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PAPER 92 - THE LATER EVOLUTION OF RELIGION

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#1 Rick Warren

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:19 AM



Welcome to UAI Forum's One-Page-A-Day Online Study Session

Today's Presentation:


PAPER 92 - THE LATER EVOLUTION OF RELIGION


[Introduction]



P.1003 - §1 Man possessed a religion of natural origin as a part of his evolutionary experience long before any systematic revelations were made on Urantia. But this religion of natural origin was, in itself, the product of man's superanimal endowments. Evolutionary religion arose slowly throughout the millenniums of mankind's experiential career through the ministry of the following influences operating within, and impinging upon, savage, barbarian, and civilized man:


1. The adjutant of worship--the appearance in animal consciousness of superanimal potentials for reality perception. This might be termed the primordial human instinct for Deity.

2. The adjutant of wisdom--the manifestation in a worshipful mind of the tendency to direct its adoration in higher channels of expression and toward ever-expanding concepts of Deity reality.

3. The Holy Spirit--this is the initial supermind bestowal, and it unfailingly appears in all bona fide human personalities. This ministry to a worship-craving and wisdom-desiring mind creates the capacity to self-realize the postulate of human survival, both in theologic concept and as an actual and factual personality experience.



P.1003 - §5 The co-ordinate functioning of these three divine ministrations is quite sufficient to initiate and prosecute the growth of evolutionary religion. These influences are later augmented by Thought Adjusters, seraphim, and the Spirit of Truth, all of which accelerate the rate of religious development. These agencies have long functioned on Urantia, and they will continue here as long as this planet remains an inhabited sphere. Much of the potential of these divine agencies has never yet had opportunity for expression; much will be revealed in the ages to come as mortal religion ascends, level by level, toward the supernal heights of morontia value and spirit truth.






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[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


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#2 Rick Warren

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:37 AM

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Good Day Fellow Students, Forum Members and Guests,

Welcome to the OPAD study of Paper 92, the first of 15 Papers in an unbroken series, all "Presented by a (unnamed) Melchizedek of Nebadon". One Melchizedek or another presented a total of 30 Papers in the UB. The names of the Papers in this series of 15 are:

092. The Later Evolution of Religion . Melchizedek
093. Machiventa Melchizedek . Melchizedek
094. The Melchizedek Teachings in the Orient . Melchizedek
095. The Melchizedek Teachings in the Levant . Melchizedek
096. Yahweh — God of the Hebrews . Melchizedek
097. Evolution of the God Concept among the Hebrews . Melchizedek
098. The Melchizedek Teachings in the Occident . Melchizedek
099. The Social Problems of Religion . Melchizedek
100. Religion in Human Experience . Melchizedek
101. The Real Nature of Religion . Melchizedek
102. The Foundations of Religious Faith . Melchizedek
103. The Reality of Religious Experience . Melchizedek
104. Growth of the Trinity Concept . Melchizedek
105. Deity and Reality . Melchizedek
106. Universe Levels of Reality . Melchizedek

The list above represents a vast span of potential enlightenment, most of which Urantia has only faintly grasped, barely considered, much less embraced. Papers 104-6 rise the highest and are the most complex of all the revelations about universe cosmology and the engines of reality. They are considered by some to be the most difficult to comprehend of the whole revelation.

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This Paper begins by differentiating between "natural" and evolutionary religion. We first sought to influence whomever or whatever is in control, obviously we weren't, because our ancestors were constantly ravaged and coerced by a hundred needs and a thousand dangers. But gradually a sort of superstitious religion began to evolve out of ancient fears and rituals. Then came one revelation after another (personal and epochal) to lay the foundations of real religions.

In the introduction to this Paper Melchizedek points to three of the foundation stones, the upper two Adjutant Spirits, worship and wisdom.
  • Wisdom
  • Worship
The other five are:
  • Counsel
  • Knowledge
  • Courage
  • Understanding
  • Intuition
These seven are fairly well known by readers, but in today's reading Mel adds a third that is comparatively obscure; the supermind endowment of the Mother Spirit of Nebadon, Michael's mate.

This supermind is briefly mentioned here and there in the book, but much less than the Adjutant Mind Spirits. These quotes may help explain its presence and function:


...Living mind, prior to the appearance of capacity to learn from experience, is the ministry domain of the Master Physical Controllers. Creature mind, before acquiring the ability to recognize divinity and worship Deity, is the exclusive domain of the adjutant spirits. With the appearance of the spiritual response of the creature intellect, such created minds at once become superminded, being instantly encircuited in the spirit cycles of the local universe Mother Spirit.... P.403 - 3

...All of man's truly religious reactions are sponsored by the early ministry of the adjutant of worship and are censored by the adjutant of wisdom. Man's first supermind endowment is that of personality encircuitment in the Holy Spirit of the Universe Creative Spirit; and long before either the bestowals of the divine Sons or the universal bestowal of the Adjusters, this influence functions to enlarge man's viewpoint of ethics, religion, and spirituality.... P.1129 - 1


...There is a real proof of spiritual reality in the presence of the Thought Adjuster, but the validity of this presence is not demonstrable to the external world, only to the one who thus experiences the indwelling of God. The consciousness of the Adjuster is based on the intellectual reception of truth, the supermind perception of goodness, and the personality motivation to love.... P.1139 - 6

...During the slumber season the Adjuster attempts to achieve only that which the will of the indwelt personality has previously fully approved by the decisions and choosings which were made during times of fully wakeful consciousness, and which have thereby become lodged in the realms of the supermind, the liaison domain of human and divine interrelationship.... P.1208 - 2


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Overview of: Paper 92. The Later Evolution of Religion


1. The Evolutionary Nature of Religion
2. Religion and the Mores
3. The Nature of Evolutionary Religion
4. The Gift of Revelation

5. The Great Religious Leaders
6. The Composite Religions

7. The Further Evolution of Religion


[Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon.]


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Synopsis of Paper 92:

Religion has progressed from nature worship through ghost worship to fetishism. Throughout history fear has been the basic religious stimulus, but as civilization advances fear becomes modified by reverence and repentance.


Attempts to suddenly accelerate religious growth are unwise. Religion clings to mores; traditions become sacred; passing generations are afraid to discard what their ancestors deemed holy. Morality is not determined by evolutionary religion, rather, religious forms are dictated by morality. At some time in history, all that is now considered immoral was once accepted. Religion has handicapped social development in many ways, but without religion there would have been no enduring morality or worthwhile civilization. Religion has provided the discipline and self‑control that makes wisdom possible.


Evolutionary religion, unlike science, does not provide for its own correction. The only two influences that can uplift religious dogma are the pressure of advancing mores, and periodic epochal revelations. Evolutionary religion must continue to be refined by revealed religion and genuine science, but revelation cannot be far removed from the thoughts of the era in which it is presented.


Evolutionary religion is a human reaction to the spiritual world; revelatory religion is the spirit realm's reaction to the human search for truth. Revelation is always limited by human capacity. There have been many events of religious revelation, but only five were of epochal significance: the Planetary Prince's arrival, the mission of Adam and Eve, Melchizedek's teachings, Jesus' teachings, and the Urantia A Synopsis of Papers. The fifth epochal revelation differs from all previous revelations because it is the collaborative work of many persons instead of just one person.


There is an instinctive longing in the human heart for help from above. This impulse was designed to foster the work of the Planetary Prince and the Material Sons and Daughters. People have always venerated their leaders, sometimes even at the expense of his teachings. There have been hundreds upon hundreds of religious leaders on our planet who have served as the personality fulcrums on which the levers of revelation depend.


New religions cannot be invented; they either evolve or are suddenly revealed. Religions are good if they bring mortals to God and bring the realization of God to mortals. It is wise to study and assimilate the truths contained in every faith; it is arrogance for any group of religionists to think that they possess the only truth.


The quality of religion is indicated by loyalties, values, and the cosmic progress of the persons involved. Religion is devotion to the service of supreme values, a living experience of love, a technique of thinking, and the eternal foundation of all enduring civilizations. No revelation short of the attainment of the Universal Father can ever be complete-all other celestial ministrations are partial adaptations to local conditions in time and space.


Source: http://urantiabook.o...s/a_soe_92.html

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In tomorrow's reading Mel writes a half page assessment of what has gone before, setting the stage for telling us about the next developments in our protracted history of trying to understand and control the often painful mysteries of birth, life and unavoidable death. Section 1 is titled: THE EVOLUTIONARY NATURE OF RELIGION


Thanks for reading. Forum Member's thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. Join the Forum

Much love, Rick/OPAD host



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Previous OPAD Presentations and Discussions:

Pages 1-17 ~ The Foreword
Paper 1 ~ The Universal Father
Paper 2 ~ The Nature of God
Paper 3 ~ The Attributes of God
Paper 4 ~ God's Relation To The Universe
Paper 5 ~ God's Relation To The Individual
Paper 6 ~ The Eternal Son
Paper 7 ~ Relation of the Eternal Son to the Universe
Paper 8 ~ The Infinite Spirit
Paper 9 ~ Relation of the Infinite Spirit to the Universe
Paper 10 ~ The Paradise Trinity
Paper 11 ~ The Eternal Isle of Paradise
Paper 12 ~ The Universes of Universes
Paper 13 ~ The Sacred Spheres of Paradise
Paper 14 ~ The Central and Divine Universe
Paper 15 ~ The Seven Superuniverses
Paper 16 ~ The Seven Master Spirits
Paper 17 ~ The Seven Supreme Spirit Groups
Paper 18 ~ The Supreme Trinity Personalities
Paper 19 ~ The Co-Ordinate Trinity-Origin Beings
Paper 20 ~ The Paradise Sons of God
Paper 21 ~ The Paradise Creator Sons
Paper 22 ~ The Trinitized Sons of God
Paper 23 ~ The Solitary Messengers
Paper 24 ~ Higher Personalities of The Infinite Spirit
Paper 25 ~ The Messenger Hosts of Space
Paper 26 ~ Ministering Spirits of the Central Universe
Paper 27 ~ Ministry of the Primary Supernaphim
Paper 28 ~ Ministering Spirits of the Superuniverses
Paper 30 ~ Personalities of the Grand Universe
Paper 31 ~ The Corps Of The Finality
Paper 32 ~ The Evolution of Local Universes
Paper 33 ~ Administration Of The Local Universe
Paper 34 ~ The Local Universe Mother Spirit
Paper 35 ~ The Local Universe Sons of God
Paper 36 ~ The Life Carriers
Paper 37 ~ Personalities Of The Local Universe
Paper 38 ~ Ministering Spirits of the Local Universe
Paper 39 ~ The Seraphic Hosts
Paper 40 ~ The Ascending Sons of God
Paper 41 ~ Physical Aspects of the Local Universe
Paper 42 ~ Energy--Mind and Matter
Paper 43 ~ The Constellation Headquarters
Paper 44 ~ The Celestial Artisans
Paper 45 ~ The Local System Administration
Paper 46 ~ The Local System Headquarters
Paper 47 ~ The Seven Mansion Worlds
Paper 48 ~ The Morontia Life
Paper 49 ~ The Inhabited Worlds
Paper 50 ~ The Planetary Princes
Paper 51 ~ The Planetary Adams
Paper 52 ~ Planetary Mortal Epochs
Paper 53 ~ The Lucifer Rebellion
Paper 54 ~ Problems Of The Lucifer Rebellion
Paper 55 ~ The Spheres Of Light And Life
Paper 56 ~ Universal Unity
Paper 57 ~ The Origin Of Urantia
Paper 58 ~ Life Establishment On Urantia
Paper 59 ~ The Marine-Life Era On Urantia
Paper 60 ~ Urantia During The Early Land-Life Era
Paper 61 ~ The Mammalian Era On Urantia
Paper 62 ~ The Dawn Races Of Early Man
Paper 63 ~ The First Human Family
Paper 64 ~ The Evolutionary Races Of Color
Paper 65 ~ The Overcontrol Of Evolution
Paper 66 ~ The Planetary Prince Of Urantia
Paper 67 ~ The Planetary Rebellion
Paper 68 ~ The Dawn Of Civilization
Paper 69 ~ Primitive Human Institutions
Paper 70 ~ The Evolution Of Human Government
Paper 71 ~ Development Of The State
Paper 72 ~ Government On A Neighboring Planet
Paper 73 ~ The Garden Of Eden
Paper 74 ~ Adam And Eve
Paper 75 ~ The Default Of Adam And Eve
Paper 76 ~ The Second Garden
Paper 77 ~ The Midway Creatures
Paper 78 ~ The Violet Race After The Days Of Adam
Paper 79 ~ Andite Expansion In The Orient
Paper 80 ~ Andite Expansion In The Occident

