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Paper 195 - AFTER PENTECOST

PENTECOST CHRISTIANITY TRUTH

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#21 Rick Warren

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 05:22 PM


.

 

Good day Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

 

Wonder if the Midwayers coined the term "secular totalitarianism"? It's a ringing indictment of Godlessness all by itself.

 

Totalitarianism was a fairly common word during the "cold war" of the mid 20th century, when atheistic Soviet communism was being tried on a grand scale by a leading nation.

 

From Wikipedia:
 

Totalitarianism or totalitarian state is a concept used by some political scientists in which the state holds total authority over the society and seeks to control all aspects of public and private life wherever possible.

 

The concept of totalitarianism was first developed in the 1920s by the Weimar German jurist, and later Nazi academic, Carl Schmitt and Italian fascists. Schmitt used the term, Totalstaat in his influential work on the legal basis of an all-powerful state, The Concept of the Political (1927). The concept became prominent in Western anti-communist political discourse during the Cold War era, in order to highlight perceived similarities between Nazi Germany and other Fascist states on the one hand, and Soviet Communist Party states on the other.

 

Other movements and governments have also been described as totalitarian. The leader of the historic Spanish reactionary conservative movement called the Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right declared his intention to "give Spain a true unity, a new spirit, a totalitarian polity..." and went on to say "Democracy is not an end but a means to the conquest of the new state. When the time comes, either parliament submits or we will eliminate it."

 

 

It should be noted the Soviet union collapsed in 1989.

 

 

***

 

The first line of today's reading is not especially positive or inspirational:
 

...even after materialism and mechanism have been more or less vanquished, the devastating influence of twentieth-century secularism will still blight the spiritual experience of millions of unsuspecting souls.... (2081.1)195:8.1

 

 

In the second paragraph they name the parents of 20th century secularism: Godless science, the father, and the Catholic church is the mother, the very institution charged with carrying the gospel message forward.

 

In the third paragraph the Midwayers unreservedly state the crushing truth of the matter:
 

 ...The majority of professed Christians of Western civilization are unwittingly actual secularists.... (2081.3)195:8.3
 

Stunning isn't is? But quite typical of Urantia, where things are so often backward, misleading and out of step with reality. How tragic that THE church somehow twisted itself into the role of devil's advocate, and became a mere shell that truth left behind.

 

So Godless science and a corrupt church paved the way for modern secularism. What then did secularism do for humanity? From today's reading:
 

...Secularism frees man from ecclesiastical slavery only to betray him into the tyranny of political and economic slavery.... (2081.4)195:8.4
 

Secularism is not a new idea. From Wikipedia:

 

Secularism draws its intellectual roots from Greek and Roman philosophers such as Marcus Aurelius and Epicurus; from Enlightenment thinkers such as Denis Diderot, Voltaire, Baruch Spinoza, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine; and from more recent freethinkers and atheists such as Robert Ingersoll and Bertrand Russell.

 

The purposes and arguments in support of secularism vary widely. In European laicism, it has been argued that secularism is a movement toward modernization, and away from traditional religious values (also known as secularization). This type of secularism, on a social or philosophical level, has often occurred while maintaining an official state church or other state support of religion. In the United States, some argue that state secularism has served to a greater extent to protect religion and the religious from governmental interference, while secularism on a social level is less prevalent. Within countries as well, differing political movements support secularism for varying reasons.


...In political terms, secularism is a movement towards the separation of religion and government (often termed the separation of church and state). This can refer to reducing ties between a government and a state religion, replacing laws based on scripture (such as the Torah and Sharia law) with civil laws, and eliminating discrimination on the basis of religion. This is said to add to democracy by protecting the rights of religious minorities.
 

 

In today's reading the Midwayers warn us. They name the consequences of ignoring and/or denying God's primacy:
 

...But beware! this godless philosophy of human society will lead only to unrest, animosity, unhappiness, war, and world-wide disaster.... (2081.5)195:8.5

 

States and nations may declare they are atheistic, but individuals do not always follow the dictates of the state. Spirituality always persists in humans because we have personal and genuine spiritual experiences, contact with the indwelling influences of the Adjuster and the Spirit of Truth. And since secularism always leads to disunity, it cannot last. The drift of the cosmos is toward unity, and though it may be delayed, no thing, person, or group can stop it. God will prevail, and 'do all his pleasures'.
 

 

***

 

So, how is modern secularism viewed by modern scholars? From Wikipedia:

 

Positive Ideals behind the secular society:

 

Deep respect for individuals and the small groups of which they are a part.

 

Equality of all people.

 

Each person should be helped to realize their particular excellence.

 

Breaking down of the barriers of class and caste.

