The Evangelical Universalist Forum

New believers in Christ and UR sent to non-UR churches

Here’s a question I’d like to ask.

Has anyone been in a situation where they have successfully evangelized universal reconciliation to someone who is not a Christian, gained that person’s acceptance, brought them to Christ, only to then have to suggest to that person that he/she should now attend a church that will inevitably not believe in UR, and whose congregation will most probably be opposed to any suggestion by the new convert of UR’s actuality, thus causing him/her to regret joining such a church?

This might be the experience of some evangelizers and converts here. If so, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on this?

I don’t recall ever being on the final lap of evangelism – I do more support work, not front line work – but I’ve seen this issue come up before where someone gives their life to Christ and trusts God for both gospel assurances, but then can’t find a church where both gospel assurances are taught.

The best advice I’ve been able to give is that, since it’s almost impossible to find a congregation that has maximum faith in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, at least find a congregation that has as much faith in the Persons as possible where one of the gospel assurances is denied, while also loving each other and serving other people. They’ll be handicapped, and there will be stress from their denial of one or the other gospel assurance and the implications that follow from that denial whichever way. But it’s better than having no church at all. Even salt mixed with some sand is better than no salt at all, as gaggy as it may sometimes be.

Or if choking on the sand just isn’t an option, find some families who love God and love their neighbor, and connect with them on a regular basis.

And remember, wherever we love our neighbor (even our enemies) by fulfilling justice for them in love, we’re serving God, too, Who loves them self-sacrificially into existence, and gives His life for them as His children. All creation, ultimately, is or should be our ‘church’.

Well, given this statistical info:

Somewhere in the world, that situation has occurred more than once - by statistical probability alone.

Now, whether folks here have any experience in that matter, is a different story entirely.

Universalism has long been a minority opinion in Christendom, and I do not see that changing in our lifetimes.

In my experience, Orthodox churches and Catholic churches never preach hellfire and brimstone. Their structured liturgies prevent too many “gotchas!” during Sunday morning worship. Protestant churches, simply by the fact that their services are dominated by a sermon, are more hit-or-miss. The best most Protestants can do is to find a decent church that does not preach hellfire and brimstone. Denominational labels might not be a lot of help here. For example, Southern Baptist pastor X might really give his congregation hell most every Sunday, while Southern Baptist pastor Y might put hell way back on the back burner.

Thanks for all your responses.

I know that some on this forum think that Evangelical Universalists shouldn’t start their own “denomination” in case it just turns out to be yet another division in the body of Christ, and I appreciate that possibility. But it seems to me that we have reached a situation now (perhaps a tipping point) where such a denomination (for want of a more appropriate word) should be considered, if only as a much needed refuge for the many Universalists now out there.

If such a move was made prayerfully and responsibly, and with sufficient safeguards, then I can’t see the harm in it. And I’m sure God would have no objections, and would probably welcome it, as it would be the only denomination that represented both his full glory and his full gospel.

There do exist Christian communions (churches in fellowship with each other) who generally hold a UR position. My wife and I attend a church of one of them. However, in this communion, the doctrine is never preached, and seldom mentioned.

I would love to see such a thing, but I sometimes wonder if the truth of UR would serve as a sufficiently unifying factor among the seemingly extreme diversity of peripheral theology that exists among Universalists.

As far as another division in the body of Christ is concerned, in this case, I think the division itself would serve a positive purpose in highlighting this much needed truth- but then, I consider UR to be the only true gospel, so I would hardly consider it a division, unless the organization was divisive in spirit and practice.

If the “we believe and practice(tenets/statement of faith and purpose)” was centered in(no particular order intended) in

Biblical authority

The Deity and Lordship of Jesus

The propitiation of sin through the blood of His cross

The reconciliation of all including adversaries, through the ages of the administration of the fulness of times

The call to discipleship in the love of God and the ministry of reconciliation

An open attitude towards embracing all comers fo fellowship while maintaining a moderate prohibition on divisions, strife and debate over peripheral theology and tangental teaching

It could do well in service and communion.

Sorta like this site :slight_smile:

Just an off the cuff opinion :slight_smile:

Are you in the USA, Paidion?

This is my view, exactly. Such an “organisation” wouldn’t be a denomination or division at all, but a fellowship manifesting the full and complete revelation of the Good News gospel, which the denominations have only imperfectly grasped and preached. Surely, God would want such a fellowship to exist. I feel that he does, and that he is beginning to create the desire for this in us.

