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----It also has changed my emotions and attitude towards those whom I would consider enemies.  "And such were some of you" is what Paul wrote.  However bad someone is, if I believe they are beyond forgiveness then that means I do not value or understand God's forgivness towards me.  The same sin that makes my "enemy" wretched is what made me wretched.  There is nothing better in me than in them.  Praise be to God that He saved me and that He will save them.  I now feel love towards them.  I also now do not revel in the idea that "one day God will show them".  I revel in the fact that though they now are full of hatred one day they will know the joy of worshipping our loving God.   ----

I think this is the most important aspect of the Truth in UR.  It totally draws out the LOVE of God.  You truly see "love your enemies" in your life.  So stoked for you brother!  WELCOME!  God Bless!

Welcome Central - **FIRST POST MUST BE MADE HERE / Re: Fellowship
« Last post by jojoross on April 22, 2014, 08:37:25 PM »
Thanks Moses!  Same to you!!!
Humor-Poems-Songs-Movies / Re: A bit of obscure Bible humor
« Last post by Seth on April 22, 2014, 07:09:53 PM »

I'm curious where you live, if you don't mind sharing.
Humor-Poems-Songs-Movies / A bit of obscure Bible humor
« Last post by Moses on April 22, 2014, 05:47:06 PM »
2 Kings 9:20  Again the watchman reported, "He reached them but hasn't started back. Also, the driving is like that of Jehu son of Nimshi--he drives like a madman.""
Arguments Against Universal Salvation / Re: Hard to let go of John Piper's teaching
« Last post by Moses on April 22, 2014, 05:25:07 PM »
Good stuff Graph and Seth, much appreciated! 

Thank you for sharing!  The analytical person in me wants to go through the pastor's email and point out all of the flaws but of course it is not like he would read them or care what a random person online would think. :)    Yes our experiences are very similar and it is good to know that I am not the only one going through it (although I don't mean to sound as though experiencing this view of God is not a joy.  Even if everyone I know rejected me as a heretic, I would still be overjoyed at the awesome nature of a God who is truly all in all.) 

I too was a youth minister but at a different Baptist church.  Rather than go through that whole experience we stepped down and went back to my home church where I grew up.  I have hopes of starting an apartment church and then multiple apartment churches (hopefully with the support of my church). This is where my dilema lies.  Do I hold off on sharing UR with my church family until I already have the apartment church ministry up and running or do I tackle that one first?  Ahh, but I have time to pray about it so I am really just thinking out loud here. 

Here is the big kicker on all of the people who would reject UR at my church.  If I asked them "what are the essential doctrines of Christianity?" they would not answer anything about hell.  They would talk about faith in Jesus who is the Messiah and who died and rose again for our sins.  I even am pretty sure that they would disagree with an annihilation view but that they would not view it as heresy.  What I am baffled by is how it becomes heresy when you add the "for all people" or when you say hell is not eternal but rather that the judgement will refine and bring all to God.  This in no way changes the essential gospel of HOW people are saved.  It only changes the WHO is saved and WHEN. 

Anyways I am rambling a bit with my thoughts but I appreciate the support on this board! 
Hi Moses,

It's great to read your posts so far.  Thanks for sharing.  You are almost exactly where I was about 12 years ago, and it has been an interesting ride since.  My wife and I were youth group leaders at our church, and the events of 9/11 really shook us to the in particular.  I couldn't get it out of my mind how so many brave firefighters marched up those stairs of the towers, facing almost certain death, while encouraging others to hurry down to safety.  Many died and by evangelical standards, a safe estimate would be that 10-20% of them would be headed for eternal hell.  Something finally snapped for me, and I hoped and literally prayed that there was some other explanation that didn't involve eternal torment for such selfless people because those guys weren't the right kind of Christians or not Christians at all.

As I hit the web in search of an alternative to ET, it didn't take long before I hit upon  I couldn't stop reading and studying.  At first I thought there was no way it could be true.  Gradually I came to believe there was no way it couldn't be true.  Many have tried to convince me otherwise in the subsequent 12 or so years, but I just can't see it the old way any more.

In any case it has been an interesting journey, and I have by no means arrived.  I still have so much to learn, and I am still getting (figuratively speaking) beat up pretty good from time to time. 

In any case, I can really relate to where you are right now, and I certainly can't say how exactly things will go for you.  Your Dad sounds like a great man, and he will likely be a very good one to study with and essentially sharpen your arguments.  My Dad was very similar in belief to how your Dad seems to be.  I think my Dad really, really wanted to believe it, but he was just too old and had way too much invested in his community to risk the ostracizing that would likely come his way.  He also wasn't totally convinced, and perhaps too close to seeing the Lord to risk it being wrong so late in life, if you know what I mean.

