It should be noted that the vast majority of the scholars, historians, and Bible teachers cited above, come from the community generalized as "orthodox." One will find the books written by these men and women in the best seminaries and Bible colleges. As a matter of fact, many of the scholars quoted are among the best the Christian scholastic community has to offer.
Had we quoted from the hundreds of qualified scholars who have embraced the Doctrine of the Salvation of All Mankind from the non-Orthodox communities, we would have certainly been accused of "stacking the deck." The truth of the matter is, we have stacked the deck against ourselves, and the outcome, I believe, should still be obvious to any open-minded individual.
We could have quoted from outstanding non-Orthodox scholars who left the mainstream Protestant community, but we quoted very few. Great teachers of the Word of God like Thomas Whittemore, Charles Chauncy, Theodore Parker, Hosea Ballou, Lucius R. Paige, Walter Balfour, and a host of others who were known for their outspokenness of this subject could have been cited, but we refrained. We could have drawn from the great national leaders, men like Abraham Lincoln who embraced the "larger hope," but we allow them for the most part, to be silent. When Lincoln was asked to comment in a discussion on human destiny, he said, "it must be everyone or nobody." We could have expanded that statement greatly with his own words on this most important topic. The Cloud of Witnesses of soft-hearted Christians from the poetic community is a train which would fill His temple, but we did not quote the hundreds of works from great men and women who revealed the all-embracing Love of God in their writings. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Lord Byron, Thomas Moore, William Wordsworth, Samuel Coleridge, Robert Burns, Alexander Pope, and a host of other great literary minds would have given honor to the Savior of All Mankind. But we refrained. Signers of the Declaration of Independence such as Benjamin Rush and Winthrop Sargent, believers in the "Larger Hope," could have shown us that the Doctrine of the Reconciliation of All Mankind was woven right into the fibers of our Constitution. Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, and Florence Nightingale could been summoned to join us at our sides as we declared the "Everlasting Gospel," but we chose to do it the hard way. We went to Orthodoxy court and proved our case there. We hope you will one day read the writings of some of the many thousands who have come out of Orthodoxy (or perhaps I should say "traditions of men"), and have separated themselves unto their Savior alone. In their writings and lives, is truly "Good News"-the same "Good News" the early believers declared-Jesus Christ, Savior of the Whole World. "And the Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come.'"
|Converted from CHM to HTML with chm2web Pro 2.85 (unicode)|