The False Doctrine of Universal Transformation

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by ReformedBaptist, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    Finding a Universalist. A reply to Rodger Tutt.

    I found this man via a discussion board and read his story, as told by himself, and found the following on this website. He is an advocate of universalism today, and apparantly was once greatly bothered by the doctrine of eternal damnation. Apparantly, according to his testimony, he suffered mental breakdowns which he says were the result of this doctrine and became an agnostic. He then says he read a lot of books, listen to a lot of teaching tapes, and became a convinced universalist.

    I found his example interesting of what the Scriptures referes to as false teachers. "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." 2 Peter 2:1 What is ironically sad about his story, is that it was his fear of eternal damnation that he claims led him to the doctrine of universalism, but it will be his doctrine of universalism that will bring him to eternal damnation, unless he repents.

    I found a few statements of his from his website. He claims no one can refute his teaching. Of course, this is not true, but let the reader judge.


    Apparantly Rodger is referring to Romans 9 to refer to chosen vessels of dishonor. His claim is regarding those who feel motivated to defend the doctrine of endless hell. In other words, Rodger begins writing to his readers with character assassination. Pretty typical. But it is "regardless as to how righteous the rest of their life appears to be."

    This is contrary to the Scriptures brethren, which teach "If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him." 1 John 2:29 and again, "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous." 1 John 3:7

    And who are the ones chosen to salvation and those are chosen vessels of dishonor according to Romans 9? "What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith." Romans 9:30 It those who believe into the Lord Jesus who have the righteousness which is of faith, that is, the righteousness of Christ. Rodger wants to make the distinction on the doctrine of eternal damnation when the Scripture makes it on the doctrine of justification.

    Just because Rodger suffered mental instability because of his own philosophical issues does not mean that all mankind are equally affected. It is true that others have struggled with these things, but not to the point of a mental breakdown like Rodger did. Furthermore, what is the greatest manisfestation of God's grace? Is it not the salvation of sinners from His wrath? God's purpose in election is, "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ." Ephesians 1:10-12 The elect of God do not go stark-raving mad, we go to worship Him who redeemed us by His blood.


    This is a claim that can be judged of all who have the ability to read the Bible. Does the Bible teach universal transformation inlcuding fallen angels? "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." Revelation 20:10 "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Rev 20:15


    Actually, He won't because He has already revealed His doctrine in Holy Scripture. Do you now see the folly of departing from the Scriptures? God's grace is indeed undefeatable. But His redemption is made for the elect alone.

    This is a mix of good teaching and false teaching. It is good because it recognizes the limitation of the will of man to desire. It is good because it seems to highlight the sovereignty of God. But it is false because, while God works all things together for the good of certain ones, it for His elect. "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will." Eph 1:11 And again, "And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." Romans 8:27-29

    Again, this is an attempt at the doctrine of Providence and Sovereignty, but ends up making God the author of sin. It ignores the use of second causes. A better statement of such things is, "God hath decreed in himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein; nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established; in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree." 2nd LBCF.

    Effectively, Rodger has made "wrong attitudes" the unpardonable sin. His claim is that they cannot be forgiven. His statements regarding the atonement of Christ appear to be a denal of penal substitution. He also misunderstand discipline and punishment. The Lord correct His chosen. But He punishes the wicked. The elect will never be punished for their sins because Christ was punished for them. And so God the Father has justified them. "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Romans 3:24 "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." Romans 5:9 "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth." Romans 8:33

    Again, the last statement is a misunderstanding of the Sovereignty of God. Rodger is effectly using a form of fatalism to excuse himself from his responsibility before and Almighty and All Holy God. He also here is exalting his opinion to be an accurate refelection of biblical teaching. Which means, this is his statement of faith, or creed.

    God has always held men accuntable to His word. Consider,
    "Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God." Matt 22:29 To whom did Jesus speak this? To the Saddusees who knew and read the Scriptures. And they were rebuked for not understanding it and teaching contrary to it. Rodger seems to want to lay the blame of his interpretation upon the Sovereignty of God, or else give weight to them for the same reason.
     
  2. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    Part 2

    How contrary to the example of the apostles and their teaching. "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine..." counseled the Apostle Paul to Timothy. And, "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure..." 1 Peter 1:10 And again, "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God." Heb 3:12

    Rodger is taking his rest in a doctrine not found in the Scriptures, but found contrary to the Scriptures. He wants people to believe that his opinions are accurate reflections of the doctrines of Christ and His apostles, but everywhere they are against him. This is a very, very dangerous position. Consider well his testimony. He went from reaching "the mission field" to reaching insanity and then to Agnostism. From Agnostisim he embraced Universalism by reading books and listening to tapes. Nowhere in his testimony exists anything regarding his regeneration or faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Apparantly, this man has never known the Lord at all.

