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Does the Urantia Book take sin seriously?


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#21 Bradly aka/fanofVan

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 11:35 AM

Well then, there is nothing to fear....

(1096.4) Jesus portrayed the profound surety of the God-knowing mortal when he said: “To a God-knowing kingdom believer, what does it matter if all things earthly crash?” Temporal securities are vulnerable, but spiritual sureties are impregnable. When the flood tides of human adversity, selfishness, cruelty, hate, malice, and jealousy beat about the mortal soul, you may rest in the assurance that there is one inner bastion, the citadel of the spirit, which is absolutely unassailable; at least this is true of every human being who has dedicated the keeping of his soul to the indwelling spirit of the eternal God.

(1096.5) After such spiritual attainment, whether secured by gradual growth or specific crisis, there occurs a new orientation of personality as well as the development of a new standard of values. Such spirit-born individuals are so remotivated in life that they can calmly stand by while their fondest ambitions perish and their keenest hopes crash; they positively know that such catastrophes are but the redirecting cataclysms which wreck one’s temporal creations preliminary to the rearing of the more noble and enduring realities of a new and more sublime level of universe attainment.

(1443.2) “The man who knows God looks upon all men as equal; they are his brethren. Those who are selfish, those who ignore their brothers in the flesh, have only weariness as their reward. Those who love their fellows and who have pure hearts shall see God. God never forgets sincerity. He will guide the honest of heart into the truth, for God is truth.

(1443.3) “In your lives overthrow error and overcome evil by the love of the living truth. In all your relations with men do good for evil. The Lord God is merciful and loving; he is forgiving. Let us love God, for he first loved us. By God’s love and through his mercy we shall be saved. Poor men and rich men are brothers. God is their Father. The evil you would not have done you, do not to others.

(1443.4) “At all times call upon his name, and as you believe in his name, so shall your prayer be heard. What a great honor it is to worship the Most High! All the worlds and the universes worship the Most High. And with all your prayers give thanks — ascend to worship. Prayerful worship shuns evil and forbids sin. At all times let us praise the name of the Most High. The man who takes shelter in the Most High conceals his defects from the universe. When you stand before God with a clean heart, you become fearless of all creation. The Most High is like a loving father and mother; he really loves us, his children on earth. Our God will forgive us and guide our footsteps into the ways of salvation. He will take us by the hand and lead us to himself. God saves those who trust him; he does not compel man to serve his name.

(1443.5) “If the faith of the Most High has entered your heart, then shall you abide free from fear throughout all the days of your life. Fret not yourself because of the prosperity of the ungodly; fear not those who plot evil; let the soul turn away from sin and put your whole trust in the God of salvation. The weary soul of the wandering mortal finds eternal rest in the arms of the Most High; the wise man hungers for the divine embrace; the earth child longs for the security of the arms of the Universal Father. The noble man seeks for that high estate wherein the soul of the mortal blends with the spirit of the Supreme. God is just: What fruit we receive not from our plantings in this world we shall receive in the next.

Welcome to the vineyard Howard. Peace.
Peace be upon you."

#22 -Scott-

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 05:42 PM

I think Howard that many people start their journey with god because they are afraid of death and nothingness. I think the thought of eternal extinction definitely can be a wake-up call for alot of people.
If one man craves freedom -- liberty -- he must remember that all other men long for the same freedom

#23 Bonita

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:01 PM

86:7.6 Primitive religion prepared the soil of the human mind, by the powerful and awesome force of false fear, for the bestowal of a bona fide spiritual force of supernatural origin, the Thought Adjuster. And the divine Adjusters have ever since labored to transmute God-fear into God-love. Evolution may be slow, but it is unerringly effective.

#24 Bradly aka/fanofVan

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:58 PM

Fear, of any kind is evil (or error of the ignorant mortal mind) but sin in the mind of the believer:

(1572.6) Strong characters are not derived from not doing wrong but rather from actually doing right. Unselfishness is the badge of human greatness. The highest levels of self-realization are attained by worship and service. The happy and effective person is motivated, not by fear of wrongdoing, but by love of right doing.

