Open Forum X: From A to Z

Its been a quite a while since our last open forum. But its back.

We’ve had quite a few  commenters who wanted to talk about things like slavery, biblical interpretations, Christians who judge too much and a mix of other things that just didnt meet the focus muster of certain posts. Hopefully if they really wanted to educate us on it, they’ll come back around.

Now’s the chance to speak your mind and make your case on topics from A to Z.  Nothing (as long as it is from A to Z) is off limits, however please be aware that all normal commenting restrictions apply.

I’d like to kick it off by asking what comparisons (if any) do you think there are between Bush’s Katrina and Obama’s BP oil disaster?

[open forum commenting is closed]


114 thoughts on “Open Forum X: From A to Z

  1. I don’t know all the minute details regarding the spill, but what I can say is that the difference that I took notice of is that Bush had knowledge of the upcoming Hurricane that was to hit, whereas Obama had no warning of an oil spill (as far as I understand it).
    Who, then, had the more opportune chance to prepare for the disaster – Bush, or Obama?

    As far as Obama saying that BP is responsible for their own clean-up, the oil spill was caused by some degree of their own negligence, so I can understand his response. Katrina, however, was brought on by natural phenomena, not recklessness; Bush’s lack of preparation for it (and response) still has me scratching my head somewhat.

    I see the differences more than the similarities. But maybe someone else can point the [similarities] out.

  2. I don’t believe Bush himself was knowledgeable about the premeditated plan to cleanse New Orleans. If you follow the money, it will probably lead you to the real architects of the Katrina disaster. Who were the beneficiaries? Magically unloading a half-a-million welfare dependent Negroes from your budget does wonders for your checking account. And who would have access to the levee system? The same powerful people keeping the checkbook? There is no such thing as coincidence. Oh, and by the way, New Orleans has just finished swearing in their first White Mayor since the 70’s. Coincidence?

    Obama’s BP problem seems to be a more organized conspiracy than Louisiana’s Katrina plot. I guess the smaller scale disaster is a bit easier to manipulate. Notice how many states are now pulling back on all of the talk about drilling for oil off of their coasts. Right now there’s too many mysteries about this episode and I must further examine it before I can deduct a more substantial conspiracy theory. Soon we will find out who the beneficiaries of this disaster are. Right now, my main suspect is Exxon. Blaming the environmentalists would be too convenient. To be continued…

    Here’s something interesting to discuss. I live in the Washington DC area and just north of DC, is Montgomery County. A DC high school principle was found murdered in his Montgomery County home recently. Just now they’ve arrested two 18 year old men as primary suspects. Before the arrests were made, the local news media were highlighting the victimization aspect of this murder to provoke sympathy from the audience. Now it’s been revealed that the principle had met the two teenage boys on a gay sex telephone line, and had invited them into his home. Instead of having lusty gay sex with them like he intended, he ended up getting robbed, and murdered. Now the media is having trouble on which way to spin this story. I’m willing to bet that homosexual activists are going to take this story and spin it to some sort of example why we need a federal “hate crimes” law. And anyone who dares ask why a homosexual principle (caught soliciting sex with teenage boys)is running an institute filled with ripe, young, teenage boys, will be instantly criticized as a hateful, homophobic sympathizer to this heinous murder.

  3. I am not sure why or how these two events or their handling should be compared. It seems to me just another set up to make unnecessary comparisons between the current President and his predecessor.

  4. Hey pastor are you saying there should be no comparisons between any presidents or just no comparisons between Bush and Obama?

  5. Well, here’s my 2 cents. Yes, Bush’s response to Katrina was less than stellar, and that’s putting it quite mildly. But I think the Governor of Louisiana, and the Mayor of New Orleans essentially got a free pass as far as criticism goes. In my case, let me use this analogy. I’m living in Atlanta; and if we got hit with a natural disaster the first people I’m looking to to show leadership are the mayor of Atl, and the governor of GA — not necessarily the president of the US immediately, even though that should come shortly, working hand in hand with the mayor and governor. For me, to bash the president in such a situation while ignoring the lack of leadership of the mayor and governor would be absurd… but that’s pretty much what happened with Bush and Katrina.

    I think once Bush started getting really unpopular as the Iraq debacle started to unfold, Bush-bashing became practically a national pastime (especially among “us” black folk; lets keep it real), to such a ridiculous extent that even a lot of normally fair-minded people couldn’t even see straight when it came to anything involving Bush. For the people of N.Orleans to REELECT RAY NAGIN AS MAYOR(!?) was just stupefying to me! Yes, Bush deserved some bashing, no doubt, but I would personally allocate blame equally among Bush, Ray Nagin, and Gov. Kathleen Blanco . Apparently, a lot of folk seemed to think that George Bush deserved about 90%+ of the blame. That never really made much sense to me.

  6. Since this is an open forum, I have a question for anyone who wants to answer it.

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot, reading about it even more from people who’ve written about it and referenced the bible concerning it. I’m curious to know what the readers of this blog think.

    It’s regarding the atonement of Christ.
    There are some within the Church who believe that the atonement is specifically for God’s elect; there are others who believe that the atonement isn’t just for the elect, but for the whole world. There are several scriptures that each group firmly stand on in order to explain their positions.

    Those who defend the limited atonement typically refer to John 10: 11, 15 (Jesus laying down His life for His sheep); Acts 20: 28 (Jesus purchasing the Church – His elect – with His blood); Ephesians 5:25 (Jesus giving His life for His Church); Matthew 1: 21 (Jesus saving His people); Romans 8: 32,33 (God offering Jesus up for the elect); John 17:9 and many others (Isa. 53:8, Hebrews 9:28, etc.)

    Those who say that Christ didn’t die just for the elect, but for the whole world, cite John 1:29 (Christ taking away the sins for the whole world); John 3:16; 2 Cor. 5:14,15 (Christ dying for all); 1 Timothy 2: 3-6 (God wants all men to be saved); Titus 2:11 (God bringing salvation to all people), etc.

    Those who stand on limited atonement (not in efficacy but in extent) claim that Jesus Christ came specifically to die for His elect – His bride, His Church, His people.
    Those who stand on unlimited atonement ( in efficacy and in extent) claim that the death of Christ did redeem the sins of all mankind, but it’s up to each individual to have faith in Him in order to be saved.
    But my question to that specifically is, if the atonement is unlimited in extent, how is it that some people are going to hell? If the Lord’s atonemtent paid for the sins for all mankind, but some choose not to believe in Him, wouldn’t it seem as though their sins have been paid in vain, since Jesus died for them but they didn’t believe?

    Can anyone provide their insights on this?

  7. I believe Christ died for all. All means all. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. Rm 5:8 Who can claim there have never been ungodly?

    But his death and the power of his death mean nothing to those who reject it or subvert it. All are welcome but not all will not accept it thus they will be lost. And I think this is where the inclusion theorists go off the deep end.

    I cant go along with the idea that the atonement was for a select few. That sounds too much like the JW theology.

    I will say that I believe in “God’s elect”, but not to the extent that some people take it to mean a preselected group of people who no matter what they do will be saved (from the wrath to come). That’s “once saved always saved” doctrine which doesnt fully cover the scope of the intent of God.

    I dont know if that answers the question fully, but those are my thoughts. VERY good question.

  8. Pastor, you’ve answered good enough.

    I want to make it clear that I do not accept the gospel of inclusion. I write this because in my last post I asked if Christ died for all mankind, how can people be in hell? I think of Carlton Pearson and how he said that he couldn’t accept a literal hell because Christ actually died for everyone.
    I serve notice to everyone that I believe in hell and I believe that Jesus is the propitiation for our sins. The question that I raised is a theological oneof many that I have which specifically doesn’t twist the fundamentals of my faith. It’s just that I’m wondering if Jesus died specifically for the elect, or for the whole world.
    I’ve been reading about this and how some of the early bible teachers/pastors/writers took a stance for that side or the other.
    Regardless of which view I take, I will always believe that the Lord died to atone for the sins of many and that those who reject Him will be eternally condemned.

  9. Correction: Pearson said that Christ REDEEMED everyone, meaning that everyone is saved.

  10. Angela,
    Great question – as it will have an influence on almost all of our thinking in regards to theology. I agree with Pastor Foster, God invites all to the foot of the cross. But the “atonement” is a different issue; Christ’s work on the cross is only “effective” for those who are His. Without divine election, there is no security of salvation (being united to Christ); it would then depend upon man and dead men can’t re-birth themselves, only God can make them new (born again). Thus, one cannot lose their salvation. Many may, and do profess Christ with no change (fruit bearing), that is why Paul exorts us to test ourselves and to make certain we are of the faith by using scripture.

    Just my two cents – If you you would like some scripture to help you work through this, let me know. Romans is a great place to start. Blessings!

  11. Angela,

    First how are you, haven’t spoken to you for awhile, we know the scripture reads, “For God so loved the “WORLD”, that he gave his only begotten, Son, that “WHOMSOEVER” believes on him, “SHALL NOT” perish, but have everlasting life.” You know, some would liken the word “WORLD” to mean the greek word “KOSMOS” meaning an universal harmonious whole. Yes the Son was “Foreordained” to do what he did on the Cross, from the foundation of the world, God’s sovereign plan of salvation. But man’s responsibility is to accept that plan, so if man rejects that plan, then he dooms himself, now I believe there is a hint of “Predestination” and “Foreknowledge, to this verse of scripture, just my opinion though. But as you always do offer, a very thought provoking question.

