Thursday, 5 June 2008

The Surprising Ted Johnston

Having just listed The Surprising God blog among the top five I'd prefer to avoid, I was sent back there today to check out the following remarkable statement by Ted Johnston.

...the idea of universal reconciliation, which is a key aspect of WCG's Christ-centered, Trinitarian Theology.

OK, I'm surprised.

It's not that the chief honchos in the Tkach group - Mike Feazell take a bow - haven't dropped enough hints, but when did universal reconciliation become more than a favored speculation?

And while we're at it, what is WCG's position now on the form of Universal Reconciliation preached by the late Ernest Martin back in the 1970s? You can check out Ernie's views on this subject here.

Universal Reconciliation is a teaching that goes a very long way back in Christian history, at least as far as Origen. Eventually (and I'm paraphrasing here) all sentient life - human and angelic - will be received back into God's loving embrace - maybe even Satan and his minions. Wikipedia has a useful discussion of the issue.

It's enough to send traditional, humorless, bile-driven Calvinists into a frenzy, though a few obscurantist fringe thinkers of that ilk (like Barth) seemed to have taken it seriously.

The Armstrong-era WCG also toyed with the idea.

Don't get me wrong... I quite like the idea of universal reconciliation. If you're going to proclaim a gospel of grace, and don't want to transform God into a double-predestination monster, then it makes a good deal of sense. Any aggravation it causes fundamentalists is an added bonus!

But, when did it gravitate to the heart of WCG dogma: "a key aspect of WCG's Christ-centered, Trinitarian Theology"?

Or has Ted got it all wrong?

What might Joe Tkach's buddies in the NAE make of this? After all, as the Wiki article states: Evangelicals and related Christian denominations have published extensively against universalism in recent decades, defending the doctrine of perpetual Hell.

Clarification please!


Byker Bob said...

This really blows me away. I've expressed right here on AW that I believe in universal salvation, but had no idea that this was even under consideration at the "new" WCG!

Several years ago, I was watching the old "Faith Under Fire" television program. I found myself riveted to the screen because one panelist was describing a phenomenon with which I had no small amount of familiarity. This panelist expressed deep sadness that some people literally thought that they hated God. He stated that these folks really didn't actually hate God, they hated an inaccurate portrayal of God that had been handed to them by manipulative ministers. This imposter God was chiefly interested in punishing humans who failed in their pursuit of legalism. The man had my attention, for sure! He then briefly described the doctrine of the restitution of all things, stated that it was believed by all of the disciples, and early Christians, but that it was later suppressed by a church whose goal was to control its members.

I paid real close attention, and made sure to note this man's name. Gary Amirault. And guess what? He had been an atheist, just as I had been an atheist and later an agnostic for some 30 years! I have one of Gary's books on the topic, and have to say that the doctrine of restitution of all things, or universal salvation as it has also been called, has been nothing short of life transforming.

I have found that many, many people simply do not want to believe this doctrine, in spite of the basic attractiveness of the concept. People whose beliefs center mostly on grace as understood from Paul's standpoint seem to have less problem with this than do the folks who choose to believe that they have to pick and choose among the 613 Levitical laws for what an observant Christian needs to obey today to "qualify" for salvation.

Thanks for the link to Dr. Martin's article! He makes some of the same points, and uses some of the same scripture references as did Gary Amirault in his booklet.

Just imagine a church where nobody looks down on anybody! They realize that "holier than thou" just doesn't cut it once you understand that everyone is ultimately going to be saved!


Anonymous said...

BB thanks the mention of Gary Amirault. I'd like to see about finding some of his writing.

I too have universal salvation leanings but tend to keep quiet because of the rabid tendancies of some of my Baptist relations regarding hell.

Unfortunately, many evangelicals promote the idea that the sole reason to evangelize is to save people from hell. I've attended sermons while visiting family that attempted to whip the congregation into a sense of desparation that if they are not during their part for the gospel then it may be their fault that someone spends eternity burning in hellfire.

I think that there's a fear that if they let go of that then they will lose their momentum as well as the ability to crowd control.


DennisDiehl said...