(1572.7) “By their fruits you shall know them.” Personality is basically changeless; that which changes — grows — is the moral character. The major error of modern religions is negativism. The tree which bears no fruit is “hewn down and cast into the fire.” Moral worth cannot be derived from mere repression — obeying the injunction “Thou shalt not.” Fear and shame are unworthy motivations for religious living. Religion is valid only when it reveals the fatherhood of God and enhances the brotherhood of men.

The merchants and priests of fear are unholy and iniquitous. Fear not for yourself and fear not for others....for fear is itself a doubt of God Himself and His Power and His Love. Fear destroys the person and society and progress in the Spirit. Fearlessness IS the WAY as shown and lived by Michael, Jesus of Urantia. Behold, the "new" and better way. Any who preach fear are liars and thieves and enemies of truth, beauty, goodness, and God. Do not be swayed by such infantile primitivism. We have known better for a very long time, eh? As Mr. Churchill said a few decades ago in the face of extermination, the only thing TO fear is fear itself (or was that Roosevelt?). Our fears destroy our will and our courage and our faith....it is evil and sinful and iniquitous, all. What can we accomplish or change with fear in our hearts? Courage my loving brothers and sisters, for we have all that is needed.....Light to destroy the shadows of fear. Peace.

Edited by fanofVan, 10 July 2012 - 09:00 PM.

Peace be upon you."

#25 Bonita

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 09:47 AM

Fear is a human instinct. It's part of the fight or flight mechanism and was given to us to serve a purpose . . . material survival. Fear is definitely useful on the material level. It's also useful on the spiritual level because it leads to awe. It's the phenomenon of awe that often gets tangled up in the human mind with various emotions which then gets translated into meanings and values, and it's the translation or interpretation of those meanings and values which allow a human to either transcend the material level with respect and admiration, or get mired with fear, dread and anxiety.

The human mind is destined to discover that the fearful power that controls the outer world is also present within the inner world. Once the human mind discovers the power that lies within, fear leading to awe is a natural evolution. It's all the trappings of awe that confound us as we work through recognition and interpretation.

Fear of the power of God is inevitable, but Jesus came to help us work through the process of recognizing this power as the power of love living within us. His famous line was, and still is, "Fear not!" His Spirit of Truth is the Great Interpreter of the meanings and values provided by our beloved Thought Adjuster and it's up to us to arrest our emotional response of fear and allow him to translate them into reverent awe and worship (the humble adoration of a child/son). We do this by the ever progressing evolution of our recognition and interpretation of, as well as choosing to live the meanings and values we discover have been lovingly provided within our very own minds.

#26 Bradly aka/fanofVan

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 12:09 PM

Agree fear is a natural instinct....a base one but still useful in circumstances of imminent danger requiring the fight/flight response and to prevent dangerous actions with potentially dire results (although that one doesn't work too well until we survive to age 25 or so, eh?). Unfortunately it is also used to manipulate behavior far more than it is triggered by events of mortal danger. It is a primitive response, or worse, an anxiety based state of mind associated to every day - and nonlethal - situations. Politicians, salesmen, priests, and preachers are big purveyors of fear based responses for manipulation of the fearful mind.

This is where the evil, sin, and iniquity lie. Appreciate your judicious differentiation for certainly not ALL fear is evil or sinful either one as you say.

(986.3) Evolutionary religion is born of a simple and all-powerful fear, the fear which surges through the human mind when confronted with the unknown, the inexplicable, and the incomprehensible. Religion eventually achieves the profoundly simple realization of an all-powerful love, the love which sweeps irresistibly through the human soul when awakened to the conception of the limitless affection of the Universal Father for the sons of the universe. But in between the beginning and the consummation of religious evolution, there intervene the long ages of the shamans, who presume to stand between man and God as intermediaries, interpreters, and intercessors.