  12. Tony, hey! 🙂

    Yes, John 3:16 is explanatory, isn’t it? 1 John 2:2 is also:
    “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”
    It doesn’t get any clearer than that, does it?
    But when you take into account other verses of Scripture (some of which I quoted above), there’s this pattern that seems to weave throughtout the New Testament where it’s reinforced that Christ has shed His blood for the ones whom the Father has given Him [before the foundation of the world].
    I read about how the Lord has laid down His life for His sheep; how He’s purchased His Church with His blood; how God foreknew us and predestined us to be conformed to the image of Christ, and how He predestined us to adoption by His own will. I learned how He chose us before the foundation of the world, and even more I see how God works everything in accordance with His will…
    Since it was God’s will to choose us in eternity past so that we may be reconciled back to Him, He ordained Christ to die for us in eternity past. That being true, why then would Christ atone for the sins of those whom the Father has not chosen? That doesn’t make sense to me.
    But I guess that’s why He’s God and I’m not.
    There just seems to be this beautiful story woven throughout the Word of God of the LORD reconciling His chosen ones back to Himself – not simply the whole world.
    But then I hit the brakes when I read verses like this one:
    “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.” (Titus 2:11)

    You know, when I read the Word of God I find myself scratching my head sometimes, because what makes sense to me in my finite mind doesn’t always prove compatible with it. I have to remind myself every now and then that there are paradoxes in Scripture, and that I have to be content to accept them. Trusting that God’s thoughts are indeed higher than mine as are His ways has to govern my understanding, or else I risk rationalizing everything according to my own reasoning.

  13. Since it was God’s will to choose us in eternity past so that we may be reconciled back to Him, He ordained Christ to die for us in eternity past. That being true, why then would Christ atone for the sins of those whom the Father has not chosen? That doesn’t make sense to me.

    He didn’t “atone” – that is why it makes no sense and is not supported by scripture. Nice observation Angela! 🙂 Remember, we have an under the sun view and God has a timeless eternal view.

    Secondly, maybe this will help; being “free” and divine election is not a contradiction. Man’s responsibility presupposes God’s sovereignty; otherwise God couldn’t hold any one responsible since we are free to do as we will. Make sense?

  14. Hey Ang,

    When I read, the scripture verse you referred to in Titus, I get reminded of, “Salvation for the Jew first then the Gentile.” For salvation, at one time was for them only, but praise be to God, who “grafted” us in. Now one of the tenets of “The Fundamentals of Christianity”, is the “Substitutionery Atonement”, meaning that he was our substitute, “For he who was without sin, became sin, so that you and I can become the righteousness of God.” Sometimes we have to remember, the shadows and types of the OT sacrifices, point to what he did on the Cross. But then one must understand the biblical terminologys of “Foreknowledge” and “Predestination”, and as I remember, I think Pastor hinted upon that earlier. To understand one must read throughly Romans, and Ephesians, and as you said Ang, pray that the Holy Spirit heighten our finite knowledge, or should I say, we allow him to.

  15. Pastor,

    I read the article, it appears the Man of God, is playing cat and mouse, and he’s playing it w/the world system, who are experts, at it.

  16. Mark, yes it makes sense. I understand that God’s sovereignty does not nullify man’s responsibility to choose. They coincide somehow; yet I won’t put forth much of an effort to figure it out!

    Such knowledge is “too wonderful for me”…:)

  17. Tony, about Titus 2:11, you’re right – in context it’s specifying the Jew and the Gentile, not necessarily every person who’s ever lived and who will ever live.
    At least that’s how I understand it.

  18. Isaac from Waldorf – brings up an ineteresting news story here in the DC area.

    1. A beloved openly gay DC school principal solicits two (maybe three) teens to his house via a sex phone chat line. No evidence of forced entry. He is killed and robbed.

    2. The suspects were suppose to be accounted for in the DC juvinile system – they were out when they should have been locked up.

    3. One of the teens was convicted of sexual abuse at age 11. Humm…

    How will the media and pro gay marriage DC govt spin this story? Why is a DC school official on a sex chat line?

    Seems to me, I have heard of this story line before…

  19. One thing is for sure is that certain people are living big while the many in the church live in lack. The Church was not doing good and he was still living it up, there is no justification for that even if he “didnt know the rules”.

  20. SAD INDEED the Jinwright story. I’ve been following this too.

    Prov 20:17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, BUT AFTERWARD his mouth will be filled with gravel.

    I’m guessing “gravel” is what the prison food is gonna be tasting like compared to what the Jinwrights have been used to eating.

    I only pray now that their sin has found them out, they will truly repent and walk upright before the Lord. Surely they’ll have plenty of time to ponder in their “love of money” greedy little hearts, the error of their ways that led them to their current predicament.

  21. DJenks…

    Yes the Feds were looking into Yolanda Adams too, back in 2008, and they made a court filing laying out the case they had against her… but a judge threw out the case. It’s pretty much a dead issue at this point.

  22. Bless you Pastor Foster.
    Forgive me for not being clear. What I mean is that the two events are as dissimilar in circumstance and approach to resolution as the two men in question are in temperament,leadership style and perceived ability.
    As such, it seems almost a straw man argument, which will degenerate into: Bush Bad, Obama Good. I am already hearing a lot of that, as I am sure you are.
    Kind of like when atheists say that the Bible is as violent as the Quran, without making a distinction between Old and New Covenants (a clever way of disparaging Christianity without having to support the contention), or the people who say that since ‘God is a God of love’, all forms of ‘love’ are equally valid, and all expressions of ‘worship’ are too, since ‘all roads lead to God.’

    The oil spill is the oil spill, it will have its own set of challenges and ramifications, Katrina was/is Katrina with IT’s own share of the same.
    Did I ramble? Sorry… 🙂

  23. That okay thanks so much. Like you said, maybe there are no comparisons. I was a little curious as both events had/will have devastating impacts Louisiana and the mid gulf coast regions. And now, the EPA much like FEMA has been criticized for not moving holding BP more responsible. Other little oddities, but enough to peak my curiousity about the two events.

  24. What does anyone think about universalism? Meaning all will eventually be saved. After doing research, it is something I agree with.

    Anyone care to comment on it.

  25. I thank the Pastor for this open forum.

    Seeking knowledge and understanding, I respectfully repeat my inquiries related to interpretation: historical, literal, prophetic, allegorical, etc. regarding slavery.

    Specifically helpful would be anyone’s interpretation of Exodus 21.

    I would also like to know if slavery is considered a sin by those who post here.

  26. C11, care to base that on any scripture. Not trying to be funny, but I could say that I agree with little blue men selling ice cream cones on the sun, but is it grounded in truth?
    What research did you do and what sources did you study?

  27. So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. – Romans 7:14

    Why would the enslavement of another person not be a sin not to mention a crime?

    The far more weightier issue with slavery is spiritual slavery to sin and satan. There were plenty of slaves who went to heaven. But anyone who remains a slave to sin will perish if they dont repent.

    Exodus 21:1-11 is filled with conditions or “ifs”.

    The law of God was never rescinded just fulfilled in love by Jesus Christ. The fulfillment of the law meant that all the punishments for breaking it were paid in full by Christ. After we acknowledge his sacrifice through repentance we are freed from the penalty of the law. A good example is the woman caught in adultery. Jesus NEVER said the law wasnt good or not fair, he simply didnt allow the penalty to be carried out. At the same time he personally told the woman do not engage in this activity ever again.

    (1) The moral law which covers sexual expression is still in place and applies to all people Jew and Gentile, all the time. Christ never broke a moral law nor did he encourage others to do so. In fact he tightened the moral law by including one’s thoughts as equally sinful even if one does not act on them. Sexual immorality wasnt governed by ceremonial law. It was a moral law which interfaced with civil laws. For example, people who broke moral laws were punished with civil judgments (stoning, etc). The bible strongly condemns sexual immorality all the way into the last chapters of Revelation.

    (2) The ceremonial law dealt with ordinances such as circumcision, sacrifices, offerings, purifications and holy days. Some Jews still observe various aspects of the ceremonial laws, but only by voluntary consent. Although they maintain an obligation to do so, there is no such obligation under the New Covenant. Paul dealt with this in Colossians 2 and the Apostles in Acts 14,15 specificed the Gentile Christians were not bound by ceremonial law but were bound to adhere to moral laws. Christ himself broke certain ceremonial laws and didnt chide his disciples when they did so. In contrast he blasted the pharisees because while they placed heavy emphasis on ceremonial laws, they themselves failed to keep them.

    (3) The civil law which encompasses the slavery issue was sanctioned by God for the Jews, but that is no longer in effect. As noted above, the “slavery” God allowed Isreal to engage in Exodus 21 was not the same form of subjugated human dominance by other humans such as in American slavery or the Isrealites under the Egyptians. That’s why you see all the conditions. The “ifs”. Reference Eccl 8:9 which says that such slavery is the work of man’s own degenerate nature. Christ upheld certain OT civil law only when it interfaced with moral law. Reference Matt 19. He balanced his upholding of the law with grace and mercy.

    We’ve discussed this before at length and here’s a really good response to the slavery question. I really wish people would take some time and read (using the search feature) instead of asking this type of redundant question as if they are the first to think of it.

  28. Dear C11,

    I know that universalism, is a false interpretation/false religion, based on basically anyone doing what they want to do, and it is accepted Like purgatory, you’ll stay in an holding cell somewhere, and God will enventually forgive you, and let you into heaven, oh no forgiveness is for now, not when we depart this physical. Or the apocraphal epistle, the Apocalpyse of Peter, where Christ had supposed to tell Peter, that everyone will be eventually saved, just don’t tell them about it. And the biggest thing about this false interpretation is, if it were so, why then would Christ come, and suffer untold agony on the Cross? I would say to you, go and research scripture again, w/an open heart and mind, and you will see the obvious fallacy of this, if you desire to.

