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Author Topic: I believe in Universal Reconciliation  (Read 21965 times) Average Rating: 0
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Matthew777
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« Reply #45 on: December 04, 2005, 08:51:36 PM »

  ÃƒÆ’‚  "The Lord is a propitiation not for our sins only but also for the whole world! Therefore He indeed saves all universally but some are converted by punishments, others by voluntary submission, thus obtaining the honor and dignity, that to Him 'every knee shall how of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.'
  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚ "He punishes for their good those who are punished, whether collectively or individually."
Clement of Alexandria

 "For it is needful that evil should someday wholly and absolutely removed out of the circle of being. . . . or inasmuch as it is not in the nature of evil to exist without the will, when every will comes to be in God, will not evil go to absolute extinction, by reason of there being no receptacle it left?" ("Dialogue of the Soul and Resurrection," Book 3).
     "Therefore the Divine judgment does not as its chief object to cause pain to those who have sinned, but works good alone by separating from evil, and drawing to a share in blessedness. But this severance of good from evil causes the pain (of the judgment). In other words, the penalty is the cure; it is merely the unavoidable pain attending the removal of the intruding element of sin." ("Dialogue of the Soul and Resurrection").
     "If this (sin) be not cured here, its cure is postponed to a future life. As sure remedies for obstinate cases, so God announces His future judgment for the cure of the diseases of the soul, and that judgment uses threats to the lazy and vain . . . in order that, through fear, we may be trained to avoiding evil; but by those who are more intelligent, it (the judgment) is believed to be a medicine, a cure from God, who is bringing the creature, which he has formed, back to that state of grace which first existed." (Cat. Orat. VIII).
Gregory of Nyssa

    "Wherefore at the same time liberty of free-will should be left to nature and yet the evil be purged away, the wisdom of God discovered, this plan to suffer man to do what he would, that having tasted the evil which he desired and learning by experience for what wretchedness he had bartered away the blessings he had, he might of his own will hasten back with desire to the first blessedness, either being purged in this life through prayer and discipline, or after his departure hence through the cleansing fire."
Gregory of Nyssa
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« Reply #46 on: December 04, 2005, 09:08:20 PM »

Christ is Among Us!
    What an attractive doctrine universal salvation is! And yet, for the EO it is settled as a condemned doctrine. If any EO Fathers held it before its condemnation then their fault was one of "loving too much" before the Church had spoken. There is no need for us to dispute or defend it. Since Matthew is an OO member, the burden of proof falls to members of his own church. However, and this is merely as an outsider to the OO Podvig, it seems that one who identifies himself as OO and yet defends this doctrine has somewhat "Protestantized" his ancient Christian Faith- or do I misunderstand the OO stance vis-a-vis the doctrine of Universal Salvation?
   On an EO note: I hope and pray that Gandhi is not suffering eternal torment. He in his ignorance is undoubtedly more worthy to experience God's blessings than I am in my knowledge. But I trust that even if he does suffer God's judgement for his non-acceptance of Christ then (beyond my understanding) it is in a way that compromises neither God's loving mercy NOR His justice. I do not need to know more.
In Christ,
Rd. David
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« Reply #47 on: December 04, 2005, 09:15:16 PM »

Are you implying that there are no choices in eternity? One would assume that if the afterlife is infinite, there would be infinite possibilities. Not between good or evil but between one good thing or another.
Do we not pray to the saints because they have the free choice to pray for us? If the saints weep for our suffering, doesn't this emotion entail change of some sort?   

I'm not sure; the rub is that in the afterlife there is no time.  If change (for one other than God) requires time - change implies entering a different state of some sort from one in which one was previously in - then it is impossible, since there is no progression of time.  I'm just putting possibilities out there.
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« Reply #48 on: December 04, 2005, 09:17:45 PM »

Perhaps it would be more clear to say that I hope for universal reconciliation just as we know from the Scriptures that God desires all men to be saved.