 

 

Compare with this in today's OPAD:

 

...the blessings of the modern secularistic revolt: tolerance, social service, democratic government, and civil liberties.... (2081.8)195:8.8



But then the Midwayers say, and without equivocation, that secularism isn't reliable:
 

 ...This secularistic human society, notwithstanding its unparalleled materialistic achievement, is slowly disintegrating.... (2082.2)195:8.10


However, we have reason for hope:
 

...Behind the gains of the twentieth century are not only science and secularism but also the unrecognized and unacknowledged spiritual workings of the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth.... (2082.1)195:8.9
 

Secularism did its job in releasing us from the totalitarianism of the church, but then became another kind of morass:
 

...Secularism can never bring peace to mankind. Nothing can take the place of God in human society.... (2081.6)195:8.6

 

This book will help us recognize and acknowledge those workings. It already has in some measure since you and I are here studying it. But it will take considerable time for Urantia to find global peace. Still does nationalism rule many hearts and minds in the place of God and Michael. Widespread peace and brotherhood still elude us:

 

...nationalism is the chief barrier to world peace.... (2082.2)195:8.10

 

The UB was finished before World War II, but the Midwayers didn't have any difficulty predicting it. From today's reading:
 

...During the first third of the twentieth century Urantians killed more human beings than were killed during the whole of the Christian dispensation up to that time. And this is only the beginning of the dire harvest of materialism and secularism; still more terrible destruction is yet to come.... (2082.5)195:8.13


They are referring to the first World War in which a mere 17 million were killed. In World War II an estimated 80 million died. A 'dire harvest' indeed.
 

 

***

 

In tomorrow’s reading, Section 9. Christianity's Problem, we are given a look at the evolved church, founded on Peter the rock, from the celestial point of view. Not only do the Midwayers cite the problems, they present the solutions.

 

Overview of Paper 195 - After Pentecost

 

1. Influence of the Greeks
2. The Roman Influence
3. Under the Roman Empire
4. The European Dark Ages
5. The Modern Problem
6. Materialism
7. The Vulnerability of Materialism
8. Secular Totalitarianism
9. Christianity's Problem
10. The Future

 

This group of papers [121-196] was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.

 

Listen toPaper 195: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#22 Rick Warren

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 05:10 AM


 

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 195 - AFTER PENTECOST

 

9. Christianity’s Problem

 

   Do not overlook the value of your spiritual heritage, the river of truth running down through the centuries, even to the barren times of a materialistic and secular age. In all your worthy efforts to rid yourselves of the superstitious creeds of past ages, make sure that you hold fast the eternal truth. But be patient! when the present superstition revolt is over, the truths of Jesus’ gospel will persist gloriously to illuminate a new and better way.

 

(2082.7)195:9.2 But paganized and socialized Christianity stands in need of new contact with the uncompromised teachings of Jesus; it languishes for lack of a new vision of the Master’s life on earth. A new and fuller revelation of the religion of Jesus is destined to conquer an empire of materialistic secularism and to overthrow a world sway of mechanistic naturalism. Urantia is now quivering on the very brink of one of its most amazing and enthralling epochs of social readjustment, moral quickening, and spiritual enlightenment.

 

(2082.8)195:9.3 The teachings of Jesus, even though greatly modified, survived the mystery cults of their birthtime, the ignorance and superstition of the dark ages, and are even now slowly triumphing over the materialism, mechanism, and secularism of the twentieth century. And such times of great testing and threatened defeat are always times of great revelation.

 

(2082.9)195:9.4 Religion does need new leaders, spiritual men and women who will dare to depend solely on Jesus and his incomparable teachings. If Christianity persists in neglecting its spiritual mission while it continues to busy itself with social and material problems, the spiritual renaissance must await the coming of these new teachers of Jesus’ religion who will be exclusively devoted to the spiritual regeneration of men. And then will these spirit-born souls quickly supply the leadership and inspiration requisite for the social, moral, economic, and political reorganization of the world.

 

(2083.1)195:9.5 The modern age will refuse to accept a religion which is inconsistent with facts and out of harmony with its highest conceptions of truth, beauty, and goodness. The hour is striking for a rediscovery of the true and original foundations of present-day distorted and compromised Christianity — the real life and teachings of Jesus.

 

(2083.2)195:9.6 Primitive man lived a life of superstitious bondage to religious fear. Modern, civilized men dread the thought of falling under the dominance of strong religious convictions. Thinking man has always feared to be held by a religion. When a strong and moving religion threatens to dominate him, he invariably tries to rationalize, traditionalize, and institutionalize it, thereby hoping to gain control of it. By such procedure, even a revealed religion becomes man-made and man-dominated. Modern men and women of intelligence evade the religion of Jesus because of their fears of what it will do to them — and with them. And all such fears are well founded. The religion of Jesus does, indeed, dominate and transform its believers, demanding that men dedicate their lives to seeking for a knowledge of the will of the Father in heaven and requiring that the energies of living be consecrated to the unselfish service of the brotherhood of man.

 

(2083.3)195:9.7 Selfish men and women simply will not pay such a price for even the greatest spiritual treasure ever offered mortal man. Only when man has become sufficiently disillusioned by the sorrowful disappointments attendant upon the foolish and deceptive pursuits of selfishness, and subsequent to the discovery of the barrenness of formalized religion, will he be disposed to turn wholeheartedly to the gospel of the kingdom, the religion of Jesus of Nazareth.

 

(2083.4)195:9.8 The world needs more firsthand religion. Even Christianity — the best of the religions of the twentieth century — is not only a religion about Jesus, but it is so largely one which men experience secondhand. They take their religion wholly as handed down by their accepted religious teachers. What an awakening the world would experience if it could only see Jesus as he really lived on earth and know, firsthand, his life-giving teachings! Descriptive words of things beautiful cannot thrill like the sight thereof, neither can creedal words inspire men’s souls like the experience of knowing the presence of God. But expectant faith will ever keep the hope-door of man’s soul open for the entrance of the eternal spiritual realities of the divine values of the worlds beyond.