"But everyone does NOT have to become one of us Christians to be fully included, and that is a lot of my point. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND CHRISTIANITY (emphasis mine), but on the inside of our humanity, people already deeply KNOW who they are, and our sharing will ring the bell that has already been ringing in their hearts since the day of their birth, and if we don't get to them (and we will get to many), they're already being reached by the best Educator possible, the Holy Spirit!! Acts 2:17!"


"They may know of God by another name in some other way, and we must leave room for God to operate outside our proverbial boxes....

It doesn't seem that it is God's goal that everyone become Christians, does it? ... God may be known in distinct and creative ways that would blow our limited minds!!"

Timothy Brassell

I have to say that a minister "highly recommending Christianity...but" gives me the proverbial blank stare.

I say if the Holy Spirit is already doing a smashing good job reaching everyone, these guys need resign and stop risking screwing it all up again.

DennisDiehl said...

Bear with me....

More all time favorites.

"If we believe that all are in Christ then my fellow Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist is included in the Life of God (because he/she is absolutely included in Jesus!). That means that I am in the community of God with them as sure as the God Who is present in all of us, whether I am visiting with these people of other faiths or meeting with the "Christian" Church at a building, work or in play!"

(Later Tim says he he didn't mean Buddhism or Islam, these are idols, just fellow buddhists and islamics..)

Tim says: to Jerome who questioned this:

"I am not quite sure what you are alluding to when you say that "Any other focus, Buddha, Allah, Baal, is a focus on thieves and robbers - agents of the darkness of the evil one." I made no mention in my comments of gathering around a focus on those idols which really do not exist (I Cor 8:1-6) My point of emphasis was EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE!"

"Christ does NOT have to be the focus of a community in order for the members of that community to be relating to God and for God to be present. They are relating to God and he is present because Christ has related them to himself and made God present to them, apart from their work or concious knowledge (there is no more Jew, Greek, Christian :-)! Jesus is not an egomaniac..."....

"I am NOT saying it is not right or proper to have a Christian community and Jesus focus but I am saying it is not fundamentally wrong to not have such a focus in order to relate in His community as His community because HE IS PRESENT in all of us!!"

Jerome Ellard said...

"Pastor Tim, I think we have to be careful with this statement of yours: "Christ does NOT have to be the focus of a community in order for the members of that community to be relating to God and for God to be present."

"True, every good and perfect gift is from above, so anything good and right and beautiful (parental love of children, enjoying weenie roasts,etc.) in any community is there because of God's presence.
In addition, we can recognize that this is not God's world yet. It is still under the sway and influence of the evil one. The fruits of his darkness are still present... Any other focus, Buddha, Allah, Baal, is a focus on thieves and robbers - agents of the darkness... If what other communities have already in their relationship with God is sufficient, why have the Church, and why preach the gospel?"

November 2, 2007 9:50 AM

Timothy J. Brassell said...
Hey Jerome!

Somehow you seemed to miss my point brother!

In agreement with you, and to support your point, I made a statement that said "I am NOT saying it is not right or proper to have a Christian community and Jesus focus but I am saying it is not fundamentally wrong to not have such a focus in order to relate in His community as His community......

This world is His community period! We are all adopted in Jesus period! The only chance a person could have of hearing our message about Jesus and receiving that message as truth is because the Jesus that already indwells them is making this union made more known in their already included lives!! (Isn't this awesome??)

We are NOT telling unbelievers about a Person they do not know! Because they have the Spirit (and they do!), we are making known and bearing witness with their spirit what they already know through the Spirit's sharing of Himself with them! That witness is "You are included and absolutely my brother/sister in Jesus!"

Maybe it's just me.... Religion makes us nuts.

Anonymous said...

Since when did John Locke on LOST become a minister...?

Lussenheide said...

Im telling you...

Im positive I saw this guy at the local Aryan Nation meeting expressing the same ideas...

Universal Brotherhood and Salvation under a hierarchial religious order ordained by the "Powers that Be".

(From the end of the movie Dr. Strangelove)...

"Mein Fuhrer...I CAN WALK!!!"

