Discussions Relating to Universal Reconciliation > Christian Life

Are you a Christian or just a Universalist?

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willieH:

--- Quote from: Brian on December 14, 2008, 09:34:14 AM ---I'm an evangelical Christian. I might eventually call myself an evangelical Christian universalist. The only difference between what I believe, and the evangelical church I go to is; the definition of hell. Part of being an evangelical to me means being a Trinitarian. As opposed to say believing Jesus is a lesser created being (or actually the archangel Michael), and the Holy Spirit is an it, a thing, a force.

The view I follow is:
The Godhead (Trinity)
We believe in one God, eternally existing in three Persons (or a Tri-unity or Trinity). The Godhead consists of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Each member of the one being of God is co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory; all having the same attributes and perfection. (Deut 6:4-5; 2 Cor 13:14; Matt 28:18-19)
Section 3.       
The Person and Work of Jesus
(1) We recognize Jesus as the eternal Son of God, who became man, without ever ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit through the Virgin Mary that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men. (John 1:1-2; John 1:14; John 1:18; Luke 1:35)
(2)We believe that Jesus accomplished our complete redemption through His death on the cross, as a substitutionary sacrifice for our sins. This redemption is made sure to us by His literal and physical resurrection from the dead. (Rom 3:24-25; Rom 5:8-10; 1 Peter 2:24; Eph 1:7)
(3) We fully accept as truth that Jesus ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God the Father. There He fulfills His role as High Priest, Intercessor, and Advocate on behalf of the believer. (Acts 1:9-11; Rom 8:34; 1 Tim 2:5; Heb 1:3; Heb 6:19-20; Heb 7:24; Heb 9:24; 1 John 2:1-2)
Section 4. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
(1) We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, possessing all the attributes of deity, and that He is equally God, the third person of the Holy Trinity. (Matt 28:18-19; Acts 5:3-5; 2 Cor 13:14)
(2) We believe that the Holy Spirit is the agent of God in regeneration, sanctification, baptizing all believers into the body of Jesus, indwelling equally and permanently every believer and sealing them unto the day of redemption. (Rom 8:9; 1 Cor 6:11; 12:12-14; Eph 1:13-14)
(3) We believe that every un-regenerated person, the moment he exercises believing faith in Jesus, as his Savior, immediately is given the Holy Spirit. (Rom 8:9; 1 Cor 3:16, 6:19; Gal 4:6; 1 Thess 4:8)
(4)  We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Divine Teacher who guides believers into all truth (John 16:1-15); that He bestows spiritual gifts upon each believer (1 Cor 12-14); and that it is the responsibility of all the saved to be filled (controlled) with the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18) and faithful to what God has entrusted to them.

The evangelical church I go to does not teach ET. What I mean by that is, it is an entire spectrum of the Bible that all points to Christ teaching church. Every service is a Bible study, rather than a sermon. We don't do regular Bible studies on ET. Everyone there is very loving and supportive of one another. They all LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Lord.

They are not a bunch of heartless sadistic full of crap monsters.

I went 15 years without attending church. And no, it had nothing to do with church being evil, or the congregation being hypocrites etc. Or anything having to do with ET. Being a loner by nature, I lapsed into becoming a virtual recluse.

Now that I'm back in church, I LOVE IT. I LOVE THEM. WE LOVE THE LORD! That's what matters. Believe it or not, we manage to spend A LOT of time together, without talking about ET. There is MUCH, MUCH, MUCH, MUCH more going on than ET there. That I believe was MacDonald's point. You can be UR while going to an "ET church". But the thing is, my church isn't an ET church. It's a Body of Christ. Not a body of ET. It's hardly even what I'd call a "church". I'd call it a Fellowship.

Yes, I get to have my cake and eat it too. I can believe in UR and belong to a hand shaking, back slapping, hugging fellowship of the Body of Christ.

You asked what I consider to be a qualified teacher.
Here are three links to examples of those whom I consider qualified teachers.
http://www.intouch.org/site/c.dhKHIXPKIuE/b.2264355/k.BE55/Home.htm
http://www.thenarrowpath.com/
http://www.messiahschristianfellowship.org/

What concerns me is the idea of people spending virtually all of their time in UR forums and reading one UR book and article after another, and nothing else. I consider UR to be a PART of my Christianity, not the main focus.

The main focus is trust and faith in Jesus. Whether His ultimate judgment is ET, Annihilationism or UR, to have complete and total faith in Him.

