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Author Topic: I believe in Universal Reconciliation  (Read 21398 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #180 on: August 14, 2006, 05:03:19 AM »

If all are written in the Book of Life, then what was the point of John saying in Revelations, "If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." Wouldn't that be a moot point? A pointless statement? It could only serve to mislead people into thinking that some would not end up with their names written there. Don't you think?

Your Sola Scriptura approach leads to Predestination.  Saying that some will CERTAINLY go to hell is the same as saying that all will CERTAINLY be saved in the end.

In both cases, CERTAINTY is assumed; they only differ in terms of QUANTITY.  If there is certainty, then there is no free will.

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« Reply #181 on: August 14, 2006, 05:34:07 AM »

Your Sola Scriptura approach leads to Predestination.
I'm not sure whether you have noticed, but Arythmael is a Baptist, so it should come as no surprise that he/she takes a Calvanist approach.
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« Reply #182 on: August 14, 2006, 06:05:43 AM »

But, with all due respect, you have evaded the question.

Even if all are thrown into the lake of fire, if you acknowledge that some are thrown in as a result of not having their names written in the Book of Life, then you must deal with another passage in Revelation which, in describing the nature of the "Holy City" that "does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light" (the light into which you say time and space are immersed), goes on to say that "Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life."?

Without saying that I agree with the notion that all will be saved, I have to say that this Scripture passage actually does not disprove Apocastasis. And Matthew said why earlier when he said: "Who am I to know the mind of God? Those not in the book today, may be written tomorrow."  The Scripture passage you quote leaves open the question of whether those who experience what we Orthodox call the Divine Energies as "the lake of fire and sulphur" may or may not eternally experience Them as such. So, in fact, Matthew hasn't evaded your question.

Personally, I tend to agree with Asterikos (The Legendary) earlier in this thread that we can hope that all will be saved, and indeed, Scripture asserts that this was the Mission of Our Lord Jesus Christ: "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in Himself: 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" (Ephesians 1:9-10). However I disagree with Asterikos (The Legendary) that this is "flirting with heresy" as he puts it.
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« Reply #183 on: August 14, 2006, 06:14:50 AM »

Personally, I tend to agree with Asterikos (The Legendary) earlier in this thread that we can hope that all will be saved, and indeed, Scripture asserts that this was the Mission of Our Lord Jesus Christ: "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in Himself: 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" (Ephesians 1:9-10). However I disagree with Asterikos (The Legendary) that this is "flirting with heresy" as he puts it.

Same here.  The POTENTIAL is worth praying for.

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« Reply #184 on: November 28, 2008, 06:15:45 PM »

Hi brothers and sisters! I read through this topic and I'm going to post my personal opinion. I'm extremely contrary to origenistic universalism on account on this:
1) Ethical relativism. If everyone will be saved by God independently from his faith and works, then we could be all killers, pedophiles, sodomites, prostitutes, drunkards... We're all going to be in the Lord one day, after all! (What a terrible idea...)
2) RC heresy. In fact even the words of institution in the Roman Canon say "This is the cup of my blood which is shed for you and for all"!!! There's a great difference between God's hope for our salvation and His will to offer it to everyone on one side, and the certainty of the salvation of everyone on the other. I can be offered a gift, and still reject it by free will.
3) God's justice isn't incompatible with God's love. God just awards the saints with the bliss of Heaven they longed and battled for during their lives, and at the same time respects the free will of the wicked to reject his love eternally. We were all given an entire lifespan of time to decide... and we can't just say "We didn't know of you, Lord, and of your rules!" because God even lived among us to be sure we could "receive the message". One's destiny is determined in essence only during our terrestrial life by our own meritsand in the intermediate state between death and resurrection by the cooperation of the prayers of the living and the mercy of God with our own will, but no further possibility is given after the resurrection which is a definitive state.
4) About Gandhi, it must be said that in his youth he was considering conversion to Christianism, but as he was vehemently expelled by a South African elder from a church where we was trying to attend a service, he recognized that Christians aren't truly imitators of Christ as he thought. When a missionary (E. Stanley Jones) asked him "Mr. Ghandi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower?" he just answered "Oh, I don't reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ." Gandhi was just following Christ's command: "Do what they say but not what they do". I think we could apply "baptism of intention" to this great man, but this is conditioned by his great love for our Lord and his deeds, and not inconditionally by a superabundant grace of God who should save everyone just because of one's ignorance...
5) Everyone will be saved according to one's knowledge of the law. The Hebrews must follow the entire Holiness Code, us Christians must follow the Gospel, and the pagans will be judged according to the natural law which was written at conception in their hearts!

