does all mean all or some?

all means all cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

(click on image to shop OR contact David for originals and prints)

The good news isn’t that we’ve got a job to do but that the job’s been done.

The Easter story is about the breaking down of barriers. It reveals the fact that the dividing walls we build are fantasies and no longer stand. There is no longer in and out.

Some like to believe the wall’s been moved and that the special people designation has simply shifted to another group, of which they belong, of course.

No. All means all. Not some.

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • Carol

    I think all five of the Reformed Evangelical TULIP teachings are heretical, but the worst, IMO, are Total Depravity and Limited Atonement.

    The first strips people of their god-given dignity and the second makes Jesus the Savior of the Church, not the Redeemer of the world and, by implication his Father a tribalistic god more like the Baals than the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.

  • http://sspjut.com Shawn Spjut

    Carol: LOL I had to go look up ‘Tulip”. Good Charismatic that I am, I never bother to find out where the majority of my less than godly beliefs came from. But…now that I know, as much as the Total Depravity and Limited Atonement gag me, I’d have to go with ‘Unlimited Election”. No matter how they word it, it still come out God picked you, me, and David, but not John, Suzie, or Abdul (and I’ve had that conversation with more people than I care to remember). And…I’ve a really big problem with the Doctrine of Scripture. Though I do believe that the Scripture we call the Bible is the inerrant word of God, I don’t believe that it is the only inerrant word of God. I believe God – who is first and foremost insanely relational – continues to talk and express Themselves today through a multitude of voices and media. (Take this forum for example)

    I am radical enough in my thinking that the ‘All” that David mentioned is far more encompassing than many of us have been taught to believe. Redemption was not an exclusive ‘Christ’ club’ (as though we chose our membership and now maintain it by what we do or not do), but rather, a divine expression of God’s love to restore All of creation (mankind, earth, skies, etc) back to Themselves: to deal with the ‘entity’ of sin once for all – thereby removing the only obstacle standing between Them and us.

    On God’s part, redemption is a done deal – all that’s left is whether we accept the free gift or not. And grace is the divinely empowering expression of Love to help us grow up into the reality of who They have redeemed us to be.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ the Old Adam

    All menas all.

    All have been forgiven, and all have been died for.

    But not all actually hear and come to faith. Why not? Ask God when you see Him. Only He knows the answer to that one.

  • Gary

    All does mean all…Just as Jesus Himself declared.

  • Carol

    Old Adam, the Vatican Council II document *Joy and Hope* has a theory on why atheism may exist in some people:

    The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. The invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God has created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator. …. Without doubt those who willfully try to drive God from their heart and to avoid all questions about religion, not following the biddings of their conscience, are not free from blame. But believers themselves often share some responsibility for this situation. For atheism, taken as a whole, is not present in the mind of man from the start (Atheismus, integre consideratus, non est quid originarium). It springs from various causes, among which must be included a critical reaction against religions and, in some places, against the Christian religion in particular. Believers can thus have more than a little to do with the rise of atheism. To the extent that they are careless about their instruction in the faith, or present its teaching falsely, or even fail in their religious, moral, or social life, they must be said to conceal rather than to reveal the true nature of God and of religion.–Vatican Council II, Gaudium et Spes, 19

  • Carol

    Shawn, on the matter of “election” I am more of an inclusivist than a universalist. Love always grants the beloved the right of refusal, and yet, I cannot imagine coming face to face with Unconditional Love and exercising that right. . . .

    Scripture does proclaim that it is God’s will that all men be saved and somehow God always seems to prevail without subverting human freedom. The human intellect has its limitations. . . .

    “I used to believe we do not have free will. But then I realized that we do indeed have free will as far as the will to try to make things happen. However, of all the things we try to make happen, the ones that actually do happen, that is God’s will. So, ultimately, your free will is worthless.”
    ~Jessica Maxwell, quoting the *Mystic Golfer* in Roll Around Heaven

  • http://sspjut.com Shawn Spjut

    Carol: I’m more with you than against you. Over the last couple of years I have come a long ways from my Pentecostal roots and am more and more convinced towards a more universality point of view: which has found its roots in the ever growing conviction of God’s immeasurable love for all mankind, and that it was not for judgement that Christ bore our sins, but rather, because of divine love that He bore our sins. I find it very difficult to accept that a Father that has demonstrated such incredibly profound love and brilliancy in the finished work of Christ, would then stop short of the goalie by saying such things like: them and us, or that we are responsible for proving our love and obedience to him in order to qualify for something (when Scripture clearly says that it is God that qualified us) or that He would not go to the nth degree to save even one person: regardless of the sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or lack of knowledge or understanding. Am I suggesting that ALL will enter into ‘heaven’ regardless of their beliefs? NO. But like you, its hard to imagine anyone denying such profound, unconditional love: yet there probably will be those who, regardless of the revelation will still say no.

  • Gary

    @hawn – “But like you, its hard to imagine anyone denying such profound, unconditional love: yet there probably will be those who, regardless of the revelation will still say no.”

    Shawn this is where you and I differ. I do not believe any will reject Him. If we accept the scripture that declares that “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord”, then I have to believe none will ultimately reject Him. I was always taught that this referred to both believer bound for heaven and sinner bound for hell. That even those great sinners would be forced down on one knee compelled to submit before they get fried. But the passage declares they will call Him Lord. I see this not as some threat of vengeance by an egotistical god, but rather as a loving promise of the power of His reconciliation that none should be left out.

  • http://sspjut.com Shawn Spjut

    Gary: Like with Carol, I’m more for you than against you. I hadn’t considered that verse, but in light of our discussion, I’m more inclined to agree than disagree, as again it falls more inline with the God I’ve come to know and love, than the one I was taught to believe in and hate.

    As I said, I have years of Pentecostalism to shed and like the Lord once told me, religion is like barb wire that embeds itself into our minds: it often takes years to remove and He is really the only one that can do it without causing damage and scar tissue.

    Thanks for sharing that with me. :)

  • http://theoldadam.com/ the Old Adam

    Carol,

    I think you are on to something on the topic of why some believe and some don’t.

    This is (IMO) excellent. It’s titled, “I Believe that I Cannot Believe”:

    http://theoldadam.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/i-believe-that-i-cannot-believe.mp3

    Give it 5 min.

  • http://www.theupsidedownworld.com Rebecca Trotter

    “This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.” – 1 Timothy 4:9-10

  • Gary

    Love that one Rebecca…thanks for throwing it out there. In this passage even belief does not represent all who will be saved.

  • Thomas Allen

    We do have a job to do. Jesus commanded us to deny ourself, pick up our own cross, and follow him. The Way of the Cross is one of Humility and Love.

  • Kris

    Love that. For those of us who are Christian, we need to act like Jesus died for all whenever we interact with anyone, regardless of their beliefs. We often get so concerned with whether or not others are following God, that we fall off our path in a misguided attempt to save them or cast them out in hopes that will change their hearts. Why is it so hard to love them.


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