The key to Fundamentalism's appeal?

MagianMagian Shipmate Posts: 23
edited March 2020 in Purgatory
I'd like to hear what my fellow shipmates think about the article 'Reinvigorating the "Mainstream" Church: How to Fill the Pews with a New Generation of Christians' at
http://christianuniversalist.org/resources/articles/reinvigorating-church/

and esp. about it swapping the roles of Jesus as a fundamentalist (reverting back to fundamentals) with that of the Pharisees as the revisionists (via their hypocritical "leaven").
«13

Comments

  • I think that at least for my neck of the woods to make a competition between fundamentalism and universalism is a false dichotomy. His analyses of Fundamentalism rings true, but if it needs to be pushed back against, (if) then why pick just universalism as the way to do this? They young man who wrote this is older now, and I wonder what he thinks of his simplistic message. After all, there are many mainline churches which are doing what he suggests and still decline, because it doesn't matter what you preach if no one, or no one new, is there to hear it. The issue is wider and deeper and more complex than his article suggests.
  • EliabEliab Shipmate, Purgatory Host
    edited March 2020
    Cathscats wrote: »
    I think that at least for my neck of the woods to make a competition between fundamentalism and universalism is a false dichotomy. His analyses of Fundamentalism rings true, but if it needs to be pushed back against, (if) then why pick just universalism as the way to do this?

    Agreed. I am also very wary of an appeal to preach universalism because it will fill the pews. The only legitimate reason to preach universalism is a conviction that it is true, and while there has always been a respectable universalist tradition in Christianity, hard universalism (the certainty that all will definitely be saved, as distinct from the hope that they will be) is a minority position. I suspect that few churches could honestly teach it as what "we" (this congregation) generally believe, and even fewer as what "we" (their understanding of the Christian church as a whole) believe.
    Magian wrote: »
    and esp. about it swapping the roles of Jesus as a fundamentalist (reverting back to fundamentals) with that of the Pharisees as the revisionists (via their hypocritical "leaven").

    I don't think first century disputes correlate with our fundamentalist/moderate divisions at all. Were the Sadducees all fundies, for insisting on the literal truth of a closed canon of Scripture, or all liberals, for rejecting teaching about a resurrection? It's a meaningless question - that's simply not how they framed their disputes then.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    I agree with both @Cathscats and @Eliab here.

    First of all, I think here also seeing everything as a competition between fundamentalism and universalism is a false dichotomy. I don't think either of them are that much of an issue here (provincial England). Lack of any conviction or interest at all is much more the issue. Most people do not appear to have much of a hunger for either a fundamentalist or universalist Jesus. They would prefer on a Sunday morning to stay in bed, eat a leisurely breakfast or play football.

    @Magian which country are you in?

    Second, I don't have any confidence that preaching universalism is honest. It would be nice to think that all will be well and all will be saved, but I don't think scripture supports the impression that that is what God thinks on the subject. Whatever message we preach, the important question isn't whether that's how people would like Jesus to be. It isn't even how we'd prefer him to be. It's whether what we say is true, whether to the best of our ability, we are presenting objective eternal reality.

    If a person stands up in a pulpit and says, 'Don't worry. God loves you all. You'll be OK as you are. You don't need to bother', the only one of those four statements that really looks defensible is the second one. If people rely on the preacher and don't see any need to respond, then scripture strongly implies that the preacher will be answerable for their eternal fate.

    I appreciate that a universalist would say that my summary is a travesty of the universalist version of Christianity. I wish it was, but that isn't how it appears to me.

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited March 2020
    These bits aren't part of universalism - "You'll be OK as you are. You don't need to bother"

    Universalism, AIUI, says "You're not necessarily OK as you are. But God will never give up on you and one day you will be."

    It's a belief that God's love cannot fail and, even if it takes an eternity, he will redeem all of his creation.

    I don't know if it's true or not, but I'm not really very interested in the alternative version, where God gives up on people and sends them to some kind of Hell. If the latter is the truth, then there is no hope; I certainly don't want an eternity of any kind where other people are still suffering.
  • Enoch wrote: »

    Second, I don't have any confidence that preaching universalism is honest. It would be nice to think that all will be well and all will be saved, but I don't think scripture supports the impression that that is what God thinks on the subject.
    No one knows what God thinks on any subject. What we know is what various people have written down and other various groups have decided are OK.
    Fundamentalism make no more direct sense than universalism in that there is no completely coherent narrative in the text or the teaching.