I like this better.
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« Reply #49 on: December 04, 2005, 09:19:39 PM »

Christ is Among Us! 

He Is and always shall Be!

   On an EO note: I hope and pray that Gandhi is not suffering eternal torment. He in his ignorance is undoubtedly more worthy to experience God's blessings than I am in my knowledge. But I trust that even if he does suffer God's judgement for his non-acceptance of Christ then (beyond my understanding) it is in a way that compromises neither God's loving mercy NOR His justice. I do not need to know more.
In Christ,
Rd. David 

Whether he is, or isn't - it has no bearing on our salvation or on how we need to approach our relationship with the world.  And I will not presume to pass judgement on Mr. Ghandi on behalf of the LORD.
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« Reply #50 on: December 04, 2005, 09:36:54 PM »

I agree, which is why I would not even consider the possibility unless certain fathers of the church, including St. Gregory of Nyssa, considered it also.

Then you're interpreting the thought of the Fathers on your own instead of accepting the Church's judgment. That's still Protestantism.
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« Reply #51 on: December 04, 2005, 09:45:24 PM »

Universalism was never condemned by any Ecumenical Council.  Period.  It was condemned by Emperor Justinian (even granting that these anathemas were even part of Constantinople 553, and not part of a previous local synod as some scholars therorize), who was not a bishop, and as such lacks the power to bind or loose. 

...sorry, didn't have time to read everyone's replies. But as you can see, I am typing this from an Internet Cafe on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.  Perhaps I might mull over everyone's replies over my next gin-and-tonic at the pool.....
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« Reply #52 on: December 04, 2005, 10:17:09 PM »

Universalism was never condemned by any Ecumenical Council.  Period.  It was condemned by Emperor Justinian (even granting that these anathemas were even part of Constantinople 553, and not part of a previous local synod as some scholars therorize), who was not a bishop, and as such lacks the power to bind or loose. 

If they were included in the minutes of 553, whether or not they were actually approved at that synod, they were obviously agreed to by the synod at some point...

The problem with trying to sort the whole thing out is that the Church's canons were part of the civil law code of the empire, and the Emperor was considered as a member of the clergy.  So the things that he decreed were binding over the church - unless overruled by an Ecumenical Council.  Of course, we have no empire now (as many are quick to point out on this site).

...sorry, didn't have time to read everyone's replies. But as you can see, I am typing this from an Internet Cafe on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.  Perhaps I might mull over everyone's replies over my next gin-and-tonic at the pool.....   

hope you have a good voyage and a safe return home.
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« Reply #53 on: December 04, 2005, 10:19:18 PM »

Then you're interpreting the thought of the Fathers on your own instead of accepting the Church's judgment.

Is truth determined by a democratic vote? If not, is it possible that the majority could be wrong? Appeal to the majority, even the majority of an Ecumenical Council, is a logical fallacy. One must give good reason why the majority is correct.
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« Reply #54 on: December 04, 2005, 10:26:58 PM »

Is truth determined by a democratic vote? If not, is it possible that the majority could be wrong? Appeal to the majority, even the majority of an Ecumenical Council, is a logical fallacy. One must give good reason why the majority is correct.

Oh boy, let's not leave it up to democracy - then the Church might've become Arian!
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« Reply #55 on: December 04, 2005, 10:29:28 PM »

Oh boy, let's not leave it up to democracy - then the Church might've become Arian!

Didn't Ecumenical Councils make decisions by the majority of those present?
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« Reply #56 on: December 04, 2005, 10:39:55 PM »

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Matthew777: As has been shown, Origen wasn't the only church father

You haven’t shown anything. You pasted an article quoting some fathers (and even condemned heretics like Theodore of Mopsuestia) generally alluding to some form of universal restoration. Universal restoration is not heretical per se. Origenistic universalism is a heresy because it is based upon faulty premises (e.g. that the restoration of one’s nature necessitates the restoration of one’s person), that lead to absurd conclusions (e.g. the pre-existence and cyclic re-incarnation of the soul) which ultimately deprive man of true free will.