Hope this helps. In Christ,

Alex
« Last Edit: November 28, 2008, 06:21:34 PM by AlexanderOfBergamo » Logged

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« Reply #185 on: November 28, 2008, 06:17:13 PM »

Anyway... nothing personal, Matthew777... I just hope you'll change your mind on this!
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« Reply #186 on: November 28, 2008, 09:52:46 PM »

Hi brothers and sisters! I read through this topic and I'm going to post my personal opinion. I'm extremely contrary to origenistic universalism on account on this:
1) Ethical relativism. If everyone will be saved by God independently from his faith and works, then we could be all killers, pedophiles, sodomites, prostitutes, drunkards... We're all going to be in the Lord one day, after all! (What a terrible idea...)

Sorry, Alexander, but I don't see this as a terrible idea, at all. What I do see as a terrible idea is that any of the above should be "punished, tortured, tormented, seperated from God's Love, or whatever" for eternity for a finite existense as a flawed human being. None of us are perfect, none of us "deserve" to see the Lord and as I don't know God's judgements, anymore than I know the failings or the goodnesses of each human being, I am loathed to place limits on His Mercy. However, I do hope that all sinners (myself included), no matter what they have done in their weak, human state, are finally reconciled to God. How this might be accheived, I leave to God, trusting in his all loving mercy.
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« Reply #187 on: November 29, 2008, 08:46:46 AM »

The souls of the dead are not tormented by God. They torment themselves through their perseverance in the denial of God's love. I mean: sometimes forgiveness is even a greater torment on the conscience of a sinner. I'm not saying that I don't hope that everybody be saved by God. But stating as a doctrine that CERTAINLY all sinners will be saved even when they persecuted God and his children is dangerous. Whoever sins voluntarily by hatred of God and his people are not saved. Our Lord Jesus Christ clearly indicates who won't never be saved: those who sin against the Holy Spirit: "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come" (Matthew 12:31-32). What's this sin against the Holy Ghost? Some people think it's rejecting Christendom, some others give strange conclusions like "Nobody knows", but Paul clearly says what this sin is:
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Corinthians 6:9-20)
So the Lord himself, and his blessed servant saint Paul testify to this, that there will be some people who prefer damnation to God's love doing such evil things as those listed above. Christ uses no obscure words: no-one of those who blaspheme against the Holy Ghost will ever be saved (not by God's hatred for them, but for their own voluntarily choice)!

When some Church Fathers believed in Universal Reconciliation they were following later human traditions and philosophies, but the Church now clearly confesses in the Holy Ghost what God gave us as a doctrine in the Holy Bible. I repeat that God doesn't torment anybody. Those who will experience the consuming fire of God's presence will suffer even more then being tormented: God's love and forgiveness will be for them even worse then a true punishment as they'll see the Energies of the One they persecuted (personally by religion, and indirectly by evil deeds against God's children).
I hope that one day I'll reach the Lord but I'm not sure of this. Just let's pray the Lord for one another that we may persevere in his paths and merit (by God's grace of course) the immense gift of the bliss of heaven!

In Christ,  Alex

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« Reply #188 on: December 02, 2008, 11:48:42 PM »

I've noticed places like Wikipedia have claimed many early Christian Bishops as Universalists:

Clement of Alexandria

Gregory Nazianzus

Basil the Great

Gregory of Nyssa

John Chrysostom

Ambrose of Milan

(maybe I should add St. in front of all their names)

But couldn't someone today read the "River of Fire" (Dr. Kalimiros) and also claim it as being Universalism? It seems like much of this is exaggerated.
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« Reply #189 on: December 03, 2008, 09:48:17 PM »

Look, I've never believed that Gandhi will spend eternity in Hell. That just doesn't make any sense. My mind is not made up, considering that I've been hoping that you could explain why non-believers would not get used to God's love.

Matthew,

You are making a very academic point, which is not a bad thing.....but it is just academic all the same.  How do you know what was in Gandhi's heart?  Did he reject God?  Was he exposed to the Gospel?  Why Gandhi, how about Hitler?

This is a question of if whether you believe that Jesus Christ is the only path to the Father.

Shalom.....
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« Reply #190 on: December 03, 2008, 11:24:54 PM »

Anyway... nothing personal, Matthew777... I just hope you'll change your mind on this!