  29. GCM, im going to have to disagree with your assessment of the Law…any separation of the Law into different units is an artificial separation…Jesus followed 100% of the Law, 100% of the time..if He didnt follow the whole Law, then He wouldn’t be the perfect sacrifice for sin…Jesus wasnt guilty of breaking any ceremonial laws…He broke Talmudical traditions…for instance, in Mark 7 the Pharisees tried to get on the disciples for eating bread with unwashed hands..if you look through the 613, there is no prohibition on eating food with unwashed hands..the rabbis who wrote the Talmud came up with the hand washing ritual(netilat yadayim) based on Leviticus 15:11..but Leviticus 15:11 has nothing to do with unwashed hands while eating bread…the Pharisees put their elders tradition above the actual Word of God…Jesus fulfilled and did away with the Old Covenant…He set the bar much higher than what was in the Law..just look at Matthew 5:21-48

  30. During my prayer time this morning, these verses came to mind: Jesus said that to have eternal life, we are to love God w/all of our heart, soul, mind & strength and to love our neighbor as we do ourselves–Luke 10:27 – 28; and that the whole law is fulfilled in one word: to love your neighbor as you love yourself.–Galatians 5:14.

    How much more fulfilling would life be, for the professing Christian, to follow such basic commands & pursue relationships based upon the genuine care for the person and not for the talent you can glean out of them for the advancement of your own selfish interest. My thought for today.

  31. Certainly. Here is my argument. And to Tony Davis I have researched with an open mind.

    1. Prior to the Holy Roman Empire, there were six schools of christianity. Four of them believed in universalism (Alexandria, Ceasarea, Antioch, and Edessa) that all will eventually be saved and that hell was for corrective punishment, not eternal punishment. One believed that the wicked would be no more after death (Ephesus), meaning that after their heart stop beating and that man stick them in the ground, that all she wrote. Only one school believed in eternal punishment (Latin Church of North Africa), that school ended up becoming the father of the western church. Universalism was, in fact, the prevailing doctrine of the early church.

    2. One of the main reasons why christian universalism fell out of favor was the in the 6th century C.E. was because of the Emperor Justinian, who called the council of Nicea where universalism was condemened. And who was he to set church doctrine?

    The above article gives a more detailed description of what I provided. This wikipedia article gives a list of scriptures and further explains christian universalism.

    Many people mistakenly believe that christian universalism is a new doctrine that someone just came up with. This is not true. It actually has been around since the early church. And it also makes sense in my humble opinion. Why?

    1. When Adam sinned, mankind was automatically condemned. So why can’t the work of Jesus automatically save? No one was asked as to whether or not they wanted to be born sinful, it just happened.

    2. Why would God leave the eternal destiny of a person strictly in their hands. Thats a huge responsibility and there are too many factors that can keep people from making an informed, clear decision. Two of the biggest is that people are born sinful and have Satans deception. Any of you parents, would you let your 10 year old make a decision that would affect his entire life all on his own and say “Well it was his own free will, I have nothing to do with his decision!” Of course you wouldnt, why would we expect less from God?

    3. Where is the justice of eternal torment? An eternal punishment for temporary transgression is not justice, yet I was taught God is perfectly just. Even lawmakers can figure this out. It’s like this, you wont get life in prison or the death penalty for stealing a shirt from a department store. It’s insane to think that if someone stole a shirt from a department store and while trying to escape store security ran into the parking lot, got hit by a car and died that God would punish them with eternal torment because they didnt “repent” before they were killed. Or because someone decided to go to a nightclub instead of church on a Friday night and get shot and die that God would visit eternal torment on them for spending 3 hours in a nightclub. Thats absurd.

    I could go on and on, but I know people only want to read so much. Just thought I’d post.

  32. Dear N’Catina,

    I am in steadfast agreement w/you, and that has been my pursuit, since I received his call, “This is how the world will know that you are my disciples when you have love one towards another.” Because when we don’t exercise it, between one another, the world, most definetely will not know it. But so many of us, tip toe around it, and or oblivious to it today, because its not understood, and sometimes not explained properly.

  33. Re: ‘Universalism’
    I have a number of relatives and friends who are ‘professional clergy’. The more recent seminary graduates embrace this doctrine of universalism, but rarely present any solid scriptural basis. The reasoning is essentially based on prooftexting, which is the practice of taking verses out of their original context for the purpose of creating or supporting a premise or doctrine.

    This is a practice that all of these folks are well acquainted with, since it is done in churches ALL the time, the main example of this is the erroneous ‘tithe’ doctrine which is almost universally accepted in churches today.

    So it is with ‘universalism’.
    As I have heard ‘preachers’ say: “The idea that God is love, and as such, He/She would not condemn anyone to a ‘hell’ because they did or did not believe a certain way, is repulsive to me, and not in keeping with the God that I serve.”

    This is the rationale behind the ‘All roads lead to God’ mindset. The fact of the matter is that all roads do lead to the throne of God, but the fork in the road is the cross, and everything depends on which side of the fork you’re on…

    N’Catina, you are SO right.
    Matthew 22:34-40 “But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. 35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great Commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang ALL the law and the prophets.”

    It’s all there… All of it…
    Blessings all

  34. djenk, I dont think you are disagreeing with me, although youre welcome to do so.

    In my view, there’s no denying the categories of law I stated. They existed and in the context I presented them. I dont think its appropriate to characterize categorical distinctions as “artificial separation”. The same distinctions exist in our current legal systems with added categories.

    Each of the categories —moral, ceremonial an civil— are clearly identified in the Levitical writings and interspersed throughout OT canon.
    For example sexual prohibitions (based on the law) are universal but ceremonial ones are not. Should we not make that distinction?

    Whether Jesus “broke” laws (I believe he did just like Daniel did) and whether or not the Talmudic traditions were moot remains in question. I say he did brake them or perhaps better stated did not follow them on occasion. Maybe its semantics in the expression. Is a tradition a law? Can a law be made into a tradition? I agree with you that Christ was sinless, guiltless and completely innocent otherwise he would not have qualified to die for our sins. My caveat is that I dont see what he did as wrong even though they accused him of wrongdoing.

    In relationship to the question about slavery, what do you propose is appropriate if the categories of law are not applicable.

  35. Also keep in mind there is a difference between unitarian universalism and christian universalism. See heres my problem. Alot of my family is COGIC. And traditionally COGIC has downplayed study and learning in favor of “anointing”. No study of anything, just be “anointed”. Anyone can “be called to preach”. And this has led to a lot of wrong teaching about God and the bible. My grandfather is a COGIC superintendent and my mother is a COGIC district missionary, so im not speaking out of bias.

    Yes, I would rather learn about the bible from someone who has actually cared to study it, than someone who claims to understand it because they are “anointed” when all they’re doing is repeating what they heard someone else say. And since most black pentecostal churches are somehow connected to or has roots in COGIC, this can be found all around.

    As far as christian universalism goes, I believe it is a correct teaching, despite what Ive been told. If you look at church history, its plain as day to see that it was the prevailing belief of the ancient church and that it was stamped out due to political reasons and because of mistranslations of the bible in greek to latin.

  36. Hi C11.
    Let me start off by bluntly stating that universalism makes sense to (and is embraced by) those who who don’t understand nor accept the complete character of God.

    In regards to the 6 schools of Christian thought in the early centuries, I have to read and research that. But what I can say, and say confidently at the moment, is that regardless of the number of people who both embraced and taught universalism, it doesn’t mean that it was truth. As we can plainly see in this day & age, lies breed popularity, and that’s a truism that traces itself back to the beginning of time.
    And if what you are saying is correct, as far as the Latin Church of North Africa being the only entity teaching eternal punishment – literal eternal punishment – who is to say that because it was the minority, it was incorrect?
    Can I apply the “small is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life, and a only a few find it” Scripture here?
    God has never sided with the marjority.

    As for your first point, asking “why can’t the work of Jesus automatically save…?”, that’s a question that I believe stems from the human incapability of understanding both the mind and ways of the LORD. With your reason you’ve determined that, if this happened that way, then surely this must happen that way as well. It’s logical but inconsistent with Scripture.

    Then you asked, “Why would God leave the eternal destiny of a person strictly in their hands?” Again, I think this question stems from the incapability – and unwillingness – of a person to accept and understand the ways of the LORD. Along with His several other attributes, God is both omniscient and wise, and the intertwining of both these attributes allows Him to orchestrate everything perfectly according to His will.
    I don’t have a better answer than that.
    At least not now.

    As far as your bewilderment about God’s method of justice (eternal torment), see above.

    I’m just convinced that Universalism makes sense to the rational mind, because [some] people can not understand and will not accept the nature and method of God’s justice.

  37. C11:

    “See heres my problem. Alot of my family is COGIC. And traditionally COGIC has downplayed study and learning in favor of “anointing”. No study of anything, just be “anointed”. Anyone can “be called to preach”. And this has led to a lot of wrong teaching about God and the bible… I would rather learn about the bible from someone who has actually cared to study it, than someone who claims to understand it because they are “anointed” when all they’re doing is repeating what they heard someone else say.”

    I do agree with you there, C11. I can relate. Though I cherish many memories from my COGIC background and will never turn my back on it, I absolutley agree with what you said here.

  38. Angela,

    I read your post above but I have to say, a lot of people don’t get the teaching of christian universalism. It wasnt just something pulled out of a hat. That conclusion was around since the church has been. But a lot of people think its new.

    The new testament was originally written in greek, so unless you can read greek, it’s difficult to know what it said for sure. You’re reading an english translation. If I gave you a bible translated into japanese, how would you know what it said? You wouldn’t. I provided a couple articles above. In those articles it states how there were translation errors from the original greek to latin. Consequently, different meanings where given to those words.

