Hi everyone. Today, I noticed an email sent to my firstname.lastname@example.org email address. Where… it’s just a link to an online article that tries to debunk Christian Universalism. I figured I would have some fun and completely debunk the entire article, since it was presented to me!
On 2023-07-06 09:42, TIMOTIN SAMA wrote:
> What Is Universalism and Why Is It Fatally Flawed?
> Why Universalism Is Popular, But Fatally
> Universalism is a centuries-old belief that all people will be saved
> because of God's unconditional love. Learn why the doctrine is fatally
Hello my friend Timotin Sama,
The beginning of that article mentions taht "Universalism (pronounced yu-ni-VER-sul-iz-um) is a doctrine that teaches all people will be saved.". In order to be more specific, Christian Universalism is a doctrine that teaches that all people will become believers in Christ and thus all people will be saved. This is what is meant when this verse says "all in all".
1 Corinthians 15:22-28 All will be made alive in Christ, but each in his own turn and ultimately Christ will subdue all His enemies, eliminate death and God will be all in all.
So I agree with the title of "What Is Universalism and Why Is It Fatally Flawed?" when referring to Universalism without the "Christian" in front of it, Unitarian Universalism without Christ. That doctrine teaches that all people will be saved. Yet, how can they be saved without becoming believers in Christ? Only Christ saves us from sin.
So that's the fatal flaw of Universalism without Christ. I have an article on my website where I talk about this False Universalism here: https://jesus-saves-all.com/Reb/FalseUniversalism.htm
The article says " certain cleansing period". Yet, only faith alone in Christ cleanss us of sin. Ephesians 2:8-9. No matter how much a person suffers from their sins, as long as they don't believe in Chris, then they are not saved. Someone could physically suffer much less and be saved by becoming a believer in Christ earlier than the one who physically suffers more because they believed in Christ later. All part of God's plan. Ephesians 1:10
Intersting this article even mentions "Tentmaker.org calls it "The Victorious Gospel of Jesus Christ." which is a site that I post on via their discussion forum.
and looks like they also predicted the verse I would use "everyone will be brought into a right relationship with God (1 Corinthians 15:24–28). "
The article states " Jesus Christ taught that those who reject him as Savior will spend eternity in hell after they die: "
First, what is the biblical word for eternity? It's aionios in Greek and olam in Hebrew, meaning pertaining to an age.
Second, the word hell does not appear in the Bible at all. So it's impossible for anyone to say that eternal concious torment in hell is biblical, as the concept does not appear in scripture.
Since we're on the topic of Tentmaker.org, figured I'd show a article from the Tentmaker site that proves this: https://tentmaker.org/articles/Hell_is_Leaving_the_Bible_Forever.html You know, to fit the theme lol.
Let's look at each of the scripture they use
New International Version - UK
28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
First, I hope we can both agree that the Bible was not written in our modern day English. So, it's important to see what was really written down.
Noun - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's 1067: Of Hebrew origin; valley of Hinnom; ge-henna, a valley of Jerusalem, used as a name for the place of everlasting punishment.
Gehenna was a physical valley in Jerusalem where bodies were burned. Therefore, if this is truly a place of "everlasting punishment" then we should be able to ask those guys in the fire how the torture's going... oh wait, they're dead! That's right. So much for everlasting punishment huh? Not even the fire is burning forever. So it's clear here "everlasting punishment" refers to "punishment pertaining to an age".
What about the smoke fumes going into people's lungs in Jerusalem? Hinnom's right beside it after all. Or, where do they get all that fire fuel? How about when the bodies are already physically burnt up? Or what if the fire spreads into the city? For these reasons and many more, it's not only impossible but impractical for the physical fire of the valley of Hinnom Gehenna to last forever.
New International Version - UK
46 ‘Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.’
Again, original language of the scripturees are our friend here.
Adjective - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's 166: From aion; perpetual.
Does aion mean forever? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aion_(deity)
"Aion ( Greek: Αἰών) is a Hellenistic deity associated with time, the orb or circle encompassing the universe, and the zodiac " Well if you believe in the mythology of the Hellenistic deity, then maybe! But let's not forget that we're talking about "Christian" Universalism here, not Hellenistic Universalism XD.
