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Archive for the ‘Universalism’ Category

Hat tip to Apostasy Watch:

This is also apostasy, because these religions can’t all be true considering the fact they all contradict each other…

This is the one world religion the Bible speaks of in Revelation, the end is growing near.

1 Thessalonians 5:3:

 “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”

The World’s Most Prominent Religious Leaders Call On Everyone To Make Friends Across Religions

Welcome to The Elijah Interfaith Institute. On June 14, 2017 many of the world’s most prominent religious leaders made a joint statement encouraging people everywhere to make friends across religions. Friendship and getting to know one another are the antidotes to negativity and divisions in society, enhancing understanding and unity. We invite you to download our toolkits for friendship and study. We pray that the message and example of unity, shown by these leaders, will contribute to bridging divisions by inspiring you and your friends to start new conversations with people of different faiths. Follow the example, spread the message.

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One World Religion!

From the Wall Street Journal:

Buddhist, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh leaders to join pope at National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

It is called a multireligious service, but for those who have been asked to offer prayers alongside Pope Francis this month, a humble moment is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

About a dozen religious leaders, including representatives from Buddhist, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh faiths, will join the pope on Sept. 25 at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Part of Pope Francis’ two-day visit to New York City, the service will include prayers from all of them honoring those who died on 9/11.

According to Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove of Park Avenue Synagogue, it will be “a holy and wholly unique event in the religious life of New York.”

“The pope understands the power of faith or religion as an instrument of peace, as opposed to division or strife,” said Rabbi Cosgrove. “To participate in an interreligious gathering which affirms that, whatever our differences may be, we are children of the same God, is an extraordinary statement.”

Multireligious gatherings between the pope and other faith leaders are essentially a modern practice, experts say, formalized in 1965 with Pope Paul VI and the Second Vatican Council’s declaration for “sincere reverence” of other religions.

That declaration opened the door for meetings between the pope and other religious leaders, said the Rev. Jean-Pierre Ruiz, associate professor of theology and religious studies at St. John’s University in Queens.

Another watershed moment for interfaith meetings came in 1986 when Pope John Paul IIgathered dozens of religious leaders at a World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, Italy. The image of all of them together “sent an important message to the world,” said Rev. Ruiz.

Pope Benedict continued the tradition of interfaith meetings during his 2008 trip to the U.S. He visited Park East Synagogue in New York and participated in several events in Washington, D.C., including an interreligious meeting. In 2011, he marked the 25th anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Peace with another event in Assisi.

But what separates Pope Francis from his predecessors is his deliberate inclusion of other religions, especially members of the Jewish and Muslim faiths, Rev. Ruiz said. Some of those leaders are to play an active role in the Sept. 25 event.

It will begin with an invocation by Rabbi Cosgrove and Imam Khalid Latif, executive director of the Islamic Center at New York University. During the brief program, Pope Francis will offer a prayer and speak. Other religious leaders will then offer prayers, with translators, before an audience of hundreds. Sarah Sayeed, an adviser to Mayor Bill de Blasio, will read a translation from Arabic for the event, according to a spokeswoman for the mayor

One of the participants, Uma Mysorekar, president of the Hindu Temple Society of North America, said she was honored to be included and excited for her faith, and others, to be recognized on the world stage.

“This pope has been so vocal and so broad-minded,” said Dr. Mysorekar. “We’re all able to chant prayers to that same divinity in our own different ways. It ultimately means that all of us collectively stand there and pray in whatever way we want to, but ultimately asking for peace in this world.”

Yasuko Niwano, a leader of the Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist Center of New York, said she felt a mixture of honor, nerves and excitement about sharing the stage with Pope Francis. She saw the moment as a way to connect with the pontiff on the subject of openness and inclusiveness, she said.

“He doesn’t have any boundaries,” she said. “In Buddhism, we don’t have any boundary, we welcome anybody.”

The Rev. A.R. Bernard of Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center said he would be reflecting on the Beatitudes, eight blessings at the core of Jesus’ teachings, for his segment of the interreligious service.

Though the city’s religious leaders often get together around common issues of concern, the service with the pope is “a very, very special time, because it’s consistent with the climate in our city with regard to religious tolerance, and interfaith communication and working together,” he said.

“This is not a platform we experience every day,” Rev. Bernard said.

Satpal Singh, a leader of the Sikh community who is based in Buffalo, is hoping to use the moment on Sept. 25 as a way to educate the wider public about the Sikh faith. His prayer would reflect the point that “our actions speak,” he said.

“God expects all of us to love each other irrespective of what our outward beliefs and what our affiliations are,” Dr. Singh said. “That’s the important message that has to come through this forum.”

