I am happy and hopeful to share this special episode with you. All of my episodes are special. But, in this one, I discuss a particular type of pain that some of us suffered at the hands of toxic theology. I hope it helps someone who listens. If you know someone it could help, please share.
In this episode, Dr. Purcell and I discuss how similar our childhoods were due to the teaching that God made us imperfect and we were deserving of eternal torment for that reason. We both struggled for decades trying to reconcile this teaching with our hearts. Traditional Christianity is literally insanity.
In this episode, we discuss the evil god of Calvinism not loving enough to save everyone; who in fact, creates most people just to throw them into eternal torment. We discuss the weak god of Arminianism who wishes he could save everyone, but it’s beyond his capability to do so. And, we talk about who/what we believe to be the true God who not only loves everyone but actually knows what He’s doing.
Dr. Boyd C. Purcell holds an undergraduate college degree in Comprehensive Social Studies from B.G.S.U. He also has a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling from Bowling Green State University.
His Master of Divinity Degree is in Biblical Studies from Ashland University Theological Seminary. Dr. Boyd’s doctorate is in the integration of psychology and theology.
He is a retired hospice chaplain, having provided comforting spiritual care to hundreds of dying patients.
Dr. Purcell has experience as a psychotherapist on the Christian Therapy Unit of a psychiatric hospital. He has taught counseling courses to students earning their Master of Arts Degree in Counseling at Marshall University Graduate College.
He pastored an Evangelical Church for 15 years until condemned by the denominational officials for coming to believe in too much of God's all-inclusive, unconditional, everlasting love, amazing grace, infinite mercy, and perfect justice for all people everywhere in the whole world!
He has written several books including:
"Spiritual Terrorism: Spiritual Abuse from the Womb to the Tomb"
"Christianity Without Insanity: For Mental/Emotional/Physical Health."
"Symbolic Fire in the Holy Bible A Thru A," the subtitle, "God is Fire/Baptism of Fire/Salted with Fire."
His website is:
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Close your eyes and imagine what are the things in life that causes the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we've been buried, but what if, like a seed we've been planted and having been planted, to grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes. Open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith. Hey everybody, this is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth and today I am really excited to have me Dr. Boyd C. Purcell. Dr. Purcell has an undergraduate degree in comprehensive social studies from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He has a Master's of Arts degree in counseling from Bowling Green State University. He has a master of divinity degree in biblical studies from Ashland University Theological Seminary. And his doctorate is an integration of psychology and theology. He's a retired hospice chaplain having provided comforting spiritual care to hundreds of dying patients. Has his website is Christianity with that insanity calm. And I've read his book Christianity without insanity. That's what we're gonna primarily be focusing on today. But we'll talk about his other books, and his other work as well. But I'm really excited to welcome to Greek to grow. Dr. Purcell.Boyd Purcell:
Thank you. So good to be here.Brian Smith:
Yeah, I said, I'm really looking forward to having this interview. I wish I read found your books like 3040 years earlier. So tell me how did you come to write these books and become passionate about this field?Unknown:
Well, I would say that I really was spiritually terrorized as a child.Boyd Purcell:
I had zero fear of God up to my eighteenth birthday. Talking about our shared experience with Kentucky, I was born in Kentucky, you said you lived there for a while. But my parents at age eight for me moved to Ohio for better economic opportunities. And then they start going to church before that.Unknown:
So I'm really curious as to what got you passionate about this field, what was your background that led you to this? Well, I had zero fear of God, prior to my 8th birthday. And we lived in Kentucky in a rural area. And the church was not close. And we didn't have an automobile. My dad worked out of state in order to support the family. And it works in Ohio. And we're not moving to Ohio. And my dad had more economic opportunities there. And then we start going to church every week. And I start hearing about Hellfire damnation. And it just seemed absolutely horrific that God I heard was love. With torture people, they don't use Word torture, that's a torment. But I use the word torture by writings because if getting people burning in a literal Fire of Hell, especially forever, is not torture, then we need to delete the word torture from our vocabulary, and get rid of it from our English dictionaries. Certainly as torture, so terrorized by that, and it talks about getting saved and they sing the song Amazing Grace, given all her call to come forward to get saved before it's too late. But then they preach about how you have to live a perfect life. They quoted Matthew 548, many times, Jesus said, Be therefore perfect. Father, heaven is perfect. On the one hand, he said, no one is perfect and can't be perfect. And yet, to get into heaven, you have to accept Christ and then live a perfect life, or you'll get burned in hell forever. That just seemed absolutely absurd to me, then I was really terrorized by that.Brian Smith:
So this was when you said about eight years old at this, this happened with you.Unknown:
So I went on through for my 12th year, but going up to getting 10 years old. So here's 2012 is the period coming pretty fast. And it's like you have a grace period before 12. And if you die, you will have an automatic way because you're not accountable for your sins. Right? If I heard the term accountability, that's not a theological. It's not in the butt. Right? Something that Christians are made up to try to excuse God and make us all better. You only torture 12 year olds and older, not 11 year olds under, right. Yeah, what's his 12 year old girl for that matter? But anyway, as my 12 year old approached, I started hoping I would die. Yeah, I wanted to die. And I asked my mother who believed in prayer, you should pray for a man that God would take my life before my 12th birthday. I knew she loved me. And that would really hurt her for me to ask that so I didn't do it. But then I thought about asking my dad He was a hunter and he took me hunting with him. If he'd do me a really big favor and shooting kill me before my birthday, I'll go to heaven, hell forever. And I know he wouldn't do that, Hey there, he's a very good safety cutter. So he wouldn't do it. That'd be just totally out of character for him. So I didn't ask him. But as my 11th year came, I got to my 11th, month 11th year, only one month ago, and for my 12th year, I thought about taking my own life. But then I heard that suicide is self murder. So that would be something covered by this period of grace update as well. So I'd be setting myself the hell by the one hand, so I didn't do it, obviously. But that's what I went through. That's all the terrorism that's not being hyperbolic and terror and labeling or titling my book, spiritual terrorism. But the subtitle is spiritual abuse of the womb to the tomb is not quite the womb for me, but is started very early in life with just a J. But some people believe that God will be Catholics or explains that a baby, not baptize, God will either at least bar forever and beholding his face. Or God will actually burn the baby in hell forever, even though they're totally opposed to abortion, because it's taking an innocent human life. Is that not oxymoronic? And then the Calvinists are even worse, because they believe that God chose his sovereign choice, who would be saying, Who be damned to hell forever, not just before born, but even before the crease of the world. That's absolute sir. That's certainly the oxymoron that gospel probably oxymoronic gospel.Brian Smith:
