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 Post subject: Re: Creed vs. Gospel
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Rexford wrote:
Greetings,

I would never use the phrase, "taken for granted". The phrase has multiple meanings, most of them unsuitable. Sonship and salvation are precious gifts, too valuable to be taken for granted. Is it appropriate to take gifts for granted? I'd say never.

Credos are statements of beliefs. Beliefs are not what's important. Faith is. There is a big difference between the two. The Papers have revealed that faith is what moves us forward in our quest for God, not beliefs. Faith is centered on the person of God alone, while beliefs have to do with everything else. Beliefs belong to the group; faith belongs to the individual. I'd much rather make a statement of faith.

I have faith in a loving God and a friendly universe. I trust that I am a son of the living God whose will I dedicate my mind, heart and soul to for all eternity.

In Friendship,
Rexford

Yes, good point. Change "we believe" to "we have faith in", but it might be the same thing.

I was rather shocked to read what furchizedek quoted too. That the text says "salvation should be taken for granted by those who believe in the fatherhood of God." (188:4.9)

I had to re-read the whole section - "Meaning of the Death on the Cross" and it was very refreshing to do. I must admit it's been a long time since, and to see that we are informed that "salvation should be taken for granted by those who believe in the fatherhood of God" was heartwarming. Albeit, I will NEVER take it for granted personally and always presume that I need to do what I need to do in order to survive beyond this life.

Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Creed vs. Gospel
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Greetings nod,

As I said, there are many meanings to the phrase "taken for granted". The quote in question is referring to only one meaning, which is: Consider to be true and real.

The other meanings of the phrase are:
    To underestimate the value of something or someone.
    Fail to show proper gratitude for something or someone.
    Expect something or someone to be always available.
    Overfamiliarity with something or someone.
    Fail to give proper attention to something or someone.

Here are some quotes explaining the difference between belief and faith:

Belief is always limiting and binding; faith is expanding and releasing. Belief fixates, faith liberates. But living religious faith is more than the association of noble beliefs; it is more than an exalted system of philosophy; it is a living experience concerned with spiritual meanings, divine ideals, and supreme values; it is God-knowing and man-serving. Beliefs may become group possessions, but faith must be personal. Theologic beliefs can be suggested to a group, but faith can rise up only in the heart of the individual religionist. 101:8:2
Your religion shall change from the mere intellectual belief in traditional authority to the actual experience of that living faith which is able to grasp the reality of God and all that relates to the divine spirit of the Father. The religion of the mind ties you hopelessly to the past; the religion of the spirit consists in progressive revelation and ever beckons you on toward higher and holier achievements in spiritual ideals and eternal realities. 155:6:4  


In Friendship,
Rexford


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 Post subject: Re: Creed vs. Gospel
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Thank you Rexford,

I think the two points you make above are very important distinctions and not to be taken lightly.


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 Post subject: Re: Creed vs. Gospel
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Thanks for the distinction between faith and beliefs. As I recall, the Master provided a very distilled and essential "belief system" that was universal - and I mean "universal" - and required that believers demonstrate a life based on love of God - a loving and paternal creator - and love of one another and all others, both expressed in that life which faithfully portrays such a universe reality, a faith activated living of truth, rather than recite a list of common beliefs or ceremony (the method of evolutionary religions).

There may be merit, however, in an extraction of teachings, as opposed to "beliefs", from the text as an abreviated form of introductory material and some have done so in various formats.

As to the organizations not being dynamic religious organizations: it is false that they are not dynamic, but it is true that they are not "religious" organizations....never have been and not likely to become so either.

As to the Urantia Association being but an "arm" of the Foundation: again, false. Each are separate, registered nonprofit organizations with the Association having a membership which elects all leadership and who donate all funds for its operation as a service group of volunteers and whose membership also determines the mission, priorities, strategies, etc. for all leadership and committees (volunteer servant leaders and committee members). The Foundation is not a membership organization and does not determine priorities for any other organization. But the Big 3 do cooperate on many levels on different projects of mutual priority and actively serve such joint ventures with a growing harmony and unity of purpose as they arise. The International Association has active Local and/or National Associations in over 26 countries with supporting members in over 40.

While the missions of the Big 3, and UBIS in addition, are not religious - but educational, dissemination, and socialization - members and supporters can certainly be considered religionists united in the cause of getting the UB into the hands of the world in many languages to spread this gift and plant this seed in all the "soil" of Urantia. We shall see what comes from such a noble and valiant effort over the generations to come. But all such planetary progress is factually and ultimately in the hands of the Most Highs. We mortals serve as we can, do, and will, wherever we are and go and be those faith sons in this friendly universe as spirit led citizens in that friendly universe.

We are taught that all religions, evolutionary or revelatory, are to refrain from all social, political, and economic endeavors. So, the organizations are designed to disseminate the Papers and their teachings and unite the readership as students and religionists with that in common.....they do not offer a religion.....which does not preclude nor prevent such efforts from within or without the student body.