    As for the character of God….as I was taught, God is perfectly merciful, just, and loving all wrapped in one. Its impossible to be either one of those if youre willing to give someone eternal damnation for temporary sin. Like I stated above, someone steals a shirt then gets hit by a car and dies before they can “repent”, would you consider it loving, merciful, or just to punish them with eternal torment? Of course you dont. Yet thats what I was taught would happen to such a person.

    I believe the character of God as taught in most African American pentecostal churches has been thoroughly misrepresented.

  39. C11, as far as the Greek original language that’s been translated into English and possible misinterpretations resulting from it, I’m going to do some studying on that. But even with that being said, I strongly believe that the doctrine of hell is indeed biblical, and that the Church – the true Church – has it right.
    I find it interesting that in this culture, where truth is being attacked and unity is being heralded as some form of godliness, that a doctrine such as universalism would swim its way back into the mainstream of society. It’s such a perfect fit now, given the fact that at this present time everyone has their own version of truth. Everyone makes and clears his own path to God, and universalism not only accepts that but embraces and respects it as well.
    Again, I can’t help but think of the words of Jesus: “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
    It’s profound.

    As for the character of God, what you’re saying reeks of the lingo of Carlton Pearson.
    He couldn’t accept the doctrine of hell either, and I listened to him in an interview one time. He went on and on about how he used to be caught up in the religious traditions of men, and how he couldn’t, no matter how hard he tried, accept that a loving God will send someone to hell. He spoke about how, in the black Church especially, it was always declared that God was going to do this and that to you, if you cross Him. I suppose the people with whom he surrounded himself got it half-right; but evidently they didn’t get the other half. Nevertheless the real issue here is that Carlton Pearson couldn’t understand the concept of a holy God and thus rejected the true demonstration of that attribute entirely.

    It’s indeed true that some people who are ignorant of the entire counsel of God will solely focus on one or possibly two of His attributes, while ignoring the others, thereby presenting an inadequate picture of Him. And I’m assuming this is the kind of teaching that Pearson was under (and taught). This is why it is so important to get under the teaching of leaders whom not only understand the full nature of God (not in depth but in scope), but accept it and teach it to the congregation as well. If a believer doesn’t do this, he runs the risk of being led astray by false doctrine.
    And yes C11, I call universalism false doctrine.

    And quoting you: “Its impossible to be either one of those if youre willing to give someone eternal damnation for temporary sin. Like I stated above, someone steals a shirt then gets hit by a car and dies before they can “repent”, would you consider it loving, merciful, or just to punish them with eternal torment? Of course you dont.”

    You’re using your own method of dealing with wrong-doing. God is not you and you are not God; how you deal with affronts is not the same way He does, and the first step in understanding the complete character of God is grasping that fact.

  40. c11 said: As for the character of God….as I was taught, God is perfectly merciful, just, and loving all wrapped in one. Its impossible to be either one of those if youre willing to give someone eternal damnation for temporary sin. Like I stated above, someone steals a shirt then gets hit by a car and dies before they can “repent”, would you consider it loving, merciful, or just to punish them with eternal torment? Of course you dont. Yet thats what I was taught would happen to such a person.

    You don’t believe in the God of the Bible, because sin separates you from God. Plain and simple.

    Where in the Bible does it say sin is temporary? The wages of sin are death, death is final there are no Scriptures to back reincarnations. I guess you never were told that God is a Righteous Judge and will not let the guilty go unpunished.

    Oh one other thing and this doesn’t get taught much. There are different levels of sin. While all liars, thieves, homosexuals, murderers, sorcerers will have their part in the lake of fire, not all of them will get equal punishment. They all receive eternal separation but somebody who stole a T-Shirt will not incur the same level of punishment as a serial killer.

  41. Thanks C11

    In many of those scriptures, I do see the power of Christ to save to the utmost but they don’t neglect one putting one’s faith in Christ as far as i can see. I can offer a thirsty man water but it is up to him to drink.

    John 3:16
    “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

    What does perish mean in this belief?

    John 3:36
    36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

    John 5:24
    “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

    John 1:12
    But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

    Romans 10:9
    9That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

    How are these scriptures interpreted in the light of universalism?

  42. Robert,

    I have posted sources, I dont know if whether you read them or not. The question would be in light of those verses is whether or not they were translated word for word from the original greek language with the exact same meanings!

    Also, does any of those verses imply that after one dies, that Jesus cannot still save them???? No they do not! In the apostles creed, it talks of Jesus descending into hell to preach to those there.

    My question to you is, why do you think Jesus wouldnt save the soul of a deceased human being he created?

  43. let me back up…you are correct on the categorical distinctions in the Law..and when it comes to the moral thing, we are saying the same thing but from two different angles…where im really hung up at is the whole Jesus broke the ceremonial Law thing…Daniel breaking some manmade law and Jesus breaking the Law that He laid down are nowhere near the same thing…how does Jesus remain sinless if He broke ANY of His Law?…God could have used anybody to become sacrifice for sin if following the Law perfectly wasnt a requirement of being the perfect sacrifice…would God go against His own Word?..The traditions that the Pharisees were trumpeting and the 613(moral/ceremonial/civil law) arent on the same level…the 613 came directly from God and the Talmud, while based on the 613, was the opinion of that were so scared of being removed Israel again that they piled law on top of what God had already given them so wouldnt break God’s law(that’s exactly what’s happening in church today..tradition being more important than the Bible)…the people put that tradition above the 613..thats what Jesus was always railing against(Mark 7:13) far as the slavery issue, its a red herring just like the shellfish and mixed fabric clothing argument…God never told them to own slaves in Exodus 21..He simply set guidelines in place..and on top of that, that covenant is done so its was never applicable to us…

  44. Dear C11,

    Yes the NT was written in greek, but not modern greek, but ancient greek, the ancient greek dialect is rarely spoken today, take the word “perfect” which can mean mature and immature according to what text its placed in. And as far as the sin of Adam, it was “imputed” to us, so God was not unjust in his placing of it upon all mankind, so it was w/the Second Adam, whose righteousness God imputed to us, through faith in him, and what he did on the cross. What Christ did on the cross, must be accepted in order to secure eternal salvation, did he die for the sins of the world, the greek word some refer to “KOSMOS” yes, but in order to receive salvation, what was accomplished must be accepted. For righteousness within mans self is of “flithy rags” unattainable, without the washing of Christ blood.

    Read one of the most famous verses in the bible, Jn 3:16 examine it carefully, and recognize God is not intrinsic in his nature, as some would think and prefer. For God says, “I’m angry w/the sinner everyday” and “There is no remission of sins without the shedding of blood.” Read also Christ conversation w/Nicodemus, referring to the “new birth.” You say this doctrine that you adhere to, was supported by the early church, I too have done a through examination of the early church, and have not detected this doctrine, yes there were false doctrines accepted by false churches, famously w/the agnostics. But the true church, did not accept these fallacies, and the early church fathers rebuked them sharply, only heretics preached and accepted such things, and I also mention many preach heresy and not even know it, this to at times has been proven. I would also ask that you examine the (7) churches of the Bk of Revelation.

  45. My take on this is that Univeralsim cheapens the sacrifice that Christ made. Lets remember that Jesus Cried out to God and was in agony over what He was about to endure to the point where He asked the Father to do it another way if possible.

    There is no doubt that Jesus has paid the price for sin however this is the GIFT of eternal life (Romans 6:23). While a gift is not purchased from the giver it MUST be accepted by the intended recipient. If not, the giver can only say “I tried to give it for that person”. The giver can then give it to someone else who will accept and appreciate it, the intended recipient gets nothing at all.

  46. C11,

    When Peter speaks of Christ descending into hell preaching to those there, he’s speaking to those already lost, and especially the fallen angels, making them aware, there fate is sealed. And leading captivity captive, he brings w/himself, those who are in “Abraham’s Bossom” or “Paradise” into heaven. Those who were in Abraham’s Bossom, already believed in his coming, but there sins were only “COVERED” by the OT sacrifices, which were shadows and types of Christ. Read the words of Job himself saying, “I know that my “REDEEMER” lives”, Rd the 2d psalm of David, and read Christ own words when referring to Abraham, “Abraham saw my coming, and he was glad.” Now there are (2) judgement seats the believer and unbeliever, will stand before, those of us who believe will stand before the “BEMA” seat of Christ, to be judged for our works, “Absent from the body, present w/the Lord.”

    Unbelievers will stand before the “GREAT” White Throne, to justify there demise for rejection of Christ. Forgiveness of sins is for now, not when we stand before him. Now I cannot speak for one in an unconscious state, only God knows. Christ own words again ring true, “I am the resurrection and the life, anyone who “BELIEVES” in me, though he be dead, yet shall he live. And anyone who lives and “BELIEVES” in me, shall never die”
    or “The trumphet shall sound, and the “DEAD” in “CHRIST” shall rise first.”

  47. “When Peter speaks of Christ descending into hell …”

    Tony, I’m glad you brought that up, because I don’t know if Christ truly went into hell. I know what the Scripture says (1 Peter 3:18-20 and 1 Peter 4: 4-6), and I know that this has been taught in many churches, (especially in the word of faith congregations), but is that correct?

    In regards to 1 Peter 4: 4-6, in context it seems to say that Christ has preached to those who since have died.
    In regards to 1 Peter 3:18-20, it seems to to say that the Lord, through Noah, went and proclaimed a message of repentance to Noah’s generation; the spirits that did not repent are now in prison.
    That’s how I understand the texts.

    There are many who think that the statement speaking of “Jesus descending into hell” should be taken out of the Apostle’s creed.

    Can you give some more insight into these passages?

    Thanks! 🙂

    Did Jesus really go into hell?

  48. c11 said:

    I have posted sources, I dont know if whether you read them or not. The question would be in light of those verses is whether or not they were translated word for word from the original greek language with the exact same meanings!

