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Paper 195 - AFTER PENTECOST

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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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