FRANCIS VALIDATES CHRISTIAN UNIVERSALISM
"Just as surely as the grass is green, the sky is blue, God is in heaven, and Christ is Lord, Jesus taught Messianic/Christian [Hebrew: Messiah equals Greek: Christ] Universalism (CU). The apostles preached it, and the early church believed it for well over 500 years—long [more than 200 years] after the Christian Church had become the state church of the Roman Empire." As I have explained in these excerpts from, Christianity Without Insanity (9-1-12) and covered extensively in Spiritual Terrorism (4-7-08), "Origen, the church's first systematic theologian, believed in and taught CU. He was born in 185 and died in 254 at the age of 69 in full communion [good standing] with the Christian Church to which he had devoted his godly life. Origen, his writings, and his memory were condemned by the Fifth General Council [by order of Roman Emperor Justinian] in 553. Thus, he had been dead for 299 years before his unjust condemnation!"
"Today, there is some dispute about this great miscarriage of justice, but the real reason seems to have been for believing in and teaching CU. The Linns, Catholic authors of Good Goats: Healing Our Image of God (1994), reported that it is now okay to teach universalism in the Roman Catholic Church. They stated in the introduction that CU is an 'entirely orthodox perspective.' I am certainly glad to hear that, but the perception seems to have been that the condemnation—Origen, his writings, and his memory—included universalism. In fact, in The Teaching Of Christ, A Catholic Catechism For Adults, the editors stated, 'Some early theologians, notably Origen in the third century, took the position that all sinners, including Satan, will eventually be brought to salvation. This and similar views, however, the Church has always (bold mine) decisively rejected, as incompatible with revealed truth, and the Church has solemnly confirmed the doctrine that punishment in hell is eternal.' Eternal hell is reaffirmed [but more nuanced] in the latest Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992), translated into English in 1994."
"If CU was not condemned with Origen, there has been a terrible misunderstanding for about 1,500 years! Unlike the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Church in the West [Western Europe and North and South America] has been preaching this insanity—the belief that the lie of eternal torture is the truth, and the truth of CU is a lie! The Pope needs to restore spiritual sanity by clearly validating CU for the Catholic Church and to the world! Pope Benedict XVI is not a good candidate for doing this, because he did his doctoral dissertation on the life of Augustine (354-430), whom the Pope has held up to Catholic youth as a great example of Christian faith. He taught that unbaptized infants will be forever banished from God's presence or, infinitely worse, tormented forever, because they had the misfortune to be born, as all are, with original sin! No person has had a more profoundly negative influence on Christianity in the West than Augustine. He deserves a lot of blame for the insanity in Christianity—eternal torture in the fire of hell."
"I am confident there will be a Pope desiring the truth that frees from fear [more than the status quo] (John 8:32). It would be a courageous act if the Pope would do the right thing in correcting the great wrong done to Origen." On May 22, 2013, Pope Francis, in office three months, clearly stated that Christ's death redeemed all people, so every one will be saved, even atheists [will become theists]! This is crystal clarity—a major step on the long road leading to Christian unity and then to world peace! Ironically, the Catholic Church may well lead the way in this new Reformation of Salvation by Grace of ALL, while Protestant Churches, which are supposed to be reformed and reforming, as so stuck in their 16th Century theology that they fight the new reformation of Christian Universalism as dangerous doctrine!
Boyd C. Purcell, Ph.D., Author