 

(2083.5)195:9.9 Christianity has dared to lower its ideals before the challenge of human greed, war-madness, and the lust for power; but the religion of Jesus stands as the unsullied and transcendent spiritual summons, calling to the best there is in man to rise above all these legacies of animal evolution and, by grace, attain the moral heights of true human destiny.

 

(2083.6)195:9.10 Christianity is threatened by slow death from formalism, overorganization, intellectualism, and other nonspiritual trends. The modern Christian church is not such a brotherhood of dynamic believers as Jesus commissioned continuously to effect the spiritual transformation of successive generations of mankind.

 

(2083.7)195:9.11 So-called Christianity has become a social and cultural movement as well as a religious belief and practice. The stream of modern Christianity drains many an ancient pagan swamp and many a barbarian morass; many olden cultural watersheds drain into this present-day cultural stream as well as the high Galilean tablelands which are supposed to be its exclusive source.

 


 

***

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. 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.]



#23 Rick Warren

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 05:38 AM


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Greetings Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,

 

We inherited a great deal that made our new revelation possible. This hard won inheritance that gradually accrued over the past million years of painful human experience, combined with periodic divine bestowals, provided the foundation for the truths the authors built upon and finally packaged in this beautiful and astonishing book, about 60 years ago.

 

From the first line of today's reading:
 

...Do not overlook the value of your spiritual heritage, the river of truth running down through the centuries, even to the barren times of a materialistic and secular age.... (2082:6) 195:9.1

 

Compare with these two quotes highlighting wisdom out of the East:

 

...The Chinese of even six thousand years ago were still keen students and aggressive in their pursuit of truth.... (885:8) 79:7.11

 

...The great strength of Buddhism is that its adherents are free to choose truth from all religions.... (1041:2) 94:12.4

 

Of course the greatest flood of truth Urantia has experienced is embodied in the teachings of Jesus, Michael of Nebedon's seventh bestowal. And now, we have those truths affirmed and restated in modern language, ready to be taught anew and spread even to the nether parts of our poor benighted planet.

 

...But be patient! when the present superstition revolt is over, the truths of Jesus’ gospel will persist gloriously to illuminate a new and better way.... (2082.7)195:9.1

 

Few readers forget this line in today's text:
 

...Urantia is now quivering on the very brink of one of its most amazing and enthralling epochs of social readjustment, moral quickening, and spiritual enlightenment.... (2082.7)195:9.2
 

Quivering! What all does this portend?

 

***

 

 

Apparently a lack of genuine and wise leaders is Christianity's central problem. From today's reading:


 ...If Christianity persists in neglecting its spiritual mission while it continues to busy itself with social and material problems, the spiritual renaissance must await the coming of these new teachers of Jesus’ religion who will be exclusively devoted to the spiritual regeneration of men.... (2082.9)195:9.4

 

The Midwayers seem to think we, as a whole, are ready to give up fear, superstition and materialism in exchange for Truth:
 

...The modern age will refuse to accept a religion which is inconsistent with facts and out of harmony with its highest conceptions of truth, beauty, and goodness.... (2083.1)195:9.5


It should noted this is the 77th time the UB authors used truth, beauty and goodness together.

 

84 Uses of Truth, Beauty & Goodness In 16 Languages



***

 

Trouble is that "thinking man" (the best kind at leading and influencing others) is also the most resistant to religion and revelation. Such a problem for Revelators of Truth!

 

From today's reading:
 

 ...Modern men and women of intelligence evade the religion of Jesus because of their fears of what it will do to them — and with them. And all such fears are well founded.... (2083.2)195:9.6
 

So, what will bring intelligent and capable people to Jesus' religion? The Midwayers offer this sad, difficult and painful solution:
 

 ...Only when man has become sufficiently disillusioned by the sorrowful disappointments attendant upon the foolish and deceptive pursuits of selfishness, and subsequent to the discovery of the barrenness of formalized religion, will he be disposed to turn wholeheartedly to the gospel of the kingdom, the religion of Jesus of Nazareth.... (2083.3)195:9.7
 

Urantia always does the right thing--but only after all else has been tried. Such a life on such a planet indeed!

 

 

***

 

To me, this in today's reading, is the saddest and most destructive of all human tendencies:

 

...They take their religion wholly as handed down by their accepted religious teachers.... (2083.4)195:9.8

 

Most of the reader/believers I know could not, would not, accept a handed-down religion. We would rather have had no religion than the ones available before the UB came along. I suspect the drift away from formal religion has this difficulty at its root. And the UB isn't even a religion, rather a leaven to them all.

 

 

***

 

From the first lines of the last three paragraphs of today's OPAD:
 

...Christianity has dared to lower its ideals before the challenge of human greed, war-madness, and the lust for power.... (2083.5)195:9.9

 

...Christianity is threatened by slow death from formalism, overorganization, intellectualism, and other nonspiritual trends....  (2083.6)195:9.10
 

...So-called Christianity has become a social and cultural movement as well as a religious belief and practice.... (2083.7)195:9.11


Christianity can, if it only will, adopt these new revelations of the teachings of Jesus, and leave the religion about him behind. But will it? Perhaps the greatest resistance to our new revelation we believers encounter is from professed Christians.