Matthew,

You are making a very academic point, which is not a bad thing.....but it is just academic all the same.  How do you know what was in Gandhi's heart?  Did he reject God?  Was he exposed to the Gospel?  Why Gandhi, how about Hitler?

This is a question of if whether you believe that Jesus Christ is the only path to the Father.

Shalom.....

FYI: Matthew777 is currently banned and not able to post on the site.  This isn't necessarily a permanent condition, but I thought I'd let you know, since this means he will not be able to respond.
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« Reply #191 on: March 15, 2009, 08:27:03 AM »


"I believe in Universal Reconciliation"


Well, if you had lived in the first centuries you would have fitted right in.   Saint Augustine tells us that it was a widely held early Christian belief.

"Some, nay, very many" (nonnulli, quam plurimi), pity with human feeling, the everlasting punishment of the damned, and do not believe that it is so."

~St Augustine. Enchiridion, chapter 112.
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« Reply #192 on: March 15, 2009, 08:37:18 AM »

The Oriental Orthodox Church does not teach universal reconcilation either.
So you disagree with Oriental Orthodoxy now.....so what's left? Wink

Three years ago Pope Shenouda came out with the statement that Protestants cannot be saved. He claims it is the teaching of the Gospel.  A small time after that the second-ranking bishop of his Synod preached a very popular sermon that Roman Catholics cannot be saved.  This provoked a huge storm among the Catholics of Egypt and the Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria demanded a retraction and apology.   He never got one and instead the Metropolitan's sermon was mass produced on tape and became a best-selling item around the OO churches of Egypt.

Ialmisry will remember this since we were involved in the discussion on CAF.  I'll see what I can salvage from the CAF site but they have obliterated 17,500 of my messages.   Grin

Don't suppose it had a mention here on OC.net?

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« Reply #193 on: March 15, 2009, 08:54:25 AM »

EkhristosAnesti,

I hope you are reading this.

You wrote:

"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...."

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,7675.msg100034.html#msg100034

This is the Metropolitan Bishoy who raised such a storm in Egypt by declaring that Roman Catholics cannot be saved.   Do you have any references to this?  It hit the Egyptian newspapers and was made into a popular tape.

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« Reply #194 on: March 15, 2009, 09:04:07 AM »

Well, I found one reference on CAF but they have nuked the thread referred to.  Pity.
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You will probably remember that in February [2004] Pope Shenouda himself proclaimed that non-believers cannot be saved. He claims this is biblical teaching. This was extended to Catholics and Protestants by his second bishop a month later.

"Coptic Bishop: Catholics Will Not Enter Heaven"
http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=142131

Isa, here is the Arabic site
http://www.al3dra.com/vb/showthread.php?t=2801
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« Reply #195 on: March 15, 2009, 09:15:18 AM »

Bishop Bishoy's view of other Christian Denominations
http://xculturefilms.blogspot.com/2006/01/sally-bishais-30-minutes-with-his.html


Bishop Bishoy criticizes different Christian denominations, openly in a conference of thousand attendees. Saying that Evangelicals and Catholics “will not go to Heaven”. And he will stop criticizing them only if their denominations leaders provide him with signed official declaration stating that these denominations are not Christian!

This audio file is posted on the Moslem website “call of Hope” http://www.callofhope.com/

To download the file please click the URL http://www.callofhope.com/CallArabic/audio/various/b_bishoy.mp3

Bishop Bishoy, is bishop of Demiat and Kafr El-Sheik, and the head of Saint Demiana's Monastery, and is the general secretary of the Holy Council of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
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Isa, or somebody speaking Arabic, could you please check that audio link.  It is from 2006.
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« Reply #196 on: March 15, 2009, 12:36:58 PM »

It's not a surprise that the Coptic Church does take a Synodical stand on no salvation outside the Church.

Nevertheless, I don't think (at least I know the Pope wouldn't) they take it this far to call them "not Christians."  Neither do a lot of bishops claim that you can't go to heaven.  Just that they have no say on the matter, but that they know the truth is in Orthodoxy and no where else.

I have heard HG Bishop Moussa (general bishop of the youth) call the Orthodox way a "straight path" while the Catholic and Protestant ways a "zigzag path."

God bless.

PS  Father, the mp3 link doesn't work
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« Reply #197 on: March 16, 2009, 08:17:23 AM »

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


I would like to point out that Ghandi was not ignorant. He was very much aware of Christianity, and Christian Doctrine, and REJECTED it. outright.
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« Reply #198 on: March 16, 2009, 12:22:37 PM »

I would like to point out that Ghandi was not ignorant. He was very much aware of Christianity, and Christian Doctrine, and REJECTED it. outright.

