Author Topic: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?  (Read 3929 times)

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Offline Gary Amirault

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If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« on: March 14, 2008, 12:33:48 AM »
The following article comes from Matt Slick, a Charismatic staunch Calvinist, who runs CARM. He hates universalism and those who embrace it. Since Matt Slick believes those ordained to heaven were ordained from the foundation of the world and there is nothing that can change that and all who are damned to eternal torment were also preordained for such, the following question arises. Here is Matt Slick's response. Someone here might want to write a response to Matt Slick and maybe post it on the CARM discussion boards at carm.org:

 
If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
By Matt Slick, owner of Christian Apologetics and Research Institute.

    Universalism teaches that Jesus died for all people and that all will eventually be saved.  It also teaches that if someone rejects Christ in this life, he can accept Jesus in the next one, even if he is a horrible person who severely blasphemed God.  The danger with this is that based on this principle in universalism, someone could adopt an attitude of complacency who would then choose to live a life of sin and rebellion and wait until the afterlife to become a true believer -- even if there is some "purification" involved in the afterlife.  The obvious problem is that if universalism is wrong and the person hopes to be saved in the next life, he'll face an eternity of hell instead of heaven.  This is an inherent weakness in Universalism.
     CARM has many discussion boards.  One of them is on universalism.  I have raised this issue to them many times and two responses have come forth from:  one is to ignore the point all together and not admit it exists.  The other is to ignore the issue and counter attack.  The most prevalent counterattack against me is a challenge  regarding election (I'm Reformed in theology) and ask that since God's elect cannot be deceived, how can universalism pose a threat to the elect?
     In part, the universalists deflection of the real question is understandable since they desire to defend their position at all costs, a consistent pattern with them.   But, what is amazing is their inability to admit the possible danger in their position.  To them, it is quite impossible to consider anything in universalism to be less than perfect.  This is disconcerting.
     Nevertheless, I'll answer their objection, even though they refuse to address mine, in hopes of encouraging them to actually face the issue and admit the danger.   

     Reformed theology teaches that God elects, from all eternity, those who will be saved and that this election cannot fail; those who are elected to salvation will be saved and only those who wanted to be saved are elected to be saved.  Likewise, it is not possible for the elect to lose their salvation since the cross has made it secure.
     Universalism can contribute to people procrastinating regarding salvation in the here and now in order to wait until the after-life where they have a second chance, an opportunity to be purified in a hell-like state after which they will then be able to go to heaven and be with God forever.  Of course, if universalism is wrong, then those who had erringly put their hope in Universalism's second-chance-in-the-afterlife-belief would be lost forever.  The question then, if election is true, does it really matter regarding universalism's truth or error?
     Yes it does.  First, God does not want error to be taught, regardless of election or not.  Universalism is an error.
     Second, both election and warning against false teachings are taught in the Bible.  Therefore, there is no contradiction since God's word teaches both.

Election:

"And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short," (Matt. 24:22, cf., Mark 13:20).

" . . . so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect," (Matt. 24:24, cf., Mark 13:22).

"And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other," (Matt. 24:31, cf., Mark 13:27).

"now shall not God bring about justice for His elect, who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?" (Luke 18:7).

"Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies," (Rom. 8:33).

Warning against false teaching

"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves," (Matt. 7:15).

". . .See to it that no one misleads you.  "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many," (Matt. 24:4-5; cf, Luke 21:8).

See also Acts 20:29; 2 Cor. 11:13; Eph. 4:14

     Therefore, for the universalist to think that the two issues are contradictory in any way is unwarranted because the Bible teaches both concepts.
     "The subject of election is God, who chooses on the basis of his sovereign will for his creation. Associated with election are theological terms such as 'predestination,' 'providence,' and 'covenant.'"1  The elect are God's chosen people who were set apart from the foundation of the universe to be saved, to belong to God.  So, if this is true how can I consistently warn people against the errors of universalism?  Actually, if the universalists wanted to be consistent, why would I warn anyone about anything?  Shouldn't I just sit around and do nothing because God will take care of it all regarding the elect?  The answer is simple.  God ordains the means as well as the ends in election. He uses Christians, freed from sin, to do His sovereign will according to His command to refute error and make disciples.

"Holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict," (Titus 1:9).

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations. . . " (Matt. 28:19).

"For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur" (Acts 4:28).

     Obviously God wants people to refute error, to make disciples, yet it is He who predestines people.  How does this work?  I am not sure.  But God has it under control.  Furthermore, we do not know the criteria by which God elects, but elect He does. The Bible teaches that plainly. It is not, however, based in anything good in us for there is nothing good in us; we are sinners.  That is why God shows no partiality; that is, He does not elect based on anything in us.
     Also, God says the prayers of a righteous man (Christian) can accomplish much with Him (James 5:16). How can that be if He predestines all things (Eph. 1:1-11; Rom. 8:28-29)?  I don't know. But, He predestines and He instructs us to pray because it makes a difference with Him. How does that work?  Again, I do not know and I cannot explain the mind of God.  But, God predestines, commands us to be careful about false teaching, and instructs us to go make disciples?
     Is it contradictory to say that God elects and that our prayers can influence Him?  Not at all, since both are true in scripture.  Furthermore, I absolutely believe that God predestines (Eph. 1:1-11; Acts 4:28) and I believe my prayers and efforts (i.e., CARM) make a difference. In fact, I am far more evangelical than most people: I've literally got thousands of hours in evangelism experience, preaching, teaching, witnessing, apologetics, web, radio, etc, and I have many testimonials how the efforts have made a difference in peoples' lives.  This all goes to prove one very important point:  God ordains the means as well as the end.
     It isn't up to me to figure out all the nuances of God's mind and how all of it fits together. I leave that to Him and I go forth in obedience to His declaration (predestination/election) and His command (make disciples).

A possible explanation

     Alright, so I've pleaded ignorance, in part, on this subject.  Nevertheless, I offer a possible explanation of how this can work.   

God's total knowledge eternally encompasses all actions of all beings and all possible and actual permutations of all events of all things.
This means that from before the universe existed, in the mind of God, all potential existences and all potential combinations of all events were already known and understood by God; hence, true omniscience.
This would include all things done by "free will" creatures anytime and anyplace in the then distant future under all actual and potential circumstances.
Since all things have eternally been simultaneously known by God (even the "free will" choices made by all people), then, when He planned the universe, it is necessarily true that all things which were known and consulted by God were included in His plan of election as He placed people in and where He did according to His sovereign will to "do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur" (Acts 4:28).
It cannot be that God remains ignorant on any subject. When He created the universe He did so knowing everything that could and would be. Since He is all powerful, it is natural to state that He included all possible outcomes in His sovereign plan, including election. This election may or may not be influenced by foreknowledge concerning our actions and desires.
This plan can easily include our prayers and the resulting ramifications of the teaching of false doctrines that damn people.   
Our prayers can, then, have an influence with Him from all eternity, yet, He has not changed from all eternity. The only way that this can be is if He knew everything about everything and included what He desired in the universe that He constructed and set in motion.
It is perfectly logical, therefore, that in our time reference, we can make choices, influence God, be warned about apostasy and false doctrines, and actually truly make a difference in people's lives (for good or bad), and have all these things sovereignly included in the plan of God by which He elects and predestines.  This way, the idea of a false doctrine damning and God's election are not mutually exclusive.
In other words, God knew all that what we would do (good and bad) and took it all into account when He constructed the universe and put us in it and developed His sovereign plan by which He has predestined what will occur.  After all it says that ". . .He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will," (Eph. 4:5).  Is this predestination apart from His infinite knowledge of our influence upon Him (James 5:16) from all eternity?  Of course not.
Therefore, what we do makes a difference in the lives of people.  False doctrines are still dangerous and are to be warned against -- the outcome, of which, are included in God's sovereign plan of election.  He still predestines, we still can influence God in our prayers (James 5:16) and God's warning about apostasy and false doctrines are still valid.
Objections answered

