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September 13, 2013

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There is another possibility when looking at this question (both/and, not either/or). Throughout the OT there are several instances of God going "OK, we'll try it your way", usually with predictable consequences. On way I've thought of hell is God saying "That is your decision and you get to make the choice". While I have not thought this through all of the and so could be quite wrong, I would find myself a little surprised if people were to be dragged kicking and screaming.

I think the idea of Gehenna (We need to quit using the word hell, too many wrong cultural images!) is not so problematic. Punishment for wrongdoing is simply logical. Universalism presents a lot more problems than Gehenna does.

The real question here is about the duration. Annihilation or eternal conscious torment? I suppose both are equally horrifying punishments, but there are some major question marks about the eternal conscious torment, both philosophically and biblically. Myself, I am undecided.

I'm totally behind the reality of hell according to scripture. I just don't know about this argument of "real love requires freedom to do otherwise".

Does God really love us? Of course. Does he have the freedom to sin? No. I don't think that diminishes his love at all though. I'm not sure how to get around this however, or if we even need to. In any case, I'm not sure the "free moral agents" argument holds water.

Any thoughts?

The God of the Bible is described as loving, gracious and merciful

Only to those to whom he has chosen to exhibit love, grace and mercy towards. To those he has not, he is a vengeful tyrant. Not much different than Zeus.

Mercy Requires Justice

Not really. Mercy is extended to those who either do not deserve it or are in no position to expect it. Mercy and justice lie at the opposite ends of the spectrum which is yet another reason why the christian god is self-contradictory.

Besides, justice for whom? It can't be justice for human victims because god supposedly will forgive a rapist without consulting his victim. It's justice for god himself: the same god that created the sinner in the first place; the same god who foresaw the sins this man would commit and still created him anyway without regard for the effects of his sin on others. Christians are saved by god from god. Could there possibly be a more convoluted definition of justice? I don't see how.

Freedom Requires Consequence

Once again a Calvinist plays the free will card when it suits his argument. There is no room for human freedom when it comes to the god of the bible who ordains everything that comes to pass and has predestined the fate of every living being since the beginning of time. So because there is no true freedom for men, there should not be any consequence for their actions. Somehow christians live with this mystery, but thinking people understand how ludicrous the position is and reject it.

Victory Requires Punishment

Only for tyrants. Benevolent conquerors can indeed choose not to exact vengeful retribution upon the conquered. Actually a leader who wants to be loved and followed would do just such a thing.

Rather than help your case, these points strengthen the idea that the christian god is an unloving and vengeful god. He's worse than the most evil dictator who ever lived because he created the beings he intends to destroy for eternity with the very characteristics that he supposedly needs to destroy them for.

AJG, you really don't have a solid grasp on Calvinism or freedom theory as it pertains to philosophy. Look into libertarian and compatibilist free will. You yourself are self-contradictory in this paragraph:

"Mercy Requires Justice

Not really. Mercy is extended to those who either do not deserve it or are in no position to expect it. Mercy and justice lie at the opposite ends of the spectrum which is yet another reason why the christian god is self-contradictory."

You've misunderstood the argument. There can't BE such a thing as mercy if justice does not exist. It's an argument of necessary contingency. You yourself said that mercy is for people "who don't deserve it". Meaning that justice must pre-exist in order for mercy to be something that can be offered. Secondarily, mercy isn't dealt out by God out of order, but it is achieved through justice, the punishment being imputed to his son Jesus in our stead. Whether or not you believe it is irrelevant. The point is there's no contradiction. Justice is carried out, and mercy is dealt out as a result.

Finally, if God does exist and is the source of all that is good, you're not in a place to call him unloving or vengeful. If someone deserves vengeance, there is nothing immoral afoot. If someone does not deserve mercy, it is not necessary for him to grant it. It is a supererogatory act, that is, it is a good thing to do, but he is not bound to do it. You're a pot demanding that the sculptor explain himself.

"he created the beings he intends to destroy for eternity with the very characteristics that he supposedly needs to destroy them for."

This is simply false. He punishes them for unjustified moral acts. God has justification for all moral acts, necessarily. Liken this to a judge who sentences someone to prison, for imprisoning another man against his will. The acts are the same, but the second is justified. You're failing to properly weight moral scales.

AJG,
I think the reason people have struggled with this, and will continue to do so, is because we cannot relate to what a perfect being is like or what he would do.

We have glimpses into what it means to be loving, merciful and just, but we have no idea what it means to be perfectly loving, merciful and just.

You've misunderstood the argument. There can't BE such a thing as mercy if justice does not exist. It's an argument of necessary contingency. You yourself said that mercy is for people "who don't deserve it". Meaning that justice must pre-exist in order for mercy to be something that can be offered.

You left out a critical part of my statement: "or are in no position to expect it." Just because someone has power to deliver a crushing blow to a subject for what he perceives as grievances, what if the subject is in fact innocent but the judge is still merciful when he had the power to destroy him? Does that constitute justice or might makes right? The god of the bible engages in the latter not the former. I see no good argument for god being just. You can argue he is powerful and no one can restrain him from doing what he wants, but that's not what people understand when they hear "god is just".

Finally, if God does exist and is the source of all that is good, you're not in a place to call him unloving or vengeful.

If if if. All you have are all suppositions without factual evidence to support them. What if Odin exists and demands your obedience and you instead have worshiped Jesus? What are you going to say to Odin when he asks you why you didn't worship him? Who are you to condemn Odin's actions? Of course I'm being facetious, but there is as little evidence for Yahweh as there is for Odin. They are both mythical gods that were worshiped by primitive cultures. Knowing what we do today about how the world really works, I think we can safely dismiss both of them.

This is simply false. He punishes them for unjustified moral acts. God has justification for all moral acts, necessarily. Liken this to a judge who sentences someone to prison, for imprisoning another man against his will. The acts are the same, but the second is justified. You're failing to properly weight moral scales.

Utter nonsense. You've convinced yourself of this argument because it has likely been imposed upon you by family, friends or culture. Is god the creator of everything? John 1 states this is so. So whence cometh sin but by god? Did it spring into existence on its own? Did man create it? Even if god did not create it, he foresaw it and allowed it to come into being with all its negative consequences. How does god not bear any fault for what he created and what he foresaw his creation would do? Of course he's responsible for sin. And then he condemns man for being what god created him to be? And why does god need to destroy the sinner? Why can't he simply wipe the slate clean and forgive his lowly creations that cannot see, hear or comprehend him in any way?

Here's a thought experiment for you. Let's say a father had a newborn son and then moved away from him; however he left him a list of things he had to do and things he could not do or he would be severely punished by the father. The son grows to be 16 and has never seen nor heard from his father his whole life. The only thing he has is the list his father left him. Can you honestly say the son would be guilty for doing the opposite of what the lists states? What love has his father ever demonstrated to him? Does his father even exist? He has no way of knowing, but the most logical thing for him to do is to live as if his father never existed. This is the god of the bible. Actually, it's all gods that have ever existed. There is no reason to believe they exist and even if they do, the most logical thing for us to do is to act as if they do not and work to better our own lives as we see fit.

Actually, god is worse than this father. He put man in an impossible dilemma. He created man so that man could not possibly satisfy god's requirements of him and then god has the audacity to punish man for it. Only a christian who is trying to rescue the character of his god will argue that man somehow deserves to be punished for being what god made him to be. At least the father in my story hasn't hamstrung his son from the start.

There is no logical way you can say that god is not at least partially responsible for sin. That's why so much of christian theology rests under the umbrella of "mystery". There's no possible way to reconcile it.

AJG,

So whence cometh sin but by god?

No.