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“While acknowledging his doctrinal disagreements with the pope and the others in attendance, Moore stated that he is “willing to go anywhere, when asked, to bear witness to what we as evangelical Protestants believe about marriage and the gospel, especially in times in which marriage is culturally imperiled.”

What is troubling about the above statement is Moore is couching his language to make it appear that he is not teaming up with false faiths, and religions to defend marriage. What he seems to miss is that Satan is the author of confusion or chaos, and would readily pull in Christians to stand with false faiths, and religions in order to attempt to undermine Christianity and dilute it’s fundamental message of Salvation in Christ alone!

From Christian News Network:

Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Saddleback megachurch leader Rick Warren will team up with Roman Catholic Pontiff Francis later this month for an interfaith Vatican conference on marriage and family.

“Complementarity of Man and Woman,” will be held Nov. 17-19 at the Vatican, and is expected to feature more than 30 speakers from over 20 countries. According to the Catholic News Service, those of the Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Jaina Shasana, Taoist and Sikh religions will be present, as well as Roman Catholics and professing Christians.

The event is sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

“I hope that this gathering of religious leaders can stand in solidarity on the common grace, creational mandate of marriage and family as necessary for human flourishing and social good,” Moore wrote in a blog post this week entitled “Why I’m Going to the Vatican.” “I also hope that we can learn from one another about where these matters stand around the world.”

While acknowledging his doctrinal disagreements with the pope and the others in attendance, Moore stated that he is “willing to go anywhere, when asked, to bear witness to what we as evangelical Protestants believe about marriage and the gospel, especially in times in which marriage is culturally imperiled.”

Rick Warren, the author of “The Purpose Driven Life,” has spoken glowingly of Pope Francis during several public interviews about the pontiff and the Roman Catholic religion.

“[Pope Francis] is doing everything right. You see, people will listen to what we say if they like what they see,” Warren stated on Catholic television network EWTN earlier this year. “His kissing of this deformed man, his loving the children, this authenticity, this humility, the caring for the poor; this is what the whole world expects Christians to do. And when they go, ‘Oh, that’s what a Christian does.’—In fact, there was a headline here in Orange County—and I loved the headline—I saved it. It said, ‘If you love Pope Francis, you’ll love Jesus.’”

Last year, Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries called Warren’s ecumenism with the Roman Catholic Church a “real tragedy.”

“Right now, the Body of Christ doesn’t know whether to evangelize Roman Catholics or to join hands with them to go out and evangelize the world, [and] it’s because of people like Rick Warrren who either don’t know how exclusive the gospel of grace is, or he’s not aware of the false and fatal gospel of the Roman Catholic religion,” Gendron stated.

In addition to Warren and Moore, the upcoming Vatican conference will feature Wael Farouq, a Muslim and president of the Tawasul Cultural Center, top-ranking Mormon Henry B. Eyring and Manmohan Singh of the World Sikh Council. Conferences will include “The Cradle of Life and Love: A Mother and Father for the World’s Children” and “The Sacramentality of Human Love According to St. John Paul II.”

The meeting follows a recent synod featuring over 200 Roman Catholic bishops who gathered in Rome for two weeks to discuss marriage and family issues, such as homosexuality, cohabitation and divorce. The initial relatio released by the synod generated controversy and concern over its inclusive tone, as it stated that “[h]omosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community.” It was later left out of the submitted draft as a consensus could not be reached on the matter.

 

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As the influence of Christianity is further eroded in our society, paganism (humanism by another name) becomes more relevant. A People without God will not revert to Atheism they will instead dredge up old false pagan ideas.

What is disturbing about this monument is it promotes a one world government, and a single worldwide false religion among other things. Sound familiar?

from The Vigilant Citizen:

The Georgia Guide stones is an enigmatic granite monument situated in Elbert County, Georgia. Also known as the American Stonehenge, the gigantic structure is almost 20 feet high and is made of six granite slabs, weighing in total 240,000 pounds. The most astonishing detail  of the monument is however not its size but the message engraved into it: Ten rules for an “Age of Reason”. These guides touch upon subjects that are associated with the “New World Order”, including massive depopulation, a single world government, the introduction of a new type of spirituality, etc. The authors of those rules have requested to remain totally anonymous and, until now, their anonymity has been duly preserved. However, this mysterious group left a text explaining the reasoning behind the rules, a text that was not discussed online before. With this new information, the purpose behind the Guidestones become very clear, leaving little room for hypotheses. The Guidestones describe the ideal world, as envisioned by occult Secret Societies. The monument is therefore proof of an existing link between secret societies, the world elite and the push for a New World Order

Quietly standing in Elberton county, the Guide stones will probably gain in relevancy in the next few years

Made of Pyramid blue granite, the Georgia Guidestones are meant to withstand the test of time and to communicate knowledge on several levels: philosophically, politically, astronomically, etc. It consists of four major stone blocks, which contain ten guides for living in eight languages: English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian. A shorter message is inscribed at the top of the structure in four ancient languages’ scripts: Babylonian, Classical Greek, Sanskrit, and Egyptian hieroglyphs. It is important to note that those last four ancient languages are of a great importance in the teachings of occult mystery schools, such as the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians, organizations I will discuss later.

