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You're Going To Hell Evangelism


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I saw a blip not too long ago (probaby on YouTube) of Kirk Cameron "witnessing" to people. His basic argument is "your going to hell, so accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior."

 

There is an article in Yahoo! about him and people are all over it thinking he is great. I find this sort thing to be very distrubing.

Edited by October's Autumn
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I saw a blip not too long ago (probaby on YouTube) of Kirk Cameron "witnessing" to people. His basic argument is "your going to hell, so accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior."

 

There is an article in Yahoo! about him and people are all over it thinking he is great. I find this sort thing to be very distrubing.

 

I can't find the article...do you have a link?

 

I find this disturbing as well, but isn't it a pretty common argument? I mean, for people who believe it, it's a logical enough argument.

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I can't find the article...do you have a link?

 

I find this disturbing as well, but isn't it a pretty common argument? I mean, for people who believe it, it's a logical enough argument.

 

 

http://potw.news.yahoo.com/s/potw/41/converting-kirk-cameron

 

It depends on the individual. I've seen it used as a last ditch but not the primary argument. In fact, some believe that it is not a true conversion if the person does it for the "fire insurance."

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http://potw.news.yahoo.com/s/potw/41/converting-kirk-cameron

 

It depends on the individual. I've seen it used as a last ditch but not the primary argument. In fact, some believe that it is not a true conversion if the person does it for the "fire insurance."

 

Interesting article.

 

Certainly it would depend on the individual; that makes total sense. I'm glad to hear of people using it as the "last ditch" rather than primary argument.

 

Generally, I've heard it in terms of someone saying "I believe those who don't accept Jesus go to Hell" but they didn't follow it up with the obvious corollary, "so accept Jesus now if you want to go to Heaven!" However, I think the reason they didn't make that explicit was more the situation in which they were speaking than anything else.

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People seem to have a high need to exclude others. The idea of everyone going to heaven bothers them. I find it interesting -- or at least it would make for an interesting psychological study to find the type of personality that has a need to exclude others or for eternal punishment.

 

I picked up a new book (I'm half way through) called If Grace is True: Why God will Save Everyone. The authors have made many good points but one that really struck home with me was why would a loving God give eternal punishment for a lifetime of sin? Think if a person did all kinds of "bad stuff" in the 110 years they lived, isn't eternal punishment excessive for a mere 110 years?

 

It (so far) is a really good book and I recommend it to anyone even if they don't consider themselves progressive.

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October's Autumn,

 

Hope you enjoy your book. I'm waiting for one of my own, by Thomas Talbott, called "The Inescapable Love of God", which argues for the Universalist position.

 

Freud came to this conclusion about human beings, that.......it is always possible to bind together a considerable number of people in love, so long as there are other people left over to receive the manifestation of their aggressiveness. ("Civilization and Its Discontents")

 

The main argument against Universalism seems to revolve around "free will". For me, the key comes with the words of St Augustine...."You made us for thee, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee". Within Time, duration, Divinity will always be seeking the "salvation" of all. And each will remain "restless" until they become aware of the infinite Love of Reality-as-is. "Eternity" , as duration, IS a long time, as you say! My hope and trust is that all will eventually find such "rest" (though I understand it more as "infinite creativity" than "rest"!)

 

It seems to me that if "acceptance" of God's love is required, and a time limit set to such acceptance, then "hell" as eternal suffering can be a conclusion. Yet if we think more in terms of becoming aware of a Love that is eternally "given", and set no limits in time, then the Universalist conclusion seems a genuine hope.

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October's Autumn,

 

Hope you enjoy your book. I'm waiting for one of my own, by Thomas Talbott, called "The Inescapable Love of God", which argues for the Universalist position.

 

Freud came to this conclusion about human beings, that.......it is always possible to bind together a considerable number of people in love, so long as there are other people left over to receive the manifestation of their aggressiveness. ("Civilization and Its Discontents")

 

The main argument against Universalism seems to revolve around "free will". For me, the key comes with the words of St Augustine...."You made us for thee, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee". Within Time, duration, Divinity will always be seeking the "salvation" of all. And each will remain "restless" until they become aware of the infinite Love of Reality-as-is. "Eternity" , as duration, IS a long time, as you say! My hope and trust is that all will eventually find such "rest" (though I understand it more as "infinite creativity" than "rest"!)

