Christian Universalism - Good News or Bad Doctrine?

Does the Bible teach “Universal Reconciliation”?

  • Not sure, let me think about it...

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Todd

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Do you accept or reject Paul's word as inspired by God? Or is it partially inspired?
Not all of it is inpsired as Paul said so himself. Peter also said that Paul wrote with his wisdom. Do you consider the wisdom of a man (even if that wisdon is God given) as the inspired word of God?
 






floss

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Not all of it is inpsired as Paul said so himself. Peter also said that Paul wrote with his wisdom. Do you consider the wisdom of a man (even if that wisdon is God given) as the inspired word of God?
It's not a coincidence Paul's epistles made it into the Bible. I believe everything Paul wrote down was inspired and moved by the Holy Spirit even if the word said it was Paul's own wisdom. If God did not inspired or moved his spirit through these mens in the Bible, it would not make it into His 66 books (e.g., Gospel of Thomas). I believe God is powerful to craft an infallible book, the Bible.

“knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭1:20-21‬ ‭KJVA‬‬

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭KJVA‬‬

It seem to me you put all the Disciples above Paul just because they served Jesus face to face. I have to disagree, Paul's encounter with Christ was way more spiritual enlightened compared to most of the Disciples. This encounter changed Paul's destiny and the course of Christianity. Paul's testimony was amazing. He's a prime example of a true born again Christian. You can disagree with him all you want but he will always be a more inspirational evangelist/pastor than you will ever be.

Side question Todd. Look at this verse and let me know if Judas or Paul's name will be written among the other apostles.

“And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭21:14‬ ‭KJVA‬‬
 






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Todd

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It's not a coincidence Paul's epistles made it into the Bible. I believe everything Paul wrote down was inspired and moved by the Holy Spirit even if the word said it was Paul's own wisdom. If God did not inspired or moved his spirit through these mens in the Bible, it would not make it into His 66 books (e.g., Gospel of Thomas). I believe God is powerful to craft an infallible book, the Bible.
Except of course when Paul actually says "the rest is from me, not from the Lord " ?

“knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭1:20-21‬ ‭KJVA‬‬
Well that actually makes my case doesn't it? If Paul knew he was writting the word of God, why would he even dare to inject his own opinion into it, unless of course he did not agee with what Peter said in 2 Peter 1:20-21. But of course if that were the case either Paul or Peter was not inpsired by God then, correct? The likely possibility if want to assume that Paul's intentions and motives were pure, is that Paul did not really believe at the time that he was writing what would become "the sacred scripture".

I agree that it's not coincidence that his writings are in the Bible and it does not change my belief that the Bible as a whole is used by God to teach and inspire us. But for me it's not a simple black and white proposition that every single word in the Bible is the word of God. The Bible is man's recorded understanding of God and his dealing with his people. Much of man's understanding is insprired by God, but even Paul wrote that our understanding is not complete "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."

That is the whole point of God sending his own Spirit to indwell in us. The Holy Spirit came to inspire each of us individually and remind us of the words that Jesus spoke. The words of Jesus are the only words in the bible that I can take at face value as the direct words of God as Jesus was the only one who even claimed that the only words he spoke were God's words. By elevating our own interpretation of the Bible above the actual working of the Holy Spirit in our own Spirits, we are making an idol of the Bible. I believe that is one of the most significant mistakes that institutional Christianity has committed and a significant reason that institutional Christianity is so divided and un-unified. The institutional church has placed doctrine and dogma based on the interpretation of the Bible above the lving breathing relationship of every believer with the Spirit of God that is promised.

No amount of literary or theological gymnastics can make all the contradictions in the bible disappear. Even the accounts of Paul's conversion experience on the road to Damascus are not consistent within the Bible. Yes, God gave us the Bible so we would have a working understanding of the history of his covenant with his people. But God never intended the Bible to replace an actual spirit lead relationship with him.

So how do we know if soneone is being led by the Spirit of God? Jesus gave us two clues. One, he said they would know us by our love for one another. Two he said the Holy spirit would remind of us what he spoke...not what the apostles and the evangelist Paul spoke. Jesus never mentioned anything about correct doctrine and dogma being the sign of a true believer.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭KJVA‬‬
Circular reasoning at it's finest. Actually it's just another indicaton that Paul didn't even consider the fact he was writing the word of God at all times.

It seem to me you put all the Disciples above Paul just because they served Jesus face to face. I have to disagree, Paul's encounter with Christ was way more spiritual enlightened compared to most of the Disciples.
And the inconsistent accounts of his encounter check off many of the key points that Jesus gave as red flags of the appearance of false Christs.

