What five astonishing things people want to believe are true and are disclosed in the Urantia Book?
Consider the following:
1. Life on other worlds is common, we are not alone
2. The universe is administered to by highly spiritual and loving beings whom we we will meet someday, including those loved ones who passed on.
3. We, as a society, are supposed to be progressing towards universal peace and goodwill, it is our destiny as a species because we are indwelt by Deity for that purpose. Hence the mandate in the Bible, “Be your perfect even as I am perfect.”
4. That Jesus really was a high order Son – the literal Son of God, who came to live as a mortal man for the specific and planned purpose of revealing new truth to humanity about God’s nature, but that his message got absorbed by a lot of different religions that pushed his teachings into several different directions. But that his entire life is of record – and is now accessible.
5. That there is an afterlife and each of us have equal standing in being able to be a part of that afterlife, but that our choices here now, do matter, not so much with our survival, which we receive through faith, but with our own inner growth.
WHY CHRISTIANITY DESPERATELY NEEDS TO DISCOVER JESUS
The greatest crisis in the long and checkered history of Christianity will strike Christian civilization like a bolt of lightning on the day NASA announces irrefutable evidence of intelligent life on another planet. Christianity, based largely on the personal experience and philosophy of the apostle Paul, is only locally relevant to a particular culture, particular beliefs of Greeks and Jews living at a particular time in the conceptual evolution of a particular planet–a religion involving blood sacrifices and apocalyptic end times mythologies?
By contrast, the teachings of Jesus are transplanetary in context, and are relevant to any world of intelligent persons in any stage of evolutionary development.
The Urantia Book–as an epochal revelation–gives us an advanced context for recognizing Jesus, the Son of God, incarnated on our world who came with a message about how to live as a creative citizen in an eternal spiritual civilization–a message relevant to an entire universe teeming with intelligent life.
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:
belief in the divinity of Jesus
belief that there is a God, a father of all creation, that life – and our
existence – is part of God’s plan
belief in an eternal life where we become spirit beings who continue to worship
God in the afterlife
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
there is sin and evil
Adam and Eve were real
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:
you have to accept Jesus as your savior in order to be “saved”
there is a hell
Jesus was the only Son of God
Adam and Eve were the first humans
evolution is false
the Bible is the “Word of God,” thereby the final spiritual authority in book
no other writings or revelations can be added to Scripture
all other religions are false
Jesus had to die in order for our sins to be forgiven by God
the Church is the mediator between God and Man
Mary was a virgin
the Devil is the creator of sin in our world
man “fell” from Grace because of the knowledge of eating the forbidden fruit
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.
I don’t know Joshua Harris, but I am sure he helped a lot of people. Christians do that. It is what they are supposed to do. Serve.
Harris recently announced that he got it wrong on his Christian faith and he is leaving the church, well, kind of. In Evangelicalism, you don’t just leave the church, it leaves you.
No one knows for sure why Harris decided to hang up his Christianity, but many people say it is happening more often these days, disenchanted Christians leaving the Church, leaving their faith behind.
But maybe the reason Christians are disenchanted is not because they are tired of Jesus, but because of what the Christian Church has become, a political body of sorts, a super club that includes a list of litmus tests that you have to agree to in order to be saved.
Perhaps Mr. Harris grew weary of the various codes he had to follow, belief systems he had to adopt in unison. Perhaps this believing son might even feel like he is betraying God, or giving up his soul in order to gain the world,
I have a much different take on Joshua’s dilemma, as well as the dilemma of millions of people who would otherwise gladly follow Jesus’ teachings if they didn’t have to travel through a maze of theological rules in order to find the living Jesus, and the living God.
As a Urantia Book student who understands the importance of having a loving and deep relationship with God, I know how it feels to be scorned by the Church, of having to suffer being under suspicion because my faith doesn’t hold up to every precept and code taught by the Church, who requires me to do so in order for me to be counted as “a true believer.”
In the Urantia Books’ case, the Church has gone so far as to declare the revelation false, as possibly the work of false prophets. This tells me that the Church which bears Christs’ name will never reconcile with any other group that espouses Christs’ teachings – unless they do so in exact uniformity, unless the Church, no pun intended, gives its blessings
Anyone who doesn’t believe in certain doctrines like The Bible as the nly word of God, of holy books, of Original Sin and Atonement, or a virgin birth are declared excluded from God’s kingdom,according to religious authority.
Further, most Christian’s today are being forced to choose between having God in their life – to the exclusion of being able to love and have relationships with people who may not hold the same views, or they must renounce themselves as “true Christians.”
