That’s true in the here and now … where we live, to be sure. The bible also persists in orienting us toward hope - toward an eschaton in which “God’s will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” In other words, it seems to call us toward an attitude of “yeah - things suck now, but just wait … God will prevail.” Nowhere are we given permission to foreclose on that hope. And if we write off any person as “too far gone to evil” then we’ve declared that there are limits to how far or how long the good shepherd will search. Paul seems to provide a precedent for “writing people off” when he declared in hot indignation that a certain man be “handed over to Satan” in order that … wait for it … “his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord!” (1 Corinthians 5:5) Even Paul knows it is not his or anybody’s place to declare eternal damning judgment on someone. But damnationists today like to imagine they know better than Paul or Jesus. They declare instead that “all this hope stuff has limits.” Sure - we’ll allow for enough hope to deliver you or me through those pearly gates, but those _____ - the vilest schmucks over there? - they’re beyond any reasonable hope. Or so say the traditions of men.
We are not always to be rescued from the crappy consequences, but that’s because our real salvation may be waiting in the wings! And the crappy consequences may be the only tool that can bring us to repentance. We hope. And it is our eternal hope, foolish as it seems to everybody else - another part of the Christian thing.
It’s perfectly and important AND true that the thought of evil ending up where we dwell for eternity would cause discontent to some.
Imagining my worst enemy on paradise with me makes me so irritated and furious ,and its reasonable other people feel the same. And you should as well
Indeed we hope and have faith that the day of salvation would come and we would understand why it has been, and how it will be. I am also reminded that while those of us who may be schmucks and repent of our sins, reminded of this as we are purged, it also a joy to know that God will heal every infirmity, wipe every tear, comfort all those who had none in this life, and finally we would understand why Christ came to heal and restore us to God. Christ had a lot of time for those who suffer the injustices of this world.
The last shall be first, and the first may be last. How is that for justice (in this world that too is foolish).
No - I absolutely should not. To do so would be to perpetuate all the very evil you so rightly deplore. I will not join “team evil”, Nick - the best way to join the side of murderers is to become like them with their incapacity to forgive.
If it was still your “worst enemy” there with you, then it could not be heaven. You cannot enter the Kingdom of God until you are willing to stand by your former worst enemy, now reconciled to you as a friend. It is totally understandable that this is a hateful thought to you Nick - it is to all of us while we walk in the flesh. It is not reasonable to expect people to be able to forgive what others are even still willingly and unrepentantly doing to them. It takes nothing short of a miracle that we can ever reach such a point at all. But reach it we had better - if we ever hope to leave such lives of hatred. When you cling to it, it tends to cling to you.
So conclusion is we are damned at least im.Because ill never forgive not a single done who did wrong to me and to other unrightfully.Ill hate them with resent till i rot in grave.
Not even a miracle im afraid.Hate and justice come hand to hand.Untill i see my enemies suffer x10 i wont have any peace.And if Gods willing to make that ill pray for it everyday.Im willing to convert again if a miracle of some short happens.If i see their lives getting destroyed to the point they are willing to end it all themselves i will become Christian again.I reject the notion of forgiveness.No miracle will make me forgive and forget.And no one should .
You say by not forgiving you are becoming like them . I have a question.
By forgiving them and let them by what else do you become but a victim? You sure they wont do it again?And if they do by forgiving them again and again what does that make you? A blind judge is my guess.You turn a blind eye to them in name of “love”.
And i dont want to imagine theres a God who would do the same. If we have free will its their choise to be evil and no GOD would force them to become something they dont want.
I was thinking about annihilation but it seems to soft.Suffering for eternity is the only solution.It has to be. No reconsiliation.No repentance. Evil will remain evil.Once you become evil youll never return.
Thats why i know ill probably go to hell as well.Because of my hatred .Although just
Tell me do you certainly know all those people and even maybe Paul is in heaven?What makes you think God accepted a killer of his own children in his kingdom? Because Paul wrote it and then became a Christian? I dont believe it.It goes against my beliefs about Justice and mercy.
Also since you are so inclusive about forgiveness(Christians generally) why isnt Satan already forgiven by God or you?Or a created beign by God like him doesnt deserve it hmm???
I join Jesus in breaking the self-perpetuating cycle of hatred and violence. I join Jesus in declaring that it is better for me to be a victim of violence than to honor it by joining forces with it. One can give no better or higher homage to people like Bin Laden or Hitler than by becoming like them in hating certain groups of people and being willing to use violence to achieve their ends. To join in with their ranks is to become the lowest victim of all - to be entirely conquered by the hatred that I had thought we were supposed to hate. But we joined it instead. That is to become the eternal victim, serving a cruel and pernicious little god that pillages and murders me and everyone I love. Lord preserve us all from choosing to serve that demonically murderous god. And I pray that you too, Nick, will eventually think better than to honor that murderous spirit by serving and mimicking its hatreds.
