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Is Urantia a new religion?


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#21 Bonita

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:30 AM

Bonita, I definitely agree that “TUB is not a religion” but, you must admit from its content and from many of the forum questions and posts, many readers are looking to find a Religion between its covers.


TUB is a spiritual book, there's no doubt. Even the revelators tell us that one of the purposes of the book is to provide spiritual teachings. The cosmology presented in the book is meant to help illuminate its spiritual teachings.

101:4.10 5. Presenting cosmic data in such a manner as to illuminate the spiritual teachings contained in the accompanying revelation.

Of course, wherever and whenever you find spiritual teachings, you will find humans attempting to create a cult around them, as Todd pointed out. We are told that this is human nature; cults are part of human culture and there is little we can do about them forming. But, we can do very much to affect the way in which they form and how they function. Actually, Jesus' intention was for social religion to be an unconscious manifestation of personal religious experience, with emphasis on the unconscious part. Therefore, cults should spontaneously appear as a result of unconscious growth of the spirit as the fruits of the spirit manifest themselves in the individual lives of each religionist as they choose to work together for a common service. Unfortunately, that's not how it usually happens; humans love to organize and control one another.

170:5.11-12 The Master fully realized that certain social results would appear in the world as a consequence of the spread of the gospel of the kingdom; but he intended that all such desirable social manifestations should appear as unconscious and inevitable outgrowths, or natural fruits, of this inner personal experience of individual believers, this purely spiritual fellowship and communion with the divine spirit which indwells and activates all such believers. Jesus foresaw that a social organization, or church, would follow the progress of the true spiritual kingdom, and that is why he never opposed the apostles' practicing the rite of John’s baptism.

It is my belief that the celestial intervention that resulted in TUB was designed to assist man as he navigates the dangerous waters of materialism and secularism in the current age, but the Gospel has not really changed since the advent of Christ. The Gospel of the Fourth Epochal Revelation is no different than the Fifth. In fact, the Gospel existed even before Christ came to teach it to us which is evident in the pages of ancient scripture from a variety of religions.

Another purpose of TUB is to impress upon mortal man that the universe is vast, orderly and loving, as we venture out to explore the cosmos both physically and spiritually. It is just a matter of time before our scientists discover the existence of intelligent life in the universe. Knowing that intelligent life everywhere is primarily dominated by love is valuable information. Knowing that we are not alone is priceless.

I'm sure the revelators were aware that our religious institutions would begin to fragment due to the failure of mythologies and cultures caused by the progress of science, logic and globalization. A restatement of the Gospel is a reminder to mankind to seek first the kingdom of God within, so the kingdom of heaven can be established without.

"Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven". How is God's will done in heaven? We won't find the answer in TUB because the answer comes in developing a personal relationship with God who whispers it to each of us individually, then we share it. We also listen to what others are sharing, and that means ALL others. Somewhere in each person's religious experience, whether it be "cooky woo woo", foreign, strange and alien, or just new and different, there may be a kernel of truth to be found that is worth something to all of us.

I see TUB as forming an umbrella over all evolutionary religions in an attempt to unify the spirit that permeates all of them. How can we accomplish this without the larger view of the universe that TUB provides? How can we begin to do this without TUB filling in many of the holes in our collective historic memory of the past that proves that all religions have a similar origin since the time of Andon and Fonta? TUB is what ties it all together and sets us on the launching pad to greater things. It would be wrong to attempt to fossilize what's written in TUB within a structured cult. The spiritual teachings in TUB are meant to help the individual grow spiritually and then spread the benign virus of spiritual love to all of mankind, the kingdom of God and the brotherhood of man.

#22 Guest_As-Above-So-Below_*

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:28 PM

Life-flash or Death-flash

Much of what is presented below can be interpreted as a religious type of practice especially 55:2.4-5 which is almost cult-like in nature in that its description regarding death is looked forward too as if no one really has a choice but, just accepted. The unusual thing that is indicated that these individuals are only candidates for fusion not actually fused. Now, you might say that these are “citizens on worlds existing in the final era of light and life” but, it still follows a common life practice.

Now I wouldn’t think twice about this process except it sets a scene to a movie with an exact parallel “Logan’s Run” a 1976 science fiction film, which has the exact same process in that those residence who have reached a certain age are “renewed”. This process occurs in a circular temple/arena filled with their fellows who cheer on these come-of-age individuals being put to their death in a flash-of-light. The plot is as follows From Wikipedia:

Logan’s Run



http://en.wikipedia....%27s_Run_(film)
Plot

In the year 2274, the remnants of human civilization live in a sealed domed city, a utopia run by a computer that takes care of all aspects of their life, including reproduction. The citizens live a mostly hedonistic lifestyle but have been told that in order to maintain the city, every resident must undergo the ritual of "Carrousel" [sic] at the age of 30, where they are vaporized but with the promise of being "Renewed". To track this, the humans are implanted at birth with a Lifeclock crystal in the palm of their hand that changes colors as they approach their "Last Day". To maintain order, the computer has assigned several humans as Sandmen (policemen), who chase after and terminate Runners (those that try to leave the city in order to escape Carrousel). York as Logan 5, with blinking red lifeclock in his palm.