The four major stones are arranged in a giant “paddlewheel” configuration which are oriented to the limits of the migration of the sun during the course of the year and also show the extreme positions of the rising and setting of the sun in its 18.6 year cycle. The center stone has two special features: first, the North Star is always visible through a special hole drilled from the South to the North side of the center stone; second, another slot aligns with the positions of the rising sun at the time of the summer and winter solstices and at the equinox.

Astronomical features are of a great importance in the design of the Guide stones. In a relatively “new” nation such as the United States, monuments that are aligned with celestial bodies are often the work of secret societies, such as the Freemasons. Drawing their teachings from the Mystery schools of Ancient Egypt, Greece or the Druidic Celts, they are known for embedding into monuments some of their “sacred knowledge”.

Read the full article here.

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from Got Questions:

Universalism is the belief that everyone will be saved. There are many people today who hold to universal salvation and believe that all people eventually end up in heaven. Perhaps it is the thought of men and women living a life of eternal torment in hell that causes some to reject the teaching of Scripture on this issue. For some it is an over-emphasis on the love and compassion of God—and the neglect of the righteousness and justice of God—that leads them to believe God will have mercy on every living soul. But the Scriptures do teach that some people will spend eternity in hell.

First of all, the Bible is clear that unredeemed men will dwell forever in hell. Jesus’ own words confirm that the time spent in heaven for the redeemed will last as long as that of the unredeemed in hell. Matthew 25:46 says, “Then they [the unsaved] will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” According to this verse, the punishment of the unsaved is just as eternal as the life of the righteous. Some believe that those in hell will eventually cease to exist, but the Lord Himself confirms that it will last forever. Matthew 25:41 and Mark 9:44 describe hell as “eternal fire” and “unquenchable fire.”

How does one avoid this unquenchable fire? Many people believe that all roads—all religions and beliefs—lead to heaven, or they consider that God is so full of love and mercy that He will allow all people into heaven. God is certainly full of love and mercy; it was these qualities that led Him to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die on the cross for us. Jesus Christ is the exclusive door that leads to an eternity in heaven. Acts 4:12 says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that  whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” If we choose to reject God’s Son, we do not meet the requirements for salvation (John 3:16, 18, 36).

With verses such as these, it becomes clear that universalism and universal salvation are unbiblical beliefs. Universalism directly contradicts what
Scripture teaches. While many people accuse Christians of being intolerant and “exclusive,” it is important to remember that these are the words of Christ Himself. Christians did not develop these ideas on their own; Christians are simply stating what the Lord has already said. People choose to reject the message because they do not want to face up to their sin and admit that they need the Lord to save them. To say that those who reject God’s provision of salvation through His Son will be saved is to belittle the holiness and justice of God and negate the need of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf.

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John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Psalm 14:7:

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God”

from The Examiner:

Pope Francis tells Christians the “Blood of Christ” promises redemption for everyone engaged in good works, including atheists

The leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics made his comments during the homily of his morning Mass on Wednesday, May 22. Francis said:

The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!

Francis went on:

We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.

However, many Christians would disagree. Many Christians will claim that atheism is a damnable sin, and that all atheists will go to Hell, regardless of their good works.

Francis emphasized the importance of “doing good” as a principle that unites all humanity, saying “All people are called to do good and not evil.”

Francis argued that atheists should be seen as good people if they do good works.

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from Anglican Ink:

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church has denounced the Apostle Paul as mean-spirited and bigoted for having released a slave girl from demonic bondage as reported in Acts 16:16-34 .

In her sermon delivered at All Saints Church in Curaçao in the diocese of Venezuela, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori condemned those who did not share her views as enemies of the Holy Spirit.

The presiding bishop opened her remarks with an observation on the Dutch slave past. “The history of this place tells some tragic stories about the inability of some to see the beauty in other skin colors or the treasure of cultures they didn’t value or understand,” she said.

