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The religion of Jesus or the religion about Jesus?


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#1 Howard509

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 01:19 AM

Before reading the Urantia Book, I was an avid reader of Biblical scholars like Marcus Borg who teach that Jesus' original message was about the Kingdom of God, loving your neighbor, and having a personal relationship with God rather than theological belief that Jesus died for the sins of the world, that he claimed to be the Jewish Messiah, or that he corporeally rose from the grave.

Before the Urantia Book was written, Biblical scholars made a distinction between the religion of Jesus, as Jesus originally taught while a flesh and blood man on this earth, and the religion about Jesus, which evolved after his death. In fact, I first became introduced to the Urantia Book after googling "religion of Jesus" and the Urantia Book was one of the hits.

The Urantia Book's Jesus section was influenced by modern Biblical scholarship. Matthew Block has in fact identified several historical scholars that were used as sources for it.

What we find in the Urantia Book's Jesus section is, in certain ways, in tension with the rest of the book that precedes it. While the Urantia Book's Jesus section, like modern scholarship, emphasizes a personal relationship with the divine over theological belief and hierarchical religion, the sections preceding it are, in fact, a massive belief system on many topics such as the afterlife, the universe, the origin of man, endless orders of celestial beings, etc.

Does anyone see this tension between the Jesus section's simple emphasis on the Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man and the rest of the Urantia Book's highly complex and elaborate belief system? Clearly, one can be a devoted to Jesus as he's revealed in the Urantia Book while being on the fence about certain details in the rest of the book. Otherwise, Jesus' emphasis in the Urantia Book that your devotion to God and man is more important than the details of what you believe wouldn't hold true at all.

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


#2 Nigel Nunn

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 02:19 AM

Hi Howard509,

Does anyone see this tension between the Jesus section's simple emphasis on the Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man and the rest of the Urantia Book's highly complex and elaborate belief system?


Before the revelators could reveal their revelation about what and why we are, they had to sketch out a frame in which thought adjusters and personality make sense. For me, the UB is simply a description of the way things are, as seen from some other higher frame. There's no need to let the view confuse or distract us from the important things. Remember, "the Universal Father, as a Father... "

As far as the Universal Father is concerned--as a Father--the universes are virtually nonexistent; he deals with personalities; he is the Father of personalities." (164.1) 15:0.1


For me, this is the fifth epochal revelation: the revelation about our relationship with the spiritual realities conspiring to see us launched safely from this finite/womb, able to engage Dad's reality a non-trivial way. Part 4 simply adds some beautiful motivation: we too can live abundantly.

So no, I see no tension.

Nigel

#3 Howard509

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 02:41 AM

In my opinion, the essential message of the Urantia Book is summed up in its final paper, The Faith of Jesus.



Every other message of the book is secondary, no matter how important or true it might be.

Edited by Howard509, 23 September 2012 - 12:35 PM.

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


#4 Pike aka Hrvoje Pajk

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 03:08 AM

everything in grand universe is subdued to doing the Fathers will. we do not know what is the final plan because we live in time-space enviroment and Father lives in eternity.
to provide everything runs smoothly you need big organisational crew.
I'm working as Process Manager and I know that without good plan and organisation Project can't end successfuly.

peace
Peace be upon you

#5 Howard509

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 05:18 AM

Whether there's a friction or not between the Jesus papers and the rest of the Urantia Book, the pure message of Jesus is first in importance to anything about celestial orders, mansion worlds, etc.

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


#6 Bonita

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 06:00 AM

Howard, like you, I love the Jesus papers. Without Jesus my life would be nothing. But I think you're making the typical error of thinking, one that TUB warns us about:

19:1.5 For example: The human mind would ordinarily crave to approach the cosmic philosophy portrayed in these revelations by proceeding from the simple and the finite to the complex and the infinite, from human origins to divine destinies. But that path does not lead to spiritual wisdom. Such a procedure is the easiest path to a certain form of genetic knowledge, but at best it can only reveal man's origin; it reveals little or nothing about his divine destiny.