Quote
DavidH: it seems that one who identifies himself as OO and yet defends this doctrine has somewhat "Protestantized" his ancient Christian Faith

Matthew777 is not a spokesperson or authority for OO doctrine (any more or less than TomS is a spokesperson or authority for EO doctrine — no offence for this analogy TomS; I for one at least find you interesting), and he explicitly (and thankfully) admit that he is advocating his own personal views contrary to the teaching of The Church earlier in this thread.

Quote
Since Matthew is an OO member, the burden of proof falls to members of his own church.

As I stated earlier, Origensitic universalism was never an ecumenically relevant or significant issue within the OO Church, so there is simply not a whole lot that has been said on it. In such circumstances, the onus lies on Matthew who is making the claim, to prove a valid basis for his viewpoints. As you can clearly see from his initial post, his attempted appeal to authority is not in any way exclusively OO.

With respect to what the OO Church has positively affirmed or denied in relation to the matter, I will make the following points:ÂÂ  a) The OO Church’s stress on the Eternal Judgement and Righteousness of the Lord alone suffice in negating the Origenistic concept of universalism, b) Origens concept of universalism was explicitly labeled heresy by Coptic scholar Fr. Tadros Malaty, in his very exclusive book on the person of Origen and his teachings, b) The Holy Coptic Synod have recently made negative decisions with respect to the departed sinners’ ability to repent, and the capability of that repentance to be effective for His salvation, which would contradict the Origenistic conception of universalism, c) His Eminence Metrapolitan Bishoy has recently written an article titled “The Salvation of Non-Believers” where he essentially advocated the “no salvation outside the Church” notion, which undoubtedly contradicts the Origenistic concept of universalism.

Quote
And yet, for the EO it is settled as a condemned doctrine.

This is to be equivocative. Even granting that your fifth council condemned origenistic universalism, there still exists other forms of universalism advocated by key fathers of your church. Maximus the Confessor for instance, says the following in his disputations with Pyrrhus:

The Church knows three apokatastases. One is the apokatastasis of everything according to the logos of virtue; According to this apokatastasis one is restored who manages to fulfill this principle of virtue within himself. The second apokatastasis is that of the human nature in the Resurrection, to incorruption and immortality. The third, in the words of Gregory of Nyssa, is that of the powers of the soul that, having had lapsed into sin, are once again restored to the condition in which they had been created. For it’s necessary that just as the whole nature of the flesh hopes in time to be taken up once again into incorruption in apokatastasis, thus also the powers of the soul, having become distorted in the course of the times had instilled in it the memory of evil, such that at the end of ages, not being able to find any rest, shall come unto God Who has no limit. And therefore the distorted power of the soul shall be taken up into the primeval apokastastasis, merely into a discursive knowledge of, however not a participation in, the good things of The Lord, where the Creator is known yet without being the cause of their sins.

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« Reply #57 on: December 04, 2005, 10:41:00 PM »

Didn't Ecumenical Councils make decisions by the majority of those present?   

Within the Synods, yes... but I don't know how much the proceedings would fit into the modern (or even ancient) construct for a strict democracy.. I mean, membership and voting rights were limited, for one (not that most democratic societies don't have limits).
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« Reply #58 on: December 04, 2005, 10:42:41 PM »

Universal restoration is not heretical per se.

So were St. Gregoria of Nyssa and Clement of Alexandria not heretical in holding to it?
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« Reply #59 on: December 04, 2005, 10:44:11 PM »

Within the Synods, yes... but I don't know how much the proceedings would fit into the modern (or even ancient) construct for a strict democracy.. I mean, membership and voting rights were limited, for one (not that most democratic societies don't have limits).

