Pretty much no Christian Universalist starts off as a Universalist. Nearly all of us first believed in either everlasting torment in hell or in Annihilationism. It’s normally only after someone challenges us to dig deeper to see if our soteriology is actually scriptural that we come to see just how clearly Scripture teaches Universal Reconciliation, and just how badly we misunderstood the passages we assumed taught otherwise.
Now, those of us who have taken the time to dig deeper into this topic have heard time and again from Infernalists and Annihilationists that they don’t find the arguments for Universal Reconciliation convincing, but if we ask them what those arguments they don’t find convincing actually are, they can’t tell us. This is because almost none of them have ever taken the time to find out for themselves what the arguments for it actually are. So the question is, why is it that so few Christians are willing to take up that challenge to find out if what they’ve been taught is actually true or not? I believe that Carl Sagan actually answered that question:
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” – The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
I’m sure the first knee-jerk reaction of most people who read this will be to quote a verse they think defends Infernalism or Annihilationism, or to simply say that Universalism is obviously unscriptural. But I can almost guarantee you that pretty much none of them could possibly actually tell you which passages in Scripture we Universalists believe teach Universal Reconciliation and why we believe they do, or even how it is we interpret the passages they think actually prove their position, and why we interpret them the way we do. Because to be able to tell you that, they’d have to have actually done their homework and dug into the teachings of those Christians they disagree with so much, which is something they just won’t do since they might learn something they’ve always believed is true really isn’t after all.
I should add, this goes for pretty much every topic I’ve written about in my book, Nearly Everything We Learned At Church Was Wrong; it doesn’t only apply to Universalism. But Universalism definitely is the big one that most Christians refuse to even consider at all.