Spiritual wisdom requires that you begin to get a glimpse of the fact that you are a universe citizen and start to understand the organization of your universe home. TUB was given to us as a prelude to being welcomed into the greater universe with every expectation of the lifting of quarantines which will bring us even greater freedoms and responsibilities. We must understand our universe from the top down. But if you're not ready for that, if you prefer to keep to the fourth revelation, there is absolutely no harm at all in thinking that way. TUB is for the more adventurous of mind and for those who want to know more about Jesus' origin and our divine destiny with him. TUB shows us the bigger picture, the goal, the next step . . . for those with enough courage to take it.

19:1.6-12 The true perspective of any reality problem—human or divine, terrestrial or cosmic—can be had only by the full and unprejudiced study and correlation of three phases of universe reality: origin, history, and destiny. The proper understanding of these three experiential realities affords the basis for a wise estimate of the current status.

When the human mind undertakes to follow the philosophic technique of starting from the lower to approach the higher, whether in biology or theology, it is always in danger of committing four errors of reasoning:
1. It may utterly fail to perceive the final and completed evolutionary goal of either personal attainment or cosmic destiny.
2. It may commit the supreme philosophical blunder by oversimplifying cosmic evolutionary (experiential) reality, thus leading to the distortion of facts, to the perversion of truth, and to the misconception of destinies.
3. The study of causation is the perusal of history. But the knowledge of how a being becomes does not necessarily provide an intelligent understanding of the present status and true character of such a being.
4. History alone fails adequately to reveal future development—destiny. Finite origins are helpful, but only divine causes reveal final effects. Eternal ends are not shown in time beginnings. The present can be truly interpreted only in the light of the correlated past and future.

Therefore, because of these and for still other reasons, do we employ the technique of approaching man and his planetary problems by embarkation on the time-space journey from the infinite, eternal, and divine Paradise Source and Center of all personality reality and all cosmic existence.

#7 Bradly aka/fanofVan

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 09:20 AM

Truly, the first 3 parts are the most important (if Part 4 is my favorite too) for we already had the 4th Revelation, if limited in its biblical presentation, and record of the Spirit of Truth. But our mission is ascending by transcending....this requires more points of context and new perspective......and the time unit presentation is not subtle or unimportant. Every word has a purpose and every concept and every reiteration and nuance too. It is not a belief system for pete's sake....it's a road map and guidebook to the universes and origination and destiny. WOW - wonderful. What a gift. Thanks be to God. Peace.
Peace be upon you."

#8 -Scott-

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:15 PM

Does anyone see this tension between the Jesus section's simple emphasis on the Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man and the rest of the Urantia Book's highly complex and elaborate belief system?


Jesus came to reveal the 4th revelation, so that man could be ready for the next revelation. We get glimpses in the Jesus Papers of Jesus hinting at more advanced realities but he is handicapped by the fact that he is dealing with men and women who had essentially no concept of anything in the universe. If he had told them about Sporongia they would have said....wait what?! :)

Also the Jesus papers are much more complex than some readers realize. If you consider that the u.b gives a new definition of, personality,mind,heart,soul,love, and you take those new definitions and put them into the jesus papers you are left with something very complex and stunning. The trick is learning what exactly the U.B means when it says words like those. They don't mean Love in the sense that 99 percent of human beings mean love. They don't mean personality in the sense 99 percent of humans mean personality. It goes on and on, prayer, worship everything is different.

That friction is meant to be there though, the papers are supposed to clash with your preconceived ideas.

Edited by boomshuka, 23 September 2012 - 11:23 PM.

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

#9 Bill Martin

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:44 PM

Boomshuka hit on the truth that you could read Part IV and it alone but you would be handicapped by lack of understanding. The vocabulary necessary to perceive the presentation of the Master's life is learned in the previous sections. Just the differential meaning in common use and the Urantia Book's definition of the gradation in EVIL SIN INIQUITY would prevent partial readers understanding exactly what Jesus was about.

