Bisbee's Why I Am a Universalist, part five

2. Universalism believes in the spiritual authority and leadership of his Son Jesus Christ. And again I can say, so do all Christians. There are innumerable differences in beliefs about Christ, but every Christian believes in Christ. Universalism is Christocentric — Christ is central in its faith. It is not dogmatic regarding the mysteries of his nature, but accepts his authority and leadership with unquestioned love and obedience; sees in him the divine Son of God and Saviour of the world; holding that “th test of a man’s belief in Christ is not correctness of his theory about him, but the loyalty of one’s allegiance to him.” Perhaps a little parable may help us here:

Two men wandering in a deep valley became lost amid the thick underbrush and were in despair at their hopeless condition, when, glancing up at the mountain on one side, they descried a man half way to the top, who from his elevated position could look out over the whole valley and see the way which would lead them out of danger. He called to them and pointed out the way, but those men, instead of following his direction, fell to quarreling as to how he got there; one said he came down from the top, and the other that he came up from the bottom, and, instead of giving heed to the advice they quarreled on until they starved! So it seems that Christians through all these centuries, wandering in the deep valleys of human experience, amid the tangle of sin and sorrow, have lost their way, and there has stood out upon the heights their Saviour, calling them and pointing out the way, but instead of obeying, they have been quarreling as to how he got there – did he come down from heaven or up from the earth? — when the one important thing for us every-day people is the fact that he is there, on the heights, and by virtue of his position speaks with authority and points the way to our heavenly life and heavenly home.

He is our Saviour and we are saved in faith in him, not in payment for the faith, but having faith in him he leads us to a life like his own, Christ-like, which is salvation. For this salvation he was lifted upon the cross and will draw all men unto him; and his power to endure the cross came from the consciousness that his sacrifice was not in vain, that he should “see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied.” Universalism believes in the Personal Christ as the one supreme and adequate element in the world’s salvation. Freed from the complexities of theology, he stands our regal Master, our divine teacher, the exemplar of human possibilities, who came into the world to live and suffer and die, to bear the name of “Jesus, because he shall save his people from their sins.” And I am a Universalist because I believe Christ will succeed.

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