    Also, does any of those verses imply that after one dies, that Jesus cannot still save them???? No they do not! In the apostles creed, it talks of Jesus descending into hell to preach to those there.

    My question to you is, why do you think Jesus wouldnt save the soul of a deceased human being he created?

    I hope you are not going through all of this to try and justify homosexuality, you will fail.

    What you are implying is that God is capable of making a mistake (He is not). That in Ancient Babylon when God confused the languages of the people after the flood He wasn’t prepared to expressed His will through the Written Word in more than one language. Or the “original text” as you so put it.

    Why do I need to read that website when I can just look in the Bible for answers? The truth is self evident, the Bible validates itself.

    Hell and the Lake of Fire are 2 different locations (realms) according to the Word.
    Revelation 20:Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire This is the second death, the lake of fire.

    Revelation 1:18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

    Right now there are souls in Hell but nobody is in the Lake of Fire. The first two to make their trip into the Lake of Fire will be the Beast and False prophet. The dimension that the Lake of Fire is contained in will literally bust open a gate into our physical reality and the Beast and False Prophet will be thrown in ALIVE.

    Revelation 19:20And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.

  49. Robert,

    I wasn’t even thinking about homosexuality at all! Where did you come up with that????

  50. Robert,

    Where are any outside sources to support your point of view. You say you dont have to read anything else, you can just read the bible. I can read the bible and come to the conclusion that I am the son of God. And have verses to suppport it. Doesnt make it so.

    When you talk about confusing languages, thats a whole other ttopic I dont want to get into.

    And Tony Davis, where are your sources to support what you say. You’re giving me your opinion (or someone elses opinion). And it doesnt cheapen Jesus death. On the contrary I think the fact that he died and that the majority of human beings would be lost anyway (which by the way God being all knowing would have known this) would cheapen his death, because there wouldve been no point to it. An exercise in futility.

    The fact is, during the translation process, the bible was misinterpreted. Thats a historical fact. An important one that just cannot be overlooked. You can ignore it, but if you do, that still doesnt make it not true. But as i said if you read my sources it can explain it alot better than I can.

  51. Also, science is discovering that genes contribute to religious inclination. If this is true, it strengthens the argument for universalism. How, you ask? Well no one can control their genes. Im 5’11. Theres nothing I can do about it, its in my genes. Theres no way to make myself 6’6.

    So if someone inherited genes that made them inclined to be less religious or not religious at all, how can God hold them responsible? Thats like God punishing me for being 5’11. Now keep in mind these genes predispose people toward religious inclinations, not necessarily what they believe. Problem is, some people may not have this gene, which means they have NO religious inclinations at all. What about those people?

  52. c11, dont you see that thats the devil. genes contribute to religious activity? (dont believe that)but do they contribute to the holy spirit calling you?

    The bible we have today has been tried against the original it reliable. I can guarantee that one must have faith in Christ in the original text to be saved.

  53. C11 wrote:

    “Where are any outside sources to support your point of view. You say you dont have to read anything else, you can just read the bible. I can read the bible and come to the conclusion that I am the son of God. And have verses to suppport it. Doesnt make it so.”

    C11, do you find something awkward about your statement?

  54. Do genes contribute to people being violent? if so how can they be held accountable?

    You are going down a slippery slope there c11.

  55. In other words thought and will have nothing to do with it? Every tendency in us is on account of our genes as it wouldnt be sensible to only say religious views.

  56. Paul N,

    Absolutely genes contribute to people being violent. Its not politically correct to talk about it, but certain races are more predisposed to certain things than others are. This is just an aside so I dont want to get too much into it. Unfortunately blacks, especially younger blacks are more predisposed to violence than whites or east asians and scientists are proving this. Alot of it is due to differences in personality traits among the races. Its the reason why South Africa is so much more violent now than it was when it was under white control. Its the reason why Haiti is filled with rape, robbery, and murder and Japan is not. When you all get time research racial differences in morality.

  57. When we ask the question: Where did those in the primitive Christian church who taught endless punishment find it, if not in the Bible?–we are met by these facts:–1. The New Testament was not in existence, as the canon had not been arranged. 2. The Old Testament did not contain the doctrine. 3. The Pagan and Jewish religions, the latter corrupted by heathen accretions, taught it (Hagenbach, I, First Period; Clark’s Foreign Theol. Lib. I, new series.) Westcott tells us: “The written Gospel of the first period of the apostolic age was the Old Testament, interpreted by the vivid recollection of the Savior’s ministry. * * * The knowledge of the teachings of Christ * * * to the close of the Second Century, were generally derived from tradition, and not from writings. The Old Testament was still the great store-house from which Christian teachers derived the sources of consolation and conviction.
    This is not my writing its from

  58. Dear C11,

    You’ve asked what are my sources or my source, well the scripture verses I have given you are from the Word of God itself the bible, which inturn allows you know, I’m not giving you my opinion, my opinion is not worth anything compared to the inerrant Word of God. And you too have quoted some verses of scripture, why then do you not know, or aware of what I’ve quoted as scripture, and say I’m giving you an opinion? I believe the word of God without question, and that doesn’t mean I do not err, on the contrary. The Word of God, was given to holy men of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, in my attempt to change your point of view, I wouldn’t dare give you just my opinion or anyone elses.

    I remembered when being interviewed, C. S. Lewis, who was said, to
    have had, one of the most brilliant and imaginative minds, of the
    last century, said he never cared to read the bible, for it was for weaklings, well he said, after he read it in its entirety, for the first time he saw himself for who he truly was. When I read God’s word, I desire to see it for what it is, not for what I want to see it as. For when I see it for what it is, and I mean
    truly, then I cannot justify myself nor anyone else, but I’ve also learned in my walk w/Christ, that there are times, when we
    must leave a person where they are, and allow God to do the eye
    opening, for sometimes to force a point of view, is just as
    dangerous than a person not receiving it. So I leave to your point of view, and pray that you will come, as I’m sure you
    believe you already have, come to the knowledge of the truth, as
    I have and continue to come to.

  59. Dear C11,

    Please note, take care of your gene analysis, for your comments appear racist, and I’m not calling you a racist. Sometimes just because you can say something, doesn’t mean that you should, for it will cause rancor and discontent to rise up, where it doesn’t have to be. And as a believer in Christ, as you say, and a studier of his word, you should know, that it is the heart of man (spirit) that makes him sinful and wicked, not so much his genes.

  60. Tony Davis,

    Im black myself so am I being racist against other blacks. Yes I know about the heart of man and all that but you just cant ignore science because it disagrees with you. And it is a fact that us blacks are more physically aggressive than whites and asians. For instance, ive been around my own kind my whole life, and also spent a little time among whites. I notice how in a conversatiion among us blacks, we like to overshout each other and raise our voices, especially if we’re trying to get a point across. In fact it can get so heated, you would think a fight is about to break out. Seen it 999,999 times. I’ve notice that in general whites (regardless of religion or nonreligion) dont do this. Just a FYI.

    Google Professor Richard Lynn: Race and Psychopathic Personality

  61. Dear C11,

    Christianity and science unknown to some go hand and hand, you can’t have one without the other at times, and I say at times, because, as believers your not going to always see everything, and not everything can be rationalized or figured out, you have to go off of faith. Thats why I made the phrase, “not so much his genes”, I didn’t say, “not at all his genes.”

  62. “how does Jesus remain sinless if He broke ANY of His Law?”

    Djenk, I guess that’s at the heart of your contention.

    1. Did Jesus break any laws?
    2. Is what Im referring to a law or a man made tradition and do the two cross paths at points?
    3. If Jesus broke traditions, not laws does it affect his sinless state?

    I would argue that the 613 (if anyone is interested, click on the number for the list) were not merely traditions but laws instituted. At any rate, Jesus did indeed break (with, not follow them). I dont see this as an act of sin, thus his sinless nature isnt affected. Heb 4:15. To be specific I am referring to his actions in Mark 7 as a distinguishing example in the categories. My studies of the nature of his “offense” was that although there was no “hard” OT law, it was rooted in a tradition for priests to symbolically purify their hands. It was ceremonial in its context and that’s where Im drawing my inference from. My saying that Jesus “broke that law” is not meant to imply that he sinned, because he clearly did not. It was a marker to point to the differences in Jesus’ response to moral and ceremonial issues derived from the law.

    Perhaps my characterization of his actions as “breaking” is what you disagree with most.

  63. Tony,

    I like CS Lewis. I noticed you quoted him. I know I may not change your mind on universalism, but I respect your opinion and those of you who disagree. I personally believe in Jesus Christ, however outside of that, there are other things I question. I will continue to try and find answers.

  64. Dear C11,

    Friend, I will pray for you on your journey to know Christ in a deeper way. I leave you w/his own words, “Seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be open, ask and you shall receive. For everyone who seeks finds, and everyone who knocks, the door shall be open, and everyone who ask receives.” And then walk w/the glory of God in your heart.

  65. C11, I’ll also pray for you.
    If you’re genuinely seeking to grasp what’s true then the Lord will indeed open your eyes to what that is; and if you’re genuinely desiring to know Him, He’ll make Himself known to you.
    He never turns away someone who’s searching for Him – as long as the desire is for Him, and not for a case to be built up against those with whom one disagrees.
    Search for Him with pure motives.

  66. c11 said:

    Paul N,

    Absolutely genes contribute to people being violent. Its not politically correct to talk about it, but certain races are more predisposed to certain things than others are. This is just an aside so I dont want to get too much into it. Unfortunately blacks, especially younger blacks are more predisposed to violence than whites or east asians and scientists are proving this. Alot of it is due to differences in personality traits among the races. Its the reason why South Africa is so much more violent now than it was when it was under white control. Its the reason why Haiti is filled with rape, robbery, and murder and Japan is not. When you all get time research racial differences in morality.

