Matthew Roark
September 2, 2021
Question #
19

Why Does Universal Salvation Make People Angry?

Question:

I just wanted to thank you all for the work you put into this site and the articles here. I finally came to terms with my own implicit belief in universal salvation this last year, and Mercy On All has been a source of encouragement and strength in the face of adversity and blowback from many quarters. If there were one question that haunts me now, it would be: why are folks so committed to infernalism? Why do they become so angry and so dogmatic when it is challenged? Anyways, thanks for all you do.

Answer:

If our site has contributed in any way to deepening your love for God and seeing His goodness and mercy toward all humanity, then my prayers have been answered! It is truly a joy to read your words!

You ask why people are so committed to infernalism? Broadly speaking, I think there are two reasons.

First, because universal salvation contradicts everything they have been taught. It challenges their whole worldview, their understanding of God, their reading of the Bible, and their motivations to seek God. Naturally this causes fear — and, if they flash any anger, it is because of that fear. This is why they often revert back to dogmas and doctrines, which may very well be wrong, but which serve to anchor them to all they know. Their rejection is a defense mechanism.

The second reason is pride. In this instance, it is the placing of oneself above others. And the most extreme way to place oneself above others (short of claiming to be God Himself) is to claim exclusive access to God. Telling infernalists that everyone will someday have communion with God shatters their pride. It places them on equal footing with every other sinner in the world, and that is something a proud spirit cannot take. This is why they become angry.

Early on in my journey to Christian Universalism I experienced the same pushback. And it dawned on me that this was further proof that universal salvation is true. The fact that almost everyone in this whole evil world fought tooth and nail against something that was obviously good showed me it must come from God, because the world hates God.

Both the fearful and the proud deserve our prayers. My only advice is to keep your head up. Someday the truth will be revealed — take comfort in that, and the fact that those same people who reject the truth now will on that day be glad they were wrong. Also know that each time you engage with someone, even if they become angry, you are planting seeds that may sprout years later.

Matthew Coleman

Matthew Roark is co-founder and editor of Mercy On All. He lives in Kentucky with his abundantly beautiful wife and two children. He is an avid reader and enjoys all things J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and George MacDonald.