Logan 5 is a Sandman along with his friend Francis 7. After chasing and killing one Runner, Logan finds an ankh among his possessions. Later, he meets Jessica 6, a citizen who also wears an ankh pendant. Logan takes the Runner's possessions to the computer, where he is told that the ankh is a symbol of a group of people that are helping the Runners to find "Sanctuary". The computer then instructs Logan to find Sanctuary himself and destroy it, and accelerates the color change of his Lifeclock to flash red four years before it is due to do so. In order to escape Carrousel himself, Logan is now forced to become a Runner.

Logan regroups with Jessica and explains his situation. Together, they meet with the underground group that lead them to the periphery of the city. Logan finds the ankh symbol is able to open a door, allowing them to leave the city into a frozen cave, but the pair are tailed closely by Francis. In the cave, they meet Box, a robot designed to capture food for the city from the outside. However, Box has also captured Runners that have made it this far and keeps them frozen. Before he can freeze them too, Logan and Jessica escape the robot, causing the cave to collapse and destroy Box.

Once outside, Logan and Jessica notice that their Lifeclocks are now clear and no longer operational. Venturing further, they discover that vegetation has overrun much of the remains of human civilization, and explore the nearby area, once the National Mall in Washington D.C. Within the ruins of the United States Senate chamber, they discover an elderly man, a surprise to them both having never seen a person this old before. The old man explains what he knows has happened to humanity outside of the city; Logan and Jessica realize that Sanctuary is a myth. However, Francis has followed them from the domed city and he and Logan fight. Logan gains the upper hand, and fatally wounds Francis. As Francis dies, he observes that Logan's Lifeclock is now clear, and considers Logan to have been Renewed before he dies.

Logan and Jessica convince the old man to return to the domed city with them. Leaving the man outside, the two enter and try to convince the residents that Carrousel is a lie and no longer necessary. The two are captured by other Sandmen and taken to the computer. The computer interrogates Logan and asks if he completed his mission, but Logan insists that "there is no Sanctuary." This answer is not accepted by the computer, even after scanning Logan's mind. It eventually sends the computer into overload, causing many of the city's systems to fail and releasing the seals to the outside. Logan and Jessica regroup with the old man as the citizens flee the ruined city, curious as to both the new surroundings and the old man.


2. Death and Translation

(623.1) 55:2.1 Natural, physical death is not a mortal inevitability. The majority of advanced evolutionary beings, citizens on worlds existing in the final era of light and life, do not die; they are translated directly from the life in the flesh to the morontia existence.

(623.2) 55:2.2 This experience of translation from the material life to the morontia statefusion of the immortal soul with the indwelling Adjuster — increases in frequency commensurate with the evolutionary progress of the planet. At first only a few mortals in each age attain translation levels of spiritual progress, but with the onset of the successive ages of the Teacher Sons, more and more Adjuster fusions occur before the termination of the lengthening lives of these progressing mortals; and by the time of the terminal mission of the Teacher Sons, approximately one quarter of these superb mortals are exempt from natural death.

(623.3) 55:2.3 Farther along in the era of light and life the midway creatures or their associates sense the approaching status of probable soul-Adjuster union and signify this to the destiny guardians, who in turn communicate these matters to the finaliter group under whose jurisdiction this mortal may be functioning; then there is issued the summons of the Planetary Sovereign for such a mortal to resign all planetary duties, bid farewell to the world of his origin, and repair to the inner temple of the Planetary Sovereign, there to await morontia transit, the translation flash, from the material domain of evolution to the morontia level of prespirit progression.

(623.4) 55:2.4 When the family, friends, and working group of such a fusion candidate have forgathered in the morontia temple, they are distributed around the central stage whereon the fusion candidates are resting, meantime freely conversing with their assembled friends. A circle of intervening celestial personalities is arranged to protect the material mortals from the action of the energies manifest at the instant of the “life flash” which delivers the ascension candidate from the bonds of material flesh, thereby doing for such an evolutionary mortal everything that natural death does for those who are thereby delivered from the flesh.

(623.5) 55:2.5 Many fusion candidates may be assembled in the spacious temple at the same time. And what a beautiful occasion when mortals thus forgather to witness the ascension of their loved ones in spiritual flames, and what a contrast to those earlier ages when mortals must commit their dead to the embrace of the terrestrial elements! The scenes of weeping and wailing characteristic of earlier epochs of human evolution are now replaced by ecstatic joy and the sublimest enthusiasm as these God-knowing mortals bid their loved ones a transient farewell as they are removed from their material associations by the spiritual fires of consuming grandeur and ascending glory. On worlds settled in light and life, “funerals” are occasions of supreme joy, profound satisfaction, and inexpressible hope.

(623.6) 55:2.6 The souls of these progressing mortals are increasingly filled with faith, hope, and assurance. The spirit permeating those gathered around the translation shrine resembles that of the joyful friends and relatives who might assemble at a graduating exercise for one of their group, or who might come together to witness the conferring of some great honor upon one of their number. And it would be decidedly helpful if less advanced mortals could only learn to view natural death with something of this same cheerfulness and lightheartedness.