Paper 81 ~ Development Of Modern Civilization
Paper 82 ~ The Evolution Of Marriage

Paper 83 ~ The Marriage Institution
Paper 84 ~ Marriage And Family Life

Paper 85 ~ The Origins of Worship
Paper 86 ~ Early Evolution Of Religion
Paper 87 ~ The Ghost Cults
Paper 88 ~ Fetishes, Charms and Magic
Paper 89 ~ Sin, Sacrifice And Atonement
Paper 90 ~ Shamanism--Medicine Men And Priests
Paper 91 ~ The Evolution Of Prayer
Paper 92 ~ The Later Evolution Of Religion


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#3 Rick Warren

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 04:21 AM



Welcome to UAI Forum's One-Page-A-Day Online Study Session

Today's Presentation:


PAPER 92 - THE LATER EVOLUTION OF RELIGION



1. THE EVOLUTIONARY NATURE OF RELIGION


P.1003 - §6 The evolution of religion has been traced from early fear and ghosts down through many successive stages of development, including those efforts first to coerce and then to cajole the spirits. Tribal fetishes grew into totems and tribal gods; magic formulas became modern prayers. Circumcision, at first a sacrifice, became a hygienic procedure.

P.1003 - §7 Religion progressed from nature worship up through ghost worship to fetishism throughout the savage childhood of the races. With the dawn of civilization the human race espoused the more mystic and symbolic beliefs, while now, with approaching maturity, mankind is ripening for the appreciation of real religion, even a beginning of the revelation of truth itself.

P.1004 - §1 Religion arises as a biologic reaction of mind to spiritual beliefs and the environment; it is the last thing to perish or change in a race. Religion is society's adjustment, in any age, to that which is mysterious. As a social institution it embraces rites, symbols, cults, scriptures, altars, shrines, and temples. Holy water, relics, fetishes, charms, vestments, bells, drums, and priesthoods are common to all religions. And it is impossible entirely to divorce purely evolved religion from either magic or sorcery.

P.1004 - §2 Mystery and power have always stimulated religious feelings and fears, while emotion has ever functioned as a powerful conditioning factor in their development. Fear has always been the basic religious stimulus. Fear fashions the gods of evolutionary religion and motivates the religious ritual of the primitive believers. As civilization advances, fear becomes modified by reverence, admiration, respect, and sympathy and is then further conditioned by remorse and repentance.

P.1004 - §3 One Asiatic people taught that "God is a great fear"; that is the outgrowth of purely evolutionary religion. Jesus, the revelation of the highest type of religious living, proclaimed that "God is love."






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[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


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#4 Rick Warren

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:43 AM

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Greetings Fellow Students, Forum Members and Guests :D

Few if any religionists admit, or even realize, their religion is evolutionary. They cling to long ago creeds and ancient doctrines, declaring them divinely constituted, forever immutable and inherently infallible. But they always change, they have to, or they will simply die due to lack of interest.

If religions don't evolve they are left behind for those religions that do. Over the two millennia since the Christian church emerged from the teachings of Jesus, it has made so many changes and additions it's early practitioners would hardly recognize or embrace many of the modern versions. Some estimates say there are ten of thousands of denominations and sects of just Christianity alone, all claiming to represent the Master. From Wikipedia:

...This is not a complete list, but aims to provide a comprehensible overview of the diversity among denominations of Christianity. As there are reported to be approximately 38,000 Christian denominations,[2] many of which cannot be verified to be significant, only those denominations with Wikipedia articles will be listed in order to ensure that all entries on this list are notable and verifiable.


Posted Image

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Major [Abrahamic] divisions:Source/much more: http://en.wikipedia....ons#cite_note-1

Christianity and Judaism are NOT the only religions that have evolved thousands of denominations and sects. All enduring religions branch out, create new beliefs, doctrines and rituals at the behest of their followers. And they are all vulnerable to interdenominational wars, intellectual and physical. War itself is a factor in religious evolution when differing cultures clash and eventually combine.

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This is encouraging!


...while now, with approaching maturity, mankind is ripening for the appreciation of real religion, even a beginning of the revelation of truth itself.... P.1003 - 7


The Urantia Book is this beginning, no? Evolved religion cannot, by itself, separate from magic. Melchizedek and other authors consistently declare epochal revelation is a requirement for religious and social progress beyond blind fear. But fearful religion was an absolutely necessary stepping stone:


...As civilization advances, fear becomes modified by reverence, admiration, respect, and sympathy and is then further conditioned by remorse and repentance.... P.1004 - 2


Could early and fear-bound religionists accept Jesus' later declaration that, "God is love"? Accepting one God over all would have never have happened, much less embracing a loving, tender and gentle God. Love is inconsistent with a God who sends down lightening, creates earthquakes and visits plagues on weak, insignificant humans, eh?


Tomorrow's reading discusses religion's reluctant metamorphosis, how what seems right in one age becomes anathema in another. Section 2 is titled: RELIGION AND THE MORES

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One side-note from today's reading about the hygienic benefits of male circumcision, from Wikipedia:

Sexually transmitted diseases

...There is strong evidence that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection in heterosexual men in populations that are at high risk.[75][76] Evidence among heterosexual men in sub-Saharan Africa shows a decreased risk of between 38 percent and 66 percent over two years[15] and in this population studies rate it cost effective.[77] Whether it protects against male-to-female transmission is disputed[78][79] and whether it is of benefit in developed countries and among men who have sex with men is undetermined.[80][81][82]

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....mitted_diseases

***

Thanks for reading. Forum Member's thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. Join the Forum

Much love, Rick/OPAD host


Overview of: Paper 92. The Later Evolution of Religion


1. The Evolutionary Nature of Religion
2. Religion and the Mores
3. The Nature of Evolutionary Religion
4. The Gift of Revelation

5. The Great Religious Leaders
6. The Composite Religions

7. The Further Evolution of Religion


[Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon.]



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#5 Alina

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:46 AM

Good Day Rick, all!
Thanks! :)

Additional quotes Paper149:
The “Fear of the Lord”


(1675.2)It was at Gamala, during the evening conference, that Philip said to Jesus: “Master, why is it that the Scriptures instruct us to ‘fear the Lord,’ while you would have us look to the Father in heaven without fear? How are we to harmonize these teachings?” And Jesus replied to Philip, saying:

(1675.3) 149:6.2 “My children, I am not surprised that you ask such questions. In the beginning it was only through fear that man could learn reverence, but I have come to reveal the Father’s love so that you will be attracted to the worship of the Eternal by the drawing of a son’s affectionate recognition and reciprocation of the Father’s profound and perfect love. I would deliver you from the bondage of driving yourselves through slavish fear to the irksome service of a jealous and wrathful King-God. I would instruct you in the Father-son relationship of God and man so that you may be joyfully led into that sublime and supernal free worship of a loving, just, and merciful Father-God.

(1675.4) 149:6.3 “The ‘fear of the Lord’ has had different meanings in the successive ages, coming up from fear, through anguish and dread, to awe and reverence. And now from reverence I would lead you up, through recognition, realization, and appreciation, to love. When man recognizes only the works of God, he is led to fear the Supreme; but when man begins to understand and experience the personality and character of the living God, he is led increasingly to love such a good and perfect, universal and eternal Father. And it is just this changing of the relation of man to God that constitutes the mission of the Son of Man on earth.

(1675.5) 149:6.4 “Intelligent children do not fear their father in order that they may receive good gifts from his hand; but having already received the abundance of good things bestowed by the dictates of the father’s affection for his sons and daughters, these much loved children are led to love their father in responsive recognition and appreciation of such munificent beneficence. The goodness of God leads to repentance; the beneficence of God leads to service; the mercy of God leads to salvation; while the love of God leads to intelligent and freehearted worship.

(1675.6) 149:6.5 “Your forebears feared God because he was mighty and mysterious. You shall adore him because he is magnificent in love, plenteous in mercy, and glorious in truth. The power of God engenders fear in the heart of man, but the nobility and righteousness of his personality beget reverence, love, and willing worship. A dutiful and affectionate son does not fear or dread even a mighty and noble father. I have come into the world to put love in the place of fear, joy in the place of sorrow, confidence in the place of dread, loving service and appreciative worship in the place of slavish bondage and meaningless ceremonies. But it is still true of those who sit in darkness that ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.’ But when the light has more fully come, the sons of God are led to praise the Infinite for what he is rather than to fear him for what he does.

(1675.7) 149:6.6 “When children are young and unthinking, they must necessarily be admonished to honor their parents; but when they grow older and become somewhat more appreciative of the benefits of the parental ministry and protection, they are led up, through understanding respect and increasing affection, to that level of experience where they actually love their parents for what they are more than for what they have done. The father naturally loves his child, but the child must develop his love for the father from the fear of what the father can do, through awe, dread, dependence, and reverence, to the appreciative and affectionate regard of love.

(1676.1) 149:6.7 “You have been taught that you should ‘fear God and keep his commandments, for that is the whole duty of man.’ But I have come to give you a new and higher commandment. I would teach you to ‘love God and learn to do his will, for that is the highest privilege of the liberated sons of God.’ Your fathers were taught to ‘fear God — the Almighty King.’ I teach you, ‘Love God — the all-merciful Father.



Love to all!

Alina
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#6 Rick Warren

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:13 AM



Welcome to UAI Forum's One-Page-A-Day Online Study Session

Today's Presentation:


PAPER 92 - THE LATER EVOLUTION OF RELIGION



2. RELIGION AND THE MORES



P.1004 - §4 Religion is the most rigid and unyielding of all human institutions, but it does tardily adjust to changing society. Eventually, evolutionary religion does reflect the changing mores, which, in turn, may have been affected by revealed religion. Slowly, surely, but grudgingly, does religion (worship) follow in the wake of wisdom--knowledge directed by experiential reason and illuminated by divine revelation.