As did many slaves in the antebellum South in the U.S., for obvious reasons.

Now, the question is: how "aware" of Christian doctrine, is someone who sees Christians behaving "un-Christ-like"?  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #199 on: March 16, 2009, 02:27:18 PM »

I would like to point out that Ghandi was not ignorant. He was very much aware of Christianity, and Christian Doctrine, and REJECTED it. outright.

The reason(s) he did reject Christianity are important in understanding the man and his life. 
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« Reply #200 on: March 16, 2009, 09:41:28 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


I would like to point out that Ghandi was not ignorant. He was very much aware of Christianity, and Christian Doctrine, and REJECTED it. outright.

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Mohandas Gandhi

I remember one priest I knew saying that he believed that we Christians are too often responsible for outsiders not being enamoured with our Christ; and he wondered if God would blame them or us for their rejection of Him. It's a sobering thought....... to me, at least.
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« Reply #201 on: March 16, 2009, 10:15:42 PM »

I would like to point out that Ghandi was not ignorant. He was very much aware of Christianity, and Christian Doctrine, and REJECTED it. outright.

As did many slaves in the antebellum South in the U.S., for obvious reasons.

Now, the question is: how "aware" of Christian doctrine, is someone who sees Christians behaving "un-Christ-like"?  Roll Eyes


Where did you get your info?  Most slaves were Christians, as are their descendants.
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« Reply #202 on: March 16, 2009, 10:17:06 PM »

I would like to point out that Ghandi was not ignorant. He was very much aware of Christianity, and Christian Doctrine, and REJECTED it. outright.

The reason(s) he did reject Christianity are important in understanding the man and his life. 


I am not sure that God is concerned with the reason.
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« Reply #203 on: March 16, 2009, 10:26:32 PM »

I would like to point out that Ghandi was not ignorant. He was very much aware of Christianity, and Christian Doctrine, and REJECTED it. outright.

The reason(s) he did reject Christianity are important in understanding the man and his life. 


I am not sure that God is concerned with the reason.

I think He is, in fact, He clearly stated that He is concerned with the reason people may lose faith because they are scandalised by Christians:
“And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea."(Mark 9:42)
Now look again at what Gandhi said:
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Mohandas Gandhi
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« Reply #204 on: March 17, 2009, 12:22:01 AM »

RE: Whether non-Orthodox believers may properly be termed "Christians."

It would seem that Orthodox ecclesiology does in fact deny the non-Orthodox a rightful claim to being 'Christians' in the fullest, strictest sense of the word. Fr. Florovsky affirmed in his article 'The Worshipping Church' that, "Christian existence is intrinsically corporate. [To] be Christian means to be in the Community in the Church and of the Church."

Needless to say, the strict ecclesiological sense of the term isn't presupposed when it's being employed colloquially. Most people simply take the term to refer to one who affirms the fundamental dogmas of the Christian Faith--the articles of the Nicene Creed being a regular point of reference as to what those dogmas are.

I make no comments as to the propriety or lack thereof of HE Bishoy's comments on this matter, primarily because I don't have access to any reliable sources accounting for the precise nature of his comments or their context.
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« Reply #205 on: March 17, 2009, 07:38:01 AM »

I would like to point out that Ghandi was not ignorant. He was very much aware of Christianity, and Christian Doctrine, and REJECTED it. outright.

The reason(s) he did reject Christianity are important in understanding the man and his life. 


I am not sure that God is concerned with the reason.

I think He is, in fact, He clearly stated that He is concerned with the reason people may lose faith because they are scandalised by Christians:
“And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea."(Mark 9:42)
Now look again at what Gandhi said:
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Mohandas Gandhi


That scripture is speaking of children. How is it that you think it is proper to apply it to non-Christians?  Ghandi never lost his faith anyway, he was a devout Hindu all of his life.
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« Reply #206 on: March 17, 2009, 08:12:32 PM »

I would like to point out that Ghandi was not ignorant. He was very much aware of Christianity, and Christian Doctrine, and REJECTED it. outright.

As did many slaves in the antebellum South in the U.S., for obvious reasons.

Now, the question is: how "aware" of Christian doctrine, is someone who sees Christians behaving "un-Christ-like"?  Roll Eyes


Where did you get your info?  Most slaves were Christians, as are their descendants.

I stated that many slaves rejected Christianity, not most.