A fellow named Harry once wanted to print only Part IV and did. He figured that the first Paper in Part IV where Michael's elder brother from Paradise-Immanuel- gives Him His incarnation instructions, a paper of great pure revelation in which we get great insight into His mission, would be incomprehensible for those who had not read the WHOLE book. And so Harry left the first Paper in Part IV out of his book.
Slowly but surely the Power of Love is overcoming the Love of Power

#10 Bonita

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 09:34 AM

I agree that the Jesus Papers lose a lot of meaning when divorced from the rest of the revelation. For instance, how can you understand Jesus' miracles without understanding his Creator prerogatives? How can you understand his statement: "He who has seen the Son has seen the Father." How do you fully understand the difference between the Son of Man and the Son of God? How do you understand the rebellion, the events at his baptism, the reason for the forty days, why his death was not an atonement, the morontia appearances, etc., etc.. Without the context, most of Part IV is comprehensible only as a story. It is much, much more than a story.

#11 Howard509

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 12:37 PM

Truly, the first 3 parts are the most important (if Part 4 is my favorite too) for we already had the 4th Revelation, if limited in its biblical presentation, and record of the Spirit of Truth. But our mission is ascending by transcending....this requires more points of context and new perspective......and the time unit presentation is not subtle or unimportant. Every word has a purpose and every concept and every reiteration and nuance too. It is not a belief system for pete's sake....it's a road map and guidebook to the universes and origination and destiny. WOW - wonderful. What a gift. Thanks be to God. Peace.


The most important part of the 5th revelation is its restoration and expansion of the 4th. The Jesus Papers are the climax of the Urantia Book and the lens through which the rest of the text must be read.

If Jesus says in Part Four that your service to God and neighbor is more important than the specific doctrines you believe, then the specific doctrines in the rest of the Urantia Book are secondary to Jesus' message of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.

Edited by Howard509, 23 September 2012 - 12:44 PM.

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


#12 Bonita

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 01:29 PM

If Jesus says in Part Four that your service to God and neighbor is more important than the specific doctrines you believe, then the specific doctrines in the rest of the Urantia Book are secondary to Jesus' message of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.


But there are no specific doctrines in the rest of the Urantia Book. There are no specific doctrines at all, anywhere in the revelation. A doctrine is a set of beliefs. TUB states that doctrines and beliefs are erroneous and dead. Jesus came to set us free from all doctrines and beliefs. Jesus taught faith and trust. Doctrines are for the mind. Religion is for the soul.

194:4.2 The Master lives in the hearts of these evangelists; God is not a doctrine in their minds; he has become a living presence in their souls.

As far as I can tell, the only way someone can think that TUB contains a set of doctrines is if they think it is the foundation of an organized religion, which it is not. And as far as I can tell, the only reason why someone would be the least bit concerned about the doctrines of another religion, even though TUB isn't a religion, is if they are threatened by it in some way. I alway liked that thing Jesus said: "You should never forget that intolerance is the mask covering up the entertainment of secret doubts as to the trueness of one’s belief. No man is at any time disturbed by his neighbor’s attitude when he has perfect confidence in the truth of that which he wholeheartedly believes." (146.3.2)

101:2.13 True religion is an insight into reality, the faith-child of the moral consciousness, and not a mere intellectual assent to any body of dogmatic doctrines.True religion consists in the experience that “the Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.” Religion consists not in theologic propositions but in spiritual insight and the sublimity of the soul’s trust.

102:2.7 There is no real religion apart from a highly active personality. Therefore do the more indolent of men often seek to escape the rigors of truly religious activities by a species of ingenious self-deception through resorting to a retreat to the false shelter of stereotyped religious doctrines and dogmas. But true religion is alive. Intellectual crystallization of religious concepts is the equivalent of spiritual death. You cannot conceive of religion without ideas, but when religion once becomes reduced only to an idea, it is no longer religion; it has become merely a species of human philosophy.

148:1.2 Each of the apostolic teachers taught his own view of the gospel of the kingdom. They made no effort to teach just alike; there was no standardized or dogmatic formulation of theologic doctrines.