As funny as it sounds, Christian’s seem to have the monopoly on who gets to follow Jesus, and you have to play by their rules; you must be sanctioned through the process of accepting their mores.
This is why I believe the “Nones” are growing.The Law of scripture, has taken over the Spirit of the Lord. The Church has become exactly what Jesus fought against, formalized, fossilized TRUTH frozen in time, unyielding and unforgiving.
Ironically, the very challenges many believers face today are the same as when Jesus walked the earth, dealing with the religious authority of his day, the Pharisees and Sadducee’s – those who enforced Mosaic Law, and controlled who were admitted into God’s kingdom, those who were to be saved by God, and those who perished.
You had to play by their rules in order to get in, and I think today’s Christian is faced with a similar environment of religious authority; an all or nothing proposition.
Jesus says we did not come here to judge, but to serve.
In paper 155 of the Urantia Book, Jesus is giving his discourse to the Apostles on what the spirit of truth is, excellent points that perhaps apply to Joshua, and are well worth remembering.
And I will conclude by sayng this. Joshua Harris, don’t despair. You can have God in your life, and you can still have Jesus as your elder brother and fellow Son in your heart. None of that changes when you leave the church.
God is not a suckers proposition, an either/or – proposition. He belongs to you and I know you know that Josh.
It is written, it is far better to have a religion and not have a church, than to have a church and have no religion.
Here is what Jesus stated in the Urantia Book, and its is a short quote, but also helpful for many people today who love Christ, love God, love to serve – but don’t dig the Church because of it uniform belief system that fossilizes truth.
The religions of authority can only divide men and set them in conscientious array against each other; the religion of the spirit will progressively draw men together and cause them to become understandingly sympathetic with one another. 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.” (Paper 155: 6:9)
David Zebedee was the brother of John and James Zebedee, the two first Apostles of Jesus. And while Davids’ brothers were busy being ambassadors of the new kingdom, David busied himself by setting up a network of messengers who would carry news of Jesus of Nazareth throughout Judea. You might consider the Zebedee messengers as the worlds first Social Media network.
Throughout Jesus’ public preaching tour, David and his band of 50 messengers would carry news updates to the travelers near and far throughout Judea. Runners they were, publicly proclaiming not so much the Gospel that Jesus taught, but of the news of Jesus and his Apostles as newsworthy events unfolded, including the raising of Lazarus from death, the turning of water into wine at the Cana Wedding, the Leper’s miraculous cure, the curing of the blind man, and lastly, the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth.
With each new passing event, the messengers would spread the news, bringing to the surrounding villages recitals of events of significance pertaining to this strange new teacher and all that transpired.
And then on that fateful Sunday morning when Jospeh’s Tomb was found empty by Mary Magdalene and her associates, and when David subsequently went to the tomb itself and saw that the Master’s body was gone, it was this same David, without approval, without authorization and without hesitation, had one final message to relay to citizens of Jerusalem. Said David:
Urantia Book, Paper 190:1, 5
“Men and brethren, all this time you have served me in accordance with your oath to me and to one another, and I call you to witness that I have never yet sent out false information at your hands. I am about to send you on your last mission as volunteer messengers of the kingdom, and in so doing I release you from your oaths and thereby disband the messenger corps. Men, I declare to you that we have finished our work. No more does the Master have need of mortal messengers; he has risen from the dead. He told us before they arrested him that he would die and rise again on the third day. I have seen the tomb—it is empty. I have talked with Mary Magdalene and four other women, who have talked with Jesus. I now disband you, bid you farewell, and send you on your respective assignments, and the message which you shall bear to the believers is: `Jesus has risen from the dead; the tomb is empty.'”
And so it transpired on that Day, April 9, AD 30, that Davids 26 remaining messengers delivered their final message.
Lost on the pages of history is this man of conviction, who, with no direction from anyone save his own certitude of the Masters’ promise to rise again on the third day, took it upon himself to herald the news of the resurrection.
The lesson here, and there are many, is that David needed no authority in proclaiming the truth; David Zebedee, with truth on his side, took it upon himself to deliver the good news to all who would hear. He didn’t ask God for permission. He didn’t seek guidance from his fellow man on what was the ‘right thing to do.’ David needed only to believe in the truth – and then proclaim it to the world.
I admire David Zebedee. Too bad his achievements didn’t make it into the pages of Scripture, but such as it is for the millions of people who dare to proclaim the truth without recognition.
This story matters because it serves as a reminder to all of us that when we once grasp truth about God, we only need to believe and proclaim.