  • Enoch wrote: »
    Second, I don't have any confidence that preaching universalism is honest. It would be nice to think that all will be well and all will be saved, but I don't think scripture supports the impression that that is what God thinks on the subject.

    He is not willing that any should be lost.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    Eliab wrote: »

    I don't think first century disputes correlate with our fundamentalist/moderate divisions at all. Were the Sadducees all fundies, for insisting on the literal truth of a closed canon of Scripture, or all liberals, for rejecting teaching about a resurrection? It's a meaningless question - that's simply not how they framed their disputes then.

    Also I think one should be wary of casting the Pharisees as the bad guys, because aiui most contemporary schools of Judaism are descended from Pharisaic Judaism.
  • EliabEliab Shipmate, Purgatory Host
    Ricardus wrote: »

    Also I think one should be wary of casting the Pharisees as the bad guys, because aiui most contemporary schools of Judaism are descended from Pharisaic Judaism.

    Absolutely. The Bible is far more challenging when read with the assumption that the Pharisees were making about the best attempt humanly possible to engage seriously, intellectually, and ethically with what they thought God required, and still needed help.

    Being told we won’t see God unless our righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees only really bites when we realise that they were our moral superiors.

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    I see that the core of the article was written to 2007--when the author admits he was a young man.

    I follow the Barna group. They have some very interesting studies showing that Young Adults are leaving fundamentalism. Do a quick google search and the top three articles I see are

    "Thanks to politics, churches have run off their young adults."
    "Generation Why? Churches worry they can't reach Young Adults"
    "Why millennials are really leaving religion (it’s not just politics, folks)"

    Here is a better way to bring young people back.
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    Ricardus wrote: »
    Also I think one should be wary of casting the Pharisees as the bad guys, because aiui most contemporary schools of Judaism are descended from Pharisaic Judaism.

    That sounds like the same sort of popularity-before-truth argument that was wrong with the original article. If the Pharisees deserve to be cast as the bad guys, so be it, regardless of how many people that you'd like to get on with who are following a similar path.

    IIRC, Jesus was pretty scathing about them.

    I'd seen the Pharisees as the religious conservatives of their day, the ones who think the voice of tradition is the voice of God. But that may be putting too much weight on one aspect of their practice and belief.

    As for the millennials in Gramps49's article, seems like they're attracted by the heroic seriousness of performing the same rites as Christians down the ages. As long as they don't have to think like Christians down the ages...
  • The author got it party right at the begining of the article.
    I believe the answer is that the Fundamentalist churches have a clear and exciting vision — repulsive though it may be to the liberal heart and mind
    Though clear is a relative term that "clarifies" by not getting too deep. But I think that is part of the draw.
    — whereas many moderate churches are groping around, treading water, unsure about what to preach and teach and emphasize in their services.
    I don't think this is completely accurate. The more liberal the church, the less need to be there is perceived. Without the threat of damnation, missing services is nbd.
  • I don't know any Christians who think they'll be punished if they don't make it to church.
  • Not what I meant. Skipping services is often the first step in drifting away. The main part of that point is that the closer to universalism a church gets, the less need to belong.
  • If you only worship because you need to, you don't worship.
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited March 2020
    It's really not about fire insurance.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Russ wrote: »
    IIRC, Jesus was pretty scathing about them.

    I'd seen the Pharisees as the religious conservatives of their day, the ones who think the voice of tradition is the voice of God. But that may be putting too much weight on one aspect of their practice and belief.

    Again IIRC, Josephus has Jesus being educated as a Pharisee.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    Russ wrote: »
    Ricardus wrote: »
    Also I think one should be wary of casting the Pharisees as the bad guys, because aiui most contemporary schools of Judaism are descended from Pharisaic Judaism.

    That sounds like the same sort of popularity-before-truth argument that was wrong with the original article. If the Pharisees deserve to be cast as the bad guys, so be it, regardless of how many people that you'd like to get on with who are following a similar path.