P.1004 - §5 Religion clings to the mores; that which was is ancient and supposedly sacred. For this reason and no other, stone implements persisted long into the age of bronze and iron. This statement is of record: "And if you will make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stone, for, if you use your tools in making it, you have polluted it." Even today, the Hindus kindle their altar fires by using a primitive fire drill. In the course of evolutionary religion, novelty has always been regarded as sacrilege. The sacrament must consist, not of new and manufactured food, but of the most primitive of viands: "The flesh roasted with fire and unleavened bread served with bitter herbs." All types of social usage and even legal procedures cling to the old forms.

P.1004 - §6 When modern man wonders at the presentation of so much in the scriptures of different religions that may be regarded as obscene, he should pause to consider that passing generations have feared to eliminate what their ancestors deemed to be holy and sacred. A great deal that one generation might look upon as obscene, preceding generations have considered a part of their accepted mores, even as approved religious rituals. A considerable amount of religious controversy has been occasioned by the never-ending attempts to reconcile olden but reprehensible practices with newly advanced reason, to find plausible theories in justification of creedal perpetuation of ancient and outworn customs.

P.1004 - §7 But it is only foolish to attempt the too sudden acceleration of religious growth. A race or nation can only assimilate from any advanced religion that which is reasonably consistent and compatible with its current evolutionary status, plus its genius for adaptation. Social, climatic, political, and economic conditions are all influential in determining the course and progress of religious evolution. Social morality is not determined by religion, that is, by evolutionary religion; rather are the forms of religion dictated by the racial morality.

P.1005 - §1 Races of men only superficially accept a strange and new religion; they actually adjust it to their mores and old ways of believing. This is well illustrated by the example of a certain New Zealand tribe whose priests, after nominally accepting Christianity, professed to have received direct revelations from Gabriel to the effect that this selfsame tribe had become the chosen people of God and directing that they be permitted freely to indulge in loose sex relations and numerous other of their olden and reprehensible customs. And immediately all of the new-made Christians went over to this new and less exacting version of Christianity.

P.1005 - §2 Religion has at one time or another sanctioned all sorts of contrary and inconsistent behavior, has at some time approved of practically all that is now regarded as immoral or sinful. Conscience, untaught by experience and unaided by reason, never has been, and never can be, a safe and unerring guide to human conduct. Conscience is not a divine voice speaking to the human soul. It is merely the sum total of the moral and ethical content of the mores of any current stage of existence; it simply represents the humanly conceived ideal of reaction in any given set of circumstances.





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[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


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#7 Rick Warren

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:46 AM

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Good Day Fellow Students, Forum Members and Guests,

Very much appreciate the additional insights in the quotes you posted Alina. Fear can be traded for liberation! It's also interesting to compare the difference between the Bible's Old Testament fear and New Testament love:

Genesis 22:12 "And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me."


1 John 4:8 "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."



***

So, what are these mores, these ideas and standards humanity ever so tightly "clings to"? From Wikipedia:

...William Graham Sumner, an early U.S. sociologist, recognized that some norms are more important to our lives than others. Sumner coined the term mores to refer to norms that are widely observed and have great moral significance.

...The English word morality comes from the same Latin root "mōrēs", as does the Englsh noun moral. However, mores do not, as is commonly supposed, necessarily carry connotations of morality. Rather, morality can be seen as a subset of mores, held to be of central importance in view of their content, and often formalized in some kind of moral code.[5]

...The meaning of all these terms extend to all customs of proper behavior in a given society, both religious and profane, from more trivial conventional aspects of costume, etiquette or politeness, "folkways" enforced by gentle social pressure, but going beyond mere "folkways" or conventions in including moral codes and notions of justice down to strict taboos, behavior that is unthinkable within the society in question, very commonly including incest and murder, but also the commitment of outrages specific to the individual society such as blasphemy. Such religious or sacral customs may be unpredictable and vary completely from one culture to another: while uttering the name of God may be a taboo in one culture, uttering it as often as possible may be considered pious in the extreme in another.[7]


Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mores

Apparently mores can be good or bad, but they are always evolving. We know witch burning and inquisition was once acceptable, even sanctioned by law and (presumably) God, but certainly not today.

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The stone altar quote is from the Bible's Old Testament:

Exodus 20:25 "And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it."

From the same Bible book:

Exodus 12:8 "And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it."

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About Hindu fire ceremonies:

...Homa (also known as homam or havan) is a Sanskrit word which refers to any ritual in which making offerings into a consecrated fire is the primary action.[1] At present, the words homa/homam and havan are interchangeable with the word Yagna.[2]

Homas are an important religious practise in Hinduism, where they part of most of the Sanskar ceremonies, Buddhism (particularly the Tibetan and Japanese Vajrayana traditions) and Jainism.



Posted Image
A havan ceremony on the banks of Ganges, Muni Ki Reti, Rishikesh

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....ma_%28ritual%29

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More than once in the UB appears this warning:


...But it is only foolish to attempt the too sudden acceleration of religious growth.... P.1004 - 7

Paper 67:5:

...The complete and radical reorganization of the whole world was attempted; revolution displaced evolution as the policy of cultural advancement and racial improvement. Among the superior and partially trained sojourners in and near Dalamatia there appeared a sudden advancement in cultural status, but when these new and radical methods were attempted on the outlying peoples, indescribable confusion and racial pandemonium was the immediate result. Liberty was quickly translated into license by the half-evolved primitive men of those days.... P.758 - §6

Paper 95:1

...But it has often been the error of the teachers of new truth to attempt too much, to attempt to supplant slow evolution by sudden revolution....P.1043 - 3


***

About the Christianity/Maori history of New Zealand:

...The first Christian missionaries came to New Zealand at the start of the 19th century. The Church Mission Society, an Anglican organisation, established a presence in New Zealand in 1814,[3] with the permission and protection of Ngā Puhi chief Ruatara. This expedition was led by Samuel Marsden. Later missionaries brought other religious denominations — Jean Baptiste Pompallier played an important role in establishing Roman Catholicism. Presbyterianism was brought to New Zealand largely by Scottish settlers. The Maori people also created their own forms of Christianity, with Ratana and Ringatu being the largest.


Source/more: http://en.wikipedia...._in_New_Zealand


...The Rātana movement is a Māori religion and pan-tribalpolitical movement founded by Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana in early 20th-century New Zealand. The Rātana Church has its headquarters at the settlement of Rātana, near Wanganui.

...In 1918 Rātana saw a vision, which he regarded as divinely inspired, asking him to preach the gospel to the Māori people, to destroy the power of the tohunga, and to cure the spirits and bodies of his people.

Until 1924 he preached to increasingly large numbers of Māori and established a name for himself as the "Māori Miracle Man". Initially, the movement was seen as a Christian revival, but it soon moved away from mainstream churches. On 31 May 1925, Te Haahi Rātana (The Rātana Church) was formally established as a separate church, and its founder was acknowledged as Te Mangai or the mouthpiece of God.



Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratana


***


...Conscience, untaught by experience and unaided by reason, never has been, and never can be, a safe and unerring guide to human conduct. Conscience is not a divine voice speaking to the human soul.... P.1005 - 2


Conscience is mentioned many times in the book, from Paper 52 to 195, often reiterating, affirming and emphasizing the quote above.

From Paper 110:


...Do not confuse and confound the mission and influence of the Adjuster with what is commonly called conscience; they are not directly related. Conscience is a human and purely psychic reaction. It is not to be despised, but it is hardly the voice of God to the soul, which indeed the Adjuster's would be if such a voice could be heard. Conscience, rightly, admonishes you to do right; but the Adjuster, in addition, endeavors to tell you what truly is right; that is, when and as you are able to perceive the Monitor's leading.... P.1207 - 7


What pricks the conscience and causes feelings of guilt and remorse in one age may not in another time. The mores evolve, change, modify, alter, and progress according to current beliefs and periodic revelations of divine truth. Obviously this is part of the design of things.

We who embrace Urantia's newest revelation have an insight into coming changes in the mores. This book is packed with higher and better logic, greater and more advanced ideas of true morality, as well as grand concepts of the cosmic mores of divine Fatherhood and universal brotherhood. How fast will they change the current set? Not too fast, not too slow we pray, eh?

***

Tomorrow's reading is about that inevitable, quasi-rigid and enduring institution which adopts, guards, and maintains the ever changing mores. Section 3 is titled: THE NATURE OF EVOLUTIONARY RELIGION


Thanks for reading. Forum Member's thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. Join the Forum

Much love, Rick/OPAD host



Overview of: Paper 92. The Later Evolution of Religion


1. The Evolutionary Nature of Religion
2. Religion and the Mores
3. The Nature of Evolutionary Religion
4. The Gift of Revelation

5. The Great Religious Leaders
6. The Composite Religions

7. The Further Evolution of Religion


[Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon.]


Reader Tools, References & Links


***

#8 Rick Warren

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 03:28 AM



Welcome to UAI Forum's One-Page-A-Day Online Study Session

Today's Presentation:


PAPER 92 - THE LATER EVOLUTION OF RELIGION



3. THE NATURE OF EVOLUTIONARY RELIGION


P.1005 - §3 The study of human religion is the examination of the fossil-bearing social strata of past ages. The mores of the anthropomorphic gods are a truthful reflection of the morals of the men who first conceived such deities. Ancient religions and mythology faithfully portray the beliefs and traditions of peoples long since lost in obscurity. These olden cult practices persist alongside newer economic customs and social evolutions and, of course, appear grossly inconsistent. The remnants of the cult present a true picture of the racial religions of the past. Always remember, the cults are formed, not to discover truth, but rather to promulgate their creeds.

P.1005 - §4 Religion has always been largely a matter of rites, rituals, observances, ceremonies, and dogmas. It has usually become tainted with that persistently mischief-making error, the chosen-people delusion. The cardinal religious ideas of incantation, inspiration, revelation, propitiation, repentance, atonement, intercession, sacrifice, prayer, confession, worship, survival after death, sacrament, ritual, ransom, salvation, redemption, covenant, uncleanness, purification, prophecy, original sin--they all go back to the early times of primordial ghost fear.


P.1005 - §5 Primitive religion is nothing more nor less than the struggle for material existence extended to embrace existence beyond the grave. The observances of such a creed represented the extension of the self-maintenance struggle into the domain of an imagined ghost-spirit world. But when tempted to criticize evolutionary religion, be careful. Remember, that is what happened; it is a historical fact. And further recall that the power of any idea lies, not in its certainty or truth, but rather in the vividness of its human appeal.

P.1006 - §1 Evolutionary religion makes no provision for change or revision; unlike science, it does not provide for its own progressive correction. Evolved religion commands respect because its followers believe it is The Truth; "the faith once delivered to the saints" must, in theory, be both final and infallible. The cult resists development because real progress is certain to modify or destroy the cult itself; therefore must revision always be forced upon it.