(1104.1) RELIGION, as a human experience, ranges from the primitive fear slavery of the evolving savage up to the sublime and magnificent faith liberty of those civilized mortals who are superbly conscious of sonship with the eternal God.

6. The Certainty of Religious Faith


(1124.3) The philosophic elimination of religious fear and the steady progress of science add greatly to the mortality of false gods; and even though these casualties of man-made deities may momentarily befog the spiritual vision, they eventually destroy that ignorance and superstition which so long obscured the living God of eternal love. The relation between the creature and the Creator is a living experience, a dynamic religious faith, which is not subject to precise definition. To isolate part of life and call it religion is to disintegrate life and to distort religion. And this is just why the God of worship claims all allegiance or none.

(1124.4) The gods of primitive men may have been no more than shadows of themselves; the living God is the divine light whose interruptions constitute the creation shadows of all space.

Fear Not...indeed!! Peace.
Peace be upon you."

#27 Bonita

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 02:16 PM

What I'm about to write may sound picky, but hear me out, if you will.

Fear is a response to a KNOWN threat.
Anxiety is a response to an UNKNOWN threat.

If you see a bear coming at you, fear caused by the recognition of the KNOWN threat causes the God-given physiological response of the body, designed to trigger fight or flight mechanisms, to activate. There ensues a whole cascade of neurological and biochemical responses that result in an increased ability to deal with the threat. Those same instinctive biological responses react when we misapply the fight or flight response to an UNKNOWN threat, except it's technically called anxiety.

Historically, God has mostly been an UNKNOWN threat, which creates anxiety. Jesus came to make God a KNOWN entity, and we now know him as LOVE. If we accept this, anxiety melts away (his is yoke is easy and his burden is light); but fear remains because it is a protective physiological mechanism to protect us from harm.

Evolutionary religion deals with the UNKNOWN, and by its manipulation has done little more than create anxiety about it. Will we burn in hell, will the wrath of God come down on us, am I sinning or not sinning, yadda, yadda, yadda. Organized religion is having a hard time today because we, through the discoveries of science, are beginning to understand and KNOW the outer world, but we continue to struggle with the UNKNOWN of the inner world. And as long as the inner world continues to be an UNKNOWN, it will create anxieties that can be manipulated by others.

Meanwhile, despite reducing the UNKNOWNs in the outer world, there are some factions of science behaving badly, (just like some factions of organized religion) by hustling us with UNKNOWN threats which keep waves of hyper-anxiety going (asteroids, climate change, polar shifts, blah, blah, blah). Luckily, there are fewer and fewer trumped up anxieties that both organized religion and science can scam us with, although many will continue to try because that is what they do when not tempered by a sane and balanced philosophy, which we, this generation of the human race, have yet to satisfactorily explore.

TUB is a huge blessing because it draws a clear distinction between the KNOWN and UNKNOWN, thereby reducing unnecessary anxiety. And that is why so many people say that they have such peace of mind once they begin to read and absorb the book. The horrible UNKNOWN is diminished and we are told over and over again that the universe, both outer and inner, is dynamically friendly. The natural environment may continue to be dangerous, but we are also told that as we progress toward Light and Life, we will have more and more dominion over it. It's all positive and anxiety reducing . . . much better than a "café vodka valium mocha latte to go, please".

#28 -Scott-

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 02:51 PM

Anxiety was a natural state of the savage mind. When men and women fall victims to excessive anxiety, they are simply reverting to the natural estate of their far-distant ancestors; and when anxiety becomes actually painful, it inhibits activity and unfailingly institutes evolutionary


The struggle for life is so painful that certain backward tribes even yet howl and lament over each new sunrise. Primitive man constantly asked, "Who is tormenting me?" Not finding a material source for his miseries, he settled upon a spirit explanation. And so was religion born of the fear of the mysterious, the awe of the unseen, and the dread of the unknown. Nature fear thus became a factor in the struggle for existence first because of chance and then because of mystery. ~ The Urantia Book, (86:2.1)


It would seem that fear and anxiety rule our world and the best prescription for that would be Revelation. Revelation really does provide a touch stone/grounding rock for religion, science and philosophy to stand on which will be a huge remedy to the planet.