#13 Carolyn

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 04:00 PM


Dearest Bonita,


Quote from Bonita: “As far as I can tell, the only way someone can think that TUB contains a set of doctrines is if they think it is the foundation of an organized religion, which it is not. And as far as I can tell, the only reason why someone would be the least bit concerned about the doctrines of another religion, even though TUB isn't a religion, is if they are threatened by it in some way. I alway liked that thing Jesus said:‘You should never forget that intolerance is the mask covering up the entertainment of secret doubts as to the trueness of one’s belief. No man is at any time disturbed by his neighbor’s attitude when he has perfect confidence in the truth of that which he wholeheartedly believes.’ (146.3.2)



What a tolerant and charming answer to Howard509. I am very certain he understands exactly to which doctrines you referred.

As ever,

Carolyn
"Knowledge is possessed only by sharing; it is safeguarded by wisdom and socialized by love."

#14 Jose Alberto Wonsover

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 05:32 PM

For me The Urantia Book, the revelation, let us hope to grow even more.

Even in our heart comes a thirst to grow, to learn more, to be part of this wonderful universal plan, to spread the good news. To know more about our Creator, even our own history...

I always try to visualize our growth as if it were a flower, to grow and survive, and progress and be fruitful it needs some important ingredients...And all they are important!

The Sun is important, land, the water is important, even oxygen itself is important ...Everything is very important!. No one part is more and other less.What would be the point if the land was more than just the water?.

In fact everything has a balance...

Good day,
Jose Alberto

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Edited by Jose Alberto Wonsover, 23 September 2012 - 06:16 PM.


#15 Bradly aka/fanofVan

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 06:49 PM

The Revelation is a compliment to modern man's historical progress, the success of the Spirit of Truth, and kudos to the many unseen friends who have faithfully ministered to our planetary upliftment desite all the failures and challenges along the way. I love every word, especially the ones I come to understand, and those rediscovered by greater knowledge, discernment, and experience with every new reading. It is only one book for the new reader....for an experienced one it almost seems to be a new rewriting with every reading. Amazing. Uplifting and inspiring. Thrilling and calming both. Challenging and confirming every time. Sorry, I don't get it....I mean the embracing of the parts but any rejection of the whole....that is for any who truly study and discover the whole. This takes time....or it did for me. So whatever keeps one's nose in the Book is ok I guess. The greatest irony of the Book is its own indifference to itself....it claims nothing for itself. Not a little thing for me. Thanks to all who brought us truth and destiny to inflame hope and invigorate the Gospel of Jesus and His Spirit of Truth gift to us all. I really needed it. I have come to believe it. And it matters not what any other may say or think. Peace.

Acknowledgment


(16.8) In formulating the succeeding presentations having to do with the portrayal of the character of the Universal Father and the nature of his Paradise associates, together with an attempted description of the perfect central universe and the encircling seven superuniverses, we are to be guided by the mandate of the superuniverse rulers which directs that we shall, in all our efforts to reveal truth and co-ordinate essential knowledge, give preference to the highest existing human concepts pertaining to the subjects to be presented. We may resort to pure revelation only when the concept of presentation has had no adequate previous expression by the human mind.

(17.1) Successive planetary revelations of divine truth invariably embrace the highest existing concepts of spiritual values as a part of the new and enhanced co-ordination of planetary knowledge. Accordingly, in making these presentations about God and his universe associates, we have selected as the basis of these papers more than one thousand human concepts representing the highest and most advanced planetary knowledge of spiritual values and universe meanings. Wherein these human concepts, assembled from the God-knowing mortals of the past and the present, are inadequate to portray the truth as we are directed to reveal it, we will unhesitatingly supplement them, for this purpose drawing upon our own superior knowledge of the reality and divinity of the Paradise Deities and their transcendent residential universe.