This encounter changed Paul's destiny and the course of Christianity. Paul's testimony was amazing. He's a prime example of a true born again Christian. You can disagree with him all you want but he will always be a more inspirational evangelist/pastor than you will ever be.
Agreed! I already stated he was the single greatest evangelist in the history of the Church. But an evangelist does not perform the same function as an Apostle. An evangelist spreads the gospel and equips the saints to share their faith and be witnesses. Apostles alone are given the function of setting church doctrine and theology. Two different functions. When we try to use the writings of an evangelist to set doctrine and theology we put ourselves in danger of what Peter warned about.

Side question Todd. Look at this verse and let me know if Judas or Paul's name will be written among the other apostles.

“And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭21:14‬ ‭KJVA‬‬
Neither.... the book of Acts tells us that the disciples replaced Judas with Matthias, not Paul. It's poorly thought out assumptions like this that compound upon themselves and lead to bad theology and doctrine.
 






Lisa

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Except of course when Paul actually says "the rest is from me, not from the Lord " ?
He didn’t have to say that was from him and not the Lord...who would know..but he did and it was his letter after all.


The words of Jesus are the only words in the bible that I can take at face value as the direct words of God as Jesus was the only one who even claimed that the only words he spoke were God's words.
Jesus is the word...so aren’t they all His words in scripture then? Except the ones that Paul says are his..said because God doesn’t want people to misunderstand.




Neither.... the book of Acts tells us that the disciples replaced Judas with Matthias, not Paul. It's poorly thought out assumptions like this that compound upon themselves and lead to bad theology and doctrine.
I do agree that it’s Matthias and not Paul. But I also agree with @floss that Paul is the prime example of a true born again Christian. God can indeed take anyone and change his/her life through Christ.
 






Todd

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He didn’t have to say that was from him and not the Lord...who would know..but he did and it was his letter after all.
Was it his letter or was it the inspired word of God, or some of both? I'm not sure what your point is.

Tell me Lisa, is the following statement the words of God?
"Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. "

Jesus is the word...so aren’t they all His words in scripture then? Except the ones that Paul says are his..said because God doesn’t want people to misunderstand.
The reason John called Jesus the word, is because Jesus was the embodiment of God's will. Jesus said himself that he spoke nothing on his own, that he only did and said what he saw and heard the Father in heaven do and say. Again you are making the Bible more than it is. God's word is contained in the bible, but not every literal word in the Bible is directly from God.

I do agree that it’s Matthias and not Paul. But I also agree with @floss that Paul is the prime example of a true born again Christian. God can indeed take anyone and change his/her life through Christ.
I never said Paul wasn't a born again Christian. But just like every other born again Christian he was not infallible. I simply do not agree with the majoritiy of instituionalized religion giving more authority to the words of Paul, than the words of Jesus.
 






Lisa

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Was it his letter or was it the inspired word of God, or some of both? I'm not sure what your point is.
His letter, the words were inspired by God and he said what he thought was good in some parts AND instead of letting us think that was the word of God, he told us, that it was his own words.

I guess I should concede here that in the case of being single, though God didn’t inspire that, the fact that he allowed Paul to leave it in the Bible means that there is something to it. However, I would say that since God didn’t inspire it...His way is man marries woman and is what is best.

The reason John called Jesus the word, is because Jesus was the embodiment of God's will. Jesus said himself that he spoke nothing on his own, that he only did and said what he saw and heard the Father in heaven do and say. Again you are making the Bible more than it is. God's word is contained in the bible, but not every literal word in the Bible is directly from God.
Jesus is the word...the Bible is God’s word.

I never said Paul wasn't a born again Christian. But just like every other born again Christian he was not infallible. I simply do not agree with the majoritiy of instituionalized religion giving more authority to the words of Paul, than the words of Jesus.
No one says Paul was infallible, which has nothing to do with anything...no one is infallible but God can use anyone anyway.
Paul was inspired by God to write what he wrote which became part of scripture because it was inspired by God. If it weren’t, it wouldn’t be in the Bible, honestly. By saying that you don’t agree with Paul you are saying you don’t agree with God.
 






Robin

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I've been thinking it through for a few days now, @Todd and I really, really wish that it was true and that there was stronger biblical evidence for it. It's proven a real stumbling block for me to be honest. I guess my qualm is that those of us who were lucky enough to find "the way" are just that -lucky. We could easily have been born into a village somewhere where the Word had never been introduced, where the gospel spoken of in Psalms 19 was taken by cultural mythology. I can't help but think about people like that. Or people who died young before they had a chance to get saved but were good people. Or people (not too different to myself actually) whose primary exposure to believers were not always conducive to faith. I mean with all the deception (which the bible evidences can be demonically-influenced) going on surrounding the bible and matters of doctrine, surely it's not far off to worry about ourselves being deceived and falling away? What then? I'm not sure anymore of where to stand with certain issues -not the existence of God or the sacrifice and victory of Christ, but rather everything that follows after. I don't know.
 