     But, some universalists will object that the doctrine of election can cause the very same thing of which universalism is accused; namely, a false sense of security in salvation.  Certainly, this is a possibility.  But, the Bible says that God elects (Matt. 24:22,31), that His sheep will never perish (John 10:28), that those who say they know Jesus and do not keep His word are liars without the truth (1 John 2:4), and that the Christian is a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17): "Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."  It is this last verse that is extremely relevant here. 
     Being a new creature in Christ means that the Christian is no longer a slave of sin (Rom. 6:16).  He is now free.  A true Christian will not use the grace of God to sin (Rom. 6:1-3) and expect to be saved no matter what.  Why?  Because a true Christian is at war with the flesh (Rom. 7) and does not remain in sin (John 8:31; James 2:14).
     But, the very fact that the universalists bring up this counter-argument is an admission of the weakness of their own for they recognize it and try to apply it to a different situation as a means of defense.   In so doing, they do not answer the original problem; they only change the subject and hope the problem will go away.
     Also, election deals with Christians, universalism deals with Christians and unbelievers.  The Christian is regenerated and changed and will not abide in sin; he cannot because he is not a slave to it anymore and will not use his security in Christ as a license to sin.  The unbeliever is not saved and can still hope in eternal life after death so they can sin now.  And it is to this charge that the universalist has failed to adequately respond. 

      Another objection raised by universalists is how do you know if you are elect or not?  This question demonstrates a lack of understanding of biblical theology. The Bible says that "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13). It is certainly possible, according to God's word, to know that you are elect. On a practical level, I would say that anyone who has trusted Jesus as Savior (not a false Christ as in the cults), will have the knowledge and testimony of the Holy Spirit living within him and he will observe a change in his own heart. This is a demonstration of regeneration. Furthermore, only Christians have the mind of Christ and know that Jesus is God in flesh, risen from the dead, and ascended into heaven to which the Bible says, an unbeliever cannot accept (1 Cor. 2:14).

 

________________________
1 Achtemeier, Paul J., Th.D., Harper's Bible Dictionary, (San Francisco: Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc.) 1985.
2.  Infralapsarianism is an issue within Reformed theology dealing with what may have happened in God's mind regarding the logical order of His considering whom to elect into salvation before the foundation of the world.  The word means "after the fall."  The position is that God first decided he would allow sin into the world and second that he would then save people from it.  By contrast, the supralapsarian ("before the fall") position holds that God first decided that he would save some people and then second that he would allow sin into the world. 
     I am somewhat bewildered by this difference within Reformed circles since all knowledge with God is eternally known and simultaneous.  It would seem that the distinctives between infra and supralapsarianism would be moot.
 

Offline Reverend G

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2008, 02:03:49 AM »
Election?
Catholicism never taught me that!!  I guess I have heard of it a bit in the Jehovah's Witness folks, but never took it to heart.  The concept really escapes me.  I mean, if they are "elect", then what they do makes no difference, they are "elect".  To me, that runs counter to what he seems to teach.  Reject Jesus, its ok, your "elect".  Love Jesus and emulate Him, too bad, you aren't on the "elect" list?   Aaaah, he elimintes this possibility by stating the "elect" are aware of it, and are obliged to the correct path.  What happened to free will?

In reality, he may have a point, if we consider the whole of humanity as the "elect".  But of course, that would be UR.  Can't have that.

Offline 97531

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2008, 11:31:51 AM »
One of the reasons I have given up debating dummies like this.

In one paragraph, he contradicts himself.

