I just read this article at arminiantoday.blogspot.com/2011/ … ctive.html
It is unbelievable what kind of arguments are being made against EU! Read the comments after (not posted here) - there is a small dialogue between the author and another poster. The author just doesn’t get it:
"Why Universalism Is So Attractive**
For 2000 years the Church has had to defend her doctrines. Church History no doubt shows that this was not always an easy task. The councils often took years to meet. A case in point is Arminius’ request for a church council (or synod) to meet to discuss his views regarding the teachings of John Calvin and whether the Church should be allowed to change the catechisms if in fact they were shown to be in error. Arminius died but the Synod of Dort met several years after his death and there condemned Arminianism though the Synod of Dort was a kangaroo court. These councils often would debate for hours, days, and even years over theological issues. How we need this today! Today, in the name of tolerance, we avoid theological differences and we don’t even condemn heresy when it pops its head up.
Universalism, more and more, is now being accepted by many who claim to be “evangelicals.” Liberals have held to some forms of universalism for years but now many are claiming to be “evangelical” but want to hold to a form of universalism whether it is Clark Pinnock, Neal Punt, Amos Yong, or Rob Bell - universalism is drawing a crowd. Carlton Pearson was a former Word-Faith preacher who now accepts universalism. Even Billy Graham has made some statements in the past that seemed as if he at least was sympathetic to universalism.
I think most of my blog readers know where I stand on this issue. I think most of you know that I reject this view completely and strongly advocate an exclusive position to the gospel. In this way, I would align myself gladly with Calvinists such as John Piper, John MacArthur, or James White. I believe that personal faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross is the only way to God (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:3-6). I believe Hebrews 9:22 is true and that the only solution to our sinfulness before a perfect, holy, and just God is the perfect, sinless sacrifice of God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:15-18). I believe that Romans 10:9-17 is clear, the gospel must be preached for people to be saved. I believe Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:47-49; John 20:21; and Acts 1:8 are all serious words for the Church and every disciple to obey. Eternal life is found only in a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-3; Colossians 1:21-23; 1 John 5:1).
But why are so many embracing universalism? What is so attractive about these teachings that causes people to accept that there is no eternal hell and that all will be saved? I know that those who hold to inclusive salvation would argue that they don’t believe that all will be saved but rather that some might be saved apart from knowing Jesus’ name. Most inclusive theologians even seem to hold to some form of hell for say people such as Hitler as compared to Gandhi.
So here are my reasons why I think people hold to forms of universalism.
- Laziness in Evangelism.
To be blunt: they never share their faith and its easier to simply embrace a system where people are A) already saved as in universalism or B) they will be saved postmortem. They either fear what people would say about them if they told them about Jesus or they simply don’t want to share their faith at all.
- Rejection of Inerrancy and Infallibility of the Bible.
I think this is primarily where Bell comes from. He rejects both inerrancy and infallibility and therefore there is no standard for defining what is truthful and what is not. No doubt Bell will quote from the Bible when it fits his views but as far as using proper exegesis and then submitting to what the Bible says even if it goes against your views is probably not going to happen. When we reject the Bible, we open ourselves to other “truths” and other holy books and other voices. But when we accept what Jesus said in John 10:35, that the Scriptures cannot be broken then we must submit ourselves to what the Lord says about salvation, death, judgment, etc.
I may be hoping here but I would hope that people who reject the exclusive position would really have a heart of compassion. While I believe they greatly misunderstand the holiness of God, they do embrace that God is love and that He has sent His Son for all (John 3:16). I would pray that Bell, for example, does love people and he does want to see people loving God. But we must never confuse compassion for truth.
In our day and age, it is politically correct to be tolerant of all beliefs even if they are against one another. Christians are told to embrace Muslims and Muslims are told to embrace Hindus. We are all to “coexist” as the bumper sticker says. The problem is that if the Bible is true and if Jesus is risen from the dead, all other religions are wrong (1 Corinthians 15:14-17). If Jesus is alive, He is all that He said He was. If Jesus is not risen, He was a false teacher. But if Jesus is risen (which I believe He is) then He is Lord of all (Philippians 2:5-11). Jesus then would be the only way to the Father as He said (John 14:6). Salvation would be found only by being in Him (John 17:3; Acts 2:38-39). If what Jesus said was true then all other religions are false and Jesus alone is the way, the truth, and the life.
Frankly, if you don’t share your faith and you have no heart for world evangelism then universalism would ease your conscience as you consider that all nations must hear the gospel to be saved. In your conscience you know that Jesus is the only way to the Father and that only those who are saved by faith in Him are His true disciples (Luke 6:46-49) and this bothers you because you know that people in your neighborhood, your job, your school, your city, your state, your nation, etc. need to hear about Jesus and what He has done for our salvation but because you are a lazy and because you are weak in your faith, you would rather believe that there is no hell, that all be saved, etc. This makes you feel better. But it is not true.
I could go on and on. My point is that many people who hold to universalism do so because they frankly don’t want to be bothered with the afterlife and what awaits us. I would rather sleep in peace at night knowing that my passion is to know this Savior who gave His life for me and know that I am doing all that I can for His glory with the time I have left. I don’t want to live my life for my sins, my flesh, and my desires and ease my conscience with false teachings. I want to obey Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:19-20 and make disciples of as many people as I can make for the glory of God."*