Did it spring into existence on its own?
No.
Did man create it?
Yes, although saying that sin is a created thing isn't accurate. Man fell short of the standard already set.
Even if god did not create it, he foresaw it and allowed it to come into being with all its negative consequences
So?
How does god not bear any fault for what he created and what he foresaw his creation would do? Of course he's responsible for sin.
You as a parent can clearly foresee that your child will contribute to the evil in this world - even if just a little bit. Nobody is perfect and everyone sins. Are you the parent responsible for your child's sin? No.

Yes, although saying that sin is a created thing isn't accurate. Man fell short of the standard already set.

So you're saying god set man up by setting a standard by which to live without the means to do so? How does god not bear responsibility.

And if sin isn't a thing, it certainly seems to be a non-thing tha has dire consequences. Anyway, I agree with you that sin isn't a thing. There is no such thing as sin.

You as a parent can clearly foresee that your child will contribute to the evil in this world - even if just a little bit. Nobody is perfect and everyone sins. Are you the parent responsible for your child's sin? No.

And here's where we come to the example of me being a better father than god. I expect my son to fail, but I correct him and teach him how to prevent or limit his future failures as a result. I have not placed an undue burden upon him to live a certain way. I haven't dictated that he follow a certain career path or choose a specific wife for himself. And I certainly won't throw him into a pit to rot when he fails to meet my expectations. The reason is because that is not love - it's cruelty. Anyone can see that damning a person to eternal torment for not believing the correct doctrine is madness. Only god gets off the hook for this behavior ... well, just because.

AJG,

As you seem uninformed and quite settled on misinformation comprised of cherry-picking among verses there seems little room to argue.

You win.

Your version is the only sightline viewed.


I once asked you if Love is the highest ethic.

You said no. You said truth is.

If the truth of Love is that truth may, can, does, destroy Love, then you have your truth, the truth you seem to hate here in this thread.

Your truth void of necessary love is I know not what....but you're welcome to believe in it.

Love's Eternally Sacrificed Self is not a "mystery". I know not what this "mystery" you refer to is. Love's Triune geography amid I, amid You, amid these in Unity within Love's singular E Pluribus Unum is but the light of day.

I would just like to point out here that nowhere in scripture does it say God has pre-destined the fate of every single living creature. I don't believe that, and although some believe that, I think it's nonsense. I think scripture clearly shows this is not the case. Predestination seems to refer to the predestination of the existence of a Jew-Gentile Church as a whole, not individuals. God only pre-ordains the following things in scripture: Israel, Jesus, the cross, the resurrection, and the Church. God actively made these happen according to his will. Other than that, I don't see that much is pre-destined.

AJG,

And here's where we come to the example of me being a better father than god. I expect my son to fail, but I correct him and teach him how to prevent or limit his future failures as a result.

God corrects and teaches.

I have not placed an undue burden upon him to live a certain way.

You don't seem to be grasping the Good News. God doesn't expect you to live a certain way, hence the work on the cross. You don't have to do anything but bend a knee. How hard is that? In your case, it seems to be very hard.

And I certainly won't throw him into a pit to rot when he fails to meet my expectations.

You'd eventually, one day, keep him out of your home if he ignored your basic rules for having a loving relationship, if he thought you were a horrible father and treated you with much disrespect, if he thought you should apologize to him (not the other way around) and if he basically wanted no relationship with you because he thought you're a pompous jerk.

I've just described your attitude toward God. Would God be justified in keeping you out of his home? Yes.

AJG,

So you're saying god set man up by setting a standard by which to live without the means to do so? How does god not bear responsibility.

See my comment above about the Good News. Jesus took care of it for you, for everyone. You don't have to do anything. You're complaining about something you don't even understand.

If the truth of Love, the truth about Love, is that Truth may, can, does, destroy Love, then various philosophies of Actuality have their truth, the truth which some seem to hate here in this thread. A Truth void of Necessary Love is I know not what, as such is foreign to both Uncreated Love and to scripture which speaks of Him. Though, of course, those who believe in such a misinformed version of truth are welcome to believe in it.

We find this sort of error, the sort which is necessarily void of any necessary love, the kind which is not full of both Love and Truth, full of both Grace and Truth, void of Love’s Landscape which is both One and Three, in many philosophies. The three which come readily to mind are Atheism, Hyper-Calvinism, and Universalism.

It would be necessary to dive into just what love “is” for any of this to make sense and such is too lengthy for this format. It is enough to say briefly that we find no Love anywhere void of dying, void of love’s eternally sacrificed self, and, we find no love void of I-You, void of Self and Other, these two, within embrace, and, in dying, found quite alive yet again in what is love’s necessary resurrection there in Unity within love’s singular E Pluribus Unum. Love is never void of that which his I, that which is You, that which is We. What is Love void of such? Such would be but love-less-some-thing. Love’s necessarily triune topography testifies of the Triune God Who Himself just is love. In Love’s E Pluribus Unum we find that he who loves, in dying for his beloved, that it may be her and not him, she and not he, You and not I, is found quite alive again as she too, in reciprocity’s loving return, offers herself in return, and, like him, in dying, is found quite alive again, and herein love’s eternally-sacrificed-self necessary begets these in resurrection within the necessarily begotten e pluribus unum.

The Ontology of Universalism, of Hyper-Calvinism, and of Atheism ultimately assassinate, ipso facto, Love’s Triune Topography and thus cannot feign an appeal to an epistemology which attempts to maintain love’s landscape within their reach. But to draw such out would be lengthy, and would require also the lengthy business of just what Evil “is” there inside the Self’s Privation, for Evil is not God-And, but is rather God-Less-Some-Thing, specifically Love’s trinity of I-You-We in which one-third falls into this hell on earth we awake to find ourselves within the Pure-Self, the Isolated-I, the necessarily love-less. God Alone can motion into the Pure-Self, the Isolated-I and shout “I!” there in the Great-I-AM and find but Life, but All-Sufficiency, but Himself, for Love is, God is, both One and Three. Such a move on Man’s end, on In-Sufficiency’s end, is ipso facto void of God, and thus void of Life inside of Man-In-Isolation. This One-Third of love (which is good in and of itself) falling out of love and into the slaughter that is hell on earth, for the species we call Angel, not fated to be in Love’s Triune Image, is as far as we know irredeemable (Universalism fails ipso facto) and this One-Third-Of-Love falling out of love, for the species we call Man, fated to be in Love’s Triune Image, is utterly redeemed, though we find yet again Universalism failing ipso facto prior to volitional motions within love’s immutability as In-Sufficiency’s “motion into Self”, into Privation, into the Outside-Of-God, just is necessarily available to Man and cannot be withheld, locked out of reach, for such a move on God’s End, on Love’s End, destroys the very fabric of that which Power Wills: Love’s Triune Topography amid those volitional motions among I-You-We. And so on. Hyper-Calvinism makes the same category of error, only in the reverse direction. And so on. Atheism is wholly insane and is void of all of the above as its ontology is indifference and nothing more.

Enoch and Pharaoh are but Time’s Volitional I-Will-s and Time’s Volitional I-Will-Not-s transitioning into Timeless Permanence (all men, all things, must exit Time, some before death, some after, some never seeing death) as Power Wills His Image and will not violate such (as Exodus 7, 8, and 9 reveal) and, also, Love Wills to use all things for Good, for Love’s Ends. We are all Enoch. We are all Pharaoh. We will be co-laborers with love and for love’s ends, or, in privation, we will, in our freedom, be, in that volitional privation, used by Love for Love’s Ends. All things are used by Love for Good, and, Love never assassinates Love’s Triune Image, for Power Wills such to exist in Man, thus, such exists in Man. We find here that everything that exists does so by Him, and, we find also that nothing can thwart Power’s Will, Love’s Will. All these things are too lengthy to do justice to, and there is far more to describe, particularly on the difference between God’s Knowing and God’s Actualizations, and on Man’s sort of actualization, as all possible actualizations exist, concretely, in God timelessly, and such shines love’s light of coherence atop Eden’s geography. Fifty words or less won’t do. It will have to be enough to say this: Ultimate Actuality is Love, God is Love, and, the Ultimate Ethic is therefore Love, and such are reasons (there are many more reasons) that we know that Universalism, Hyper-Calvinism, and Atheism are wholly bankrupt both of Necessary Grace and of Necessary Truth. When Love Manifests, He comes full of grace and truth. Love is, necessarily, both One and Three.