She continued stating: “Human beings have a long history of discounting and devaluing difference, finding it offensive or even evil.  That kind of blindness is what leads to oppression, slavery, and often, war.  Yet there remains a holier impulse in human life toward freedom, dignity, and the full flourishing of those who have been kept apart or on the margins of human communities.”

Just as the forces of historical inevitability led to the ending of industrial slavery, so too would the march of progress lead to a change in attitude towards homosexuality, she argued.

“We live with the continuing tension between holier impulses that encourage us to see the image of God in all human beings and the reality that some of us choose not to see that glimpse of the divine, and instead use other people as means to an end.  We’re seeing something similar right now in the changing attitudes and laws about same-sex relationships, as many people come to recognize that different is not the same thing as wrong.  For many people, it can be difficult to see God at work in the world around us, particularly if God is doing something unexpected.”

To illustrate her point presiding bishop turned to the book of Acts, noting “There are some remarkable examples of that kind of blindness in the readings we heard this morning, and slavery is wrapped up in a lot of it.  Paul is annoyed at the slave girl who keeps pursuing him, telling the world that he and his companions are slaves of God.  She is quite right.  She’s telling the same truth Paul and others claim for themselves,” Bishop Jefferts Schori said, referencing the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans.

“But Paul is annoyed, perhaps for being put in his place, and he responds by depriving her of her gift of spiritual awareness.  Paul can’t abide something he won’t see as beautiful or holy, so he tries to destroy it.  It gets him thrown in prison.  That’s pretty much where he’s put himself by his own refusal to recognize that she, too, shares in God’s nature, just as much as he does – maybe more so!,” the presiding bishop said.

The New Testament passage goes on to say that Paul and Silas were imprisoned for freeing the girl of her demonic possession. Presiding Bishop noted “an earthquake opens the doors and sets them free, and now Paul and his friends most definitely discern the presence of God.  The jailer doesn’t – he thinks his end is at hand.”

However, Paul now repents of his mistake in casting out the spirit of divination, she argues.  “This time, Paul remembers who he is and that all his neighbors are reflections of God, and he reaches out to his frightened captor.  This time Paul acts with compassion rather than annoyance, and as a result the company of Jesus’ friends expands to include a whole new household.  It makes me wonder what would have happened to that slave girl if Paul had seen the spirit of God in her.”

In support her argument for radical inclusion and diversity over doctrine Bishop Jefferts Schori adds that the day’s reading “from Revelation pushes us in the same direction, outward and away from our own self-righteousness, inviting us to look harder for God’s gift and presence all around us.  Jesus says he’s looking for everybody, anyone who’s looking for good news, anybody who is thirsty.  There are no obstacles or barriers – just come.  God is at work everywhere, even if we can’t or won’t see it immediately.”

She concluded her sermon by stating that we are not justified by our faith but by our respect for diversity.

“Looking for the reflection of God’s glory all around us means changing our lenses, or letting the scales on our eyes fall away.  That kind of change isn’t easy for anyone, but it’s the only road to the kingdom of God.”

Salvation comes not from being cleansed of our sins by the atoning sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, but through the divinization of humanity through the work of the human will. “We are here, among all the other creatures of God’s creation, to be transformed into the glory intended from the beginning.  The next time we feel the pain of that change, perhaps instead of annoyance or angry resentment we might pray for a new pair of glasses.  When resentment about difference or change builds up within us, it’s really an invitation to look inward for the wound that cries out for a healing dose of glory.  We will find it in the strangeness of our neighbor.  Celebrate that difference – for it’s necessary for the healing of this world – and know that the wholeness we so crave lies in recognizing the glory of God’s creative invitation.  God among us in human form is the most glorious act we know.”

Responses posted on the Episcopal Church’s website to the Presiding Bishop’s sermon have been uniformly harsh, noting her interpretation was at odds with traditional Christian teaching, grammar, and logic. “This is quite possibly some if the most delusional exegesis I’ve ever read in my life,” one critic charged. “I’m sorry, but this sermon is not a Christian sermon.”

The reception by bloggers has been equally unkind. The Rev Timothy Fountain observed the presiding bishop had up ended the plain meaning of the text. “Instead of liberation” in freeing the slave girl from exploitation, presiding bishop finds “confinement.  Instead of Christ’s glory, there’s just squalor.”

The Rev. Bryan Owen argued “What’s happening here is the exploitation of a biblical text in service to a theopolitical agenda.  Given what she says in the first paragraph I’ve quoted from her sermon, the Presiding Bishop suggests that anyone who doesn’t buy into that agenda – anyone who holds to the traditional, orthodox understanding of such matters – is likewise afflicted with the same narrow-minded bigotry as Paul, and thus in need of enlightenment.”

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