 

Because the UB authors correct some of Christianity's greatest flaws, for example the atonement doctrine, a ferocious backlash occurs and UB adherents are labelled heretics, evil cult followers, even blasphemers. So many of Christianity's problems are in the supposed perfection, infallibility, and inerrancy of scripture. A Melchizedek stated the problem eloquently in Paper 92:
 

...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.... (1006.1)92:3.4

 

***

 

Tomorrow’s reading, part 1 of Section 10. The Future, looks ahead and foresees a church that thrives, even lives, in place the slowly withering entity that institutional religion has become.

 

Overview of Paper 195 - After Pentecost

 

1. Influence of the Greeks
2. The Roman Influence
3. Under the Roman Empire
4. The European Dark Ages
5. The Modern Problem
6. Materialism
7. The Vulnerability of Materialism
8. Secular Totalitarianism
9. Christianity's Problem
10. The Future

 

This group of papers [121-196] was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.

 

Listen toPaper 195: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#24 Rick Warren

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 10:20 AM

Interesting this Shin sect Melchizedek mentions, and Buddhism’s contact with Jesus’ teachings:

 

 …The great strength of Buddhism is that its adherents are free to choose truth from all religions; such freedom of choice has seldom characterized a Urantian faith. In this respect the Shin sect of Japan has become one of the most progressive religious groups in the world; it has revived the ancient missionary spirit of Gautama’s followers and has begun to send teachers to other peoples. This willingness to appropriate truth from any and all sources is indeed a commendable tendency to appear among religious believers during the first half of the twentieth century after Christ.

 

   Buddhism itself is undergoing a twentieth-century renaissance. Through contact with Christianity the social aspects of Buddhism have been greatly enhanced. The desire to learn has been rekindled in the hearts of the monk priests of the brotherhood, and the spread of education throughout this faith will be certainly provocative of new advances in religious evolution…. (1041.2)94:12.4



#25 Rick Warren

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 05:03 AM


 

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 195 - AFTER PENTECOST

 

10. The Future

[PART 1 of 2]

 

   Christianity has indeed done a great service for this world, but what is now most needed is Jesus. The world needs to see Jesus living again on earth in the experience of spirit-born mortals who effectively reveal the Master to all men. It is futile to talk about a revival of primitive Christianity; you must go forward from where you find yourselves. Modern culture must become spiritually baptized with a new revelation of Jesus’ life and illuminated with a new understanding of his gospel of eternal salvation. And when Jesus becomes thus lifted up, he will draw all men to himself. Jesus’ disciples should be more than conquerors, even overflowing sources of inspiration and enhanced living to all men. Religion is only an exalted humanism until it is made divine by the discovery of the reality of the presence of God in personal experience.

 

(2084.2)195:10.2 The beauty and sublimity, the humanity and divinity, the simplicity and uniqueness, of Jesus’ life on earth present such a striking and appealing picture of man-saving and God-revealing that the theologians and philosophers of all time should be effectively restrained from daring to form creeds or create theological systems of spiritual bondage out of such a transcendental bestowal of God in the form of man. In Jesus the universe produced a mortal man in whom the spirit of love triumphed over the material handicaps of time and overcame the fact of physical origin.

 

(2084.3)195:10.3 Ever bear in mind — God and men need each other. They are mutually necessary to the full and final attainment of eternal personality experience in the divine destiny of universe finality.

 

(2084.4)195:10.4“The kingdom of God is within you” was probably the greatest pronouncement Jesus ever made, next to the declaration that his Father is a living and loving spirit.

 

(2084.5)195:10.5 In winning souls for the Master, it is not the first mile of compulsion, duty, or convention that will transform man and his world, but rather the second mile of free service and liberty-loving devotion that betokens the Jesusonian reaching forth to grasp his brother in love and sweep him on under spiritual guidance toward the higher and divine goal of mortal existence. Christianity even now willingly goes the first mile, but mankind languishes and stumbles along in moral darkness because there are so few genuine second-milers — so few professed followers of Jesus who really live and love as he taught his disciples to live and love and serve.

 

(2084.6)195:10.6 The call to the adventure of building a new and transformed human society by means of the spiritual rebirth of Jesus’ brotherhood of the kingdom should thrill all who believe in him as men have not been stirred since the days when they walked about on earth as his companions in the flesh.

 

(2084.7)195:10.7 No social system or political regime which denies the reality of God can contribute in any constructive and lasting manner to the advancement of human civilization. But Christianity, as it is subdivided and secularized today, presents the greatest single obstacle to its further advancement; especially is this true concerning the Orient.

 

(2084.8)195:10.8 Ecclesiasticism is at once and forever incompatible with that living faith, growing spirit, and firsthand experience of the faith-comrades of Jesus in the brotherhood of man in the spiritual association of the kingdom of heaven. The praiseworthy desire to preserve traditions of past achievement often leads to the defense of outgrown systems of worship. The well-meant desire to foster ancient thought systems effectually prevents the sponsoring of new and adequate means and methods designed to satisfy the spiritual longings of the expanding and advancing minds of modern men. Likewise, the Christian churches of the twentieth century stand as great, but wholly unconscious, obstacles to the immediate advance of the real gospel — the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

 

(2085.1)195:10.9 Many earnest persons who would gladly yield loyalty to the Christ of the gospel find it very difficult enthusiastically to support a church which exhibits so little of the spirit of his life and teachings, and which they have been erroneously taught he founded. Jesus did not found the so-called Christian church, but he has, in every manner consistent with his nature, fostered it as the best existent exponent of his lifework on earth.