Hey, let's stick with the Tentmaker theme and go with this article: https://www.tentmaker.org/books/Aion_lim.html
Here's a good quote
The word aei from which aión is claimed to grow, is found eight times, .. in the New Testament, and in no one instance does it mean endless. Mark xv:8; Acts vii:51; 2Cor. iv:11; vi:10, Titus, i:12; Heb. iii:10; 1Pet. iii:15; 2Pet. i:12. I give two instances. The multitude desired Pilate to release a prisoner, Mark xv:8: "as he had ever done with them." Heb. iii:10: "They do always err in their heart." An endless duration growing out of a word used thus, would be a curiosity. It is alway, or always, or ever, in each text. Liddell and Scott give more than fifty compounds of aei.
But then again, Strong's Concordence says that it relates to "perpetual". What is something perpetual? It is continuos, as shown here in this next quote
Concerning Aristotle's use of the word in his famous sentence, "Life, an aión continuous and eternal," it is enough to say that if aión intrinsically meant endless, Aristotle never would have sought to strengthen the meaning by adding "continuous" and "eternal," any more than one would say, God has an eternity, continuous and endless. He has a life, an existence, an aión endless, just as man's aión on earth is limited; just as Idumea's smoke in the Old Testament is aiónios. Nor, had Aristotle considered aión to mean eternity, would he have said in this very passage: "the time of the life of each individual has been called his aión."
You can look at the article for many more proofs, but essentially, aion = pertaining to an age. Sure, you can add "perpetual" to aion to have continuous aions, yet, here, scripture merely states "aion punishment", so literally, punishment pertaining to an age
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's 2851: Chastisement, punishment, torment, perhaps with the idea of deprivation. From kolazo; penal infliction.
Oops, "torment". Not really a good look for the false Eternal Concious Torment doctrine. What was supposed to be a disproof against Christian Universalism has really just turned into a proof. My thanks to learnreligions.com.
Next verse then my friend!
New International Version - UK
23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.
Alright, gotta be real with you. This verse literally does not even say anything about the length of the torment. It's literally just the word torment. I'm sorry but, this is not a good argument my friend. Especially since the story of Lazarus is a parable. And that people are not abandoned in Hades.
Acts 2:27 ESV For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption.
Literally, look at the openbible link and you'll see that that verse is right below the Luke 16:23 one. Clearly, it shows that torment in Hades has an end, since if it did not, that would be abandonment. Yet the Lord does not abandon.
New International Version - UK
36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
I agree with this verse. That may surprise you my friend. We all have sin. God has wrath towards sin. Yet, when we believe in Christ, our sins are washed away by our faith in Him. So, as long as someone rejects the Son, they cannot have life since the wages of sin is death. So God's wrath "remains" on them. Yet, how long is God wrathful? Let's check scripture!
PSALM 103:8-14 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever.
Isaiah 57:16 "For I will not contend forever, Nor will I always be angry; For the spirit would fail before Me, And the souls which I have made."
Oops! Looks like God is not angry forever. Anger = wrath. So God is not wrathful forever. So it's impossible for God's wrath to remain on someone forever, otherwise the spirit would literally fail before Him! Literally, God fails in the Eternal Concious Torment false doctrine!
And... that's it? Oh, they've got another section.
The article speaks of justice. Alright, so "Without hell, what justice would there be for murderers of millions, such as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao? " is what the article says.
Let's replace that for Sheol/Hades. So, Hitler, Stalin, Mao are stuck in the realm of the dead because of their sin of murder. Exodus 20:13. So I guess, for the sake of justice, following this logic, everyone with sin has gotta be stuck in there with them right! Oh, but my apologies, that means that literally every descendant of Adam is stuck in the realm of the dead! That means nobody is saved by Christ!
But clearly, the Bible teaches us that salvation through Christ is possible. So which is it, Timotin Sama, my friend. Everyone goes to Heaven or nobody goes to Heaven?
