Universalism is nothing new. As a church the first Universalist congregation in America was founded in Gloucester in 1779. Eleven years later the Universalists meeting in Philadelphia prepared their first declaration of faith and plan of government.
As time progressed the liberalism of the Universalist church increased until in 1942 the charter was changed to read: “To promote harmony among adherents of all religious faiths, whether Christian or otherwise.”
Finally, in May of 1960, Universalists and Unitarians merged into the Unitarian Universalist Association.
At no time have the major evangelical denominations recognized these churches as a part of the Protestant tradition, nor has either of them been admitted to membership in cooperative church groups.
Evangelical Christianity is now confronted by a different form of Universalism, all the more dangerous because it insidiously distorts the Gospel and opens the door of salvation to all, not on the basis of faith in Christ but on the basis of inherited participation in God’s redemptive love. As the “perfect pedagogue” His salvation must be effective for all men, we are told.
That the Unitarian-Universalist concept has a deadening effect on its believers is easily demonstrated. After nearly two centuries there are only a few hundred congregations with a total membership of less than 200,000. Missionary purpose and evangelistic zeal are naturally lacking—why preach to a need which does not exist?
The Universalism which the major denominations find in their midst today may not involve crass Unitarianism, nor the frank syncretism of Universalism, but this increases its danger for there is, on the surface, an apparent attempt to magnify the redemptive work of Christ which is appealingly ...1
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