 

(2085.2)195:10.10 If the Christian church would only dare to espouse the Master’s program, thousands of apparently indifferent youths would rush forward to enlist in such a spiritual undertaking, and they would not hesitate to go all the way through with this great adventure.

 

(2085.3)195:10.11 Christianity is seriously confronted with the doom embodied in one of its own slogans: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” The non-Christian world will hardly capitulate to a sect-divided Christendom. The living Jesus is the only hope of a possible unification of Christianity. The true church — the Jesus brotherhood — is invisible, spiritual, and is characterized by unity, not necessarily by uniformity. Uniformity is the earmark of the physical world of mechanistic nature. Spiritual unity is the fruit of faith union with the living Jesus. The visible church should refuse longer to handicap the progress of the invisible and spiritual brotherhood of the kingdom of God. And this brotherhood is destined to become a living organism in contrast to an institutionalized social organization. It may well utilize such social organizations, but it must not be supplanted by them.

 

***

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. 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.]



#26 Rick Warren

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 05:33 AM

.

Good day Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

 

So, we have our marching orders, and no looking back:

 

...It is futile to talk about a revival of primitive Christianity; you must go forward from where you find yourselves.... (2084.1)195:10.1

 

 

God consciousness is spoken of many times by the authors. From the first paragraph of today's reading:
 

...Religion is only an exalted humanism until it is made divine by the discovery of the reality of the presence of God in personal experience.... (2084.1)195:10.1


In Paper 5 a Divine Counselor reveals the steps leading to God consciousness:

 

...God-consciousness, as it is experienced by an evolving mortal of the realms, must consist of three varying factors, three differential levels of reality realization. There is first the mind consciousness — the comprehension of the idea of God. Then follows the soul consciousness — the realization of the ideal of God. Last, dawns the spirit consciousness — the realization of the spirit reality of God. By the unification of these factors of the divine realization, no matter how incomplete, the mortal personality at all times overspreads all conscious levels with a realization of the personality of God.... (69.6)5:5.11

 

Paper 5.5 The Consciousness of God

 

***

 

About forming creeds, cited in today's OPAD:
 

...the theologians and philosophers of all time should be effectively restrained from daring to form creeds or create theological systems of spiritual bondage.... (2084.2)195:10.2
 

Compare that with this from a Melchizedek Paper 92:


...It is a fallacy for any group of religionists to conceive of their creed as The Truth; such attitudes bespeak more of theological arrogance than of certainty of faith.... (1012:4) 92:7.3
 

From the Midwayers in Paper 180:
 

...you cannot imprison truth in formulas, codes, creeds, or intellectual patterns of human conduct.... (1949:4) 180:5.2
 

***

 

About the mutual need that we and God have, from today's reading:
 

...Ever bear in mind — God and men need each other.... (2084.3)195:10.3
 

That we need God to create and uphold the Universe, and indwell us, is obvious. But why does God need us? To build the Supreme! The one thing God cannot create without our help is raw experience. Every time we create an experience that has divine value we are filling God's need, helping with his project to create an experiential deity, a being who is the culmination of all the divine values of time and space. From Paper 118:

 

 ...God the Supreme is the personalization of all universe experience, the focalization of all finite evolution, the maximation of all creature reality, the consummation of cosmic wisdom, the embodiment of the harmonious beauties of the galaxies of time, the truth of cosmic mind meanings, and the goodness of supreme spirit values. And God the Supreme will, in the eternal future, synthesize these manifold finite diversities into one experientially meaningful whole.... (1304.2)118:9.9



***

 

The Master's core teaching, reiterated in today's reading:
 

“...The kingdom of God is within you” was probably the greatest pronouncement Jesus ever made.... (2084.4)195:10.4

 

What a different world we might live in if every child was taught this elemental truth about the time they receive their Indweller (around age six). In spite of this fact of the divine indwelling most humans seem to think God is far away, not an intimate part, even the central part, of our being. In the main, Western theologians don't teach it. Many professed teachers of truth simply haven't realized it. Beginning in Paper 1 the authors unequivocally state the fact of the divine lover within:
 

...mortal men have something from God himself which actually dwells within them; their bodies are the temples thereof....

 

...There sojourns within each moral being of this planet a fragment of God, a part and parcel of divinity. It is not yet yours by right of possession, but it is designedly intended to be one with you if you survive the mortal existence.... (26.4)1:4.2&3

 

But it's not like we haven't on some level known, or at least suspected, the truth of the God fragment living within. From Paper 111:


...The concept of a soul and of an indwelling spirit is not new to Urantia; it has frequently appeared in the various systems of planetary beliefs. Many of the Oriental as well as some of the Occidental faiths have perceived that man is divine in heritage as well as human in inheritance. The feeling of the inner presence in addition to the external omnipresence of Deity has long formed a part of many Urantian religions. Men have long believed that there is something growing within the human nature, something vital that is destined to endure beyond the short span of temporal life.... (1215.2)111:0.2

 

 

***

 

About the second mile of service the Midwayers allude to in today's text:
 

...mankind languishes and stumbles along in moral darkness because there are so few genuine second-milers — so few professed followers of Jesus.... (2084.5)195:10.5
 

There are others references to this second mile in both the UB and the Bible. Jesus speaking in Paper 159:
 

