Saturday, March 12, 2011

Which kind of universalism?

Here's a quick post on my take on the recent controversies related to universal salvation. (Rob Bell).

Some may point to passages that seem to imply that Christ saves everyone, not merely that his death could save everyone, but that it in fact does save everyone regardless of their religious view or faith in Him. I do not share this view because I believe it to be disproven resoundingly by a host of other bible passages.

But even if you were take the view that Christ saved all, there are two very different ways to apply this conviction. Different in terms of how you would evangelize, how you'd talk to folks in other religions.
  1. One is to walk into the mosque or synagogue (or the parking lot of such if you are shy) and proclaim, "You are all saved because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the only Son of God!".
  2. Another is to proclaim, "You are saved by God. You honor this God by worshiping and teaching exactly as you have been doing! Have a pleasant day!" Then you see a the person who doesn't attend any religious observances at all and you hand him the county interfaith directory and say, "Please pick one and become devout at it in order to be saved."

The people I've met and read about who seem to exhibit leanings towards universal salvation seem to have this this Type 2 (above) Evangelism. It's as if they decided first and foremost to be good citizens in the Interfaith Council and then bent a religion around that view. Of course, one should be a good citizen in the (secular) community, but this is not always the exact same this as advancing the interests of the Interfaith Council. It's pushing religion.

I find it to be most deceptive, illogical, and unbiblical. Now, if someone were teaching every week that Jesus was either a myth or not divine or not raised, isn't that more of a problem to the God of the bible than the person who rarely thinks about Him at all? If anything, I would guess that if you actually believed in Christ and met someone who didn't believe in any god, it would be better to leave that nontheistic person alone rather than insist they pick another religion.

IMAGE CAPTION: Pick one, no less than one, or else!

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