The Evangelical Universalist Forum

I think I've been accepted in a fellowship!

Well, I had lunch with pastor Clay last Friday to specifically ask him if Living To Go, a charismatic/evangelical interdenominational fellowship in Goodlettsville TN, was “interdenominational” enough for me to be a member though I believed that Jesus did not fail to save anyone. I went to the lunch with hope but no expectation that I would be accepted. And to my great surprise, he said that my family and I would be more than welcome to fully participate and the I could even openly share my faith in Jesus to save all, sharing in humility with respect to others who believe differently.

He said that personally he did not ascribe to universalism, he did not believe that me believing such should keep us from working together to love God and love people. He said that he believed “the church should be like Jesus who allowed people to belong long before they believed!” I told him that I am not one to come into the fellowship and start pushing others to believe as I do, but that if the subject comes up that I would not hesitate to share what I believe and why I believe it, and I recognize that this could certainly cause problems. He said that if such problems came up, we’d deal with them but that I was welcome to share openly what I believe. He also recognized that such problems usually would come up because whenever people’s core beliefs are challenged, many people respond in fear negatively, but that doesn’t mean that the subject should not be discussed.

To say the least, I was blown away! I think I’ve found a fellowship where “loving God and loving people is enough!” HALLELUJAH! And if memory serves me correctly, our first visit one Sunday morning several months ago was preceeded by my family and I over breakfast discussing where to visit that day and my son, Daniel, 7 years old, said, very seriously, “Dad, you know, I want to go somewhere where loving God and loving people is enough!” Well, I think now that we’ve found such a fellowship!

I’ve been so hurt at other fellowships so much and for so long that I’m still looking for the shoe to drop and my hopes to be dashed, almost afraid to embrace hope again, but maybe, just maybe, my prayers for my family and I have been answered and we’ve found a people that is passionate about their love for God, faith in Jesus, and love for people! We’ll see, but I had to go ahead and share! PTL!!!

That’s great news Sherman. Hopefully your first impressions will prove to be well founded. Praying for you and your family.

I’m so glad for you Sherman - and I hope the way has opened for good things; you deserve it! :slight_smile:

That’s terrific, Sherman!


Sounds like a great place Sherman. All the best.

Sherman, that’s great news!
i’ve recently joined a similarly open church, and it so liberating! i’ve mentioned to a couple people i’ve met that i’m a universalist and they didn’t react at all. the vicar openly said from the pulpit last week he didn’t believe in hell, in fact, and the emphasis is not on levels of faith (though Jesus is preached and praised), but on love and social justice. people are welcomed from any faith or no faith…and i love what your pastor says about Jesus including people before they believed. it implies a more holistic, more organic approach…more relational. we accept people as Christ does, and slowly they grow closer to Him in that environment.
i pray there are more and more churches like this!
your pastor is also very wise to have noticed that it’s fine for people to have their core beliefs challenged, although it can be frightening

wonderful news Sherman. Pray for the rest of us. My wife told me last week not to talk to her anymore concerning hell. I’m still waiting on God to move at home.

Yes, wonderful news, Sherman, sounds like, by God’s grace, you and your family have found the ‘spiritual home’ you have been seeking.

I am not a regular churchgoer, but the church I attend most often is a small evangelical free church where my father is the lay pastor. He and the other elders know all about my Universalist beliefs, and have made me more than welcome nonetheless. It sounds like you’ve had some bad experiences in the past, whereas I have been very fortunate - the only hostility I’ve encountered from other Christians has been on the web!

And Nimblewill, stay strong brother. We’re all behind you, and I’m sure your wife will come round eventually - everybody will! :smiley:

All the best


Thanks for celebrating with me, everyone. And nimblewell, I understand and am in a similar situation at home. My wife processes things relationally, not logically. And coming to believe in UR resulted in problems in many relationships - family, long-term friendships and our local fellowship. Some in my family tried to make her choose between listening to me and listening to them and “everyone”. That with the weight of tradition and majority on the side of infernalism has made my wife very hesitant to even consider UR. Also, she’s not doctrinally oriented; rather, she has a simple faith in and love for God and people. So it’s been a rough few years for us because of the relational fall-out that transpired due to me coming to believe that Jesus does not fail to save anyone.

Anyhow, love is patient/persistant! So hang in there!

Praying it works out for you and your family, Sherman! :sunglasses:

Boy I hear this one. My wife is on board with universalism, but she still approaches things the way your wife does. I hope this situation works out well for you.
One thing’s clear, they at least don’t view universalism as heresy (even if they disagree with it), because if they did, the pastor would not have responded the way he did.

That sounds very promising! I hope & pray it works out for the longterm.