(624.1) 55:2.7 Mortal observers can see nothing of their translated associates subsequent to the fusion flash. Such translated souls proceed by Adjuster transit direct to the resurrection hall of the appropriate morontia-training world. These transactions concerned with the translation of living human beings to the morontia world are supervised by an archangel who was assigned to such a world on the day when it was first settled in light and life.

(624.2) 55:2.8 By the time a world attains the fourth stage of light and life, more than half the mortals leave the planet by translation from among the living. Such diminishment of death continues on and on, but I know of no system whose inhabited worlds, even though long settled in life, are entirely free from natural death as the technique of escape from the bonds of flesh. And until such a high state of planetary evolution is uniformly attained, the morontia-training worlds of the local universe must continue in service as educational and cultural spheres for the evolving morontia progressors. The elimination of death is theoretically possible, but it has not yet occurred according to my observation. Perhaps such a status may be attained during the faraway stretches of the succeeding epochs of the seventh stage of settled planetary life.


The following UB quotes which follow the quote’s above when read closely would seem to corroborate what the Lucifer Manifesto indicated in that the process was over-repetitive as far as training and that you end up back where you started from. Thereby, being on Urantia we are not subject to this cult-like procedure because of the rebellion.
Although the former does not specify any religious connotations it sure does seem that it is a uniform system-like process which seems to be set into those living in this civilization. I for one would assume that propaganda may be at work there or that they live under a very rigid set of rules or laws which most certainly would not include the liberty to choose?


(624.3) 55:2.9 The translated souls of the flowering ages of the settled spheres do not pass through the mansion worlds. Neither do they sojourn, as students, on the morontia worlds of the system or constellation. They do not pass through any of the earlier phases of morontia life. They are the only ascending mortals who so nearly escape the morontia transition from material existence to semispirit status. The initial experience of such Son-seized mortals in the ascension career is in the services of the progression worlds of the universe headquarters. And from these study worlds of Salvington they go back as teachers to the very worlds they passed by, subsequently going on inward to Paradise by the established route of mortal ascension.

(624.4) 55:2.10 Could you but visit a planet in an advanced stage of development, you would quickly grasp the reasons for providing for the differential reception of ascending mortals on the mansion and higher morontia worlds. You would readily understand that beings passing on from such highly evolved spheres are prepared to resume their Paradise ascent far in advance of the average mortal arriving from a disordered and backward world like Urantia.

(624.5) 55:2.11 No matter from what level of planetary attainment human beings may ascend to the morontia worlds, the seven mansion spheres afford them ample opportunity to gain in experience as teacher-students all of everything which they failed to pass through because of the advanced status of their native planets.

(624.6) 55:2.12 The universe is unfailing in the application of these equalizing techniques designed to insure that no ascender shall be deprived of aught which is essential to his ascension experience.

Edited by As-Above-So-Below, 22 February 2012 - 09:32 PM.


#23 Guest_As-Above-So-Below_*

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:01 PM

(626.10) 55:3.21 The great handicap confronting Urantia in the matter of attaining the high planetary destiny of light and life is embraced in the problems of disease, degeneracy, war, multicolored races, and multilingualism.

(626.11) 55:3.22 No evolutionary world can hope to progress beyond the first stage of settledness in light until it has achieved one language, one religion, and one philosophy. Being of one race greatly facilitates such achievement, but the many peoples of Urantia do not preclude the attainment of higher stages.

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#24 ubizmo

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:04 AM

55:3.22 No evolutionary world can hope to progress beyond the first stage of settledness in light until it has achieved one language, one religion, and one philosophy.


Interesting. Since the context and the use of the word "one" clearly indicates one as opposed to many, the implication is that religions are countable. That is, here the UB appears to be talking about what are sometimes called "visible religions": faith communities, institutions, and the like. In the deeper sense of what the UB calls "true religion", it makes no sense to speak of "achieving one religion" because there's only one true religion to begin with, and it's not visible religion. But "achieving one religion" implies a reduction in the number of religions to one, not zero.

#25 Bonita

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:35 AM

But "achieving one religion" implies a reduction in the number of religions to one, not zero.


I think they're talking about the kingdom of God and the brotherhood of man as opposed to organized religion. The stages beyond the first stage of light and life are a type of utopia where there is self-rule and no need for such organizations or creedal structures. One religion means the one true religion of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.

142:7.4 The people of another age will better understand the gospel of the kingdom when it is presented in terms expressive of the family relationship — when man understands religion as the teaching of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, sonship with God.

153:1.2 Henceforth, the work of the kingdom was to be increasingly concerned with the more important task of winning lasting spiritual converts for the truly religious brotherhood of mankind.

#26 ubizmo

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:09 AM

I think they're talking about the kingdom of God and the brotherhood of man as opposed to organized religion. The stages beyond the first stage of light and life are a type of utopia where there is self-rule and no need for such organizations or creedal structures. One religion means the one true religion of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.