    Ahh a supporter of Eugenics. You know the purpose of Eugenics is to kill off the undesirable races (non whites).

    But the Bible says we are Children of the Light, born from the Spiritual seed of Abraham and ALL things of old are wiped away, its a clean slate for you. No other god can give that besides Jesus Christ.
    2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

    Haiti is filled with rape robbery and murder because in part the Haitian people won’t stop messing around with voodoo.

    Japan is spiritually dead, they have temples dedicated to demons like we have churches built in America. Most of the population is atheist or agnostic, sexually deviant (look at the anime)and suicide is through the roof.

  67. Re: Vernessa Mitchell
    It appears from this song (circa 2005 by the way) that Vernessa, who I remember from the early 90’s has remade herself as a house artist. This is a cute ‘gay friendly’ nondescript vaguely-messaged song… Sad.

  68. E.Bert right. That’s the “twist” I was talking about. She performs in gay clubs but is a rather well known member of an Atlanta pentecostal church. The song itself says it all about her beliefs on homosexuality. The love of money will put you in a mercedes to hell.

  69. Robert,

    The only reason I believe in genetic differences between blacks, whites and asians is because its easily observable in real life. Even though Japan may have temples built to demons, I would still feel safe walking down a dark street in Tokyo unarmed at night then i would walking down a dark street here in Detroit unarmed. Tokyo is one of the safest cities in the world by the way. I carry a 9mm semi automatic, and own a 12 gauge shotgun, but if I lived in a white suburb I probably wouldnt even own a gun. These are group differences, not individual differences.

    Even though japanese may be atheist or agnostic, Tokyo doesnt have a problem with young japanese men gunning each other down in the streets over nonsense such as gang colors or $15. But in the southside of Chicago where youve already had 113 shootings and the summer hasnt even begun yet. And this same pattern seems to follow anywhere in the world among us people of color.

  70. cf 11 said: “I carry a 9mm semi automatic, and own a 12 gauge shotgun, but if I lived in a white suburb I probably wouldnt even own a gun.”

    Well, you would be in the minority in more ways than one because white suburbanites are armed to the teeth.

    Ask the Chinese about the impeccable manners of the Japanese, esp. circa 1939 and then ask any of the African peoples from Subsahara Africa to Australia/New Zealand about European “civilization” and get back to us on that, will ya? Closer to home: Consuelo Varela, a Spanish historian, states: “Even those who loved him [Columbus] had to admit the atrocities that had taken place.

    Just because violence is organized does not make it any less violent.

    If anything can be said about the causation of crime in communities/nations of color, the blame can be laid squarely at the feet of the notion of lack: the lack of guarding our spiritual gates in that we accept anything majority culture (in the form of Hollywood) dictates; our lack of preserving our culture (acceptance of false gods); and the perceived lack of possessions which results in materialism.

    We do not realize how much of Christianity has been corrupted by greed, corruption, imperialism and hypercapitalism. It is rare to find the true christian fundamentals preached. So many “mainstream” churches are falling into false doctrine because they were established in the first place by false doctrine (i.e., “civilizing the slaves, blessing of slave ships, remaining silent in the face of oppression, etc.).

    Which brings me to my topic to sound off on:


    Why is this topic ignored in Christianity? Why is it not preached against and seen as a tool of the devil. It is just accepted as a necessary function of our government (Federal Reserve, State of South Dakota, adjustable mortgage rates) and a means of the elite to acquire wealth. It is modern day slavery and entire structures are put in place to support usury. Wealth is generated for a few on the backs of many on money printed out of thin air or money that doesn’t exist as in fractional reserve lending. I would like to see a usury ministry established and have it biblically explained to people what exactly usury is.

    But then again, this is America, the land of hypercapitalism. Which is why all life in the Gulf of Mexico should be extinct in about 5 years due to the oil spill. Will Pres. Obama direct his Justice Department to initiate a criminal investigation, and if so, will all charges be set aside in a deferred prosecution agreement? Will Pres. Obama cut off all tax breaks and financial assistance for British Petroleum at the Commerce Dept. and U.S. Dept. of Energy? Or is BP in some kind of usurious agreement with the U.S., and, is that agreement too lucrative to take any punitive action? If that happens, then Pres. Obama will rival Bush’s inaction in Hurricane Katrina. However, remember, Katrina was caused by government (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/FEMA incompetence), this environmental debacle was caused by private industry.

    Usury is against the law in Muslim countries and Jews cannot practice it against each other, but Christians submit to usury from each other, others, Jews and Muslims. Since this is a capitalist country, I think that if usury were shown to the American public (as stupid as it can be) as a demonic tool, people might make the connection that Christianity is a walk with God by the power of Christ’s sacrifice, thus, other ungodly behavior cannot be compartamentalized. If usury is the basis for wealth generation in this country, can anything else sinful be far behind?

    Thank you for my time on the soapbox.

  71. The crime waves in our country are a spiritual condition that we have embraced. Most sinful disgusting anti-Christ Alister Crowley disciples are Americans. A lot of them are hip hop artists….We see how popular they are the world over.

    By their demonic influence they are creating an atmosphere conducive to sinful behavior.

    1 a : an ethereal fluid held to flow from the stars and to affect the actions of humans
    b : an emanation of occult power held to derive from stars

    Black America unfortunately for the most part came out of physical bondage (Slavery, Jim Crow) and into spiritual slavery to be promoted in the world system. The ungodly whites who know how to operate in the world system taught ungodly minorities. See it’s OK for satan to be color blind as long as your batting for his team.

    We can’t forget the obvious either.
    You can’t have 4,500 (abortions) sacrifices to moloch every day and not expect your society to morally decline.
    God (Jesus Christ) Hates Abortion, period.

    Homosexuality, well read some articles here and see how “Christian American” is turning a blind eye to this sin.

  72. Great discussion here!!

    C11, this is how sin came about and why it troubles man now, genes have nothing to do with it, lest we seek an excuse.

    Genesis 3
    6And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

    7And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

    Romans 5
    12Wherefore, as by one man (Adam)sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

    Here is result of Adams sin and why we have such violence.

    Jeremiah 17:9
    9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    To this situation this is what Christ said was the solution

    5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the SPIRIT, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
    7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

    This is what Christ did for us.

    5Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

    1 Corinthians 15:45
    45And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

    Be blessed!!

  73. Question: What do you think of the FIC – Family Integrated Churches – model for local churches?

    In case anyone is unfamiliar with it, these types of congregations do not have age-distinct ministries. For example, there is no youth ministry, no children’s ministry – all teaching in the congregation is all-inclusive; it includes everyone, of all ages.
    The reason as far as I understand it for this type of inclusiveness is because 1)those who support it believe that age-distinct ministries are unbiblical, 2)supporters believe that parents, not paid workers (or volunteers), are responsible for educating and discipling their children.
    Congregations who do use this model don’t really critize those who don’t (I haven’t heard any criticisms), but they seem to think it’s the healthiest way to minister to the whole family.
    I came across this model today by visiting this website:

    I’ve never belonged to a church that was built around this.

    By the way, I love this man’s teaching, if you haven’t heard it already (Dr. Voddie Baucham). He’s sound & biblical, easy to listen to and clear as a bell.
    (Thanks to for introducing me to Baucham ministries.)

  74. Ina, what would you prefer, socialism?? Marxism mayby….as bad as our countries are in the West, we are miles and miles beyond any socialist hellhole the world over…

    Capitalism is the greatest economic system bar none this side of Heaven….it has its flaws obviously…but compare it to all the vile economic systems out there, and it is not even close…and that is empirically true!

    Read the brilliant Thomas Sowell …. he tell’s it right!

    As for ‘hypercapitalism’ yes one can overdue a good thing…and we have seen a solid system, Capitalism and Free Markets, abused badly….but that doesn’t mean we throw the baby out with the bath water…

  75. Today science is uncovering things that people of other eras did not understand. I dont know why we have such a difficult time with the fact that genes do in fact have a great influence on behavior.

    Certain patterns follow certain groups anywhere in the world at any time. And current research is proving this. I know alot of christians (not just christians though) like to think everyone is born with equal moral reasoning. And while thats a comforting thought its just not true.

    We cant attribute human behaviors to spirits and unknown entities when we have readily available explanations science has uncovered. I’ve heard it said that a man that likes to sleep with lots of women has a “fornication spirit”. Science has plainly shown that, in fact, sex drive is regulated by the hormone testosterone. If you take away testosterone, sex drive disappears. Thats why pre pubescent children have little to no sex drive. As the level of testosterone increases so does the strength of the sex drive. Men, especially younger men, tend to be filled with testosterone and therefore desire to have sex alot. It has nothing to do with a spirit. When a man sees a nice looking woman he wants to sleep with it has nothing to do with a spirit of lust and everything to do with hormones. How can that be proven? Well if you were to drain the testosterone from his body, I guarantee his sex drive would disappear. If it had to do with a spirit, hormones wouldnt matter at all. I dont think spirits care about hormones in the least.

    The black race, in general, in that we show more physical aggresion, are generally better athletes (look at the NBA, NFL or pro boxing), have higer sex drives (despite all the war and famine in Africa, it has still manage to double its population in the last 20 years or so and birthrates remain high among carribean and american blacks).

    Whites are more physically aggresive and have higher sex drives than asians. When I say asians, I mean east asians such as chinese, japanese, taiwanese, and koreans. Japanese, who have low sex drives due to their genetics have a fastly declining birth rate. Population experts are warning japanese in Japan that if they dont start having more children, that in 50 years, their population nay drop below replacement levels and there days as a nation would be numbered.

    But all I’m saying is keep an open mind. Six hundred years ago, the church insisted the earth was flat and wouldnt hear anything else. Today its common knowledge the earth is round. No race is superior to another as each have their strengths.

