Thanks Cindy for your comments! It is great to be here and reading you all. This forum has wonderful folks and I like it’s inclusive accepting ways, while still maintaining a gracious atmosphere of mutual respect. I know I touched on sensitive ground with some of my comments. I have seen the dark side of religion and at times I can be rather uncharitable with it. I know the States is different from here, not because I have been there but because I have worked with American missionaries for my whole life. I guess my concern is how to reach Europe, where I live, and where traditional religion has almost disappeared. The pervading idea is that humanistic philosophies have corrupted the continent and that it is now beyond hope. I disagree with that. Humanistic, atheistic philosophies would have had no power of themselves but were simply a byproduct of Christianity gone wrong. If you look at the major atheistic thinkers and philosophers of the last two centuries, you’ll find that a good many of them came from religious schools and families and were desperately trying to figure out what had gone wrong. They might have wrongly tossed out God, but were all too right about the religion they had known. The fact is that Europeans have not rejected God but congregational religion. I love to attend church when there is an opportunity and I find some spiritual solace in a Catholic church, as well as amongst the Mormons, though I prefer ecumenical gatherings, which are few and far between. That is as far as my personal need for fellowship but I am well aware that no church or ecumenical gathering is equipped to effectively reach Europeans. There is too much history beyond each congregation and Europeans known it all too well. There are too many things that distort Christianity and make it undesirable. Hypocrisy is one of them, then there is a judgmental exclusivistic attitude, the question of hell and differentiation on the basis of salvation, political compromises for gain, the condescending pretense of being God’s representatives, an all this make it so that people don’t want it and therefore don’t whant it’s god either. Universalism sheds those aspects of traditional Christianity that served as a platform for scare tactics, spiritual terrorism, political domination, racism and all. Universalism has, in my view, the potential to be the renewed Christianity that Europe does not know and which it might be able to embrace. It is the good news without the bad. It is what they need to hear but it must come in a different package. I don’t think it should concern itself with establishing new congregation, but with simply putting out it’s message. If the message is right God will bless it and cause it to bear fruit. How that fruit organizes itself is something that we should leave in God’s hands, but I would rather see universalism take a different road than traditional congregations. For me the message is more important than social Christian structures.
By the way what’s the link to your blog? I have a couple as well but they are in Italian.