As for another’s constant reference to some kind of “mystery”, well, I have no idea what they mean. Love's Eternally Sacrificed Self is not a mystery, but is quite evident, fully revealed. I just do not know what this use of the word mystery refers to. Love's Triune Topography amid I, amid You, amid these in Unity within Love's singular E Pluribus Unum is no mystery, for such is the very light of day.

None of this answers the fundamental dilemma: Where does God get the right to torture those who do not fit his expectations of what human or humans should be? "Love or me I will destroy you" is the modus operandi of Disney villain.

The issue is not hell or rejecting God, it is torture.

Pride's fierce and cruel "Mine and not Thine!" and Pride's indifferent and unfeeling "I and not You!" amount to Self and not Other in both trust and in motion. Such is the inverse of love for any created entity, whereas, such volitional motion is, in Uncreated Love Himself, but a motion into the Great-I-AM, into God Himself and that necessarily, for Love is both One and Three. Whereas, such volitional motion in Man (in any created being) is Man's fatal privation, for no created Self can stand in isolation and taste Sufficiency, taste Life as the Uncreated is the only source of Sufficiency, of Life, there is and that ipso facto. A created-any-thing in isolation apart from the Uncreated is but hopeless, but lifeless, and that necessarily. Whereas, all motions inside of Love’s Uncreated Triune land on but Life Himself, the Great-I-AM.


The differences here are a matter of sufficiency, of contingency. Uncreated Love just can never be contingent. And so on.

This motion of Pride into the Self in Privation, into Evil (God just cannot make a motion into in-sufficiency, for His Privatized Self is but the Greate-I-AM) is the inverse of Love's Eternally Sacrificed Self in relation to Man, for Uncreated Love pours out and shouts, "Thy and not My, Other and not Self! You and not I!" and in sheer actuality does just that for us, His beloved, as Love Manifests High on that Hill, and spreads His arms wide, and pours Himself out, utterly, actually, and not in mere gesture. For such is Love; everlastingly so, necessarily so.

Immutability surfaces as a question in this business of contingency and sufficiency. How in the world can such a thing surface for any created anything? In-Sufficiency and All-Sufficiency are worlds apart and the two never can touch. Nothing changes here. God’s, or Love’s, Eternally Sacrificed Self, God poured out, God debased, is necessary and unavoidable should Man taste, behold, become Immutable. Man has no hope but that God pours Himself into man, that God first glorify man. It is not Man who must reach up and pull God, by Man’s brute force, down into Man. Such is nonsense. God must pour out, and into, Man. God must fall. God must lower. All-Sufficiency must stoop down and into In-Sufficiency. And Love just does die for the Beloved. I am debased that my beloved may be lifted up. That is love. God is, Love is, debased that His beloved, you and I, may be lifted up. The Dying God is the only coherent system out there and we find this nowhere but in the Everlasting Christ Who exists Unchanging and Timelessly as all this is inevitable: Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self, Word’s Corporeal. No created creature is all-sufficient in isolation. But Man-In-God, and, God-In-Man begins to open some doors to All-Sufficiency in all motions in every direction.

Look at where and how In-Sufficiency finds, houses, All-Sufficiency through Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self. Change is inevitable for In-Sufficiency, and thus Time and Pain is inevitable. While God’s Motions within the Triune are Unchanging, it is inevitable and cannot be otherwise that Man, in Motioning, experience Change, and thus Time, and therein a kind of Pain, pending his amalgamation either within Love or outside of Love (both are necessarily available per Power’s Willed Image). There are no doors in Eden whereby Man evades Love's Eternally Sacrificed Self or the knowledge of Good and Evil, and to the full. No idol (God-Less-Some-Thing) can ever offer man more than what man can find in God-Alone and that is on reason (there are many more) how we know that God’s Ends are not contingent on man’s choice in Eden. In Obedience or in Disobedience Man, In-Sufficiency, is fated to Beholding and to Becoming the Image of Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self.


In Philippians 4:11 and 4:13 we see the use of the Greek word autarkas. In 4:11 it is translated “content” (I-am-content-in-all-things) and in 4:13 it is given it’s literal translation: “self-sufficient” (in all things). A man here utters the impossible: “I am self-sufficient in all things”. How can Man, that which is In-Sufficiency ipso facto, ever say such a thing, for it is God and God Alone who can utter such a thing and speak the truth of the matter. We find here the inverse of Man’s Privation. All motions in all directions now offer Man no possible door into what Evil is. Man here turns the corner of History via God-Poured-Out and states, hints at, the end of the fatality of that Motion-Into-Self which was formally a motion into the Privation of Good, into Evil and necessary hopelessness. Now we find, still, Man, but no longer his insufficiency. Here we find In-Sufficiency having swallowed the Cup of Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self, having been swallowed up by God-Poured-Out, and therein whichever way he, man, now turns he finds but God outside of him, but God within him, but Word-Corporeal, and in all directions.


Word’s Immutable and Man’s Mutable, by Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self, by God’s Means, by God’s Ends, which is simply, always, Himself, and no other, become One, and what, again, is “One”? One is not, never is, just One, but, it is also Three, because everybody knows that is just what Ultimate Actuality Is, and here Mutability puts on Immutability. God-In-Man, Man-In-God, Word Made Flesh just cannot be otherwise. It is Man, yes, but, it is also God, as all the business of Word’s Corporeal, and of incarnation’s geography, and of God-In-Man, and of Man-In-God all manifest in final and permanent Amalgamation. Philippians reveals a hint, a brief awareness, of our gestation’s end, as the Pain of Change within Time begins to give way to Joy. This gestation, this change, this Time, could never be otherwise whether Man motions into the Self in Privation there in Eden or into the Uncreated Other there in Eden. All roads lead to Him and whatever vividness of perceptions Satan offers to us in God-Less-Some-Thing cannot compare, never will compare, and we mean necessarily, to the vividness of perceptions we will discover, necessarily, in our final felicity as we motion into God, Who is Love.

Erkki S.,

You are just misinformed. You think those who know-not, see-not, are accountable for what they know-not, see-not, yet Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self shouts otherwise from high atop His Bench, and does not motion toward sin in so doing, for His Will is from before forever in the Timeless, though we “first” see it here inside of Time. Just like Gethsemane’s landscape. And, you think I will punish my five year old for failing a college entrance exam. You think that I do not debase myself that my wife may be lifted up. And, you think that I will rape my wife. No. Love does none of these things Errki S and you simply betray your ignorance in stating thus. Love does not punish a child for failing a college entrance exam. And, and pay attention here Erkki S: no created being is sufficient in isolation, is non-contingent in isolation. That is the business of Pride to so insist. And you indirectly so insist on philosophical necessity within your assumptions here. Love’s Topography is quite apparent. You seem to think that either Atheism, or, Hyper-Calvinism, or, Universalism can maintain coherence inside their own stated [A to Z] with this statement: Ultimate Actuality, and thus the Ultimate Ethic, is Love. You are simply wrong. That is to say, you haven’t thought through all of this nor have you taken Scripture’s entire [A to Z] with its own stated end points into consideration, on philosophical necessity. My previous posts here can only touch on such. Time is limited I am afraid. But you need not fear such “pain”, Erkki S. Those who love themselves more than anything else will be quite happy in such an isolation. They enjoy such. In Love’s view, such a condition would just be horrible. But that is in Love’s view. And such is True, but only from Love’s view. You are welcome to disagree with Love’s E Pluribus Unum and Love’s dissatisfaction with nothing but Self. That view will not be shared by those who love themselves more than anything else. Reality void of Love, void of Other, void of I-You, void of Love’s Triune I-You-We there in its necessary E Pluribus Unum and instead full of just Self, the Isolated-I is all the joy of pride’s heaven. “Joy” means different things to different people. Enoch is granted his joy. Pharaoh is granted his joy. Each serves, in their own way, ipso facto, Love’s Ends, and Love’s Triune Landscape demands each be granted their joy. I love my wife more than myself. And, being created in Love’s Image, I value love. As it turns out, Uncreated Love is Non-Contingent. Whereas, I find that I am on all counts contingent upon Uncreated Love for, well, everything, particularly love, and that ipso facto. A Created Being just cannot be Non-Contingent. Not to worry. We will all have our heaven. We are all Enoch. We are all Pharaoh. “Joy” awaits us all.


