Monday, August 1, 2011

The Universalism of Fundies

Yep. You read that right. The majority of fundies that I've interacted with hold to a form of universalism. Now I'm not referring to universalism of the type advocated by MacDonald or Talbott. Nooooooo. That kind of universalism is downright HERESY.

I'm talking about what I'll call "deathbed decisionism" (for lack of a better term). Deathbed decisionism is defined by the belief/hope that the majority of unsaved people "get saved" minutes or seconds (or nanoseconds) before they breathe their last. In practice this means all the close friends and relatives of fundies end up miraculously "praying the prayer" in the moments before their deaths. It doesn't matter if there's any evidence of a last-minute conversion. Fundies act at least as if there were conclusive evidence that their unsaved friends or relatives converted to Christianity in their last few breaths regardless of the actual evidence. Most fundies will never admit with any definiteness that their unsaved loved ones failed to meet the fundy criteria for admittance into the Shining City; and, thus, are likely experiencing fire and brimstone.

Now, lest I come across as being too critical of fundies, I'll hasten to say that I find the use of the deathbed decisionism card to be perfectly understandable. After all, how could anybody (but sociopaths) stand to apply consistently the beliefs of fundamentalist (and conservative evangelical) about the afterlife?

John Stott said of Eternal Conscious Torment:
Emotionally, I find the concept intolerable and do not understand how people can live with it without either cauterizing their feelings or cracking under the strain.

Rev. John Stott, I present to you deathbed decisionism.


  1. I ponder these thoughts way too often! Great post.

  2. Where did you find the Stott quote? Its a good one!