Why am I being rejected by the Institutional Church?


Question: I’m actually sad about the attitude I’ve met in my church lately, from the pastor. “You are WRONG!” he said. No explanation. Why am I being rejected by the Institutional Church for believing in Universal Reconciliation?

Response: I’m so sorry that you’ve experienced this, and yet it is rather affirming to my own heart for I have experienced just the same. And I was part of that inner circle! It was extremely unnerving, disconcerting, and confusing for me to encounter such resistance–and particularly strange when I realized that none could offer convincing arguments and, even more strange, when I realized that they didn’t want to.

It took awhile, but I began to realize that the lies of the evil one are much more enticing and subversive than I once realized. In the end, I think it will be revealed that we each have faith in “God is Salvation (Jesus)” or “I am my own salvation (me-sus);” we each have faith that we create ourselves or that God is our Creator. And of course, each of us is a mixture of both.

Institutions, including “the church” (not the True Church, Christ’s Body) run on the assumption that they create themselves by appealing to people that think they create themselves, and so they operate on a system of reward and punishment–rewards and punishments that the institution controls. So institutions will talk “Jesus,” but run on “Me-sus.” When we suggest that God will conquer all, we simultaneously suggest that we and our institutions do not ultimately conquer anything. When we suggest that there is no endless conscious torment, we take away the biggest threat that the institution wields. And when we say, “God Saves, absolutely” we simultaneously say, “We don’t save at all.”

Ironically, believing that we save ourselves is the lie that the evil one uses to grow what Scripture refers to as our “flesh.” The prison in which we entomb ourselves, into which Christ descends. The flesh is death and Hades (not endless, but temporal). So when you speak of Jesus and his victory, you wage war against “Hell.” Isn’t that ironic? And isn’t that exactly why we need to keep speaking even though we encounter resistance? God makes all things new through the Word that comes from your mouth. He’s not dependent on you or me, but he’s calling us to share in his work and in his Joy.

So, listen to these words with fresh ears: “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matt. 5:11-12)

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