I don't know if "beyond the first stage of light and life" refers to this utopian point, which sounds more like zero religion (visible) than one religion, but it might. In any case you might find this synopsis of the ARIS Study interesting, http://commons.trinc...08/NONES_08.pdf, dealing as it does with the growth of "Nones" in the US. Assuming for the sake of discussion that the UB is authentic and that the revelators foresaw this, it could have something to do with the timing of the UB.

Or, to turn the question around, might the UB be more appealing to Nones than to...somethings?

#27 Nigel Nunn

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:08 PM

I don't know if "beyond the first stage of light and life" refers to this utopian point, which sounds more like zero religion (visible) than one religion, but it might. In any case you might find this synopsis of the ARIS Study interesting, http://commons.trinc...08/NONES_08.pdf, dealing as it does with the growth of "Nones" in the US. Assuming for the sake of discussion that the UB is authentic and that the revelators foresaw this, it could have something to do with the timing of the UB.

Or, to turn the question around, might the UB be more appealing to Nones than to...somethings?


Todd - that looks like a truly interesting report, "American Nones: The Profile of the No Religion Population".
From the conclusion:



"American Nones embrace philosophical and theological beliefs that reflect skepticism rather than overt antagonism toward religion. In their commitment to reason and science they also continue the tradition of the late 18th Century American Enlightenment. Such views and opinions echo those held by many of the founding fathers and leaders of the American Revolution such as Franklin, Jefferson, and Paine."


You may well be right about the timing!
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#28 -Scott-

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:45 PM

I think I know what you mean Todd, if there is such diversity how can there ever really be One religion? I think this quote kind of hints at how this is possible. Spirit is a Unity substance, so with that in mind it kind of makes sense how all these diverging evolutionary religion's can come together when there is a common ground of the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of god.

(82.5) 7:1.6 Spirit-gravity pull and response thereto operate not only on the universe as a whole but also even between individuals and groups of individuals. There is a spiritual cohesiveness among the spiritual and spiritized personalities of any world, race, nation, or believing group of individuals. There is a direct attractiveness of a spirit nature between spiritually minded persons of like tastes and longings. The term kindred spirits is not wholly a figure of speech.


As far Religion on our world and religion on Paradise I think of it like this, the experience of experiencing the fatherhood of god and the brotherhood of man is true religion, yet True religion has no upper limit. As our souls are like small mustard seed's we only can recieve small portions of god's light and love yet because Gods Love, Nature, Ability's and his infinite nature as a finaliter with a huge Redwood tree body we can recieve a mansoon's worth of water and the direct sunlight of the lord so thus our "true religion" as a finalter is even more "truer" haha our depth of experiencing god never really does stop in growth because god is infinitely greater than the sum of all creation that has resulted from his actions and he has made it possible for mortals to experience infinite progress by fusion with a spiritual fragment of himself. So a Finaliter is technically still progressing his/her religion as he/she moves deeper and deeper into experiencing the "I AM", and there is thankfully no end point. :). In truth all true religion is in relation to God :) just as all reality is within god.
4. The Fact of Experience


(1123.1) 102:4.1 Because of the presence in your minds of the Thought Adjuster, it is no more of a mystery for you to know the mind of God than for you to be sure of the consciousness of knowing any other mind, human or superhuman. Religion and social consciousness have this in common: They are predicated on the consciousness of other-mindness. The technique whereby you can accept another’s idea as yours is the same whereby you may “let the mind which was in Christ be also in you.”
(1123.2) 102:4.2 What is human experience? It is simply any interplay between an active and questioning self and any other active and external reality. The mass of experience is determined by depth of concept plus totality of recognition of the reality of the external. The motion of experience equals the force of expectant imagination plus the keenness of the sensory discovery of the external qualities of contacted reality. The fact of experience is found in self-consciousness plus other-existences — other-thingness, other-mindness, and other-spiritness.

So our experience's may not be very amazing compared to a Paradise Son based on all the material limitations we have, hence even our true religion is not as advanced. But we never really stop growing even as finaliter's there is alway's adventure and a yearning for more meaning and more depth due to the fact that God is Infinitely greater than the sum of all creation that has come about as a result of his actions.

To sum everything up in much easier wording, the adventure of experiencing new reality's within god never ends!! :) But it definitely has a begining as "true religion"

(1174.7) 106:9.11 Sooner or later all universe personalities begin to realize that the final quest of eternity is the endless exploration of infinity, the never-ending voyage of discovery into the absoluteness of the First Source and Center. Sooner or later we all become aware that all creature growth is proportional to Father identification. We arrive at the understanding that living the will of God is the eternal passport to the endless possibility of infinity itself. Mortals will sometime realize that success in the quest of the Infinite is directly proportional to the achievement of Fatherlikeness, and that in this universe age the realities of the Father are revealed within the qualities of divinity. And these qualities of divinity are personally appropriated by universe creatures in the experience of living divinely, and to live divinely means actually to live the will of God.