Luv and XXX
Bill Lussenheide, Menifee, CA USA

Purple Hymnal said...

My thoughts on WCG theology:

Why is the ministurd bald, where is his suit, and what the hell is that on his t-shirt?

OK enough cracks about the skinhead. Onto the theology.

IMO, since a lot of the Christian ex-WCGers who do not lay claim to a particular denomination appear to lean towards this "universal reconciliation" concept (borne out of years and years and years of listening to "the good news" of the 2nd Rez no doubt), perhaps the current WCG (or a small subset thereof) is trying to reel the suckers back in, any way they can?

Providing a nice, easy, non-evangelical fire-and-brimstone theology is sure to do it, especially for those still looking for a church "home".

Bottom line? It's a marketing ploy.

As for "The Surprising God" blog those fellows don't know which end is up on their Jesus lollipops, as Dennis quite ably demonstrated with his conflicting quotes.

The one time I dropped in there (they didn't let my comment through BTW "surprise"), they were arguing back and forth about what salvation meant: One ministurd had a clearly Armstrongist view of it, which the other ministurd was taking him to task for, and the third ministurd was spinning in circles, bleating, "Can't we all just get along?!"

Sounded just like classic WCG tradition from where I was sitting. The only thing that's changed is the theology. Or not. Universal reconciliation was pretty much the whole theme of the 2nd rez, after all.

Lyle said...

This is the sort of thing that caused me to slowly step away from WCG. While I agreed with the changes, I didn't like the fact that the official stance on 80% of doctrine was "up to you". That may work in the short term, but in the long term, all you get is confusion. WCG - what exactly do you believe?

Tom Mahon said...

Gavin said...

>>Universal Reconciliation is a teaching that goes a very long way back in Christian history, at least as far as Origen.<<

There are indications that Origen fell into the heresy, if he was ever a genuine member of the one true church. I have a set of his tractates on the gospel of John and they are very speculative.

However, if we accept the doctrine of Universal Salvation, we will have to throw the bible out of the window. For Jesus teaches that some people will be told in the day of judgment, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels"(Matt.25:41).

Ernest Martin, in his article, referenced a number of scriptural texts, which mentioned the reconciliation of ALL things. But when the word ALL is used in the bible, it doesn't always mean everything or everyone. For example, Paul says, "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon ALL men to condemnation;"(in this case, it does mean everyone, for all men are sinners). The narrative continues: "even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon ALL men to justification of life"(Roms.5:18). In this case, it can't mean everyone, else we will be driven to conclude that the bible contradicts itself, and Jesus' teaching on what will happen on the day of judgment is inaccurate.

The doctrine of Universal Salvation is another attempt by Satan to deceived people into believing that no matter how sinful they are in this life, God will be merciful to them in the next. This teaching is dangerous nonsense.

Joe n Dan n Mike n Bernie n Greg said...

Clearly the let me explain what WCG believes:

1. First tell me what you believe

2. Sounds good

Any questions?

"Is the Bible the inerrant word of God?'

JT It depends but yes. What do you think? I like that.

"Do we go to heaven when we die?"

JT That depends. Yes of course at the Resurrection when Jesus returns to our hearts where he is now in Triunity, no exceptions

"Is there a literal Hell?"

JT What do you think. I think so. Every been in WCG old or new...hehe, Just kidding. Depends on what 'is' is.

"Do we have to repent of sin?"

JT Sure, what do you think? It depends. Ask Greg.

"Is the story of Adam and Eve literally true.

JT Of course as far as we know. Depends on what you mean by 'literally'. Jesus mentioned them. What do you think? Sounds good.

"Can a WCG meet on Saturday or Sunday depending on the people's choice?

JT Sure, no, of course, no, we have that freedom in Christ, no.

"Is Christmas really Jesus birthday?

JT Absolutely, believe that don't you? Then so do we!

"Is God really three in one?

JT Of course, God is monotheistic in a binarian trinitarian way.

"Was Jesus God praying to himself in Gethsemene?