Yeah. And and as you as you were telling your story, I'm just sitting here nodding, going, I understand. And my path is exactly parallel. And I know some people are going to be thinking, well, that's, that's crazy. That's crazy. That's insane. And it is. But this is what we were taught for me. I was I remember being my grandfather was the pastor of our church. We were Pentecostals. And I was taught that Well, yeah, absolutely. I love my grandfather's. I admire him. And, and he meant well, but we were taught the same thing. And there's some people and it sounds like you are like I am, that are sensitive to this. And we really take it to heart for most people seems to kind of go over their head. And I think it's because it's so insane, that they don't really grasp it. But I did as a five year old, and I was about eight when I started being able to not able sleep at night. And I would pray to God, why did you create me? Why would you put me in a situation where I am at risk of being tortured eternally, and I would rather not have been born. I thought that many times. Yeah. And you find yourself in this dilemma where it's like, I didn't choose this. And I can't love this guy, because he's a monster. So I can totally relate to everything that you said.Unknown:
So don't send that's why I call that Christianity. With insanity.Brian Smith:
Yes, absolutely. So at what point did you escape from this? How did that come about?Unknown:
Well, I kept taking a step at a time, which is very painful. And I went off to college and the same miserable condition. And I was told many times in church, that there are people out there who will tickle your ears with things you want to hear. But be really careful about that. Because the end of there is the way of death and not just ceasing to live, but getting eternally tortured in hell. So I was really cautious about seeking out anything else at college where there were opportunities to do that. So I started going to the same kind of it was a Pentecostal Church at Bowling Green, I grew up in only did that for about a semester. And it was just so bad. Like, just like everything else I'd heard. Because there's no point in going through the study more, or sending church from the dam to hell forever. Anyway, so what I had to go hear about it every Sunday. Well, then I started going to another church that was somewhat similar to what I grew up in, but not it was better, and the pastor there to preach all this stuff about Hellfire and damnation. And I wondered why. And I asked him, you know, why are you emphasizing all this cellphone damnation because it was a very fundamental church. And he's the way he grew up Roman Catholic. So you hear a lot of this is another legalisms. But he was not there very long until he left. And then they got into a new pastor. And he's as bad as a pastor I ever heard. Yeah, my next the last Sunday there. He preys on the hill. And it was sinful to dance, because dancing, smoking, drinking, going to movies all that will send you straight to hell. So he said, because he shook his finger in their face and he said to the parents, if you let your children listen those Elvis Presley records, they're going to hell and you are to know I didn't care about Elvis Presley myself, but my sisters love Belle's Seven Sisters and know that his records and so on which I didn't I wouldn't walk across the street here, Elvis but I thought you gotta go Again go to hell for listen to Elvis Presley's records. So I thought that's it I've had it was church. I'm out of here, which I was. So next Sunday I stayed home from church. And in my college dorm room, I thought I'm feeling really guilty about not being a church and God made me to hell forever for that because they also quoted Hebrew is about foresight not there's so many songs together, and so much more as you see the day approaching the day, the Lord Jesus Christ, Second Coming. So I thought, what, what can I do to be religious about going to placate God, so I don't get to hell for staying home. So I turned on the radio, and I heard a religious program by Dr. Umar de Haan. And he was preaching, teaching on the definitely law and grace. First time I really heard that. Yeah, wow, that's really good news. We're saved by grace, not by all these works. And so I sat down and wrote him a letter and sent out a small donation. And a couple weeks later, I got back a big box of books because I asked him to send me everything he had written on that I didn't realize somebody's written. A lot of booklets in there. So I started sorting through and finding the things that laundress the most pertinent. And I read those, it just sounded wonderful. And I thought, well, you know, I remember those years, there's a way seems right into a man, but then there are others the way of death. So I thought I'd take a buck or two back to this Elvis Presley creature, and see what he was saying he took one look, and he said, Ah, he says that dad will Baptist doctrine easy believe ism, salvation by grace. Here's a really classic thing. He said, even if I believe that, Chuck, I wouldn't preach it. Because it's damaged men souls to Hell is the easy way that grace was just too easy. It's a hard way. It's a pressing way. You got to live a life and all that. And I thought, well, thanks. No head of the church, I never went back there again. I went to the Baptist Church and started here, some of that salvation by grace on the screen, the believer, and that's really the really beginning of getting out of that. I just continued to grow about that. But let me say one thing, there was an elder who came to visit me in my dorm room, after I stopped going to that church, church. And he said, You know, I really need to come back. And he said, If I don't, if I end up in hell, and he said, you're just never gonna be happy outside the Pentecostal church. I said, Well, that may be true. You know, I'm not happy now. So I won't make a difference. in or out of get any worse.Brian Smith:
So what is it you think? And I and I, again, I relate to what you're saying that? Okay, they tell us be baptize. I'm assuming you probably spoke in tongues. I don't know. But if you're a Pentecostal, we talk about that. Yeah. So we would like be baptized, you know, and Jesus name speak in tongues received the Holy Spirit, but then you still never really felt safe. You still never really felt secure?Unknown:
Well, that's one thing because you're never really sure you're safe. Unless you spoken dogs. Because that what I was taught was, if you're saying, you know, what, besides being saved, you have needs to be filled the Holy Ghost, right? You haven't. So speaking in tongues, right? All right, then to know your say, you have to get the feeling you're that feeling? Like if I wasn't feeling feel like no one ever told me it would just you'll know this feeling. So it's not just a feeling. It's the feeling right? And then you'll know your sight. Well, I went the order dozens of times, praying and played in the eye. Oh, God, please give me the feeling safe and giving the feeling I'll never do that based on the left brain person. I think the right brain people are more emotional. And you know, speaking in tongues, in tongues, even at the moment, there probably be tape recordings, I wish to have hundreds in my head. Not that I'd actually be going in the Holy Spirit will be speaking through me. So I don't know just speak in English, rather than some unknown tongue, right? Like this. But even if you get the evidence of the getting the feeling and speaking in tongues, you still have to live the perfect life to stay safe. But that won't get you to say that doesn't keep you safe. Right? So much insecurity. It's just absolutely awful.Brian Smith:
I remember what again, we were in little kids, and they would say things like, I'm five years old, eight years old. But don't go to the movies. Because if Jesus comes back and you're in the movie theater, Jesus is not coming in there. You know, and don't go don't go to a bar because I'm five, I'm not going to a bar. But you know, but Jesus is not going to come in there. So you were always It was like, at any moment, if you had any unconfessed sin and Jesus came back or you happen to die, then you were just out a lot.Unknown:
Even one unconfessed sin person that was a good person going straight to hell, forever. My God is love.Brian Smith:
I don't want people to thank you here this, this all about Pentecostal church? And I kept out on my books didn't say it, because another thing Well, what else do you expect from those that Pentecostals but they're non Pentecostal or just as legalistic. He's just as much fear. This is legalistic. That's what medical schools are.Brian Smith:
Yeah, a lot of times they don't really emphasize it, you know, and, and I've been to some secret sensitive charges recently and they just keep it underneath the surface. So they bring everybody and it's very happy, you know, they get great production values, great music. And then once every six months or so they'll actually talk about this thing that, you know, by the way, if you're not saved, you're going to go to, you know, you're going to go to hell. So it's not just the Pentecostals. And I mean, you talked about the age of accountability. I again, I smiled when you said that because it's not difficult. But what it is, is people said, Well, God can't be this horrible. So let's put this this artificial thing in that you're you're okay until you're like 12 or 13. And it's not in the Bible. And I was a little kid and here I am, like, eight and I'm telling begging my parents let me get baptized on a go to hell. And they're like, well, you're not old enough yet. So yeah, I had to wait till I was like 13. And I was baptized when I was 13. But the Catholics at least were more honest and said, you know, babies are born in sin. So if you don't have your baby,Unknown:
yeah, if you don't have your baby baptized, then God's like, I want them in heaven. That's, that's at least more honest. Right? Then even as Catholic, you lose your salvation, if you could get more, you know, they classify sense as mortal and do anyone's misdemeanors. But the mortal sins are the capitals. So just minor things you might think, wouldn't be a capital crime, mortal sin, such as children masturbating, which almost all children do. They're normal. But that's a severely disordered action. That's the latest version of the Catholic catechism when it was a grave sin, a mortal sin to masturbate.Brian Smith:
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So you talked about you discovered the Baptist Church, and that was a little bit more fraying. What what actually kind of led you to read the ledger to read the Bible and understand Christianity in a different way?Unknown:
Well, actually just reading it for one thing for myself, rather than what people told me it said, but still reading it. With the background I had. It was like a shield. I'm not sure what the word I'm looking for here. But he's reading it with a mindset because you to misunderstand and to sit and legalistic way, exactly. Right, in a loving, graceful way. But the more I read, the more understood, seemed to contradict what I've been taught. Then I one thing I came to believe fairly early on, was that the fire of the Bible is metaphorical, not literal. And I never heard anybody say that, right. But the things in the Bible that can be seen really horrific, like the turtle, how far the lake of fire and all that revelation, people get thrown into torment. They're not forever and ever. But there are other things like when it says God is a consuming fire. Logic says always got in a state of combustion, right? Absolutely not. So what does that symbolize? Well, God who is Love is in the process of consuming sin. Safari love of God can sin sin was purified centers and perfect love. Yeah, that that soon, but at least I understood the fire some places metaphorical, right. And I was asked, and when I was a kid, around 12, I asked the pastor of the church, his personal Hellfire and damnation. What about fire in the Bible? Could it maybe not literal, I didn't know the word metaphor. Right? was trying to get at that and something symbolic. And that's a snap and said, No, the Bible says fire and I believe it means fire. So fire isn't literal, then you don't believe you'd go to hell for not believing in the Bible? Because the Bible says the father's literal, which it is. Right,Brian Smith:
exactly. And I love what you said there because we do come to when we read any, any text with a certain mindset. So the people that are reading it, the people that are taking it literally are coming at it with a literalistic mindset and this God who's judgmental, and harsh, and that's what they read. When we come to the Bible with a metaphorical mindset, and we look for a loving God. That's what we find. Absolutely.Unknown:
Let me give you a really good example here. This just blows the fundamentalists away if they'll even listen. Most of them won't even listen to a logical explanation of from my first subjective of love, Grace, mercy and eternal salvation from Universal salvation. But in blue people wait I asked you realize if you believe the Bible is true, that God is actually in hell. You ever heard that? The gods in hell? Oh, that can't be possible guys. How was it that you believe the King James version that's the Bible is probably terrorize more people than that version? Yes. I was having I was given a King James Version. When I was like 12 years old. And again, when I was graduating college, this was this is the basically this is the Bible, not just a translation Bible. And always have every only the King James because in the last days, they will change the Bible. Well, what about Psalm 139? verses seven through 12. Now the King James translators Hebrew word shield is hell. Now the psalmist said, Oh Lord, if I ascend up to heaven, behold, you're there. we'd expect that. Okay? But if I sat down the shield now the hell King James says, We hold you there. So God is in hell. Yeah. So there's no place to go from your precedence because you're omnipresent throughout the whole world, the whole universe.Brian Smith:
