Universalism… Yikes!

More on the Universalists

After just a bit of checking some of the sites mentioned in today’s earlier post, I’m finding a bit more of what I expected.

The often frustrating part about stereotypes is that most people fit into the stereotypes they’re trying to avoid. Such has been the case so far in my findings at www.tentmaker.org, one of the sites given to me so I could become convinced of the “clear teaching of a literal Bible that hell doesn’t exist and that all will be saved.” One of the testimonies provided is quite sad; it’s heart-breaking in many ways. One of the ways it pulled at my heart was not because of “Kevin’s” (I know, ironic isn’t it?) life of sin and explorations with Christianity, but because there didn’t seem to be a stable church presence in any of his testimony. From the UCC (which, despite his portrait of being hated by conservative evangelicals for their stance on gay marriage, has far more problems at the root of their apostasy than just gay marriage) to Pat Robertson’s 700 Club and more.

But the testimony does nothing to substantiate the truth of universalism. It’s existentialist clap-trap based upon one man’s experience, rather than upon any exegesis of Scripture. But when you toss Scripture out the window, what are you left to base any rational, Christian thought upon, other than your own experience. And as I said earlier, if you’re going to judge yourself by yourself, then you’ll come off looking pretty good and hope for the best for all others as well.

I’ll keep digging a bit more and seek to provide exegetical arguments for why hell does indeed exist (and no, it’s not at the bottom of some earthly chasm in the heart of Russia), why not all will be saved, why there will be many cast into hell to suffer eternal conscious punishment.


Where Do They Come From?

I received this email today; I don’t know how (cyberspace, yes, but I meant that it was unsolicited). This obviously isn’t the first time I’ve ever received unsolicited emails. However, I’m just not sure how this particular fellow got a hold of my name/address other than doing a vast search of the Internet. Here’s the body of the email:

To the church secretary. Please print off and give (or email) my testimony to your pastor, and also to your youth leader.
Thanks from Rodger Tutt!
The idea that God lets any creature suffer endlessly has caused me more suffering than all other problems of my life combined. By the time I had reached the mission field I had hoped to have found a satisfactory answer that would justify God allowing this to happen. I didn’t find such an answer. Surrounded by thousands of people, dozens of whom were dying every day and beginning an eternity of suffering in hell was too much for me.

In 1966, at age 28, it caused me to have a nervous breakdown. For several weeks I was confined to my bed in a state of terror night and day. The terror was caused by the fear of what a God I could not love or respect would do to me after I died. It took me twelve years to fully recover from the breakdown. I quickly became agnostic, for the Christian gospel and the Bible were no longer any comfort to me at all. Many evangelical friends tried to help me. They meant well, but in the end they all had only words of condemnation towards me. This added more suffering to my already intense suffering.

Gradually I began to learn that there have been, in centuries past, and still are today, a few people in the world that see a different kind of God in the Bible. They see a God who will not let any creature suffer forever. They see a God in the Bible who will change every second of everyone’s suffering into something better that it happened, including the sufferings of Satan. I learned that a correctly (literally) translated Bible teaches universal transformation, not endless suffering in hell, or even annihilation. I read dozens of books, and listened to hundreds of tapes by men who believe this way and I gradually became converted to believing this way myself.
Since 1981, through my newspaper ads and my telephone ministry, I have sent out many hundreds of packets of literature explaining why I believe as I do. I have also sent this evidence to hundreds of pastors and Bible school teachers. None of them have told me that they are able to refute it. I have also read eight books that were supposed to refute the evidence in favour of universalism, but none of them do. Because of this evidence, my panic attacks became less frequent until twelve years after my breakdown they ceased altogether. Now nothing gives me greater pleasure than to make this evidence available to others who have suffered because of the same problem I had, and I use a substantial amount of my money and time to this end.

Because of the enormous amount of suffering the idea of “endless hell” causes in this world, I am asking you to consider the possibility that you should stop endorsing the idea that the Bible teaches it. Or, at least, let others know that there are (and have been in centuries past) people who do not think the Bible teaches it.

Many of the responses from pastors and teachers range from a mild: “The majority don’t agree with you so you must be wrong”, to the vicious “For every week you leave your ad in the papers, God will increase the temperature of the fires of hell for you personally”.

Most are somewhere in between these remarks. But none have told me they are able to refute the evidence. And, until they can, they will not be able to stop me from sharing the good news that a correctly (literally) translated Bible teaches universal transformation, not endless suffering in hell, or even annihilation.

My website is http://greater-emmanuel.org/Hope4You/
A website that answers all the arguments that seem to support the idea that the Bible teaches endless suffering in hell is http://www.what-the-hell-is-hell.com/

It is linked to the tentmaker site http://www.tentmaker.org/ where the “scholar’s corner” in the right hand column under “research” deals with every aspect of the subject. The search engine at the top of this same tentmaker page is very comprehensive regarding this subject.

May God’s blessing rest with your spirit!

From Rodger Tutt in Toronto, Canada
“That God may be All in all” 1Cor.15:28

What I’m wondering first of all: Have any of you ever heard of this man? The teaching, well, this heresy has been around for centuries. In fact, man has been denying the full righteousness and justice of God ever since Cain. It’s our sin nature that wants us to figure out a way around God’s pronouncement of spiritual death and condemnation because of our Adam’s sin.

I sent a very short reply, simply stating I would pray 2 Timothy 2.24-26 for him and others he’s influenced away from the truth of the gospel: And the Lord’s servant* must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

I received an almost immediate response that listed several sites which could be used to refute the teaching of eternal conscious punishment, hell and God’s righteous condemnation of unbelieving sinners for eternity. I’ll need to do a bit of digging, thinking and considering if it’s even worthy of further response. In part, my heart & mind seem to say strongly “Avoid this altogether. After all, weren’t you going to pray 2 Timothy 2.24-26 for this man? And if so, then make sure you also pay attention to 2 Timothy 2.23 while you’re at it – “Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.” Plus, I’ll most likely never be able to refute him to his face; it will definitely need to be God who may, if He wills it, grant him repentance of his folly and deception. I can only pray that this man may avoid the extreme weight of judgment that aweights him, if he does not repent and recant these false teachings, for he is leading many astray, to their doom.

More on this later. If any who read this blog have heard of this man or these sites listed, please contact me. Also, if you’ve ever heard of the Concordant Literal New Testament, please let me know this also. Funny how they claim this is the best, literal translation out there (why? it supports their views, of course) and yet, it hasn’t changed what Revelation 21.16 or 22.15 say about those who get cast into the lake of fire. Hmmm, funny how we can simply avoid or ignore those tricky passsages that tend to destroy the false teaching of man.