  76. C11, anytime science conflicts with scripture it is to be rejected. So, I dont keep an open mind on that regard. The desire to learn and knowledge comes from God, but never think that we can be wiser than our Creator. His wisdom in revealing what is through his word is enough if we never had another scientific discovery.

    You started out talking about universalism. Is this where your open mind has taken you? And what next? Will you be open to accepting that there is a “gay gene” if science says there is? And what will you do with God’s word then?

  77. Devon:

    We are already in socialism, i.e., GM, Chrysler, TARP, etc. But I see the press has done a good job at not equating market intervention and government bailouts with socialism. We are pretty much on course for a “socialist hellhole” if this keep up.

    We are not in a free market system and many would argue we never were due to imperialist wars. It is why outsourcing is so simple now, because the source and the pathways to that source were already established.

    Usury, greed, vulture capitalism, and fraud cannot be defended by a Christian. If it is, then the Christian has submitted to the system. Now some confuse patriotism with Christianity, but true patriotism is about calling out the wrongs of one’s society and government, not regurgitating the commentary from FoxNews.

  78. C11,

    The church and the scientific communities, have been at odds w/one another for centuries, many of this due to ignorance, and because of this ignorance of one another, many a deadly consequence has arisen, w/both at times being wrong, history has documented/proven this. Some of the greatest scientist of all time have been ardent believers (especially during the late medival and rennaissance periods). Denial of one another has caused this great rift, and that is because God has not been put at the forefront, and man has denied one of the names of the Holy Spirit, according to Isaiah, “the Spirit of Understanding.” The bk of Proverbs echoes, “With all your getting,get understanding.” Mans’ increased knowledge and wisdom should never deny God, but accept him.

    The bk of Daniel, says, “Mans knowledge shall be increased” now this scripture basically deals w/the diverse understanding of the prophecies of Daniel which were very complicated, and hard to understand, but the time would come, where man would, and we have. But the underlying of it, also means, because of increased knowledge and understanding, many would deny God, and accept the Anti-Christ. Now I understand the science of genes, its been spoken about for decades, but it cannot refute and deny the behavior of mankinds troubled spirit. Your desire to understand the areas of science are conmendable, and I too enjoy the study of science and history, but my study of science and history, has lead me to God and the salvation provided by the Son. And because of this, it has given me a balance, and those things I do not understand, well as David said, “I don’t concern myself w/things to haughty for me.” It doesn’t mean I put off things, but I put it into the Lord’s hand and lean on faith, and strive not to “lean upon my own understanding.” And as I’ve said before, attempting to push a subject on people, can be just as harmful, as them not receiving it, leading to wastseful and destructive confrontation.

    Yes confrontation is necessary for many times without it, no change will occur, but the question, so often not asked is, what kind of change. I ask you to confront scripture w/the same vigor, you confront science, and I pray like me, you will come into the knowledge of the true Light.

  79. The Church said the world was flat but the bible makes no such claim. The early church simply didnt understand scripture where it says “4 corners of the earth”

    Isaiah 40
    22 It is he that sitteth upon the CIRCLE of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

  80. Well, we are all born sinners.

    I see a serious rate of lesbinaism in the black community, is that because of a gene? No, its simply because of sin and the devil and his demons have set up that stronghold. He has come in and decieved these young ladies.

    If Chinese have such a low sex drive, how did their population grow so much?

  81. “If Chinese have such a low sex drive, how did their population grow so much?”


    Sorry, lol….

  82. Ang,

    There you go again putting the fly in the buttermilk (smile). I grew up in the early 70’s and I attended a church that your speaking of. The modern church w/youth ministries and etc., didn’t come onto the scene, until if I’m mistaken around 80’s and 90’s. Now do I attend a church, that has all the modern things going on, of course I do, but do I ascribe to it, I must say, no. Thats not to say, that churches you are speaking of, and that I attended as a youth, didn’t or don’t have there issues, for as long as we fill the buildings, there will be issues. But most of the youth ministries, and I say again most, not all, are filled w/arrogant, partial, bias, and disrespectful youth, and most of the time taking on the spirit, of whomever is leading. When a youth leader is appointed, that will instill discipline, and I’m not talking about dictatorship, that individual is removed, for a more casual and diplomatic individual, and most of that is due to parents, who a part of the ministry and or high tithe payers.

    And where there is no discipline, you will have, arrogance, partiallity, biasness, disrespectfulness, and of course no true understanding of love, for without the teaching of discipline there will be no love. I’m not saying every church home, has this issue, but I know mine does. Does it mean I don’t support the youth minstry, w/all my heart I do, but I love them enough to call them and see them for what they are, and that is what I’ve finished stating. I believe we should all be together and not separated, learning from each other, holding each other accountable, going higher in the things of the Lord, together. Now the separation, probably occurred due to some of us, who are older, are so spiritually minded where no earthly good, and in the process, it simply discouraged and caused the youth to rebel and have there own space and or minstry.

    And w/the coming of this minstry, let us not forget, the financial flow increased, but also the increase of wayward, undisciplined, dictorial young pastors, some of which have huge congregation now, and also have been exposed, for there lack of integrity. And these pastors, have not grown in humility due to there exposure, but have increased in there arrogance, and we wonder why the youth in the church are just as wayward, as the youth outside of it. Now youth ministries can be of great success w/the proper leadership and guidance, of a young individual determined to the follow the ways of the Lord, and not his own.

  83. Tony,

    I find it interesting. I’m starting to think that youth ministries in general are overly-focused on the method of their deliveries, whereas content takes a back seat. Also, I think it cheats many young people, male & female, from learning from the older believers.

    Case in point: I just came home from a bible study that someone invited me to. It was a woman-led, female-centered bible study/care group. Now, when you think of this, you may automatically think of women, not girls, because I think we’re accustomed to congregations having youth ministries which attend to the needs of teenage girls.
    But in this group that I went to tonight, there were teenage girls there – teenage girls mixed with women in their thirties and forties, sprinkled with some in their twenties. I’ve never seen that before, or at least been a part of it, because the couple of churches that I belonged to have always seperated their youth from the adults. Yet I found the group to be refreshing & insightful. The older women were teaching the younger ones, and the girls were giving insights on SCRIPTURE – not just their experience – which tickled me, really. And it seemed to me that these girls were learning a lot from these women, and vice-versa.
    When I left I thought of the FIC model and how I actually saw it work first-hand. It’s a model of ministry that definitely has it’s benefits.
    I’m not knocking youth ministry at all, because in many churches across the globe it accomplishes good things. But I do believe that all-inclusive ministry within a congregation benefits everyone, especially the young people.

  84. Robert, I’m on my blackberry and it doesn’t give me the ability to copy and paste your comments from under the other thread. So when I make reference to the verses that you used, anyone who reads this response can refer back to the article under George Bloomer for reference.

    You used the passage of Scripture in which Jesus told those who protested that they prophesied in His Name, and cast out demons in His Name and so forth to support your claim that one can lose their salvation. I don’t believe this verse is implying that someone was once saved, and while saved they were casting out demons. The Lord specifically said that He never knew them – so how can your claim be applied here?

    Let’s start with that first.

  85. Ok Ill start with that verse first.

    You cannot cast out demons by the power of satan. Jesus never said they never spoke prophesy, or didn’t perform signs wonders and miracles in His name. In fact they did all of these things, but somewhere along the line they fell.

    As is this way.
    2 Peter 2:20-22

    20For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through [the full, personal] knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they again become entangled in them and are overcome, their last condition is worse [for them] than the first.

    21For never to have obtained a [full, personal] knowledge of the way of righteousness would have been better for them than, having obtained [such knowledge], to turn back from the holy commandment which was [verbally] delivered to them.

    22There has befallen them the thing spoken of in the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and, The sow is washed only to wallow again in the mire.

  86. Universalism must exist because it is the only way for God to be perfectly just. Many times in the bible, it talks about God predestining or choosing believers. Heres where you run into the problem…hold on and put on your thinking caps.

    Most believers agree that God is all knowing and cannot, under any circumstances, be wrong. Most believers also agree that God is perfectly just. Well, if God cannot be wrong ad is also all knowing, then no one really has free will of their own. For instance, if God knows that im going to get up and hop on one leg, then I MUST get up and hop on one leg, otherwise he would be wrong. So, therefore, I had no freewill, because if I was to use my freewill to not hop on one leg, then God would be wrong, and hence, not absolutely perfect. Being absolutely perfect is an either or thing, you either are or you arent. Theres no in between. Being all knowing is the same way. If youre wrong in the slightest, on evn one thing, you are not all knowing.

    There are several bible verses that downplay the belief that humans have free will. If God is perfectly just, he cannot punish someone for something that they have no control over. If an all knowing God knows ahead of time someone will not be saved, then they CANNOT be saved, because if they were, he would not be all knowing. I hope this makes sense.

    God hardened Pharoahs heart and even said he would before he did it. I’ve heard it said Pharoahs heart was already hard, but then God would not have to harden it. God said he hated Esau, but loved Jacob. Why? Who knows. What did Jacob do to be the favorite of God and what did Esau didnt do?

    I talk to my grandad (he’s a COGIC pastor) about things like this all the time. I know my grandparents, especially my grandmother, wish I would just shut up and go with the flow, but thats just not how I am.

    Anything less than God saving everyone in the end, would be an unjust act by a perfectly just God. You cant fairly punish people for choices they have no control over. It would be like the government imprisoning some and letting others keep their freedom, not necessarily based on anything, just because they have the power to do so.