During the psychologically unsettled times of the twentieth century, amid the economic upheavals, the moral crosscurrents, and the sociologic rip tides of the cyclonic transitions of a scientific era, thousands upon thousands of men and women have become humanly dislocated; they are anxious, restless, fearful, uncertain, and unsettled; as never before in the world's history they need the consolation and stabilization of sound religion. In the face of unprecedented scientific achievement and mechanical development there is spiritual stagnation and philosophic chaos. ~ The Urantia Book, (99:4.6)


Edited by boomshuka, 14 July 2012 - 02:54 PM.

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

#29 Nelson G

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 05:38 PM

As the book helped me understand the real nature of evil, so has it helped me understand sin and iniquity with more clarity.
In addition to this and cannot be separated is mercy and justice on a level that I cannot fully comprehend and likely will not in this lifetime.
Think about the impact of rebellion, how long ago it was and the status of the rebels at the time of the writing of the 5th revelation.
An entire planet still isolated, tens of million of lives affected, totally defiant to the end rebels that have not yet ceased to exist (if my memory about reading this is correct).
I believe the book does take sin and mercy seriously and I believe this because as my understanding of these issues has expanded, I have actually learned how to forgive someone. Something that would never have happened otherwise. This is really serious. And I feel like it made me a better person as a huge weight was lifted from my back.
Taking the book at face value is what I do and it helps me.
Life often gives us our greatest gifts brilliantly disguised as our worst nightmares.

#30 Bradly aka/fanofVan

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 11:41 AM

Once again Nelson, you penetrate to the core issue. The more of "me" in any equation, the less benefit there is for "me". Forgiveness does not release any offender from any guilt or responsibility or obligation....but it releases the one who forgives from much! Anger, resentment, revenge, or retribution weigh most heavily on the one who harbors such feelings....and not on the one who "causes" such feelings...which, as you know, do not cause the feelings anyway - WE cause, determine, and control our thoughts and our feelings....or we should and will when mature enough to take responsibility for our motives, priorities, choices, actions....and RESPONSES to everything that comes our way.

We cannot control what happens or what others may or may not do.....but who controls our responses? Taking responsibility for the consequences of our desires and choices is a significant difference between TUB/Jesusonian and christianity/Judaism/muslim. Sin simply is not our nature. And sin is not forgiven, indeed it is not forgiveable even!! We are the victim of our sin, we choose it and we suffer for it, immediately and inherently and without exception. Others may teach that by belief or ceremony, God will forgive our sins and "save" us from the damnation due us for those sins....but this is so primitive, illogical, and rediculous, especially once the truth be known. Only in the time and space experience of mortals and morontials and their administration does sin exist and only those who sin suffer for it - not their children or neighbors or planet or system.

To me, this means the 5th Revelation takes sin far more seriously than any other Word or Belief on planet today or anytime. And lack of forgiveness to others is one of the biggest sins we can perform. Now error/evil IS natural and normal enough. TUB says Jesus was without sin but, interestingly, it does not say he never errored as He was truly born and raised a mortal or the realm. To choose wrong from ignorance or misinformation or lack or experience is nothing at all...it does not exist except as a learning lesson for better choices to come. But sin? Knowingly choosing wrong instead of right, that deepens the shadows and dimminishes the Light of truth and pushes away beauty and goodness too. Sin has great and "serious" repurcussions....and cannot be "forgiven"; but it can be overcome and reversed and avoided by our realization and contrition and better choosing to come. It is truly amazing the Master never sinned....never chose advantage over another or lied to protect Himself or indicted another or failed to forgive another's wrong....EVER.