(1175.1) 106:9.12 To material, evolutionary, finite creatures, a life predicated on the living of the Father’s will leads directly to the attainment of spirit supremacy in the personality arena and brings such creatures one step nearer the comprehension of the Father-Infinite. Such a Father life is one predicated on truth, sensitive to beauty, and dominated by goodness. Such a God-knowing person is inwardly illuminated by worship and outwardly devoted to the wholehearted service of the universal brotherhood of all personalities, a service ministry which is filled with mercy and motivated by love, while all these life qualities are unified in the evolving personality on ever-ascending levels of cosmic wisdom, self-realization, God-finding, and Father worship.



Or, to turn the question around, might the UB be more appealing to Nones than to...somethings?


I would say most "nones" would be as skeptical as you Todd or more so, it will take some more hard evidence first. But really you never know?! I haven't really heard of anyone even hearing about the Urantia Book so its hard to say how people would react if they were introduced in a manner that isn't intrusive.

For example if someone just happened to read a quote in the book that happens to relate to them in a special way and answers their questions about something it may start a chain reaction as opposed to someone shoving the book down someones throat. B)

Edited by boomshuka, 25 February 2012 - 01:22 AM.

If one man craves freedom -- liberty -- he must remember that all other men long for the same freedom

#29 Howard509

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 03:17 PM

In answering the question of whether Urantia is a new religion, we should look at the early days of the Forum and what later evolved into the Urantia Foundation. Did they engage in communal worship and prayer? Did they have a structure that enforced norms and doctrine for its members?

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. -
Teilhard de Chardin


#30 rebecca

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 02:08 AM

One religion with the ability to worship as we want. In the many beautiful ways that there are and will be.
We are within the being of Christ who is within the being of Supreme. Connected and Spirit fired being ourselves. As more become aware of our planets growth within the body of Supreme the more the truth will be known. The true beautiful and good from all be celebrated through our experiencing of life.

#31 Bonita

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:47 PM

I don't know if "beyond the first stage of light and life" refers to this utopian point, which sounds more like zero religion (visible) than one religion, but it might. In any case you might find this synopsis of the ARIS Study interesting, http://commons.trinc...08/NONES_08.pdf, dealing as it does with the growth of "Nones" in the US. Assuming for the sake of discussion that the UB is authentic and that the revelators foresaw this, it could have something to do with the timing of the UB.

Or, to turn the question around, might the UB be more appealing to Nones than to...somethings?


TUB tells us:

99:1.3 Urantia society can never hope to settle down as in past ages. The social ship has steamed out of the sheltered bays of established tradition and has begun its cruise upon the high seas of evolutionary destiny; and the soul of man, as never before in the world’s history, needs carefully to scrutinize its charts of morality and painstakingly to observe the compass of religious guidance. The paramount mission of religion as a social influence is to stabilize the ideals of mankind during these dangerous times of transition from one phase of civilization to another, from one level of culture to another.

What role does TUB play in all of this? It's a matter of speculation. For me, the beauty of TUB's revelation is that of hope. TUB offers insight into the Father's love for mankind and his plan to bring together all who desire to find him. It reveals a friendly universe filled with loving beings and dissolves the evolutionary fear of retribution, damnation and eternal suffering. TUB eliminates the feeling of loneliness by informing us that the universes are teeming with other mortal beings striving for the same things we are. It puts into perspective the long evolutionary struggle of mankind in terms of society and religion; and it presents a goal that makes the struggle worthwhile. It shows the Father's acceptance of mankind's foibles in war and racial strife and explains the reason for their existence while giving examples of how we will eventually outgrow this stage of our development, just as children go through phases of growth and development. It portrays the true Gospel of Jesus and allows us to see up close and personal how Jesus lived his faith in order that we may find hope and inspiration ourselves by learning from him.

The celestial intervention that resulted in TUB was designed to assist man as he navigates the dangerous waters of materialism and secularism, but the Gospel has not changed since the advent of Christ. The Gospel of the Fourth Epochal Revelation is no different than the Fifth. In fact, the Gospel existed even before Christ came to teach it to us which is evident in the pages of ancient scripture from a variety of religions.

Another purpose of TUB is to impress upon mortal man that the universe is vast, orderly and loving, especially now as we venture out to explore the cosmos. It is just a matter of time before our scientists discover the existence of intelligent life in the universe. Knowing that intelligent life everywhere is primarily dominated by love is valuable information. Knowing that we are not alone is priceless.

I'm sure the revelators were aware that our religious institutions would begin to fragment due to the failure of local mythologies and cultures caused by the progress of science, logic and globalization. A restatement of the Gospel is a reminder to mankind to seek first the kingdom of God within, so the kingdom of heaven can be established without.

There is plenty of evidence that people are hungry for a spiritual brotherhood as well as a social brotherhood. The growth of New Age religions, the increase in the number of ecumenical and interfaith movements, the return to the mysticism of Eastern religions all point to a need for unity rather than uniformity as well as a sincere hunger for a personal God. So many people are searching and many are discovering that God is within them and that he is deeply in love with them. There is nothing to fear. Once you find God you need nothing else, least of all an organized religion. But what we do need are leaders, leaders who are spiritual and who can reveal Jesus in their lives. And, what we also need is to recognize the unifying feature of all religions that was and is exemplified by the living Jesus.

p2086:02 195:10.16 The great hope of Urantia lies in the possibility of a new revelation of Jesus with a new and enlarged presentation of his saving message which would spiritually unite in loving service the numerous families of his present-day professed followers.