I thought you might find an email my pastor at the time sent me after we had discussed the concept a couple times.  I think it will help you anticipate where people will be coming from, although it sounds like you have a pretty good idea of how it will be already.  My wife and I knew we had to level with him and a few others since we were youth group leaders.  We didn't feel right (sad as it is to say) sharing the truth with the teens that Jesus really is the Savior of All, especially those who believe, when their parents were pretty well invested in their version of the Good News that comes with a strong eternal hell kicker.  Here is what he shared with me.  I hope it helps.  Sorry, this is all pretty long:

Dated August 2, 2002...

I spent some time on the website,, and have done a fair bit of thinking about our conversation last Wednesday. I found the website to be interesting, but I found myself unconvinced. I have tried to put down in words some of the significant reasons why I think the universalistic position is wrong. Let me start with some of the "big picture" reasons why I think we need to reject this idea.

1. Why have we come so far and so long in Christianity without universalism becoming mainstream, either in America or in other parts of the world? One of the articles hinted at the idea that the early church was universalistic in its teaching. I did not really find any evidence to support this claim. My experience has shown me that you can pretty much prove any point you like by finding a so called "church father" to quote, so that does not go far in proving anything to me. But let��s assume that it was the position of the early church. Why would they change such a basic and significant doctrine? I could almost understand going from a belief in an eternal hell toward a universalistic position but I can not fathom why anyone would decide to go the other way. If the church started out universalistic, why would they make their message more difficult for people to believe and make Christianity more exclusive than Christ and the early apostles taught it to be? Also, if universalism is true, we have to assume that God wants it to be taught. Where are the large churches teaching a belief in the Bible and salvation exclusively through Christ that also teach universalism? I am unaware of a single one and certainly there could not be more than a handful. It seems impossible for me to believe that God would allow this to go on for almost two thousand years.

2. I cannot think of a single biblical passage that explicitly teaches that people are punished for a finite period of time and then come to salvation in Christ. The Bible verses that are used to support universalism are almost exclusively one or two verses here and there. There is no body of teaching in any gospel or epistle that explicitly teaches universalism. One of the articles took non-universalists to task for believing in an eternal hell that God would speak so little about. He called it unbelievable that hell could be real and eternal and God would speak of it so little in the Bible. I disagree that God speaks of it so little. There are clearly times when God has hell in mind when the specific word is never mentioned. In any case, the same argument is true if universalism is true. In my opinion, such a significant doctrine would have to be taught and it is not.

3. I believe that universalism does not pass the "desert island test". If a person knew nothing about the Bible or about God and found a copy of the Bible washed on the beach, picked it up and began to read it, he would not discover a universalist doctrine. There are too many references to judgment, two different groups of people receiving different outcomes, etc... to believe in universalism. I preface my next sentence by saying that I do not want to insult you, but I think that universalism does not come out of the scriptures but rather is read into the scriptures. You mentioned that after 9/11 you thought of the firemen that went into the World Trade Center. Is it not possible that you allowed an emotional response to cause you to be looking for something in the Scriptures that is not truly there? I think that if you reread the New Testament, especially the gospels, you would see that universalism is inconsistent with the body of truth revealed to us. For example, in Matthew 7 Jesus talks about the way to life being narrow and few are those who find it. In Matthew 13 Jesus tells the parable of the wheat and tares. It seems obvious that these two groups of people have different destinations. In Matthew 25 Jesus talks about separating the sheep and the goats. Again, we have two classes of people. In Luke 16 we have the story of Abraham and Lazarus. There is also such a sense of urgency and importance in receiving and following Christian teachings. Does universalistic thought really make sense when Jesus says that whoever keeps his life will lose it but whoever loses it for Christ��s sake will find it? People can argue over the words used and what they mean but if universalism is correct, I don��t think Jesus would have said it at all.

4. In regard to specific verses I find the universalistic argument too tied to small groups of verses. I also believe that though the universalistic argument sounds convincing, the evidence for taking the same verses in an orthodox Christian manner is compelling as well. For example, the argument is made that aionion should be translated "age" when making reference to hell or punishment. But the very same word is used in translating an eternal heaven or an eternal God. One of the articles made the point that the meaning of an adjective is defined by its object. That is an interesting point but it assumes something that is not normative for the text. There is an apples to apples comparison intended in a verse like Matthew 25:46. Why should we assume that the word "aionion" has a different meaning? There are many times where this word or a derivative of it refers to eternal life or an eternal God. We talked about Philippians 2:10-11 a little bit. Perhaps it is instructive that every person will call Jesus "Lord" but not "Savior"? Also, Isaiah 45 does not in any way to me seem to teach universalism. If it was to teach that, why not be more explicit?

