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True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Theology  > Justice and Mercy: The Christian Universalist View

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  #1  
Old 09-29-2009, 02:22 PM
quietude
 
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Default Justice and Mercy: The Christian Universalist View

Hi Peggy. I'm intrigued by the incredible similarities between the Christian Universalist view and the LDS view on a great many subjects. Would you mind detailing a bit your view of the juxtaposition of God's perfect justice and His perfect mercy? In the mix, please include your understanding of how the desires of our hearts complicate, or not, that juxtaposition where our ultimate eternal inheritance in concerned. Use whatever terms are familiar to you, and expound on those terms as well, where you feel such is necessary for complete comprehension. Thanks in advance.

Peace and Blessings to you.
Jesse
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  #2  
Old 09-29-2009, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: Justice and Mercy: The Christian Universalist View

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Originally Posted by quietude View Post
Hi Peggy. I'm intrigued by the incredible similarities between the Christian Universalist view and the LDS view on a great many subjects. Would you mind detailing a bit your view of the juxtaposition of God's perfect justice and His perfect mercy? In the mix, please include your understanding of how the desires of our hearts complicate, or not, that juxtaposition where our ultimate eternal inheritance in concerned. Use whatever terms are familiar to you, and expound on those terms as well, where you feel such is necessary for complete comprehension. Thanks in advance.

Peace and Blessings to you.
Jesse
LOL, Jesse! I read the thread title and just started sputtering: who is starting threads on the Universalist views? Glad to see it's you.

So you wanna pick my brain like I do yours, eh? Okay. I'll give it a go with the disclaimer that I've only been learning universalism the past 2 years so am not strong in all the teachings. But I'll be glad to sort through with you or any who care to join us.

I too am amazed at what we have touched on so far as to the similarities with Universalism and LDS. I'd also throw EO in to the mix with the idea of "God became man so that man could become God" and the lack of belief in hell. Wish Father H was here to play, but give me a moment to think about how to start and I'll be back.

Blessings, Peggy
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Why are we here, what's life all about? Is God really real, or is there some doubt? Well tonight we're going to sort it all out: For tonight it's the meaning of life" Not Finished Yet
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:02 PM
quietude
 
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Default Re: Justice and Mercy: The Christian Universalist View

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LOL, Jesse! I read the thread title and just started sputtering: who is starting threads on the Universalist views? Glad to see it's you.
Well, sometimes I do it right...

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Originally Posted by NotFinishedYet View Post
So you wanna pick my brain like I do yours, eh? Okay. I'll give it a go with the disclaimer that I've only been learning universalism the past 2 years so am not strong in all the teachings. But I'll be glad to sort through with you or any who care to join us.
Wow. Where/what were you before that?


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I too am amazed at what we have touched on so far as to the similarities with Universalism and LDS. I'd also throw EO in to the mix...
Indeed. I am learning all kinds of things I never knew. This site is great. I'll delve a bit deeper into EO a little down the line.
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Justice and Mercy: The Christian Universalist View

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Well, sometimes I do it right...
I was just kinda laughing at my reaction to thinking someone was stealing my seat at the table. Like there isn't enough room for all of us! Ah, out,out human frailty and ego!!
Quote:
Wow. Where/what were you before that?
I was never really content anywhere in mainstream Christianity; something always seemed lacking. So I'd generally say a Charismatic Christian with some Taoist tendencies.

Quote:
Indeed. I am learning all kinds of things I never knew. This site is great. I'll delve a bit deeper into EO a little down the line.
Yeah, I can't keep up some days with all that is here to learn! And as to the EO and LDS - mirror images in many ways, Jesse.
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: Justice and Mercy: The Christian Universalist View

I think that I’d like to start with saying that (to me) God is perfect in mercy and love. So that we are on the same footing here, I’d offer my definitions here of a few of these ideas.

God is perfect – when I say this I mean that there is no way in which He could be better. All that He is or does is in the ultimate way: without fault or blemish in any way. So no matter what we look at that is God (attributes/nature) there is absolutely no way it could ever be improved on or bettered. And with all things of God this perfection is infinite.

God is merciful – to me, this character of God goes with His character of just. To be merciful means to have compassion when a harsher punishment would fit a crime. If we look at all the scriptures about God being a God of truth, we find that “truth” is more likely than not coupled with the word “mercy”. So while He is perfect in truth, His perfect mercy offsets the justice that would be demanded by man's acts instead. And His mercy lasts forever:

Psalm 136
1O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
3O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
4To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
5To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
6To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
7To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:
8The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
9The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.
10To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:
11And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:
12With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.
13To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:
14And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:
15But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.
16To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.
17To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
18And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
19Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:
20And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:
21And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:
22Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.
23Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
24And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
25Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.
26O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.



Lastly, but most importantly in my view, God is perfect in love. How do I explain that? Hmmmm…. Guess I’d point to 1 Corinthians and all the things there. Especially the “bears all things” and “believes all things”. God does not see us as we are but as He intends us to be. And like His mercy, His love changes not and is everlasting.

