Friday, December 13, 2013

Christian Universalism 101

"I was lost, and now am found."

Christian Universalism may be a new word for you. 

We, in one way or another, have been taught by our parents or relatives about the state of our souls after death. The most common version to most of us is if one dies a sinner and is 'unsaved' (because one sins a lot or does not believe in Jesus), then one goes straight to hell. 

Other Christians would contend that a sinner's soul, upon death, would be destroyed by God right away.

These theological thoughts seem too morbid. The idea of God as a loving and just Father simply fades and is suddenly changed into the version of a cruel judge. As a child, I often lose myself in thought. Why would God punish me and my transgressions with an eternity of hell-fire or sudden damnation if I were to live only 75 years at most?

Would that be a little harsh?

However, there is one theological school that is somewhat different. There is a theological school since the beginning of our Christian faith that had always taught a different and somewhat radical message.

This school is called Christian Universalism.

Christian Universalism is a theological idea which believes in the salvation of all people through the unfailing love of God. Universalism is radical, wherein we believe that everything in this material universe - whether visible or invisible - would finally be reconcilled in the fullness of time to God's ultimate love.  No one, no matter the most pathetic sinner, would be left to be separated from God's love for all eternity.

Universalism preaches the authentic "Good News" of Christianity. In the words of St. Paul 
“For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22) - and this means every single one of us, no exceptions.

Universalism, unlike its opposite pole - fundamentalism, teaches that God’s essential nature is Love. Universalists believe that all religions contain both truth and error, that the only commandment that really matters is to love other people as oneself, and that all souls will eventually be saved and perfected as part of God’s unfailing plan.

Christian Universalism is distinct from the liberal religious system Unitarian Universalism, in that we teach the uniqueness of Christ Jesus as our liberator and teacher.

The Catholic Universalist Church is also distinct within the Christian Universalist Movement because we emphasize and keep the sacraments passed down to us from the earliest days of the church. Our worship rites echo that of the ancient rites, its validity legitimized through the sacrament of ordination - keeping us in spiritual communion with the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

To know more, please visit the Christian Universalist Association and the Catholic Universalist Church by clicking on the links to their respective websites.