Erkki S.,

You also make the logical error of asserting, by philosophical necessity, in what you indirectly infer, that either Sin, or Time, or Space, or Location, or Opportunity, or Man's countless vectors of insufficiency are too grand for Ransom to outreach, for Grace to out perform. You are mistaken. As always you must take Love's entire [A to Z] into account and therein dissolve all tensions.

If there are no consequences for evil, then there a plenty of people out there who are getting the short end of the stick. In order for there to be justice, there must be punishment. I'm not sure how there is any way around that. How could God torture someone? Because they tortured others. The punishment of Gehenna (hell) is most certainly according to what you deserve, nothing more, nothing less. I'm not sure how long that punishment lasts, but without punishment, how in the world could God possibly be just? All those people who have destroyed lives and our world and cause so much damage? Nothing happens to them???? I'm not understanding the conundrum here. This is a larger point of the gospel, that God is going to bring about justice on the corrupt ruling elite and the rich thieves.

Jared,

First they scream He is not just enough (why won't God end evil), and, then, when God does end evil, they scream He is too just.

And, of course, they fail to account for Love's necessay topography.

In the world of Personhood amid Angel on the one hand and Man on the other hand we find another view into Universalism’s flaws and into Love’s Triune Image, fated for Man, though not for Angels. This is all a side note, but offers a bit of light on love’s necessities.

As described briefly earlier, we find that within Love’s Triune we have all those volitional motions amid Self-Other and these within Unity inside of Love’s singular E Pluribus Unum. It is I, and, it is my Wife, and, it is that third and very present actuality, the singular Us. Love just is Triune. And so on.

The species of Man, it seems, is fated to behold, and to become, that Image. And we saw also that such necessarily entails Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self in a myriad of vectors and is both the means and the ends. Man is not pillaged for Love’s Ends, as if God’s Ends could be contingent upon Man. Nonsense. Rather, Love Himself is debased, pours out, is humiliated, and He Himself is both the Means and the Ends here in this business of Love’s Image in a Created, Contingent, Being. Man is in no wise the means just as man is in no wise the ends. It is God Who, necessarily, whether Man obey or disobey, must first glorify man as Man cannot reach up and force god into man. Love’s reciprocity awaits in all directions there in Eden, as does Word’s Corporeal.

And in Eden (and beyond) and in Lucifer we find quite a difference. We saw earlier that Love’s Triune I-You-We is the Whole whereas, for Man, Evil is but the Privation of Good, but Man’s Pure-Self, the Isolated-I (which is good by definition, God calls His creation Good) volitionally motions into that fatal move of “I and not You!” before the face of All-Sufficiency. Therein all that can, ipso facto, await Man in Privation is but Life-Less, Love-Less, God-Less, for, on necessity, God is the only source of Life, of Love, there is. Man thus enters what can only be called death. And we saw (briefly) earlier why it is that such a motion cannot be locked out of reach: Love Wills His Image, those volitional motions among real selves amid Love’s Triune of Self-Other-E Pluribus Unum. Universalism destroys this topography, and therein destroys Power’s Will, which is impossible on necessity. The reverse direction of “locking out of reach” love’s motioning into Other is impossible too, for the very same reasons of necessity.



Now, this volitional motion of Man, the species of Man, not one individual Man, is the Fall of One-Third-Of-Love’s Whole, One-Third of, ipso facto, Man’s Whole. The I now stands alone, dissected off of that You and thus necessarily also is then void of the Us of E Pluribus Unum.

Now, when Lucifer and his Angels fall, they too, like Man, fall by One-Third of their Whole.

And here is a Y in the road for these two species. Where Angels are concerned, they are not a species in Love’s Image, fated to be Word’s Corporeal, as is Man. However, they are, in some fashion, Person (it seems), and, they have that business of volitional motions amid I and amid You and amid Us before them as well, it seems. Herein they, like Man, have all the business of Awareness of Light, and thus of Culpability squarely on their shoulders, squarely in their Capacity. But they are not as God Is, in His Image (as Man is) and this dissimilarity is in two directions. First: they are not One within their own species, such that should I-Fall, You-Need-Not-Fall, so to speak. The I in whatever that species is carries Personhood’s tapestry, such that if there be a fracture, it will be along that fault line between I-You, as in Man, and therein it is of course One-Third of the entire species that will fall (if a fall on volition’s end). They are not One singular-Us within their own species, as God is, as Man is, and thus fracture thusly, whereas God of course cannot fracture, whereas Man must Obey or Disobey, Stand or Fall as a Species, as a singular-Us, for Man is in God’s Image. Secondly: Angels are not One-with-God, outward with another “species” (God), such that, should A fall, we find no marriage, no Bride, no Groom, within the dimension of Uncreated-Created, thus no Ring of Promise within this of Power’s Will, “Let Us create Man in Our Image”. It seems Love does Marry, though, but One Bride, but One Groom, and not Many. Yet again we find just why it is all the language of Love’s New Covenant points us towards Marriage as a Type, an Echo, a Pattern of what Actuality Himself “is” relative to the Church.

Redemption here begins to make sense amongst Angel vs. Man.

We see how it is that Lucifer and his friends need never have a marriage vow, and on several fronts, both within their species’ sort of oneness and also in their relation to another species (God). Also, of course, they have the Full Light of God’s Face to refuse and even the New Testament tells us that should any Christian have such a sightline (such are but few, very, very few) and then reject Love, that they too would be, though now grafted in yet would, on that sort of Fully-Aware Volitional Motion out of Him and into, well, Self, be cut-off, and that, of course, by the necessity of what love is in all directions. There is a Bride, only, she is not forced, just as, inside of Him we find no “locked in-to-One”, but, rather those motions among both One and Three, ever back and forth as described earlier in this thread. Lucifer’s lack of redemption faces thus two problems, that of his own species’ tapestry of one-ness, and, also, the fact that he stands in the Full Light of God’s Face.

In Man we see here how it is, on necessity, that by the First Adam “death” (Man in Privation) enters as Man Dies-By-One-Third, as do Angels, and, thereby, the Whole Species Falls (quite different than Angels). Then in just the same way, by this Topography and also by Power’s Will of Marriage/Image in Genesis, we see here how it is, on necessity, that, by the Last Adam, “Life” or Man-God is restored by Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self, by God, Who Dies-By-One-Third (Love is always doing such within Himself) and, thereby, the Whole Species of Man is Redeemed, availed of God Himself. By one’s sin the species exits and by One’s Death the species enter.


This is all a side note and shows a little more of how it is that Universalism fails on a few different fronts, along with those reasons touched on earlier. We also get a glimpse into what Marriage really looks like, and we also get a glimpse why it is that the Dying God is the only coherent system out there on the Man-In-God and the God-In-Man mechanistic grounds as described earlier.

Erkki,

None of this answers the fundamental dilemma: Where does God get the right to torture those who do not fit his expectations of what human or humans should be?

This is a false dilemma as you have stated it. God does not "get the right" to act justly. God *is* the grounding source for justice (and other realities), and he expresses it outwardly where you and I can see that justice in action.