 

It seems to me that if "acceptance" of God's love is required, and a time limit set to such acceptance, then "hell" as eternal suffering can be a conclusion. Yet if we think more in terms of becoming aware of a Love that is eternally "given", and set no limits in time, then the Universalist conclusion seems a genuine hope.

 

Great Post Derek,

 

Enjoyed reading,

 

JM

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Great Post Derek,

 

Enjoyed reading,

 

JM

 

Joe,

 

Thanks. I'm just seeking to relate to my own experience. There is an entry in Thoams Merton's Journals, which involves uncovering what could be seen as the sheer subtlety of "works" when involved with "salvation".........

 

The reification of faith. Real meaning of the phrase we are saved by faith = we are saved by Christ, whom we encounter in faith. But constant disputation about faith has made Christians become obsessed with faith almost as an object, at least as an experience, a "thing" and in concentrating upon it they lose sight of Christ. Whereas faith without the encounter with Christ and without His presence is less than nothing. It is the deadest of dead works, an act elicited in a moral and existential void. To seek to believe that one believes, and arbitrarily to decree that one believes, and then to conclude that this gymnastic has been blessed by Christ - this is pathological Christianity. And a Christianity of works. One has this mental gymnastic in which to trust. One is safe, one possesses the psychic key to salvation......

 

And leading on from this, how easy it is to define "Christ" according to our own understanding, to enclose Him within our own parameters of experience, and to exclude others from another path, another life, another way.

 

It just seems to me that when "accepting Christ" is understood as our own "act" and "decision", that in effect moves us from being under the "wrath" of God into His "salvation" and love..........well, however appropriated and understood, it seems to me to be a "salvation by works", and can only ever divide us from others who have made no such explicit decision.

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The main argument against Universalism seems to revolve around "free will".

 

Thanks for sharing everything. My argument to those who claim the above is that as humans we can't possibly understand any kind of after life or even truly what eternity is. Our will is not completely free when we are ignorant. We can only act with what we know. So people can't possibly to choose to live in some kind of hell for eternity when they can't even conceive what they are!

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Think if a person did all kinds of "bad stuff" in the 110 years they lived, isn't eternal punishment excessive for a mere 110 years?

 

I would imagine God thinks that if a person lived for 110 years and did nothing but bad stuff, he or she would have had enough pain already, and would be greatly in need of a rest. A really, really nice rest in heaven. Eternally.

 

Love Jen

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People seem to have a high need to exclude others.

Tariki:

Freud came to this conclusion about human beings, that.......it is always possible to bind together a considerable number of people in love, so long as there are other people left over to receive the manifestation of their aggressiveness. ("Civilization and Its Discontents")
October's Autumn:
I find it interesting -- or at least it would make for an interesting psychological study to find the type of personality that has a need to exclude others or for eternal punishment.

 

Jesus here. Friends, you've made some interesting points, and the question you're called upon by God to answer is this: "Is exclusion of others a simple fact of life that can't be changed for human beings, or is exclusion of others a choice?" I say to you that exclusion is absolutely contrary to the nature of your eternal soul, and that when you choose exclusion of others for cultural and neurophysiological reasons, you harm the connection between your mind and your soul, and you hurt your loving Mother and Father. Beware the writings of men such as Freud, who did not achieve a personal state of wisdom and emotional maturity during their human lifetime. Their words are coloured by their own inner anguish. Their lack of emotional maturity (which in turn creates social injuries such as bullying and exclusion) causes them to feel pessimistic about the human condition. They see the glass as half empty rather than half full. They lower the bar. They acquire an sense of narcissistic entitlement. They tell others not to try as hard as they can to be their best selves because they've convinced themselves such a project is a waste of time, that it's impossible to overcome one's lesser human nature. But this is false. It has always been false. The path of the Christ-in-human-form is the path of hope, of trust in the inner potential of each being's soul, of inclusion. It is the path of daily commitment to high moral and ethical standards. It is the path of doing what's right, not what's easy. It is the path of being compassionate and empathetic, which of necessity brings with it the inclusion of others, not their exclusion. It is the path of emotional maturity.

