Many people confuse TRUE CHRISTIAN UNIVERSALISM with pluralistic, humanistic, or secular universalism. Questions asked every day betray the general ignorance prevailing as to the beliefs of TRUE Christian Universalism. No faith is so grand or complete as true Christian Universalism, and yet so misunderstood. People ask if the Christian Universalists believe in God, if they believe in Christ, if they believe in the Bible, if they believe in a hereafter, if they believe in prayer, and even if they believe in punishment,-- when I know of no Christian people who emphasize as strongly as they do the absolute certainty of punishment. It seems to be the opinion of most all Christian people that the Christian Universalists beliefs are founded upon negations, whereas their affirmations express as strong an evangelistic faith as that professed by any other Christians on earth.
True Christian Universalism is not a new belief. It did not begin in the late 1700's and early 1800's as is assumed by some people. Rather, its principles are as old as the Christian records. It was prophecied in the Old Testament and revealed in the New Testament. It is the faith that was declared by Jesus, the Apostles, and the Christian church in it's earliest days. It claims the New Testament as the basis of its doctrines. It cites the Gospels, the Apostolic History and the Epistles, Christ, and his first ministers, as authority for its pretensions.
Of the six theological schools known to exist from the second to the fourth centuries, four of them believed and taught the concepts of Christian Universalism, one taught annihilation, and only one taught eternal torment, the school of Rome. You find members of almost every Christian communion, Greek, Romish, Lutheran, Church of England, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Friends, etc., etc., differing widely in many respects, but all agreeing in this one Divine truth, that God loves all men, and will have them to be saved; that Christ gave himself a ransom for all, and that all will ultimately be brought to holiness and happiness.
The Bible is the creed of the true Christian Universalist. In this respect, the true Christian Universalist Faith is the same as most other Christians differing mainly in the one distinguishing doctrine of Christian Universalism which is concerned with the extent of God's love and the final results of His salvation.
That one distinguishing doctrine of true "Christian Universalism", in its simple and proper theological sense, is the doctrine of universal reconciliation, universal salvation; or in other words, of the final holiness and happiness of all mankind, to be effected by the grace of God, through the ministry of his Son, Jesus Christ.
Yes, Christian Universalists believe that sin has its consequences. They believe in a just retribution for sin. They believe that God, as the moral governor of the universe, will bestow righteous and equitable rewards and punishments upon all mankind according to their several characters or deserts; but that all punishment will be remedial, and consequently limited.
Although Christian Universalists have composed many Statements of Faith thoughout the years to express their beliefs, the standard profession used by many, which has stood the test of time, was composed in 1803 and consisted of three short articles, or paragraphs. A fourth article was added by some Christian Universalists to further clarify their beliefs concerning rewards and punishments. The Profession is shown below with all four articles.
We believe, that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments contain a revelation of the character of God, and of the duty, interest, and final destination of mankind.
We believe there is one God, whose nature is love; revealed in one Lord Jesus Christ, by one Holy Spirit of grace, who will finally restore the whole family of mankind to holiness and happiness.
We believe, that holiness and true happiness are inseparably connected; and that believers ought to maintain order, and practice good works, for these things are good and profitable unto men.
We believe that God, as the moral governor of the universe, will restore righteous and equitable rewards and punishments upon all mankind according to their several characters or deserts; but that all punishment will be remedial, and consequently limited.
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