Tuesday 30 April 2013

Not quite Universalism

The latest edition of the 16 page quarterly Tkachite magazine Christian Odyssey is an interesting one for anyone following the fortunes of the rump sect once known as the Worldwide Church of God.

Editor John Halford trills a brief swan song - he is unexpectedly shuffling off. Despite fiercely championing the excellencies of moving away from paper to an all digital format, it seems he now feels inadequate to the task. Halford always seemed a more reasonable member of Tkach's hand-picked circle, and even those who are now beyond the influence of the shattered Empire will now, in most cases, want to wish him well.

Franchise CEO-for-life Joe Tkach (pronounced T'cotch) has a feature article in which he denies that GCI (Grace Communion International) is now teaching a form of universalism. Oh goodness me no, nor did Uncle Karl Barth, the Troublesome Torrances, the dude who wrote The Shack or Baxter "Perichoresis" Kruger. Of course, GCI does teach something nearly indistinguishable from universalism, but it isn't universalism 'cos that would be heretical, kind of.

For the life of me I can't see why Tkach is wringing his hands over what seems a no-brainier, that the Universe doesn't play favourites based on obscure doctrines. If Tkach wants to have a hernia, he'd be better off pondering issues of accountability to members, the dubious ethics of drawing a substantial salary from a sinecure, and the nepotism that placed him where he is.

You can find Christian Odyssey at http://www.gci.org/publications/odyssey


  1. WCG always taught a form of "universalism" with their multiple resurrections for a "first" chance at salvation for those who missed Herb's broadcasts and/or didn't act on them the first time around.

    In the "second" resurrection, when you pop up out of your grave and get your "first" chance at salvation wouldn't you take it? I would. Unfortunately, since I gave up on my first chance, it's the third resurrection and "second death" for me.

  2. The reaction of many evangelicals to universalism is surprising. Rob Bell, like the Trinitarians, has been accused of Universalism. Evangelicals hate the idea. I read about an interesting aspect of this on a conservative evangelical website belonging to a church in Oklahoma. The writer stated that evangelicals did not hate Rob Bell because Bell is a Universalist. They know that Bell is not. They hate Bell merely because he wants Universalism to be true. But of course there is an apples and oranges problem here. The evangelicals believe that if Universalism is true and everybody receives salvation, then nothing makes any difference. Bell and others believe in the Persistence of God, that he will go to great lengths to save someone and this will necessarily result in large numbers finding repentance and being saved. Much different idea from what the evangelicals assert.

    -- Neotherm

  3. There is a hell. You don't want to be there. You may be surprised you escaped because of invincible ignorance.

  4. "The evangelicals believe that if Universalism is true and everybody receives salvation, then nothing makes any difference."

    What an incredibly selfish attitude! But, you are right. I do know "evangelicals" who sort of relish the idea that everyone else is "going to hell". If that were true (thankfully it isn't), I wonder how long such glee would last?

    Based on what we currently know about the universe, there will be PLENTY of time, space, and prime real estate for EVERYONE who has ever lived, and then some....

    1. Can hardly wait to get your own planet to rule over, Larry? Or, will you be worthy enough to get a whole space quadrant? Wow. I'm telling you...people get the craziest ideas when on the AGoG drug...

    2. Corky, your comments are almost funny, "almost" being the operative word...