Red Sky at Morning

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I've been thinking it through for a few days now, @Todd and I really, really wish that it was true and that there was stronger biblical evidence for it. It's proven a real stumbling block for me to be honest. I guess my qualm is that those of us who were lucky enough to find "the way" are just that -lucky. We could easily have been born into a village somewhere where the Word had never been introduced, where the gospel spoken of in Psalms 19 was taken by cultural mythology. I can't help but think about people like that. Or people who died young before they had a chance to get saved but were good people. Or people (not too different to myself actually) whose primary exposure to believers were not always conducive to faith. I mean with all the deception (which the bible evidences can be demonically-influenced) going on surrounding the bible and matters of doctrine, surely it's not far off to worry about ourselves being deceived and falling away? What then? I'm not sure anymore of where to stand with certain issues -not the existence of God or the sacrifice and victory of Christ, but rather everything that follows after. I don't know.
I am glad that we don’t get to provide false pardons or final judgements on one another. God (who I trust in but who is infinitely beyond me) will be the final judge and our speculation on exactly who gets to “make it” is entirely His business...
 






Todd

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I've been thinking it through for a few days now, @Todd and I really, really wish that it was true and that there was stronger biblical evidence for it. It's proven a real stumbling block for me to be honest. I guess my qualm is that those of us who were lucky enough to find "the way" are just that -lucky. We could easily have been born into a village somewhere where the Word had never been introduced, where the gospel spoken of in Psalms 19 was taken by cultural mythology. I can't help but think about people like that. Or people who died young before they had a chance to get saved but were good people. Or people (not too different to myself actually) whose primary exposure to believers were not always conducive to faith. I mean with all the deception (which the bible evidences can be demonically-influenced) going on surrounding the bible and matters of doctrine, surely it's not far off to worry about ourselves being deceived and falling away? What then? I'm not sure anymore of where to stand with certain issues -not the existence of God or the sacrifice and victory of Christ, but rather everything that follows after. I don't know.
My only suggestion is to keep studying and asking God to give you revelation. Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So keep reading and meditating on the scriptures that say God will reconcile ALL.
 






Red Sky at Morning

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My only suggestion is to keep studying and asking God to give you revelation. Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So keep reading and meditating on the scriptures that say God will reconcile ALL.
I think the video in the OP represents a better balance of the scriptural position @Todd but I think it is worth people making their own minds about the question, which is why I opened up the conversation...
 






floss

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I've been thinking it through for a few days now, @Todd and I really, really wish that it was true and that there was stronger biblical evidence for it. It's proven a real stumbling block for me to be honest. I guess my qualm is that those of us who were lucky enough to find "the way" are just that -lucky. We could easily have been born into a village somewhere where the Word had never been introduced, where the gospel spoken of in Psalms 19 was taken by cultural mythology. I can't help but think about people like that. Or people who died young before they had a chance to get saved but were good people. Or people (not too different to myself actually) whose primary exposure to believers were not always conducive to faith. I mean with all the deception (which the bible evidences can be demonically-influenced) going on surrounding the bible and matters of doctrine, surely it's not far off to worry about ourselves being deceived and falling away? What then? I'm not sure anymore of where to stand with certain issues -not the existence of God or the sacrifice and victory of Christ, but rather everything that follows after. I don't know.
I wouldn't say it's simply lucky to be saved. God can come to anyone anywhere even the .00001% in the middle of no where AS LONG AS they seek for Him. I believe God gave all his creation a blueprint to find the way back home. God's fingerprints are everywhere in nature so there are no excuses if one doesn't seek for Him. This is not to say everyone has an equal chance, it's a matter of more or less blessing. God blessed generation and generation of those who worship and served him and cursed generations of those who goes against him. I say this because I know my family line has been cursed for who know how long ago because my ancestor are idolators. I'm the first to break this curses and found salvation. What make me different from any of my families? I seek God with all my heart for 12 years before He manifested Himself. If anyone say they seek God and have not found Him, either they are a liar or they have not seek with all their heart. I'm happy to know that my efforts will bring blessing to my children and children's children. So someone who aren't save in a village out of no where can only blame themself or their ancestors but it's not God's fault. It's definitely hard to find salvation but very easy to be saved, Amen!

Anyway, not sure if you are aware, Todd believe Satan can be reconciled so that should tell you all you need to know about UR doctrines of devil.
 






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Todd

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And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile ALL things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.


