by Ken Glasziou
Sooner or later Urantia Book readers are going to need to heed the calls put out by its revelators. One such is on page 43:
"The religious challenge of this age is to those farseeing and forward-looking men and women of spiritual insight who will dare to construct a new and appealing philosophy of living out of the enlarged and exquisitely integrated modern concepts of cosmic truth, universe beauty, and divine goodness."
A high priority is assigned to bringing Christianity back from its present status of authoritarian religion to what it was always meant to be--a religion of the spirit centered on the relationship between the individual, the Spirit of Truth, and the Father Spirit within. This priority is emphasized in at least ten paragraphs in the Papers, such as:
"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…."(2084)
Those Urantia Book readers who have already taken this task seriously have learned a lot about what is unlikely to achieve much in the way of long term success.
One historian remarked that the amazing rapidity in which Pauline Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire was because of the incredible relief it brought to people suffering from overwhelming guilt and the fear of punishment for sin. Apparently this syndrome was endemic and particular so among the many followers of Mithraism.
Today it persists in the form of the atonement doctrine. It is held so strongly that few clergy will risk the close to hysterical reaction that they know would follow if they even cast doubt on that doctrine.
Almost all Christians who are strong on atonement make no connection between what it may say about a God who is love and a God who demands the death of his Son before he will forgive his earthly children for their sins. They live happily with the contradiction that God is perfect love and that Jesus demonstrated God's love by dying as a propitiation for our sins.
So what can Urantia Book readers do to aid Christians to recover a religion of the spirit? A good start is to take notice of what Jesus told us:
"And this was his (Jesus) method of instruction: Never once did he attack their errors or even mention the flaws in their teachings. In each case he would select the truth in what they taught and then proceed so to embellish and illuminate this truth in their minds that in a very short time this enhancement of the truth effectively crowded out the associated error; (1455)
This instruction was later repeated to the apostle Simon:
"Jesus answered: "Simon, Simon, how many times have I instructed you to refrain from all efforts to take something out of the hearts of those who seek salvation? How often have I told you to labor only to put something into these hungry souls? Lead men into the kingdom, and the great and living truths of the kingdom will presently drive out all serious error." (1592)
So telling Christians where they are wrong does not appear to find favor with Jesus and is best laid to rest for good.
Jesus gave us an alternative, "Let the Spirit of Truth do his own work." (1932)
Another failure is to approach Christians with a new revelation. Whereas it may work for a tiny minority, experience has shown it is not the way to go. There may be a multitude of reasons, prominent among them being that Christianity has been satiated with false messiahs, prophets, visionaries, and charismatic would-be leaders. And certainly the warning of dire penalties in the Book of Revelations for changing any biblical teaching does engender wariness about embracing new revelation.
So what can we do? First we must have patience, tolerance, humility, and be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves--all these recommendations come directly from Jesus.
The switch to a religion of the spirit demands, as a first essential step, the establishment of a personal relation of the individual and the Father-Spirit within.
There are more than twenty New Testament verses that tell of our indwelling by the Spirits of the Father and the Son. Some of these are:
John 14:23...if a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our abode with him.
John 14:26. The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father shall send in my name will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you.
Luke 17:21....for the kingdom of God is within you.
Matthew 10: 20. For it is not you that speaks, but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you.
1 John 4:12. No man has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us.
1 Cor. 3:16. Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
Galatians 4:6. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
This means we do not even need to mention The Urantia Book nor the Thought Adjuster. In any case the latter term has acquired unfortunate connotations since the Papers were received because of the use of "brain washing" and "thought control" as instruments for controlling the citizens of countries with totalitarian regimes .
At this stage it would appear to be far better to follow Jesus:
"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. The measure wherewith truth seekers are drawn to you represents the measure of your truth endowment, your righteousness. The extent to which you have to go with your message to the people is, in a way, the measure of your failure to live the whole or righteous life, the truth-co-ordinated life." (1726)
"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." (2084)
Note that the emphasis is on us living the God-like life as revealed in Jesus' life and perhaps handing out a Urantia Book after truth seekers are drawn to us. Unless we at least attempt to do that, we make a mockery of the revelation if we identify ourselves as Urantia Book readers.
The phase in which our principal task is to help Christians to become aware of their indwelling may last for hundreds of years. Hence there is little reason to be anxious about what comes next. And in any case we have relevant advice from Jesus:
"You must, in all such matters, wait upon time. Time alone will ripen the green fruit upon the tree.
Season follows season and sundown follows sunrise only with the passing of time. I am now on the way to ..., and that is sufficient for today. My tomorrow is wholly in the hands of my Father in heaven." (1499)