    What is it then? Do you not see how unstable the man was? Do you not see how unlearned in the Scriptures? Does not the Scripture apply here which says, "...they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." 2 Peter 3:16

    We should mark well the words of Jude in verses 3 and 4

    Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
     
  3. Andre

    Andre
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,870
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why do you seem to think that a person who believes in universalism is necessarily lost. Let's say that we agree that the doctrine is false. Are we not justified by things other than what we believe about whether all will eventually be saved?

    I suggest that a contextual study of Romans 9 shows that the issue of the eternal fates of individuals is not even on Paul's mind here. The subject of Romans 9 is Israel and Paul uses the potter and his pot metaphor to refer to national Israel and God's treatment of her. There may be other texts that deal with the "election" of individuals to salvation or to loss, but Romans 9 is not one of them.
     
  4. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    Either man's philosophy is right (universalism), or the words of Jesus:

    John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    Both cannot be right. Jesus did not preach universalism. He clearly stated that He was the only way to heaven, and without going through him, one would be condemned.
    Who is right? Man's philosophy or Christ?
    I choose Christ.
     
  5. Andre

    Andre
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,870
    Likes Received:
    0
    There are lots of thing that Jesus did not preach - separation of church and state for example. But I do not assume that someone who believes in this separation is necessarily lost.
     
  6. bound

    bound
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    664
    Likes Received:
    0
    All that I can say is "Lord have mercy".

    I've been in a lot of discussions and I can sympathize with the individual but we've got to come to the foot of the cross with no conditionals. Regardless, I say "Lord have mercy".
     
  7. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    The question is not "What did Jesus not preach?"
    But rather, "What did he preach?"

    He preached that salvation was only through Him.
    He is "the way, the truth and the life."
    There is no other way but through Christ.
    He that believeth on him hath life; he that believeth not is condemned.

    These statements refute universalism soundly. We have only to look as far as what Jesus did preach to know that the philosophy of man is wrong, that universalism is just another of man's heresies that contradict the Word of God.
     
  8. Andre

    Andre
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,870
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree that universalism is wrong, but it is not refuted specifically by making the (correct) case that Jesus is the only door to salvation.

    One could counter by agreeing with this assertion and yet arguing that, for example, people beyond the grave might get a "second chance" or that people can be saved through Jesus and not know it, etc.

    But I am inclined to believe that universalism is indeed untrue.
     
  9. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    To your first comment I answer: How then is a man justified before God?

    To your second comment it just not pass muster. The text has the elect of God in view. If by Israel you mean the true Israel, the elect of God, then sure. These are the vessels unto honor. Pharoah, one man, is given as an example of a vessel unto dishonor, a vessel of wrath. There are vessels of wrath (the KJV makes it plural) and vessels of honor.

    The vessels of honor are the called, the elect of God. Carry the context of the passage further, and the word is night thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart. 10:8 That is thou...singular...confess with thy mouth...v9

    And the context before Romans 9

    And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 8:28

    The elect are the called.

    For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

    What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

    us = the called, the justified, the predestined, the conformed, the glorified.

    He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

    us = the called, the justified, the predestined, the conformed, the glorified.

    Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.

    God's elect = the justifed, the called, the predestined, the conformed, the glorifed.

    Romans 9 begins with Paul expressing his pastoral and evangelical heart for the salvation of Jews. He takes his comfort, not in what he sees...many unbelieving Jews, but in the Promise of God. And the Holy Spirit by him announces that the children are those who are of the promise, not those of the flesh. Then is Jacob and Esau set before our eyes. Why? To magnify the purpose of God according to His election.

    The example of the potter and of Pharoah are to illustrate God's sovereignty according to His election, whether of salvation or of reprobation. God endures with longsuffering the vessels of destruction. But He prepares before (afore) the vessels of mercy, showing His acts in election and reprobation are not the same, but different.

    And then we come again to Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

    Who are the called? They are the elect, the predestined, the justified, the conformed, the glorified, both Jew and Gentile.
     
    #9 ReformedBaptist, Aug 1, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2008
  10. Andre

    Andre
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,870
    Likes Received:
    0
    By faith in Jesus Christ.

    The Romans 9 text, I claim, is widely misunderstood as dealing with the election of individuals. I think the evidence is clear that it does not even address this question. I am happy to discuss this text at length. Romans 9 has nothing to do with the pre-destination of individuals and everything to do with the election of national Israel, not to "heaven" or "hell", but rather to playing a specific role in God's plan of redemption:

    The case for this being about Israel is multi-faceted. In this post, I will address one aspect of that case.

    One of the many reasons is this: there is scriptural precedent to the use of the potter and his clay pot as a Biblical metaphor. In these precedents, the issue is always Israel, or groups of Jews within Israel, and Gods' right, just like the potter, to mold her as He pleases. As just one example, we have this from Isaiah, where the prophet writes about the people of the Jewish city of Ariel

    The Lord says:
    "These people come near to me with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
    Their worship of me
    is made up only of rules taught by men.

    14 Therefore once more I will astound these people
    with wonder upon wonder;
    the wisdom of the wise will perish,
    the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."