195:10.11 Christianity is seriously confronted with the doom embodied in one of its own slogans: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” The non-Christian world will hardly capitulate to a sect-divided Christendom. The living Jesus is the only hope of a possible unification of Christianity. The true church — the Jesus brotherhood — is invisible, spiritual, and is characterized by unity, not necessarily by uniformity. Uniformityis the earmark of the physical world of mechanistic nature. Spiritual unity is the fruit of faith union with the living Jesus. The visible church should refuse longer to handicap the progress of the invisible and spiritual brotherhood of the kingdom of God. And this brotherhood is destined to become a living organism in contrast to an institutionalized social organization. It may well utilize such social organizations, but it must not be supplanted by them.

We are at a precipice and facing the abyss created between institutionalized religion and science. We are lacking in an appropriate philosophy to bridge the two, partly because of distaste of the old religious superstitions along with the realization of the emptiness of materialistic science. Philosophy has to be brave and allow itself to adapt the old and established religions to the more exciting and challenging, new and unknown realms of scientific discovery. Complete abandonment of religious institutions can be foolhardy, and that is what more and more people are doing. They are jumping off the ship mid-sea without lifeboats, thinking that they can just swim along. Some have gone so far as to grab onto political, social, climatic and economic issues for help in staying afloat, rather than rely on the old forms of religion.

I, myself, am a NONE. I gave up organized religion about 8 years ago. I still operate within its outer circles but refuse to marry myself to any one format of belief. I find that it is impossible for me to commit wholeheartedly to any one religion. But what I do now recognize . . . and only because of TUB, quite frankly . . . is that it is all about unity, not uniformity. Therefore, I feel very comfortable visiting churches and fellowshipping with various church-goers within their spheres, without committing myself to think as they think or believe as they believe. Does that make sense? I'm a NONE that is embracing ALL the unifying features of religion rather than focusing on the uniformity of religion. I love religion in all its forms, but that doesn't mean that I have to live anyone else's religion. I have my own, thank-you very much.

When TUB talks about ONE global religion, it is referring to religious unity, not uniformity. Here are more quotes describing the difference between unity and uniformity:

92:7.4 All these religions have arisen as a result of man’s variable intellectual response to his identical spiritual leading. They can never hope to attain a uniformity of creeds, dogmas, and rituals — these are intellectual; but they can, and some day will, realize a unity in true worship of the Father of all, for this is spiritual, and it is forever true, in the spirit all men are equal.

103:1.1 A group of mortals can experience spiritual unity, but they can never attain philosophic uniformity. And this diversity of the interpretation of religious thought and experience is shown by the fact that twentieth-century theologians and philosophers have formulated upward of five hundred different definitions of religion. In reality, every human being defines religion in the terms of his own experiential interpretation of the divine impulses emanating from the God spirit that indwells him, and therefore must such an interpretation be unique and wholly different from the religious philosophy of all other human beings.

103:5.12 The security of a religious group depends on spiritual unity, not on theological uniformity. A religious group should be able to enjoy the liberty of freethinking without having to become “freethinkers.” There is great hope for any church that worships the living God, validates the brotherhood of man, and dares to remove all creedal pressure from its members.

134:4.6 The kingdom of heaven in the hearts of men will create religious unity (not necessarily uniformity) because any and all religious groups composed of such religious believers will be free from all notions of ecclesiastical authority — religious sovereignty.

155:6.9 The religions of authority require of men uniformity in belief, but this is impossible of realization in the present state of the world. The religion of the spirit requires only unity of experience—uniformity of destiny—making full allowance for diversity of belief. The religion of the spirit requires only uniformity of insight, not uniformity of viewpoint and outlook. The religion of the spirit does not demand uniformity of intellectual views, only unity of spirit feeling.

182:1.8 Jesus prayed for unity among his followers, but he did not desire uniformity.

#32 rebecca

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 04:00 PM

I think the problem with this is the ability to see past names. It worries me that it is still assumed that God and Jesus are the words to use to promote that unity. Unity can be achieved by the knowledge and desire to know more about Spiritual, many beings, many names, all within the one Universe being of Love of creating, The flow that unites a Universe and is most definately not uniform. The uniformity is in the miniscule yet thet is a miriad as you see what can be.

#33 Bonita

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 04:41 PM

If people don't like the word God, then they'll just have to get over themselves. The word symbol God has been around for a very long time and I suspect that it is going to stay. As for Jesus . . . Paul's Christianity did a lot to poison people's emotions about that name. Too bad. He was a real guy with a real mission that is never going to go away or change because some 21st century people are having a snit over Christianity. Christianity and Jesus are here to stay. Too bad if people don't like it. That's what I say. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, God, God, God. I could go on all day.

