Universally Speaking?

O.K., I admit it- I LOVE my wife and am enjoying a few days mostly resting after another amazing Cornerstone Festival! I return to Chicago at the end of the week for Project 12 graduation, then back out to Cstone.I have been doing a bit of work too, moving stuff as we get ready to have our old literally falling-down mobile home we steward at Cornerstone Farm, carted off in pieces.Years ago we were surprised to find a large room extension was added on to the old trailer. We had added a deck prior to that. Anyhow, a new (to us) mobile home was donated to Cstone by a good farmer in Northern Illinois, and it now sits uphill about 12 yards from the old one. We will eventually connect it with the free-standing deck and extension below by adding some deck.Below the main deck and extension is Lake Wildwood Haven, a sweet lake full of fish and fun.This Cstone Fest was a wonder for us. Wendi taught 3 excellent seminars, and for the first time I was free to -not- teach, just doing 3 music sets.The Lord surely led that because we had done another festival in northern Wisconsin where I did a longer solo blues set, spoke the next morning, then drove several hours south where we spent the night, leading worship at one of our denomination’s camps, Covenant Harbor. Then we drove to Cstone Farm where I did the first of those 3 sets the next night. A lot of wear and tear on the body, voice and such, so the lack of constant strain re. seminar speaking was a blessing!Wendi and I also interacted a lot with the grandkids as well as catching Ami’s (our  daughter) band The Unfortunate, and I was able to take in the last of Wendi’s seminars and join her in ministry afterwards. I also attended the entire mainstage church service and several other artist’s sets while also interacting with our friends at Theophilus’ Journey as well as enjoying great chats with various seminar speakers in the speaker’s hospitality trailer.Project 12/Grrr Records newly christened Chelsea Cafe stage/tent was a treat too! Great artists and coffee.I think I felt more relaxed and enjoyed listening more than at other festivals due to getting more sleep and talking (overall) less. So… a gift from the Lord!I was also able to spend time studying the Word more during the Festival… not the norm most years due to my fest schedule.One concern of mine has been an increasing lean (of some in the wider Church) to universalism, in a nutshell, that all people will in the end, be saved.I have once again been studying key biblical texts and related doctrines regarding heaven, hell, eternal punishment and etc., and frankly see little in the Bible considering both Hebrew and Greek, for my own views on all these to change even slightly.It does seem people are seeking the sort of God they wish their God to be… perhaps not the God of The Book. At some point I will likely write a lengthy blog (in basic language, mind you) sharing my own understanding on the issue.What I will say now is that sadly, too many people find it impossible to live with mystery. A humbling lack of human knowledge of God’s own reasons and ways (which “are past finding out”) often brings people to either reject Him and/or His Word and/or they find great fault with those who simply disagree with their own perception.Honest study, consideration and research is essential. Garnering solid, biblical answers -that I may not like or want… well, that’s a reality I am at peace with as it happens somewhat frequently as I read my Bible.But as God intimated to Job, I wasn’t present giving Him input when He created the universe. He doesn’t require my permission.As I say, I will write more on universalism in the future.Meanwhile, I trust you are having a rocking summer, seeking and loving Father/Son/Spirit with all your heart and learning to better love your neighbor as yourself.Clearly THESE are the commands of greatest concern to God.Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

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9 thoughts on “Universally Speaking?

  1. I am glad to see you hitting the subject of universalism. I look forward to the results of your study. I was encouraged this year by the seminar content. Last year it seemed that things were creeping in that I could not reconcile with the way that I understand the Word and what God was speaking to me personally. This year there seemed to be a return to biblical teachings.I also enjoyed your sets, and The Unfortunate!

  2. Loads of people, believers too, think they have to "grow-up" and think the Bible trough, when Jesus even said that we should accept the kingdom of God as a little child. And who lives with mystery better than a little one?!! They don’t know what their future holds, but they grasp at every word their Papa would say to them, and some times take it literally, by faith. Not every one will be saved, people die and go to hell every day. A grim reality we all should get in our hearts. Thanks for the thought provoker!!!