We, too, can live without sin, here and now, while in our mortality experience on-planet. It takes experience, wisdom, courage and dedication but we can choose to not embrace what we know to be wrong, eh? And therein lies the power of TUB's truth over all others - sin is not our nature nor our slave master nor our destiny. We are God's children, created in His image and our destiny, should we choose it, is to become more like Him and of Him as we transcend the material time and space to ascend into our destiny as fused ascenders on the path to our finality and eternity to come. Sin destroys the sinner! Heavy. Peace.
Peace be upon you."

#31 Bonita

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 01:38 PM

. . . and only those who sin suffer for it - not their children or neighbors or planet or system.


I don't believe what you wrote is entirely true, unless I've misunderstood it. We all suffer when someone sins; there's no way to avoid the local repercussions of sin. And unfortunately, sometimes in subtle ways, the repercussions of sin are most definitely felt by subsequent generations. However, someone else's sin cannot jeopardize our individual spiritual standing.

p761:3 67:7.4 Sin is never purely local in its effects. The administrative sectors of the universes are organismal; the plight of one personality must to a certain extent be shared by all. Sin, being an attitude of the person toward reality, is destined to exhibit its inherent negativistic harvest upon any and all related levels of universe values. But the full consequences of erroneous thinking, evil-doing, or sinful planning are experienced only on the level of actual performance. The transgression of universe law may be fatal in the physical realm without seriously involving the mind or impairing the spiritual experience.

54:6.4 But one thing should be made clear: If you are made to suffer the evil consequences of the sin of some member of your family, some fellow citizen or fellow mortal, even rebellion in the system or elsewhere — no matter what you may have to endure because of the wrongdoing of your associates, fellows, or superiors — you may rest secure in the eternal assurance that such tribulations are transient afflictions. None of these fraternal consequences of misbehavior in the group can ever jeopardize your eternal prospects or in the least degree deprive you of your divine right of Paradise ascension and God attainment.

67:7.7 Sin is wholly personal as to moral guilt or spiritual consequences, notwithstanding its far-flung repercussions in administrative, intellectual, and social domains.

145:2.8 No more should you fear that God will punish a nation for the sin of an individual; neither will the Father in heaven punish one of his believing children for the sins of a nation, albeit the individual member of any family must often suffer the material consequences of family mistakes and group transgressions.

67:7.2 But not so with the external repercussions of sin: The impersonal (centrifugal) consequences of embraced sin are both inevitable and collective, being of concern to every creature functioning within the affect-range of such events.

67:7.6 Sin enormously retards intellectual development, moral growth, social progress, and mass spiritual attainment. But it does not prevent the highest spiritual achievement by any individual who chooses to know God and sincerely do his divine will.

Part of reaching the level of light and life, where the true meaning of brotherhood is realized, means that everyone is willing to bear each other's burdens . . . sin included. That does not mean that sin is condoned or that an attitude of indifference toward sin is necessary. It simply means that the burden of sin must be born if we truly love the sinner as God loves him/her, if we choose to live the 6th level of the golden rule.

71:4.16 The appearance of genuine brotherhood signifies that a social order has arrived in which all men delight in bearing one another’s burdens; they actually desire to practice the golden rule.

2:6.8 God loves the sinner and hates the sin: such a statement is true philosophically, but God is a transcendent personality, and persons can only love and hate other persons. Sin is not a person. God loves the sinner because he is a personality reality (potentially eternal), while towards sin God strikes no personal attitude, for sin is not a spiritual reality; it is not personal; therefore does only the justice of God take cognizance of its existence. The love of God saves the sinner; the law of God destroys the sin.


Sin has great and "serious" repurcussions....and cannot be "forgiven"


I don't agree with this either, but then again I may be misinterpreting what you wrote. Sin can and must be forgiven . . . why else would Jesus have said, "Your sins are forgiven"? Jesus said, "But that you who witness all this may finally know that the Son of Man has authority and power on earth to forgive sins, I will say to this afflicted man, Arise, take up your bed, and go to your own house.” (148:9.3) When Simon Peter asked, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?” Jesus replied, “Not only seven times but even to seventy times and seven." (159:1.4 )

True forgiveness, in my opinion, is the very hardest human task to accomplish. And that was really Jesus' final lesson on the cross.