Gregory MacDonald is a member of a UR forum.
http://www.evangelicaluniversalist.com/forum/index.php?sid=25cb4af0b0e4100a88ffbd567bd942cf

Give it a looksee. You might not be as appalled as you might  think.

Give Stanley, Gregg or Bertoli a listen to. You might not be as appalled as you might think.
--- End quote ---

Like I said Brian... been there, done that (all of the above  :heat:)...

I do not demean you for "where you ARE", ...You ARE where GOD decides you ARE, whenever and wherever, ...you ARE...  :cloud9:

Btw...

(1) "GODHEAD", does NOT mean "trinity"... look up the 3 words which are translated "GODHEAD"...  NONE of these words mean: "committee of 3" that equals ONE GOD... YHVH God alone, is GOD... 

JESUS CHRIST is the 1st Son (offspring), of many Sons...  :yes:

(2)  The 3 links you provided above DO NOT answer my question to you... I didn't ask for examples of "teachers" that you think are "QUALIFIED"... :mnah:

I asked you:


--- Quote from: willieH ---What makes a "TEACHER, ..."QUALIFIED" according to your thinking, Brian?
--- End quote ---

In other words... How do YOU determine this or that guy is a "QUALIFIED" teacher Brian? 

If you are unable to answer this question, then the word "QUALIFIED" concerning these teachers, is thereby called into question...  :dontknow:

peacE...
willieH   :giveheart:

willieH:
willieH: Hi Brian... :hithere:

Hey brother, you asked  SEVERAL questions in your OP...   :JCThink:

How about answering a few of the ones I asked you?  (in reply #7)  :dunno:

such as:


--- Quote from: willieH ---Concerning "sound orthodox theology"... what theology?  And what do you note as the DETERMINING factor that ESTABLISHES it is, ..."SOUND"?
--- End quote ---

And concerning "twisting":


--- Quote from: willieH ---What, if anything in particular have you determined as, TWISTED? And by WHOM?   ..."TWISTED" in what way?
--- End quote ---
 

And let's not forget this one:


--- Quote from: willieH ---Why should I NOT focus upon THE ONLY MESSAGE that proposes that

(1) GOD ...IS... forgiving, ...that
(2) GOD ...IS... victorious, ...that
(3) GOD ...IS... impartial to men, ...that
(4) GOD ...IS... love and is NOT 2 faced!  (He loves you but if you dont LISTEN, He'll BURN you FOREVER!)
--- End quote ---


One by one, I answered yours!!!   :friendstu:  How about doing the same?  ... :dunno:




PeacE...

...willieH   :ty:

Molly:

--- Quote from: ww ---That's applying statitics that are proven over and over again. Faith is being the first parachute jumper. And not even that because it's tested before the jump. Faith is believing is something you don't feel, know, hear, see, smell. Something completly untested.
--- End quote ---



Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

2 For by it our ancestors were approved.

 3Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.



"the substance"

G5287
ὑπόστασις
hupostasis
hoop-os'-tas-is
From a compound of G5259 and G2476; a setting under (support), that is, (figuratively) concretely essence, or abstractly assurance (objectively or subjectively): - confidence, confident, person, substance.


Isaiah 28:16
[ A Cornerstone in Zion ] Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: " Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily.


13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

--Eph 6





WhiteWings:
Molly,

If there is evidence is it called faith?

What Jesus a believer of was He a 'knower' ?



Paul Hazelwood:

Hi Brian,  peoples perception of either title is a bigger problem.   I can say I am a universalist and Christians will say things that show they have no interest in talking to "ME" about what I believe.  What perception do people have of Christians?  Is it the perception people have based on organized religion?  I would say yes.    Maybe a better title would be "Do you search for truth in scripture, or just follow the dogma?"   



--- Quote from: Brian on December 09, 2008, 03:33:47 AM ---Do you spend more time with UR than you do in prayer?

--- End quote ---

No,  If a person does not pray in hopes that the will of God be done then it does not matter if you are a universalist or a Christian



--- Quote ---Do you spend more time with UR than you do reading your Bible?

--- End quote ---

No, but is it more "christian" to spend more time with the latest popular book or dvd series? I do find it interesting that your series of questions points towards authors or people that you like.  Do you spend more time in your bible than reading what they write?  Hope so.


--- Quote ---Do you spend anytime fellowshipping with your brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ in real life, even if they don't believe in UR?

