Universalism isn't about love—it's about fear

Universalist's would have people believe that universalism is all about love. Not to swing accusations around as a wet mop, but if we look at some of the more outspoken adherents of universalism, a picture of hatred and ridicule appears:

Blasphemers of God like Tom L. Eric, or Matt can ever win a debate. They love those nuke buttons just like they used to love those faggots when they had the power to burn people alive. Thank God we live in America where fundamentalist Christians aren't allowed to act like their kissin cousins fundamentalist Moslems. Their jihads are the same and they both are from the same spirit.

YOU and Matt are such partial and unfair judges that if there were a hell, it surely would swallow you two up immediately. Did you ever read in the bible about impartialness? YOU, Eric, are a double-talking hypocrite and one day you'll see how biased you really are... And as far a BC is concerned, he's ten times the liar you are and one of the most hateful people I've come across in my Christian walk. If that's who you keep company with, I can understand why you would call our Father an eternal torturer. BC must be about a colonel in Satan's army by now. If you really wanna get up the ranks in the devils' army learn from BC, he's really working hard to be a general of old Slewfoot.

Satan in the guise of Eric wrote...

Dear Satan...ummm I mean...Eric...sorry if I can't tell you two apart...

Needless to say, I'm unimpressed. But this is some of the fruit that universalists have borne towards myself and others when we have raised legitimate objections to the doctrine of universalism. This is clearly not how true representatives of the kingdom of God are supposed to react, no matter the circumstances. The message that comments such as these sends to orthodox Christians is that love is not the gift universalism would bestow.

In all fairness to the universalists who abhor such comments, I note that these comments are all from universalists who have adopted the hard determinist stance and the doctrine of universal reconciliation. They are principally fatalists who happen to believe that all will eventually be saved. Therefore, whatever actions they make where foreknown and essentially approved of by God because these actions somehow all work together to forward His plan of the salvation of all peoples. Further, some of these people look at their personal sin as the cross they bear with Jesus Christ; thus their sins are just part of the faithful burden they willingly accept while they spread the "gospel" of universalism. Hence, the slandering of people or their intentional breaking of God's commandments is okay as long as it forwards the cause of universalism. Therefore, in the mindset of the deterministic universalist, might really does make right.

Fear is inline with the tactics employed by these universalists. The "I'm going to get you" mentality and the belief than the whole world is aligned in a cosmic "us" against "them" mindset. Every set-back they encounter only fuels a martyr complex that they hold to and often times witness because of their abrasive methods and manner. Fortunately within universalism this type of universalist is only a minority. But common to all universalists are their testimonies which all dictate their disbelief of Biblical texts being taught from the pulpit and their firm belief that guilt and hate were the only things the pastors preached. In reference to this misunderstanding, it should be noted that pastors do spend time on the problem of sin and evil in the world and good pastors will teach their congregation about the coming judgment of all men. It may well be that sermons such as these are striking too close to home or that the pastor is just going over board on the subject matter.

David F. Wells noted in his book, No Place for Truth, that a faith that is conceived in the heart of man is different that the historic Christian faith. Wells writes, "It is a smaller thing, shrunken in its ability to understand the world and to stand up to it. The self is a canvas too narrow, too cramped...good and evil are reduced to a sense of well-being" (Wells, No Place for Truth or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology, Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1993, p. 182).

The loss of a biblical understanding of the depravity of sin and the utter holiness of God results in a shift of judging morality not by what God says is true and righteous through holy writ, the absolute standard of faith and practice, but from what the individual assesses as righteous based upon their personal happiness--which is to say: the universalist assesses what is true by personal feeling. Faith and truth are determined by psychology and the Bible is then reinterpreted to suit personal morality. A loss of the ability to rightly determine what is truly evil and what is truly good is the result. To such people who adapt a doctrine of universal salvation in some form or fashion, for them, theology then becomes therapy.

