I have been reading your site today. I feel good and bad. Good, because your reject the "traditional" hellfire and legalistic teachings of traditional evangelicalism; bad because you reject universalism. See, I honestly think that ONLY universalism can save me. It has to be ALL God's effort. I cannot be trusted to make a "decision" or the right "choice" in regards to salvation. I tried that for years and ended up hating God and christianity. Finding UR was a blessing, not to say that I totally accept it because I fear it may not be true. I do appreciate that you reject the idea of eternal torment, but to me, unless UR is true, the onus is still on me to make sure that I have "truly" believed, that my faith is real, that it is not "spurious". A little leaven leavens the whole batch, and if God is not committed to saving me and able to acomplish this, then I am sunk. peace, robert
Hello Robert, thanks for writing! :)
See, I honestly think that ONLY universalism can save me.
And here I was thinking that only Christ could save you. I'm sure you'll say you weren't meaning it that way - and I realize you also spoke of salvation being all God's effort - but I hope that instead of just learning to reword yourself you'll recognize the way this doctrine has you reasoning. Perhaps if you weren't filtering what you read on my site in view of the demands made by UR proponents you wouldn't have missed the obvious. For I have rejected and written much on the bogus contemporary concept that people can save themselves by making a decision or a choice way before I ever heard of "UR".
Robert, learn to read and think for yourself without forcing someone else's preconceptions, viewpoints and conclusions into the mix, for that is what you're doing. Though you may have read my words you really weren't interested in what I had to say but were seeing how I lined up with your latest viewpoint. No wonder I disappointed you. If you seek for validation in people's words you'll view your salvation according to rationalization methods rather than upon Christ himself. Don't put God in anybody's box, not even mine. He has already spoken his total commitment to you in Christ.
Religion may have turned "faith" into something a person can do, but you don't have to assume such fleshly teachings are true. When we buy into such fleshly logic we feel forced into creating and/or believing logical alternatives.
I hope to hear back from you!
Thanks for writing back. Could you point me to some specific articles where your understanding of the gospel is made? I admit I mainly read some of the q&a articles and several forum threads. I have been thinking for a long time that "grace" must lead to UR. If a person can do nothing to "get saved" (as they say here in the South) then you are left with either Calvinism or Universal Salvation. Let me just say that my experience with Christianity has been a nighmarish one, filled with self-hatred, horrible fear (including several years of thinking I had "blasphemed the Holy Spirit) and despair. But now I have read myself into a real conundrum. My seeking to escape christianity has led me to reading about Darwinism. At first it was freedom, but when I think of the philosophical implications of it.......I feel without foundation, drifting in a sea of meaninglessness. I rush back to God, but which God? The god of traditional evangelical Christianity is my enemy. I cannot trust or love such a god. So here I stand. BTW, I really like your site; its very welcoming and fun. robert
Hi again, Robert! :)
When you ask for articles where my understanding of the gospel is made are you hoping to find a detailed step-by-step presentation? If so, I don't have anything to point you to. I come from a Bible College background based upon what is called the "7-step plan to salvation" so I understand if that's what you're hoping to find. On the other hand, my understanding of the good news is found in most everything I've written. You just have to realize that it is the basis of our very life in Christ instead of forming an important focus or mission or teaching.
I can suggest some articles you may find that deal with certain aspects that have caused much of our misunderstanding of true life and freedom in Christ.
The Shoveletter series I called "The redefining of faith" examines the whole religious fallacy of making faith into something we do instead of its demand of the miraculous work of Christ.
"The Argument" examines the reasoning behind the ongoing contention between "God's Sovereignty vs. Man's Responsibility"
There is also a whole section in the Q&A entitled, "Salvation" that might have something
I have been thinking for a long time that "grace" must lead to UR. If a person can do nothing to "get saved" (as they say here in the South) then you are left with either Calvinism or Universal Salvation.
... or so religious human reasoning and logic would demand.
Hey, I really do understand your nightmarish experience with the religion known as Christianity, for with its fleshly based approach to God and to life itself its laws and principles are fully capable of beating any one of us down through guilt, fear, and shame. Stop looking for a system - or the god of a system - to save you. He is near you, he is in your heart. Christ in you is what you seek ... for only HE is your total completion! Don't worry about trying to tie it all together into a logical understanding. :)