(quote)
Since all things have eternally been simultaneously known by God (even the "free will" choices made by all people), then, when He planned the universe, it is necessarily true that all things which were known and consulted by God were included in His plan of election as He placed people in and where He did according to His sovereign will to "do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur" (Acts 4:28).
It cannot be that God remains ignorant on any subject. When He created the universe He did so knowing everything that could and would be. Since He is all powerful, it is natural to state that He included all possible outcomes in His sovereign plan, including election. This election may or may not be influenced by foreknowledge concerning our actions and desires.
This plan can easily include our prayers and the resulting ramifications of the teaching of false doctrines that damn people.   
Our prayers can, then, have an influence with Him from all eternity, yet, He has not changed from all eternity. The only way that this can be is if He knew everything about everything and included what He desired in the universe that He constructed and set in motion.
It is perfectly logical, therefore, that in our time reference, we can make choices, influence God, be warned about apostasy and false doctrines, and actually truly make a difference in people's lives (for good or bad), and have all these things sovereignly included in the plan of God by which He elects and predestines.  This way, the idea of a false doctrine damning and God's election are not mutually exclusive.
(quote)

How can one influence God?  :mshock: Especially One that has predetermined the alpha to omega?

And he calls us deceived?

With Calvinism, it always shoots itself in the foot as just as he supposes why bother teaching the gospel, with predeterminism, it is only by a the great god-lottery that some folk are saved.

Actually CU/UR slots nicely inbetween Calvinism and Arminianism.

It is also ironic that Arminius was a student of Calvin and the two major schools of thought in Christianity today.  In both camps there are truths but IMO only in CU/UR, does one find a balanced school of thought.  The only thing that the two camps share is belief in the false doctrine of eternal torment/separation.

Happily deceived CU heretic.
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gr8wuf

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2008, 09:18:46 PM »
Thanks for using the word "dummies" ... I was thinking it and wasn't going to write any response here.

I can't imagine it is worth anyone's time and effort to "debate" this person unless the Lord specifically directs. His arguments are to me silly and can easily be turned around and used on him for his own belief of election.

I'm just sitting here shaking my head. But then again, I AM biased. Election has never made sense to me. He can quote as many verses as he wants. I just don't get it and certainly don't like nor can I accept the God that "election" portrays.

Offline Raggedy Anne

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2008, 08:28:57 AM »
Hi Gary,

I'm not going to post on CARM, but just wanted to say this seems like such a NO BRAINER now, but 25 years ago I was literally terrified to look closely at the book of Romans BECAUSE I knew about some of those "election" scriptures and had also read of Calvin's TULIP views and was convinced that I could not possibly be one of the lucky ones (knowing full well how bad I really am).   The God I was taught by the various churches was truly a paradox that I could not handle.  And perhaps there is some truth in the paradox, but we're only terrified until we're delivered by the Holy Spirit?  There IS a fallen nature within us that must be destroyed.  Everyone must go through the cross.  I don't think it can ever be a painless process.  I think guys like Slick are likely tormented with fear if the truth be known.  Or maybe not - some people are just naturally arrogant about their own standing before God. 

Gosh - what a trip humanity is on!

A belated happy Pi day (yesterday was Einstein's birthday and Pi-day 3.14 , I'm told) 
Ours is not to make up anybody's mind, but to open hearts.
You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind.

pneuma

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2008, 10:56:56 PM »
Quote
Universalism teaches that Jesus died for all people and that all will eventually be saved. It also teaches that if someone rejects Christ in this life, he can accept Jesus in the next one, even if he is a horrible person who severely blasphemed God. The danger with this is that based on this principle in universalism, someone could adopt an attitude of complacency who would then choose to live a life of sin and rebellion and wait until the afterlife to become a true believer -- even if there is some "purification" involved in the afterlife. The obvious problem is that if universalism is wrong and the person hopes to be saved in the next life, he'll face an eternity of hell instead of heaven. This is an inherent weakness in Universalism.

Eek gad the Scribes and Pharisees never seem to understand what the ministry of Universal Salvation is.

Can the preaching of UR cause one to be complacent and to continue on in sin? Sure it can and is the reason Paul says:

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Paul warned us not to be complacent because of the GRACE given unto us.

Did Paul quit preaching GRACE because some might use it to continue to sin? HARDLY, other then Jesus Himself Paul was the greatest preacher of GRACE this world has ever yet witnessed.