Young's Literal Translation
and through him to reconcile the all things to himself -- having made peace through the blood of his cross -- through him, whether the things upon the earth, whether the things in the heavens.


New International Version
and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

New Living Translation
and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
 






floss

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And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile ALL things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.


Young's Literal Translation
and through him to reconcile the all things to himself -- having made peace through the blood of his cross -- through him, whether the things upon the earth, whether the things in the heavens.


New International Version
and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

New Living Translation
and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
Was this inspired by God?
 






Hon33

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Except of course when Paul actually says "the rest is from me, not from the Lord " ?


Well that actually makes my case doesn't it? If Paul knew he was writting the word of God, why would he even dare to inject his own opinion into it, unless of course he did not agee with what Peter said in 2 Peter 1:20-21. But of course if that were the case either Paul or Peter was not inpsired by God then, correct? The likely possibility if want to assume that Paul's intentions and motives were pure, is that Paul did not really believe at the time that he was writing what would become "the sacred scripture".

I agree that it's not coincidence that his writings are in the Bible and it does not change my belief that the Bible as a whole is used by God to teach and inspire us. But for me it's not a simple black and white proposition that every single word in the Bible is the word of God. The Bible is man's recorded understanding of God and his dealing with his people. Much of man's understanding is insprired by God, but even Paul wrote that our understanding is not complete "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."

That is the whole point of God sending his own Spirit to indwell in us. The Holy Spirit came to inspire each of us individually and remind us of the words that Jesus spoke. The words of Jesus are the only words in the bible that I can take at face value as the direct words of God as Jesus was the only one who even claimed that the only words he spoke were God's words. By elevating our own interpretation of the Bible above the actual working of the Holy Spirit in our own Spirits, we are making an idol of the Bible. I believe that is one of the most significant mistakes that institutional Christianity has committed and a significant reason that institutional Christianity is so divided and un-unified. The institutional church has placed doctrine and dogma based on the interpretation of the Bible above the lving breathing relationship of every believer with the Spirit of God that is promised.

No amount of literary or theological gymnastics can make all the contradictions in the bible disappear. Even the accounts of Paul's conversion experience on the road to Damascus are not consistent within the Bible. Yes, God gave us the Bible so we would have a working understanding of the history of his covenant with his people. But God never intended the Bible to replace an actual spirit lead relationship with him.

So how do we know if soneone is being led by the Spirit of God? Jesus gave us two clues. One, he said they would know us by our love for one another. Two he said the Holy spirit would remind of us what he spoke...not what the apostles and the evangelist Paul spoke. Jesus never mentioned anything about correct doctrine and dogma being the sign of a true believer.


Circular reasoning at it's finest. Actually it's just another indicaton that Paul didn't even consider the fact he was writing the word of God at all times.


And the inconsistent accounts of his encounter check off many of the key points that Jesus gave as red flags of the appearance of false Christs.


Agreed! I already stated he was the single greatest evangelist in the history of the Church. But an evangelist does not perform the same function as an Apostle. An evangelist spreads the gospel and equips the saints to share their faith and be witnesses. Apostles alone are given the function of setting church doctrine and theology. Two different functions. When we try to use the writings of an evangelist to set doctrine and theology we put ourselves in danger of what Peter warned about.


Neither.... the book of Acts tells us that the disciples replaced Judas with Matthias, not Paul. It's poorly thought out assumptions like this that compound upon themselves and lead to bad theology and doctrine.
There were several criteria set out in Acts 1 for anyone to qualify as an apostle - they were required to have been taught directly by Jesus, they were required to have witnessed a resurrected Jesus and they had to have been called by Jesus himself.
Matthias was indeed appointed as Judas’ replacement. Nevertheless, that does not rule out the possibility of Paul being an apostle. We know he witnessed a resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus. In Acts 9:5 Paul asked, “Who are you, Lord?” And the reply he received was that it was Jesus. Jesus explained to Paul that he was his chosen vessel for bringing his word to the gentiles. Therefore, we know that Paul was chosen by Jesus himself.
With regards to having been taught by Jesus. After his conversion, Paul spent a period of time in exile, during which he received direct instruction fromJesus, in Gods word - Galatians 1:12.
Paul therefore meets the criteria of an apostle, even though he himself never claimed to be one of the original apostles.
 






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Todd

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Was this inspired by God?
What difference does it make if I think it is inspired by God? You claim it is inspired by God. So please explain how you can deny the reconciliation of all things and still believe Paul's writing is inspired by God?
 






floss

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What difference does it make if I think it is inspired by God? You claim it is inspired by God. So please explain how you can deny the reconciliation of all things and still believe Paul's writing is inspired by God?
It's a simple question Todd since I kept seeing you used the same verse.
 






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