We are given a textbook of facts and knowledge to reduce confusion and eliminate errors for the believers of our world....it is to be read, studied, and embraced to have such an effect. The Papers are a gift to the entire world, not any select group or organization.....or religion/church.

As I have said many time before but bears repeating: All opinions expressed (anything but text quotes posted is such) are personal and do not represent any other person, groups of persons, or organizations....but only my own experience and perspective. :wink:

Thanks to all for the discussion.

8)


Last edited by fanofVan on Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:05 am +0000, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Creed vs. Gospel
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There are several paradoxes presented by this discussion which make it difficult to navigate toward "unity without uniformity" by the use of creeds, beliefs, dogmas, ceremonies, and the group expressions/experiences of these tools of symbolism, which most often unite the few and exclude the many....thus the reality today of so many differentiated forms of evolutionary, group/institutional religions.

The Papers teach us both the dangers and benefits of evolutionary, group, institutional religions when contrasted with the reality that true religion is that personal religion experienced by direct relationship with the Spirit within each of us and that such a religious experience is unique to each religionist by the fact that it is a dynamic, progressive, transforming, transcendent, and personal religious experience which changes by the growth, maturity, experience, wisdom, insight, and perspective of each religionist - if it is indeed a true religious experience - and must be far more than agreement on a set of beliefs, creeds, and ceremony to actually be true religious experience at all.

So, one million or billion religionists who share and proclaim identical beliefs, creeds, and ceremonies (say Catholics as but one example) do not truly share one religion even though all religionists, regardless of beliefs, creeds, and ceremonies may certainly share their religious experience with one another and with all others.

The longer the list of beliefs presented and required for inclusion in any group, the greater the number of people who are excluded from that group. Such a list may in some ways unify those within the group but also acts to isolate that group from other groups....and individuals. Quite the paradox indeed....the more universal the belief "set", the smaller such a set must be to become more and more universal.

Robert has declared that the religion he envisions is for truth hungry non-readers. Others support a church/religion for the student body of the Papers. So, let's consider an even smaller group - those that not only study the Papers but have also come to believe its claims for itself as to source and purpose. The same paradox of unity without uniformity presents itself for solution as does the teaching that true religion is personal and dynamic and not uniform by any standard.

I do not oppose such efforts of unification....or even uniformity....by the creation of congregations, churches, or a new religion for those who are so inspired and committed. But I do doubt their ability to unify either the student body or the much larger population of all believers (defined as believers in God and the family of God's creation).

I do believe that on most worlds, untainted by rebellion and/or default, there comes a time in the mid-point (or after) of the mortal epochs, that there is but one religion - the true religion of personal spirit relationship, faith, and loving service becomes universal on each world by slowly displacing the ghost fear and other primitive forms of religion. I doubt it has a name nor a long list of required beliefs, but becomes unified by the knowledge of facts, the experience of truth, and the example of the planetary rulers, leaders, and servants....and the universal expressions of love and faith in prayer and worship and the everyday life of caring and sharing upon the pilgrim's path to Paradise.

Such a destiny is a certainty for our world as well....and may be lived by each person throughout each and every mortal epoch on the long journey to Planetary Light and Life. Religionists are not restrained nor confined by the mortal epochal progressions of planetary evolution. There are the spirits of the Father, Mother, and Son who minister to each mind which unites our world always in the circuits of love, goodness, beauty, and truth. The Spirit of the Son has achieved incredible results these past 20 centuries and 80 generations in reducing the primitivisms of fear and their effect on the individual and the population in ways beyond our understanding which are acting as surrogates in a way for the lack of celestial leadership and example on-planet. Their success in conjunction with the work of the Most Highs provide us all with absolute confidence in our own destiny and the destiny of this Shrine of Nebadon. Fear not!

We are to be happy as well as faithful children in this friendly universe ruled by love. Or so I see it.

8)


Last edited by fanofVan on Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:53 am +0000, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Creed vs. Gospel
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"taken for granted" is what the book says:

188:4.9 All this concept of atonement and sacrificial salvation is rooted and grounded in selfishness. Jesus taught that service to one’s fellows is the highest concept of the brotherhood of spirit believers. Salvation should be taken for granted by those who believe in the fatherhood of God. The believer’s chief concern should not be the selfish desire for personal salvation but rather the unselfish urge to love and, therefore, serve one’s fellows even as Jesus loved and served mortal men.

I will say that the first time I realized what the book said I was a bit taken aback. Having been raised Catholic I was leery of the "sin of presumption," I think. But now I have embraced and accepted the idea that if I believe in the fatherhood of God, I can take my salvation for granted. I don't have to worry about it anymore, I don't have to wonder about it or feel like I'm walking on egg shells concerning my salvation. It's a positive thing. I do think we should mention it in any statement of beliefs and not shy away from it. We CAN take it for granted. We should take it for granted. It's OK.

Rexford wrote:
Greetings,

I would never use the phrase, "taken for granted". The phrase has multiple meanings, most of them unsuitable. Sonship and salvation are precious gifts, too valuable to be taken for granted. Is it appropriate to take gifts for granted? I'd say never.

