Ask the Conservative Evangelical Christian Hopeful Universalist

we’ve got conservative Christians who justify Eternal Torment, moderate/liberal but believing Christians who promote Universal Salvation- but here I am- conservative morally & politcally & theologically but hoping for universal salvation (tho believing the Hell Bible verses are genuine warnings about temporal punishment).

Fire away!

What’s your take on Scriptural accuracy and what do you make of the book of Revelation?

How old do you think the Earth is?

I believe the Hebrew Scriptures & Greek Christian Scriptures are substantially accurate, that any discrepancies are due to scribal errors which can be corrected thru textual study or are misunderstood paradoxes, and that we have basically accurate translations (tho the “eternal/everlasting/forever” passages can just as easily be translated as long temporal eras when applied to Afterlife Punishment). To sum up, we have God-preserved accurate revelation on Faith & Morality & Judaic-Christian History in the Bible.

The Revelation to John was given to show Christ’s Lordship in History-
operating through His Faithful Assembly in spite of Beast Rulers, Harlot Religions, Natural Disasters & Divine Judgements- that it applies to First Century AD situations of the Persecutions against Christians & the Destruction of Jerusalem by Rome, the past 2000 years of Christian History, and Jesus’s eventual Return to destroy the forces of Evil.

I tend to believe the Genesis Creation story describes a process of millions/billions of years, but that Adamic “God-Imaging” humanity may well be around 6000-7000 years old. Thus, I’m an Old-Earth Creationist, maybe bordering on Theistic Evolution.

Thanks for the quick answer. Another question, if I may:

What role (if any) do you believe Christians should take in politics/lawmaking?

who is the author of revelation

old enough to know better…

Why are you a Christian if you’ll get into heaven regardless?

Its fun being a christian!

I can’t answer for FriarTed, but my answer would be: Because God called me to the job, and because my life is much richer, more fulfilling, doing it than it was before (in essence, what Vanilla said).

FriarTed, if you affirm Free Will and God’s overwhelming and unconditional love, that means that nearly everybody will eventually find their way back to Him, in their and His own good time, but that there does have to be an “out” for those who utterly refuse His grace, or “free will” means nothing in the long run, like outfitting a dog with a long, long leash and then “letting him run wherever he wants” – provided that it isn’t beyond the length of the leash.

Could you clarify what “Adamic ‘God-Imaging’ humanity” means? How is it distinct from homo sap. prior to that timeframe?

What denomination are you a part of and what do you base your hope for universal salvation on?


Who is the author of Revelation?

well, Rev 1:1 says it is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, but I guess you mean the human transcriber G Probably the Apostle John, it’s possible there was another John the Elder respected by the Church as having Apostolic authority, but I see no reason the author of the Gospel of John, all three epistles & the Revelation can’t be John bar-Zebedee.

Vanilla- I love both your answers! G

Polycarp’s reason for being a Christian is as good as any I can give.
But I’ll still add a few things- there are lots of reasons not to be a Christian, only one reason to be one- if Jesus is indeed the fullest Revelation of God (aka “the Word made flesh”, “the Son of God”, “the Anointed One/Messiah/Christ”) given to humanity & if the Bible is an accurate account of His words & deeds. I am convinced of that.
Also, while all may well come to trust Christ in the Afterlife, the Bible indicates special blessings & privileges to those who trust Him in this life & I need all the help I can get. G Also, I want to experience as little Hell as possible & as much Heaven as soon as possible. If I turned against what I am convinced of about God & Jesus & the Bible, I would definitely acquire some Brimstone-Time.

RE “free will” & the possibility to reject God/Jesus- that’s why I’m a “hopeful” Universalist. Since God/Jesus is the ultimate source of all life then I believe that if any can ultimately reject Him/Them, they will be allowed to dwindle out of existence after knowing all they could have been & had if they would have trusted Him.

Mangetout- I am generally a Christian Right-wing Libertarian. I think religious people have full rights to try to influence government on many issues- one of the few restrictions being we don’t have the right to actually enforce our religion on society. For instance the USA is historically a Theistic culturally-Judeo-Christian country, I have no problem with preserving that heritage & having Gov’t recognize that, but the Gov’t should never impose sanctions on those who do not share such beliefs. Maybe we should narrow down some issues that you might want to know my position on. Let’s say that I am about 90% in agreement with the moral/political positions of Falwell & Robertson but I have less agreement with how they express & would enforce their positions.

I’ll respond to Drastic & Puddleglum in the next post

Drastic- If Adam & Eve were not the first homo sapiens but were a cut above, then I would say they were the first to regard God & have potential for a Parent-Child relationship with Him rather than just a Creator-Creation, Ruler-Subject one.

