The instinct to “choose teams” is VERY deep in man. We are tribal people. And the Good News that we are all One Tribe is tough to take all the way down.
Any idea, even one we believe is transformative, can quickly become self-definitional. I first noticed this at Brown - a very liberal East coast school. The hyper-environmentalists would try to evangelize others, but I recognized something about the character of their arguments. Having grown up in a conservative Christian home in Wisconsin, I recognized the “preaching to the choir” aspect, the alienating and condescending tone they adopted. They were ostensibly trying to convince, but subconsciously trying to repel. Why?
Again, I recognized my own Christian youth. “THIS is my identity. But if I actually convince you, and others…well then my unique identity becomes more and more diluted.”. Taken to it’s extreme, if EVERYONE became a hyper-environmentalist, then who would THEY be? Their own evangelism would have destroyed their very identity. THIS is the “Evangelical Paradox”: Every group based on an idea is excited about it and wants to spread it! But if they’re too successful, the group is destroyed. If everyone used a Mac, what would using a Mac mean for my “personal brand”? Nothing whatsoever.
Christians are afflicted by this paradox, and Universalists are not immune - so we need to be vigilant to the irony that our “good news” about how we’re all eventually included doesn’t become “self-definitional”. We have identity because we are Gods very children, not because we hold this or that idea. Thus be wary of arguing in an alienating Us/Them way. We are not truly evangelizing then - we are pissing on our territory.