JT No, He was mono-momentarily detached from the binarian part of the trinitarian one. God is one but not Jewishly as once thought. God is one paganatorially far as we can tell. What do you think? Sounds good!

"Are you Pastor General for Life?"

JT: Probably, God's government is from my top down. God changes not and Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. It's in the Bible.

"How much money did you get for sale of the House for God and surrounding properties when God moved out?

JT: It's a mystery.

"Is tithing still in force today for Christians?"

JT: You don't know your Bible real well do you son? Let's turn to Malachi 3..."How have we robbed tithes and offerings!"
Can't you read.

"Did Jesus perform a great miracle in the WCG?

JT That's our story and we're sticking by it.

"Why do you think Jesus, knowing he would perform such a great miracle, wait 50 years and screw up so many fine people."

JT .....

"Joe, hello?"

JT ......I have a meeting now with Hank Flannelgraff. We have to cut out some Sunday school bible characters for or upcoming seminar to the ministry. Gotta go.....

Cut-paste-fill in the blanks said...

Tom: long as your here again...and for the third time.

"I Thomas Mahon am a Holy member of of the _______________
Church of God (Organizational name please--don't say "true") which represents the most accurate teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong and the Bible. My human, non-hireling, pastor, under whose care I have placed myself is____________________ and we meet every Sabbath at__________________.

Juan Rheinland said...

If Tom won't fill in the blanks, then truly truly, he will be full of the missing ingredient in the Ezekiel Bread Recipe.

Just truly is.

BTW If universal salvation was the way to go, then why oh why am I spending all my time as the Two Witnesses worried about a quiet Pentecost?

The Book of Revelation clearly shows that God and especially Jesus are not about to reconcile with anyone who's butt they don't kick first. I have been chosen to witness to the dumbbutts and can spank them as often as I soon as these powers kick in.

Charlie said...

I can fill in the blanks for Tom. Here goes:

"I Thomas Mahon am a Holy member (Vessel of judgement, er mercy) of of the 1st Self-Righteous Church of God, the One True Church, which represents the most accurate teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong and the Bible. My human, non-hireling, pastor, under whose care I have placed myself is herbie, whom I mistakenly believe is still alive, and we meet every Sabbath at my home, from which I rule my wife and children with a rod of iron. I alone, on earth, carry forth the mantle of the herbie and have a God given duty to judge others and play the role of the horse's patootie.

Yea, verily and amen.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen a picture of Tom on the internet yet?

Dennis the Menister said...

Tom doesn't answer questions that aren't sweeping in Biblical scope or that he is not channeling from God's throne to mortals.

If it doesn't begin with "Behold.." Tom just has no interest in speaking.

Seems like the classic bicameral mind, spoken of by Julian Jaynes the Prophet, where one side is the voice of God and the other side merely obeys. Neither side is conscious.

Gavin said...

Tom, you moderate comments on your own blog. If it happens here you scream loudly. You have complete freedom to insult others on your own blog, and you have done just that. Why are you HERE?

You sent yourself into exile from this blog. Now you come back with little other purpose than poke a stick into the bees nest. When you get stung will you bleat?

You are naturally entitled to your opinion, but I wish you knew how to state it with due regard for others.

I'm not banning you - but you are under moderation. Just as you've moderated a "right of reply" away from some of the folks here.

Either you accept those terms or you should leave.

Tom Mahon said...

"I Thomas Mahon am a Holy member of of the church of God, in Christ Jesus(org. NONE, please--don't say "true") which represents the most accurate teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong and the Bible. My human, non-hireling, pastor, under whose care I have placed myself is Jesus Christ, my High Priest and I meet every Sabbath at my home with my wife and children.

BTW, what I believe has nothing to do with HWA. HWA was used by God to preach the gospel and established an organisation to support the converted members. Sadly, most of the people who were caught in the dragnet of the gospel had to be tossed back into the sea, as they were unclean fish.

Tom Mahon said...

Gavin said...

>>Tom, you moderate comments on your own blog.<<

I explain to Charlie why I was moderating comments, and I also said that anyone is welcome to post at my blog, provided the language is not abusive.