When Christ asked what profit it was for a man to gain the world by selling his soul, Christ was being exceedingly generous. Not only do people who’ve sold their souls not gain anything close to the world, what they really inherit is a pile of crap, and sell out their children’s futures too. Even the miniscule few who do become warlords or weopons manufacturing moguls leeching their plunder from their fear-driven slaves, even those people will be cheated by this cruel little god. They too won’t even have the world, but for a little bit. They are kings of filth and poverty is all they are. Better to be physically dead than to become spiritually dead like them. While I have these same struggles myself, I pray for the fortitude to not join with so many others who prostrate ourselves to these false gods.
By your definition then fighting Hitles and these warlords in Africa(which assume is what you meant in your example above) we are becoming like them? So we souldve let Hitler and SS go by?
So we shouldnt hate Nazis i gues right but forgive them? Im actually confused about the message you are trying to convey. Me hating a hatefull evil person doesnt make me evil and hatefull as well if that person is evil.Dont you hate evil?
Not at all. It is fine to oppose evil and protect its intended victims. In our roles within a polity we can take up arms for defense which I believe most Christian denominations allow. But how we enter into that will make a difference in our ability to survive the harm we do. If we seek to maximize pain and loss then we are lost. Otherwise we can just render unto Caesar as duty requires without permanently scarring our preferred outlook.
But outside the duration of our carrying out our role should we seek to make the Germans suffer as much as possible after the war? Or if we meet a German should we revile them or beat them if we can? No. A big part of our own healing will involve recovering our normal regard for others, even if we lost a friend or relative in the conflict. Now I don’t personally anticipate any sort of afterlife whatsoever but if I did I should think the opportunity to commiserate with those we opposed in the conflict would be something to hope for. Grudges seal pain in. If you don’t like the pain, don’t nourish the grudge.
Nobody wants to maximize anything. What’s more to maximize than death? Sorry but after the war people beating Germans was not maximizing anything compared to what they did to their counterparts. And that’s for real life. If you have done something pretty bad to me me doing the same thing to you is not maximizing pain I’m just teaching you a lesson. A fair one .
I could see we doing that and it completely would be justified.Any suffering is less brutal than death.
So my reasoning by getting revenge at the same level is not bad. It’s a just and teaching way to make the other realize tha he’s not some sort of God who can do whatever he wants with you.
I’ve never looked at it that way but my sense is that would not be a mindset for living a happy life. What is fair is not always a guide to what serves us best. But of course ones mileage may vary. If it’s working for you carry on.
But I am unwilling to believe in versions of the past or the future which are magically inconsistent with our experience of the present. Those can be anything and are most likely an indulgence in fantasy.
It is not a choice between those two extremes: damnation or universalism. I believe there are median positions. And mine is that God damns nobody, but God’s omnipotence is not that of dreamer who simply ignores the realities to make a magical happy ending.
You talk like our hope itself is the savior and that is not the case. Our savior is the SAME God who clearly doesn’t always get what He wants because He abides by some set of rules – i.e. limitations of some kind, so at the very least, ends are not independent of the means.
I am an avid opponent of entitlement so NO, my hope is no more enough to save me than any of the other vile schmucks in the world.
P.S. Let me remind you that I agreed with Bishop Barron in my post above. My only criticism was a completely different issue than the subject of this thread.
Well … sure! Since I’m something of a non-participant in all those games anyway (of trying to do God’s job for him, since apparently … some think God needs the help), I’m certainly not going to then delve into numbers or percentages or all the vast world that does very much exist between 0 and 100%.
Nor does my hope save me. But a lack of hope can keep me damned. That is hope might be one among many ingredients necessary for our spiritual fluorishment. But despair can single-handedly ruin the entire recipe. Hope may not have ranked as high as love - but still - it was among the big three! Right there along with faith as well.
My take on the discussion/debate of universalism centres on the dogmatic belief by universalists that everyone will be saved, as opposed to the belief that salvation is offered to all but only God knows if everyone will repent and accept salvation.
I assume that for Christians, the purpose of the faith in Christ, the begotten Son of God, is the salvation of humanity from sin into eternal life in God the Father. This is shown in the life, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Christianity offers the means by which humanity progresses (or reaches its destiny) into human beings who are like Christ. Human beings may progress from our present state (symbolised by the first Adam) into that revealed by the actions and teachings of Christ (the final Adam). This thesis would require a careful review of human attributes as they are now, and the attributes (ultimate) of Christ. Overall, it is not what I sometimes regard as a Miltonian view of Christ outwitting or ‘beating’ the Devil, nor a Dantean view of a cosmological order into which people ‘fit’ or ‘act’ so as to aspire to an end result that accords to a human ideal of good and evil that ultimately actualises into a hell for the wicked, a heaven for the blessed, and a purgatory for those ‘in between’.
Is it fair to assume that universalists have a different view of salvation?
It seems to me that for those who may not consider themselves Christians, the debate is more on matters of theodicy (evil in the world, punishment etc.)
The discussion may be productive if it is focussed on the differences in the belief with universalists amongst Christians.
(The only thing that matters is faith expressed in love.)
Salvation is real transcendence, levelling up for eternity, real moral development in glory, metamorphosis; life as a butterfly not a maggot. Impossible to envisage but predicated on the competence of Love.
And yeah, our Earth local infinitesimal of heaven is run by the infinitesimal human-divine person-Person hybrid Jesus. Like an infinitesimal chromatophore on an infinite cephalopod.