P.1006 - §2 Only two influences can modify and uplift the dogmas of natural religion: the pressure of the slowly advancing mores and the periodic illumination of epochal revelation. And it is not strange that progress was slow; in ancient days, to be progressive or inventive meant to be killed as a sorcerer. The cult advances slowly in generation epochs and agelong cycles. But it does move forward. Evolutionary belief in ghosts laid the foundation for a philosophy of revealed religion which will eventually destroy the superstition of its origin.

P.1006 - §3 Religion has handicapped social development in many ways, but without religion there would have been no enduring morality nor ethics, no worth-while civilization. Religion enmothered much nonreligious culture: Sculpture originated in idol making, architecture in temple building, poetry in incantations, music in worship chants, drama in the acting for spirit guidance, and dancing in the seasonal worship festivals.

P.1006 - §4 But while calling attention to the fact that religion was essential to the development and preservation of civilization, it should be recorded that natural religion has also done much to cripple and handicap the very civilization which it otherwise fostered and maintained. Religion has hampered industrial activities and economic development; it has been wasteful of labor and has squandered capital; it has not always been helpful to the family; it has not adequately fostered peace and good will; it has sometimes neglected education and retarded science; it has unduly impoverished life for the pretended enrichment of death. Evolutionary religion, human religion, has indeed been guilty of all these and many more mistakes, errors, and blunders; nevertheless, it did maintain cultural ethics, civilized morality, and social coherence, and made it possible for later revealed religion to compensate for these many evolutionary shortcomings.


P.1006 - §5 Evolutionary religion has been man's most expensive but incomparably effective institution. Human religion can be justified only in the light of evolutionary civilization. If man were not the ascendant product of animal evolution, then would such a course of religious development stand without justification.


P.1006 - §6 Religion facilitated the accumulation of capital; it fostered work of certain kinds; the leisure of the priests promoted art and knowledge; the race, in the end, gained much as a result of all these early errors in ethical technique. The shamans, honest and dishonest, were terribly expensive, but they were worth all they cost. The learned professions and science itself emerged from the parasitical priesthoods. Religion fostered civilization and provided societal continuity; it has been the moral police force of all time. Religion provided that human discipline and self-control which made wisdom possible. Religion is the efficient scourge of evolution which ruthlessly drives indolent and suffering humanity from its natural state of intellectual inertia forward and upward to the higher levels of reason and wisdom.

P.1006 - §7 And this sacred heritage of animal ascent, evolutionary religion, must ever continue to be refined and ennobled by the continuous censorship of revealed religion and by the fiery furnace of genuine science.






***





[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


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#9 Rick Warren

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:14 AM

.


Good Day Fellow Students, Forum Members and Guests,

What a wonderful, insightful essay on religion. Melchizedek deftly parses religion's flaws and benefits in this Section. Isn't it strange that religion is humanity's greatest obstacle to progress, at the same time it is absolutely essential for the birth of the other venerable bastions of society? And it is the mother of that (very often opposing) institution concerned solely with fact---science!

Mel's essay reads like a list of religion's pluses and minuses. Anthropomorphism (attribution of human characteristics to other animals, non-living things, phenomena, material states, objects or abstract concepts, such as organizations, governments, spirits or deities) may have been man's first mistaken assumption. Never the less, it made a beginning of progress toward knowing and loving God.

On the minus side religion sponsors:
  • chosen people delusion
  • incantations
  • sacrifices
  • ransom
  • uncleanness
  • purification (self torture)
  • prophecy (visions and trances)
  • original sin
  • dogma
  • ghost fear
  • calcification
  • intellectual inertia
  • anti-innovation
  • warmongering
  • belief in devils, evil
On the plus side:
  • ethics
  • salvation
  • worship
  • inspiration
  • prayer
  • redemption
  • morality
  • the arts (music, singing, dancing)
  • architecture
  • community
  • civilization
  • fraternity
  • God seeking and finding
  • unity
  • capital
  • work specialization
  • leisure
  • self control
  • wisdom
***

These two profound and potent quotes say so very much about the blindness and lack of logic and reason that besets, retards and distorts all evolutionary religious thinking:



...Always remember, the cults are formed, not to discover truth, but rather to promulgate their creeds.... P.1005 - 3


...And further recall that the power of any idea lies, not in its certainty or truth, but rather in the vividness of its human appeal.... P.1005 - 5


***

Culturally and socially, Urantia now is, and has been for some time, in reverse. Science has been assigned the job of finding cosmic truth (in the material realm of all places!) when it should be in search of simple facts, while religion ever seeks for false and misleading answers in the mystical and the emotional, instead of searching for "The Truth" of a spiritual universe of real meaning, divine value and eternal purpose.


"...the faith once delivered to the saints" must, in theory, be both final and infallible.... P.1006 - 1


From the Christian Bible:

Jude 1:3 "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."


***


This statement rings quite true, eh?:


...The cult resists development because real progress is certain to modify or destroy the cult itself; therefore must revision always be forced upon it.... P.1006 - 1


The church that claims to be the Master's did not reform in the middle ages until it began losing its members to clear-thinking martyrs like Martin Luther. Before that it was guilty of selling "indulgences", free passes to heaven no matter what the sin. The church itself indulged in torture and all sorts of war making and intrigue. Religion barely changes or progresses on its own. Religions change dramatically only when their support begins to erode and evaporate. Otherwise why should they give up what they think their congregants want, and pay to hear? But when cosmic revelation comes along, evolved religion rightly feels threatened!


...Only two influences can modify and uplift the dogmas of natural religion: the pressure of the slowly advancing mores and the periodic illumination of epochal revelation.... P.1006 - 2


***

Mel ends this Section with words of hope and foresight about the inevitable, necessary, and costly struggles between what we believe about the cosmos, and what science and revelation conspire to upgrade about this belief.

In tomorrow's reading Mel expounds on the role of revelation, enumerating the five that have so far been bestowed on benighted Urantia. Section 4 is titled: THE GIFT OF REVELATION


Thanks for reading. Forum Member's thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. Join the Forum

Much love, Rick/OPAD host



Overview of: Paper 92. The Later Evolution of Religion


1. The Evolutionary Nature of Religion
2. Religion and the Mores
3. The Nature of Evolutionary Religion
4. The Gift of Revelation

5. The Great Religious Leaders
6. The Composite Religions

7. The Further Evolution of Religion


[Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon.]


Reader Tools, References & Links


***

#10 Alina

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:47 PM

.
...Isn't it strange that religion is humanity's greatest obstacle to progress, at the same time it is absolutely essential for the birth of the other venerable bastions of society? And it is the mother of that (very often opposing) institution concerned solely with fact---science!


Yes Rick, it seems strange, it sounds strange :) but I believe that evolution is progressing to
the age of light and life.

Here some instructives quotes :

(2086.2) 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.


(2086.3) 195:10.17 Even secular education could help in this great spiritual renaissance if it would pay more attention to the work of teaching youth how to engage in life planning and character progression. The purpose of all education should be to foster and further the supreme purpose of life, the development of a majestic and well-balanced personality. There is great need for the teaching of moral discipline in the place of so much self-gratification. Upon such a foundation religion may contribute its spiritual incentive to the enlargement and enrichment of mortal life, even to the security and enhancement of life eternal.


LOVE ALL!

Alina
***

#11 Rick Warren

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 03:59 AM



Welcome to UAI Forum's One-Page-A-Day Online Study Session

Today's Presentation:


PAPER 92 - THE LATER EVOLUTION OF RELIGION



4. THE GIFT OF REVELATION



P.1007 - §1 Revelation is evolutionary but always progressive. Down through the ages of a world's history, the revelations of religion are ever-expanding and successively more enlightening. It is the mission of revelation to sort and censor the successive religions of evolution. But if revelation is to exalt and upstep the religions of evolution, then must such divine visitations portray teachings which are not too far removed from the thought and reactions of the age in which they are presented. Thus must and does revelation always keep in touch with evolution. Always must the religion of revelation be limited by man's capacity of receptivity.

P.1007 - §2 But regardless of apparent connection or derivation, the religions of revelation are always characterized by a belief in some Deity of final value and in some concept of the survival of personality identity after death.

P.1007 - §3 Evolutionary religion is sentimental, not logical. It is man's reaction to belief in a hypothetical ghost-spirit world--the human belief-reflex, excited by the realization and fear of the unknown. Revelatory religion is propounded by the real spiritual world; it is the response of the superintellectual cosmos to the mortal hunger to believe in, and depend upon, the universal Deities. Evolutionary religion pictures the circuitous gropings of humanity in quest of truth; revelatory religion is that very truth.

P.1007 - §4 There have been many events of religious revelation but only five of epochal significance. These were as follows:

1. The Dalamatian teachings. The true concept of the First Source and Center was first promulgated on Urantia by the one hundred corporeal members of Prince Caligastia's staff. This expanding revelation of Deity went on for more than three hundred thousand years until it was suddenly terminated by the planetary secession and the disruption of the teaching regime. Except for the work of Van, the influence of the Dalamatian revelation was practically lost to the whole world. Even the Nodites had forgotten this truth by the time of Adam's arrival. Of all who received the teachings of the one hundred, the red men held them longest, but the idea of the Great Spirit was but a hazy concept in Amerindian religion when contact with Christianity greatly clarified and strengthened it.

2. The Edenic teachings. Adam and Eve again portrayed the concept of the Father of all to the evolutionary peoples. The disruption of the first Eden halted the course of the Adamic revelation before it had ever fully started. But the aborted teachings of Adam were carried on by the Sethite priests, and some of these truths have never been entirely lost to the world. The entire trend of Levantine religious evolution was modified by the teachings of the Sethites. But by 2500 B.C. mankind had largely lost sight of the revelation sponsored in the days of Eden.

3. Melchizedek of Salem. This emergency Son of Nebadon inaugurated the third revelation of truth on Urantia. The cardinal precepts of his teachings were trust and faith. He taught trust in the omnipotent beneficence of God and proclaimed that faith was the act by which men earned God's favor. His teachings gradually commingled with the beliefs and practices of various evolutionary religions and finally developed into those theologic systems present on Urantia at the opening of the first millennium after Christ.

4. Jesus of Nazareth. Christ Michael presented for the fourth time to Urantia the concept of God as the Universal Father, and this teaching has generally persisted ever since. The essence of his teaching was love and service, the loving worship which a creature son voluntarily gives in recognition of, and response to, the loving ministry of God his Father; the freewill service which such creature sons bestow upon their brethren in the joyous realization that in this service they are likewise serving God the Father.

5. The Urantia Papers. The papers, of which this is one, constitute the most recent presentation of truth to the mortals of Urantia. These papers differ from all previous revelations, for they are not the work of a single universe personality but a composite presentation by many beings. But no revelation short of the attainment of the Universal Father can ever be complete. All other celestial ministrations are no more than partial, transient, and practically adapted to local conditions in time and space. While such admissions as this may possibly detract from the immediate force and authority of all revelations, the time has arrived on Urantia when it is advisable to make such frank statements, even at the risk of weakening the future influence and authority of this, the most recent of the revelations of truth to the mortal races of Urantia.







***





[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


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#12 Rick Warren

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 06:49 AM

.


Felicitations Fellow Students, Forum Members and Guests :)

Agree Alina, no doubt we ARE progressing, and surely Urantia's religions will be inclined to accept all or part of this new revelation in place of old and effete teachings, lest they fade away in irrelevance, ignominy and darkness.