Anyone is free to disagree with anything I say or believe, and they may do so as forceful as they choose, but calling me "full of shit, an arse hole, a moron, self righteous or an idiot, will not be permitted on my blog and should not be permitted on yours either, or anyone else's, for that matter. But you are free to decide what is acceptable here. Although, in my judgment that decision should be base on fairness.

I believe that I am more than capable of defending the things I believe in. So when my beliefs are challenged or criticised, I don't get upset. My response is to construct an argument in defence of them. My language may be robust and forceful, but I don't attack people; I attack their beliefs, opinions or behaviour. This is no different from what everyone here does when referring to Dave Pack, Gerry Flurry, HWA, Dr. Meredith Ron Wieland or whoever. So what am I doing wrong?

However, what I "bleat" about is what I consider to be unfair treatment of my posts, which is always free from vulgar or abusive terms. Yet, I am the first or only person to be told that I am doing something wrong.

Are people so insecure that they can't bear to have their beliefs or opinions challenged or criticised, without feeling that their comfort zone has been invaded?

I shall now returned to Mizpah and prepare for Pentecost.

DennisDiehl said...

Thank you for an honest answer.

I think we suspected this was the only kind of church/minister relationship you were capable of participating in.

God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Tom Mahon--Does it ever cross your mind that you might be missing something in the way you look at Christianity and the Bible?

" Sadly, most of the people who were caught in the dragnet of the gospel had to be tossed back into the sea, as they were unclean fish."

That's probably one of the most depressing misapplications of the Fisher's of Men motiff in the NT I have ever heard...and I have heard a lot as a hireling.

Beneath the religious hauntedness, perhaps you need a trusted counselor or friend you can talk with. And that is a sincere statement on my part.

Peace my friend and we can consider this topic closed.

DennisDiehl said...

Tom blindly said:

"but calling me "full of shit, an arse hole, a moron, self righteous or an idiot, will not be permitted on my blog and should not be permitted on yours either, or anyone else's, for that matter."

There is no difference between those insults and calling people you don't know, never spent five minutes with, weren't your pastor or friends "liars" "deceivers" or "hireling."

If Jesus had called others the names you have provoked here, I am sure you would be quoting them as scripture.

Neotherm said...

If Universal Reconciliation were valid, I doubt that this would be revealed explicitly in the Bible. There are "public policy" implications that result from such statements. For example, if everyone knew that they would receive salvation ultimately, this would militate against doing good, for some people. There would instead be an encouragement to do evil.

I do not believe in Universal Salvation but there could very well be Near Universal Salvation.

The people who are the most enthusiastic about Hell are evangelicals. They want to believe in the value of their denominational missionary work. They want to believe it is crucial to human salvation. From this they derive a sense of importance and zeal. But from this viewpoint, it is easy to step into a gloating advocacy of Hell. And it is at this precise juncture that many evangelicals become spiritually and morally bankrupt. Love is discarded and the most important process is the separation of humanity into the Hell-bound and the Heaven-bound with evangelicals sitting on the bench of judgement. In this zeal, they forsake The Way. But, of course, we are all familiar with people who forake The Way in pursuit of misplaced zeal.

-- Neo

Behold..I go to prepare a place for me said...

"I shall now returned to Mizpah and prepare for Pentecost."

Sounds like a "behold" to me....


SmilinJackSprat said...

Since (1) All Israel, the 12 tribes, were called out of Egypt to become a kingdom of priests through whom all the peoples of the earth would become blessed, and since (2) "all Israel shall be saved...for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins," then (3) doesn't it follow irrevocably that with a repentant and functioning Israel living in the Holy Land, the whole world should participate in her blessings and salvation?

If this is true, then some kind of universal restitution, redemption or salvation must have been the plan from the outset. Any other outcome would make God unable to fulfill his purposes.

This was the argument Moses used to save Israel after the golden calf. Since God saved Israel under those conditions, how much more the whole world who never saw the miracle at the Reed Sea or the Revelation at Sinai?

Ultimately we're in the best of hands. God will see us through no matter how hard some misdirected zealots may work, even with the best of intentions, to misunderstand and misrepresent his efforts on our behalf.

paco said...