Other possibilities are that Adam & Eve were indeed the first homo sapiens & the Gen 3-5 account of early humanity are mytho-historic accounts of our fall into distrust & violence with a lot of gaps in the geneologies, or that remotely… Young Earth Creationism or at least Young Humanity Creationism is correct & the dating systems before 2400 BC (the rough Young-Earth time of Noah’s Flood) are totally out of whack.

Puddleglum- I have been a member of the local Assembly of God since 1985. I suppose if there existed an Evangelical-Liturgical-Charismatic Church like I imagine CS Lewis might have founded, I’d be a member of that. Yes- AoG believes in Eternal Hell, as did CSL (tho a kinder gentler version). I have always held, with CSL in contrast to the AoG, a wider view of human opportunity to trust Christ in the Afterlife.
It’s only in the past five years I have considered Universal Salvation a possibility, about ten years that I’ve leaned to an Annihilationist view of Eternal Hell. I see no reason those views need interfere with my church membership (granted, I don’t discuss those views widely). I suppose one of these days I’ll throw the poo into the fan L, but only when/if I feel it necessary.
I hope for Universal Salvation based on my certainty that God is Loving & Just (I see no justice in Eternal Torture, some in final extinction, but lots in eventual reconciliation- which does not preclude just punishment for evil-doers), the elasticity of the “Eternal Punishment” Scriptures (that particular term used at the end of Matthew 25’s Sheep & Goats parable is in Greek “Aionian Kolasis” which can just as easily be translated “Aion-long Correction”), and Paul’s upholding of Jesus as the Reconciler of God & all Creation in Ephesians 1 & Colossian 1.

Let me add that when it comes to Nazis, Stalinists, various tyrants & bullies & especially child-abusers, a large part of me does not WANT them to be eventually reconciled to God. My sense of Justice & Divine Love would be quite satisfied with them being justly punished for a LOOOOOONG time & then eventually extinquished. My sense of vindictiveness even relishes the possibility of their eternal torment. BUT my trust in God’s Love & Grace in Jesus must concede the possibility that it will even extend to them & result in their eventual reconciliation to trust God/Jesus.

Expounding upon this, what do you believe about Nazis and Stalinists and child abusers who purportedly have come to Christ during their lifetimes? Do you believe that such a drastic change be genuine?

a former Christian-killer, Saul of Tarsus, I can’t NOT believe that such people can be reached & changed by the love of God in this life, BUT I would keep a close watch on them for an awfully long time (as the early Church did with the converted Saul). I would never put a “converted” child-molester in charge of the church day-care L

From what I can tell, Charles Tex Watson, Manson’s right-hand man, has been genuinely transformed by Christ, so has Susan Atkins. I would never release either of them from prison. I also supported the execution of Karla Faye Tucker (I found it interesting that while Jerry Falwell wanted her sentence commuted to life, his wife thought she should still get the needle). Indeed, I can’t understand why capital criminals-become-Christians appeal their executions.

But I digress. L

Well, now hold on there, Reverend Bubba.

I seem to recall St. Dismal Ass, the criminal who was dying by lethal crucixion. Now if my Sunday School lessons haven’t failed me, didn’t The Boss say that Dismas was the first guy saved, the guy that was going to be in Heaven this very day…

In terms of redemption, the very first Christian.

elucidator- the exact words The Boss said were “Truly, truly I tell you this day you will be with me in Paradise.” I don’t know if that makes DA the first person saved, it puts him in the little realm between the Old Testament saved & the Christian saved- those who dies in trust of Jesus before the ultimately redemptive act of Crucifixion & Resurrection were complete.

Also, Paradise in Jewish thought of that time was not necessarily
“Heaven”- the Home of God, but was the Good Neighborhood in Sheol where the righteous awaited their Resurrection- the first place Jesus descended to during the Three Days.

Where is the teaching in Scripture that everyone is going to heaven and that it’s not necessary to accept Christ as Savior to enter heaven? Where’s the teaching that there’s a chance for salvation after death? Where’s the teaching that hell isn’t eternal? Where’s the teaching that one can get out of hell eventually? I can’t find it. Of course, someone can probably twist some scriptures and ignore others to prove this view I’m sure. I don’t find this teaching in the Bible, however I do find warnings about hell and eternal torment. Why the warnings and admonitions about it if everyone is just going to be saved anyway no matter what? In my humblo opinion, this is a dangerous teaching and one I’m sure satan is very happy with as it keeps people from doing what they must do to inherit eternal life.