So, does the fact that a majority within a council held to a particular view automatically make it right?
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« Reply #60 on: December 04, 2005, 10:47:50 PM »

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So were St. Gregoria of Nyssa and Clement of Alexandria not heretical in holding to it?


What is "it"? Like I said, there are varying forms of universal restoration. The form advocated by St Gregory of Nyssa, is not heretical Your inability to be specific or to make any such distinction inhibits the possibility of us having a reasonable discussion together on the matter.

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« Reply #61 on: December 04, 2005, 10:48:53 PM »

If they were included in the minutes of 553, whether or not they were actually approved at that synod, they were obviously agreed to by the synod at some point...


This is merely an argument from silence.  I need substantial empirical evidence to determine whether or not the synod or the church did indeed endorse these anathemas......like a time-machine, par example.
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« Reply #62 on: December 04, 2005, 10:50:47 PM »

The form advocated by St Gregory of Nyssa, is not heretical

What specifically is this form?
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« Reply #63 on: December 04, 2005, 10:52:16 PM »

So, does the fact that a majority within a council held to a particular view automatically make it right?

Absolutely, positively NOT. ÂÂ Even if it were UNANIMOUS, it doesn't make it right. ÂÂ  A synod's job is to confirm what is contained in Apostolic Tradition, or the conclusions which are logically derivable therefrom....nothing more.
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« Reply #64 on: December 04, 2005, 10:53:51 PM »

Absolutely, positively NOT. ÂÂ Even if it were UNANIMOUS, it doesn't make it right. ÂÂ  A synod's job is to confirm what is contained in Apostolic Tradition, or the conclusions which are logically derivable therefrom....nothing more.

If the church fathers in the years before a council held to universal reconciliation, wouldn't that make it the Apostolic Tradition?
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« Reply #65 on: December 04, 2005, 10:55:00 PM »

Quote
What specifically is this form?


I quoted Maximus the Confessor on the previous page who, though not being an authority of our church, I believe correctly interprets or represents the universalism of St Gregory of Nyssa. Allow me to quote that specific part again, and I shall highlight the most significant point asserted:

The third, in the words of Gregory of Nyssa, is that of the powers of the soul that, having had lapsed into sin, are once again restored to the condition in which they had been created. For it’s necessary that just as the whole nature of the flesh hopes in time to be taken up once again into incorruption in apokatastasis, thus also the powers of the soul, having become distorted in the course of the times had instilled in it the memory of evil, such that at the end of ages, not being able to find any rest, shall come unto God Who has no limit. And therefore the distorted power of the soul shall be taken up into the primeval apokastastasis, merely into a discursive knowledge of, however not a participation in, the good things of The Lord, where the Creator is known yet without being the cause of their sins.

+Irini nem ehmot
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« Reply #66 on: December 04, 2005, 10:59:10 PM »

When a church father interprets another church father, what standards does he use?
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« Reply #67 on: December 04, 2005, 11:26:38 PM »

Matthew,

Your stupid questions are starting to irritate me.

First of all, I made it explicitly clear that Maximus the Confessor is not a church father of our Church, so I wasn’t appealing to him as such (had this discussion been exclusively OO, i probably would not have appealed to him at all, but I did so for the sake of our EO brothers). I appealed to him as an accurate interpreter of what St Gregory actually taught. What are the standards of such interpretation? Well, umm, how about the writings of St Gregory of Nyssa (particularly On the Soul and the Resurrection and Catechetical Oration)  in context, and not severed out of context by a Protestant heretic who also appeals to condemned Nestorians to validate his point of view (i.e. the initial article you pasted for us)?

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« Reply #68 on: December 04, 2005, 11:54:37 PM »

Your stupid questions are starting to irritate me.

Perhaps, perhaps.  Grin
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« Reply #69 on: December 05, 2005, 01:32:43 AM »

Now, I would please like a response to these verses that uses independent thought rather than an appeal to the Church:


Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.
John 12:31-32

For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.
1Cor. 15:21-22

Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the Sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme.
Mark 3:28

Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. Rom. 5:18

For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.
Rom 11:32

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:1-2


It is good to believe what the Church teaches on a certain doctrine if and only if there is reason for such teaching.

