THE DANGER OF “CHRISTIAN’ UNIVERSALISM

Was Karl Barth a Universalist?
Posted by in Facebook's Pentecostal Theology Group View the Original Post

THE DANGEROUS OTHER GOSPEL OF “CHRISTIAN’ UNIVERSALISM ~ Ray E Horton

Manning and Merton are well received and loved in many evangelical circles that have wrongly taken the message of God’s grace to mean that because God did it all through Jesus, our faith is irrelevant.

Here is the danger of the other gospel of  so-called “Christian” Universalism: Thomas Merton wrote: “We must tell them that they are already united with God…and come into the consciousness of what is already there.”  No, not unless they put their trust in Jesus.

“Nevertheless, the central affirmation of the Reformation stands: through no merit of ours, but by his mercy, we have been restored to a right relationship with God through the life, death, and resurrection of his beloved Son. This is the Good News, the gospel of Grace,” wrote Brennan Manning. Of course, that statement sounds good but it isn’t the whole “gospel of Grace,” but just part of it. That statement is the gospel of unconditional universalism.

The actual Gospel is that whosoever believes in Jesus Christ will be saved (John 3:16), not that men are already redeemed.

I love a lot of what I’ve read over the years of Merton and Manning, two former Catholic priests with a heart for people. But one needs to be very careful of the spiritual material that we digest, because all that sounds good isn’t, and can, in fact, lead us away from the Gospel. Being a thinking person well-grounded in God’s Word, I do like to read what others believe. But we must be careful to “eat the hay, but leave the sticks,” as they say.

Manning and Merton are well received and loved in many evangelical circles that have wrongly taken the message of God’s grace to mean that because God did it all through Jesus, our faith is irrelevant.

This is the real danger in what some call “hyper-grace” of going over the Biblical line to Universalism. The true Gospel of Grace is such wonderful and amazing truth, and can be seen in Eph. 2:8-9:

We are saved by grace (what Jesus accomplished) but it is received through faith (our choice to put our trust in Jesus), not by works (the opposite extreme). Works alone can’t save us, but neither can grace alone. Our salvation, bought by Jesus at such a great price, must be received by faith.

(Written and first posted April 13, 2013).

 

Ray E Horton

Serving the Lord as encourager, reconciler, intercessor and prophetic teacher of God's Word, primarily in person and on Facebook, as well as writer and editor. Beyond, or as part of, the Ministry of Reconciliation that we are all called to, I am serving the Lord and His people as a minister of prayer at a local church, and encouraging the brethren locally among people I know, and worldwide on Facebook

1 Comment

  • Reply May 15, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    The US Senate has voted to give law enforcement agencies access to web browsing data without a warrant, dramatically expanding the government’s surveillance powers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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