"...If you can think of nothing more effectively positive to do, you can at least carry the pack a second mile....” (1770.7)159:5.15


From Matthew 5:
 

41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

 

 

***

 

Sad to hear the one institution that should be advancing God, Jesus and true religion is actually the thing stopping them. From today's OPAD:
 

 ...Christianity, as it is subdivided and secularized today, presents the greatest single obstacle to its further advancement; especially is this true concerning the Orient.... (2084.7)195:10.7

 

Twice in today's reading the Midwayers refer to Christianity as an obstacle rather than an aid in spiritual progress:

 

...the Christian churches of the twentieth century stand as great, but wholly unconscious, obstacles to the immediate advance of the real gospel — the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.... (2084.8)195:10.8

 

Only now is Christianity beginning to make inroads in the Orient. Reportedly, there are, at the present moment, more Christians in China than there are communist party members. Hopefully those inroads will multiply and widen when our new revelation is translated into Japanese, Indonesian, Mandarin, Hindu and other tongues of that densely populated region of Urantia.

 

***

 

About "ecclesiasticism", cited in today's text:
 

...Ecclesiasticism is at once and forever incompatible with that living faith, growing spirit, and firsthand experience of the faith-comrades of Jesus.... (2084.8)195:10.8

 

Dictionary definitions:
 

...Excessive attention to details of church practice.

 

...Excessive attachment to ecclesiastical forms and practices.

 

 

***
 

Perhaps the saddest of all facts about Christianty is the loss of interest in religion by young people. O what a happy day when this comes true:
 

...If the Christian church would only dare to espouse the Master’s program, thousands of apparently indifferent youths would rush forward to enlist in such a spiritual undertaking.... (2085.2)195:10.10

 

Our study groups that have become the gathering places of UB believers must also somehow engage youth. The best and fastest way to do that is to become the truth alive, whether on the street, at work, or in our homes. Humans are naturally drawn to those living in consciousness of the Spirit, they want to know whence comes our joy, our love, our divine perspective. From today's OPAD:

 

...The living Jesus is the only hope of a possible unification of Christianity.... (2085.3)195:10.11

 

Unity is the arc of Universe, the trend of the ages. Anything leading away from cosmic unity is also leading away from God.

 

This quoted slogan the Midwayers point to in the last paragraph of today's reading:


 ...Christianity is seriously confronted with the doom embodied in one of its own slogans: “A house divided against itself cannot stand....” (2085.3)195:10.11
 

...also appears in the Bible's New Testament. From Matthew 12:
 

25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

 

From Mark 3:

 

24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

 

From luke 11:

 

17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.

 

 

About unity and uniformity, italicized in the last paragraph of today's text:

 

...The true church — the Jesus brotherhood — is invisible, spiritual, and is characterized by unity, not necessarily by uniformity. Uniformity is the earmark of the physical world of mechanistic nature. Spiritual unity is the fruit of faith union with the living Jesus.... (2085.3)195:10.11
 

Recall this from Paper 180?:


 ...Jesus prayed for unity among his followers, but he did not desire uniformity. Sin creates a dead level of evil inertia, but righteousness nourishes the creative spirit of individual experience in the living realities of eternal truth and in the progressive communion of the divine spirits of the Father and the Son. In the spiritual fellowship of the believer-son with the divine Father there can never be doctrinal finality and sectarian superiority of group consciousness.... (1965.2)182:1.8

 

...and this from Paper 155:

 

...The religions of authority require of men uniformity in belief, but this is impossible of realization in the present state of the world. The religion of the spirit requires only unity of experience — uniformity of destiny — making full allowance for diversity of belief. The religion of the spirit requires only uniformity of insight, not uniformity of viewpoint and outlook. The religion of the spirit does not demand uniformity of intellectual views, only unity of spirit feeling. The religions of authority crystallize into lifeless creeds; the religion of the spirit grows into the increasing joy and liberty of ennobling deeds of loving service and merciful ministration....(1732.2)155:6.9

 

 

***

 

Finally in today's reading the Midwayers mention (and italicize) the words, "living organism":

 

...And this brotherhood is destined to become a living organism in contrast to an institutionalized social organization.... (2085.3)195:10.11

 

There is another and grander living organism, beautifully described in a whole Section, Paper 116:7:

 

7. The Living Organism of the Grand Universe

 

...The grand universe is not only a material creation of physical grandeur, spirit sublimity, and intellectual magnitude, it is also a magnificent and responsive living organism. There is actual life pulsating throughout the mechanism of the vast creation of the vibrant cosmos. The physical reality of the universes is symbolic of the perceivable reality of the Almighty Supreme; and this material and living organism is penetrated by intelligence circuits, even as the human body is traversed by a network of neural sensation paths.... (1276.2)116:7.1

 

***

 

In tomorrow’s reading, part 2 of Section 10. The Future (and the end of Paper 195) the Midwayers wind up their critique of the Christian church, advise us how to properly educate and prepare our youth, bolster our hopes and encourage the best in us, even to the end that Jesus' teachings once more become alive in and through us.

 

Overview of Paper 195 - After Pentecost

 

1. Influence of the Greeks
2. The Roman Influence
3. Under the Roman Empire
4. The European Dark Ages
5. The Modern Problem
6. Materialism
7. The Vulnerability of Materialism
8. Secular Totalitarianism
9. Christianity's Problem
10. The Future

 

This group of papers [121-196] was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.