You've fallen prey to the Euthyphro dilemma where God is separate from morality. That's not what Christianity teaches.

By necessity, according to his nature, God can not be unjust nor can he do anything that is unjust. His nature, his essence, who God is, makes it impossible. God is in a category of ONE.

That's what Christianity teaches.

What God has joined as one, let no man separate. And then we accuse God of separating that oneness, holding it out of reach, even. By one man's sin..... by One Man's Death.....

    God *is* the grounding source for justice (and other realities), and he expresses it outwardly where you and I can see that justice in action.

    By necessity, according to his nature, God can not be unjust nor can he do anything that is unjust. His nature, his essence, who God is, makes it impossible. God is in a category of ONE.

But this is the precisely the problem of this backwards logic and assumptions about God. If it seems like Hell or torture is immoral, then we should start with the assumption that this is not what God does, and that these claims are simply a mean for people who want earthly power, like kings, imams and priests to terrorize people.

Of course love-less-ness is immoral. That is what man's privation just is. And Love hates that condition. That's why He pours Himself out.

Erkki,

If it seems like Hell or torture is immoral, then we should start with the assumption that this is not what God does...

You are someone who is dealing with the emotional problem of morality. I can certainly understand that as I have my emotional issues too.

But let's not confuse our emotional reaction to what Christianity teaches with what Christianity actually teaches.

Read scripture. Read church history. Better yet, read someone who has done the heavy lifting and can explain what scripture teaches about God and morality.

Man is Insufficiency and such on volitional motion into Self, rather than into Love's I-You in Unity in that third distinct of E Pluribus Unum, is on necessity Love-Less, which is a motion necessarily availed to it, for such is found in the volitional motions of God's Triune. This is inside of Love's Uncreated Triune but a motion into Love Himself, into the Great I AM. God cannot make a bad move ipso facto. The Created CAN, on necessity, though, the Created NEED NOT, again on necessity, and upon Amalgamation by volition, Man will then find, in all directions, on every motion, God in all directions.

Love-less-ness is immoral, and, pending volitional amalgamations, on necessity available, and on necessity not necessary (for Created Man), and on necessity not possible for Uncreated Love. God hates Man's privation, and rescues Man from it. Some men, though, love it, that isolated I.

We all, on necessity, have our first love.

We all see, also, how God need never "hate" within Himself, as Good in privation is, in Him, but Love Himself.

That is not our condition.

Yet.

Many if not most church fathers in the first five centuries of the church believed that Hell did not last forever, and that Christ would ultimately "save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). For those who are interested, the teachings on Hell from about 50 of these church fathers are detailed in chapters 4 & 5 of http://www.tentmaker.org/books/ChristTriumphant.htm God bless!

Since the link in my above post is not working correctly, you will need to scroll all the way down and click on "Christ Triumphant" (on the left). I apologize for the confusion.

Whatever we, man, permit in Time is "already" permitted in the Timeless. Whatever we, man, bind in Time is "already" bound in the Timeless. Volitional motions within Love's Triune Topography exist in Time and in the Timeless. Such motions in Time change Man. Such motions in Timeless God change nothing.

Does God’s Sovereignty Rob Us of Our Freedom?” is a OP/Topic from earlier in September here on STR. The fatal flaws of Open Theism as it relates to Man’s freedom to choose between himself and God arise to some degree. In the several string of posts ending that thread (if interested) I described those flaws, as well as Man’s necessarily available motions found in Power’s Will of His Own Image. Open Theism and Universalism make of Ultimate Actuality (God) a Love-Less Non-Sovereign in which both Love and Actualization are contingent upon Man, rather than the other way around. Hyper-Calvinism and Universalism are but the same category of error, though in differing directions and distances, as Power’s Willed Image, His Own Image, Love’s Image is annihilated on necessity. That thread (Does God’s Sovereignty Rob Us of Our Freedom?) has more in its latter half of postings, etc, if of any interest.

K. Wuest translation of Matthew 18:18 reads as, “Whatever you forbid on earth, shall have already been forbidden in heaven. And whatever you permit on earth, shall have already been permitted in heaven.”

God, not being contingent upon Man, finds no new reality within Himself, no discovery, as Man goes this way or that way. All Actuality is fully actualized, concretely, "already" in the Timeless, and in all vectors, and to the end of this or that ad infinitum, of all possible ad infinitum-s, of all possible worlds. God, Ultimate Actuality, does not stand “ready to be actualized” and here we find the fatal flaw of Open Theism. God is All Actuality Fully Actualized Timelessly, Unchangingly. He is All Possibility. There is no discovery within Him. Man, the Created, though, finds discovery of His Will, discovery of the Unchanging, whether he, Man, goes this way or that way, whether he, man, permits or forbids, for Man is contingent upon Possibility, which means Man is contingent upon God, and the reverse can never be true: God, or Possibility, is never contingent upon Man. Whatever it is to “create”, whatever that business is, we find therein something which we do not find within God, within the Everlasting Eternally Sacrificed Self: a first and a last, inside of, not the Timeless Uncreated, but inside of the Created. Enter here the thing we call Change, or the thing we call Pain, or the thing we call Time. Any Created Any-Thing, pending Amalgamation with the Timeless, will pass through this ipso facto whether it obey or disobey. We see here how it is that Man’s Volitional Motions into and out-of Self, into and out-of Other, into and out-of E Pluribus Unum are necessarily availed to him by God for God, Power, Wills His Image in Man, and, we see how these Available, Willed, Volitional Motions are not limited by Power to just one-direction, but are limited instead to All Possibility, which means simply to be limited to God’s Image, which is Necessarily True, and we find that Possibility is but God, which is but Love, and here we find that that motion into Privation is necessarily available, as is that motion into Unity, into Other, and, ultimately, into E Pluribus Unum, and as God is both One and Three so too Man’s necessary Doors are both One and Three. In all these directions, whether Man obeys there in Eden, whether Man disobeys there in Eden, his only Means will be but what he tastes within Time as a First and a Last, which is God Himself, which is Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self, and his only Ends will be but what he tastes within Time as a First and a Last, which is God Himself, which is Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self, and these both in Beholding and in Becoming. In Privation or in E Pluribus Unum we find also that, ultimately, the business of Creating, of what we call Change, of what we call Pain, of what we call Time will give way to Permanence as Man finds his first love whether that be Self above All, as in Pharaoh, or, whether such be Other above All, as in Enoch. God’s Will never changes, and His Will is for His beloved to enter into Love, into Unity, into the Joy that is Himself, Love’s necessarily Triune E Pluribus Unum, and therein He spreads His Arms wide, and He offers Himself to His beloved, which is You and I and Us.

Argumenting with God being the measure and thus not being under it just ends the debate. It has no point, really - it is just other way to say "I am right, not you".

If Christians critisize the god of Muslims and expect them to answer the challenge they should be ready to do the same.

scbrownlhrm: I am sorry but you write so long and difficult posts that I gain nothing but headache from reading them. I tried that with the first, skipped the rest.

My issue is laid like this: according to Calvinism no men after Adam's and Eve's first sin can do anything good at all. Anything they can do is evil. They can not do otherwise - they are not capable of that. God designed that system - utter hell after first sin with no chance of getting better. Then, being merciful, he opened a possibility for humankind to ask for forgiveness.

But there is a little catch: humankind is capable of doing only evil things and asking for mercy is a good thing. So the offer would meet zero acceptance. So He decided to choose few individuals - very arbitrarily because from His point of view everyone was the same - rotten sinner.

So He and those few lucky ones will share eternity in Heaven while the rest of humankind will be eternally suffering in Hell.

This is very alien to me. It does not remind me of justice or mercy. It reminds me of behaviour of a all-powerful, sadistic leader of a prisoner camp.

I would understand a God that let beings decide their fates - but that is not the case as everyone is in fact destined for Hell since conception.

I would understand a God that gave the same chance to everyone - that would seem just to me.