The ministry of Universal Salvation is the ministry of GRACE, and it is because these Scribes and Pharisees of today do not understand this they come up with the same old argument the Scribes and Pharisees of yesteryears did.

But, but, but the preaching of that (Universal Salvation/GRACE) could cause one to be complacent towards sin.

They used it against Paul and they will continue to use it against us, surely they have a poor understand of just what GRACE is.

So when one comes against you using these same tired old expression like Matt did above, agree with thy adversary, for Matt is correct in part, some could very well use the preaching of Universal Salvation/GRACE to continue in sin and then point out what Paul said, yes they could but God forbid that they would do so, and then proceed to minister the UNMERITED FAVOR that God has given forth in His Son.

Offline Pierac

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2008, 04:09:44 AM »
They do not practice what they teach! They teach God's totally sovereign. That is God's will is always done and His desires always come to pass! Yet refuse to accept...

NASB  1Ti 2:3  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4  who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
KJV 1Ti 2:3  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; 4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Seems Paul forgot to add the word "elect" after all. 

Joh 12:32  And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."
Again John left off "elect" after the word all.

Rom 11:32  For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
Are the elect consigned to disobedience?

1Ti 4:10  For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

Psa 115:3  But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.

They have no answers as to how a sovereign God "Who will have all men to be saved" or "who desires all people to be saved" does not do as he pleases or desires! They can not see that "election" conflicts with thier view of eternal torment, as they believe God does as He pleases and wills and He clearly wills all men to be saved.

Paul


Offline dockeen

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2008, 08:15:50 PM »
This is something that has bothered me for years.

God the engineer created us, through Adam and Eve, with certain failure modes.  God the engineer, better that any earthly engineer did not make an error in creating us with these failure modes.  Not only did he know the failure modes were there, but, being Alpha and Omega, knew that most of his creations would fail because of these issues with the design.

Now, where is the logic in punishing, and, for that matter, eternally punishing his creations for failing in a mode that he knew not only was there, but would happen for sure to most of his creations.

My working hypothesis is that, whenever God is portrayed to be acting illogically, vindictively or in other ways like the worst of us - that the portrayal is inaccurate, due to lack of understanding on our parts.

Back to the original question - To me, if one believes in UR, it does not change your fundamental relationship to God.  If you make the decision to be his servant, and accept Christ, then you will wholeheartedly desire to do his works, and will minimize sin.  If you are just "joining the team" to stay out of hell, then you are not of one heart, mind and will to do his will.

In my desire to be right, I have no desire that anyone else be wrong.  I do not desire to put myself ahead of any man, to feel better than any man.

Wayne

Offline willieH

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2008, 10:50:42 PM »
willieH: Hello me brathiz  :icon_king:  and, sistiz  :icon_queen:

Universalism is unendangered by ELECTION in my opinion... as it is (IMO) incorrectly observed by orthodoxy...

Actually, the "ELECTION" thing to me is quite simple... GOD has a DIVINE PURPOSE... and within that DIVINE PURPOSE, ...HE ELECTS certain people to do certain things... which make that PURPOSE arrive at its DIVINE conclusion...

I was NOT "elected" to be the Apostle PAUL... nor was I "elected" to be Gary Amirault... Or SeekerSA, ...I was "elected" to be willieH... and whatever part I have been "elected" to do within His PURPOSE, whether it be large or small, has to do with HIM, deciding that PART to be so, and therefore the PICTURE (which is quite TOO BIG for ME to behold)... is COMPLETE.