(17.2) We are fully cognizant of the difficulties of our assignment; we recognize the impossibility of fully translating the language of the concepts of divinity and eternity into the symbols of the language of the finite concepts of the mortal mind. But we know that there dwells within the human mind a fragment of God, and that there sojourns with the human soul the Spirit of Truth; and we further know that these spirit forces conspire to enable material man to grasp the reality of spiritual values and to comprehend the philosophy of universe meanings. But even more certainly we know that these spirits of the Divine Presence are able to assist man in the spiritual appropriation of all truth contributory to the enhancement of the ever-progressing reality of personal religious experience — God-consciousness.
Peace be upon you."

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 07:24 PM

But there are no specific doctrines in the rest of the Urantia Book. There are no specific doctrines at all, anywhere in the revelation. A doctrine is a set of beliefs. TUB states that doctrines and beliefs are erroneous and dead. Jesus came to set us free from all doctrines and beliefs. Jesus taught faith and trust. Doctrines are for the mind. Religion is for the soul.

194:4.2 The Master lives in the hearts of these evangelists; God is not a doctrine in their minds; he has become a living presence in their souls.

As far as I can tell, the only way someone can think that TUB contains a set of doctrines is if they think it is the foundation of an organized religion, which it is not. And as far as I can tell, the only reason why someone would be the least bit concerned about the doctrines of another religion, even though TUB isn't a religion, is if they are threatened by it in some way. I alway liked that thing Jesus said: "You should never forget that intolerance is the mask covering up the entertainment of secret doubts as to the trueness of one’s belief. No man is at any time disturbed by his neighbor’s attitude when he has perfect confidence in the truth of that which he wholeheartedly believes." (146.3.2)
. . . .


Yes, you may say that “A doctrine is a set of beliefs” but to state that “there are no specific doctrines” in the UB is a bit of a stretch. Even someone’s political belief can be a doctrine.

Even the quoted statement above, when read in its full appearance in the UB takes on, for some, a different context in that it showed an incomplete but nevertheless acceptance of Greek Philosophy, in that Jesus added to this Philosophy and enhanced it with the gospel of salvation which has been deemed a downfall of what the Greek's considered a religion.


(1641.3) 146:3.1 At Ramah Jesus had the memorable discussion with the aged Greek philosopher who taught that science and philosophy were sufficient to satisfy the needs of human experience. Jesus listened with patience and sympathy to this Greek teacher, allowing the truth of many things he said but pointing out that, when he was through, he had failed in his discussion of human existence to explain “whence, why, and whither,” and added: “Where you leave off, we begin. Religion is a revelation to man’s soul dealing with spiritual realities which the mind alone could never discover or fully fathom. Intellectual strivings may reveal the facts of life, but the gospel of the kingdom unfolds the truths of being. You have discussed the material shadows of truth; will you now listen while I tell you about the eternal and spiritual realities which cast these transient time shadows of the material facts of mortal existence?” For more than an hour Jesus taught this Greek the saving truths of the gospel of the kingdom. The old philosopher was susceptible to the Master’s mode of approach, and being sincerely honest of heart, he quickly believed this gospel of salvation.

(1641.4) 146:3.2 The apostles were a bit disconcerted by the open manner of Jesus’ assent to many of the Greek’s propositions, but Jesus afterward privately said to them: “My children, marvel not that I was tolerant of the Greek’s philosophy. True and genuine inward certainty does not in the least fear outward analysis, nor does truth resent honest criticism. You should never forget that intolerance is the mask covering up the entertainment of secret doubts as to the trueness of one’s belief. No man is at any time disturbed by his neighbor’s attitude when he has perfect confidence in the truth of that which he wholeheartedly believes. Courage is the confidence of thoroughgoing honesty about those things which one professes to believe. Sincere men are unafraid of the critical examination of their true convictions and noble ideals.”

Not to mention that when I take this specific statement, in the quote above, it also can be an inference to understanding that if a person seems to be presenting a mistruth or a lie, you cannot truly determine that they are lying if they believe wholeheartedly in their statement that may in actuality, be a false doctrine. Even a mechanical lie detector cannot differentiate between a person’s confidence in what they believe to be true.

