The Fellowship of Evangelical Universalists


#1

Is it possible that Evangelical Universalism could become an organized denomination with creed and accountability as well as networking and support? Wouldn’t that be a great way to get the message into the world and provide a spiritual home for like minded people?
There are some fantastic theological minds who could begin the brain trust and leadership of some kind of official work. I mean how long is this thing going to float around the internet and in lecture halls and debate forums before it goes out and becomes Apostolic and missional in its efforts?
Or has it begun and I can’t find it?


#2

I couldn’t agree more. Going to church and hearing a message of hopeless punishment makes me not want to go to church. Hearing a message of the best possible news imaginable makes me want to worship with joy. I hope to one day find a universalist church.


#3

Lets agree in prayer for God to raise up a new work on this solid foundation that will be led by people of integrity and will last until the end of the age.


#4

Mark, at first glance, this sounds like a good idea. I am tired of being considered heretical for even questioning the establishment position on the afterlife. It might be a relief to be able to worship with others who have been facing the same struggles in their search for truth. But ….

Is the formation of a new denomination an answer? There would need to be a creed and statement of faith agreed to by all. A president/moderator/bishop/archbishop/chief poohbah, or whatever would have to be appointed. Salaries /reimbursements/ pensions, etc. would require to be funded. It would likely not take long for a split to happen - the Zombie Apocalypse faction perhaps.

And I am not sure I would be better off emotionally and spiritually if I left my church. I have had to learn to keep my thoughts to myself (Rom. 14:22 'Hast thou faith? Keep it to thyself), but the pastor is a good, caring man and the congregational have shown me nothing but kindness and love during the past few years of Alida’s illness and death. No, I will remain there and continue to “break bread” with them.

I enjoy the fellowship of fellow believers in this Forum, even those who may disagree with me (on DJT, for example). It is almost like being part of a warm, caring fellowship, albeit over vast distances via the Internet. But I doubt that establishing a new denomination is the answer.


#5

It seems there are existing various fellowships (with differing doctrines) that might come under the broad heading of “Evangelical Universalist”. For one example:


#6

Oh my gosh, please don’t let this happen.
Let the idea of God’s grace be put to each individual, the understanding that God is the YWHW of the universe, not the structured insistence on following a prescribed formula… The formula paradigm is the very thing that Got Israel into trouble,(God showed the Israelites they couldn’t figure it out) and yet you want to continue. Whoa.

People and communities will at some point come together if we see God as the benefactor and not as our understand to a stringent following of HIS RULES to be the savior. Christ was the savior of the Israelite people, many did not know it. Many in the western world today do not realize what Christ did for humanity. Many put conditions and exceptions on how we are supposed to believe.
:frowning_face:


#7

Check out the Book of Acts. Notice the leadership, organizational structure and missional goals. Sorry but Jesus builds churches not desert islands.
We should plant churches. Its the biblical model. And churches should network for support, accountability and protection if possible. Not that theres anything wrong with being wholly independant, but this doctrine if combined with organization could provide a place of refuge for many lost souls.


#8

100% agree with you. The fact that there is a New Covenant does not, imo, mean that the biblical patterns (which display the wise guidance of God) are thereby to be disregarded, unless those patterns are clearly overridden by the New Testament.


#9

That was some 2000 years ago. Let’s be real and look at the real challenge of the church. People are leaving evangelical churches in groves, the only evangelical churches that are thriving are the prosperity gospel churches.

Though there are pockets of believers coming together in communities that look at the kingship of Christ and his reign to bring humanity to the understanding of the God YHWH and looking past the ideas of men.

If you are taking the Acts verses as a roadmap for today, I would say you may be fighting a loosing battle. Look at the history, you will find the answer.

Good Luck.


#10

The other quality i neglected to mention that typified the early church was Spirit led innovation. They met the challenges of the day with Gods wisdom and power. Its not about cookie cutting Acts, its about applying the broad principles that have not changed in 2000 years like Fellowship, accountability, evangelism and a unified body building itself up in love. You think people didnt leave the church back then? Of course they did or why would John say, “Those that went out from us were never part of us.”
Or why would Hebrews have said “Forsake not the gathering of yourselves together as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another and all the more as you see that day approaching.”
Disciples go where they are fed and challenged. Thus there is a consolidation to larger and larger places. Then you have the people who leave because they dont want to carry the cross anymore. Heck I seem to remember a pretty significant crowd turning away from Jesus when he told them they had to eat his flesh. That didnt make Jesus a failure, it just revealed the nature of true followers.
None the less Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” Thats an image of the church as a organized spiritual army pressing on the gates of hell and breaking in to steal its prisoners. Thats an image of Jesus building something that works as a unit.


#11

Well said.


#12

Mark, I get a sense of some disappointment in the underwhelming responses to your very sincere suggestions about a new EU organized church. You already know that I am one who is lukewarm, if not outright opposed, to the idea.

Invernessian
Mark, at first glance, this sounds like a good idea. I am tired of being considered heretical for even questioning the establishment position on the afterlife. It might be a relief to be able to worship with others who have been facing the same struggles in their search for truth. But ….Is the formation of a new denomination an answer?

I am contemplating starting a new Topic which may address your proposal. I have to think it through before I make the initial post.


#13

That could be considered by some as … well questionable. Let’s have at it Pastor Mark:


#14

You are treading on some very thin ice. You seem to try to tell us all that you understand that you have a first hand understanding about what was going on there in Jesus’ time. No offence, but you don’t have a diddly squat idea about what happened then.

I appreciate your boldness, but you may need to show some humility.

Good luck to you.


#15

Well that’s just an incorrect statement. We know a LOT about first century life, history, religion, customs, mores and etc. Read Tom Wright’s big books - 5 volumes so far - to give you a taste.
As well, do you really think human nature has changed over the past 2K years - or has God?


#16

May i have the titles of these books?


#17

Here’s a link to the first one, scroll down that Amazon page to see the rest of the series.

I will send them to you as loaners if you like - they’re rather expensive.


#18

No I do not believe that is an incorrect statement. Yes, it has changed. And we are changing AND NEED TO CHANGE.

To face the 21st century, we need to see religious, political, social and scientific ideas to be brought forth. :smile:


#19

We have not diagnosed the sickness unto death, which is the first step toward the only cure - which is not scientific social or political. The renewal of our hearts/spirits is still the absolute basic beginning point that will allow the other facets of our social life to really prosper in the right directions. Society takes marching orders from the Lord, not vice-versa.
Though I do agree that an analysis of society is a valuable thing as well. Such as “Future Shock” by Alvin Tofler.


#20

I was kind of wondering what Pastor Mark was thinking…