For without my fairly  :pointlaugh: (predestined)  INSIGNIFICANT  :laugh: contribution  :heat: to that PICTURE... it is INCOMPLETE to that fairly INSIGNIFCANT degree...  :dontknow:

As PAUL notes "election", he really doesn't explain the process because it needs no explanation,

:mshock:  ...IF...    :mshock:

One believes (1) GOD to be ALMIGHTY... (2) IN CONTROL, and (3) believes that HE is WORKING (as He says IN HIS WORD) ....ALL THINGS... (which includes ALL GOOD and ALL EVIL), after the counsel of HIS OWN WILL... (NOT ours) :dontknow: (Eph 1:9-11)

Which has us each doing, what HE "elects" us to be doing IN that BIG PICTURE...  (we often call "time") :winkgrin:

peACe

...willieH  :icon_king:

grace_explosion

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2008, 03:03:23 AM »
 :2c:
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 06:57:21 PM by grace_explosion »

grace_explosion

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2008, 03:49:48 AM »
 :mshock:
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 06:56:59 PM by grace_explosion »

grace_explosion

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2008, 04:18:50 AM »
 :2c:
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 06:55:59 PM by grace_explosion »

Offline Reverend G

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2008, 03:36:22 PM »
How wonderful a question!!  Indeed you are correct in assuming that there is no danger whatsoever.  Actually, though many believers in election either don't know this, or won't admit it.....there was a group in the early days of "election" idealism that took it even further than you have with your question.  Though the name of the group escapes me, there was a group who followed election as a religious concept, and as a result, were an extremely sexually raucous, drunken orgy type of group of people.  They had figured that if they were elect, nothing could be held against them, and if they were not elect, nothing could save them, so they lived a hedonistic lifestyle.

If someone believes in "election", then whatever we believe may be false (to them), but there is no harm in it. 

grace_explosion

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2008, 05:44:07 PM »
 :HeartThrob:
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 06:54:11 PM by grace_explosion »

Offline Reverend G

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2008, 07:56:06 PM »
Reverend G... Those folks who were hedonists?  As Christians, we love Jesus and hate sin because of the Spirit in us.  We may fall into sin... but we don't preach sin or hedonism as Christians.

Faith in election, by born-again Christians, produces love and grace and holiness through intimacy in relationship with a God we don't fear is going to throw us into hell because we mess up.

Faith in God's unchanging love produces good fruit.

So does UR in born-again Christians.  We draw closer to a God of Perfect Love.

Believing in God's Love makes saints more saintly in their behavior.  The doctrine of election does not produce evil fruit in the hearts of true believers, imo.  But hedonism is always the belief system of those who do not know God.  Who knows??  UR may make hedonists - even more so - out of the reprobate.  But that doesn't mean it's a bad doctrine or produces bad fruit in the elect.  IT will produce perfect love in the elect, imo.

How people respond to a doctrine is evidence of their own inward condition:  saved or unsaved, imo.

Just a note.  I wouldn't want people to think we reformed believers (and UR believers) are hedonists as the result of believing in God's grace, love and sovereign power to save believers by His grace and mercy and Jesus alone. 

It's the love of God that lifted me!!  :)

Grace and peace,

I am not speaking of people today....I was bringing up a historical tidbit.  It was on History Channel the other day, early on after the concept of "election" came into being, a group of believers in the doctrine realized that if they were elect, so be it....if not, not much they could do about it.  So instead of trying to be nearer the God who either wanted or rejected them, they lived completely hedonistic lifestyles, since it just didn't matter.
  I do find this a total contrast to UR, at least for myself.  Knowing I will not be rejected is not freedom to do as I please.  That knowledge actually obligates me to be thankful, and by endeavoring to live my life more in tune with His wishes, I grow closer to Him, and experience greater joy in my life.
 

rds1958

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2008, 02:58:32 AM »
Election as taught (double predestination) is NOT true so thats a false premise and a straw man argument..the fact is God has simply already saved all people who have lived or ever will live through the person and work of Jesus Christ..Limited atonement is a necessary teaching according to Reformed "logic" because since the atonement saves to the uttermost, whomever Jesus died for is reconciled to God already. Further, given that some are clearly not saved (according to RT) then Jesus could not possibly have died for all.