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« Reply #70 on: December 05, 2005, 01:38:17 AM »

This is merely an argument from silence. Â I need substantial empirical evidence to determine whether or not the synod or the church did indeed endorse these anathemas......like a time-machine, par example. 

My statement was with regards to the implication that the anathemas are actually found in the minutes of the Synod.  Of course, this has the presupposition that the minutes only include what was actually discussed and decided at the Synod.  So either I am misunderstanding in a) maybe you didn't say that they were found in the minutes of the Synod, in which case my statement has no bearing to the question, or b) you are actually asserting that maybe things in the minutes were not actually agreed to by the synod.
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« Reply #71 on: December 05, 2005, 01:41:47 AM »

Now, I would please like a response to these verses that uses independent thought rather than an appeal to the Church:

It is good to believe what the Church teaches on a certain doctrine if and only if there is reason for such teaching.

I'm a big fan of critical thinking (and I don't come across it enough in my daily life) - but if this is an appeal to specifically forsake the Fathers and the Consciousness of the Church (which is the defender of the Truth, guardian of the Faith, co-keeper of Apostolic Succession, etc.) because they're not agreeing with you, then we should probably break off from the discussion.  I hope I am misinterpreting (something I frequently do).
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« Reply #72 on: December 05, 2005, 11:10:16 AM »

While I've been too busy to get involved in this discussion yet, I think I will try to clarify a few things.

First, The Anathemas of Justinian against Origen are no in the Minutes of the Fifth Oecumenical Synod, they are found in other Sources, In fact, the Synodal Anathemas against Origen are not even in many of the Minutes of the Synod, they were first discovered in a copy of the Minutes in the 17th Century in Vienna. But it is generally agreed that they were either promulgated at the Fifth Oecumenical Synod or at the Synod of Constantinople in 543. However the fact that Origen was anathematized by name in the 11th Capitula of the Synod is not in doubt, so such an anathema would have been a ratification of Constantinople 543 in any case. But the Anathemas of Justinian were not Ratified by any Synodal Body, they served as the Basis for the Synodal Anathemas, but perhaps the fact that the synod left any mention of apokatastasis out is telling.

The consensus of the Church on this matter is far from Clear, for ultimately the ancient debate between Antioch and Alexandria, between the the Judaic and Hellenistic elements of Christianity, has never been resolved. And since the time of St. Maximos the Confessor we really haven't even had a theologian who was learned in and addressed these issues so they have effectively been put on the back burner, battles yet to be fought by some future generation.

Furthermore, I would like to make a correction to how St. Clement of Alexandria is being portrayed. He did not actually advocate universal salvation. He did teach that the Saving Process of Mankind would continue for All of Eternity, for to say otherwise would be to deny the immutability of God; He also taught that the Law of the Jews and Philosophy of the Greeks were both ways by which men would come to Christ, declaring them equal in truth and virtue. So while he saw that man would have all of eternity to come to Christ, and Christ would readily accept them when they did, and that there were many ways through which men may come to God, he still entertained the possibility that there could be some so prideful that they would rather endure eternal torment than come before Christ in Humility and Submission. Thus, while he advocated the possible, and even probable, salvation of all of Creation at some point in eternity, he also allowed for the possiblity that some might not be saved.
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« Reply #73 on: December 05, 2005, 11:59:32 AM »

I am confused on what it is exactly that you guys are saying is heresy. Read http://www.philthompson.net/pages/library/riveroffire.html and clarify if that is the heresy of which you are speaking, and if so, what is the correct position?