We okay on these definitions or is there something that you’d add or adjust? I just want to check that we’re on the same page as these are basic foundations then to God’s plan for mercy in dealing with us. If okay, we can move on to how the mercy and justice works.
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:29 PM
quietude
 
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Default Re: Justice and Mercy: The Christian Universalist View

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Originally Posted by NotFinishedYet View Post
I think that I’d like to start... ...We okay on these definitions or is there something that you’d add or adjust? I just want to check that we’re on the same page as these are basic foundations then to God’s plan for mercy in dealing with us. If okay, we can move on to how the mercy and justice works.
Green light. No comprehension issues!
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:06 PM
CatholicCrusader
 
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Default Re: Justice and Mercy: The Christian Universalist View

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Originally Posted by quietude View Post
Hi Peggy. I'm intrigued by the incredible similarities between the Christian Universalist view and the LDS view on a great many subjects. Would you mind detailing a bit your view of the juxtaposition of God's perfect justice and His perfect mercy? In the mix, please include your understanding of how the desires of our hearts complicate, or not, that juxtaposition where our ultimate eternal inheritance in concerned. Use whatever terms are familiar to you, and expound on those terms as well, where you feel such is necessary for complete comprehension. Thanks in advance.

Peace and Blessings to you.
Jesse
I remember once I posted about Universalism only to be told that I was wrong about it. Or that there was more than one version.

I always thought that Universalism was basically that everyone will end up going to heaven: Everyone. Period. No one goes to hell.

Is that right? Or is that only one version of Universalism?
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: Justice and Mercy: The Christian Universalist View

Okay, well as I said mercy and justice go hand in hand. While God has the right to demand "an eye for an eye" type justice, His justice is tempered with mercy due to His great love for His creation (not just mankind). Universalism teaches that a God who metes out eternal punishment stands opposed to the nature of a loving God. Vindictiveness or maliciousness has no place in perfect love.

There are 2 areas major of God's dealings with creation where mercy and justice come into play. First is the issue of the salvation of a sinner. Obviously, in Universalism we believe all will come to salvation, either here or in the world to come. Jesus took care of the salvation for sin issue. Some will come to understand this while in this realm, others will remain with blinders on according to God's divine plan and will not have those blinders removed until some future time in the Heavenly realm. But the reconciliation that was needed for creation to return to oneness with God was met by the life and death of Jesus as He became the Christ. God's mercy is shown in this in that He did not require each to suffer the consequences of separation permanently, but rather in love offered an alternative to the "eye for an eye" justice He could have demanded.

The second part of the justice plan then is the rewards or purification part. I see the reading of the Book of Life, the Great Throne of Judgment, etc. as all components to the final parts of the restoration plan. Each person will be held accountable for the work they have done in Christ's name once they have come to understanding. Good things will result in rewards such as crowns or being counted to righteousness; failings or "poor" work will be measured by God's sense of mercy and justice. Some will have no works to offer as they have failed to believe or some unbelievers may actually have good works to offer to the scales but they are set aside as they were not done in faith. Those who have nothing to tip the scale in their favor or whose failings out weigh the good will be required to undergo God's purifying fire. I understand this to mean a time in the intense presence of God where the heat and light of His Glory will burn away their disbelief and unrighteousness.

I think I'll stop there and see if I'm getting to the meat of your question.
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  #9  
Old 09-29-2009, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Justice and Mercy: The Christian Universalist View

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Originally Posted by CatholicCrusader View Post
I remember once I posted about Universalism only to be told that I was wrong about it. Or that there was more than one version.

I always thought that Universalism was basically that everyone will end up going to heaven: Everyone. Period. No one goes to hell.

Is that right? Or is that only one version of Universalism?
There are some variations in Unviersalism, Terry. I am a Christian Universalist: I believe all will come to salvation through Christ either in this world or the next. An Unitarian Universalist believes that all will be saved and that all religious paths lead ultimately to God. For them, the Hindu, the Muslim, the Christian all are on the same path - God will accept them all in whatever faith they come to. The other difference in Universalism is that some believe that creation will be restored to what it was at creation: Transformationalists (Rodger and myself) believe that God will go beyond that and make all things over in a much better state then even the Garden of Eden.

And no, none of us believe in eternal punishment or "hell". Questions?
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Why are we here, what's life all about? Is God really real, or is there some doubt? Well tonight we're going to sort it all out: For tonight it's the meaning of life" Not Finished Yet
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:37 PM
CatholicCrusader
 
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Default Re: Justice and Mercy: The Christian Universalist View

I'm sorry. I should have read the whole thread. I forgot that you and I sort of had this conversation before. The Alzheimer's is kickin' in.

This part pretty much answered it:
"....... in Universalism we believe all will come to salvation, either here or in the world to come. Jesus took care of the salvation for sin issue. Some will come to understand this while in this realm, others will remain with blinders on according to God's divine plan and will not have those blinders removed until some future time in the Heavenly realm......"

Of course, I obviously can't accept that. But I do understand it. I just can't reconcile it with certain scriptures (let alone Church teaching . )

So what do YOU think Jesus means in Matthew 7:13 when he states: "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it."
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