To me the most striking point in today's reading is that Melchizedek titled it, the "gift of revelation". Our Gods and more advanced siblings love and care for us, they do not simply leave us to sort things out for ourselves, even on this lost world where just about everything that can go wrong did!

***

Mel, logically, starts off saying revelation has to be mindful of current beliefs and mores of the people the revelation is intended to enlighten:


...Always must the religion of revelation be limited by man's capacity of receptivity.... P.1007 - 1


And all revelations contain two essentials: God and continuing existence.

***

This is a curiosity arousing statement, eh?


...There have been many events of religious revelation but only five of epochal significance.... P.1007 - 4


In saying, "many events", Mel is pointing to events like Buddha's, Onamonolonton's (creator of the "Great Spirit" concept among the Red Man of N America), and Paul's enlightenment, spontaneous, unwritten and unscripted revelations, as opposed to revelations that are planned and executed according to intentional systematic organization that punctuates normal evolution (more on this tomorrow). Although Urantia is far from "normal". Two of our five revelations have been emergencies!

The first epoch spanned an astonishing 300,000 years and still failed miserably. Urantia then lingered in the dark for another 160 millennia until Adam and Eve came along almost 40,000 years ago. Adam's epoch also failed, producing just 1.5 percent of the million superior offspring that were planned.

So Urantia was now in deep shark infested water with no boat in sight. This caused the Melchizedeks, who took charge of Urantia after Adam and Prince Caligastia defaulted, to send a rescue mission to keep the light of revelation from dying out altogether before Michael incarnated. The Melchizedek mission was partially successful in that monotheism was kept alive until Michael did materialize.

Michael's life was the greatest gift any world has received, he being the Father of all Nebadon, our local universe of 10 million inhabitable planets. But our forefathers hounded and tortured him to death. Finally the universe administration sent this book we are studying. It's the best gift I've ever received, save for the God fragment, the Adjuster who lives in me.

For the full story of the first three epochs, go to:

53. The Lucifer Rebellion . Manovandet Melchizedek
54. Problems of the Lucifer Rebellion . Mighty Messenger
66. The Planetary Prince of Urantia . Melchizedek
67.
The Planetary Rebellion . Melchizedek



73. The Garden of Eden . Solonia
74.
Adam and Eve . Solonia
75.
The Default of Adam and Eve . Solonia
76.
The Second Garden . Solonia


93. Machiventa Melchizedek . Melchizedek
94. The Melchizedek Teachings in the Orient . Melchizedek
95. The Melchizedek Teachings in the Levant . Melchizedek


Part IV of the UB is of course the restatement of the details and out-workings of the fourth epoch, the life and times of Michael as he sojourned on Urantia like one of us, albeit he became the man of the ages.

***

The Sethites were the progeny of Adam and Eve, named after their first surviving son born in the second Garden. See Paper 76 for the origins of that group and the saving service it provided after Adam and Eve left the planet. And there is a bit more about the Sethites in tomorrow's reading.

***

Did you notice the differences in teachings between the two pairs of italicized words in the descriptions of the third and fourth epochs, between Machiventa and Jesus?:


...The cardinal precepts of his teachings were trust and faith.... P.1007 - 7

...The essence of his teaching was love and service.... P.1008 - 1


Surely love and service are more advanced teachings, a step ahead of trust and faith. But both teachers were forced to adapt to the maximum capacity of the peoples of the time of their bestowals, which was quite low.


...All other celestial ministrations are no more than partial, transient, and practically adapted to local conditions in time and space.... P.1008 - 2


***

Finally, our universe administrators think Urantian mortals can be trusted with their "frank statements" about our history and our newest revelation. It's not perfect or final, its just right for our times. And too, we can't kill a book :D


In tomorrow's reading Mel tells about some of the human endeavors that followed in the wake of each epoch. He enumerates some of the lesser revelations that helped Urantia in between, and superimposed upon, the first four. Section 5 is titled: THE GREAT RELIGIOUS LEADERS


Thanks for reading. Forum Member's thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. Join the Forum

Much love, Rick/OPAD host




Overview of: Paper 92. The Later Evolution of Religion


1. The Evolutionary Nature of Religion
2. Religion and the Mores
3. The Nature of Evolutionary Religion
4. The Gift of Revelation

5. The Great Religious Leaders
6. The Composite Religions

7. The Further Evolution of Religion


[Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon.]


Reader Tools, References & Links


***

#13 bonnie

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 11:36 AM

bonnie5328@live.com My new e-mail address. Posted today
May 6, 2012 @11:30AM

(This old E-mail Address is not longer correct.)


Dear Rick and Urantia Book Readers,
I have finally discovered how to find the proper
way to locate the wonderful pages that Warren posts
"The Urantia Book Forum Conversations w/Other
Readers."
Today was a very enlightening day as I read
"The Gift of Revelation." It took on more meaning
to me since I named a book that I published in
2000AD called "Confessions, A Grandmother's
Diary and Her Revelations."
The more I read The Urantia Book, I become more
enthralled by it's truth, beauty, goodness and
meaning

Love,

Carola/Bonnie


















'
Carola (Bonnie)

#14 Alina

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 07:41 PM

Thanks Carol! :)

I'm glad you have returned to the forum!
Beautiful words!

LOVE

Alina
***

#15 Rick Warren

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 04:44 AM



Welcome to UAI Forum's One-Page-A-Day Online Study Session

Today's Presentation:


PAPER 92 - THE LATER EVOLUTION OF RELIGION



5. THE GREAT RELIGIOUS LEADERS


[Part 1 of 2]



P.1008 - 3 In evolutionary religion, the gods are conceived to exist in the likeness of man's image; in revelatory religion, men are taught that they are God's sons--even fashioned in the finite image of divinity; in the synthesized beliefs compounded from the teachings of revelation and the products of evolution, the God concept is a blend of:


1. The pre-existent ideas of the evolutionary cults.


2. The sublime ideals of revealed religion.


3. The personal viewpoints of the great religious leaders, the prophets and teachers of mankind.


P.1008 - 7 Most great religious epochs have been inaugurated by the life and teachings of some outstanding personality; leadership has originated a majority of the worth-while moral movements of history. And men have always tended to venerate the leader, even at the expense of his teachings; to revere his personality, even though losing sight of the truths which he proclaimed. And this is not without reason; there is an instinctive longing in the heart of evolutionary man for help from above and beyond. This craving is designed to anticipate the appearance on earth of the Planetary Prince and the later Material Sons. On Urantia man has been deprived of these superhuman leaders and rulers, and therefore does he constantly seek to make good this loss by enshrouding his human leaders with legends pertaining to supernatural origins and miraculous careers.

P.1008 - 8 Many races have conceived of their leaders as being born of virgins; their careers are liberally sprinkled with miraculous episodes, and their return is always expected by their respective groups. In central Asia the tribesmen still look for the return of Genghis Khan; in Tibet, China, and India it is Buddha; in Islam it is Mohammed; among the Amerinds it was Hesunanin Onamonalonton; with the Hebrews it was, in general, Adam's return as a material ruler. In Babylon the god Marduk was a perpetuation of the Adam legend, the son-of-God idea, the connecting link between man and God. Following the appearance of Adam on earth, so-called sons of God were common among the world races.

P.1009 - 1 But regardless of the superstitious awe in which they were often held, it remains a fact that these teachers were the temporal personality fulcrums on which the levers of revealed truth depended for the advancement of the morality, philosophy, and religion of mankind.

P.1009 - 2 There have been hundreds upon hundreds of religious leaders in the million-year human history of Urantia from Onagar to Guru Nanak. During this time there have been many ebbs and flows of the tide of religious truth and spiritual faith, and each renaissance of Urantian religion has, in the past, been identified with the life and teachings of some religious leader. In considering the teachers of recent times, it may prove helpful to group them into the seven major religious epochs of post-Adamic Urantia:


1. The Sethite period. The Sethite priests, as regenerated under the leadership of Amosad, became the great post-Adamic teachers. They functioned throughout the lands of the Andites, and their influence persisted longest among the Greeks, Sumerians, and Hindus. Among the latter they have continued to the present time as the Brahmans of the Hindu faith. The Sethites and their followers never entirely lost the Trinity concept revealed by Adam.

2. Era of the Melchizedek missionaries. Urantia religion was in no small measure regenerated by the efforts of those teachers who were commissioned by Machiventa Melchizedek when he lived and taught at Salem almost two thousand years before Christ. These missionaries proclaimed faith as the price of favor with God, and their teachings, though unproductive of any immediately appearing religions, nevertheless formed the foundations on which later teachers of truth were to build the religions of Urantia.








***





[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


.


#16 Rick Warren

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:28 AM

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Good Day Carola, Alina, Fellow Students, Forum Members and Guests,

Much appreciate your input, happy to know you are here. What an interesting reading today, by this unnamed Melchizedek. He makes something clear that has always been a source of confusion, he answers the questions; why do people set up leaders, why is there always a cult of personality at the head of many governments, churches and institutions? It is instinctual, it was designed into us!!!


...And men have always tended to venerate the leader, even at the expense of his teachings; to revere his personality, even though losing sight of the truths which he proclaimed. And this is not without reason; there is an instinctive longing in the heart of evolutionary man for help from above and beyond. This craving is designed to anticipate the appearance on earth of the Planetary Prince and the later Material Sons.... P.1008 - 7


Still true today, eh? Monarchies still exist, anointed families still rule whole nations, charming politicians are still venerated with little consideration of their administrative technique or innate talent for such work. It's just natural to posit authority in someone. Besides, it relieves the ones being ruled of the burden of difficult thinking and decision making. And on a world where imperfection, mediocrity, and cluelessness reign supreme, where truth is absent or distorted, unqualified rulers are more common than are the qualified. But someday there will be put in place a real ruler, one of unmatched integrity and sagacity, a true leader of unsullied reputation and unquestioned loyalty to the Great Ruler of The Universe on Paradise. What will Urantia be like then?!

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About Genghis Khan:

...Genghis Khan is regarded as one of the prominent leaders in Mongolia's history.[51] He is responsible for the emergence of the Mongols as a political and ethnic identity because there was no unified identity between the various tribes that had cultural similarity. He reinforced many Mongol traditions and provided stability and unity during a time of almost endemic warfare between various tribes. He is also given credit for the introduction of the traditional Mongolian script and the creation of the Ikh Zasag, the first written Mongolian law.[52] In summary, Mongolians see him as the fundamental figure in the founding of the Mongol Empire, and therefore the basis for Mongolia as a country.

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Statue of Genghis Khan in front of the Mongolian government building in Sükhbaatar Square, Ulaanbaatar

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....ki/Genghis_Khan

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About Buddha:

...In Hinduism, Gautama is regarded as one of the ten avatars of God Vishnu. He is also regarded as a god or prophet in other world religions or denominations like the Ahmadiyya Islamic religious movement[57] and the Bahá'í Faith.

Some Hindu texts say that the Buddha was an avatar of the god Vishnu.[26]
The Buddha is also regarded as a prophet by the Ahmadiyyas[57][58][59] and a Manifestation of God in the Bahá'í faith.[60] Some early Chinese Taoist-Buddhists thought the Buddha to be a reincarnation of Lao Tzu.