195:10.18 Christianity is an extemporized religion, and therefore must it operate in low gear. High-gear spiritual performances must await the new revelation and the more general acceptance of the real religion of Jesus. But Christianity is a mighty religion, seeing that the commonplace disciples of a crucified carpenter set in motion those teachings which conquered the Roman world in three hundred years and then went on to triumph over the barbarians who overthrew Rome. This same Christianity conquered — absorbed and exalted — the whole stream of Hebrew theology and Greek philosophy. And then, when this Christian religion became comatose for more than a thousand years as a result of an overdose of mysteries and paganism, it resurrected itself and virtually reconquered the whole Western world. Christianity contains enough of Jesus’ teachings to immortalize it.

I'll be honest. I used to think I was being very polite by not bringing up Jesus' name in conversation, but lately I find that people light up when I say it. I think most people like Jesus; they like him a lot. What the world needs most is more Jesus, not less. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, God, God, God . . . I could go on all day.

195:9.5 The hour is striking for a rediscovery of the true and original foundations of present-day distorted and compromised Christianity — the real life and teachings of Jesus.

195:10.1 Christianity has indeed done a great service for this world, but what is now most needed is Jesus. The world needs to see Jesus living again on earth in the experience of spirit-born mortals who effectively reveal the Master to all men.

#34 Howard509

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 05:04 PM

In answering the question of whether Urantia is a new religion, we should look at the early days of the Forum and what later evolved into the Urantia Foundation. Did they engage in communal worship and prayer? Did they have a structure that enforced norms and doctrine for its members?


I think I've brought up a very good point. In assessing whether Urantia is a new religion, don't we need to go back to the beginning of the Urantia movement?

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. -
Teilhard de Chardin


#35 Guest_As-Above-So-Below_*

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 05:14 PM

The UB indicates from the beginning that there are many names for God and as we have seen there are many names for Jesus. Should the Son (Jesus) return in any form, why should he take on a name known to others? Would he not come as a thief in the night? Why then squabble over names, is it not the spirit of the name that counts?

From Shakespeare’s
http://www.enotes.co...ch-we-call-rose
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

Juliet:

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet meet and fall in love in Shakespeare's lyrical tale of "star-cross'd" lovers. They are doomed from the start as members of two warring families. Here Juliet tells Romeo that a name is an artificial and meaningless convention, and that she loves the person who is called "Montague", not the Montague name and not the Montague family. Romeo, out of his passion for Juliet, rejects his family name and vows, as Juliet asks, to "deny (his) father" and instead be "new baptized" as Juliet's lover. This one short line encapsulates the central struggle and tragedy of the play.

Themes: love, family, beauty

Speakers: Juliet

#36 Bonita

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 05:31 PM

I think I've brought up a very good point. In assessing whether Urantia is a new religion, don't we need to go back to the beginning of the Urantia movement?


No.

You asked, " Did they engage in communal worship and prayer? Did they have a structure that enforced norms and doctrine for its members?"

What does the communal worship, prayer, structure and doctrines of dead people have to do with it? Whatever they decided to do as a group back then, they did because that is how the spirit moved them at the time. Whatever religionists decide to do as a group today doesn't have to be anything like what people did a half a century ago. Religion is living and changing. Formalized religion is the religion of the past. True religion is the religion of the present, forever progressing forward. Do you expect people 50 years from now to look at what we're doing here today and try to copy it? Heaven's no. Most likely they'll be scratching their heads and saying, "What was that all about?"

Edited by Bonita, 26 February 2012 - 05:32 PM.


#37 Guest_As-Above-So-Below_*

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 06:07 PM

I think I've brought up a very good point. In assessing whether Urantia is a new religion, don't we need to go back to the beginning of the Urantia movement?


Howard509:
I understand what you are saying and I also understand what Bonita is referring to in her reply. I would tend to agree that it would be difficult to understand what may have been in the minds of over 300 individuals who took part in the final publication of The UB. But, would there be another way of accomplishing the same thing using the UB and coming up with some kind of ad hoc or point driven creed that might be applied to a UB religion that many readers could agree with much like other religion have done?

One example might be:

The Apostles’ Creed

“I Believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth”

http://www.therealpr...creed/acc02.htm

The opening article of the Apostles’ Creed is also the most fundamental: It lays the foundation for everything else we believe as Christians.

It is remarkable how many truths of faith are implied in the simple sentence, “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.” Each of these truths has been questioned in the course of the Church’s history, and each is being challenged today. That is why as Catholics we have no choice in the modern world: We must know exactly what we profess in the first article of our Creed.
. . . .


This might be an interesting way to proceed, or not?

Edited by As-Above-So-Below, 26 February 2012 - 06:08 PM.


