Discussions Relating to Universal Reconciliation > FAQs Regarding UR

If True, Why Isn't UR Part of the "Official Church's" Articles of Faith?

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jabcat:
From Gary;  "Again, limit the discussion, we want answers not fighting and trivia. Here's one that came in this morning:

 

If the Greek New Testament plainly teaches Universal Salvation, why is this teaching not a part of their articles of faith? Why have the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches taught Hell throughout the centuries?"

shawn:

--- Quote from: jabcat on December 01, 2010, 01:40:18 AM ---From Gary;  "Again, limit the discussion, we want answers not fighting and trivia. Here's one that came in this morning:

 

If the Greek New Testament plainly teaches Universal Salvation, why is this teaching not a part of their articles of faith? Why have the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches taught Hell throughout the centuries?"

--- End quote ---

Were they teaching it before 4-500 AD?  If so, I would like to see some historical evidence of such.

jabcat:
http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Prevailing.html    "Universalism the Prevailing Doctrine of the Early Church"

I think one reason it wasn't part of the "official church creeds" is, by the time they got around to writing them, being a follower of Yesu was already becoming institutionalized and infiltrated by the Roman Church, which was instituting its version of what they wanted Christianity to look like.  Domination, fear, and control were powerful influences and useful tools - financial and otherwise - to the hierarchy. 

The more things change...

jabcat:
Universalism among the Early Church Fathers
Although Roman Catholics and evangelical Protestants today typically treat universalism as a heresy, there was a time in the early centuries of Christianity's spread when universalism was a fairly mainstream doctrine.

The story of early Christian universalism is closely tied in with the story of Alexandria. In the third and fourth centuries, Alexandria was one of the great (perhaps the greatest) centers of orthodox Christian theology. Clement, Origen, and Theodore of Mopsuestia, the luminaries of the Alexandrian school, were all universalists. Most of Origen's contemporaries seem to have considered him a great and orthodox theologian, and in fact he coined the term homoousios that became so central to the Nicene Creed. Only after Alexandrian influence waned did two sixth-century church councils posthumously declare him a heretic. The conquest of Egypt by Islam sealed Alexandria's irrelevancy. With the decline of the East, Rome looked to a Westerner named Augustine as its theological father-- Augustine, the great champion of exclusivism and predestination.

But during the heyday of Alexandrian influence, no one was denouncing universalism as heretical. In fact, so great an orthodox thinker as Gregory of Nyssa very explicitly and publicly taught the doctrine. It was privately held, it seems, by the likes of Gregory of Nazianzus, Macrina, Basil, Jerome, and Eusebius of Caesarea. These thinkers generally didn't think universalist doctrine should be promoted-- after all, the threat of hell is a powerful motivator for people to behave ethically-- but they were universalists nonetheless. Many more proponents of universalism could also be named, though these for the most part eventually shared in the condemnation and obscurity that was the Alexandrian school's final fate.

The general public believed in universalism, too. Jerome claimed that "most people" were universalists. Augustine said it was "very many". Basil made it "the mass of men". These assertions seem to be borne out by artwork in the Roman catacombs that shows Jesus carrying over his shoulder not a lamb, but a goat.

http://chriscarrollsmith.blogspot.com/2009/06/universalism-among-early-church-fathers.html

Paul Hazelwood:


The first problem here is looking towards the "official churches" articles of faith to determine what is true in the first place.  We are not to follow organizations of men.

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