 

If you find yourself believing that exclusion is a normal, acceptable "fact", then you have work to do. God will help you, but you must first want the help.

 

Amen to our loving Mother and Father.

Love Jesus

June 12, 2007

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People seem to have a high need to exclude others.

Tariki:

Freud came to this conclusion about human beings, that.......it is always possible to bind together a considerable number of people in love, so long as there are other people left over to receive the manifestation of their aggressiveness. ("Civilization and Its Discontents")
October's Autumn:
I find it interesting -- or at least it would make for an interesting psychological study to find the type of personality that has a need to exclude others or for eternal punishment.

 

Jesus here. Friends, you've made some interesting points, and the question you're called upon by God to answer is this: "Is exclusion of others a simple fact of life that can't be changed for human beings, or is exclusion of others a choice?" I say to you that exclusion is absolutely contrary to the nature of your eternal soul, and that when you choose exclusion of others for cultural and neurophysiological reasons, you harm the connection between your mind and your soul, and you hurt your loving Mother and Father. Beware the writings of men such as Freud, who did not achieve a personal state of wisdom and emotional maturity during their human lifetime. Their words are coloured by their own inner anguish. Their lack of emotional maturity (which in turn creates social injuries such as bullying and exclusion) causes them to feel pessimistic about the human condition. They see the glass as half empty rather than half full. They lower the bar. They acquire a sense of narcissistic entitlement. They tell others not to try as hard as they can to be their best selves because they've convinced themselves such a project is a waste of time, that it's impossible to overcome one's lesser human nature. But this is false. It has always been false. The path of the Christ-in-human-form is the path of hope, of trust in the inner potential of each being's soul, of inclusion. It is the path of daily commitment to high moral and ethical standards. It is the path of doing what's right, not what's easy. It is the path of being compassionate and empathetic, which of necessity brings with it the inclusion of others, not their exclusion. It is the path of emotional maturity.

 

If you find yourself believing that exclusion is a normal, acceptable "fact", then you have work to do. God will help you, but you must first want the help.

 

Amen to our loving Mother and Father.

Love Jesus

June 12, 2007

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People seem to have a high need to exclude others. The idea of everyone going to heaven bothers them. I find it interesting -- or at least it would make for an interesting psychological study to find the type of personality that has a need to exclude others or for eternal punishment.

 

I picked up a new book (I'm half way through) called If Grace is True: Why God will Save Everyone. The authors have made many good points but one that really struck home with me was why would a loving God give eternal punishment for a lifetime of sin? Think if a person did all kinds of "bad stuff" in the 110 years they lived, isn't eternal punishment excessive for a mere 110 years?

 

It (so far) is a really good book and I recommend it to anyone even if they don't consider themselves progressive.

 

I've seen that book around, I'd really love to read it. Maybe you can write something about it in the book discussions section when you're finished? :)

 

The this-lifetime-isn't-enough-to-judge-us-for-eternity argument is pretty common among Universalists. I tend to agree, although it's difficult sometimes when faced with the reality that many people have done truly horrible things. I suppose I just believe that, while we really can't know about the next life, my belief and faith in a loving God necessitates that I believe everyone will be with Him eventually. Whether it is through reincarnation, further spiritual development elsewhere, pure grace, etc. I cannot know and don't really care. I focus on this life, anyway.

 

The main argument against Universalism seems to revolve around "free will". For me, the key comes with the words of St Augustine...."You made us for thee, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee". Within Time, duration, Divinity will always be seeking the "salvation" of all. And each will remain "restless" until they become aware of the infinite Love of Reality-as-is. "Eternity" , as duration, IS a long time, as you say! My hope and trust is that all will eventually find such "rest" (though I understand it more as "infinite creativity" than "rest"!)

 

It seems to me that if "acceptance" of God's love is required, and a time limit set to such acceptance, then "hell" as eternal suffering can be a conclusion. Yet if we think more in terms of becoming aware of a Love that is eternally "given", and set no limits in time, then the Universalist conclusion seems a genuine hope.

 

Wow, I agree with JM, I love what you said here!

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canajan,eh? (or is it "Jesus"? :) )

 

Yes, I certainly agree that the conclusion of Freud that I quoted is all part of that which is in need of redemption within all of us.