#38 Rick Warren

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 06:55 PM

The authors do talk about creating new slogans for a benign cult, one based in Jesus' teachings. Based on those quotes, a few readers have already started a "Spiritual Fellowship", presumably to get out in front.

http://www.thespiritualfellowship.org/

...But a cult--a symbolism of rituals, slogans, or goals--will not function if it is too complex. And there must be the demand for devotion, the response of loyalty. Every effective religion unerringly develops a worthy symbolism, and its devotees would do well to prevent the crystallization of such a ritual into cramping, deforming, and stifling stereotyped ceremonials which can only handicap and retard all social, moral, and spiritual progress. No cult can survive if it retards moral growth and fails to foster spiritual progress. The cult is the skeletal structure around which grows the living and dynamic body of personal spiritual experience--true religion.... P.966 - 5


...But religious leaders are making a great mistake when they try to call modern man to spiritual battle with the trumpet blasts of the Middle Ages. Religion must provide itself with new and up-to-date slogans. Neither democracy nor any other political panacea will take the place of spiritual progress. False religions may represent an evasion of reality, but Jesus in his gospel introduced mortal man to the very entrance upon an eternal reality of spiritual progression.... P.2077 - 6



#39 Guest_As-Above-So-Below_*

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 07:23 PM

The authors do talk about creating new slogans for a benign cult, one based in Jesus' teachings. Based on those quotes, a few readers have already started a "Spiritual Fellowship", presumably to get out in front.
. . .


Good point Rick, reminds of the movie "Oh God! Book II" where the slogan ends up as "Think GOD."

#40 Howard509

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 09:00 AM

But, would there be another way of accomplishing the same thing using the UB and coming up with some kind of ad hoc or point driven creed that might be applied to a UB religion that many readers could agree with much like other religion have done?




This is the closest that I've seen to a doctrinal statement based on the Urantia Book. As you can see, it differs from traditional Christianity on several key points, while also being at variance with so-called liberal theology.


1. ” The Universal Father is the God of all creation, the First Source and Center, and the creator, controller and upholder of all things and beings. God is personal and all-wise, all-powerful, ever-present and eternally perfect, manifesting a father’s love and affection for his children — all of them. Our creator is inherently kind, naturally compassionate, everlastingly merciful, and is never wrathful, vengeful, jealous or angry. It is an affront to God to believe, hold, or teach that innocent blood must be shed in order to win his favor or to divert the fictitious divine wrath. God is love.

2. “Physical evolution is part of God’s design. The creation, evolution, spiritual ascension, and eventual perfection of intelligent human beings represent the successful outworking of the divine plan of eternal progress in a friendly universe. The steady march of physical evolution is accompanied by ever-enlarging revelations of the Universal Father to those who build strong characters through the unification of genuine religious experience with factual science and a moral philosophy. The history of the human race is one of progressive evolution; humankind has never been cursed by God and there has been no “fall of man.”

3. “God does not do all that is done, and is not responsible for accidents and natural disasters. All human beings are endowed with free will and are the architects of their own destiny. The voluntary dedication of human will to the will of the Universal Father leads to social vitality and individual immortality, while the determined and persistent rejection of truth and the defiance of divine laws lead to social chaos, self-destruction and permanent loss of existence. That which mercy cannot rehabilitate justice will eventually annihilate. The First Source and Center does not punish and is not willing that any should perish; there is no eternal hell.

4. “The kingdom of God manifests with the enthronement of God in our hearts, and when this kingdom becomes actual in the heart of every individual in our world, then God’s rule has become actual on our planet. The Universal Father never imposes any form of arbitrary recognition, formal worship, or unquestioning service upon human beings; they must of themselves—in their own hearts—recognize, love, and voluntarily worship him. God’s kingdom is not of this world, concerns not things visible and material, does not lead forth armies in battle for the establishment of a throne of power or a kingdom of worldly glory, and is even now among us.”

5. “As the divine source, guide and destiny of the righteous — Christ leads and serves all those who follow universal truth, eternal beauty and infinite goodness. The Son of God is the Spirit of Truth; the light of the world; the desire of all ages; the good shepherd; the pathway of infinite perfection and the secret of eternal survival. His crucifixion, physical death, and spiritual resurrection were the supreme and final expression of his love, and the evidence of his wholehearted and voluntary bestowal of himself upon evil — not a sacrificial atonement required by God.

6. “Divine truth is living, dynamic, growing, expanding, and unfolding always in the present, achieving new expression in each generation. It is personally experienced by those who choose to do the divine will, illuminated by the divine spirit that indwells the human mind, and at times revealed through outward, epochal revelation. Although truth cannot be defined by words or imprisoned by any “holy book,” and no revelation short of the attainment of the Universal Father can ever be complete, the Urantia Papers represent the most recent epochal revelation to humanity and the highest teachings of truth found on earth. Communion with the God within, and his kingdom without, is affected through intelligent prayer and sincere worship and not by mediumship, voices, visions, or extraordinary religious practices.”

7. “A lasting social system without a morality predicated on spiritual realities can no more be maintained than could the solar system without gravity. Without help from superhuman sources, society breaks down upon reaching certain limits. The termination of this era and the inauguration of the next will commence with the arrival of the visible and divine Son who comes to judge the age and establish a superior period of spiritual transformation and social advancement. In the conduct and destiny of our planet the divine plan ultimately prevails – the righteous shall inherit the earth.
http://www.ubim.org/tenets/



We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. -
Teilhard de Chardin





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