Slick's argument that UR is inherently wrong because it would lead to hedonism is not even stated correctly..he should have said it is wrong because of its instrumentality i.e. its outcomes..not inherently..methinks he is needs to go back and take a course in Logic before he tries to speak philosophically..If he wants to talk in terms of the positive instrumentality of one's knowledge of election he may want to ask Michael Servetus if he feels any better that he was burned by Calvin as opposed to being knifed in a bar fight by a drunkard? Or maybe he should ask the Quaker women who were almost beaten to death in Massachusetts if their agony was any less because a "goodly" member of the Church was ripping the flesh off their backs? But then again maybe he has no problem with Mr Servetus or the poor Quaker ladies' plight.

The truth is that love replaces sin in our lives and sadly, religious zealots have killed millions in the name of God while unbelievers have done similarly based on their hedonism or barbarism etc

Finally his argument is sadly narrow because it betrays a complete failure to consider the many millions of Muslims and Buddhists who do not "know" Jesus and yet are ascetic rather than hedonistic..But a hillbilly preacher who cant see over the next hollow might think like that: "If ya aint got Jesus, ya gonna fall into see-in"..how provincial of him..  :happy3:

The cause of sin is a lack of love..both believers or unbelievers can easily fail to show love and therefore sin. His emphasis on carnal sins of the reprobate as opposed to the "diabolical"  (as CS Lewis termed them) sins of the churched people is arbitrary but revealing of his blind spots.. (I bet he is fun at a party!)  :bgdance:

On a lighter note, we were discussing the different doctrinal camps people put themselves in and one of my kids said today "maybe there is a group of people who still believe in Hell but that no one will be there"   :laughing7: He tends to see the ridiculous in things !! Gotta love him..

 :icon_jokercolor: :icon_joker:

« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 03:12:12 AM by Raymond »

grace_explosion

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2008, 05:36:25 AM »
 :dontknow:
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 06:52:30 PM by grace_explosion »

Offline reFORMer

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2008, 06:10:35 AM »
I've met several persons who argue that every couple of weeks they are free to have sex with a new partner because Jesus died for their sins.  Believe your sins are paid for, that they're forgiven, and sin as freely as you will.  It won't make any difference.  That's their explanation of grace.  Nothing seemed to dissuade them.  One I see occasionally only stopped referring to it around me.

This leads to an answer to those who say to believe Jesus is the Savior of All means we can sin all we want to.  The same accusation can be leveled against saying Jesus is the Savior at all.  The preaching of grace in the simple Gospel, even apart from knowledge of it's universal efficacy, does seem to lead to licentiousness in some, or at least their use of a misappropriation of the gospel for a religious justification to dispense with adhering to a standard of righteousness.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 07:58:05 PM by reFORMer »
I went to church; but, the Church wasn't on the program!  JESUS WANTS HIS BODY BACK!!  MEET WITHOUT HUMAN HEADSHIP!!!

rds1958

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2008, 05:11:12 PM »
I too believe in Predestination I just do not believe God predestines anyone ultimately to eternal torment. Further, whatever experience the reprobate go through in the afterlife will not be, in my opinion, any more painful than the elect endure in this life as they cast off their old selves and try and be more like Jesus. Repentance is a struggle in this life or the next. I do agree that some are predestined in this life to believe and be a light for Him. This is however no indicator of whom God loves. He does not love the elect and hate the reprobate. The vast majority of humans who have lived have died without faith in Christ and yet I believe God loves them also, he just had a different plan for them. Nonetheless each of us in our lives have been and continue to be vessels of light or darkness according to our behavior. Mere faith incidentally which is not characterized by love for others is no sign of election. The unloving, moralistic Churchianity types actually repulse many who are on the fence regarding Jesus. The central dynamic is that God's love is operating in everyone's life in a mysterious way. We are all his creatures and he does with us as he wills. God knows we are dust and helpless before him and the beauty of his character is that he has mercy on us all. He is a loving Father to all of us, its just that he has different roles laid out for each of us. The vast majority of humans will come to know him more intimately in the next life. It is true that the main argument with Reformed believers is who did Jesus die for? We say all they say a few.

grace_explosion

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Re: If election is true what is the danger in universalism?
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2008, 09:03:26 PM »
Amen, Raymond.