Romans 8:1 ESV There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
The article further states that "Universalism was taught by Origen (A.D. 185–254) but was declared heresy by the Council of Constantinople in A.D. 543."
In terms of heresy, why do we trust the opinion of mere humans? Let's see the Cambridge definition = https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/heresy
(the act of having) an opinion or belief that is the opposite of or against what is the official or popular opinion, or an action that shows that you have no respect for the official opinion:
So I assume the quote-on-quote "official" opinion in mainstream Christianity is Eternal Concious Torment? So what, theology is now just a popularity contest? We're not going to believe something just because it's unpopular.
Problem with that is, when Christianity first started out, it was extremely unpopular! So popular that they even crucfied Christ and persecuted the the early Christian believers! So, if we're just going to believe things that are popular and mainstream, then I guess we're just going to stop believing in Christianity then? That's the problem with that argument.
Let's see the next part
Critics of universalism state that the identical Greek term "aionas ton aionon," which means "ages of the ages," is used in the Bible to describe both the eternal worth of God and the eternal fire of hell. Therefore, they say, either God’s worth, like the fire of hell, must be limited in time, or the fire of hell must be neverending, like God’s worth. Critics say universalists are picking and choosing when aionas ton aionon means "limited."
"aion" literally means "pertaining to an age". So it's duration in time depends on the word added next to it. I guess the Bible is picking and choosing what it means then? If I said "limited time" and then said "long time" and then "short time", the word "time" means the same thing, yet, because of the word that follows it, the duration of the time changes. Even though the word itself remains the same. Simply put my friend, Timotin Sama, that's just how language works!
However, God himself warns against attributing human standards to him:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8–9 NIV)
And yet, just a few paragraphs before, this very same article was making the argument that because Christian Universalism was "declared heresy by the Council of Constantinople in A.D. 543", a council comprising of, get this, mere humans, that we are to reject Christian Universalism. The Concil of Constantinople is by definition a council of humans that are attributing human standards to God. So I do agree with that Bible verse, just in the context of Christian Universalism lol
Universalists reply that to correct the "errors" in translation, they are in the process of producing their own translation of the Bible. However, one of the pillars of Christianity is that the Bible, as the Word of God, is inerrant. When the Bible must be rewritten to accommodate a doctrine, it is the doctrine that is wrong, not the Bible.
Alright, so this is essentially a non-statement. That's what I like to call it, because, it does not add anything to support ECT. I could substitute this with UR and it would mean the exact same thing.
Much of universalism relies on the premise that Bible translations are wrong in their uses of the terms Hell, Gehenna, everlasting, and other words that claim eternal punishment. Despite the fact that recent translations such as the New International Version and English Standard Version were the efforts of large teams of knowledgeable Bible scholars,
I got a fun idea. Let's use the article against itself here. As this very same learnreligions.com article states "However, God himself warns against attributing human standards to him:". What are Bible translations written by? Humans! It's literally humans putting their on standards on God.
I'm really shocked though. Is this really the argument they're going for? Because there's a large team of humans and "knowledgeable" Bible scholars that these translations are accurate?
As we know, Islam is a false religion as it rejects salvation by faith alone in Christ. But how many people are muslim?
Wikipedia says it's 1.9 billion people. Wow! That's a huuuugggeeeee team of humans! And I imagine there must be plenty of very knowledgeable and intelligent Quar'an scholars! Yet, they're wrong in their religion, despite their very rigorous academic studies. Same thing with Eternal Conscious Torment. I'm sorry, but that's just the truth, I say this with kindness.
And... and and and...? Oh wait, that's it? That's really it? Huh... I was expecting... more... you know. Well, regardless, Timotin Sama my friend, I thank you for bringing this article to my attention. You may be able to tell by the way that I word this, but I'm the type of person who enjoys writing this stuff. So please let me know if you find any other articles that try to "prove" Christian Unviersalism as false. I assure you that Christian Universalism is indeed true, no matter how many Internet websites try to say otherwise. The Lord of Hosts, Christ Jesus blesses you with this good news and happiness! Please have an amazing day Timotin Sama :D
- Harold Samson(g) www.jesus-saves-all.com
Psalm 118:14 The LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. :)