  3. I second your concern regarding Universalism. Until about a year ago, I had actually never heard of it. However, that changed due to reading the lengthy rants of the lead singer of a certain Christian band which will remain nameless. I don’t profess to be anything close to a Bible scholar, but I think I know my Bible well enough to say that Universalism is missing the mark in a couple key places. First of all, Universalism says that God does not desire that any should perish, and who are we to think that our wills are stronger than God’s? The problem with that is that God Himself has given each of us a free will (if that isn’t true love, I don’t know what is!) to choose or reject Him. Secondly, hell was created as an eternal punishment for Satan and his hosts, for their rebellion against God. Though most people don’t consciously choose Satan as their lord, the act of rejecting God means choosing Satan as their lord by default. Unfortunately, this also means taking his eternal fate as their own. Again, the Bible does state that God does not desire that any should perish, and I believe that in His mercy, He gives every human being a chance to meet Him. I can’t prove this, of course, but based on what I see in the Bible concerning the character of our merciful God, I believe He would do this. Why else would He make such a terrible sacrifice for us? I look forward to reading your thoughts on this topic.

  4. Well stated, Glenn. It’s amazing how ideas from the theological left are being embraced by the evangelical Church (another issue in recent years is the meaning of the cross). As you stated so eloquently, it’s as if we are desiring to serve a God created in our image rather than the image offered in Scripture. Perhaps we’re afraid of addressing tough issues in fear of criticism by those outside of the Church.I look forward to reading your further thoughts on this issue.BTW, I thought your late-night set at Ichthus was fantastic. Too short perhaps, but fantastic nevertheless!

  5. Yes, I too look forward to your blog, Glenn. Unfortunately, some of my FB friends who are into it do not accept the Bible as the ultimate authority of the truth… as I understand it, they see Jesus as the Word of God (with which I agree) but then seem to believe that their understanding of Spirit’s leading trumps what the Bible records of the Lord’s and the apostles’ teaching.Would be REALLY interested if you can produce something along the lines of Arthur Wallis’s excellent booklet, "Jesus of Nazareth: Who is he?" written very biblically and with a winsome spirit for Jehovah’s Witnesses, but also useful for any who deny the unique divinity of Jesus…

  6. Hey Glenn,I may have to beat you to the punch on this on my facebook page. Again, I’ll tag you as I usually do, but let it be known that I fall within that camp that believes in Universalism as a matter of fact I don’t even follow that it is hopeful that it is true but genuinely think this is the best position and that it really will be an eschatological reality. My note will argue more from a philosophical point of view rather than biblical (not that I don’t think that is not important, but rather the argument doesn’t turn or is settled on that alone). Do, I believe in hell? Yes. Do I believe hell is fire and brimstone? No. Do I believe it is eternal? No. It definitely is not a "place" anyone will want to go to, but I really don’t see heaven and hell co-existing into eternity.

  7. Hey Glenn,I may have to beat you to the punch on this on my facebook page. Again, I’ll tag you as I usually do, but let it be known that I fall within that camp that believes in Universalism. As a matter of fact I don’t even follow that it is hopeful but genuinely think this is the best position and that it really WILL be an eschatological reality. My note will argue more from a philosophical point of view rather than biblical (not that I don’t think that is not important, but rather the argument doesn’t turn or is settled on that alone). Do, I believe in hell? Yes. Do I believe hell is fire and brimstone? No. Do I believe it is eternal? No. It definitely is not a "place" anyone will want to go to, but I really don’t see heaven and hell co-existing into eternity.

  8. Glen, I have been a fan since 1979 of REZ, C-stone and you. I am now a christian universalist. I look forward to your blog on the subject. I respect your opinion. If I am wrong I would like to know. LOVE, KEITH

  9. Hi Glenn. Saw you for the second time on Sunday in Knittlingen. I drove a long way but you were worth it. Thanks for glorifying Christ in everything you do.And great choice of songs, even "Alas and did my savior bleed" and "I’ll fly away". I took a few photos:http://www.lehrer.uni-karlsruhe.de/~za2450/kaiser/One suggestion: you should release a recording of one of your solo gigs. Is a recording available somewhere? Download or physical I don’t mind.Thanks again. God bless. Tommy

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