Author Topic: What to do about church?  (Read 4395 times)

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Re: What to do about church?
« Reply #25 on: April 30, 2008, 11:53:03 PM »
Thank you for the leads on 18th century UR authors I will have to get a few of those for the monastic life  I have a nice house and time on my hands..but it is lonely =) I have a few good Christian friends who don't accept UR and we have great discussions that sometimes get a little emotional but in the right way.. :grin:

The problem is..if I get together with other Christians I would want to celebrate the incredible love of God for all his creation and that idea just isnt in orthodox churchianity..they rejoice more along the lines of "Thanks be to God He saved *me*  rather than thanks be to God that he is who he is and loves us all...they also seem to entertain a certain subtle perverse delight in the damnation of the "lost"..LOL talk about lost! sheesh! they need to look in the mirror!  :laughing7:  It hurts me to see a buddy of mine who is bi-polar beating himself up about his failings.  :sigh:  I want him to somehow come to understand its OK to be where he is and who he is..and be at peace with himself and God..instead he is striving to be ever more Christlike..I do this too of course but its not a fevered journey it is a journey of love with my eternal Dad..


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Re: What to do about church?
« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2008, 08:52:51 PM »
Thank you for the leads on 18th century UR authors I will have to get a few of those books..

No problem.  I tend to mention them, not to make anyone think anything of me for having read many of those, but in the hopes that:

1. the people that hear me bring 'em up will try to get their hands on them;
2. the people who republish older UR books will add a few more of these to their selection of reprints, both from a sense of "duh! that's a needed book" and from my creating a demand for them;
3. to share with UR folks that as believers in this message, you do have a very rich heritage of faith.

So often, when you're in regular Church, all you ever hear about are Spurgeon, Luther, Calvin, Edwards, D.L. Moody, Finney, Tindale, Scofield, Cartwright, Torrey, and a few others barely worth mentioning because of all of their ET.  And then when UR comes up, then people want to point to their really dark heroes of the faith and say "are you going to say that they -- all these -- were wrong?"  It's more than a rhetorical argument that they're both fallible and you could possibly bring up an equal number of names from your perspective -- which they never think of, but it's an attempt at intimidation that you'll hopefully drop the whole UR thing because of all of these people, who are their heritage of faith, that were such supposed luminaries on the subject of an endlessly vindictive God Who would eternally separate others from Himself for as long as He existed under the feigned guise of protecting people's free wills to be so exceedingly clueless, damnable, foolish, ignorant, untrustworthy, unworthy, etc.

Since you said that you wanted to get a few of these, you can find Elhanan Winchester's "The Universal Restoration Exhibited In Four Dialogues Between A Minister And His Friend; Comprehending The Substance Of Several Real Conversations Which The Author Had With Various Persons Both In American And Euprose On That Interesting Subject: Chiefly Designed Fully To State, And Fairly To Answer The Most Common Objections That Are Brought Against It, From The Scriptures." which is often otherwise known in former generations as "Dialogues On The Universal Restoration" or simply "Winchester's Dialogues."  That particular book is worth all that you'd ever spend to get your hands on a copy of, and thankfully, it's now available online on google.  I've found $20 copies in the past at but like I said, you can read it online.  This one book should be considered required reading.  I'd been voraciously studying UR since 2001 when I got my hands on a copy of Winchester's Dialogues in 2003.  I got an 1831 reprint that I paid $171 for, and it was worth every single penny.  I've since bought an additional copy of the 1831 reprint for $100 or so.  Can't remember how much I paid for that copy.  I got answers to questions in that book that I'd never found previously anywhere else and haven't found anyone else, but myself occaisionally, bring up those particular answers.  And I've given away quite a few copies of the $20 variety.  I just don't happen to have any of those handy right now.  It's a small book, that I've probably read about as many times as I've read Andrew Jukes's "Restitution of all things" and don't ask me which is the better book between those two.

I'm seriously surprised that Winchester's book hasn't gotten more attention than it's gotten in UR circles.  The whole book is questions/accusations and answers -- solid Biblical answers to each question about/against UR, without the slightest sense of evasion that other UR authors have given at times to direct questions, perhaps unintentionally.  If someone's not UR after reading that particular book, they're hard hearted, demon possessed, or the book went right over their head and they didn't notice that it just blew away every single argument [or potential argument] that they could ever ever ever try to derive from the Scriptures in defense of Eternal Torment.  I'd call it the UR version of Calvin's Institutes.

What to do about church?  I'd say to know what you believe and why you believe it, and graple with how to state it with clarity if your beliefs ever come up at Church or among Christians.  I unintentionally alienated a lot of people from UR in my early days of embracing the message, that I'm really wishing that I'd waited until now, or until recently, when I would have been a bit more lucid about the subject and could have taken them through it from cover to cover in that Bible, even if we were up all night for a couple of nights looking at it.  I could win them now to it, without question, if I hadn't totally scared them to death of the UR message and of myself via email in the first couple of years that I was embracing the message.

Winchester's "The Universal Restoration":
« Last Edit: May 03, 2008, 09:06:42 PM by martincisneros »


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Re: What to do about church?
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2008, 02:17:44 AM »
God convicted me very clearly and heavily to leave the institutionalized denomination.  One thing He used was this portion of writing in the Forward of the Christian Bible I had recently ordered.  It says in part "Church vs. Group of Called Ones:  The Greek word "ekklesia" literally means a "group of out-called ones", or a "group of persons who have been called or invited".  The Called Ones are called to share in the inheritance of Life in Paradise (Eph. 1:18), called to be citizens in the Kingdom and to eat the harvest Feast of the Last Age (Matt. 22:1-14), and called into union with our Savior, Yesu.  Whenever considering two or more of these Called Ones as a group, they are an "ekklesia" or a group of Called Ones."  First Century Christians gathered together in the evenings of different days in the homes of Christians to share "love feasts" or group suppers that included the Master's Supper, teaching, singing and praying.

The word never meant a building, organization, or "church".  First Century Christians had no clergy, no officers, no corporate organizations, no denominations, no church treasury, and no holidays.  The eighteenth chapter of Revelation tells about the coming fall of the church system; and this will occur in the near future to our generation.  So please, hear and obey God's command, "You must come out of her, my people!" (Rev. 18:4). -- The Christian Bible (1992,

God's blessing, James.


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Re: What to do about church?
« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2008, 09:40:44 PM »
It helps me when I remind myself that these people are still my brothers & sisters in Christ.  When we cut ourselves off from them, we do the body of Christ damage.  Part of being a followers of Jesus means accepting others that have (what we see as) bad theology.  Honestly, someone with UR leanings should be even more attuned to this.  We should be the most accepting of diverse opinions.

Of course, it is probably helpful to me that I am a Methodist and have been for almost all of my life.  We are generally not as dogmatic.


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Re: What to do about church?
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2008, 06:13:44 AM »
Cutting myself off is not what God asked me to do...He has led me to fellowship with anyone that's a believer, while at the same time leading me out of the system of denominational religion.  I was no longer deemed "worthy" to continue to play in the praise band of the Baptist denomination if I were to no longer be an "official card-carrying member" there vs. "just" being saved;  but God impressed me that I was not to separate from them as brothers and sisters...just not to be a part of the denominational division...perhaps the Methodists are more open than that...if so, that's good.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2008, 06:21:31 AM by jabcat »