Quote
Daniel Alexander Payne, A.M.E. bishop, discussed the origins of slave unbelief in a statement written in 1839:

The slaves are sensible of the oppression exercised by their masters; and they see these masters on the Lord's day worshipping in his holy sanctuary. They hear their masters professing Christianity; they see their masters preaching the gospel; they hear these masters praying in their families, and they know that oppression and slavery are inconsistent with the Christian religion; therefore they scoff at religion itself -- mock their masters, and distrust both the goodness and justice of God. Yes, I have known them even to question his existence. I speak not of what others have told me, but of what I have both seen and heard from the slaves themselves.

Raboteau, Slave Religion, 313
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« Reply #207 on: March 17, 2009, 11:40:04 PM »

I would like to point out that Ghandi was not ignorant. He was very much aware of Christianity, and Christian Doctrine, and REJECTED it. outright.

As did many slaves in the antebellum South in the U.S., for obvious reasons.

Now, the question is: how "aware" of Christian doctrine, is someone who sees Christians behaving "un-Christ-like"?  Roll Eyes



Where did you get your info?  Most slaves were Christians, as are their descendants.

I stated that many slaves rejected Christianity, not most.

Quote
Daniel Alexander Payne, A.M.E. bishop, discussed the origins of slave unbelief in a statement written in 1839:

The slaves are sensible of the oppression exercised by their masters; and they see these masters on the Lord's day worshipping in his holy sanctuary. They hear their masters professing Christianity; they see their masters preaching the gospel; they hear these masters praying in their families, and they know that oppression and slavery are inconsistent with the Christian religion; therefore they scoff at religion itself -- mock their masters, and distrust both the goodness and justice of God. Yes, I have known them even to question his existence. I speak not of what others have told me, but of what I have both seen and heard from the slaves themselves.

Raboteau, Slave Religion, 313



I don't believe that your idea of "many" is backed up by your documentation.

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« Reply #208 on: March 18, 2009, 09:53:44 AM »

That scripture is speaking of children. How is it that you think it is proper to apply it to non-Christians? 

Because as children learn from others, so might non-Christians learn from those who call themselves Christian.  If a "teacher" does bad things while claiming some kind of superior position such that there are blatant contradictions between what is supposed to be and what is done in reality, why should the child/learner/non-Christian believe that the teacher/Christian is telling the truth?  "Do as I say, not as I do" doesn't tend to gain faithful adherents, but rather turns people away from hypocrisy. 

Why do you think this passage should only apply to children (what of non-Christian children?) and not to others who are 'children' in the Christian faith?

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« Reply #209 on: March 18, 2009, 02:38:20 PM »

That scripture is speaking of children. How is it that you think it is proper to apply it to non-Christians? 

Because as children learn from others, so might non-Christians learn from those who call themselves Christian.  If a "teacher" does bad things while claiming some kind of superior position such that there are blatant contradictions between what is supposed to be and what is done in reality, why should the child/learner/non-Christian believe that the teacher/Christian is telling the truth?  "Do as I say, not as I do" doesn't tend to gain faithful adherents, but rather turns people away from hypocrisy. 

Why do you think this passage should only apply to children (what of non-Christian children?) and not to others who are 'children' in the Christian faith?



Well, I stand corrected.  According to the OSB, footnote: "Little Ones",include all who have childlike humility and simplicity,all who are poor in spirit" , now with that being said, I am still not convinced that Ghandi qualifies. He was a very intelligent and astute man, who rejected Christ outright.....
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« Reply #210 on: August 22, 2009, 08:52:33 PM »


"I believe in Universal Reconciliation"


Well, if you had lived in the first centuries you would have fitted right in.   Saint Augustine tells us that it was a widely held early Christian belief.

"Some, nay, very many" (nonnulli, quam plurimi), pity with human feeling, the everlasting punishment of the damned, and do not believe that it is so."

~St Augustine. Enchiridion, chapter 112.


And an interesting quote from Saint Martin of Tours which backs up Saint Augustine's statement that many in the early Church believed in universal salvation, even including the devil.

“If thou, thyself, wretched being, wouldst but desist from attacking mankind, and even, at this period, when the day of judgment is at hand, wouldst only repent of your deeds, I, with a true confidence in the Lord, would promise you the mercy of Christ.

Chapter XXII.

Martin preaches Repentance even to the Devil.