I do not undrestand a God that creates billions of beings and only chooses to help few and then rests watching multitudes of other burning in hell.

(BTW I am sorry for my English, second-language...)

As described, open theism, hyper-calvinism, and universalism annihilate love's necessary topography. Atheism ends in cold, sightless indifference and is void of necessary love ipso facto. Monotheism is necessarily void of love's I-You, and therein of love's E Pluribus Unum, and is necessary loveless, as these others are, on ontology's necessity.

Greetings, Morne.

You said, "I would understand a God that let beings decide their fates" and "I would understand a God that gave the same chance to everyone".

Morne, you understand God. Don't let your understanding of God's character be poisoned by Calvinism. Calvinism is not correct, as most Christians since the beginning have correctly deduced. Don't let yourself be bullied into thinking Calvinism is the only choice.

If you want to see what God is like, look at Jesus. Jesus is EXACTLY what God looks like. If Jesus would not do or say something, then God wouldn't do or say it. Cling to that.

Goat Head 5

The Goat Head couldn't resist.

scblhrm said, "God, not being contingent upon Man".

But clearly, God has chosen to allow man to be an actual free agent and have real choice. Jesus' lament over Jerusalem. "I wanted". "But you were not willing".

Sounds pretty contingent to me.

Goat Head 5

GH,

Okay.

GH,

Does man invent non-actuals? Your definition of contingent is too small minded. Even illogical. Think bigger. Wider. Define Actualization. And read more carefully.

The Goat Head speaks of definitions:

Contingent: occurring or existing only if (certain other circumstances) are the case; dependent on.

God gives us freedom. We act. God responds. His actions with regard to our libertarian free choices are contingent, by definition. By His choice. He often says in the Bible, "If you will do x, I will do Y. If you do otherwise I will do Z". Contingent.

What is a "non-actual"?

Goat Head 5

It's referenced in my posts with this thread / another thread. Read more carefully.

THE GOD OF CHRISTENDOM

God, in the beginning, created a perfect Angel called the “Anointed Cherub” whose name was Lucifer.

This perfect Angel one day fell in sin, and became a devil, ruining much of God's universe, and is the cause of all sin and evil, and also the cause of ruin and sin in other perfect angels, now called demons.

Author's note: This reminds one of a man who invents a machine or creates something for the good of himself and humanity, and then this machine goes out of his control and ruins all, against the original will and intention of the inventor.

God then was fortunate to have a son who, being purposed to die on Calvary, could at least salvage part of the ruin.

God then wanted human beings by the millions to love and serve and worship Him, and He "willed all mankind to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth."

But alas, the newly created Adam and Eve also went bad on God, and again God's intention with the human race failed. Again He blundered.

The best that God can now do since Adam, is to appeal and beg and plead with sinners so He at least gets some in heaven, otherwise the Devil gets them all in hell.

The Devil is also appealing to sinners not to accept Christ, and thus He is trying to get as many as He can into an endless hell. God is trying to get as many as He can into heaven.

“God’s” Failure and Satan’s Victory

Author's note: Thus the conclusion must be reached that the Devil's will is more powerful and successful than God's. Hell must then be forever and ever a monument to God's failure and to Satan's victory.

God foresaw all of these millions and billions of human beings when He created Adam and Eve, and He must have seen what an expensive proposition it would be; what a gamble; for He would have to send about 500 or more to an eternal hell for each one which He gets in heaven.

Then at the Tower of Babel, He deliberately upsets the one language of the world, and makes it that much more difficult for heathens and sinners to get saved. For, when viewed from present day missionary appeals, what a boon one language in the world would have been! Now the student must study two years or so to learn a dialect or language, and in the meantime thousands of heathens die and are eternally lost.

Then during the dark ages, either God would not or could not give the world, for hundreds of years, printed Bibles, tracts, radios, printing presses, etc. And even to this day there are millions of heathens not reached, who, for the most part, must be lost, or we would not send missionaries and money to the foreign fields.

God is weak enough to get the infants into heaven, but when they mature, the Devil gets most of them. Fortunate for the baby and for God when babies and little children get killed.

Then in conclusion, God miraculously keeps these billions of sinners alive forever and ever so they can undergo their eternal "gnashing of teeth" in fire and miraculously be kept burning. What profit this is to God or to the billions of culprits in Hell we are not told.

And, when we begin to ask a few questions, we are immediately hushed and told that we must not ask such questions; however, we are supposed to believe in this blundering, weak, failing god of protestantism and catholicism, the popular god of Christendom.

The thing that amazes the author is that most Christians dare not face the conclusion of their own religious beliefs.

THE GOD OF THE SACRED SCRIPTURES

1 Tim. 4:10 He is the Saviour of all mankind. (Not of believers and infants only).
1 John 2: 2 He is the propitiation for Our sins, and not ours only, but for the whole world.
John 1:29 He is the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world. (Not believers only).
Rom.11:32 He locks all up in stubbornness (Jew and Gentile) that He may be merciful to all.
1 Tim.1:15 He came into the world to save sinners. (Not to save non-sinners, or lose 90 percent of them).
1 Tim.2: 3 He wills all mankind to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (cp Eph.1:11).
Prov.16: 1-4 (Rev.4:11) He has made all for Himself. (Not 90 percent for the Devil eternally).
Col.1:20,21 He will future reconcile all. (In verse 21, He has reconciled us now. He has made us a “firstfruits” (not "only fruits").
Rom.8:19-26 He subjects the whole creation, and it waits in hope (vs. 20).
1 Cor. 15:22 He is capable of restoring all the damage under the first Adam (cp Rom.5:18,19).
1 Cor.15:28 He shall some day be "All in all" (not "all in some").


“For all is out of Him, and all is through Him, and all is for Him; to Whom be the glory for the eons.” Amen (Romans 11:36).


FIFTEEN QUESTIONS FOR SOBER THOUGHT

1 If God will have all men to be saved, and if most men are lost, then how can God be supreme (1 Tim.2:3,4)?

2 If Christ is the Propitiation for the sins of the whole world, did He die in vain for the lost (1 John 2:2)?

3 If God is going to reconcile the universe through Christ, how can some be tormented forever (Col. 1:20)?

4 How can God, in Christ, gather all things together as one while billions remain eternally estranged (Eph.1:10)?

5 If all die in Adam, and a few are made alive in Christ, how can grace much more abound than sin (Rom. 5:20)?

6 If all men are condemned by Adam’s offense, why are not all justified by the one just award (Rom. 5:18)?

7 If all die in Adam, why shall not all be made alive in Christ (1 Cor. 15:22)?

8 How can every knee bow confessing Christ Lord, to God’s glory, unless reconciled (Phil. 2:10,11)?

9 If Christ only hath immortality, how can any of the dead be alive now (1 Tim. 6:14-16; 1 Cor. 15:53, 54)?

10 If the wicked go to hell as soon as they die, why are they raised and judged later (Rev. 20:11-15)?

11 Since the lake of fire is the second death, what happens to the wicked when death is destroyed (1 Cor.15:26)?

12 If “forever” means “eternity” what does “forever and ever” mean?

13 If God is Love and has all power, will He not find away to save all (1 Tim. 4:9-11)?

14 If Christ is to reign for ever and ever, what does it mean that He will abdicate His throne (Rev. 11:15; 1 Cor. 15:24)?

15 Will God ever actually become All in all (1 Cor.15:28)?


FACTS TO HELP YOU THINK RIGHT

1 The Sacred Scriptures were not written in English but in Hebrew, Chaldee, and Greek.

2 The socalled Bibles we have today are but man’s translations of God’s Word, and are, therefore, imperfect.

3 Faulty versions have helped create the many sects and divisions of Christendom.

4 Inaccurate renderings have given rise to unjustified hopes, and consequent skepticism.

Example: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass" (Rev. 1:1, A.V.).
Corrected: “The Unveiling of Jesus Christ, which God gives to Him, to show to His slaves what must occur swiftly” (Rev. 1:1, Concordant Version).
The prophecies of Revelation did not shortly come to pass, but when judgment starts, the blows will fall swiftly (compare John 20:4). John ran more swiftly than Peter. The same Greek word is used, in both places.