Ernest Martin's view of universal salvation was, I think, that it was the final revelation of the "Mystery of God" that was revealed to Paul around 63 A.D. As I understand it, Dr. Martin taught that God had engaged in a progressive revelation to mankind throughout history and that the details of those revelations changed over the years, giving certain people more understanding each time of what God ultimately had in mind.

The final revelation was the understanding of the "Mystery" which holds that God has or shall reconcile all people, angels and sons of God to himself, including mankind becoming part of the God family. Parts of the Bible that contradict this understanding of universal salvation or reconciliation are parts of prior revelations that did not include the entire truth or understanding of the "Mystery of God."

Dr. Martin seemed to believe that Ephesians and Colossians especially were part of God's final revelation on this subject.

Father Guido Sarducci said...

"People will always believe in hell, and in a God who would send them there, as long as they believe that God is like a man--ruthless, self-serving, unforgiving and vengeful."
Neale Donald Walsch

Do-ah we know how-ah to do this, or-ha what! Im'ah notta kiddin!

In order to counter a growing belief in reincarnation, where humans ( and the spirit in them)learned and did their best and had more and different opportunities to live again, the church had to find a way to squelch that. Hard to motivate church attendance and the flow of bucks, if this is just one shot at many in living. It also cut down on church organizational allegience

So alongs comes "confession" and now the person can be free of his sins in this life. But the confession was to the church and men so you didn't feel the need to skip church after confession or just confess to God directly at home.

But hey, once you confess, you have a clean slate, so they started to stay home again. To keep the sheep coming to church, this lead to...

Penance! So now you had to keep up your attendance to get these prescribed prayers and formulas for your sins to really really be made right. Plus, more products to sell.

It became a sin NOT to go to confession so there's another reason to keep going so that sin is not committed. Confession was required at least once a year.

But then people felt that as long as they "confessed" and did penance eventually, they could skip church again and confess that later. So we needed...That was the standing joke among all my Catholic friends growing up.

Purgatory...where you'd have to spend some time even if you confessed sins, small and great. Bummer..back to church out of fear. Up goes attendance, up go contributions and ...behold...we do need some hope here, sooo....

Indulgences!...Get out of prison cards for sale or things to do that you could only get the formula from Church! Time off for good behavior if you played the game. Length of reprieve time depended on your investment. A plenary indulgence got you out 100%, go straight to heaven. Of course, this was for the super-rich and not the commoner. The bucks rolled in. You can trick even a rich educated man with religious fear of the unknown.

I remember on Catholic kid growing up lamenting about his indulgence that got him 300 days off a gabillion years in purgatory..big deal!

So commoners, since they could only get smatterings of time out of purgatory off for their efforts, started church attendance back down again...what to do..what to do?

Novena candles! Now the poor could come back to church. Say prayers for others to get them time off in Purgatory, but not themselves. However, when they passed, others would throw them a rope by going to church and lighting up. Hey, there is lots of money in novena candles!

Boy did the bucks roll in. All this to get God to ease up a bit on the troops, of all walks of life.

(I remember shoveling a blizzard filled drive, for hours, for a lady in NY as a kid to earn money. She paid me in indulgences. Being presbyterian I said.."what's this?" She explained it to me and I shoveled a chunk of snow back into her drive and left:)

I went home and read my copy of "My Catholic Faith" and she got me good!

Universalism would certainly cut down on all the in between stuff!
However, if it's in the book, it's well hidden unless you just have to see it and believe it like every other topic one can discern from the Bible if you need to.

Neotherm said...

Yisrayl "Buffalo Bill" Hawkins, apparently a former member of the WCG who now has his very own cult, has predcited that there will be nuclear war on June 12th.

This is recounted by ABC News:

It is amazing that news concerning this backwater cult could make the national news. I think this is probably a result of the recent attention on the FLDS.

-- Neo

Father Guido Sarducci said...