    The original article gave me the impression that the author didn't care whether they deserved it or not, just that it made a good narrative.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    I only read about half and had to stop. Firstly as mentioned it is an old article. Things have changed a lot. Secondly good old pond differences. His view is only partly true of the picture here in the UK.
    Belief is big in the young people today but it is more to do with environmental issues say, than church. He ignores issues that are important to young people.
    Finally as far back as I can remember young people leave the church. They may come back they may not.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    The second half of one of the most famous verses in the Bible.

    It sums up what I believe. If you don't believe you perish. Perish does not mean eternal hell, it means eternal death.
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    Russ wrote: »
    IIRC, Jesus was pretty scathing about them.

    I'd seen the Pharisees as the religious conservatives of their day, the ones who think the voice of tradition is the voice of God. But that may be putting too much weight on one aspect of their practice and belief.

    Again IIRC, Josephus has Jesus being educated as a Pharisee.

    I think your memory is failing you here. About the only thing Josephus says about Jesus is
    Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
    (From Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3.) I should add that virtually every scholar I have ever encountered believes that most if not all of that was an interpolation by a later Christian scribe. FWIW
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited March 2020
    Telford wrote: »
    that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    The second half of one of the most famous verses in the Bible.

    It sums up what I believe. If you don't believe you perish. Perish does not mean eternal hell, it means eternal death.

    That's a lot easier to accept if you don't have lots of close friends and relatives who don't believe.

    And the verse doesn't say that anyway. That all X is Not Y doesn't mean that all Not X is Y.
  • 'Fill the pews' -why? I hate sitting in pews. I want 'life, and abundantly'. Filling pews sounds like an agenda of a church leader. But did Jesus rate 'church' very highly?
    Spend yourself for the disadvantaged, the sick etc. Resist the inner innate hubris.
    Be fundamental in that way. Do in the name of religion if you like, or just because that is what it means to be truly human. If serving the poor is helped by doing it in the name of Jesus -great. Or in the name of Allah, or in the name of mankind; I don't care.
  • jay_emmjay_emm Shipmate
    In the context of church faction rivalries, our disagreements may be similar to the those between the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians, (as Eliab points out they don't exactly match up, and neither they nor our factions are monolithic), and as organisations, the Pharisees, Saduccees and Herodians all had flaws and all worked together on one notable occasion, and we seem to hold on to the same mistakes as at least one (and have the same virtues).

    If being used against schools descended from the Pharisee's or people descended from the same region. Then it's important to note that yes (most of) the [christian viewpoint] baddies were Jewish but so were (almost all) of the goodies because that's where events were (and as European's we managed to send a lot of baddies). And in any case they've changed and diversified (and again they weren't monolithic then either).
    In addition I think we even have slightly more examples of 'good' active Pharisees, than of the other ones (Nicodemus, Gamileil against maybe Zechariah and Joseph), and I think the argument that the Jesus/Pharisee issues were so bitter because they had a lot in common has some merit.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Telford wrote: »
    that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    The second half of one of the most famous verses in the Bible.

    It sums up what I believe. If you don't believe you perish. Perish does not mean eternal hell, it means eternal death.

    That's a lot easier to accept if you don't have lots of close friends and relatives who don't believe.

    And the verse doesn't say that anyway.
    The verse says perish so I assume that it means perish.

    That all X is Not Y doesn't mean that all Not X is Y.
    What is this supposed to mean ?

  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Thanks tclune. If it's not Josephus, I wonder who it was.
  • EliabEliab Shipmate, Purgatory Host
    edited March 2020
    Telford wrote: »
    That all X is Not Y doesn't mean that all Not X is Y.
    What is this supposed to mean ?

    I think the point is that the text is saying that because of Jesus's work, everyone who "believes" doesn't "perish", but it does not (either explicitly or by necessary implication) tell us that absolutely everyone else is definitely lost.

    "All believers won't perish" doesn't have to mean "all non-believers do perish". It is possible to believe Jesus's words here, and still hope (soft universalism) or even be certain (hard universalism) that a God who is as good and loving as Jesus showed us won't ever give up on even the most stubborn non-believer, and will still find a way to keep them from perishing too. That secondary hope or belief doesn't come directly from the text, but from confidence in the goodness of God.

