What is the difference between the Christian and Urantia Worldview?
By James R. Watkins
In that I was brought up in what I consider to be a typical Judeo-Christian culture, and having spent the better part of forty years studying the Urantia papers, I think I can offer some perspective on the differences between what a Christian believes and what a Urantian believes, as well as what similarities there are between a person who is Christian and a person who believes the Urantia Book is a divine revelation.
For example, most Urantians completely agree with the concept that Jesus was the Son of God, that he was sent here as a human being, and was and is the Lord Jesus Christ. Both Christians and Urantians’ believe that we all have eternal life, that Jesus is our savior, and that when Jesus taught about God, he was personally representing God the Father in the flesh. This is the bedrock of the Christian faith, and the Urantia Book, which declares that Jesus was a revelation of new spiritual truth to mankind.
Where we begin to differ, or separate our views are discussed below. It is also pertinent to the greater discussion that people in the future should probably know what exactly a Urantian is, so as to differentiate itself from mainline Christianity, so that people don’t think the Urantia Book is some off-shoot, or New Age fringe element of the Christian church.
So what are the primary differences between what a Christian believes and what a Urantian believes? Before we answer this question, let me first share the commonalities between Christians and Urantian faith, and they are:
- The belief in the divinity of Jesus
- The belief that there is a God, a father of all creation, that life – and our existence – is part of God’s plan
- The belief in an eternal life where we become spirit beings who continue to worship God in the afterlife
- That the Jewish people were chosen to introduce monotheism into the world, and they were the first to recognize the one true God above all other Gods
- That there is sin and evil
- That Adam and Eve were real
- People possess souls
Where we differ would require volumes of text, but in a nutshell, here are the primary differences between what Christians believe and what Urantians do not believe:
- That you have to accept Jesus as your savior in order to be “saved”
- That there is a hell
- That Jesus was the only Son of God
- That Adam and Eve were the first humans
- That evolution is false
- That the Bible is the “Word of God,” thereby the final spiritual authority in book form.
- That no other writings or revelations can be added to Scripture
- That all other religions are false
- That Jesus had to die in order for our sins to be forgiven by God
- That the Church is the mediator between God and Man
- That Mary was a virgin
- That the Devil is the creator of sin in our world
- That man “fell” from Grace because of the knowledge of eating the forbidden fruit
- That Eve was the mother of sin and her sin cursed humanity
Here the basic tenets of the Urantia faith, or ideology:
- That God is a spiritual creator of all spirit-indwelt human beings
- That everyone has soul-potential
- That Jesus came to show us a new revelation of God the Father
- The Atonement Doctrine (the belief of Jesus dying for our sins) is wrong
- That there are angels and other spiritual beings who co-exist with us, but that we are limited by material vision so we don’t’ see them, though they do see us and try to minister to us
- That as long as you have some level of belief, you will survive mortal death and be given a new body in which to continue on (and that you will remember your life and your fellows from this world when you get to the next)
- That there are trillions of worlds just like ours, filled with beings like ourselves who also have the same spirit in them
- That evolution is the technique God uses for life to progress
- That the Urantia Revelation was not written by humans, but really did come from spiritual beings who were given the task of introducing new spiritual truth to mankind
- . That Science and Religion should co-exist. One measures facts, the other, truth.
Now when you compare something like this to biblical teachings and “the sacred history” of the last few thousand years, you begin to appreciate the vast gulf that exists between what the Urantia Book presents and what Christianity presents in its present form.
Comparing the Bible to the Urantia Book is like comparing Aesops Fables with Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.
The Bible, written between 800 BC and 400 AD, had a fixed viewpoint on reality, one extremely limited by the lack of scientific knowledge, and produced mostly by men who were searching for God and spiritual truth, but were still vastly backward in their understanding of the universe at large, not to mention the ignorance of their own history.
This is not to take away from the spiritual truths of the Bible, and there are thousands of them; the Bible represents the history of man searching for God, and finding him, and also captures enough of the essence of Jesus‘ teachings to immortalize it.
But the Urantia Book brings those truths and many other relevant concepts into much clearer focus by declaring, first and foremost, that God is at the center of all things, but also that scienctific discovery of the great truths of reality is not contradictory to the premise that the universe is a spiritual enterprise, and not random.
The Urantia Book teaches us something of the nature and growth of the Supreme creator and preaches truth, beauty and goodness as beings Gods nature.
Most religions avoid Science, the Urantia Book embraces it.
Most religions focus on tradition and cultural inheritances and practices. The Urantia Book clarifies where those traditions came from, and the purpose they served in helping to develop man’s spiritual quest.
Most religions represent man’s desire for knowledge and truth, The Urantia Book tells us what that truth is and why we desire it.
Not a bad thing at all. But Christians makes a huge mistake when they declares its supremacy over all spiritual truths, even to not recognizing when new truth has been revealed, as in the case of The Urantia Book.
Some have said the Urantia Book is to the New Testament what the New Testament is to the Old Testament, a fulfillment of the ages, a confirmation that the truths in the Bible are in fact, based on an essential truth, which is we are divinely endowed and that life has real spiritual purpose, even beyond the flesh.
And so this statement is really a declaration of my hope that someday, future Christians will begin to see that Urantians’ are really fighting the same fight, which is to reveal God to our brothers and sisters so that they can rejoice in the realization that they too, are citizens of this new reality that encompasses not just our planet, but the entirety of creation.
Think about that the next time you are sitting alone at night gazing up at the stars, that is creation, and you are a part of it.