To me this can be considered hidden doctrine.


#17 -Scott-

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 11:31 PM

To me this can be considered hidden doctrine.

Advice from your elder sibling always sounds like a "doctrine" at first though doesn't it? It is only when we stumble into the truth that we can look back and say ahh yes big brother you were right.
If one man craves freedom -- liberty -- he must remember that all other men long for the same freedom

#18 Carolyn

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 03:21 AM


boomshuka:“Advice from your elder sibling always sounds like a "doctrine" at first though doesn't it? It is only when we stumble into the truth that we can look back and say ahh yes big brother you were right.”


Jose Alberto Wonsover: “For me The Urantia Book, the revelation, let us hope to grow even more.”


Dear All,


A wee mortal babe must crawl before she walks. The mortal craves first to seek that which is familiar and Part IV is at first a cozy place for us. But it is only when we submit ourselves to reaching for the spiritual realities that we discover that one must begin at the beginning. It may take years to accept that requirement and even then the first attempt may be so complicated and slow reading one might be discouraged. Soldier on...


Looking back on the process of revelation as an individual at what was once was a slow progress becomes a joyous journey; one that will continue into the eternities.


The reality is TUB starts by first revealing the Universal Father, who resides at the center of all realities ever leading us outward and eventually to Urantia and the events of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. There is a profound lesson in that movement. To take a shorter route and expect a rapid insight into the spiritual realities causes a regression and not progression. There is order in the cosmos and a perfect divine way to do all things.


One does not become an expert artist, teacher, reader without years of study, practice, and experience. How simple of us to assume that reading the 196 papers would be simple. To know a truth one must experience it. The map of the straight road to understanding Jesus of Nazareth lies within the reading from the beginning to the end, over and over and over. (IMO)


Cheers,


Carolyn






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#19 Bonita

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 06:44 AM

There are so many things in the life and teachings of Jesus that were turned into myths based upon first century beliefs and doctrines that have no place in the modern world. The virgin birth, the perpetual virginity of Mary, many of his miracles, the atonement doctrine, Jesus' confrontation with the devil, his baptism experience, the Spirit of Truth, and many others never made sense to me because the Church co-mingled myth with fact. And honestly, the only way to comprehend these things is in the context of the entire revelation.

The Church spun the truth into doctrinaire myth at a time when theocracies were dominant. State religion had to have power and control which dogmatized and bastardized religion. When men use religion for power over other men; doctrine appears in the form of ideological creeds designed for the purpose of control. Behavior can only be controlled if people believe and people believe when their emotions are affected. And all too often those emotions are fear and awe.

The Fifth Revelation is not doctrine. It is not designed for power and control, fear and awe. It is not a text meant to change beliefs and behavior. It is a REVELATION. Revelation is meant to empower the individual through growth of insight. In order to benefit from the revelation of Jesus, one must be receptive to truth, hence his name: The Spirit of Truth. Without reading the entire revelation, the difference between the Spirit of Truth and the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost is not comprehensible. And the fundamental truth of the Spirit of Truth is that he personalizes truth. There can be no single doctrine if all truth is relative to personal experience.

p888:01 Truth is relative and expanding; it lives always in the present, achieving new expression in each generation of men--even in each human life.

#20 MB Melody

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 08:59 PM

This significant topic (of/about Jesus) has been hashed over for years. Any yet, in my view, rarely - if ever - has the subject been plumbed to the depth of value it holds, as pointed to by the revelators.

Variously well-read students and scholars situated on the internet lists tend, so it seems to me, to propound with well-nigh certitude and possibly a touch or two of personal bias. Thus, with supporting assent, the controversial subject is settled once again.

Have clear words from the revelators been overlooked or ignored due to their implications running counter to prevailing intelligencia?

I could quote a number of specifics, but one will suffice for example. It might get interesting if the background factors related to UPaper 161:2.1 were fully studied.

"...there remained only one more point to consider, the teaching dealing with the divine nature of Jesus, a doctrine only so recently publicly announced."

In good spirit,
MBM




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