Now, the devil, while he tried to impose upon the holy man by a thousand injurious arts, often thrust himself upon him in a visible form, but in very various shapes. For sometimes he presented himself to his view changed into the person of Jupiter, often into that of Mercury and Minerva. Often, too, were heard words of reproach, in which the crowd of demons assailed Martin with scurrilous expressions. But knowing that all were false and groundless, he was not affected by the charges brought against him. Moreover, some of the brethren bore witness that they had heard a demon reproaching Martin in abusive terms, and asking why he had taken back, on their subsequent repentance, certain of the brethren who had, some time previously, lost their baptism by falling into various errors. The demon set forth the crimes of each of them; but they added that Martin, resisting the devil firmly, answered him, that by-past sins are cleansed away by the leading of a better life, and that through the mercy of God, those are to be absolved from their sins who have given up their evil ways. The devil saying in opposition to this that such guilty men as those referred to did not come within the pale of pardon, and that no mercy was extended by the Lord to those who had once fallen away, Martin is said to have cried out in words to the following effect: “If thou, thyself, wretched being, wouldst but desist from attacking mankind, and even, at this period, when the day of judgment is at hand, wouldst only repent of your deeds, I, with a true confidence in the Lord, would promise you the mercy of Christ.” O what a holy boldness with respect to the loving-kindness of the Lord, in which, although he could not assert authority, he nevertheless showed the feelings dwelling within him! And since our discourse has here sprung up concerning the devil and his devices, it does not seem away from the point, although the matter does not bear immediately upon Martin, to relate what took place; both because the virtues of Martin do, to some extent, appear in the transaction, and the incident, which was worthy of a miracle, will properly be put on record, with the view of furnishing a caution, should anything of a similar character subsequently occur.

Source :: Sulpitius Severus "On the Life of St. Martin" Chapter XXII
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« Reply #211 on: September 04, 2009, 08:25:33 AM »

I would say that this doctrine of apokatastasis is nothing but a legitimate hope due to God's loving nature and not a certain confession of faith. The model which affirms that the denial of salvation comes from the resistence of the wicked to welcome God, expresses even better how God so loves men that he even accepts their free will to reject him, but can't anyway stop loving them (and this love is hellfire, as conceived by st. Isaac the Syrian). Afterall, God will be "all in everyone", as the Apostle says: he is present even in hades, and in the depths of Gehenna, so that even the wicked can't hide from God's energetic presence. This also happened to Adam and Eve: they were taken by shame when they heard God walking in Eden, yet they couldn't hide for long from his "unbearable" presence.

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #212 on: September 04, 2009, 08:36:25 AM »

I would say that this doctrine of apokatastasis is nothing but a legitimate hope due to God's loving nature and not a certain confession of faith.

Yes, this seems to be what Saint Maximos the Confessor is saying: "One should pray that apokatastasis is true, but one would be foolish to teach it as doctrine."

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« Reply #213 on: September 04, 2009, 09:07:17 AM »

Really a good and useful quote, thank you! I'll write it down and save in my memory... it fits exactly with my mind on the subject!

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #214 on: September 05, 2009, 07:49:47 AM »

I think that the toll houses could help here. Even if a man has not met God, but has lived a Christian life, will not stop at any toll house, right? If he has been merciful and kind, he may be able to defeat all of those toll houses.
As for the fire, how can a man, who has been turned into pure love, be tormented by the idea that he didn't live a life as God wanted.

I know that God is not bothered when we do not praise Him. But I know that He is when we are not merciful and when we do not repent.
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« Reply #215 on: September 05, 2009, 08:00:49 AM »

I think that the toll houses could help here. Even if a man has not met God, but has lived a Christian life, will not stop at any toll house, right? If he has been merciful and kind, he may be able to defeat all of those toll houses.

The toll house teaching revealed to Saint Theodora by the messengers of God the Angels is that the unbaptized do not go through the toll houses. 

Only baptized Orthodox are judged in the toll houses,  The rest of mankind is taken to hell immediately they die and do not go through the torments of the toll houses.  It is very sad for converts with non-Orthodox family and friends.

'Note also,' said the angels, 'that this is the way by which only those who are enlightened by the faith and by holy baptism can rise and be tested in the stations of torment. The unbelievers do not come here. Their souls belong to hell even before they part from their bodies. When they die the devils take their souls with no need to test them. Such souls are their proper prey, and they take them down to the abyss.'

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/death/theodora.aspx
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« Reply #216 on: September 05, 2009, 12:49:30 PM »

I didn't know that. Thanks.

But the argument about God's everlasting fire, after the Second Coming, and non-Christians still stands, right?
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