Such a fellowship will ultimately need to exist if the gospel in its entirety is to be preached to the entire world before the end comes. The gospel as preached by the denominations will not and cannot fulfil this requirement, as the gospel they preach misrepresents the complete character of God, and so frightens away possible new believers, who turn instead to “new age” gods and spirits who they see as more loving than the true God.

So I think that our desire for such a fellowship is worthy of God’s approval, and part of his ultimate plan.

:smiley: I am inspired, as Ezra (or was it Nehemiah- both?) to intercede for the Lord to return a remnant to the inheritance, to rebuild the temple of the Lord upon its ancient foundations.

Maybe that’s what’s happening.

I just came across this blog post:

It says that all the denominations seem to be now coming to some tentative accomodation for the concept of UR, if not a stated support for it.

No. I am in Canada. But there are many churches from our circle of fellowship in United States. Actually most of the churches of this circle are in third world countries.

What’s the denomination of your particular church that is part of this fellowship?

This circle of fellowship claims to be non-denominational, and to be an expression of the one and only Church that Christ founded. Here is a list of the circle’s churches in United States. I am not sure whether or not this is a complete list:

Church at Brooklyn
Christian Learning Center, 444 East 45th St., Brooklyn, NY

The Church at Clearwater
1411 Nursery Road, Clearwater, FL

The Church at Charlotte
Metro School 2nd Street, Charlotte, NC

The Church at Denton
1123B Ft. Worth Drive, Denton, TX

The Church at Easton
Easton Utilities, 201 N Washington St., Easton, MD

The Church at Fort Collins
6841 Hidden Springs Road, Fort Collins, CO

The Church at Geneva
Kane Country Farm Bureau, Randall Rd, St. Charles, IL

The Church at Grand Junction
711 Placer Drive, Fruita, CO

The Church at High Point
Seventh Day Adventist Church, 279 Eastchester Dr. High Point, NC

The Church at Kingsport
4404 Timberlake Lane, Kingsport, TN

The Church at Lynchburg
River Ridge Supply Co, RT’s 29 & 24, Lynchburg, VA

The Church at Minden
1552 N Road, Minden, NE

The Church at Montevideo and Minneapolis
9418 Saratoga Lane, Maple Grove, MN or
Carnegie Hall, Old Library, Montevideo, MN

The Church at Omaha
6420 South 66th Street, Lincoln, NE

The Payette Church
510 3rd Ave N, Payette, ID

The Peoria Church
128 Tanglewood Lane, Peoria, IL

The Church at Portland
24105 NE Old Yamhill Rd., Newberg, OR

The St. Louis Church
1375 Shelby Point Dr. O’Fallon, MO

Is there a website info on them? I found the location, one of them is near me, but can find no info on when they meet.

Do you have any personal knowledge of them?

Yes, quite a lot. Not, specifically the U.S. churches, but the group as a whole. I have been attending one of these churches in North-Western Ontario where I have lived since the seventies.

The local churches are led by elders (overseers) and deacons. Normally there is a plurality of overseers, even if the local church is few in number. A meeting usually begins with one brother leading it (who was asked to do so by the elders). This brother may give a few words and lead in songs (though anyone present is free to suggest a song, too, as the spirit of God leads). Then after a half hour or so, the brother may sit down with the words, “I’ll leave the meeting open.” At this point the body of Christ ministers. Anyone may have a song, even an unknown song that the Lord had given him or her, a prophecy, an exhoration, or a short message.

All the churches I have attended have their main meeting on Sunday morning at either 10 A.M. or 11 A.M. depending on the decision of the local elders.

There are also “travelling elders” sometimes referred to as “apostolic brethen” who visit the various churches, usually participating in special meetings in which they instruct the people of that local church. This helps the local churches to go in a similar direction. There is no formal membership in a local church, but rather every true disciple of Jesus is recognized as a brother or sister. Sisters normally don’t “preach” in a meeting, but they are welcome to give an exhoration or short message.

The bread and wine of the communion is shared every Sunday morning, and is believed to be more than a mere symbol, but also a means of grace. It is thought to be sometimes even a means of physical healing.

Yes, the missionary branch has a website. Their statement of faith is much the same as that of most evangelical churches, but their practice is quite different. There is a mention of a belief in heaven and hell, but no mention in the statement of faith, of the eventual reconciliation of all to God, although this is generally believed among the people as well as the leaders.

Thanks for listing them, Paidion.

That site you found Amos, is a great sister site to a more extensive blog called, which I like a lot. :slight_smile: (Though I often forget it’s there just from being busy. :wink: )

Thanks, I’ll check it out.

Actually, there is an Evangelical Universalist denomination. The General Lutheran Church.

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