5/21/2012 | Share this article:By Alex ~
Forgive me for the title. I couldn't help but think of Christopher Hitchens whilst writing this. If only he did a commentary on this doctrine when he was alive. I am writing this piece on the fallacies of Christian Universalism and the flaws that those still within Christendom fail to acknowledge. It didn’t take long for me to apply my critical thinking skills to come up with these points. I tend to break down and analyse everything logistically. Whilst Universalism sounds great on the outside, a few neurons connecting should paint a different story. Let me know what you think about them.
1. Length of an Age:
In 2 Peter 2 4-5 is this passage:
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,[a] putting them in chains of darkness[b] to be held for judgment;
And in 2 Peter 2 9: 9
if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.
And Peter 3 18-20:
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive,[a] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,
The fallacy here is the amount of time people have been held in Hades/Hell for. The counterargument is always ‘It’s only temporary, not eternal.’ That isn’t the point here. Who deserves to be held for thousands of years until a final judgement? What benefit does that serve for the people in there if you’re claiming to be advocates of rehabilitative justice? Another counterargument often used is that Hades is outside our current scope of time. Chronos is the Greek word for clock time. Kairos is the Greek word for time in general e.g. ‘Time is at hand’. This gives Universalists a lot of scope to refer to those in Hades as outside our temporal Chronos (clock time), therefore time has no meaning to those not in Heaven.
2. Soul Sleep in relation to Universalism:
In light of the passages above and Paul in 2 Corinthians 5-8:
“We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”
The idea of soul sleep is put to bed pardon the pub. Yet apparently to the majority of Universalists, we sleep until the Final Judgement. Now tell me, if everyone rose up together from the dead in one go, wouldn’t you be confused, frightened and wondering what was going on around you? Imagine all those great grandchildren, great, great grandchildren and so on and you’re there thinking, ‘who are these people?” See my point? Furthermore, the thief on the cross with Jesus was told that he would be in Paradise. Soul Sleep advocates argue that there is a comma in there, yet the original manuscripts show no such grammar. The thief wasn’t going to be dumped in some place for millennia until the Resurrection.
3. Jonah, Saul to Paul:
What do these two folk have in common? Jonah spent 3 days in the belly of a whale, and according to the man himself, it felt like eternity. Nevertheless, Jonah cried for repentance and his experience ended. Saul encountered Jesus whilst traveling. He hated Jesus and wanted to kill his followers. Yet here is another example of a small period of time which it took for a person to transform their personality. Yet, let me take you back to fallacy number 1, where the length of an age seems to transpire over thousands of years. Not fair really is it? And imagine how those trapped souls must’ve felt as all those years passed by. Jonah’s time in the whale’s belly seems like no time at all now.
A Christmas Carol should be an example pointed out to those advocating such large spans of time. There was also an episode in Star Trek Deep Space Nine called 'Hard Time' where Chief O'Brien is in prison for twenty years, yet it was only a device created to give the illusion. He'd only been gone 2 hours.
4. Near Death Experiences:
Although many can be explained by noradrenalin, lack of oxygen etc, there are a few cases which for some, cannot be dismissed just yet. Many fundamentalist circles argue that Satan is appearing to non-Christians as an angel, unless it involves the traditional fire and brimstone scenario, then it must be true. However, with many people being changed for the better after NDE’s, doesn’t this suggest judgement and purification occurs after death if we take the accounts as truth? What then happens to the Bible passages in the Book of Peter? Anyway, while I’m at it, why are so many NDE accounts of people involve them being alone? I’d want a deceased relative there, not some ball of light making me feel loved.
So, what would I do in God’s position? I’d judge each person the moment they die and according to their needs without the concept of time thrown in e.g. A Christmas Carol style. Minimal time lost, judgement is righteous and just. Very efficient too and everyone is ultimately saved.
Unfortunately, Christendom doesn’t offer that route as much as it claims by those who follow it say it does.
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