If someone could please answer, that would be really helpful. Pm me I guess...
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« Reply #74 on: December 05, 2005, 03:25:23 PM »

"but if this is an appeal to specifically forsake the Fathers and the Consciousness of the Church"

This is an appeal to provide solid reasoning in favor of one church father over another and the counsciousness of the Church as a whole.

Peace.
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« Reply #75 on: December 05, 2005, 03:29:56 PM »

This is an appeal to provide solid reasoning in favor of one church father over another and the counsciousness of the Church as a whole.

The bishops decide the consciousness of the Church as a whole, not a freethinking layman. Seriously, this is getting pretty offensive.
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« Reply #76 on: December 05, 2005, 03:36:42 PM »

The bishops decide the consciousness of the Church as a whole, not a freethinking layman. Seriously, this is getting pretty offensive.

It is offensive to think that we should accept the desision of bishops without requesting the reasons for these decisions. We aren't slaves who blindly accept anything we are told.
I am not saying that there aren't good reasons. I am only saying that if they exist, we should  know them.
Without the blind acceptance of authority, the Holocaust would have never happened.
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« Reply #77 on: December 05, 2005, 04:46:34 PM »

It is offensive to think that we should accept the desision of bishops without requesting the reasons for these decisions. We aren't slaves who blindly accept anything we are told.
I am not saying that there aren't good reasons. I am only saying that if they exist, we shouldÂÂ  know them.
Without the blind acceptance of authority, the Holocaust would have never happened.
Hey there Matthew, I read most of this thread (but not all of it) and I noticed how zealous you are about knowing the truth. Believe me i've been where you're at concerning UR.
I read a lot of posts here about Christianity that are off, like the one i read on this thread a few pages back about only a bishop having the authority to bind and loose...That's a big fat deception. We are all His children, and the Lord loves us all equally, we are ALL called to be in his likeness and He is the one who gives and takes not "the Church".
About UR: There are too many passages in the gospel that contradict it. Like when Jesus warned the desciples to stay awake, the parable of the ten virgins, and how He stayed quiet on the cross when one thief made fun. He said He didnt come to condemn but to save...
It is my desire that all enter Heaven because it is His desire as well. But His relationship with us is such that he doesnt impose and has given us free will. That's what makes us human beings. And what makes our relationship with Him so precious.
You have the complete right to doubt humans wether they be bishops, popes, presidents, parents or whatever... but KNOW that our Lord is faithful and keeps His promise and He has promised us that He will answer when we ask (Matthew 7:7). so just ask Him and keep seeking i'm sure He will answer you.
God bless
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« Reply #78 on: December 05, 2005, 04:56:07 PM »

The bishops decide the consciousness of the Church as a whole, not a freethinking layman. Seriously, this is getting pretty offensive.

Before you start going off on the 'consciousness of the Church,' please present some Synods and universal decrees of the Entire Christian Church to support your posistion. Personally, I dont see a 'consciousness of the Church' one way or the Other, I see two strong, yet contradicting, posistions that were never fully addressed, both co-existing throughout nearly the Entire History of the Church. The fact of the matter is that we have not agreed upon, or even addressed, all Theological, Soteriological, Eschatological, etc. issues, and we never will be able to, for to do so would be to know completely the Divine Nature. This particular question is amongst the ones that was never fully addressed, and is not likely to be addressed at least within our life times.

Thus, if you want to argue the issue, argue the actual Theology, instead of appealing to some non-existant 'patristic consensus.' What we can argue from tradition and previous synods is that God will not usurp the free will of His Creation, but it is still theoretically possibility that the ontological being (which is necessarily eternally sustained by God) will in time cause the natural being, and hence will, of all Creatures to return to their Original and Natural State, alligned with God their creator. Of course if we allow this possibilty me must be certain we dont cause the Hypostases to be destroyed in the process, for that would be Anathema.
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« Reply #79 on: December 05, 2005, 05:16:35 PM »

Thank you for the response.

Like when Jesus warned the desciples to stay awake, the parable of the ten virgins, and how He stayed quiet on the cross when one thief made fun.