    Karl's position, it seems to me, is that he may not be sure that this is the case, but he is sure that no other God is worth believing in.


    There are problems with the universalist position - but there are problems with the "fundamentalist" one, too (what happens to infants, the mentally incapable of belief, people who never had the chance to hear the gospel at all, people who don't believe because they've been damaged by Christians to the point where they can't hear? Is that fair? Why are we ordered to forgive people whom God won't? And how odd would it be if we succeeded - can it really be the case that I'm going to be more merciful than God to anyone? Is Jesus's mission going to be a substantial failure with most people he wanted to save so much that he died for them still lost? Or is some sort of Christianity-for-sociopaths Calvinism the whole of the gospel?) and if you poke at it, many people who advocate it will start to hope that there are at least some exceptions.


  • MagianMagian Shipmate Posts: 23
    Enoch wrote: »
    I agree with both @Cathscats and @Eliab here.

    First of all, I think here also seeing everything as a competition between fundamentalism and universalism is a false dichotomy. I don't think either of them are that much of an issue here (provincial England).

    @Magian which country are you in?

    The US, where religious positions tend to be viewed in black & white about as much as political positions rather than in shades of grey, never mind in color. Even "liberal" is one side of a dichotomous political coin here, whereas in the rest of the world liberals are usually centrists - so allowing them to turn any way the wind blows. Yet in a like manner, John 3.8 describes born-again Christians as spiritual equivalents to such liberals
    ("the Spirit where he willeth doth blow, and his voice thou dost hear, but thou hast not known whence he cometh, and whither he goeth; thus is every one who hath been born of the Spirit" YLT). They don't have revisionist "re"pressions holding them "back" from going with the flow of the Spirit. Thus, one could describe the Messiah as a "liberal fundamentalist" in the literal sense of each word.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    edited March 2020
    Eliab wrote: »
    "All believers won't perish" doesn't have to mean "all non-believers do perish". It is possible to believe Jesus's words here, and still hope (soft universalism) or even be certain (hard universalism) that a God who is as good and loving as Jesus showed us won't ever give up on even the most stubborn non-believer, and will still find a way to keep them from perishing too. That secondary hope or belief doesn't come directly from the text, but from confidence in the goodness of God.

    Yes. Very much. The logic of @Telford's position isn't. "Nobody in a green lifeboat will drown" says nothing at all about people in red lifeboats.

    I should also point out that this verse, however, contradicts the last judgement of Matthew 25, where many of those who believed DO in fact perish. Which means we have to figure out how to thread our theological way between that Scylla and Charybdis.
  • MagianMagian Shipmate Posts: 23
    tclune wrote: »
    IIRC, Jesus was pretty scathing about them.

    I'd seen the Pharisees as the religious conservatives of their day, the ones who think the voice of tradition is the voice of God. But that may be putting too much weight on one aspect of their practice and belief.
    Yes, he was rather scathing: in Thomas 39 & 102, Matthew 23 and in Mark 7 for "setting aside the word of God for your tradition that ye delivered; and many such like things ye do." (YLT)
    Gee D wrote: »
    Again IIRC, Josephus has Jesus being educated as a Pharisee.
    Russ wrote: »
    I think your memory is failing you here. About the only thing Josephus says about Jesus is
    Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
    (From Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3.) I should add that virtually every scholar I have ever encountered believes that most if not all of that was an interpolation by a later Christian scribe. FWIW

    That's because they don't have a Semitic sense of humor, as exemplified in: if it be lawful to call him a man, the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day; which Joseph ben Gorion evidently accepted as such when translating that part of Antiquities of the Jews into Hebrew and so became the 46th canonical OT book in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church: The Book of Josephas the Son of Bengorion.
  • MagianMagian Shipmate Posts: 23
    edited March 2020
    Telford wrote: »
    that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    The second half of one of the most famous verses in the Bible.

    It sums up what I believe. If you don't believe you perish. Perish does not mean eternal hell, it means eternal death.
    KarlLB wrote: »
    That's a lot easier to accept if you don't have lots of close friends and relatives who don't believe.