Im'ah speakin about'ah the origins of'ha the Pope on a Rope at'ah Proctor and Gamble in Cincinnati on'ah the 13th. So...I'ah know that'ah no bombsa gonna fall before I give'ah my disertation on'ah this topic the Holy Father has'ah sent me to deliver, in these'ah times.

You'ah kenna relax!

Roger Schmidgall said...

For those wondering about WCG teaching and universal salvation, the latest Christian Odyssey magazine includes an article from Joe Tkach, which includes these paragraphs:

Contrary to the idea of universal salvation, only those who trust Jesus are able to love him and experience the joy of his salvation. Those who don't trust him, who refuse his forgiveness or the salvation he has already won for them, whether because they don't want it or simpy because they don't care, can't love him and enjoy fellowship with him. For those who consider God their enemy, God's constant love for them is a grossly aggravating intrusion. The more they are confronted with his love, the more they hate him. For those who hate God, life in God's world is hell.

As C.S. Lewis put it, "The damned are, in one sense, successful, rebels to the end; that the doors of hell are locked on the inside." Or as Robert Capon explained: "There is no sin you can commit that God in Jesus hasn't forgiven already. The only way can get yourself into permanent Dutch is to refuse forgiveness. That's hell."

Babble-on n-on annonymous said...

First of all, sounds like WCG needs a ministerial conference with Ted Johnson to coordinate their beliefs.


"Those who don't trust him, who refuse his forgiveness or the salvation he has already won for them, whether because they don't want it or simpy because they don't care, can't love him and enjoy fellowship with him.
Why would anyone consciously reject God's forgiveness IF they knew it was from the real God and that the real God irrefutably existed before their very eyes?

One can't "not want it, or not care" if one is convinced there is a real God behind the offer."

The problem is in churches that wedge themselves inbetween a real God, if he/she exists, and really has the program for human redemption going.

"For those who consider God their enemy, God's constant love for them is a grossly aggravating intrusion."

Why would anyone who could see a real God do that? Why would demonstrable love from this being be an aggravating intrustion?

The bottom line problem is that God and all his attributes are hearsay. You can't look at the world and see evidence of this love of God. You can't look at churches and see the organization skills and leadership of a real God. You can't claim promises from the book...

"prove me now herewith...
"and the sick shall be made well...
"ask whatever you want and I.....
"but it shall not come nigh unto your dwelling...
"their angels do always.....

etc. and then see them not fulfilled 10,000:1 as mere coincidences on occasion.

The talk of "inclusion", "salvation", "relationship" "God's wanting us to be.." and all the talk, especially over on Surprising God Blog, is just talk. It's not real. One has to fantacize it all in their heads and work up a belief based on no outward evidence to keep it going.

I promise you. If God, Jesus or the Virgin Mary really had a chat with me, minus all the middle men, I'd say "anything you say.." Until then, it's just hearsay.

Why don't you start your own church said...

Every independent Apostle, Watchman,Witness or Presiding Evangelist over his own WCG splinter have proven to be some of the most unstable humans beings one could ever hope to meet in religion.

The good folks at Surprising God Blog are living in La La land as far as I can tell. I may not have the spirit. I don't know..

High five theology for Jesus just doesn't work for me. I left that as a kid for WCG and they swung it all back around in on nauseating circle. WCG gets credit for reinventing the wheel and that does not mean it's on the right wagon.

I do not trust them to tell me how it all is in the world of faith, hope and love. Most have no clue and those that may have were burned alive so the secret did not get out.

I have seen NO evidence of this amazing love of God the WCG has found since day one of my own "get lost" experience. Many had that experience in one form or another I might add. Tom is kidding himself if he think this hireling got some sweet departure package. It was six months pay while you reinvented yourself and don't speak evil of the church or you might not get retirement, which they never intended to give anyway. I could kick myself for the stupid lasts sermon I gave. I could do so much better with it now.

While feeling a great burden removed from me at that time, it's been a trip and amazing to me how little it takes for those you knew for decades to forget you ever existed.

As I have noted, WCG has a whole department that specializes in reconciling with the wrong people.

It took two years for anyone from the administration to contact my sister over the death of her WCG minister to the end husband. And WCG liked him! Members and former members called but not the spokesmen for Jesus.