Does this imply that the punishment of hell is everlasting punishment? I've heard that the Greek word which translates as "eternal" does not necessarily mean "for all time".
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« Reply #80 on: December 05, 2005, 05:18:20 PM »

If there is no change in the afterlife, why do we pray for the dead?
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« Reply #81 on: December 05, 2005, 05:33:32 PM »

I carry a torch in one hand
And a bucket of water with the other
With these things, I will set fire to Heaven
And put out the flames of Hell
So that no one worship God
Out of fear of Hell
Or greed of Heaven.

O Allah!
If I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell,
and if I worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise.
But if I worship You for Your Own sake,
grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty

- Rabia, Sufi Poetess, 8th century
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« Reply #82 on: December 05, 2005, 05:52:29 PM »

If I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell,
and if I worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise.
But if I worship You for Your Own sake,
grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty

This is exactly how I feel.

It seems that many people insist that non-believers will spend an eternity in hell simply to brush them off as fellow human beings. It's like they are thinking, "I don't have to listen to you, you're just a hell-bound sinner."
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« Reply #83 on: December 05, 2005, 05:54:47 PM »

How does Gandhi, or another non-Christian who remains devoted to God, somehow 'hate God'?
If they don't hate Him, will they not enjoy His love in the afterlife?

Didn't Jesus teach that whoever isn't against us is with us?
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« Reply #84 on: December 05, 2005, 06:05:59 PM »

It seems that many people insist that non-believers will spend an eternity in hell simply to brush them off as fellow human beings. It's like they are thinking, "I don't have to listen to you, you're just a hell-bound sinner."
I gathered that this was what it was really about, but you can't base the idea that Hell will cease to exist simply because of the weakness (and stupidity) of some people who claim to know who is or isn't in Hell.

If they don't hate Him, will they not enjoy His love in the afterlife?
We can't say, one way or the other, since it hasn't been revealed to us. And to speculate and come up with our own concepts means that the accusation against us of Ludwig Feuerbach is true: “It is not as in the Bible, that God created man in his own image. But, on the contrary, man created God in his own image.”
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« Reply #85 on: December 05, 2005, 06:25:29 PM »

And Matthew, if anyone tells you that they know that a particular person is in Hell, and that only "believers" go to Heaven, ask them to define "a believer" simply refer them to these words of Christ:
[bible]Matthew 21:28-32[/bible]
Note that Our Lord says, it was St. John the Baptist, not Christ himself, who the publicans and harlots believed had come in the way of righteousness and were thereby saved. And Christ even spells this out for us:
[bible]Matthew 10:40-42[/bible]
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« Reply #86 on: December 05, 2005, 07:42:08 PM »

It is not as in the Bible, that God created man in his own image. But, on the contrary, man created God in his own image.”

"The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath" - Mark 2:27
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« Reply #87 on: December 05, 2005, 07:45:29 PM »

Note that Our Lord says, it was St. John the Baptist, not Christ himself, who the publicans and harlots believed had come in the way of righteousness and were thereby saved. And Christ even spells this out for us:
[bible]Matthew 10:40-42[/bible]

If by John the Baptist, why not by Muhammad, Krishna or Moses? I know that we are unable to form definitive conclusions. However, I still do not doubt the sincere Muslim or Jew's relationship with God.
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« Reply #88 on: December 05, 2005, 08:01:33 PM »

"The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath" - Mark 2:27
This is simply about the order of creation, not that man creates God. Christ means that "The Sabbath was created by God for the sake of Man, God did not create Man for the sake of theSabbath"
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« Reply #89 on: December 05, 2005, 08:05:08 PM »

If by John the Baptist, why not by Muhammad, Krishna or Moses?
Well, if any of them is a true prophet of God (and as far as we can be certain, only St. John the Baptist and Moses were), and if they are truly received as prophets, then yes.
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