#32 Bradly aka/fanofVan

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 02:38 PM

Agree, very difficult.... But, the text also says we will be forgiven in the same measure we have forgiven, no? This is a difficult topic and concept and I appreciate your willingness to discuss the finer points for all of our edification thereby. Let me see if I can say this meaningfully....

First, yes there are personal, second hand, and social repercussions of sin we do not originate....we may be purely victimized by other's choices, priorities, and acts....but this is not a punishment but a repurcussive reality in time and space only that only encumbers our material realities or experiences and does not preclude our ability to overcome it if we WILL it so to be. Using the word "suffer" above was incomplete, should have said suffer God's wrath or punishment for truly, as you say and quote, we all share in the suffering from the sins of any and all.

Next, our own sins - excuse me, not our sins but sinners ARE forgiven BEFORE even sin is committed by grace and the endless forgiveness of God....but can we be forgiven of that for which we do not forgive? The parable of the unjust steward would suggest not. Sin is its own punishment to the perpetrator....inherently, instantly. The "forgiveness" of sin is not a rite or ceremony or confession or 3 hail marys. It can be overcome by the sinner themselves by contrition, repentence, and DIFFERENT behaviours only. One who expects their sins to be "washed away" by someone else is misguided, eh? But again, according to the quotes you give above, sin is NEVER forgiven but, rather, the sinner is forgiven according to their forgiveness of others. So many will wait a spell in morontia form to grow into the forgiveness of others required of them, no? For we will not be judged unduly for our mortal transgressions by God upon survival BUT we are punished here and now by our sins. It is the natural law of free will with the same universe power as gravity itself. The law of reaping and sowing are universal and natural and instanteaneous IMO.

Sin is not our nature. Sin is its own punishment. That punishment is further distance from God and more shadow than light in the moment. Every sin has an aggregate effect on the mind....and perhaps the soul? If sin does not dimminsh current soul content, it certainly does not add to it either. Sin is a retardent and can become a pattern of choice which leads to a twisted character and mind, eventually it is even possible to be so iniquitous to not even survive. This is the punishment for sin...not hell or damnation. And its forgiveness only comes by our own choosing and acts which demonstrate our repentence and our progression....there is no other relief IMO.

But I learn far more here than I teach and I do not express well my intent. Thanks to all who bring quotes, concepts, perception, and experience to this forum. I am blessed. Peace.
Peace be upon you."

#33 Bonita

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 05:04 PM

In regards to the consciousness of one's own forgiveness, I think the quote you're referring to is this one:


p1861:05 Jesus taught that sin is not the child of a defective nature but rather the offspring of a knowing mind dominated by an unsubmissive will. Regarding sin, he taught that God has forgiven; that we make such forgiveness personally available by the act of forgiving our fellows. When you forgive your brother in the flesh, you thereby create the capacity in your own soul for the reception of the reality of God's forgiveness of your own misdeeds.

God forgives us before we're conscious of it.

#34 Coop

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:11 PM

God loves the sinner and hates the sin

I Still remember Clearly the Question The Woman sitting next to me
askd at A Bible Study Many years ago , it seems like ages now , before I Found the UPapers

She Askd '' Does GOD Love the Sinner And Hates / Abhors the Sin ?''

Even Back Then I Knew That GOD Doesnt HATE !


