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Old 02-23-2009, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Midessa, Texas Home Yangzhou, Jiangsu temporarily
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I was wondering what people think of this concept. I am not asking about Unitarian Universalism that maintains that all religions lead to God but rather Christian Universalism that maintains that salvation is a gift from God and does not have an expiration date.

Universalism and the Bible

I put this post in atheism and agnosticism because I am interested in what people think of the concept more as a philosophy and I do not want to get into an argument with Christians over whether it is a heresy or not.

I am an atheist because I do not believe in any deities but I did find this interesting.

Basically as I understand it, CU maintains that salvation is a gift from God with no strings attached. There is no hard sell approach about having to "get saved" before you die. This does suppose that people need "saving" but that is another debate, for now let's assume they do. This would IMO solve some the problems with Christian mythology, for example what happens to babies that die without having sinned by the Christian definition but who cannot accept God's gift. Or what about people who lived before Christ, or people who lived in lands with no knowledge of him. CU seems to tidy it all up by saying that death is not the end of God's grace. Confessing that Jesus is your savior and therefore being "saved" is something that could happen after death.

Now it also introduces new problems. For example, could someone really, really, bad be saved, like say Hitler or a filthy atheist(kidding)? The answer would have to be yes.

Also, there would be no motivation not to sin, since you have all eternity to eventually get around to it. Not to mention that there would be no motivation to be part of the official church, and that would be bad for the church in a political sense, which may be why this idea is considered heresy to begin with.

Also again, some would doubt the value of your conversion if you could make it after you knew for certain the truth of life after death. Say for example that you didn't believe and Christ and you died and went to hell, then you converted, would that make your conversion less faithful? Probably. But doesn't the Bible say that people are saved by God's grace alone and not on merit. If you assume that a conversion before death has more merit than one after then that would contradict the idea of grace.

Now again, I don't believe in this, I am totally comfortable with the fact that when I die I will simply cease to exist. This is not a problem for me since I didn't exist for billions of years before I was born and that wasn't a problem that I can recall. I just think that CU seems more enlightened than the usual version of Christianity that I hear, the " God has a free gift for you, but you must act now and join his fan club to qualify!"
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Montrose, CA
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This is the atheist/agnostic forum. You'd have better luck with this over in the Christianity forum.
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Metromess
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I have been to the UU church in my neighborhood, and many of the members are atheists. I have talked to the minister, and he is fine with that. Nothing about all religions leading to God there. It is humanist, not Christian, although it takes influences from all religions and places them in a secular outlook.
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Salvation as a gift from god is not an atheist or agnostic topic.
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:31 AM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catman View Post
I have been to the UU church in my neighborhood, and many of the members are atheists. I have talked to the minister, and he is fine with that. Nothing about all religions leading to God there. It is humanist, not Christian, although it takes influences from all religions and places them in a secular outlook.
Oooops, I think you misread. The OP says he's not asking about UU but about Christian Universalism.

A premier site on this subject is here:
Jesus saves all mankind, the truly Good News, Christian universalism--Ultimate Reconcilation--Doctrine of Inclusion--Restitution of all--Victorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, Gospel of the Bible
The discussion forum in here:
Tentmaker Discussion Forum - Index

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Old 02-25-2009, 12:57 AM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucidus View Post
Or what about people who lived before Christ, or people who lived in lands with no knowledge of him. CU seems to tidy it all up by saying that death is not the end of God's grace. Confessing that Jesus is your savior and therefore being "saved" is something that could happen after death.
That's right, death is not the end of God's grace - only the beginning.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucidus View Post
Now it also introduces new problems. For example, could someone really, really, bad be saved, like say Hitler or a filthy atheist(kidding)? The answer would have to be yes.
Even by mainstream Christian doctrine no one is good enough and little sweet 'ol lost grandmas get the same treatment as an unrepentant Hitler: Far more absurd.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucidus View Post
Also, there would be no motivation not to sin, since you have all eternity to eventually get around to it.
Everything against perfect love is 'sin' so avoiding bad consequences (hell) could never be a legitimate motivation for genuine spiritual purity as it amounts to basically serving God to save your own butt! That is the basest of motivations and has nothing to do with true spiritual love and moral purity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucidus View Post
Not to mention that there would be no motivation to be part of the official church, and that would be bad for the church in a political sense, which may be why this idea is considered heresy to begin with.
BINGO!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucidus View Post
Also again, some would doubt the value of your conversion if you could make it after you knew for certain the truth of life after death. Say for example that you didn't believe and Christ and you died and went to hell, then you converted, would that make your conversion less faithful? Probably. But doesn't the Bible say that people are saved by God's grace alone and not on merit. If you assume that a conversion before death has more merit than one after then that would contradict the idea of grace.
It also takes away the ability for people to pride themselves in being wise enough or humble enough (or *whatever* enough) to make the right choice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucidus View Post
Now again, I don't believe in this, I am totally comfortable with the fact that when I die I will simply cease to exist. This is not a problem for me since I didn't exist for billions of years before I was born and that wasn't a problem that I can recall.
Personally, I don't believe for a second that all this experience and learning is for nothing. I understand that if you don't see what I see about it then - you don't see what I see about it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucidus View Post
I just think that CU seems more enlightened than the usual version of Christianity that I hear, the " God has a free gift for you, but you must act now and join his fan club to qualify!"
It IS more enlightened - but there is still a brand of CU where people feel they are superior and that God will still burn people alive for a long long time (even though He loves them and will ultimately save them). Pretty barbaric stuff.

Still a huge leap forward from the ridiculous concept of unending punishment with no remedial purpose whatsoever

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Old 03-08-2009, 05:31 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
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WEll, I don't believe in their belief. They believe in God, but don't believe that people will go to Hell, but God's Word says other wise.

Yes, there is life in Christ, but everyone does not except Him.
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,280 posts, read 20,917,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucidus View Post
I was wondering what people think of this concept. I am not asking about Unitarian Universalism that maintains that all religions lead to God but rather Christian Universalism that maintains that salvation is a gift from God and does not have an expiration date.
I wouldn't call myself a universalist, just a 99.999999% universalist. I also wouldn't say there is no expiration date on salvation, because I believe there is. I just don't think that one's chances for salvation end at death.

Quote:
Now again, I don't believe in this, I am totally comfortable with the fact that when I die I will simply cease to exist. This is not a problem for me since I didn't exist for billions of years before I was born and that wasn't a problem that I can recall.
Yes, but the operative phrase here is "that I can recall." I believe you will continue to exist after your death. I also believe you existed for billions of years before you were born. And for what it's worth, I believe you stand a pretty fair chance of going to Heaven. I hope that's not a problem for you either.
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:52 PM
 
Location: God's Country
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn_2828 View Post
WEll, I don't believe in their belief. They believe in God, but don't believe that people will go to Hell, but God's Word says other wise.

Yes, there is life in Christ, but everyone does not except Him.
I agree, the Bible clearly teaches that those who reject Jesus will go to hell for eternity, for ever, there are no 2nd chances.
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:19 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I LOVE NORTH CAROLINA View Post
I agree, the Bible clearly teaches that those who reject Jesus will go to hell for eternity, for ever, there are no 2nd chances.
Since this is what the Bible clearly teaches, could you provide a few verses to substantiate your claim. Also, what about those who never had a first chance? Unless you live in a dream world, you've got to admit that a little kid who lives in the slums of Calcutta, a remote village somewhere in the middle of Africa or in some country where Christianity is forbidden to be taught doesn't exactly have the same chance to accept Jesus Christ as a kid who grows up in middle-class America.
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