I'd like to call your attention to a community in need. They have been living in secret for a while. Their friends, family and neighbors reject who they are. Those who find out about them renounce their identity and tell them that they are going to Hell - that they are corrupt. But, by the grace of God, many of them have been coming out. They have been opening the closet doors one by one. Who am I talking about...? I'm talking about the new universalists.
|Rob Bell: yup, he's a universalist|
I know that the strategy has mostly been to stay quiet - to distance ourselves from the theological ground behind our Principles and covenant so that we won't upset our most cantankerous members. But I'm afraid that if we don't claim our tradition now, we will very quickly lose the authenticity ever to claim it.
So many bright, probing, incredibly talented and wildly popular evangelicals are shaking the ground of Christianity, discovering for themselves the truth of God's vastness and boundless love without ever needing us to tell them. In fact, let's be clear - Universalism and the Way of Love manages to find a way into people's hearts without us. That's what's happening right now - hence this letter requesting that we get on board someone else's train. I'm a firm believer that the best ideas never die - that's why they keep popping up in so many of the world's religions.
Ok, so who do I mean and where should we start? I think we gotta jump on what's hot right now - and that would be Rob Bell! I had a couple readers send me links to this guy today and I'm glad they did! Here's the deal-
Rob Bell is the hottest thing in American religion right now. His name was one of the highest trending on Twitter this weekend - and in case you are not super tech savvy, that is a BIG deal. Why all the fuss? He's an evangelical heavy weight who just announced a new book, which is a treatise on universalism called "Love Wins." This guy is magna hot right now- and his book comes out March 29 so you haven't much time! Act now! You can read more about him and the conservative backlash here.
After that storm calms down I would take some time and get to know Brian McLaren, Jonathan Brink and some of the other evangelical universalists who have helped shape the Emergent Church and Big Tent Christianity. Become their facebook friends, publicly support them. Maybe you could even write reviews of their books - anything to associate Unitarian Universalism as a supportive friend and ally to all the practicing universalists out there keeping Hope alive.
I pray that you will act in faith on this matter and be the national voice and leader that we have called you to be.