2:6.8 God loves the sinner and hates the sin: such a statement is true philosophically, but God is a transcendent personality, and persons can only love and hate other persons. Sin is not a person. God loves the sinner because he is a personality reality (potentially eternal), while towards sin God strikes no personal attitude, for sin is not a spiritual reality; it is not personal; therefore does only the justice of God take cognizance of its existence. The love of God saves the sinner; the law of God destroys the sin. This attitude of the divine nature would apparently change if the sinner finally identified himself wholly with sin just as the same mortal mind may also fully identify itself with the indwelling spirit Adjuster. Such a sin-identified mortal would then become wholly unspiritual in nature (and therefore personally unreal) and would experience eventual extinction of being. Unreality, even incompleteness of creature nature, cannot exist forever in a progressingly real and increasingly spiritual universe.

#35 Coop

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 01:30 AM

33:7.8 However unfairly human contentions may sometimes appear to be adjudicated on Urantia, in the universe justice and divine equity do prevail. You are living in a well-ordered universe, and sooner or later you may depend upon being dealt with justly, even mercifully.

#36 Bonita

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 08:50 AM

Here's the other quote I was thinking of yesterday but could not find at the time:

p1638:04 By opening the human end of the channel of the God-man communication, mortals make immediately available the ever-flowing stream of divine ministry to the creatures of the worlds. When man hears God's spirit speak within the human heart, inherent in such an experience is the fact that God simultaneously hears that man's prayer. Even the forgiveness of sin operates in this same unerring fashion. The Father in heaven has forgiven you even before you have thought to ask him, but such forgiveness is not available in your personal religious experience until such a time as you forgive your fellow men. God's forgiveness in fact is not conditioned upon your forgiving your fellows, but in experience it is exactly so conditioned. And this fact of the synchrony of divine and human forgiveness was thus recognized and linked together in the prayer which Jesus taught the apostles.

The capacity to appreciate our own forgiveness is dependent on our ability to forgive others. Jesus also taught that forgiveness means that we should not resist evil treatment of our personality and evil injury done to our personal dignity. Not resisting means refusing to return evil with feelings of revenge, hatred, malice and even indifference.

p1590: 03 And when he said, “Resist not evil,” he later explained that he did not mean to condone sin or to counsel fraternity with iniquity. He intended the more to teach forgiveness, to “resist not evil treatment of one’s personality, evil injury to one’s feelings of personal dignity."

In my personal experience, I'm fully capable of resisting the urge to hate, hold grudges and plan revenge, but I very often resort to excision of the person from my acquaintance and I develop an attitude of absolute indifference to him/her. I've discovered that indifference toward someone might be the purely negative approach to resisting evil as outlined below.


p1770:03 On this occasion he taught them the three ways of contending with, and resisting, evil:
1. To return evil for evil--the positive but unrighteous method.
2. To suffer evil without complaint and without resistance--the purely negative method.
3. To return good for evil, to assert the will so as to become master of the situation, to overcome evil with good--the positive and righteous method.

I struggle with number 3, and every time I've tried it I end up getting more resistance, more evil and more hatred from the person involved who then launches out with even more injury to my personality and personal dignity. Usually I end up just walking away considering these attempts at goodness to be utter failures, you know the mantra, get rid of that which doesn't serve you . . . Today I'm facing another one of these issues with three truly evil and nasty people; I have to make up my mind if I want to try number 3 with them again or avoid them like the plague . . . oy vey. My gut feeling is to continue to show them indifference because my attempts to master the situation and overcome evil with good have thus far failed miserably. These people are really, really nasty. What do you good people think?

Jesus did turn and walk away from evil once.

142:0.2 The first day in Jerusalem Jesus called upon his friend of former years, Annas, the onetime high priest and relative of Salome, Zebedee’s wife. Annas had been hearing about Jesus and his teachings, and when Jesus called at the high priest’s home, he was received with much reserve. When Jesus perceived Annas’s coldness, he took immediate leave, saying as he departed: “Fear is man’s chief enslaver and pride his great weakness; will you betray yourself into bondage to both of these destroyers of joy and liberty?” But Annasmade no reply. The Master did not again see Annas until the time when he sat with his son-in-law in judgment on the Son of Man.