Absolutely, absolutely. And it's, you know, I, for myself, I was I was about 40, I think I started going through real crisis because this thing with God was just freaking me out. So I started seeing a counselor. And I went to see a Christian counselor, I want to talk to you about that. I'll come back to that. But I went to see a counselor. And I discovered this thing called Christian universalism. I got on the internet, and I started doing some searching like, what other people believe is there any way that I can I can still be a Christian and still, you know, understand and love God. And I found I don't know if you're familiar Gary Sigler and tentmaker website. I found that and if not some other guys. Yeah, yeah. Well, there's Yeah, so I found I found these guys. It was a couple different guys and a group of people. And I'm like, there's a total different way to read this. A total, total different way to read this, the Bible and in white, and I start reading about, okay, what's the history of the Bible, and the King James and the, and the word show, which never appears and in our in our old testament, we see the word hell and that's not the proper translation. But translation.Unknown:
No, it's not. But it was simply a place for be parted spirits, right? To have any connotation of any punishment. But by the time of Christ, there had developed two schools of theology, Hebrew tradition, that was a Rabbi Hillel Rabbi Shama. You heard of them? I have Yes, I'm sure that are you want to hear what that But anyway, Rabbi Hillel, believe that the fire of gahanna that was a Greek word for translate the King James SL, was literally a garbage dump for the city of Jerusalem. fires burning continuously there and the place where they threw out the not only their trash, but the bodies of criminals and prostitutes and hair techs and others likely to be trash. And so the bodies weren't feeling any pain, but became a symbol of disgrace and his honor, and so on, because good people, burials with honor. So Rabbi Hillel believed that if I began on supplies, disgrace, dishonor, and not the torture, per se, but no one would be tortured forever. Because after 12 months, then God would annihilate those who couldn't be in court, or at least be one be tortured forever. So it was a lot more humane view. But Rabbi Samurai said, No, he just really he agreed that the fire was metaphorical. And it was for the purpose of purifying people. For those who could be an corrigible, God wouldn't annihilate them. They just continue in that state of torment. And but the important thing was that there was no time limit on salvation. So why pick that up? And so well, there is, God's gracious offer eternal life comes with no expiration date. A customer thinks we buy food and so on, have an expiration date. Right? salvation has no expiration date. So God was going to win this cosmic struggle between good and evil. As I said, it makes no difference. Whether that is, thanks a million, or a billion, a trillion, or a zillion aeons, or a years, for God to win this cosmic battle, God's gonna win. And it will make no difference how long it lasted, it'll be no more than a second with a snap of the finger and eternally, because God is eternal. God has always been God always obey. God is not so impatient, that God gives people one brief lifetime on earth, and so far more brief than others, and then down to hell forever, including those who have never even heard of Christ in this lifetime.Brian Smith:
Yeah, yeah. And that is the logical conclusion of the way a lot of Christianity is taught. And again, it's one of those things and I saw something the other day, it's like, well, you've got these two years to get it right. And, again, as you said, get it right, by believing in Jesus and living his perfect life until you happen to die. And if you don't, then you're going to you're going to live forever and be tormented. The two things just don't seem to add up. You could be the worst gun bomb on Earth.Unknown:
If you haven't have 30 seconds. You're going to die. And your deathbed prayer, oh god, I'm sorry, except Christ my Savior. Then you're saying you're going to heaven. And what some people who lived a wonderful life, maybe like Mother Teresa, and she had one bath or left a good deed on done because since the old mission kotlik sends up commission, you get down to hell forever because you have that last moment to repent.Brian Smith:
But back to Rabbi Shabbat and Hillel. Jesus cleared up that misunderstanding the controversy between those two schools of thought when he said regard to the purpose of gahanna was to assault everyone in it with fire. Have you heard anything salted with fire? A half? Yes. So for me if you hear from someone else before me,Brian Smith:
now I've heard it before. Yeah. Okay. Well, I've been studying for for a while. Yeah.Unknown:
Okay. Why never heard it in church? No, no, no, no. And I've asked that of hundreds of people in the last 30 years after coming to understand that myself, and including the clergy. And, personally, I was one of the few that have or believe in Christian Universalist. But I asked one professor, I knew well, who was Hebrew, and Greek professor in some other languages, brilliant man, teaching Old Testament. And I talked to him after I had written my first book, spiritual terrorism. And he's Calvinists, by the way. And he said that he believed in Calvinism, because it made more sense, and I'm Indian ism. But he said he would like to believe in Universal salvation, and he would give anyone $1,000 if he could show him that the Bible actually teaches universal salvation. Oh, wow. Well, Doctor, have you ever heard of being salted with fire? But like you said,Brian Smith:
I don't probably no, no, these are no,Unknown:
right. It's brilliant man. Right THD doctor theology degree, it was tough to get That's hard. a PhD. Was all the language requirements. He immediately got out his Greek New Testament, I read. Pause, Gar, cry Hello slice of time. This, everyone's totally salted with fire. He's blown away. He had never heard that in all his education. But then he immediately tried to explain it away by saying, well, that's probably bad salt. reverser is not bad. So it's not even a good salt. Right? salt, a fire, right? metaphor for purification. But he what but so we've exchanged communication a bit last 10 years, but he's still not believing I still haven't gotten my $1,000. Well,Brian Smith:
yeah. Because once people have that mindset, you cannot you cannot reason them out of it. And let's talk about what Calvinism and arminianism is for people that don't know.Unknown:
Well, Calvinism believes that God has suffered a lot in Calvinism. And so God decided before time and for the grace of the world, that these somebody will be saved, called the elect. Everyone else was the unelect, elector told is very small. And so pelvis. How many percentage is that like 50% as 2510 or whatever? They say it's most of all said small. So once said, Well, I think probably 10% probably kind of stretching is probably less than 10%. That's simply the general thinking. Now there are something Calvin's now there's one in his name at the moment, who called himself a biblical universals, who was Calvin's, he believed that almost everybody select almost everyone, but not everyone is interested. Everyone who select will be saved, but those not elect hit won't be saved because they can't be safe.Brian Smith:
Be safe. Yeah. So it's important to emphasize for people to understand, if you're not elect, you cannot be saved. God has made you for destruction.Announcer:
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Right. So the other hand if you are elect, you cannot be lost. God's already decided he's gonna draw you to himself with blocks. Your resistible grace right can resist grace. Now that doesn't mean that grace can't be resisted at all, Sandy because it can be resisted for a lifetime. But 30 seconds before you die. You capitulate to saving grace or a prayer of confession and you say, right, that's the Calvinistic. Do not Many of you says no God would do that. You know God's impartial, we're told the Bible God is impartial. So we no favoritism to anyone. So therefore God couldn't just do something we say, we'd have to hell forever, theoretically, and everyone has a chance to be saved. Now Kelvin is going to go back a moment. Maybe the Jesus only died for the elect, he didn't even die for the unknown, right. But Armenians believe that Jesus died for everyone. But in order to be saved, you have to hear about the gospel. First of all, listen, Bassman right, the world has never heard they lived and died, not ever hearing the name of Jesus, I still do the same, but they're going to hell anyway. But at least you have theoretically a chance to be saved with arminianism. But the bottom line is no more going to be saved. But in Calvinism, it's going to be very few, probably less than 10%. Because Jesus said, straight is the way they are the game, at least alive. If you it'll be fine. But why does the road is the road? And why does the get the lead to destruction? In many areas, they're out according to the King James, but that has nothing to do with heaven or hell, that's talking about the life on Earth, the abundant life versus black living here. They read hell into that passage scripture.Brian Smith:
Yes, and I want to point out to people that most Christian churches, even though they may not call themselves Calvinist, or many nests, or one of the other, they they have that that set of beliefs and I learned this when I was reading and we talked about earlier, William Talbots book, The inescapable love of God that I love the way it lays this out, because either God is sovereign, and just doesn't care about most people that he's made for destruction, or God wants everyone to be saved. He just can't do it. It's just that it's just that powerful enough to pullUnknown:
out the crux of the matter. What the dictionary says, The crux is something difficult to explain. So the crux of Calvinism is that God is able to save everyone, but unwilling, right? I mean, it isn't God is willing but unable, because of humans abuse of free will. But God.Brian Smith:
Well, this comes about from reading into the Bible, and assuming that not everyone can be saved. In fact, most people can't. So they're coming into with that mindset and trying to explain it in one way or the other. And it makes God either either weak or evil.Unknown:
Exactly. Or both. As I said, that kind of God, I smell that was a small g is the supreme sadistic, more monster in the whole universeBrian Smith:
guy that I do want to talk, I want to move shift a little bit because I was co teaching a class on toxic theology of the last few weeks. So I was in there with some people who were from a toxic theology background, a lot of chaplains. So people that weren't from, you know, the Christian or the Pentecostal background, and they're basically saying, Well, here's the thing. Just give up on all that just forget all that stuff. Christianity, that that's just crazy anyway. And if you need to go see a mental health counselor, go see someone who's not a Christian, because that's the only person that can help you. Because you can't be saved, you can't be helped from that mindset. And I alluded to it a little bit earlier, when I wanted to go see a counselor, I had to see a Christian, because I knew I had to solve this from the way it was created. So I did and I sought out, I call that throwing out the baby with the bathwater. And so Tommy, when you were doing counseling with people that were going through, they had been tortured by this insanity. How did you help lead them out of that?Unknown:
Basically, by asking them what they believe, if it makes sense, what they've been taught, and most people that didn't, I didn't tell people what to believe. And I didn't right up front share with people, Christian universalism. And with hundreds of the hospice patient, dying patient ever hospice patients dying patient. So I would just listen to him and share with me about your background and so on. And some would say chaplain, I've been trying to be a Christian. What's their thing trying to be and being a Christian, they didn't say I am a Christian, but I've been trying to be, and they've been trying for 40 5060 years, and sometimes only patience. and still they weren't sure they're good enough to make it into heaven. Right. Few of them said, chaplain, I used to be a Christian, I used to be a Christian, but I didn't really realize I couldn't live a life and I just gave up all that legalism. So even some of the patients though, who said, more like Roman Catholics was right, I am a Christian. You have to express the same fear of going to hell because of not being good enough to get into heaven. So an awful lot of phony baloney out there and things are just messing up people's mind. So I basically just listened to people and show them and then I'm asking questions like, you believe the fire of the Bible especially relates to God and judgment isn't literal fire. Oh my god, I thought about that. I really hope it was not but not heard. And I share examples one from my God, mega consuming fire up he doesn't say to combustion. Well know that God couldn't be in a state of emotion. They asked him about Do you believe in salvation by grace? Well, I've heard about that we sing about Amazing Grace, right? Because grace doesn't seem very amazing at all. So what am I What? What is Grace? So I'm there to favor. There's a book, I'd recommend about God's grace, addiction and grace. that talks about voice being the most powerful force in the universe because it's divine love and action. And as we get further along the road, I'm asked him about being salted with Have you ever been salted with fire? No, never that. Well. Tell me about that. Yeah. What is that? So I shared that with them. That's what Jesus said, those are Jesus words. Well, could that be literally true and you could salt something with salt you burn someone fire? But can you literally solve anything or anyone to fire? You can do that. Well, that must be a metaphor. But what would that symbolize? So getting people think for themselves and come to the truth and understanding that I say, Well, if hell is eternal, as we're told it is, then Jesus must be then confused. He must have misunderstood he must have misspoken. He must not have been what he said. was some people say his case, when he said, john 1232, if I'd be looked up from the earth, on the cross, I'll do what, I'll draw people to myself. I've always heard that. We even sing songs about it. Right? What song I've heard some repetitively a dozen times or more, with all our call to come forward, hit save points eternally too late. But lift him higher, lift him up, lift him up for the world to see. Jesus said, that'd be lifted up from the earth, elder all man on Tuesday, you have to give an older call to get saved for it's eternally too late. Because he really isn't good at all people. When they say, Well, he's going to draw people to himself to offer themselves nation. But if they refuse it, then they'll get down to hell forever. Right? Well, that offers already been made the offer of salvation. So if drawing them to himself does not mean salvation, then that is a meaningless statement. Right. And I think it'd be very insulting to Jesus to say that he made meaningless statements. I think Jesus said exactly what he meant. He meant exactly what he said, if you looked up on the earth, across the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world, he through irresistible grace will draw people to himself. Therefore, hell cannot be eternal. He cannot leave one person eternal torment and draw people to himself. Right? That's right, logically, is fraying.Brian Smith:
