By James R. Watkins
Well respected Urantia Book speaker David Kantor posed an interesting question at a symposium on the subject of Christianity and The Urantia Book. He said, “there are two paths: the Urantia Book could develop its own “religion,” or the Urantia Book teachings could become a part of Christianity.
In the first scenario, the growth of the UB would be hampered, slowing down the eventual embracing of the book by perhaps hundreds of years, whereas, if the Church began to adopt and integrate the Urantia Book teachings in mainstream, awareness and adoption would yield real results much faster.
It’s an interesting question, and one which deserves some consideration.
How might the teachings of the Urantia Book grow if it became an offshoot, a religion on its own path, of Christian thought? (since so much of its teachings correlate with Christian principles).
Or, conversely, what if the Christian Church announced todaythat it “sanctioned” the Urantia Book as a revelation of new truth, and was adopted as a relevant adjunct to The New Testament, a continuation, as it were, of newly revealed spiritual truth to mankind?
History shows us two examples of what happens when a former religion merges with a newer teligion.
The Hebrew religion discarded Christs‘ teachings, and so the followers of Jesus went thier own way, forming the Christian Church. Christianity borrows from the Jewish religion, but it carries forth the newer revelation of Jesus’ teachings. Obviously it set out on its own path, and while similar, it is clear the Jewish faith and the current Christian faith may never fully reconcile its differences, owing to Jesus.
In more recent times, the Mormon faith has become an offshoot of Christianity because it dared to introduce a new revelation that was rejected by mainline Christianity. Though both religions recognize the divinity of Jesus Christ, the history is dissimilar, and therefore has never been fully reconciled. The relationship between Mormons and fundamentalist Christians is one that can best be described as tentative, but not adversarial.
We should also remember that Christianity has absorbed many an old religion, including many pagan religions and most especially Mithraism, which was highly popular in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries. It’s why we celebrate Christmas on December 25th.
In its infancy Christianity has shown itself to be flexible, and more than welcoming to other faiths and beliefs, But not so much in recent times.
Christians today are very guarded, very sringent of any notion that God continues to speak, especially in the form of a 2,200 page book called The Urantia Book.
I agree with Kantors’ assessment that the Urantia Book could grow much faster in awareness if mainline Christianity embraced it, but I also don’t see it happening. The power of Church authority is just too great. Already have Christians been taught that no other record can be added to the Bible. The Bible is a finished document, and any one who dares to look at some new book as a “revelation,” is obviously committing heresy, at least in the mainstream.
In the end, the Urantia Book will embark on its own path, and it’s followers will be attracted to it because in part, of the stringent regulations imposed by the Christian Church which has driven people away from its more crystallized truth-presentation of eternal reality. People need a religion which comprises an integration of science, spirituality and philosophy consistant with our intellectual and scientific growth, all three of which are perfectly blended in the Urantia Book.
It’s not that the Christian church needs to embrace the Urantia Book, it’s whether people who believe in the Bible as the only “word of God,” will eventually be standing in a room by themselves in the ages to come, as more people seek for advanced truth. This fact alone will determine the further growth and acceptance of The Urantia Book – with or without the help of Christians.
I invite you to view the full video of David Kantors’ excellent presentation, click below.