I’ve been considering my options, now that I’ve come to believe in UR. Because of most churches’ exclusive Statement of Faith, I cannot in good conscience join them knowing that I disagree with their SoF and knowing that it is such a big issue with them. And I am not one to just attend, fill a seat, and not get involved. I’ve tried to do this for a little while now and just cannot continue to do so. On top of that, I continue to get increasingly frustrated with these exclusive elements of the church we’ve been attending. From my perspective, UR vs. Hell or Annihilation is not an issue that should divide us and keep us from working together; I believe there needs to be room for differences of beliefs on this and many other issues. I believe that if we’re loving God and loving one another then the rest of the stuff can work out.
Anyhow, this weekend at a wedding, I shared UR with some people I met and they said that’s what they believed, they just didn’t know that Universalism is what it was called. Their church focuses loving God and loving people in very practical ways and is open to a wide variety in beliefs and doctrine. They personally believed in UR, believing that such empowers them to stop worrying about who’s in and who’s out and simply love people, leaving judgment to God! It was an awesome conversation and I was greatly encouraged! And they attend a United Methodist congregation.
So in checking out this I’ve come to see that they are open to their members having a variety of beliefs. In fact, their focus is on praxis, practically loving one another and reaching out with love to those who do not know the Lord. Their focus seems to be more on “How to” as opposed to “What if”.
I had never even considered the possibility of me becoming a Methodist, but the more I read about them, the more it seems that at heart I already am one, sharing their values and philosophy of life and ministry! I didn’t know that there was such a denomination. I do wonder though how rigid they are and how open the local congregations are to growth and change. And coming from a Charismatic/Pentecostal background I’ll likely miss the passionate and expressive worship, assuming that the worship services are more traditional. We’ll see though.