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Buddha depicted as the 9th Avatar of god Vishnu in a traditional Hindu representation.

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia..../Gautama_Buddha

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About Mohammed:

...Muhammad is considered by Muslims and Bahá'ís to be a messenger and prophet of God.[19] Muslims consider him the last law-bearer in a series of Islamic prophets,[n 3] the restorer of the uncorrupted original monotheistic faith (islām) of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other prophets.[20][21][8] The revelations (or Ayah, lit. "Signs [of God]")—which Muhammad reported receiving until his death—form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the “Word of God” around which the religion is based.


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A depiction of Muhammad receiving his first revelation from the angel Gabriel. From the manuscript Jami' al-tawarikh by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, 1307, Ilkhanate period.

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....ammad#Aftermath

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About Onamonalonton (unknown to historians):

...Onamonalonton, a far-distant leader of the red man and the one who directed this race from the worship of many gods to the veneration of "The Great Spirit.... " P.513 - 8


***

About Marduk:

...Marduk was the Babylonian name of a late-generation god from ancient Mesopotamia and patron deity of the city of Babylon, who, when Babylon became the political center of the Euphrates valley in the time of Hammurabi (18th century BCE), started to slowly rise to the position of the head of the Babylonian pantheon, a position he fully acquired by the second half of the second millennium BCE.


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Marduk, sun god of Babylon, with his thunderbolts pursues Anzu after Anzu stole the Tablets of Destiny.

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marduk

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About the "son-of-God idea". Note the mention of Adam and Seth, and the opposing idea of 'daughters of men':

...Sons of God is a phrase used in Levantine Bronze and Iron Age texts to describe the "divine council" of the major gods.

In the pantheon of 2nd millennium Ugarit the El, the father-god and head of the pantheon, and the 70 "sons of El", make up a "Divine Council" which deliberates over major decisions. In the 1st millennium the El had been demoted and each of the "sons of El" was held to have been given a "nation" as his charge: Chemosh, for example, was the god of Moab. Yahweh, not originally included in the Ugaritic pantheon, was the God of Judah and of Israel. In the Book of Genesis, Yahweh is seen as the single deity, with "sons of elohim" as his assistants.

By the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC further hypotheses were developed to explain this passage in Genesis. One hypothesis was that the sons of God were the descendants of Seth, the pure line of Adam, and the "daughters of men" as the descendants of Cain.


Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....iki/Sons_of_God

***

Onagar is also unknown to historians, but is mentioned several times in the UB. He was the first great truth revealer of Urantia, almost a million years ago. From Paper 63:6:


...Onagar was born 983,323 years ago (from A.D. 1934), and he lived to be sixty-nine years of age. The record of the achievements of this master mind and spiritual leader of the pre-Planetary Prince days is a thrilling recital of the organization of these primitive peoples into a real society. He instituted an efficient tribal government, the like of which was not attained by succeeding generations in many millenniums. Never again, until the arrival of the Planetary Prince, was there such a high spiritual civilization on earth. These simple people had a real though primitive religion, but it was subsequently lost to their deteriorating descendants.

Although both Andon and Fonta had received Thought Adjusters, as had many of their descendants, it was not until the days of Onagar that the Adjusters and guardian seraphim came in great numbers to Urantia. This was, indeed, the golden age of primitive man.... P.716 - 7


***

The life and teachings of Guru Nanuk are rather well recorded by historians:

...Guru Nanak (15 April 1469 – 22 September 1539 at Talwandi (present-day Pakistan)) was the Founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the Ten Sikh Guru Ji'.

The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Guru Ji' possessed Guru Nanak Dev Ji' divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of Succession.

...Guru Nanak’s teachings can be found in the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib, as a vast collection of revelatory verses recorded in Gurmukhi.

From these some common principles seem discernible. Firstly a supreme Godhead who although incomprehensible, manifests in all major religions, the Singular "Doer" and formless. It is described as the indestructible (undying) form.

Guru Nanak describes the dangers of the Egotism (haumai- "I am") and calls upon devotees to engage in worship through the word of God (Naam, implies God, the Reality, mystical word or formula to recite or meditate upon (shabad in Gurbani), divine order (hukam) and at places divine teacher (guru) and guru’s instructions)[14] and singing of God’s qualities, discarding doubt in the process. However, such worship must be selfless (sewa). The word of God, cleanses the individual to make such worship possible. This is related to the revelation that God is the Doer and without God there is no other. Guru Nanak warned against hypocrisy and falsehood saying that these are pervasive in humanity and that religious actions can also be in vain. It may also be said that ascetic practices are disfavoured by Guru Nanak who suggests remaining inwardly detached whilst living as a householder.

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Miniature of Guru Nanak from Astronomical treatise

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia..../Guru_Nanak_Dev

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Amosad is cited in one other Paper (78:5):


...For twenty thousand years the culture of the second garden persisted, but it experienced a steady decline until about 15,000 B.C., when the regeneration of the Sethite priesthood and the leadership of Amosad inaugurated a brilliant era.... P.872 - 5


***

About Brahman:

...In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe.[1] Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead[2] which is the Divine Ground[3] of all being. Brahman is conceived as personal ("with qualities"), impersonal ("without qualities") and/or supreme depending on the philosophical school.

The sages of the Upanishads teach that Brahman is the ultimate essence of material phenomena (including the original identity of the human self) that cannot be seen or heard but whose nature can be known through the development of self-knowledge (atma jnana).[4] According to Advaita, a liberated human being (jivanmukta) has realised Brahman as his or her own true self (see atman).

...The term Brahmin in the Vedic period actually meant one who has realized Brahman. However, later on Brahmin came to be identified with the highest of the four castes, the Brahmins, who by virtue of their purity and priesthood were held proprietors of rituals.


Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahman

***

Of course the name Melchizedek is known in evolutionary religion, in Judaism, and most especially in the Christian and Catholic traditions, whose Bibles mentions him/them:

...Melchizedek or Malki Tzedek is translated as "my king (is) righteous(ness)") is a king and priest mentioned during the Abram narrative in the 14th chapter of the Book of Genesis.

He is introduced as the king of Salem, and priest of El Elyon ("The highest God"). He brings out bread and wine and blesses Abram and El Elyon.[2] Chazalic literature, specifically Targum Jonathan, Targum Yerushalmi, and the Babylonian Talmud, presents the name (מלכי־צדק) as a nickname title for Shem, the son of Noah.


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Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek — by Dieric Bouts the Elder, 1464–67

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....iki/Melchizedek

The Melchizedeks are often referred to as a priesthood, of which Jesus is supposed to be a member:

...The Melchizedek priesthood is the name of several priesthoods in different religions. Priesthood is generally attributed to Melchizedek as he is the first individual to be given the title Kohen (priest) in the bible (Torah).

...Melchizedek is a figure in the Hebrew Bible. There is no other evidence other than the Biblical record that indicates that Melchizedek was a historical figure.

...In some translations, the Book of Psalms names Melchizedek as representative of the priestly line through which a future king of Israel's Davidic line was ordained. Alternatively, it may be more accurate that this term was here intended to be treated as an agglutinated improper noun, and thus translated as rightful king rather than left as Melchizedek; this interpretation is taken by some modern translations, such as the New JPS Tanakh.

...Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah spoken of as "a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek" (Ps. 110:4), and so Jesus plays the role of High Priest once and for all. Jesus is considered a priest in the order of Melchizedek because, like Melchizedek, Jesus was not a Kohen, and thus would not qualify for the Kohanic priesthood under Torah Laws[2]).

Melchizedek is referred to again in Hebrews 5:6-10; Hebrews 6:20; Hebrews 7:1-21: "Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek"; and Hebrews 8:1.


And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises" (Hebrews 7:5-6).


If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law" (Hebrews 7:11-12).


Even the "latter day" religions claim Melchizedek:

...In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Melchizedek Priesthood is viewed as the priesthood authority of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus and other Old Testament prophets, higher than that of the Aaronic authority of John the Baptist and of the Levites. According to the Book of Mormon, the prophet Melchizedek preached repentance to the people of a wicked city, and established peace in the land. According to Alma 13:18, Melchizedek's efforts earned him the title of "the prince of peace". Of particular importance is the parallel Hebrew meaning of "prince of peace" and "king of Salem", another of Melchizedek's titles, and his association with (or typology of) Jesus Christ, who is also called the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:2) as well as the Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14). Later, Melchizedek's people were, according to Joseph Smith, Jr., caught up, or "translated" (see Translation (LDS Church), to meet the city of Enoch (Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 14:34). The priesthood is referred to by the name of Melchizedek because he was such a great high priest (Doctrine & Covenants Section 107:2). The Doctrine and Covenants states that before Melchizedek's day the Priesthood "was called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God. But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too-frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in the ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood" (Doctrine & Covenants Section 107:3-4). Initially, the only Melchizedek Priesthood office in the LDS Church was elder. Later revelations extended the office complement to Seventy, High Priest, Patriarch and Apostle.

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Bronze statue in Temple Square, Salt Lake City, representing Peter, James, and John in the act of conferring the Melchizedek priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....edek_priesthood

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In tomorrow's reading Melchizedek lists four more of: THE GREAT RELIGIOUS LEADERS and their influence on Urantia's ever evolving concepts of spiritual reality.


Thanks for reading. Forum Member's thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. Join the Forum

Much love, Rick/OPAD host

***

Overview of: Paper 92. The Later Evolution of Religion


1. The Evolutionary Nature of Religion
2. Religion and the Mores
3. The Nature of Evolutionary Religion
4. The Gift of Revelation

5. The Great Religious Leaders
6. The Composite Religions

7. The Further Evolution of Religion


[Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon.]


Reader Tools, References & Links


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#17 Rick Warren

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 04:26 AM



Welcome to UAI Forum's One-Page-A-Day Online Study Session

Today's Presentation:


PAPER 92 - THE LATER EVOLUTION OF RELIGION



5. THE GREAT RELIGIOUS LEADERS


[Part 2 of 2]



3. The post-Melchizedek era. Though Amenemope and Ikhnaton both taught in this period, the outstanding religious genius of the post-Melchizedek era was the leader of a group of Levantine Bedouins and the founder of the Hebrew religion--Moses. Moses taught monotheism. Said he: "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one God." "The Lord he is God. There is none beside him." He persistently sought to uproot the remnants of the ghost cult among his people, even prescribing the death penalty for its practitioners. The monotheism of Moses was adulterated by his successors, but in later times they did return to many of his teachings. The greatness of Moses lies in his wisdom and sagacity. Other men have had greater concepts of God, but no one man was ever so successful in inducing large numbers of people to adopt such advanced beliefs.

4. The sixth century before Christ. Many men arose to proclaim truth in this, one of the greatest centuries of religious awakening ever witnessed on Urantia. Among these should be recorded Gautama, Confucius, Lao-tse, Zoroaster, and the Jainist teachers. The teachings of Gautama have become widespread in Asia, and he is revered as the Buddha by millions. Confucius was to Chinese morality what Plato was to Greek philosophy, and while there were religious repercussions to the teachings of both, strictly speaking, neither was a religious teacher; Lao-tse envisioned more of God in Tao than did Confucius in humanity or Plato in idealism. Zoroaster, while much affected by the prevalent concept of dual spiritism, the good and the bad, at the same time definitely exalted the idea of one eternal Deity and of the ultimate victory of light over darkness.