    15 Woe to those who go to great depths
    to hide their plans from the LORD,
    who do their work in darkness and think,
    "Who sees us? Who will know?"

    16 You turn things upside down,
    as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
    Shall what is formed say to him who formed it,
    "He did not make me"?
    Can the pot say of the potter,
    "He knows nothing
    "?


    Paul knows the old Testament and in Romans 9, he is clearly using the language of verse 16 about the clay pot "talking back" to the potter.

    In Romans 9, the clay pot is Israel as it is in Isaiah. Paul has nothing to say in Romans 9 about the issue of people being elected to salvation or to loss.

    And we have this from Jeremiah, which is even more connected to Romans 9 in that it specifically has God "marring" Israel - which parallels the hardening of national that is described in Romans 9 and then explained in Romans 11 where it becomes evident that the "marring" of Israel in the hands of God has salvific effect for the world. Here is the text from Jeremiah 18:

    This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD : 2 "Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message." 3 So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
    5 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 6 "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

    Paul knows what he is doing in Romans 9 - he is drawing on the long tradition of the relation between God and Israel being likened to the relationship between a potter and his pot.
     
  11. Andre

    Andre
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,870
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Pharoah example works much better with the explanation that the text is not dealing with eternal destinies at all, but rather with God acting in the here and now to effect a great act of redemption.

    Is Paul telling us that Pharoah was hardened so that he, as an individual, will ultimately be lost? I doubt it. Pharoah was hardened to oppose the release of the Jews, thereby setting the stage for a great act of redemption - the exodus - that would indeed justify this statement:

    "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth"

    Decide for yourself - is God's power "displayed so that His name will be proclaimed in all the earth" by sending Pharoah to hell? Or is God's power "displayed so that His name will be proclaimed in all the earth" by rescuing the Jews from Egypt in a great act of covenant faithfulness?

    I will go with answer number 2. What is unique and distinctive about Pharaoh that would motivate Paul to use him as an example? His pre-destination to hell? Well, if pre-destination is indeed true, there are millions who could fit that bill. On the other hand, Pharoah is one of a small number of people in the scriptures who have been hardened to serve God's purposes in this world - in this case, the exodus.

    Paul is comparing Israel to Pharoah - both are hardened to set the stage for a great act of covenant faithfulness: Pharoah is hardened to set up the exodus, Israel is hardened to set up the salvation of all the world. From Romans 11:

    15For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world,....

    The word "their" clearly refers to national Israel.
     
  12. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    Andre,

    I may get to your replies in a day or two. Remember, the Old does not interpret the new, but the New the Old. The New is in the Old concealed, and the Old is in the New revealed. Why use that which is concealed to interpret the revealed?
     
  13. Andre

    Andre
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,870
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am fully aware that we are now on a "tangent" about Romans 9. The issue of precisely who is being "elected" and what the potter and the pot is all about is indeed obliquely related to the subject of the OP. But if management instructs to get off the Romans 9 bit, I will of course comply.

    Another reason to see that Paul is talking about the election, not of individuals, but of national Israel has to do with Paul's reference to Moses and all that this entails.

    In Romans 9 we have this:

    What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."

    Paul is quoting from Exodus 33:

    And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion

    Yet earlier in the very same exchange (from Exodus) we have this;

    So Moses went back to the LORD and said, "Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. 32 But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written."

    Now note what Paul has said at the very beginining of Romans 9:

    3For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, 4the people of Israel

    Paul is taking the exact same stance as Moses did - pleading for the nation of Israel and willing to be sacrificed in their stead.

    It should be clear, then, that when Paul quotes the bit of having "mercy on whom I will have mercy", the context is the treatment of Israel, as was the case with Moses, not the issue of pre-destination of individuals. Paul echoes Moses here in being willing to be cursed instead of Israel. God's treatment of the nation of Israel is what is on Paul's mind, not the matter of election of individuals.

    So when Paul then writes of the potter, there is every reason to believe that he is underscoring that the issue is the right of the potter (God) to fashion Israel as a vessel fitted for destruction, even if Paul (and Moses) passionately would be willing to bear that destiny themselves.
     
  14. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    If this is a "tangent" Andre, then it is best left off until one or the other is of a better mind to dialogue.
     
    #14 ReformedBaptist, Aug 4, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2008
  15. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    The one and only sin that keeps a person out of heaven is the rejection of Jesus Christ as Savior.

    John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    If you believe you are not condemned; if you do not believe you are already condemned. These are the words of Christ himself.
    Arguing from this point of view, there is no second chance, and a person can hardly be saved without knowing it. There is only one way. The gospel message is not complicated. It is simple. But it does require a basic understanding, and a conscience belief in its message.

    When Christ says he is the only way:
    That automatically excludes all Muslims who deny that Christ is the way,
    All Hindus that avow that Christ is simply one of many ways,
    All Buddhists that believe in a very similar way regarding Jesus as the Hindus.

    To say, as the Bible says, that salvation is only of Christ, puts an end to universalism immediately.
     

Share This Page

Loading...