I've sat for hours on the phone encouraging her through this unforeseen death and ask if anyone from WCG proper is in touch. It has always been no. She has gone through the process of loss without any support from WCG in it's amazing love of Jesus form. I believe Tammy Tkach finally called her a short time back. Thanks at least for that Tammy.

All the high and foofy talk about Jesus is meaningless to me when it does not translate into genuinely good human beings in fact.

While having been somewhat of a jerk myself at times, as a minister, in the transition and now post traumatic WCG redo, I guess my head still spins in the utter amazement of it all.

Actually, I gotta stop doing this....dd

Tkach's Swiss Banker said...

Dennis Diehl said, "It took two years for anyone from the administration to contact my sister over the death of her WCG minister to the end husband."

MY COMMENT - Oh, but I thought little Joey Tkach loves Jesus...Love , love , love.
He was probably too busy counting his money, and planning on the sale of church assets so his generations will never have to work again...donated by the dumb sheep of course.

Isn't there a scripture that defined true religion as taking care of the fatherless and the widows in their time of need?

Oh yes, little Joey Tkach just loves Jesus. And pigs fly.

Little Joey Tkach loves the money!


Bamboo_bends said...

Wouldn't it just be easier to say God forgives because that's what God does?

We come from God and return to God upon death. How much simpler can it get?

Bamboo_bends said...

Neotherm said...

If Universal Reconciliation were valid, I doubt that this would be revealed explicitly in the Bible. There are "public policy" implications that result from such statements. For example, if everyone knew that they would receive salvation ultimately, this would militate against doing good, for some people. There would instead be an encouragement to do evil.

I think the answer to this Neotherm, is this.....Does human kindness and love descend from humans or religion?

Weinland Watch said...

"Does human kindness and love descend from humans or religion?"

Excellent question! At least one set of neurologists is trying to answer that.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to touch on the comments made by Paco. What you are describing is known by the term "dispensationalism" It's a bit of a different way of looking at the Bible. Many see the Bible as teaching one consistent truth or pattern from cover to cover.

Dispensationalists see a pattern of progressive truth or revelation with the different eras. As evidence, they point to the various covenants, such as the ones with Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses and the Israelites, David, Christians, etc.

Those who don't believe in dispensationalism believe that the same set of laws (Mosaic) have been given and reiterated to all of those involved in the various covenants, and that these laws are immutable throughout the Bible. According to this line of thought, Adam and Eve would not just have been given the "one commandment" not to eat the fruit, they also knew the ten commandments, not to eat unclean meats, be sure to keep the sabbath and holy days, etc.
Non-dispensationalists also don't believe in Noahide law being applicable to the Gentiles, or the early Christian Gentiles ministered to by the apostle Paul.

I once saw a Bill Moyers documentary on the history of Christianity. It documented the many changes which had occurred to the Christian religion, and pinpointed the time periods when such concepts as the rapture came into favor.

Armstrongism was a hodge podge, and stayed away from dispensationalism in some cases (they believed that the law was constant from Adam to our modern times) but believed, when it was convenient, in the progressive revealing of understanding or truth. That's part of why these people still revere HWA, and many still fall for those appearing to continue the process, such as Gerald Flurry, or David Pack. Some feel that these two, and possibly others, are part and parcel of the latest dispensation of truth or understanding.

Weinland Watch said...

8O Check out the latest post on TSGB!

Addressing Objections to Universal Reconciliation.

Guess there must have been some mutiny in the ranks after Teddy's "new revealed truth that isn't really new and was revealed four hundred years ago truth" hit the fan......

Weinland Watch said...

More from Ted:

"Each issue compiles the work of a couple of commentators that I then add to and edit in accordance with our growing understanding of a Christ-centered, Trinitarian theology."

14 years later, and they still don't have the story straight?

I'm an atheist, and I know what trinitarian theology comprises!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Since when did John Locke on LOST become a minister...?

Well he did "relocate" the Island didn't he? The next episode of Lost will disclose the new location of the Island is Glendora CA, where everyone saved. Universally. :)