  87. C11, I don’t know what else to say to you. It seems to me that you’re grappling with the ways of God – not the ideas of men, or the doctrines of denominations, but the character of God. I’m starting to sound like a scratched cd, but for the last time I stress that those who accept universalism can not accept God in all of His revealed attributes. His ways just don’t make sense to them. And since they don’t make sense to them, they reject some foundational truths of Scripture.

    Again and again you’ve rationalized and attempted to appeal to human logic to explain why you think God won’t send anyone to hell. It doesn’t work C11. Things that make sense to the natural mind do not always align with Scripture, and that is when we need to remove our “thinking caps” (as you put it) and put on our “spiritual caps”. This is not to say that we shouldn’t think; of course we should. God has given us this wonderful ability to reason. But when reason makes Scripture appear contradictory, we need to allow God’s Word to ride shotgun.

    Seems to me like your grandfather and others, particularly those in the COGIC, couldn’t answer some of the questions that you had. And you’ve taken your unanswered questions and doubts to others who’ve given you wrong answers and made you even more doubtful. Again I say to you, I sincerely hope for your sake that you’re genuinely seeking God’s face in the midst of all your questions. But I’m beginning to think that you’re trying to convince us on this board, rather than the former.

    Perhaps someone else can answer your questions – to your satisfaction.

  88. Angela,

    What I said about free will is written plain as day in the bible. One thing that always disturbed me is the fact that alot of pentecostal christians in the black church want to say the bible is 100% literal, but it’s only literal when what it says falls into their line of thinking and belief. Any other thing in the bible that may second guess what they believe to be true must somehow be explained away. Choose one, the bible cant be literal when its convenient for you.

    For instance if the bible says John walked down the street and bought a loaf of bread, thats self explanatory. Now lets say a particular group of christians is against buying bread for whatever reason, then they will have to explain it away and say things like “it isnt bread as we know it today” or “that was for people living in that time frame” or “you’re using human logic to understand scripture”. Well what else am I to do with such a straight forward statement? It cant mean John ascended to heaven and bought apples, otherwise it wouldnt have said “John walked down the street and bought a loaf of bread.”

    If you accept the letters of Paul as inspired scripture, it plainly talks about God choosing whom he will. Theres no way to get around those statements unless:

    1. You dont accept those epistles as scriptures (which creates a serious problem for the brand of christians I know)
    2. You have a wrong understanding of God’s nature (which also creates a serious problem, because they are often unable to admit they might be wrong)
    3. Both of the above

    Its not just COGIC, but most sfrican american pentecostal churches adhere to the same line of thinking.

  89. Its not about “answering to my satisfaction”. It annoys me greatly when things about the bible and God that can be explained using logic, our brand of christians will gladly do so. If it cant, logic is to be quickly discarded and just rely on “faith”. I would have no problem with that if faith was used 100% of the time, not lets use it half the time and base certain beliefs on it, but lets not use it the other time.

    Or when it comes to using science to prove a belief, if it can be done, they will gladly do so. If science contradicts, it is quickly discarded. You’re either going to use it or not, lets be consistent.

    I would prefer to learn about the bible and God from scholars of the bible who have went to school to learn it and self study, than a man who “was called to preach” and thinks he knows the bible because “he’s anointed” or “was raised up for such a time as this” whatever that means. Someone please tell me what that means.

  90. C11, I actually went back and re-read all of your posts, and I’m as sure as I’m a woman that the conclusion to all of this is simple unbelief.
    You’re attempting to understand the Word of God without the Spirit of God and it can not be done.
    This answer won’t resonate with you and I’m ok with that. But it is what it is; some things are simply spiritually discerned and if the Spirit of God doesn’t dwell within you, it won’t make sense.
    This isn’t a fluff answer nor is it shrieking away on my part to answer “hard” questions.
    Based on all of your messages here it seems that you are seeking to reconcile your natural mind with the truths of Scripture, and it doesn’t work. Call it foolishness, irrationality, lack of logic or regressive thinking, but the fact of the matter is that God’s ways and His thoughts are higher than yours, and what His mind Has conceived and brought forth is not always comprehensible to us. That won’t satisfy your need for logical consistency, but what do you want me to say?
    Your doubt is something that you have to take to God about, or to the scholars that you so desperatley seek to learn from.

    There isn’t anything wrong with your questions; I and countless others of the faith have asked them also. The difference is that we have come to a point in which we understand that there are things in the Word of God that we will never grasp with our finite mind. And surprise, surprise – many theologians have come to that same conclusion.
    I’m reading some of the works of past teachers and theologians such as Martin Luther, C.S. Lewis and A.W. Tozer, and they’ve all been educated. And guess what? Even they don’t have all the answeres to the questions that still swim in their minds. Several scholars of ages past – and current ones – have frustrated themselves with attempting to understand the concept of human will and God’s sovereignty. That will be a never-ending yet stimulating excercise.

    Having the answers to all of your questions – even the ones that seem the most basic and deserving of a logical answer – doesn’t make your
    Christianity more credible.

    And by the way, I’m not a Pentecostal.

  91. Martin Luther didnt believe in free will either. Theres no way for God to be perfectly all knowing and for me to have free will. If God knows what Im going to do and he’s perfect, then I must do what he knows im going to do, because if I “choose” to do something else, then that means he would be wrong and there goes his perfection. But i would have free will. The two cannot coexist simultaneously because they are absolutes. A light is either on or off. Im either moving or still.

    Read these to see what the bible says about our so called free will Ecclesiastes 7, Ephesians 1, Ephesians 2, Acts 13.

  92. C11, I didn’t say Martin Luther believed in free will. What I said was that teachers/theologians such as Martin Luther, A.W. Tozer and the like have attempted to understand – or reconcile – free will and God’s sovereignty. Some have come to the conclusion that man doesn’t have free will, and others have come to a conclusion that man does have free-will, and in the process minimized God’s sovereignty. Still others have concluded that God does elect, all the while holding to the notion that the free-will of man still exists.
    Of course to you, that doesn’t make sense – the two concepts intertwined. And because it doesn’t make sense to you, you choose one over the other, that being the acceptance of God electing and the rejection of man having free-will.
    Am I correct?
    Because of this, you conclude that it’s unfair and unjust for God to send people to hell for a decision in which they have no choice for the simple fact that they have no free-will.
    Well C11, you’re not alone for many think the same way you do.
    My response to this way of thinking is that, again, we are seeking to grasp the truth of both God’s election and man’s free-will with human rationale. And again, everything in the Word of God is not comprehended to a finite mind. Several theologians have concluded this, and these were men who were highly learned…and born-again.

    Scripture teaches both election and free-will; you can not reject one and accept the other. Indeed it’s a paradox to us; however since God can not lie, I believe what’s written in His Word and trust in His infinite wisdom and omniscience.

    Ny suggestion for you is to earnestly seek God in prayer, and implore Him that He reveal Himself to you. I have went to the Lord regarding particular truths in His Word that I simply couldn’t reconcile. I told Him it just didn’t make sense to me, and asked that by His Spirit, He would open up His Word and help me to understand. And what I didn’t completely understand, I asked that He give me contentment in accepting knowledge that was too high for me.

    May I suggest you do the same, instead of trying to convince blogland that universalism is correct because it makes the most sense.

  93. And we don’t have to keep circling the airport C11. I’ll just get off here and hope (and pray) for you that in your journey in searching for truth, you arrive at the right destination.

    God bless you brother.

  94. Im willing to admit that maybe it isnt free will in the sense that we understand it to be. I dont know what you would call it. The only conclusion I can come to is that the bible, when being turned into english was mistranslated (and I highly suspect this) xomewhere along the way.

  95. Ok C11, I’ll give you a reference. Though I don’t like to recommend people/books too often when discussing the Bible (because some people will place a higher authority on the person/book rather than the Word), this may help you in regards to your questions about the language translation dilemma.

    There’s a man named Daniel B. Wallace who supposedly is a highly respected authority in Greek grammer & New Testament interpretation. I was watching the John Ankerberg show yesterday (a Christian talk-show which focuses on theological & apologetic issues) and he was on it. He’s a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. Look him up; perhaps he can offer some help to you in your quest for an intellectual understanding.

    Just remember, though, that it’s the Spirit of God who enlightens; man just provides the information.

  96. I would say that the versions we have are enough. I did a little bible history study and the KJV bibles we have have been scrutanized greatly and are accurate.The hebrew language is more descriptive and a word here and there maybe different but the premise of what the scipture is saying is accurate. We should seek the hebrew to get a better understanding, not to find out if it saying something entirelty different, it is not. Thats where the devil will come in and turn us into fools.

    Trust me the critic wouldve been all over this if it was true. The bible has been put to the test by athiests and they come up with some really lame stuff.

    We are in good hands with the english versions of the bible. These were not interprited lightly in the least. It cost some there very lives.

    God bless!!!

  97. Paul, I agree.
    But for C11, he’s determined to get information from sources from which he would consider credible. That, of course, isn’t necessary for one to arrive at the truth, but I think sometimes we should meet people where they are. He places a lot of stock in scholarly work, so I provided him with [a scholar] who’s noted for his knowledge.
    Like I said, you can gain all the knowledge in the world and soak it up to your heart’s content, but unless the Holy Spirit opens your eyes, it’s all in vain.

    I do believe that if God knows that you’re seeking Him, He will reveal Himself in the method that you use to seek Him.
    I know that this was the case for Lee Strobel, a journalist who used to be an atheist. He set out to disprove the Bible and ended up believing it, becoming saved and eventually becoming a pastor.
    Funny how God works.

  98. True Angela, the only problem is that I asked C11 how he interprits certain scriptures in the light of universalism and he didnt.

    There in lies the danger of trying to support a doctrine, you only come up with the scriptures that support your case and also look at the with glasses tinted towards your belief.

    I also agree with your stance that a true believer cannot lose their salvation. I found this enlightening.

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