5. The first century after Christ. As a religious teacher, Jesus of Nazareth started out with the cult which had been established by John the Baptist and progressed as far as he could away from fasts and forms. Aside from Jesus, Paul of Tarsus and Philo of Alexandria were the greatest teachers of this era. Their concepts of religion have played a dominant part in the evolution of that faith which bears the name of Christ.

6. The sixth century after Christ. Mohammed founded a religion which was superior to many of the creeds of his time. His was a protest against the social demands of the faiths of foreigners and against the incoherence of the religious life of his own people.

7. The fifteenth century after Christ. This period witnessed two religious movements: the disruption of the unity of Christianity in the Occident and the synthesis of a new religion in the Orient. In Europe institutionalized Christianity had attained that degree of inelasticity which rendered further growth incompatible with unity. In the Orient the combined teachings of Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism were synthesized by Nanak and his followers into Sikhism, one of the most advanced religions of Asia.


P.1010 - §4 The future of Urantia will doubtless be characterized by the appearance of teachers of religious truth--the Fatherhood of God and the fraternity of all creatures. But it is to be hoped that the ardent and sincere efforts of these future prophets will be directed less toward the strengthening of interreligious barriers and more toward the augmentation of the religious brotherhood of spiritual worship among the many followers of the differing intellectual theologies which so characterize Urantia of Satania.




***





[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


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#18 Rick Warren

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 07:14 AM

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Greetings Fellow Students, Forum Members and Guests,

So after machiventa Melchizedek's incarnation, and his adoption of Abraham as a student, then came Moses. There is much, much more about Moses in the UB, he is mentioned in 130 paragraphs. Amenemope is cited 12 times, more about him Paper 95. Ikhnaton is referred to in 21 places. In the 15 Papers ahead the contributions, tribulations and legacies of all these luminaries, and others, is discussed in great and revealing detail that historians might only dream about.

Moses is claimed as a prophet and/or a saint in Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Mormonism. They all cleave to his long ago teachings about the one God. He is elevated, even by the Greeks:

...The Biblical character Moses is discussed or alluded to in surviving works by a number of Judeo-Hellenic or Judeo-Roman authors, including Eupolemus, Artapanus, Josephus, and Philo, as well as the non-Jewish Hellenistic authors discussed in the main article Moses.

Owing to the contact of the Jews with the Greeks in Alexandria, Moses was made the subject of many legends, and in many respects lifted to supernatural heights.


Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....stic_literature

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Moses in Islam:

...Moses is mentioned more in the Quran than any other individual and his life is narrated and recounted more than that of any other prophet.[106] In general, Moses is described in ways which parallel the prophet Muhammad,[107] and "his character exhibits some of the main themes of Islamic theology," including the "moral injunction that we are to submit ourselves to God."

Moses is defined in the Qur'an as both prophet (nabi) and messenger (rasul), the latter term indicating that he was one of those prophets who brought a scripture and law to his people.

Huston Smith (1991) describes an account in the Qur'an of meetings in heaven between Moses and Muhammad, which Huston states were "one of the crucial events in Muhammad's life," and resulted in Muslims observing 5 daily prayers.


Moses in Christianity:

...For Christians, Moses — mentioned more often in the New Testament than any other Old Testament figure — is often a symbol of God's law, as reinforced and expounded on in the teachings of Jesus. New Testament writers often compared Jesus' words and deeds with Moses' to explain Jesus' mission. In Acts 7:39–43, 51–53, for example, the rejection of Moses by the Jews who worshiped the golden calf is likened to the rejection of Jesus by the Jews that continued in traditional Judaism.


Moses also figures in several of Jesus' messages. When he met the Pharisees Nicodemus at night in the third chapter of the Gospel of John, he compared Moses' lifting up of the bronze serpent in the wilderness, which any Israelite could look at and be healed, to his own lifting up (by his death and resurrection) for the people to look at and be healed. In the sixth chapter, Jesus responded to the people's claim that Moses provided them manna in the wilderness by saying that it was not Moses, but God, who provided. Calling himself the "bread of life", Jesus stated that He was provided to feed God's people.

Moses, along with Elijah, is presented as meeting with Jesus in all three Gospel accounts of the Transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17, Mark 9, and Luke 9, respectively. Later Christians found numerous other parallels between the life of Moses and Jesus to the extent that Jesus was likened to a "second Moses." For instance, Jesus' escape from the slaughter by Herod in Bethlehem is compared to Moses' escape from Pharaoh's designs to kill Hebrew infants. Such parallels, unlike those mentioned above, are not pointed out in Scripture. See the article on typology.

His relevance to modern Christianity has not diminished. Moses is considered to be a saint by several churches; and is commemorated as a prophet in the respective Calendars of Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Roman Catholic Church, and Lutheran churches on September 4.[102] He is commemorated as one of the Holy Forefathers in the Calendar of Saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on July 30.



Moses in Judaism:

...There is a wealth of stories and additional information about Moses in the Jewish apocrypha and in the genre of rabbinical exegesis known as Midrash, as well as in the primary works of the Jewish oral law, the Mishnah and the Talmud. Moses is also given a number of bynames in Jewish tradition. The Midrash identifies Moses as one of seven biblical personalities who were called by various names.[91] Moses' other names were: Jekuthiel (by his mother), Heber (by his father), Jered (by Miriam), Avi Zanoah (by Aaron), Avi Gedor (by Kohath), Avi Soco (by his wet-nurse), Shemaiah ben Nethanel (by people of Israel).[92] Moses is also attributed the names Toviah (as a first name), and Levi (as a family name) (Vayikra Rabbah 1:3), Heman,[93] Mechoqeiq (lawgiver)[94] and Ehl Gav Ish (Numbers 12:3)[95]

Jewish historians who lived at Alexandria, such as Eupolemus, attributed to Moses the feat of having taught the Phoenicians their alphabet,[96] similar to legends of Thoth. Artapanus of Alexandria explicitly identified Moses not only with Thoth / Hermes, but also with the Greek figure Musaeus (whom he calls "the teacher of Orpheus"), and ascribed to him the division of Egypt into 36 districts, each with its own liturgy. He names the princess who adopted Moses as Merris, wife of Pharaoh Chenephres.[97]

Ancient sources mention an Assumption of Moses and a Testimony of Moses. A Latin text was found in Milan in the 19th century by Antonio Ceriani who called it the Assumption of Moses, even though it does not refer to an assumption of Moses or contain portions of the Assumption which are cited by ancient authors, and it is apparently actually the Testimony. The incident which the ancient authors cite is also mentioned in the Epistle of Jude.

To Orthodox Jews, Moses is called Moshe Rabbenu, `Eved HaShem, Avi haNeviim zya"a. He is defined "Our Leader Moshe", "Servant of God", and "Father of all the Prophets". In their view, Moses not only received the Torah, but also the revealed (written and oral) and the hidden (the `hokhmat nistar teachings, which gave Judaism the Zohar of the Rashbi, the Torah of the Ari haQadosh and all that is discussed in the Heavenly Yeshiva between the Ramhal and his masters). He is also considered the greatest prophet.[98]

Arising in part from his age, but also because 120 is elsewhere stated as the maximum age for Noah's descendants (one interpretation of Genesis 6:3), "may you live to 120" has become a common blessing among Jews.




Moses in the LDS Church:

...Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (colloquially called Mormons) generally view Moses in the same way that other Christians do. However, in addition to accepting the Biblical account of Moses, Mormons include Selections from the Book of Moses as part of their scriptural canon.[103] This book is believed to be the translated writings of Moses, and is included in the Pearl of Great Price.[104] Latter-day Saints are also unique in believing that Moses was taken to heaven without having tasted death (translated). In addition, Joseph Smith, Jr. and Oliver Cowdery stated that on April 3, 1836, Moses appeared to them in the Kirtland Temple in a glorified, immortal, physical form and bestowed upon them the "keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north."


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"Moses and the tablets of law"

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....ious_traditions

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There are many more details about this extraordinary period in Urantia's history, 600 years before Michael's incarnation, in the pages just ahead. Gautama is of course the given name of the one we know today as Buddha. Confucius and Lao-tse are sages/saints who emerged from the Yellow Man, a primary Sangik race, whose teachings still reverberate across eastern Asia.

Zoroaster and his religion (centered in ancient Persia, now Iran) are alluded to dozens of times in the UB. From Paper 131:5:


...Zoroaster was himself directly in contact with the descendants of the earlier Melchizedek missionaries, and their doctrine of the one God became a central teaching in the religion which he founded in Persia. Aside from Judaism, no religion of that day contained more of these Salem teachings.... P.1449 - 4


About Jainism, from Wikipedia:

...Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state of supreme being is called a jina ("conqueror" or "victor"). The ultimate status of these perfect souls is called siddha. Ancient texts also refer to Jainism as shramana dharma (self-reliant) or the "path of the niganthas" (those without attachments or aversions).

Jain doctrine teaches that Jainism has always existed and will always exist,[2][3][4] although historians date the foundation of the organized or present form of Jainism to sometime between the 9th and the 6th century BCE.[5][6] Like most ancient Indian religions, Jainism may have its roots in the Indus Valley Civilization, reflecting native spirituality prior to the Indo-Aryan migration into India.[7][8][9] Other scholars suggested the shramana traditions were separate and contemporaneous with Indo-Aryan religious practices of the historical Vedic religion.[10]

Contemporary Jainism is a small but influential religious minority with as many as 6 million followers in India,[11] and growing immigrant communities in North America, Western Europe, the Far East, Australia and elsewhere.[12] Jains have significantly influenced and contributed to ethical, political and economic spheres in India. Jains have an ancient tradition of scholarship and have the highest degree of literacy for a religious community in India.[13][14] Jain libraries are the oldest in the country.


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The Jain symbol that was agreed upon by all Jain sects in 1974.

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism

***

Plato is referred to about a dozen times in the UB, and is quite well known to historians and scholars of philosophy:

...Plato ( 424/423 BC[a] – 348/347 BC) was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.[3] In the words of A. N. Whitehead:

The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato. I do not mean the systematic scheme of thought which scholars have doubtfully extracted from his writings. I allude to the wealth of general ideas scattered through them.[4]


Plato's sophistication as a writer is evident in his Socratic dialogues; thirty-six dialogues and thirteen letters have been ascribed to him. Plato's writings have been published in several fashions; this has led to several conventions regarding the naming and referencing of Plato's texts.[5] Plato's dialogues have been used to teach a range of subjects, including philosophy, logic, ethics, rhetoric, and mathematics.