5 Most of the Bible concerns God’s earthly people Israel; things for us to know, though not about us.

Example: James is addressed to the twelve tribes. That is why it is often so discordant with Paul’s epistles. Compare: James 5:14-16 with 1 Timothy 5:23; James 4:9 with Colossians 3:16; James 2:24 with Romans 3:28.

6 Truth for the Church which is Christ’s body is found in the thirteen epistles of Paul. Read Ephesians 3:2-9.

7 There is no Hebrew or Greek word in all the Scriptures that has the meaning of our English word “hell.”

Hades and Sheol are the Imperceptible. Gehenna is a refuse dump near Jerusalem. The Lake of Fire is the second death. Tartarus is spoken concerning messengers.

8 It is nowhere stated in the Bible that man has an immortal soul. We put on immortality in the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:53). Christ alone has immortality (1 Timothy 6:16)

9 Of course we do not wish to insinuate for a moment that the son of stubbornness will escape judgment All the dead, great and small, except those who are Christ’s at His presence, will have to stand before the Great White Throne to be judged. They will he judged according to the truth (Rom. 2:21; according to deeds (Rom. 2:6; Rev. 20:12,13); and, according to the light they have had (Rom. 2:12).

http://www.saviourofall.org/saviourofallmain.html

"..."Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and Cause you to come up out of your graves ... And ye shall know [no ‘ignorance defense’ here] that I am the LORD ... And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall Live, and I shall place you in your own land ..." (Ezek. 37:11-13).

Very interesting Scripture. Not likely you will ever hear a sermon on these verses. Notice: God’s people, Israel, are dead in their graves. They are not alive in Heaven. They are not alive in Hell. When God brings them out of their graves, they "live." That means they were "dead". "And ye shall know that I am the LORD." They didn’t know that when they died and went into their graves.

"And shall put my spirit in you ..." (Ezek. 37:11-14).

Are these people returning from life in Heaven, to death in the grave, to life in their own land, and for the first time "knowing" who the Lord is, and for the first time having God’s Spirit?

Are these people returning from life in Hell, to death in the grave, to life in their own land, and for the first time "knowing" who the Lord is, and for the first time having God’s Spirit?

According to Christian theology, it doesn’t make sense that God would take people to Heaven, who never knew God, and didn’t have God’s spirit. On the other hand, according to Christian theology, it doesn’t make sense that God would take people from Hell, and give them His spirit and a possession of land. And God further says:

"I will be their God and they shall be my people" (Ezek. 37:27).

According to Christian theology, do these people come back from Hell, or from Heaven? And according to your theology, why are these resurrected dead people coming back to "possess the land?"

As long as you teach that: man has an immortal soul, death is really life at a different location, hades is a place of suffering, Christians go to Heaven when they die, Christ is not the Saviour of the whole world, Satan is more cunning than God, and will win by a sizable margin, man has a "free will" which is more powerful than God’s will, we are under the law that Paul says we are not under, we are not solely saved by grace, as there are things that can disqualify one from salvation, etc., etc., you will never be able to explain Ezekiel Chapter 37. God clearly tell us that it is His will to save everyone:

"... Our Saviour, God, Who wills [this is the very "will" of The Almighty Creator God] that all mankind [not some or a few, but all mankind] be saved ["saved," not condemned to eternity in Hell fire] and come to a realization [that’s "knowledge," a dispelling of "ignorance"] of the truth" [part of which is the truth that God planned from the beginning to save all mankind through the Sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ] ..."
http://bible-truths.com/kendy2.htm

Leah

So do you believe in Jesus as your Saviour who made payment for your sin?

I've always appreciated J.I Packer's response to universalism. If I may summarise: Jesus (speaking of his betrayer) said that it would have been better had he (his betrayer) not been born.

There are two ways this passage can be understood from a Christian Universalist point of view, and here they are ...

1. Short Answer:

This passage does not say that it would have been better for Judas if his mother had never conceived him, only that he not had been born. There is a big difference. Ecclesiastes 6:3 says, “If a man begets a hundred children and lives many years…but his soul is not satisfied with goodness…I say that a stillborn child is better than he.” It could be the same with Judas; “Woe to that man…it would have been good for that man if he had not been born [but stillborn].”

2. Long Answer:

Observe closely the difference in how the following literal translations read. The Wycliffe and Tyndale translations read the same. The Revised Version of 1881 and the American Standard Version of 1901 put in the margin “Good for him if that man.”

♦ The Son of Man doth indeed go, as it hath been written concerning him, but woe to that man through whom the Son of Man is delivered up! Good it were for him if that man had not been born (Mt. 26:24 YLT).

♦ The Son of Mankind is indeed going away, according as it is written concerning Him, yet woe to that man through whom the Son of Mankind is being given up! Ideal were it for Him if that man were not born (Mt. 26:24 CLT)!

♦ The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him. But woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed. It were better for him, if that man had not been born (Mt. 26:24 Douay).

♦ The Son of Man, indeed, goeth his way, according as it is written concerning him,—But alas! for that man, through whom the Son of Man, is being delivered up: Well, had it been for him, if, that man, had not been born (Mt. 26:24 ROTH)!

Consider how the Greek Interlinear presents it:

o <3588> {THE} men <3303> {INDEED} uiov <5207> tou <3588> {SON} anyrwpou <444> {OF MAN} upagei <5217> (5719) {GOES,} kaywv <2531> {AS} gegraptai <1125> (5769) {IT HAS BEEN WRITTEN} peri <4012> {CONCERNING} autou <846> {HIM,} [Christ] ouai <3759> de <1161> tw <3588> {BUT WOE} anyrwpw <444> ekeinw <1565> {TO THAT MAN} [Judas] di <1223> {BY} ou <3739> {WHOM} o <3588> {THE} uiov <5207> tou <3588> {SON} anyrwpou <444> {OF MAN} paradidotai <3860> (5743) {IS DELIVERED UP;} kalon <2570> {GOOD} hn <2258> (5713) {WERE IT} autw <846> {FOR HIM} [Christ] ei <1487> ouk <3756> {IF} egennhyh <1080> (5681) o <3588> {HAD NOT BEEN BORN} anyrwpov <444> ekeinov <1565> {THAT MAN.} [Judas] (Mt. 26:24).

(Note: These numbers are from Strong's Concordance.)

German Bible Scholar and translator, A.E. Knoch wrote:

Dr. Leander van Ess, in his German version, renders it “for him were it better, such a human were never born.” In the context immediately preceding, the identity of those referred to is fixed beyond question. It may be set forth as follows: Him = The Son of Mankind; That man = Judas.

The (Son of Mankind) is indeed going away, according as it is written concerning (Him). Yet woe to “that man” through whom the (Son of Mankind) is being betrayed! Ideal were it for (Him) if “that man” were not born!

If it had read “Ideal were it for “that man” if “he” had not been born (as usually mistranslated) then both would refer to Judas. But no unprejudiced reader of the English or the Greek can possibly refer the Him to anyone but our Lord, Who is so termed in the preceding sentence. But if all the translations ever made rendered the passage incorrectly, that would not prove anything except human fallibility. The original speaks of the Son of Mankind as “Him” and of Judas as “that man,” and makes it clear that it were ideal for Him if that man were not born.

TomM,

It is not ideal, cannot be ideal, or good, or better, for Love's Eternally Sacrificed Self to not-be Love's Eternally Sacrificed Self.