My sincere suggestion is to sit down and read through the gospels again, perhaps using a harmony of the gospels so that you are not rereading material. I will gladly loan mine to you. I know that you understand the seriousness of believing in a universalistic position. In my opinion it will have negative consequences for you and your family. I applaud your desire to seek the truth from the Scriptures. I also know that you know that you are disagreeing with practically every Bible-believing Christian at this time. Perhaps you are right and all of them are wrong, but the evidence in numbers should be taken and given a lot of weight. I hope that as you continue to study this topic you will change your mind. I am still open to any additional evidence or articles that you would like me to read.

God Bless,

Pastor (Name withheld)

P.S. One website that I found with an anti-universalistic position was which stands for Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.

Lounge / Re: biblical inerrancy
« Last post by WhiteWings on April 22, 2014, 02:20:06 PM »
Answering the topic  title.....
First thing I want to say there is BIG difference between what God inspired the original writer and what mankind eventually passed down and translated in up to today.
Needless to say if we have a perfect manuscript and it's translated wrong the translation is sub-standard. Something often discussed on this forum and by Gary in many YouTube video's.
But unfortunately the Hebrew translators use and used is substandard too.
We all know Jesus Himself was big on quoting the OT. While Jesus was the only perfect teacher that ever walked the earth His memory seemed not that good. At least that's what scholars assume(d).
He often quoted the Hebrew text 'almost right'. To cut a long story short; Jesus had a perfect memory and quoted perfectly. There are 3 main Hebrew sources. The Egyptian version, the Babylonian version, and a unnamed version. Almost all Bibles are translated from the Babylonian version. Jesus quoted from the Egyptian version. The LXX/Septuagint is translated from the Egyptian version. Jesus quotes very much align with the LXX. Yes... the LXX is a translation and therefore not the original inspired source material. But as far as I understand it the best we have.
Things really went south when Jerome started to make the one and only 'perfect' RCC ordained translation that had to fit in a political/denominational agenda. He inserted some books that were never accepted as inspired by then. Jude and 2 Peter.

According to lexicographers the writing style in 2 Peter is vastly different from 1 Peter. It's amateuristic. It's very likely Peter didn't write a single word but hired a scribe who wrote down his words. Just like Obama  usually dictates his stuff to a secretary. So it's sometimes assumed Peter just hired a cheaper/unskilled scribe to write down 2 Peter. But lexicographers discovered that 2nd scribe used words and meaning of words that were totally unknown when Peter lived. I leave the conclusion to you....
Something similar is going on with Enoch. 2 Enoch is very unreliable. But the NT contains 250 quotes from 1 Enoch. Does that make 1 Enoch inspired? Personally I don't know*. The fact it was quoted from so heavily certainly points in that direction. It also could be the writer of 1 Enoch was very wise and Jesus and the Apostles at least were of the opinion some of 1 Enoch was perfect teaching material.

For more read:The Jerome Conspiracy

 :2c: :Peace2:

*=Personally I don't know why any book in the Bible is (not) inspired. Simply because I don't have the required skills to figure out such stuff.
Arguments Against Universal Salvation / Re: Hard to let go of John Piper's teaching
« Last post by Seth on April 22, 2014, 04:52:58 AM »
That is good stuff Seth!  Also it struck me as I read that it is the same Greek word hupotasso used for Jesus being in submission to the Father as it is for the rest of all things being in submission to Jesus and subsequently to the Father (I don't intend to get into trinitarian discussions here and now).  So how is it that the same word is used according to the ET crowd to mean Jesus submission to the Father, and our submission to Jesus and the Father, but also it means the eternal punishment of those who didn't believe?  That seems like a huge stretch. 

Right. Exactly. It's a huge stretch to say that it somehow that "huppotasso" means eternal damnation for his enemies (who he said we should forgive), but not for himself. Real quick about the trinitarian implication: The idea of Christ being subject to his father, I understand to mean that Christ was given a certain purpose to be a mediator between God and man. This makes Christ a representative of God. When God is all in all, you no longer need a representative because you are all one in Him, and in Christ, all perfected.

It is as though he is saying, "well I know that it says all things but it really must mean all OTHER things since we have already determined that there is a place of eternal torment."   

Glad you caught that. He's now working backwards. Rather than being informed by the immediate context itself, which does not restrict the universal meaning of "all" - he starts with an overall preconceived notion and forces it into the text. Therefore he limits the "all" with his own ideas, rather than the actual context.
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