 

Just at a very simple level (simple in many ways, yet so difficult in others) , as we meet and relate to others in our day by day existence..............to see and view others as those who we will eventually be reconciled with would evolve by grace into empathy, acceptance and openess. To view them as those who must eventually "agree with me or die!"..........well, not quite sure exactly what that leads to. Perhaps we just need to read a few history books! (Especially those dealing with the history of religion)

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  • 1 month later...
canajan,eh? (or is it "Jesus"? :) )

 

Yes, I certainly agree that the conclusion of Freud that I quoted is all part of that which is in need of redemption within all of us.

 

Just at a very simple level (simple in many ways, yet so difficult in others) , as we meet and relate to others in our day by day existence..............to see and view others as those who we will eventually be reconciled with would evolve by grace into empathy, acceptance and openess. To view them as those who must eventually "agree with me or die!"..........well, not quite sure exactly what that leads to. Perhaps we just need to read a few history books! (Especially those dealing with the history of religion)

 

Interesting point. Our outlook on how and if a person may be saved effects how we behave toward them. I think you're definitely onto something there!

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I saw a blip not too long ago (probaby on YouTube) of Kirk Cameron "witnessing" to people. His basic argument is "your going to hell, so accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior."

 

There is an article in Yahoo! about him and people are all over it thinking he is great. I find this sort thing to be very distrubing.

 

+++

 

Isn't it true that we find the basis for this kind of thinking in many verses of scripture? How do we deal with all of these verses in a convincing way, a way which can change the mind of many people as to the true essence of Christianity?

 

A loving God would not send anybody to live in endless and painful eternal flames. But the Bible says in all too many verses that God would do this. Do we need a "Constitutional amendment" where we delete or reinterpret all of these verses?

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+++

 

Isn't it true that we find the basis for this kind of thinking in many verses of scripture? How do we deal with all of these verses in a convincing way, a way which can change the mind of many people as to the true essence of Christianity?

 

A loving God would not send anybody to live in endless and painful eternal flames. But the Bible says in all too many verses that God would do this. Do we need a "Constitutional amendment" where we delete or reinterpret all of these verses?

 

 

Jesus here, John. Actually, my good friend, you already have a Constitutional amendment. It's the two laws I gave: Love your God, and love your neighbour as yourself. It's said in the New Testament that I claimed not to be taking away from the Law and the Prophets, but merely to be adding to them. I beg to differ. It is impossible to love your God and love your neighbour if you cling to the Law and the Prophets.

 

If you're confused about which parts of the Bible to keep, and which parts to ignore, bring into your conscious mind the two laws I gave. Reflect on scripture and compare the passages to the two laws of Divine Love. Where you intuitively feel there's a conflict between the scripture and the laws of Divine Love, always go with the Love. You might make a mistake, but at least you'll make a mistake with the right intent in your own mind and heart.

 

I wish now I'd added a third law of Divine Love. That law would be "Try as hard as you can every day to be the best person you're capable of being." If you feel comfortable adding this law to the other two, I recommend it. You'll find it easier and faster to figure out what scripture to keep and what scripture to ignore.

 

Love Jesus

August 2, 2007

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  • 2 weeks later...
+++

 

Isn't it true that we find the basis for this kind of thinking in many verses of scripture? How do we deal with all of these verses in a convincing way, a way which can change the mind of many people as to the true essence of Christianity?

 

A loving God would not send anybody to live in endless and painful eternal flames. But the Bible says in all too many verses that God would do this. Do we need a "Constitutional amendment" where we delete or reinterpret all of these verses?

 

 

mystictrek,

 

I don't think we have a Bible problem that calls for editing of the text, I think we have a framework problem - one we have inherited from the medieval church that for some reason as a whole we find difficult to remove. We have Emperor Justinian to thank for the condemnation of Origen and his ideas, but before this, belief in apokatastasis (universal reconciliation) was commonly held by many Christians who were probably closer in their view of scripture to today's fundamentalists than those who use historical/textual critical methods. Here's a couple of bible passages that support universalism:

 

1 Corinthians 15:28 "When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all (NIV)."

 

At the summation of all things, it is impossible for God to be "all in all" while there are those still suffering in the torments of hell. The verse speaks of a mystical union of the entire universe within the life of God through Jesus Christ, which certainly implies a temporary (at best) state of punishment.