The point that needs to be stressed is that there can only be one central idea of the Christian scheme, and that is, as it exists in the mind of God alone. If we start with the wrong central idea, we will end up with a system of belief that is full of errors. Hence the central idea of Christianity is not what we say that it is, but what God says it is. Clearly the Bible reveals that God's agenda is to have a holy people to call his own who willingly love and fellowship with him. Those who do not desire this shall be cast off to their own ends come the Day of Judgment.

The universalist, who rejects that the truth of the Christian faith is determined by God alone, recedes from the community of believers as a whole because they are continually judging the worthiness of sermons and doctrines of sin and mankind's final judgment upon their own moral compass and not what the Bible says is true and just. Unfortunately, this begins what appears to be a process of a slow withdrawal from God's truth, as personal psychology and philosophy are weighed against the teachings of Scripture.

Regardless, the universalists denial of principles such as what is truly good and what is truly evil has led them to universalism. Fine. However, oftentimes these same people when "witnessing" to orthodox Christians state we've been deceived and lied to, that all orthodoxy teaches and preaches is hate.

This is not true, Christianity is not a hate group nor are Christians a hateful people. Christians are sensitive that all peoples are under the condemnation of personal sin and are at enmity with the holy Lord our God. Therefore Christians recognize their personal sin and clearly see that they are in great need of a divine Redeemer and Savior right now else they shall stand before the Lord condemned by their own sin come the Day of Judgment. The reactions of universalists to this fact, illustrated in their own words above, show that the fruit of universalism isn't about love. Rather the fruit seems to be more based upon denial and fear: the denial God's holiness and authority to render righteous justice and the fear that what the Bible says is true. Their gospel seems to be all about hammering God and His Bible into a touchy feely all is well conformity, a compromise. Yet nothing I've seen in universalist theology comes close to considering God, for the universalist stands in judgment of God and not God in judgment of man. The result is that universalism paints God as contradictory, making Him lopsided by emphasizing His love all the while denying His justice.

Most of the universalists that I've spoken with allow for God to punish the wicked­but heaven forbid if God should not allow the wicked to be saved. That just wouldn't be right says the humanist in his heart. Universalists judge God and say among themselves, "Oh, God wouldn't do that." But this isn't the Godly love that is written of in the Bible. The doctrine of universalism makes God into the Borg of Star trek fame in that resistance is futile, all shall be saved. It makes God the author of sin (God forbid); for if all are saved in the end, for what purpose were sin and evil allowed?

The problem universalist's have with orthodoxy is that the universalist's themselves have dispensed with their biblical foundation. This is the foundation that we are to trust in the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul, knowing that His judgments are righteous and true (Rev. 16:7; 19:2) and not lean upon our understanding (Prov. 3:5-7). We are to do this no matter how this justice may seem to our fallen and sinful condition. Because of this loss, the universalist is no longer able to see what is truly important and is unable to clearly define the way, the truth and the light of men. Indeed, by embracing universalism the adherent has been deceived into fully adopted Satan's lie, which Genesis 3:4 records as: "Ye shall not surely die." Mr. and Mrs. universalist, was this not a lie?

The universalist is guilty of what the prophet Ezekiel said of the prince of Tyrus: "thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason" (Ezek. 28:17). It is through this same fallen imagination, tainted by sin, that the universalist has forgotten his first love of Jesus and replaced it with a doctrine that comforts the wicked heart and imaginations of man (Gen. 8:21; Is. 44:20; Jer. 17:9; Eph. 2:3). Because of this the universalist feels fully justified in disagreeing with anything that Scripture contains that rubs their heart the wrong way, reinterpreting it from the perspective that universalism is the truth beforehand. Therefore, universalists stand guilty of having reasoned the Bible into nothing and trivializing both the mercy and the justice of the Lord. The universalist has not followed the ways of God as he has sought, but instead, the ways of man­accepting without rebuke or question teachers that make them feel justified by their disagreement of what is right and what is wrong. It is a sad, sad thing to see with all their sincerity deceive themselves and wonder from sound doctrine. Thus, we ought to first pray for them as Elisha prayed for his servant, that their eyes be opened that they may see (2 Kings 6:17).

May we all walk in the truth, the life, the Light of men.

Eric Landstrom

Return to the Protestant Apologetics and Theology page