Credos are statements of beliefs. Beliefs are not what's important. Faith is. There is a big difference between the two. The Papers have revealed that faith is what moves us forward in our quest for God, not beliefs. Faith is centered on the person of God alone, while beliefs have to do with everything else. Beliefs belong to the group; faith belongs to the individual. I'd much rather make a statement of faith.

I have faith in a loving God and a friendly universe. I trust that I am a son of the living God whose will I dedicate my mind, heart and soul to for all eternity.

In Friendship,
Rexford


Last edited by furchizedek on Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:49 am +0000, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Creed vs. Gospel
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[quote="Rexford"]Greetings nod,

As I said, there are many meanings to the phrase "taken for granted". The quote in question is referring to only one meaning, which is: Consider to be true and real.

The other meanings of the phrase are:
    To underestimate the value of something or someone.
    Fail to show proper gratitude for something or someone.
    Expect something or someone to be always available.
    Overfamiliarity with something or someone.
    Fail to give proper attention to something or someone.



Me here: Well said Rexford!! To "take for granted" could also mean to "expect something/someone to be always available" in this context. It is an experiential position between faith and sublime confidence I think. Destiny becomes certainty in both something and someone at some point upon the pilgrim's path which changes the very nature of "faith" into such confidence and expectation as a result of personal experience of that/those which are true and real....far beyond belief. Such confidence results by being fully engaged in the circuitry of love, loving service, and the Spirit within and can only come by such faithful choices and acts as love and faith delivers us from anxieties, doubts, and confusions.

8)


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 Post subject: Re: Creed vs. Gospel
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Welcome furchizedek!!

You say: "I will say that the first time I realized what the book said I was a bit taken aback. Having been raised Catholic I was leery of the "sin of presumption," I think. But now I have embraced and accepted the idea that if I believe in the fatherhood of God, I can take my salvation for granted. I don't have to worry about it anymore, I don't have to wonder about it or feel like I'm walking on egg shells concerning my salvation. It's a positive thing. I do think we should mention it in any statement of beliefs and not shy away from it. We CAN take it for granted. We should take it for granted. It's OK."

Well said! Thank you. I was raised evangelical protestant myself and we were made to not only fear hell fire and damnation but also made to feel responsible for all those ignorant and/or wicked souls who were condemned to eternal suffering. Quite a fear and guilt trip to put on a kid...or an adult. I came to not believe in damnation and eternal suffering based on the Jesusonian Gospel imbedded in the NT and the teachings of a heavenly "Father" of love which was readily contrasted with the OT god of vengeance and the Paulinian version which was little better or constrained.

The Papers made so much sense to such a one as I and was a great relief of the surety of our "salvation" and survival by simply wanting to be a better person and by loving the Father within and to be guided daily by that faith in God's love and tenderness toward all His children. While faith is sufficient for survival, we are taught that progress in the spirit is required for fusion and for attainment of our birth-right destiny. This does require effort and attention for ascension but YES we can stop "walking on egg shells". We are told happiness, peace, and joy are the fruits of the spirit life as well as increasing confidence in spite of confusions and uncertainties.

Thanks for adding your voice. 8)


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Greetings,

My concern with claiming in a Credo that salvation can be taken for granted is that some might misunderstand the meaning of such a phrase. Quote 188:4:9 does state that those who believe in the fatherhood of God can take their salvation for granted, but there's another sentence. The fatherhood of God requires a simultaneous acceptance of the fact of sonship which includes the desire to love God as a father and love all his sons as brothers. You can't take salvation for granted without these realizations.

If you're a faith-son, there is no need to walk on eggshells as long as you walk in the presence of God with a sincere heart, the heart of a son grateful for such a wonderful Father. But words alone can't explain that. Reciting a creed cannot make this experience real. A useful religion would open up the individual to the actual experience of the fatherhood of God first, then the faith-son has the liberty to take his salvation for granted.

Jesus said that you should first lead a man into the kingdom, and then, when he is safely in the kingdom, you can reveal the truths concerning soul growth, and those truths drive out all serious error (see quote below). Getting people into the kingdom is therefore the goal, the first step, and I'm wondering what you all think is meant by that. I think it means getting people to recognize the fatherhood of God, which leads to sonship. There are plenty of religions in this world today that cannot accept such an idea, and therefore can't really take salvation for granted.

When Simon Zelotes and Jesus were alone, Simon asked the Master: "Why is it that I could not persuade him? Why did he so resist me and so readily lend an ear to you?" 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. When you have presented to mortal man the good news that God is his Father, you can the easier persuade him that he is in reality a son of God. And having done that, you have brought the light of salvation to the one who sits in darkness. Simon, when the Son of Man came first to you, did he come denouncing Moses and the prophets and proclaiming a new and better way of life? No. I came not to take away that which you had from your forefathers but to show you the perfected vision of that which your fathers saw only in part. Go then, Simon, teaching and preaching the kingdom, and when you have a man safely and securely within the kingdom, then is the time, when such a one shall come to you with inquiries, to impart instruction having to do with the progressive advancement of the soul within the divine kingdom. 141:6:2

In Friendship,
Rexford


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