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Old 08-01-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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Despite the title of this thread, June is absolutely sincere in what she is about to ask in this OP.

This forum has been engaged in an ongoing argumentative debate as regards Universalism vs. Non-Universalist beliefs for a long time now. To say that it becomes ugly at times would be a ridiculous understatement. June reads/moderates all these threads, so it's not as though she isn't familiar with what has been an ongoing debate (on a good day) and outright denominational warfare on another...

So June has a question, given something that happened this past week:

June happened to have dinner with a friend of hers this past week. He's a colleague, and a very dear friend. He also happens to be an ordained minister, but up here in Massachusetts ("Heathen Land" that it is) very few people at work are aware of that fact. June and her friend talked as we ate. (June did more crying than eating, but her friend was accepting of that.) We talked about a lot of things: Work, life, and religion.

Upon leaving the restaurant at the end of the evening, much to June's shock and dismay, her friend asked her: "Can I pray for you?" -To which June (being her adorable "Just June" self) replied that would be fine, and expressed her gratitude that her friend would ask. However, he proceeded to convey to June that he in fact was asking if he could pray for her then and there. --As in: right there, in the parking lot. Much to June's utter shock and dismay, she said "okay." --And so he did. Very moving.

Now June needs to ask, to know: Given the fact that this friend is fully aware of the fact that June is an atheist, (but none the less extended the offer he did due to his beliefs) and given the fact that June let him pray for her in that parking lot this past week, if --as a result of that-- June somehow ended up becoming a Universalist, or a Catholic, or June became a Baptist, or June became a Protestant, or June ended up becoming a Methodist, or June ended up becoming any type of a Christian, (but for the purposes of this thread, let's just say by some miracle June came to believe, and had to decide whether she was a Universalist or not) then....


WOULD IT MATTER!?

Would it matter to all of you if somehow an atheist could come to believe, and would the denomination be the most central, focused thing in your minds? Would it be better for June to remain an atheist, than to somehow miraculously come to believe, and end up a Universalist? Or end up becoming a non-Universalist? How much would that be an issue for all of you?


June sincerely, respectfully would like to know your thoughts....


Take gentle care,

"Not Converted Yet June"

 
Old 08-01-2009, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Somewhere
6,370 posts, read 5,626,466 times
Reputation: 575
Quote:
Originally Posted by june 7th View Post
Despite the title of this thread, June is absolutely sincere in what she is about to ask in this OP.

This forum has been engaged in an ongoing argumentative debate as regards Universalism vs. Non-Universalist beliefs for a long time now. To say that it becomes ugly at times would be a ridiculous understatement. June reads/moderates all these threads, so it's not as though she isn't familiar with what has been an ongoing debate (on a good day) and outright denominational warfare on another...

So June has a question, given something that happened this past week:

June happened to have dinner with a friend of hers this past week. He's a colleague, and a very dear friend. He also happens to be an ordained minister, but up here in Massachusetts ("Heathen Land" that it is) very few people at work are aware of that fact. June and her friend talked as we ate. (June did more crying than eating, but her friend was accepting of that.) We talked about a lot of things: Work, life, and religion.

Upon leaving the restaurant at the end of the evening, much to June's shock and dismay, her friend asked her: "Can I pray for you?" -To which June (being her adorable "Just June" self) replied that would be fine, and expressed her gratitude that her friend would ask. However, he proceeded to convey to June that he in fact was asking if he could pray for her then and there. --As in: right there, in the parking lot. Much to June's utter shock and dismay, she said "okay." --And so he did. Very moving.

Now June needs to ask, to know: Given the fact that this friend is fully aware of the fact that June is an atheist, (but none the less extended the offer he did due to his beliefs) and given the fact that June let him pray for her in that parking lot this past week, if --as a result of that-- June somehow ended up becoming a Universalist, or a Catholic, or June became a Baptist, or June became a Protestant, or June ended up becoming a Methodist, or June ended up becoming any type of a Christian, (but for the purposes of this thread, let's just say by some miracle June came to believe, and had to decide whether she was a Universalist or not) then....


WOULD IT MATTER!?

Would it matter to all of you if somehow an atheist could come to believe, and would the denomination be the most central, focused thing in your minds? Would it be better for June to remain an atheist, than to somehow miraculously come to believe, and end up a Universalist? Or end up becoming a non-Universalist? How much would that be an issue for all of you?