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Plato (left) and Aristotle (right), a detail of The School of Athens, a fresco by Raphael. Aristotle gestures to the earth, representing his belief in knowledge through empirical observation and experience, while holding a copy of his Nicomachean Ethics in his hand. Plato holds his Timaeus and gestures to the heavens, representing his belief in The Forms

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato

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About Lao-Tse:

...Laozi (Lao Tzu; also romanized as Lao Tse, Lao Tu, Lao-Tsu, Laotze, Laosi, Laocius, and other variations) was a philosopher of ancient China, best known as the author of the Tao Te Ching (often simply referred to as Laozi).[1] His association with the Tao Te Ching has led him to be traditionally considered the founder of philosophical Taoism (pronounced as "Daoism"). He is also revered as a deity in most religious forms of Taoist philosophy, which often refers to Laozi as Taishang Laojun, or "One of the Three Pure Ones".

According to Chinese traditions, Laozi lived in the 6th century BCE. Historians variously contend that Laozi is a synthesis of multiple historical figures, that he is a mythical figure, or that he actually lived in the 5th–4th century BCE, concurrent with the Hundred Schools of Thought and Warring States Period.[2]

A central figure in Chinese culture, both nobility and common people claim Laozi in their lineage. He was honored as an ancestor of the Tang imperial family, and was granted the title Taishang xuanyuan huangdi, meaning "Supreme Mysterious and Primordial Emperor". Throughout history, Laozi's work has been embraced by various anti-authoritarian movements.


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A stone sculpture of Laozi, located north of Quanzhou at the foot of Mount Qingyuan

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laozi

***

Mel ends this Section with a plea for inter-religious tolerance, appreciation and understanding, one that is reiterated several times in the UB. From Paper 52:6:


...Brotherhood is impossible on a world whose inhabitants are so primitive that they fail to recognize the folly of unmitigated selfishness. There must occur an exchange of national and racial literature. Each race must become familiar with the thought of all races; each nation must know the feelings of all nations. Ignorance breeds suspicion, and suspicion is incompatible with the essential attitude of sympathy and love.... P.597 - 5


***

In tomorrow's reading Melchizedek begins to summarize and expand on what has already been presented in this Paper. Section 6 is titled: THE COMPOSITE RELIGIONS

Thanks for reading. Forum Member's thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. Join the Forum

Much love, Rick/OPAD host



Overview of: Paper 92. The Later Evolution of Religion


1. The Evolutionary Nature of Religion
2. Religion and the Mores
3. The Nature of Evolutionary Religion
4. The Gift of Revelation

5. The Great Religious Leaders
6. The Composite Religions

7. The Further Evolution of Religion


[Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon.]


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***

#19 Rick Warren

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 07:20 AM

[Additional notes about today's reading.]

There is also much more in the book about John the Baptist and Paul of Tarsus. There is this about Philo in Paper 121:6:

...Philo was a great teacher; not since Moses had there lived a man who exerted such a profound influence on the ethical and religious thought of the Occidental world. In the matter of the combination of the better elements in contemporaneous systems of ethical and religious teachings, there have been seven outstanding human teachers: Sethard, Moses, Zoroaster, Lao-tse, Buddha, Philo, and Paul.... P.1338 - 7

From Wikipedia:

...Philo (20 BCE – 50 CE), known also as Philo of Alexandria, Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew, was a Hellenistic Jewish Biblical philosopher born in Alexandria.

Philo used philosophical allegory to attempt to fuse and harmonize Greek philosophy with Jewish philosophy. His method followed the practices of both Jewish exegesis and Stoic philosophy. His allegorical exegesis was important for several Christian Church Fathers, but he has barely any reception history within Judaism. "The sophists of literalness," as he calls the literalist Jews,[1] "opened their eyes superciliously" when he explained to them the marvels of his exegesis. He believed that literal interpretations of the Hebrew Bible would stifle mankind's view and perception of a God too complex and marvelous to be understood in literal human terms.

Some scholars hold that his concept of the Logos as God's creative principle influenced early Christology. Other scholars, however, deny direct influence but say both Philo and Early Christianity borrow from a common source.[2] For Philo, the Logos was God's "blueprint for the world", a governing plan.

The few biographical details concerning Philo are found in his own works, especially in Legatio ad Gaium ("embassy to Gaius"), and in Josephus.[3] The only event in his life that can be determined chronologically is his participation in the embassy in which the Alexandrian Jews were sent to the emperor Caligula at Rome as the result of civil strife between the Alexandrian Jewish and Greek communities. This occurred in the year 40 CE.

Posted Image

1584 European depiction of Philo

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philo

***

About Mohammed and Islam's foundations:

...Muhammad (c. 26 April 570 – 8 June 632) was the founder of the religion of Islam.[3][n 1] Born in 570 CE in the Arabian city of Mecca,[4][5] he was orphaned at an early age and brought up under the care of his uncle Abu Talib. He later worked mostly as a merchant, as well as a shepherd, and was first married by age 25.[6] Discontented with life in Mecca, he retreated to a cave in the surrounding mountains for meditation and reflection. According to Islamic beliefs it was here, at age 40,[4][7] in the month of Ramadan, where he received his first revelation from God. Three years after this event Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that "God is One", that complete "surrender" to Him (lit. islām) is the only way (dīn)[n 2] acceptable to God, and that he himself was a prophet and messenger of God, in the same vein as earlier prophets.[8][9][10]

Muhammad gained few followers early on,[11] and was met with hostility from some Meccan tribes; he and his followers were treated harshly. To escape persecution, Muhammad sent some of his followers to Abyssinia[12] before he and his remaining followers in Mecca migrated to Medina (then known as Yathrib) in the year 622.[13] This event, the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, which is also known as the Hijri Calendar. In Medina, Muhammad united the tribes under the Constitution of Medina,.[13] After eight years of fighting with the Meccan tribes, his followers, who by then had grown to 10,000, conquered Mecca. Muhammad destroyed the symbols of paganism in Mecca[14] and then sent his followers out to destroy all of the remaining pagan temples throughout Eastern Arabia.[15][16] In 632, a few months after returning to Medina from his Farewell pilgrimage, Muhammad fell ill and died. By the time of his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam, and he had united the tribes of Arabia into a single Muslim religious polity.[17][18]

Muhammad is considered by Muslims and Bahá'ís to be a messenger and prophet of God.[19] Muslims consider him the last law-bearer in a series of Islamic prophets,[n 3] the restorer of the uncorrupted original monotheistic faith (islām) of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other prophets.[20][21][8] The revelations (or Ayah, lit. "Signs [of God]")—which Muhammad reported receiving until his death—form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the “Word of God” around which the religion is based. Besides the Quran, Muhammad’s life (sira) and traditions (sunnah) are also upheld by Muslims. They discuss Muhammad and other prophets of Islam with reverence, adding the phrase peace be upon him whenever their names are mentioned.[22] While conceptions of Muhammad in medieval Christendom and premodern times were largely negative, appraisals in modern history have been far less so.[10][23] His life and deeds have been debated and criticized by followers and opponents over the centuries.[24]


Posted Image

A depiction of Muhammad receiving his first revelation from the angel Gabriel. From the manuscript Jami' al-tawarikh by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, 1307, Ilkhanate period.

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad

***

In his revelations of the history of the cult of Christianity in the 15th century, there is little doubt Melchizedek is referring to Martin Luther's excoriation of Catholicism, which led to a great schism that is represented today by loyalists and protestants (protesters).

...Martin Luther (help·info) (10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German monk, priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation.[1] He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.

Luther taught that salvation is not earned by good deeds but received only as a free gift of God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge[2] and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood.[3] Those who identify with Luther's teachings are called Lutherans.

His translation of the Bible into the vernacular (instead of Latin) made it more accessible, causing a tremendous impact on the church and on German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation,[4] and influenced the translation into English of the King James Bible.[5] His hymns influenced the development of singing in churches.[6] His marriage to Katharina von Bora set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant priests to marry.[7]

In his later years, while suffering from several illnesses and deteriorating health, Luther became increasingly antisemitic, writing that Jewish homes should be destroyed, their synagogues burned, money confiscated and liberty curtailed. These statements have contributed to his controversial status.


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Luther as an Augustinian monk

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....i/Martin_Luther

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About "one of the most advanced religions of Asia", Sikhism and Nanuk:

...Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev [3] and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh gurus (the last teaching being the holy scripture Gurū Granth Sāhib Ji). It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world, with over 30 million Sikhs[4] and one of the most steadily growing.[5] This system of religious philosophy and expression has been traditionally known as the Gurmat (literally 'of the gurus'). Punjab of India is the only region in the world with a majority Sikh population.[6]

Sikhs are expected to embody the qualities of a "Sant-Sipahie"—a saint-soldier. One must have control over one's internal vices and be able to be constantly immersed in virtues clarified in the Guru Granth Sahib. A Sikh must also have the courage to defend the rights of all who are wrongfully oppressed or persecuted irrespective of religion, colour, caste or creed.

The principal beliefs of Sikhi are faith and justice, in Waheguru—represented by the phrase ik ōaṅkār, meaning one God. Sikhi advocates the pursuit of salvation through personal meditation on the name and message of God. The followers of Sikhi are ordained to follow the teachings of the ten Sikh gurus, or enlightened leaders, as well as the holy scripture entitled the Gurū Granth Sāhib Ji, which, along with the writings of six of the ten Sikh Gurus, includes selected works of many devotees from diverse socio-economic and religious backgrounds. The text was decreed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth guru, as the final guru of the Sikh religion. Sikhi's traditions and teachings are associated with the history, society and culture of Punjab. Adherents of Sikhi are known as Sikhs (students or disciples) and number over 26 million across the world.
Most Sikhs live in Punjab, India, although there is a significant Sikh diaspora. Until the Partition of India, millions of Sikhs lived in what is now Pakistani Punjab.


Posted Image

The Harimandir Sahib, known popularly as the Golden Temple, is a sacred shrine for Sikhs.

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikhism

***

#20 Alina

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:18 AM

Good day to all!

Hi Rick!
Thank you very much...!

P.1010 - §4 The future of Urantia will doubtless be characterized by the appearance of teachers of religious truth--the Fatherhood of God and the fraternity of all creatures. But it is to be hoped that the ardent and sincere efforts of these future prophets will be directed less toward the strengthening of interreligious barriers and more toward the augmentation of the religious brotherhood of spiritual worship among the many followers of the differing intellectual theologies which so characterize Urantia of Satania.


I do not know who will be the prophets to come, but Welcome!
Meanwhile here's a advance:

(2093.3) 196:2.9 Jesus led men to feel at home in the world; he delivered them from the slavery of taboo and taught them that the world was not fundamentally evil. He did not long to escape from his earthly life; he mastered a technique of acceptably doing the Father’s will while in the flesh. He attained an idealistic religious life in the very midst of a realistic world. Jesus did not share Paul’s pessimistic view of humankind. The Master looked upon men as the sons of God and foresaw a magnificent and eternal future for those who chose survival. He was not a moral skeptic; he viewed man positively, not negatively. He saw most men as weak rather than wicked, more distraught than depraved. But no matter what their status, they were all God’s children and his brethren.


(2093.4) 196:2.10 He taught men to place a high value upon themselves in time and in eternity. Because of this high estimate which Jesus placed upon men, he was willing to spend himself in the unremitting service of humankind. And it was this infinite worth of the finite that made the golden rule a vital factor in his religion. What mortal can fail to be uplifted by the extraordinary faith Jesus has in him?



LOVE

Alina
***



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