This evening I plucked up the courage to tell a relative/friend over the phone about the fact I’d become an EU. I was amazed at how nervous and tongue tied I got Anyway, I got it out eventually and he didn’t reject me and even though he didn’t hold my view, he considered it a secondary issue, compared to the importance of Jesus and what He did on the Cross (to which I heartily agreed). Phew
I’m glad, Alex. That’s wonderful news! Did he ask you any questions? That’s usually what we get from Gene’s family, the ones that are the most tolerant. They are puzzled with how we could genuinely believe the way we do.The ones that aren’t tolerant change the subject quick, just after telling us we are wrong!
I avoided a lot of questions by initially making sure to explain that I still believed:
- that the Holy Spirit and the Bible are our best sources for finding out about God, so it was important for it to be biblically based universalism.
- in Hell but that it had a greater purpose than ECT, that of purifying and bringing people to repentance.
He did ask a few clarifying questions, e.g. he wanted to be sure I wasn’t becoming a pluralist.
Yes in ECT Hell is an incinerator in UR it is a recycling plant
Alex – Glad to hear it! Only, wouldn’t you say that UR is what Jesus accomplished on the cross?
The word “universalist” has a lot of baggage attached to it – I’m glad you were able to clarify!
And everyone just knows recycling is way better than smelly incinerators!
I would indeed
Sadly it does but so does “Christian” for many people Anyway, hopefully, with each new person I explain it to, I’ll slowly improve the clarity of my presentation of EU.
Or maybe boot camp.
“What we have HERE, is a failure to ex-COMMUNICATE!” http://www.wargamer.com/forums/upfiles/smiley/jarhead0331.gif
(Okay, yes that quote is from a prison movie, not from R. Lee Remy. But it still applies… )
Jeff,God has gone green! Don’t know if you have that expression where you are at? We call it going green over here when someone recycles, etc. A lot of Christians I know poo pooey the idea that we should care about these things. I love your analogy! It’s going to stick in my head.
Sounds great Alex. I am in similar conversations with the leadership at my church, my sister, and a staunch Calvinist friend (who btw has always been a source of great biblical counsel.)
Somehow when I bring this subject up with any traditionalist I always need to battle through two preconceived notions:
“Universalism = pluralism.” They will usually say something like:“If will eventually go to heaven why tell anyone about Jesus. Faith in Him does not really matter.” For some reason it’s hard to get people to see that it is possible to conceive of a Universalism that still threatens hell, and that eternally, and still requires faith in Christ alone. Once we get over this hump I face …
“If nobody goes to ECT, God is not being just.” Apparently dying for some (and receiving some through faith) does not compromise God’s justice, but dying for all does. In one breath they will unashamedly rejoice in how God’s justice was satisfied in the Cross, for some, but then balk at the idea that if God did this for all he would still be just. Of course, this does not make sense, but it is difficult (but not impossible) to get them to see this.
After I break through these barriers I still have not proven God did die for all, or that all will eventually turn to Him, but I am always puzzled why I need to break through these barriers and why it is so difficult. In their defense, I suppose it is because I am introducing ideas that are somewhat earth shattering and they are having trouble regaining their logical bearings. In the process they cling to some illogical ideas that at least allow them to temporarily dismiss what I am saying without further thought.
My point right now is not to prove EU, but to demonstrate that EU is a legitimate evangelical option. i.e. It is NOT pluralism and does affirm the necessity of Jesus death on the cross for our sins and that the benefits of the cross are available by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
My sister and my friend remarkably responded like your friend. My church … um … not so sure … yet.
I’d be interested to hear if you have had similar experiences and what may come of your promotion of EU.
Yes, it’s remarkable how it’s nearly always those objections. At least it makes it easier to prepare answers in advance!
Exactly, although if they see it as proven, I won’t complain
That’s awesome, Praise God for that
Same here… one of my leaders has TEU on his reading list, so I should know in the coming months