Yeah, and it's, you know, it's interesting, as we do go through this logically, and use your left brain person, and I think I am too, you know, as I was, as I read these arguments, and as I start to read the, the real words of Jesus and how take it metaphorically, and as we compare Calvinism arminianism. Now, if we combine those two things, and say that God does want to save everybody, and God is sovereign, and that God's grace is irresistible, then we come to the conclusion that everyone must be saved, because of God wills it and God is omnipotent, omnipotent, and it must happen. And that's the conclusion of Christian universalism.Unknown:
That is true. So, if God is omniscient and omnipotent, and God has foreknowledge, and as you said, it's not God's will that any pairs for all come to repentance? Why cannot the sovereign God get what God wants? Right? We're told in job 42. In the United a translation, that's the James, that then also Revised Standard Version, that no purpose of God can be forwarded. Well, that would include God's plan of salvation and whatnot,Brian Smith:
that would be the most important thing.Unknown:
Yeah, can't be thwarted because God is sovereign. God has decided he is going to all people himself. He's the longshore process and destroying sin, consuming sand purifying centers and perfect love. So eventually, all will come to the Lord Jesus Christ him through the Lord Jesus Christ. They'll bother me as Philippians two says, Every So Bob knows that heaven knows on earth and those under the earth. That's a three story first century cosmology. We've got Earth here, heaven up there, and hell down there. We know today, the universe is infinite fraction, but that's how we understood them. So those under the earth, that's Satan's domain. So Satan and the demons are also going to be buying their own capacity Jesus Christ for the glory of God the Father to devil can you say, the devil can I will be saved? In Matthew 2541. Jesus said department to the centers into the alien fire prepared for devil is angels. So people can be saved the demons and that will be saved as well. It's the same fire. There's 46 legal entity own Empire, prepare for the devil and his angels were told, but there's a case of a really serious mistranslation. We talked about the righteous going into eternal life, the androids going to eternal punishment. What translate is punishment is the word colossal Greek word colossal space pruning. And it means to prune plants to cause them to grow better. And that's what molten Milligan say, and their massive volume, testing the two great experts that you own and means that it was the reasons not to do whether it's at an infinite distance, or no longer than the span of a Caesars live, it's gonna be very long and very short, depending on the context. So the translate that as eternal punishment, the eternal proving that you might get annihilation on that, because after all, would be nothing left to prove, right. But logically, proving indicates something that's good, you prove dead limbs is going to cause the plants the tree to grow better produce more fruits, right.Brian Smith:
So and this is, this is interesting, because and this is taking some of these verses that we thought proved eternal torment, and really understanding them and understanding the original language and putting them in the context and understanding that we've been taught the exact opposite of what these things, you know, mean. And I was I was talking with my with my daughter last night. And we raised her in the church, but she's now says, she doesn't believe in that. And I'm like, that's fine. We raised you to be a free thinker. But I was explaining her the way that I believe and all the studies that I've done, and she's like, Oh, well, that that makes more sense. And some stuff that I was taught, we tried to take her to get churches, I think we did, but most churches do not, do not preach this and, and for most Christians, you know, like when they hear Christian Universalist, it's like, oh, that's a new thing. That's some new thing that just people may not. So you might want to explain to people what the real history of Christian universalism is, as well, you got to do what'sUnknown:
covered in the book, as you know, not anything by any means. That's what Jesus taught, about the apostles praise in the early church lay for at least the first 500 years of church history, has already explained some of the things that Jesus said, Paul wrote, everything evolving over time to the person, and john and the revelation. And this great the often in this nation of God, so ever created being in heaven, on Earth, on Earth, honestly, and all things in them. That's the point of redundancy. Be sure we don't miss the point. Not one creative being in the whole universe fail to participate in this great hymn of adoration and praise, where they were singing to the one who sits on the throne, the Lord God Almighty, and to the Lamb. He glory, blessing dominion and power forever and ever. So that's a wonderful message of Christian universalism. So what happened with this, the church got off track by Roman emperors, being the head of the church, and Emperor is all about control. They're control freaks. And so the best way to control people is have the greatest fear, I'll kill you, if you rebel against me. And then if we get the, the pope or whatever legislator we have, he has the power to damage your soul to hell forever. That's the ultimate weapon control, is it not? So there's we got off track. And here's the interesting thing, historical facts which I love about the history major studies, Major, European American history. And I know the origin was the church's first systematic theologian, was born at 185. He died to 254 69 in full communion, that has good standing with the Christian church, to which he devoted his godly life. But when we think of him as a heretic, for believing in Christian universalism, and the idea,Brian Smith:
I'm gonna get some time to 505 5553.Unknown:
Okay, what's the 299 years after his death, what we're good at cadenza one 300 years after they're dead.Brian Smith:
Right. Right. Exactly. And that's, and that's the history that I learned when I started studying these things. You know, because we're taught that these things have been this is what it's always been that the church has always believed this night. And what I want to do with this with this interview is encourage people to study and to learn, and to approach the Bible with a new approach because it said I was I was on this group the other day with these people that were just basically just throw I call it throwing the baby out with the bathwater. And I've seen this happen so many times, people, they go from being a believing Christian with hope of heaven to I hate the word atheist, to a materialist, they're like, the whole thing just doesn't make any sense. So I'm just throwing the whole thing out. And I don't have anything to any more thing more to do with this because it is literally I love the fact that you don't mince words. It's insanity. It's it's, it's torture, you know what I call it what it is, it's this idea of eternal, you know, damnation, and it makes God as I said, weak and ineffective or both rightful?Unknown:
It does it just destroys the character of God. It's nothing to be done that's more immoral and more insulting, more demeaning to God and to the Lord Jesus Christ is nonsense, not eternal punishment. And there's a thing called the doctrine of reserve. If you haven't heard that one, but if you haven't, that means that even this was sent to me by the likes of a nice committee buddy domination that voted condemned me as a heretic for belief. Think that Jesus won't save the whole world. And finally else's, even if you're right, even if Jesus is going to say better, would it be better to preach the document eternal punishment in the fire of hell? And then in the end, if everyone is saying, What harm will have been done, oh, God said, What? Gross spiritual immaturity. Wow, see, the harm has been done to me as a kid, as a 12 year old in my teen years and wasted that much of my life, worrying about that, and then worrying about salvation of other people, getting them saved. But once you're totally too late, and you say what harm to be done?Brian Smith:
Yeah, and you know, that's just I'm sorry, when someone when you're hurt, it's just shocking the system because as, as a child, and again, my grandfather loved them, I still respect them. My parents, they were trying to do the best thing for me. But it's it's torment to teach a child that a sensitive person that really understands what you're saying to them to understand first. Yeah, and then say that I am just this awful, terrible being that guy can only say because he killed his own son and sprinkled his blood on me. It's just horrible. And it's not just children I fortunately escaped from but you talk in your book about the insanity that's causing people to even kill their own children?Unknown:
Yes, I'll kill 500 children all five, and save them from eternal damnation send them on the hill before it was totally too late before? Well, by the age of accountability,Brian Smith:
and I was talking to my daughter about this last night. My daughter is a mental health professional, she's a licensed professional counselor just got her license. And I said, you know, people will look at that and say, Oh, that's that crazy religious person. She was insane. I'm like, What she did was insane. But what she did was rational. If you love your children, and you see them approaching the age of accountability, and it doesn't look like they are going to make the right decision, then logically to kill themUnknown:
would be the most loving thing you could do. What the churches don't teach that. But logically, that would be and here's another thing, that if people who love children really are children, then the best thing you do is not to Henschel. So we won't have any chance getting burned.Brian Smith:
When I was a kid, before I understood that my parents decided to have me I blame God. But if I, if I had known what I know, now, I would have blamed that why would you bring me into this situation? This is, this is it's not worth the risk. It's not worth living your 60 or 70 years to be tormented eternally.Unknown:
As a 10 year old, I wanted to ask my parents that question, did you believe in total motion before you hit me? Suddenly, it'd be hurtful to them that I didn't ask them because it loved me. But what if you believe in eternal punishment? Why don't you have children, any children, and I made up my mind that I thought I would never have children even admit losing the girl the love of my life at that time, which I did. It wasn't because of that, as I was 27, before getting married at 30 years old, before my third year of seminary, because widely understood the Bible well enough to risk bringing a child into this world that really wants to save everyone. So that having almost everyone to health room. Hill was not literal. It was corrected image.Brian Smith:
Yeah. And that is that is the harm. And I was talking with a friend of mine who was taught the same stuff. And he was taught about what he was actually taught, Jesus was coming back at any moment. And it's like, if Jesus is coming back at any moment, then there's no point and you go into college, there's no point you saving for retirement cuz you're, you're not going to be here. So he literally did not go to college or save any money. So we do real damage in the world when we teach these these crazy things, and so don't so people can't, you know, to say, well, let's just teach this anyway, you know, just just in case now,Unknown:
no, not at all. Absolutely. Right. It's absolutely awful that people would do that and teach that thinking they're doing a good thing, when they're terribly perverting the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.Brian Smith:
And it what people say but love, he always argued, in fact, more flies with honey than with vinegar. Let me say that.Brian Smith:
Yes. And but it's, it's such a childish view of of God, it's a child's view of people, you know, because I, you know, I hear people in the church, well, if you teach that to people, they're going to do whatever they want. Why would they? Why would they? Yeah, why would anybody be good? Why would anybody bother to come to church? You know, it'sUnknown:
like the outside, you know, do good for goodness sake. It's a concept that doesn't seem to occur to these people, that maybe I'll do good out of out of gratitude. You know, the person being altruistic doing the right thing for the right reason not out of any fear of punishment or any reward just altruistically. Like I had an evangelical pastor Tell me, boy, if I believe what you believe, but everyone thinks I'd go have a good time. Wow. Yeah, pastor of a church. And I said, Well, what sense Do you want to commit? You want to lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery? What is it and then he realized that was such a foolish thing. Something he said he looked down at the floor, hung his head and would not answer the question.Brian Smith:
Yeah. And that's that shows that just a very low. there's a there's a story. I don't know if it's true, but it's a great story. Jose Balu, the the Universalist circuit preacher was out riding with another pastor and the guy said, If I believe that she believed I would, you know, knock you over the head and steal your horse. And the guy said Jose Balu said, No, if you believe what I would believe you would never think about doing that. So this idea that it's a license to sin, you know, and I love that that answer you don't like someone said, you know, if I was an atheist atheist, someone said that he's an atheist. Well, I would rape his murder as much as I wanted to, because I rape and murder as much as I want to, but I don't want to rape and murder.Unknown:
Well, then you have my book, he said, as far as the Christianity about and soon and in there. I just like to share this. I guess we're probably getting near the end. Yeah, please. But the first chapter is, as you know, it's the title of Christianity within Sandy. Well, the book is without insanity. But the top 10 oxymorons, by the way that word oxymoron. As you probably know, it comes to two Greek words oxus being sharp walking in more automating dull or foolish. Oh, wow. So it's inherently awesome. What has inherent contradiction, okay, so we need to eliminate oxymorons from Christianity to make it attractive to people and get people safe through love rather than through fear. And so these are the top 10 oxymorons accordion my listing here, the top 10 lists in reverse order. 10 is that's perfectly proportional justice and eternal hell. Nine, does this have an unpaired almost all parents 870 overruled by human free will, is the Calvinist of anything. I mean, they're seven God's omniscience and inability to change freewill, six God's omnipotence and evidence to save all persons. That's on my presence and eternal separation from God. You hear that a lot of eternal separation. It's impossible. God's out of my presence. You can't be separate, right? That's why God's even in hell. She'll, number four, God's amazing grace and eternal punishment in hell. Three, God's unconditional love and eternal torment on how to God's everlasting love and eternal damnation in hell. And here's number one, my favorite, God's infinite mercy and eternal torture.Brian Smith:
Right? Right. These things cannot connect coexist,Unknown:
right? Here's my third book, I just finished running this one. Okay, well, I find the Bible e through Z. And the God is far, the baptism of fire and salted with fire. And then you have the salt shaker are coming out of the holes in in reverse layout is purified by fire Martin 949. So looking forward to people eating that some people already told me that they really helped them a lot. One woman told me it's fun and amazing, so informative, and was helping to change your life.Brian Smith:
Absolutely. And I do want to recommend, and I'll put in the show notes, the titles of all your books. So I recommend that people do do get them and do and do study. And you don't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. And it's interesting to situations I man where I've where I'm helping people understand the afterlife, which is what I do a lot of the time and, again, talk with people about toxic religion. And there is you know, there is still beauty in the Bible, there's still there's definitely beauty in Jesus words and what Jesus taught, and even what Paul taught, if we learn how to read it properly and understand how it's been corrupted. I mean, the Bible has been corrupted by by the churchUnknown:
has translations and more than interpretation translations like that. Let me say this, too, as far as the revelation, many hospice patients and other people are so fearful of getting thrown into like a fire and brimstone that many times, yes, I say, what is the word brimstone? Yes, let's talk about that. So the only person been able to tell me that out of 100 people is a retired chemist. And he told me that means sulfur. And sulfur was a wonder drug an ancient we're looking at some of this. So when I shared this with my mother, which is 75 years old, she said, Oh, boy, that makes sense to me about the lake of burning sulfur, and so on. Why would that make sense to you? And she said, Well, because she remembered helping her dad, my grandfather sulfur apples when she was a young girl, huh? So I never heard of that. I said, How do you sell for apples? And what do you sell for apples? And I said, does that leave it off? I aftertaste because I've never had that chemistry in high school chemistry class that burning sulfur smell. And she said, No, it doesn't leave an aftertaste and the apples taste delicious that way but he said you do it to go plant light and any disease and to preserve the animals so you can preserve them on winter that way. She said you slice them up, put them in a big pots scale by the placement centers. Send in silverpop send on fire and they get on building because it will fumigation. No. But that's why people understood long before canning and freezing to preserve the produce. Also, sulfur place mature body store, it would also someone died in infects in a home of infectious disease, they burn software to disinfect the house. And software can be taken internally and externally for various melodies. So every software is used out of a national connotation, until the Chinese centuries later, forgot to wait to use software to make gunpowder. Right.Brian Smith:
And I think that's really important. And I want to emphasize that, you know, because the thing is, the Bible is a metaphorical book. And it was written a long time ago, and a lot of the metaphors don't make sense directly in English. So when we think of software, we think of something stinky. And we think this is going to be this place. And the ancient people that heard Jesus would have heard purification, they would have heard healing, demand, and what we've been taught to heal to read it exactly the opposite. So we really, really need to understand the language of the day. And the metaphors of the day so we can understand what Jesus was was really saying, right? That's exactly right. Yeah. And I really appreciate you know, the fact that you do that in your book, and I love the I love that you. You know, the people, you know, what the religion, you've got to check your brain at the door, and just go in and believe whatever they tell you. And even if it's even if it's offensive to your senses, and you alluded earlier to all the little things, again, was talking about yesterday. And there's a guy and I hate to say this, but I'm going to say it. A lot of churches are basically cults, you say they, they ruled by fear and intimidation. And when I when you're when you're a little kid to give these verses and say, Look, someone's going to come along and try to tell you something different. Don't listen. They're tickling your ears to leading you to destruction. You can't so believe whatever we're telling you right now. And don't believe anything that anybody else ever tells you.Unknown:
What you believe what makes sense to you doesn't make sense. So you don't waver? Right?Brian Smith:
Right. And that's what that's exactly what the opposite of what you'll be taught as a child and a lot of these, you know, Sunday schools and stuff so I'm, you know, and the thing is, there's so much out there, you know, I've read like Marcus Borg, john Spang, and your book now and Thomas Talbot, you know, brilliant people that have studied these things. I can teach you the truth like use, I was shocked when I was discovering Christian universalism. They said the first 500 years of the church, the doctrine was universalism, the doctrine was Jesus and saved everybody. I was like, 50 before I heard that,Unknown:
right, exactly. I was talking to her as a teenager. Well, before I heard that as an eight year old that totally changed my life. Yes, absolutely. Well,Brian Smith:
I'm Dr. Purcell it's been a it's been wonderful getting to know you and having this conversation with you. Thank you for for your books. I thank you for your time doing this today. Any last words you want to say before we wrap up today?Unknown:
Well, thank you for having me on and great interview and you have a wonderful voice. I guess you're in the right profession with a voice you have very melodious and very pleasing voice. But I mentioned I'm one helping questions known as the wounded healer. So I just want to make people's I can to find peace with God, trying to call the mind healing for damaged emotions, enjoy of living. In Christian universalism does that it'll bring people together, a world now so torn by religious violence, all kinds, especially religious strife. But someday we'll become tolerant, peaceful. And Jesus, the Old Testament prophet said, Isaiah, that someday that the rice so rushed down like a binary string, now's the Lord to fill the hole or they'll be nothing armor, I thought the whole world. And so I guess I'm like, tore down and that's not just the 1000 year millennial reign of Christ. That's a never ending reign of God Almighty. And Christ has gone all people to himself, when all evil has been abolished, and there's only good and right and righteousness throughout the whole world and the whole universe. Well, everybody, will everyone else just as God has instructed us to do through the Lord Jesus Christ.Brian Smith:
Yeah, looking forward to that day. Thank you very much, have a great rest of your day. So that does it for another episode of grief to growth. I sure hope you enjoyed it. If you like this content, make sure you subscribe, so click on the subscribe button here, and then click on the bell to receive notifications and click on all that way you'll be notified whenever I release new content. Thanks for watching, and have a great day.