 

Listen toPaper 195: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#27 Rick Warren

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 12:25 PM

PS. The richest Paper on Unity is probably 56, it may be the cornerstone of the unity teachings that span the book:

 

56. Universal Unity

1. Physical Co-ordination

2. Intellectual Unity

3. Spiritual Unification

4. Personality Unification

5. Deity Unity

6. Unification of Evolutionary Deity

7. Universal Evolutionary Repercussions

8. The Supreme Unifier

9. Universal Absolute Unity

10. Truth, Beauty, and Goodness

 

Much more in these links:

 

104. Growth of the Trinity Concept

1. Urantian Trinity Concepts

2. Trinity Unity and Deity Plurality

3. Trinities and Triunities

4. The Seven Triunities

5. Triodities

 

105. Deity and Reality

1. The Philosophic Concept of the I AM

2. The I AM as Triune and as Sevenfold

3. The Seven Absolutes of Infinity

4. Unity, Duality, and Triunity

5. Promulgation of Finite Reality

6. Repercussions of Finite Reality

7. Eventuation of Transcendentals

 

141. Beginning the Public Work

 

5. Spiritual Unity

 

***



#28 Rick Warren

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 05:20 PM


 

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 195 - AFTER PENTECOST

 

10. The Future

 

[PART 2 of 2]

 

   But the Christianity of even the twentieth century must not be despised. It is the product of the combined moral genius of the God-knowing men of many races during many ages, and it has truly been one of the greatest powers for good on earth, and therefore no man should lightly regard it, notwithstanding its inherent and acquired defects. Christianity still contrives to move the minds of reflective men with mighty moral emotions.

 

(2085.5)195:10.13 But there is no excuse for the involvement of the church in commerce and politics; such unholy alliances are a flagrant betrayal of the Master. And the genuine lovers of truth will be slow to forget that this powerful institutionalized church has often dared to smother newborn faith and persecute truth bearers who chanced to appear in unorthodox raiment.

 

(2085.6)195:10.14 It is all too true that such a church would not have survived unless there had been men in the world who preferred such a style of worship. Many spiritually indolent souls crave an ancient and authoritative religion of ritual and sacred traditions. Human evolution and spiritual progress are hardly sufficient to enable all men to dispense with religious authority. And the invisible brotherhood of the kingdom may well include these family groups of various social and temperamental classes if they are only willing to become truly spirit-led sons of God. But in this brotherhood of Jesus there is no place for sectarian rivalry, group bitterness, nor assertions of moral superiority and spiritual infallibility.

 

(2086.1)195:10.15 These various groupings of Christians may serve to accommodate numerous different types of would-be believers among the various peoples of Western civilization, but such division of Christendom presents a grave weakness when it attempts to carry the gospel of Jesus to Oriental peoples. These races do not yet understand that there is a religion of Jesus separate, and somewhat apart, from Christianity, which has more and more become a religion about Jesus.

 

(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.

 

(2086.4)195:10.18 Christianity is an extemporized religion, and therefore must it operate in low gear. High-gear spiritual performances must await the new revelation and the more general acceptance of the real religion of Jesus. But Christianity is a mighty religion, seeing that the commonplace disciples of a crucified carpenter set in motion those teachings which conquered the Roman world in three hundred years and then went on to triumph over the barbarians who overthrew Rome. This same Christianity conquered — absorbed and exalted — the whole stream of Hebrew theology and Greek philosophy. And then, when this Christian religion became comatose for more than a thousand years as a result of an overdose of mysteries and paganism, it resurrected itself and virtually reconquered the whole Western world. Christianity contains enough of Jesus’ teachings to immortalize it.

 

(2086.5)195:10.19 If Christianity could only grasp more of Jesus’ teachings, it could do so much more in helping modern man to solve his new and increasingly complex problems.

 

(2086.6)195:10.20 Christianity suffers under a great handicap because it has become identified in the minds of all the world as a part of the social system, the industrial life, and the moral standards of Western civilization; and thus has Christianity unwittingly seemed to sponsor a society which staggers under the guilt of tolerating science without idealism, politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without restraint, knowledge without character, power without conscience, and industry without morality.

 

(2086.7)195:10.21 The hope of modern Christianity is that it should cease to sponsor the social systems and industrial policies of Western civilization while it humbly bows itself before the cross it so valiantly extols, there to learn anew from Jesus of Nazareth the greatest truths mortal man can ever hear — the living gospel of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.

 

 

***

 

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. 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.]



#29 Rick Warren

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 05:37 PM

.

Greetings Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,

 

There is no denying Christianity laid a rough foundation for our new revelation. The Bible, especially the New Testament, is quoted or referred to hundreds of times, beginning in the Foreword and ending with the last page.