June sincerely, respectfully would like to know your thoughts....


Take gentle care,

"Not Converted Yet June"
June will eventually be a universalist regardless. But her receiving that message now and having a converted heart would be showing that God is extending Mercy and forgiveness now for a potentially greater mission for her as potentially part of the remnant or CHOSEN of God which has a greater mission initially upon the return of Christ.

Paul
 
Old 08-01-2009, 03:42 PM
 
Location: NC
11,918 posts, read 13,812,679 times
Reputation: 1323
June, what is most important is that you come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, to know how much He loves you and that He gave His life for you. May God guide you and lead you in the truth of who He is and how much He loves you. God bless.
 
Old 08-01-2009, 03:59 PM
 
2,945 posts, read 4,770,451 times
Reputation: 1603
Quote:
Originally Posted by june 7th View Post
Despite the title of this thread, June is absolutely sincere in what she is about to ask in this OP.

This forum has been engaged in an ongoing argumentative debate as regards Universalism vs. Non-Universalist beliefs for a long time now. To say that it becomes ugly at times would be a ridiculous understatement. June reads/moderates all these threads, so it's not as though she isn't familiar with what has been an ongoing debate (on a good day) and outright denominational warfare on another...

So June has a question, given something that happened this past week:

June happened to have dinner with a friend of hers this past week. He's a colleague, and a very dear friend. He also happens to be an ordained minister, but up here in Massachusetts ("Heathen Land" that it is) very few people at work are aware of that fact. June and her friend talked as we ate. (June did more crying than eating, but her friend was accepting of that.) We talked about a lot of things: Work, life, and religion.

Upon leaving the restaurant at the end of the evening, much to June's shock and dismay, her friend asked her: "Can I pray for you?" -To which June (being her adorable "Just June" self) replied that would be fine, and expressed her gratitude that her friend would ask. However, he proceeded to convey to June that he in fact was asking if he could pray for her then and there. --As in: right there, in the parking lot. Much to June's utter shock and dismay, she said "okay." --And so he did. Very moving.

Now June needs to ask, to know: Given the fact that this friend is fully aware of the fact that June is an atheist, (but none the less extended the offer he did due to his beliefs) and given the fact that June let him pray for her in that parking lot this past week, if --as a result of that-- June somehow ended up becoming a Universalist, or a Catholic, or June became a Baptist, or June became a Protestant, or June ended up becoming a Methodist, or June ended up becoming any type of a Christian, (but for the purposes of this thread, let's just say by some miracle June came to believe, and had to decide whether she was a Universalist or not) then....


WOULD IT MATTER!?

Would it matter to all of you if somehow an atheist could come to believe, and would the denomination be the most central, focused thing in your minds? Would it be better for June to remain an atheist, than to somehow miraculously come to believe, and end up a Universalist? Or end up becoming a non-Universalist? How much would that be an issue for all of you?


June sincerely, respectfully would like to know your thoughts....


Take gentle care,

"Not Converted Yet June"
It really isn`t an issue for me as a christian universalist because I believe God is in control of his creation. Since I believe this is God`s creation and he is in the process of restoring it..all of it..in his due time, then wherever you are in your belief,unbelief,half belief etc. it is all up to God. I don`t feel it is up to ME to try to convert anyone or make them believe because God does it. It is not up to me to save God`s creation...thank God. However, God does use people or vessels for his purpose. If someone ask me a question or I feel compelled to express my opinion or belief to someone then I will. But as I said, it is up to God to move in that perosn and cause them to believe.
But I will say, when I was part of the church system and believed in eternal torture , I felt it was more up to me..so to speak...to try and save people. Or it was up to me to somehow get them to believe. If I didn`t try in every way to get them to believe then I somehow felt responsible if they died and were left to burn,suffer,and be tortured in a literal pit of fire forevermore without end. Almost as if their blood was on my hands to a CERTAIN EXTENT. This is a tactic I believe the church uses to recruit more people. Eventhough I do believe most church lay people sincerely believe they are doing the right thing. This is just spm`s perspective. He will now probably be ridiculed and beat over the head with a wet noodle by the fundamentalist church followers on here. All in the spirit of love of course.
 
Old 08-01-2009, 04:09 PM
 
5,925 posts, read 5,681,073 times
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Hi June,

If someone comes to Christ through any doctrine I am not going to defame them for believing in that doctrine. That however does not change what many ideologies do to one another.