--- End quote ---

The lie is that I have to be in person with people to fellowship in the spirit.  Many Christian sermons are built around critisizing internet fellowship when neither should go away. Also it is a deception that a person is fellowshipping if they have to hide what they really believe.  Sure, a person does not have to rail on and on about UR in every group and more than someone has to go an about the dangers of hell.   But if a person is in a group and keeps quiet about all men being saved in order to get along with the eternal hell believers then that is NOT, I repeat NOT fellowship, it is co-dependance.



--- Quote ---Do you feel that UR is the paramount aspect of your faith?

--- End quote ---

For me it is something I always knew but never really has a title for it till later in life.  I would say now, yes.


--- Quote ---Is Christ and obedience to His commands and staying in His Word (for He is the Word - John 1:1) the main focus of your life, or is UR?

--- End quote ---

UR for me is a byproduct of that.


--- Quote ---Are you fed/taught by a qualified Bible teacher who doesn't just focus on UR?

--- End quote ---

Yes,  several, God, Jesus, holy spirit, scripture.   Will you question their qualifications?


--- Quote ---Are you fed/taught by a teacher who doesn't just eliminate ET, but also condemns or twists sound orthodox theology while he/she is at it?

--- End quote ---

Define sound orthodox theology.



--- Quote ---Do you spend enough time in the Word of God to know what it has to say regarding ALL things to be equipped to recognize solid Biblical teaching from manmade inventions of a kook?

--- End quote ---

Yep, John Hagee is a kook to name one.


--- Quote ---How do you spot  kooks? You'll recognize them by their fruit. You'll be able to recognize them by their fruit by way of thorough daily Bible studying (not just the UR parts, but the Biblical message in its entirety). We need to be qualified fruit inspectors, lest we be tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine - Ephesians 4:14

--- End quote ---

Can a kook be a person who is disguising their contempt for UR with a bunch of questions designed to favor traditional Christianity?



--- Quote ---Is the God you are believing in the God of the Bible, or one of your or someone else's invention? Our God is a God of love. But He Himself tells us He's also a God of wrath. (And yes, I know there are those out there who write out lengthy convoluted brain bending dissertations explaining how wrath isn't really wrath, and so forth and so on).

--- End quote ---

A God of wrath does not contradict UR.   I wonder, is being a Christian believing the convoluted explanation that the God of Love that never fails will allow suffering FOREVER in the pit of Hell with no hope whatsoever?


--- Quote ---The golden rule of good Biblical interpretation is to keep it as simple and literal as possible.

--- End quote ---

Since we are being asked how much time we spend in the bible, please provide the scripture for this  golden rule.



--- Quote ---Jesus didn't spend so much time warning us about the dire consequences of sin and disobedience, if there wasn't anything to be afraid of. Or tell us He was the ONLY way to the Father, if there were some other way. Jesus is not Mr. Rogers or Barney the dinosaur.

--- End quote ---

Unitarian Universalism embraces what you are talking about here primarily, it does not represent Christian Universalism in general.     Just like in Christianity, you have a lot of variation in what people believe.   Christian universalism does not remove Gods judgment.  In christianity you have variations on eternal HELL,  from grotesque torture to just a deep sorrow.  Which is it?


--- Quote ---Stay in prayer. Stay in the Bible. Stay in good Bible teaching Christ centered church.
The more you do so, the closer you'll get to God. The closer you get to God the less you'll focus on UR exclusively, and learn to trust Him enough to leave all the consequences up to Him.

--- End quote ---

I'll stay in a church when I can be open and honest about my beliefs and they accept me in the manner that you want universalists to accept the teaching of eternal hellfire.   Getting closer to God does not involve hiding my beliefs for the sake of the church congregation. 

Every church I have been in if I do not go along with what accepted to be taught in that church, I am accused of starting trouble.  But thats not what my intent ever is it is to express what I believe.  The perspective of study that brought UR to my door also questions many other things concerning traditional theology so it is pointing those things out.

Thats one thing that most people are not seeing that critisize those who do not attend church, you think that the greater good is being done by church congregations but the problem is that you must conform to the teachings of whatever "church" your going to.   Thats why there are so many different names and demoninations.

I think it is great that people find a traditional church that might teach eternal hell but allows the thought of its members that God will save everyone.   But they are few and far between and it hinders my walk with God to focus only on a Church and not my walk with him.



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