 

From today's reading:
 

...it has truly been one of the greatest powers for good on earth, and therefore no man should lightly regard it, notwithstanding its inherent and acquired defects.... (2085.4)195:10.12

 

Of course its major defect is its involvement in things secular, while it avoids its main duty as spiritual mentor and teacher of the Gospel message. From today's text:


 ...there is no excuse for the involvement of the church in commerce and politics; such unholy alliances are a flagrant betrayal of the Master.... (2085.5)195:10.13
 

Does this mean we beliivers should remove ourselves entirely from business and government? From a Melchizedek in Paper 99:


...Religionists must function in society, in industry, and in politics as individuals, not as groups, parties, or institutions. A religious group which presumes to function as such, apart from religious activities, immediately becomes a political party, an economic organization, or a social institution. Religious collectivism must confine its efforts to the furtherance of religious causes.... (1087.6)99:2.3

 

In fact Paper 99 is a treasure trove of insights into the interface of religion and society:

 

99. The Social Problems of Religion
1. Religion and Social Reconstruction
2. Weakness of Institutional Religion
3. Religion and the Religionist
4. Transition Difficulties
5. Social Aspects of Religion
6. Institutional Religion
7. Religion’s Contribution


From the last Section of 99:

 

 ...Though churches and all other religious groups should stand aloof from all secular activities, at the same time religion must do nothing to hinder or retard the social co-ordination of human institutions. Life must continue to grow in meaningfulness; man must go on with his reformation of philosophy and his clarification of religion.... (1092.5)99:7.1

 

***

 

Here the Midwayers are most likely referring to the Inquisition, perhaps the Protestant split, anyone or any organization that threatened Christian orthodoxy:

 

...genuine lovers of truth will be slow to forget that this powerful institutionalized church has often dared to smother newborn faith and persecute truth bearers who chanced to appear in unorthodox raiment.... (2085.5)195:10.13

 

Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, homosexuals, atheists, many other sects and groups have been subject to persecution from the church that claims to be Jesus' successor. The Midwayers don't equivocate about the place of hateful sectarianism and dogmatic rigidity in true religion. From today's text:


...in this brotherhood of Jesus there is no place for sectarian rivalry, group bitterness, nor assertions of moral superiority and spiritual infallibility.... (2085.6)195:10.14
 

***

 

More than once the authors lament the de facto exclusion the Orient has suffered at the hands of Christian dogmatists and various rulers of the Occident. From today's OPAD:
 

...such division of Christendom presents a grave weakness when it attempts to carry the gospel of Jesus to Oriental peoples.... (2086.1)195:10.15


Jesus tried to establish relations with people of the East when he traveled and taught in the Caspian region. From Paper 134:
 

...Of all his world travels this Caspian Sea trip carried Jesus nearest to the Orient and enabled him to gain a better understanding of the Far-Eastern peoples...The Europeans from the Far West and the Asiatics from the Far East alike gave attention to his words of hope and eternal life and were equally influenced by the life of loving service and spiritual ministry which he so graciously lived among them.... (1484.7)134:2.3

 

 

***

 

Here, in today's reading, the Midwayers seem to be saying the UB is the catalyst that will bring Urantia around right:
 

...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.... (2086.2)195:10.16
 

Of course the book can't do anything by itself. Its teachings have to come alive in we believers, the "benign virus of love" has to be spread by contact with spirit motivated people who love God and try to do his will. From the mind of Jesus in Papers 155 & 132:

 

"...Let me emphatically state this eternal truth: If you, by truth co-ordination, learn to exemplify in your lives this beautiful wholeness of righteousness, your fellow men will then seek after you that they may gain what you have so acquired...." (1726:2) 155:1.5

"...Man must become hungry for truth as a result of the experiences of living, or he must desire to know God as the result of contact with the lives of those who are acquainted with the divine Father...." (1466:2) 132:7.2

 

 

 

***

 

We are offered a succinct and enduring definition of education in today's reading, religious or secular:

 

...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.... (2086.3)195:10.1

 

***

 

The Midwayers make a broad and exacting assessment of Christianity in today's reading, starting with a criticism:
 

...Christianity is an extemporized religion, and therefore must it operate in low gear....(2086.4)195:10.18
 

(Extemporize: to improvise; to get along in a makeshift manner.)

 

...and ending with praise:

 

...Christianity contains enough of Jesus’ teachings to immortalize it.... (2086.4)195:10.18
 

 

The two paragraphs that end this Paper heap unrestrained criticism on the dilatory and ecclesiastical Christian church with its 40,000 sects, misleading teachings, and divergent beliefs:
 

...thus has Christianity unwittingly seemed to sponsor a society which staggers under the guilt of tolerating science without idealism, politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without restraint, knowledge without character, power without conscience, and industry without morality.... (2086.6)195:10.20

 

...then put forward hope:

 

...The hope of modern Christianity is that it should cease to sponsor the social systems and industrial policies of Western civilization while it humbly bows itself before the cross it so valiantly extols.... (2086.7)195:10.21

 

But will it? Can it? Imagine a Christian church in which no sect involves itself in politics or social issues, a genuine religion that teaches the simple and profound truths of Jesus' Gospel, the fatherhood of God over the brotherhood of humanity. Some fine day it will evolve. From a Mighty Messenger in Paper 55:

 

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

 

***

 

That is the end of 195. In tomorrow’s reading, the first half of the long introduction to Paper 196, the Midwayers begin the last ten pages by summarizing and expounding on the faith of the greatest of all humans, Jesus the Galilean.

 

Overview of Paper 195 - After Pentecost

 

1. Influence of the Greeks
2. The Roman Influence
3. Under the Roman Empire
4. The European Dark Ages
5. The Modern Problem
6. Materialism
7. The Vulnerability of Materialism
8. Secular Totalitarianism
9. Christianity's Problem
10. The Future

 

This group of papers [121-196] was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.

 

Listen toPaper 195: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.





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