    And the verse doesn't say that anyway. That all X is Not Y doesn't mean that all Not X is Y.

    But the subjunctive "should" doesn't mean an indicative "shall," so that All X shouldn't be Y doesn't preclude that some X could be Y, as may be implied in Matt 7.21 (YLT): Not every one who is saying to me Lord, lord, shall come into the reign of the heavens; but he who is doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens; or as in Thomas 82: and he who is far from me is far from the kingdom, which leaves the possibility of being near enough to Him to be in the kingdom without believing in Him, as also in Thomas 82: He who is near to me is near the fire, that may be referring to what fire symbolises to Zoroastrians.

    Corrected quote attributions. BroJames Purgatory Host
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Hi @Magian - got me and Telford reversed there.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    @Magian and @KarlLB I’ve sorted out those quotes above.
    BroJames, Purgatory Host.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    I'm more a John 3: 17er, myself.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited March 2020
    @Eliab
    Karl's position, it seems to me, is that he may not be sure that this is the case, but he is sure that no other God is worth believing in.

    Sort of. Obviously there's no sense in believing in a God who isn't actually the real one (assuming there is one), but the Fundamentalist God is not one I can worship - much less love. The concept fills me with existential despair, especially the eternal torment variation. You can't even escape him in death - quite the opposite. The choice - and there's no third option - is eternally being tormented or eternity with the being who doomed millions to torment. The Calvinist version doesn't even give you that choice!
  • Eliab wrote: »
    Telford wrote: »
    That all X is Not Y doesn't mean that all Not X is Y.
    What is this supposed to mean ?

    I think the point is that the text is saying that because of Jesus's work, everyone who "believes" doesn't "perish", but it does not (either explicitly or by necessary implication) tell us that absolutely everyone else is definitely lost.
    The problem there, at least perhaps from a fundamentalist standpoint, is the following verses (17–18), which say “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

    But even in those verses there isn’t a straight perish/don’t perish dichotomy, for it says Christ came that “the world” might be saved through him. And it says those who don’t believe (and can those who haven’t heard believe?) “are condemned already,” not “will certainly perish.” The following verses say: “And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”

    That last bit seems to focus as much on actions as belief, with perhaps the idea that doing good is somehow akin to belief. It certainly doesn’t present a simple case of believe-don’t perish/don’t believe-perish, it doesn’t seem to me.

  • It's really not about fire insurance.

    As usual, you have it right. Heaven can wait. The key issue for most young people is how things are in the world today not some expected future, when they're so far away from it in lifespan.

    I grew up in social justice land, where we thought that we could create a society that met people's needs, improve well-being and opportunity by social policy and economic policy interventions, and we largely did it in the 1960s to 80s. It was specifically religiously motivated in Saskatchewan: the socialist premier of the province was a Baptist minister and he pulled in the 50% who were RC). The policies of the USA's Bernie Sanders are milder versions of what we got here back then (Bernie isn't going to nationalise industry), steadily being undone in the dramatic shift to the right re social and economic policy since ~1980 worldwide.

    This was applied Christianity, which progressively lost its religious basis. The young people who I see (I'm going to say under 30 years old) have strong senses of human rights, social justice, economic fairness. They see much of Christianity as represented as being allied with existing power structures, including politics, economics; and they see that Christian faith as divorced from real life is bankrupt. It's not enough to donate to missions, it's not okay to legislate social behaviour like sex, marriage and abortion. So they talk the principles of Christianity and they throw away the theology., caring less about the bible. It's probably too late now to recover the full churches of the 1960s and 70s that were forefronts of the pushes to help the most vulnerable and to give every person equal opportunity. It's not too late to achieve social justice, this just waits until the old men in suits and ties die out (I'm one). Churches as they were are not coming back, and we'll see if middle age gets the young people thinking of eternity- I expect it will.

    What I've seen is that musical concerts are full, when there's marches for important issues, there are thousands of people. They aren't listening in the churches, though they might resonate more with the overturning tables of money changers.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Telford wrote: »
    that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    The second half of one of the most famous verses in the Bible.

