin?

    I don't believe that God creates evil, btw.

    Also, what do you mean by "omnibenevolent?" Can you give us a definition.
     
  8. Jarthur001

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    Well...i would disagree with this. Evil is not sin...but sin is evil. :)

    God did not make sin.

    God did not make good.



    In Christ...James
     
  9. reformedbeliever

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    Hello Marcia. Read Isaiah 45:7. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.
    Omni = all benevolent = goodness
     
  10. donnA

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    God doesn't send anyone to hell. We have all earned it, God in His mercy provided a way not to go to hell.
    We can not begin to understand, or think we understand, things from God's view.
     
  11. reformedbeliever

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    Hello Donna. Do you agree that God knows all? Did He know who would never come to faith? Why would He allow that person to come into existence? By allowing that person to come into existence, did He send him to hell?
     
  12. Jarthur001

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    :cool: :cool:
    :thumbs:
     
  13. reformedbeliever

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    The reason i'm asking these questions is to point out the view of the Christian universalist. They have a problem of God being good, but allowing people to come into existence knowing they would never believe. They would have a different view of Matt. 25:46. They do not believe the original language is properly interpreted "eternal punishment".
    I'm not a universalist, but I do have that question for God. Why would He allow someone to be punished eternally for a temporal sin? Or better, why did He allow someone to come into existence knowing they would never believe? I think it is good to ask these questions. Don't you think it sharpens the iron? I enjoy theodicy. I like to study contemporary theology, even if it is not my own.
     
  14. Linda64

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    The term "Christian Universalism" is an oxymoron. There is no such "animal". A Universalist cannot be a Christian and a Christian cannot be a Universalist. Here is a brief definitition of Universalism:

    UNIVERSALISM

    The belief that all men are children of God and do not need a personal salvation from sin. The doctrine of universalism is widespread today. Many supposed Christian denominations hold this view, as well as non-Christians. Universalism denies many important doctrines of the Word of God, such as the lost condition of man, the necessity of the new birth, the atonement, and the unique saviorhood of Christ.

    UNIVERSALISM DENIES WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT:

    (1) Man's lost condition (Ro 3:10-18).
    (2) The necessity of the new birth (Joh 3:16).
    (3) The reality of Hell (Mr 9:43-48).
    (4) The Great White Throne Judgment (Re 20:11-15).
    (5) The necessity of Gospel preaching (Mr 16:15-16).

    Way of Life Encyclopedia

    We all deserve hell--hell was created for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). We go to hell because we choose to reject God's gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. (John 3:36)

    But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
     
  15. El_Guero

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    I agree that Christian Universalism is an oxymoron.
     
  16. J. Jump

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    This is a great question and one I have been wrestling with because one of my friends is an annihilationist. They view sin as temporal, but I don't think we can look at it that way nor does God. Let me share with you what I believe the Spirit to have led me to.

    We were created with life that would never end for the purpose of having dominion over the earth. Adam and Eve were created to live forever ruling over the earth. They disqualified themselves through rebellion.

    God has made a way for us to realize what our purpose is, which is to rule and reign. This will take place in the 1,000-year reign of Christ, but it will also take place throughout eternity from the new earth.

    So basically what one is doing is rejecting God's plan of salvation that would eventually put them back into a position humans were created for in the first place.

    So they are really denying their eternal purpose, therefore their punishment would be eternal as well.
     
  17. Marcia

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    I had a feeling you would bring up this verse. :smilewinkgrin: I've had this discussion numerous times on this and other forums.

    The word in that passage translated as "evil" is better translated (I've read) as "calamity." The NASB and ESV use "calamity. The HCSB uses "disaster." So it is not saying that God creates evil. I've read that it means God is sovereign over whatever happens, and also that the calamity is judgment.

    I think God is righteous; I'd rather use that term than "omnibenevolent," which I think can be ambiguous.
     
  18. Marcia

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    How can evil not be sin? What is evil except sin? Can you give an example of evil that is not sin or the result of sin?
     
  19. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Alright...this response is going to be very unpopular, but here goes:

    1. There is no such thing as a Christian Universalist.

    2. God punishes sin because he is Holy and Just. All of his judgments are Holy and Just.

    3. The major question being put forth here is a question that is typically asked of many today, usually in times of great pain, greif and weakness. It is essentially calling into question the character and righteousness of God. Why would God even create us if he knew we were going to sin and therefore, die in our sins. Would we not have been better of if God not created us? It is the same idea that Job's wife and "friends" tried to put in his head. They tried to tell him it would have been better for him if he had never been born and to curse God and die. Apparently, this same question came up in the time of Paul since he addressed it very directly:

    Romans 9:14-23

    In other words, it is not our job to rebuke, question, or correct God about his righteous and sovereign judgments. God is just and Holy. We are not. His ways are above ours and are always right, even if we think they may be wrong. There are basically two rules with God:

    1. God is always Holy, Just, and Right.

    2. If you ever think he might not be, refer back to rule number one.

    Hope this helps.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  20. Hope of Glory

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    This comes back to the verse in Isaiah, but you are quite correct when referring to moral evil.

    BTW, universalism correctly sees such passages as Matthew 25:46 not being everlasting in nature, but they fail to take into account the passages that are everlasting in nature. It's the ironic opposite of those who can only see passages in an everlasting light and don't see the passages that are limited in duration. They both overlook the other passages.
     

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