 

Matthew 12:32 "Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come (NIV). "

 

According to the eternal torment framework, there is no forgiveness of ANY sin in the age to come - only heaven or hell for eternity. But do you see the contrast in the two phrases in this verse? One allowss forgiveness for any word spoken against the son of man, but speaking against the Holy Spirit will not allow forgiveness in either the current age or the age to come, implying that there is forgiveness for just about anything else in this age or the next. I think the context shows speaking against the Holy Spirit to be resisting the work of God and attributing it to evil sources, as the Pharisees did of Jesus' ministry. So it would seem that Jesus is saying that a person will not find forgiveness from God so long as they are continually resisting the work of God that calls them to wholeness and repentance. Anything else can be forgiven and reconciled in any age, except for the continuous and willful refusal to be embraced by the love of God that is embodied in Jesus Christ.

 

I grew up in fundamentalist/pentecostal churches, and Matt. 12 was used to scare the crap out of all of us. But now I think the best interpretation of the eternal torment passages support the reconciliation of all things to God, and paint a picture of a much, much bigger God than I ever imagined as a fundie.

 

Peace,

Joel

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  • 2 weeks later...

Might I add also that Eph 1-9,10 also speaks volumes of the mystery of God ....

Ephes. 1:9-10

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: [10] That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

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Thanks Joel. This is what I am looking for, not only verses of scripture which support Universal Salvation but testimonials like yours. I know that the Bible can not be amended. Nor does it need to be as long as we can either interpret passages within the context of the great themes or simply reject those passages which are clearly culturally-conditioned. We sure do have our work cut out for us!

Edited by mystictrek
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Christ said, "Unless you become as a child you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." He didn't mean for us to become childish and exclude others but pure, innocent and unrehearsed. The infant emerges threatened by the negative perspectives of the world in the lower layers of the mind and that is hell, to the higher layers of the mind where the function is to comfort and give refuge to others, which is heaven. Jesus is also pictured as this divine child ready to redeem mankind from its ignorance and misery bring all to heaven. Enjoy the show it doesn't get any better.

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Thanks Joel. This is what I am looking for, not only verses of scripture which support Universal Salvation but testimonials like yours. I know that the Bible can not be amended. Nor does it need to be as long as we can either interpret passages within the context of the great themes or simply reject those passages which are clearly culturally-conditioned. We sure do have our work cut out for us!

 

Thanks for the kind words, John. :) And you are right: we do have our work cut out for us. I think it is as much inward in figuring out what is going on under the surface as it is outward in dealing with the themes and topics of the Bible.

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  • 5 months later...

I have many thoughts and will be doing a evening on Universalism at my church during Lent. For now I just wanted to share my realization of what the passage: Unless you become as one of these you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

Children were completely powerless. All of Jesus' teaching is about power and no-power. In order to be part of the kingdom of God we must become powerless like children. It fits right in with a rich man cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

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I have many thoughts and will be doing a evening on Universalism at my church during Lent. For now I just wanted to share my realization of what the passage: Unless you become as one of these you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

Children were completely powerless. All of Jesus' teaching is about power and no-power. In order to be part of the kingdom of God we must become powerless like children. It fits right in with a rich man cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

 

I think I've heard this interpretation before - perhaps in Brian McClaren's the Secret Message of Jesus? I think the way he put it was that children were among the marginalized, but that's essentially the same thing as powerless. I like that interpretation and it seems to me a better one than the one I usually hear ("It means he wanted us to have a childlike faith" - used as a defense of belief without proof or even questions).

 

It's so good to see you around again, OA!

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  • 2 weeks later...
I think I've heard this interpretation before - perhaps in Brian McClaren's the Secret Message of Jesus? I think the way he put it was that children were among the marginalized, but that's essentially the same thing as powerless. I like that interpretation and it seems to me a better one than the one I usually hear ("It means he wanted us to have a childlike faith" - used as a defense of belief without proof or even questions).

 

It's so good to see you around again, OA!

 

 

Thanks :) It is good to be missed.

 

I like that explanation better as well. It certainly fits better with Jesus' teaching. i think It also matches with the thinking of the time.

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