Sunday, October 31, 2010

Interview on Christian Universalism

Posted by Christine Pack

Thank you to Linda Harvey of Mission America for recently having me on her radio program.  We discussed a recent article that ran on Sola Sisters which exposed a new heretical teaching - "Christian Universalism" - that is literally sweeping through today's church under names such as "the Wider Mercy Doctrine" and "Universal Reconciliation."  We also discussed how this teaching has even become prevalent in Missions. "Christian Universalism" is being taught by very popular and prominent writers, teachers and pastors today, among them:
Leonard Sweet (Jesus Manifesto) 
Rob Bell (Velvet Elvis, NOOMA videos) 
Dallas Willard (The Spirit of the Disciplines)
William P. Young (The Shack)
I also briefly gave my testimony and discussed one of the main reasons that we write the Sola Sisters blog, which is that our greatest desire is to protect the purity of the gospel.  After all, it is the gospel message that has the power to save (Romans 1:16). Both of us who write Sola Sisters were saved out of the New Age, and we view the New Age to be, in many ways, a very clever "counterfeit Christianity," which uses lots of out-of-context Scripture to "prove" its core teaching.  So in a sense, it can be argued that the New Age functions somewhat like a Christian cult (i.e., Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, etc.).

The core theology of the New Age - which today is called "New Spirituality" and "Integral Spirituality" - is Panentheistic Universalism.  Panentheisim is a belief based in the East, but in recent years, it has become wholeheartedly embraced in the West, through such things as mysticism, yoga, reiki, holistic medicine, etc.  Panentheism teaches that God is "in" everything, and thus all things - plants, rocks, animals, humans, etc. - have some spark of the Divine within.  This is contrary to Scripture, which teaches that we are "dead in our sins."  Panentheism, at its core, is Universalist; after all, if ALL religions have some element of the Divine, then any path can be chosen for reaching God.  But this is also contrary to Scripture:
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.' " (John 14:6)
The idea of Universalism - or, "all paths lead to God" - has been very popular for a long time in a world that increasingly worships at the altar of religious pluralism and tolerance....but here at Sola Sisters, we would exhort our Christian brothers and sisters to reject this new heretical teaching of so-called "Christian Universalism" and warn others about it as well.  Jesus taught that narrow is the way to heaven and there would be few who would find it.  We must not let this hard teaching drive us to take Scripture out of context and look for some "Secret Escape Hatch" that we think God must have tucked away in his back pocket.  Instead, we must let this hard teaching spur us onward toward fulfilling the Great Commission:
"And he said to them, 'Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.'" (Mark 16:15)

 Additional Resources 

Interview on Christian Universalism

What Is A Christian Universalist?

The Wider Mercy Doctrine

Quantum Science Proves Everything Is Spiritual? Not So Fast, Says Quantum Physicist Dr. Frank Stootman

Universalism: The Gospel Message of the New Age and the Emergent Church Movement