    It sums up what I believe. If you don't believe you perish. Perish does not mean eternal hell, it means eternal death.

    God is just so good isn't He?
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Telford wrote: »
    that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    The second half of one of the most famous verses in the Bible.

    It sums up what I believe. If you don't believe you perish. Perish does not mean eternal hell, it means eternal death.

    God is just so good isn't He?

    I hope so because I don't presume to know anything with certainty.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Martin's points are not always crystal but I think that one may have hit the stratosphere as it went over your head, @Telford.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Telford wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Telford wrote: »
    that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    The second half of one of the most famous verses in the Bible.

    It sums up what I believe. If you don't believe you perish. Perish does not mean eternal hell, it means eternal death.

    God is just so good isn't He?

    I hope so because I don't presume to know anything with certainty.

    If God (ex)is(sts), then He's good and only does good. He saves all, all that have ever experienced suffering. He doesn't do 'believe or cease to exist or burn forever'. That's our sickness projected on Him.

    Of course if He only does good, then why do we meaninglessly suffer in a cosmos that has no rational trace of Him? The only rationale that I can come up with is that the autonomous material realm is the only possible breeding ground for the sublime (realm).

    YMWV
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Martin's points are not always crystal but I think that one may have hit the stratosphere as it went over your head, @Telford.
    Actually, it shouldn’t take much for any long term member to get what Martin meant even before he expanded upon it. The dichotomy between the label on the tin and the real world is a recurring theme for him.
    One that I agree with and, ISTM, you do as well.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    As mentioned both liberal and fundamentalist beliefs have flaws. In universalism we have to accept all, even the worst dictators murders and abusers are saved. Fundamentalism appeals to our sense of justice. Why should the baddest people be saved?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    As mentioned both liberal and fundamentalist beliefs have flaws. In universalism we have to accept all, even the worst dictators murders and abusers are saved. Fundamentalism appeals to our sense of justice. Why should the baddest people be saved?

    Except it doesn't, because it teaches that justice means everyone is condemned, and salvation is only through unmerited grace and mercy.

    Fundamentalism offends against our sense of justice because it claims even the best are deserving of condemnation, and that the penalty for finite sin is infinite.
  • Hugal wrote: »
    Why should the baddest people be saved?

    Why shouldn't they? What makes you think they're any worse than you? Maybe they've had horrible deficits and are doing the best they can given their internal circumstances? Whereas we middle class white westerners have had life handed to us on a plate and are still little shits.

    Why shouldn't God cleanse the leper, heal the ailing, scrub the screwed-up? He's willing to do that for us, we suppose. What makes us so special?
  • Hugal wrote: »
    As mentioned both liberal and fundamentalist beliefs have flaws. In universalism we have to accept all, even the worst dictators murders and abusers are saved. Fundamentalism appeals to our sense of justice. Why should the baddest people be saved?

    Because God loves them too. One of the ways I can be sure he loves me, in spite of my sins, is to believe that he loves Hitler too. And will ultimately find a way to draw out the good in him and transform the bad.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Martin's points are not always crystal but I think that one may have hit the stratosphere as it went over your head, @Telford.

    Another assumption.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    As mentioned both liberal and fundamentalist beliefs have flaws. In universalism we have to accept all, even the worst dictators murders and abusers are saved. Fundamentalism appeals to our sense of justice. Why should the baddest people be saved?

    Because they're innocent. In truth. Helpless babes. If there is a God, He is totally responsible.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Telford wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Martin's points are not always crystal but I think that one may have hit the stratosphere as it went over your head, @Telford.

    Another assumption.

    Nope. Based on your response.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Martin's points are not always crystal but I think that one may have hit the stratosphere as it went over your head, @Telford.
    Host hat on
    @KarlLB this does not contribute to the substance of the discussion, and if you wish to tell Telford he/she’s missed the point there are ways of doing that without turning it into this kind of personal attack. That sort of thing doesn’t belong in Purgatory
    Host hat off
    BroJames Purgatory Host
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Telford wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Martin's points are not always crystal but I think that one may have hit the stratosphere as it went over your head, @Telford.

    Another assumption.

    Nope. Based on your response.

    I congratulate you on knowing everything.
Sign In or Register to comment.