Is there a time in life when you should do that, when you should walk away from evil, or was this not just evil, but sin that Jesus walked away from thereby making it different? Why didn't Jesus return goodness for evil in this situation with Annas? Was Annas in the process of personality disintegration because of sin and does that make it different? I wonder if these three people I'm concerned about, who were once my confiding friends, fall into this category too. Should I walk away work on my feelings of indifference? Surely Jesus was never indifferent. Much to ponder.

67:1.3 And of all forms of evil, none are more destructive of personality status than betrayal of trust and disloyalty to one’s confiding friends.

#37 Meredith Van Woert

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 10:20 AM

oy vey Bonita.

Turn the other cheek. Pray for your enemies. Tell them you are praying for them. Soft words turn away wrath. Return good for evil. The act is our, the consequences God's.

I notice, for myself, that when I spend time and energy trying to figure out other' s motives for doing evil to me and my loved ones, the perpetrator/s are controlling my thinking, so to speak, because they and their behaviors occupy so much of my mind during the time I spend thinking about the situations. Why give them and the havoc they've wrought so much of your mental time and energy, even in their absence? All you can do is live the truth. These difficult situations are a real test of living the truth.

Let it go and be who you are. Send it out into the cosmos for God to solve.





All the best,
Meredith

#38 Bonita

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 10:41 AM

Let it go and be who you are. Send it out into the cosmos for God to solve.


I did that and he sent it back.

These people and their evil don't occupy my thoughts at all, I'm totally indifferent to them. I never think of them at all; as if they were dead. And that's at the heart of it, I think. Should you completely erase people because they're mean and nasty?

Actually, it was four people who did that, but one just died on Wednesday and now I'm faced with having to go to the funeral, which will open up the nastiness all over again. You see, this is a large net because there are others who are caught in it, others who are stuck in the land of limbo with conflicted loyalties. It is a huge conundrum. I think I have enough backbone to do it, but I wonder about stirring up more evil by doing what I think is decent and good.

I believe that one of the hardest lessons to learn in life (and I know this because I've been given ample opportunities to learn it and haven't) is that procrastination and problem avoidance is evil. I'm also beginning to see that indifference is just as evil as conflicted indecision.

#39 Bradly aka/fanofVan

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 10:47 AM

Sister Bonita - you speak well of a common conundrum for us all. I have far more success at the innocense of a dove than I do the wise as a serpent part (not that I'm particularly good at the innocence thing....just far worse at the other). Our own emotional attachments and self defensing ego are severe challenges when others are throwing stones at us, eh? Perhaps Jesus DID return good for evil by recognizing He was unwelcome and kindly and gently retreating?? But I think, somehow, our indifference to outcome is key here....not aloofness or indifference to the souls engaged....but an indifference to other's opinions, or words, or actions. I spend way too much time and effort trying to be right and recognized as being so or the need to identify problems and creating "solutions"...something I must let go of.

While being intolerent or indignant are not the ideals of our spiritual life, nontheless there are many examples of both in TUB. Not all is subject to meekness or acceptance or tolerence even.....all is subject to forgiveness but this is hardly the same thing....some things really, truly require forgiveness, no? Looking forward to others' comments....and wishing you the best in the encounter to come. Peace, courage, faith, hope, perseverence Dear Sister!! Peace.

:)
Peace be upon you."

#40 Bonita

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 11:15 AM

But I think, somehow, our indifference to outcome is key here....not aloofness or indifference to the souls engaged....but an indifference to other's opinions, or words, or actions.


Excellent point! . . . indifference to evil and sin but never indifference to the personality and soul involved. Indifference can be tricky don't you think?

When Jesus next encountered Annas during his trial, Annas was taken aback by Jesus' kindness toward him. So when I encounter these horridly evil people again, I will be exceedingly kind. It probably will not stop their evil, but I'll hopefully be employing a high level of the golden rule and nothing can be wrong about that.

184:1.6 The kindly manner in which Jesus spoke to Annas almost bewildered him.




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