I have yet to see a doctrine that teaches personal responsibility along with the love of Christ hurt anyone. I have seen many many people in the bondage of uncertainly and doubt once they come to Christ over doctrines that will place their assurance out in left field. I have also seen people in the bondage of complacency due to some universalists thoughts on the nature of our own personal accountability.

So, when it comes to those who come to believe, I do have to go along with scripture.

Phl 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
Phl 1:16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
Phl 1:17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
Phl 1:18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

I do not see a complacency to call a doctrine for what it is, but nevertheless I am glad that through the means that God uses, the name of Christ indeed does get preached.
 
Old 08-01-2009, 04:15 PM
 
3,576 posts, read 451,983 times
Reputation: 385
Becoming a denominational christian (baptist, methodist, JW, catholic, pentecostal,) is not important - knowing Jesus as Lord and God as Saviour is important, desiring truth, and knowing the nature of God.

Universalism is not a denomination, it is just an understanding that God is the Saviour of all men, especially those that believe. As opposed to the understanding of those that believe in eternal torment - where they believe that God created all humans and that he will only save the few that a) actually heard of Jesus and b) believe in him, - and will eternally torment all those that never heard of Jesus, and never accepted Jesus as Lord, and then they seem to add on a lot of other conditions like held correct doctrine, got water baptised, goes to church regularly, does good deeds but mostly it seems to centre around going to a particular church and beliving the doctrines of that church.

I was raised in the denomination of pentecostal religion - and was put off religion for a long period of time because of the contradictions of God eternally tormenting those that never even heard of Jesus and never had a choice.
 
Old 08-01-2009, 04:23 PM
 
3,553 posts, read 4,371,299 times
Reputation: 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by meerkat2 View Post
Becoming a denominational christian (baptist, methodist, JW, catholic, pentecostal,) is not important - knowing Jesus as Lord and God as Saviour is important, desiring truth, and knowing the nature of God.
I agree with what is underlined June. Since i don't bbelieve in either Eternal Torment, or Universal Reconciliation, then the rest doesn't apply to me.

But for the most part, everyone of these people are my brothers and sisters, believers or not. I am just saddened at the road they are on.

If they JUST preached Christ crucified, and risen into Glory for all of us, then great. It is when other doctrines are preached on TOP of this that causes me grief. Notice i don't start threads about my beliefs. I can post about other's that I have read or seen, and throw my 2 cents in. But none of us knows the complete Truth. NO, not one.

You and I have been through much June, and I sincerely love my atheistic friend. Always have. You express more Christlike attributes than most people I know. If you do come to Jesus, it will be the work of the Spirit leading you in, and you accepting.
 
Old 08-01-2009, 04:28 PM
 
1,711 posts, read 1,564,185 times
Reputation: 179
To me what's most important is that someone actually follows Christ: How He taught us be selfless, how He taught us to treat our brothers & sisters, even how we are to treat our enemies. I believe it's possilble for people to have Christ's law by nature on their hearts, even while not yet knowing Christ or believing that God exists. Meanwhile it's also possible for a professed believer in God and follower of Christ to be having more problems actually following Christ than the one who does not yet know Him. As Christ said: Two sons were asked by their Father to do something. One says "yes" but does not go. The others says "no" but goes. Which one did the Father's will? Professing doctrine is like saying "yes" whether the doctrine is "God exists" or "God will save all" or even "Jesus is Lord". What is really important to God? Saying "yes" to doctrine or going?
 
Old 08-01-2009, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Pikeville, Ky.
13,459 posts, read 21,197,034 times
Reputation: 17675
If June becomes a believer, I will place my trust in the Holy Spirit to place her wherever he pleases in his Church....I believe God has placed members of his body in some of the most unusual places I certainly would not make her feel obligated to attend Church with me, but I would be comfortable accompanying her to any of the denominational or non denominational services she wished to visit as she is searching for a place to worship with other believers now and then
So June, if I ever get to Boston, I would be pleased to go "Church searching" with you..But the decision is not mine where to make you think you belong..
 
Old 08-01-2009, 04:39 PM
 
2,945 posts, read 4,770,451 times
Reputation: 1603
Quote:
Originally Posted by HotinAZ View Post
Notice i don't start threads about my beliefs. I can post about other's that I have read or seen, and throw my 2 cents in. But none of us knows the complete Truth. NO, not one.
Can you handle the Truth?
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