We've read that Jesus instructed his apostles at Amathus: "...first see that men are born of the spirit before you seek to instruct them
in the advanced ways of the spirit. Do not undertake to show men the beauties of the temple until you have first taken them into
the temple. Introduce men to God and as
the sons of God before you discourse on the doctrines of the fatherhood of God and the
sonship of men...Simply go forth proclaiming: This is the kingdom of heaven - God is your Father and you are his sons, and this
good news, if you wholeheartedly believe it, is
your eternal salvation."
"To promote the experience of faith-sonship with God through loving worship and joyful service."
This restatement of the divine commission to proclaim the good news of eternal salvation is proposed as the primary
goal of Ag'ape Michael Organization, Inc.
It has been my long held conviction that a spiritually focused and service-oriented socio-religious organization inspired by the
Urantia Papers should be established upon clear and simple sonship/daughtership goals and values. The revelators themselves
offer many suggestions and hints related to the ideal character and positive benefits of such a fellowship of faith community.
They counsel that "(r)egardless of the drawbacks and handicaps...even the restatement of the religion of Jesus must
a new and appropriate symbolism."
While I regard the commission of our beloved Michael of Nebadon that we work to increase the sonship harvest as primary,
as a student of the Urantia Papers I also acknowledge an 'epochal' responsibility to disseminate the advanced teachings of this new
revelation to our world. As I see it, there are practical as well as theological/philosophical reasons for prioritizing these somewhat
discrete responsibilities - the Great Commission and 5th epochal dissemination.
The evolution of a new religious 'cult' - such as the revelators encourage - with dissemination of the teachings as intended focus
would seem to transpose the "beauties of the temple" with the temple itself, place the cart before the horse, so to speak. How
many brothers and sisters, disillusioned with traditional religions, sorely need the Truth of the family of God but will stumble if
the FER is placed in the temple Doorway?
Practically speaking, service institutions and fraternal associations dedicated to dissemination already exist, and I pray God bless
these indispensible efforts. Also, though probably to some extent unavoidable, the prospect of exacerbating conflict with existing
religions by forming a religious cult with a principal goal of disseminating the teachings of a competing 'sacred' book might perhaps
give one pause. However sincere and forthright the effort, imo this leads to dilution of focus from the first task of increasing our
Father's sonship harvest.
That said, it would be unwise and hypocritical for a network of faith communities inspired by the FER to bootleg or otherwise
seek to conceal this revealed source of advanced teachings - "the beauties of the temple". So, I've meditated for years on the question
of how to grow a religious cult focused primarily on the goal of promoting the experience of sonship with God while forthrightly
acknowledging the authentic inspirational value of the FER. The current proposed Bylaws of AMO, Inc., which borrow much from
the seminal work Dr. Meredith Sprunger, is the present summation of these efforts.
The Bylaws of AMO, Inc. are a 'chaordic' work in progress. There is much work to be done in finalizing all six phases or dimensions
of the 'chaordic' design process. The Preamble, Constitution, and its Appendices (Practices) delineate a great number of details necessary
for the cooperative functioning of the faith community network. Sincere believers who have the energy and inclination to participate in the further
development of this socio-religious outreach effort are invited to contact Michael and Susan at email@example.com
. Please feel free
to forward this to anyone you think may want to help. We have a website Community Server forum which is hoped will help facilitate
cooperative research and development in the near future.
[trivia note: The word ag'ape (Greek:) literally means LOVE and also pertains to the believer's remembrance supper or LOVE FEAST.
Although not particularly germane, the acronym for Ag'ape Michael Organization - AMO - is also Latin, meaning I LOVE.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (in The Divine Milieu
) praised this word, amo
, as a superb focus for the practice of 'centering' prayer,
suggesting it to be as efficacious as the well-known 'name-of-God' - (OM).]
P.S. Benefitting from the counsel of Dave Elders, the Preamble has been 'tweaked' to reflect greater acknowledgement of our 'epochal' responsibilities. For a copy, just email Susan and I.