He never is anything else. Time is misleading if misapplied. There may be arguments for universalism (etc) but this is not a line to take. Sacrificing Love’s Necessary Topography on this front, as in other fronts, is not a line to take. There is no Love void of Dying, void of Resurrecting, void of Begetting. Be careful with Time and Gethsemane, and so forth, so as to avoid such errors. Gethsemane and Eden are but one Motion, though Time misapplied will blur such, and perhaps neither Gethsemane nor Eden need be necessarily, but, once one is chosen, the other is but unity, for the Will of Each Distinct can never motion towards what we call evil, and can only unmask the interior of [God], Singular, which is but the interior of [All-Possibilities], Pleural. Actualization and Time must not be misapplied.


TomM

We find these same motions within God's Perfect Distinct-s, Pleural, high atop His Bench wherein no evil is motioned toward as Love's Eternally Sacrificed Self shouts, "Forgive them, for they don't know." Some do See, do Know, though grafted in, yet in volition's will are cut off by their own plead, pending love's final amalgamations. [All Possibilities], Pleural, are Unchanging in His Singular I-AM. Actual, Actualization, Time, and Timeless must not be misapplied.

Hi Tom M, your reference ends with:

"The original speaks of the Son of Mankind as “Him” and of Judas as “that man,” and makes it clear that it were ideal for Him if that man were not born."

This scripture twisting leads to quite a contradiction, Jesus taught the disciples how the Christ must suffer. He also called Peter "Satan" in Matt 16 when he said "may it never be".

How can Jesus' words that He came to do the Fathers will, and that it pleased Himself to do it...and yet that not be "ideal". Your referenced writer is obviously biased and practicing eisogesis.

It is noteworthy that Love's Triune, and necessary, landscape is maintained with "would have been better". On man's end, there is, per Love's Eternally Sacrificed Self, a better road to travel than sin, even when prophesy describes such. Time and [All-Possibilities], and Actualization must not be misapplied or overlapped. The wideness of [God] outreaches our comforts. No motion in Eden permits man to miss God's Means, which is Himself, nor His Ends, which is His Himself. [Volition] Willed is [Volition] necessarily, and [All-Possibilities] is but [God], and merits no fear, as Love is His Means and His Ends.

God Himself declares a would-have-been-better-if of some prophesied sin. We in error insist prophesy precedes Volition in Time. We misapply Timeless, Actual and Actualization, and like Lucifer think of God-less-some-thing that such offers Man more than God Himself, Who is love, offers Man.

[All-Possibilities] is/are in God, in Ultimate Actuality, unchanging.

It would have been better for you to love Love than to act/have My prophesy come true. Actualizations change. That's what Time just is. Love's Will for Judas never changes.


Hi Brad B,

I believe that Jesus' struggles in Gethsemane just a few hours later reveal that, at least on one level, He would have preferred not to die. This is what Matthew 26:24 may be referring to.

On Man’s condition, we find in Timelessness, this: “I have no delight in this. Prepare for Me a Body.” This motion does not “first happen” in Gethsemane. [All-Possibilities] is but [God] on His End, and not Sin, nor Evil. Again, Gethsemane, Time, Actualization, and Actual must not be misapplied. Power Wills, not in Time, but in Timelessness. Actual and Actualization are another matter all together. Un-Willed Actualization is coherent, and there’s the rub, TomM. From before forever, there never is that motion in [God] wherein He shouts, “-Tis My Will that this Christian commit sin X”. Nowhere in Timelessness, or in Time, does the God above nor the God within shout such, will such. Though, He knows All-Things, and, this Christian will sin. Prepare for Me a Body is not the business of an automaton. It is a choice on His end, outside of Time. Whether there ever is a “first creative act” on God’s end is another discussion all together. The difficulty is this: Unwilled Actualization. It is coherent. The Hyper-Calvinist will say of some Christian’s sin that God, on some level, desired such, willed such, such couldn’t be otherwise, and, the Universalist will say the same sort of thing, only, instead of holding Man’s motion into God out of reach, on force, he will hold Man’s motion into Self out of reach, on force, and will say of Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self that He, on some level, shouts “Take back My Prepared Body” inside of Time, on some level. These two approaches to Love’s Triune Landscape make the same confusing errors concerning that landscape and what it necessarily entails, and, of Actual, of Actualization, of Timelessness, of Time, and, even of [All-Possibilities], which both fear as somehow a danger to God being God, though it is but a thing within [God], and cannot be, on necessity, God-And, but is, on necessity, Less-Than-God, and thus cannot be, on necessity, sovereign. Earlier in this thread I made a reference to another thread/topic. It’s all the word-count I can afford now, so this thread and that other will have to do, as to the coherence of Un-Willed Actualization, which is where the rub is.


We accuse Love Himself of separating the oneness He Himself Wills. We even accuse Him of holding it out of reach. Love's reciprocity stands intact in all vectors here within Change, within what we call Pain, which is but Time. Time, ultimately, gives way to Love's Timeless, as both Change and Pain give way to Permanence. From Eden such cannot be otherwise whether in Obedience or in Disobedience for Love will have His Image in Man, as Man on Volition's necessity will by delight motion into his own Self, that Privation that is love-less-ness, or, Man will by delight motion into Love’s Uncreated Other, into Love's singular plurality of E Pluribus Unum. Love cannot lock the former out of reach, on necessity, though Love hate such a condition in Man, and so He Himself is debased, is humiliated, and He Himself becomes both the Means and the Ends to thus Ransom, to thus Undo. Love-less-ness is ipso facto both our immoral motion and our Privation, and Love, hating our condition therein, in His Passion for we His beloved, spreads His arms wide, high atop that Hill, and He pours Himself out and therein He Himself makes Himself Man’s Door out of that which His Image does not lock out of reach, on love's necessity, and therein all roads do, in spite of which Tree we on volition delight in, bring us into Love's Whole. Love Himself thus wins, as neither Love Himself nor Man in His Image be void of Love, ever, found inside the automaton’s hollow, for Love is never sacrificed, save in Love's Eternally Sacrificed Self, and that by Love’s Delight, and not by the automaton’s loveless program, for such Love Himself never is. Universalism has this one thing better than Hyper-Calvinism: that all man can come home, if they will, for He reconciles [All-Things] to Himself, from A to Z, as faith, being necessary, being present in Abraham, that Old Man, is yet not sufficient, for Abraham knocks full of faith, but yet must wait, for Christ Alone is sufficient, and faith is present, and is necessary, though never sufficient, though, in their zeal the Universalists will insist that the girl marry the man, whether she wills or wills not, and the man throws her to his bed, though she in full sightedness yells no-no-no, and therein Universalism annihilates Love’s necessarily Triune Topography, and thus, in the end, they are no different, as Pantheism’s errors do not salvage these other errors. The Universalist may find some argument, only, it cannot be those presented thus far. Privation in the Created cannot be locked out of reach, and, that condition, which is what we call Evil, we find worthy of hate, on necessity, and, Privation inside of God’s Triune is but the Great-I-AM, and the Self therein cannot demand such hate, for Evil is not a move Love Himself can make, on necessity. Love Himself hates that condition of Privation in Man, and so He Himself is debased, is humiliated, and He Himself makes Himself both the Means and the Ends to thus Ransom, to thus Undo. Love-less-ness is ipso facto both our immoral motion and our Privation, and Love, hating our condition therein, in His Passion for we His beloved, spreads His arms wide, high atop that Hill, and He pours Himself out and therein He Himself makes Himself Man’s Door out of that which His Image does not lock out of reach, on love's necessity, and therein all roads do, in spite of which Tree we on volition delight in, bring us into Love's Whole.

[All-Possibilities] is something less than [God], something less than Uncreated Love. God, Love Himself, is that [A-P] and more. On this necessity it becomes plausible that the question of Why-Create, placed along this or that line, along any line, is the asking of, necessarily, how real is real? Well, Ultimate Reality is Love, and, in Him, in Love, we cannot find the less-concrete, the contingent, but only the concrete, the non-contingent.

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