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p999:2 91:5.6 Prayer is the technique whereby, sooner or later, every religion becomes institutionalized. And in time prayer becomes associated with numerous secondary agencies, some helpful, others decidedly deleterious, such as priests, holy books, worship rituals, and ceremonials.

p999:3 91:5.7 But the minds of greater spiritual illumination should be patient with, and tolerant of, those less endowed intellects that crave symbolism for the mobilization of their feeble spiritual insight. The strong must not look with disdain upon the weak. Those who are God-conscious without symbolism must not deny the grace-ministry of the symbol to those who find it difficult to worship Deity and to revere truth, beauty, and goodness without form and ritual. In prayerful worship, most mortals envision some symbol of the object-goal of their devotions.


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What part of this quote don't YOU understand: ( 999:2)--"PRAYER IS THE TECHINQUE WHEREBY, SOONER OR LATER, EVERY RELIGION BECOMES INSTITUTIONALIZED." The Urantia Book.


Jess

I understand this quote in it's context (which you have seen fit to take out of context)... This is not referring to the "religion of the spirit" which is not the same as the "religion of the mind". What it is referring to is the fact that even by the practice of "prayer" the result becomes formalized and structured (as it is, for instance, in the Catholic, Episcopal and certain, if not all, other denominational Churches, as well as other World Religions which I won't mention since everyone is so sensitive) as opposed to praying the prayers of an "advanced" spiritual person which leads to God-consciousness without all the symbolism.


The use of the word "institutionalized" in this quote has the following meaning:

"to incorporate into a structured and often highly formalized system"...

It is talking about prayer being a "method of accomplishing a desired aim"... that aim being (in context) for those who need formality and ritual in their intellectual craving for symbolism in order to worship God. (This is not a bad thing... it is just not the higher form of "religion" (the religion of the spirit... the religion of Jesus)...

And it is my belief that it is the "higher" form of "religion" that Jesus intended for us to aim for. The religion of the spirit, the religion of Jesus.

God seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth... He desires us to move away from formalities and rituals and into the higher form of worship... that kind of prayer and worship will not lead to the formation of a "Church", but it will certainly lead to the unity of the Brotherhood of man in fellowship with the Father and each other.

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p1946:5 180:2.7 Jesus had great difficulty in leading even his apostles to recognize that prayer is a function of spirit-born believers in the spirit-dominated kingdom.


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This is getting monotonous having to repeat myself...



fwiw, i attempt to check and balance myself, if it is evident that i am over-striving with a position that i've taken up, using the following teachings:


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155:1.5 " 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. "


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48:7.30 The argumentative defense of any proposition is inversely proportional to the truth contained.


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Michael was forbidden from establishing a Church or altering the existing religions directly. But Jesus also warned against hiding revelation under a rock.

"The church, as a social outgrowth of the kingdom, would have been wholly natural and even desirable. The evil of the church was not its existence, but rather that it almost completely supplanted the Jesus concept of the kingdom. Paul's institutionalized church became a virtual substitute for the kingdom of heaven which Jesus had proclaimed".

Colter


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Michael was forbidden from establishing a Church or altering the existing religions directly. But Jesus also warned against hiding revelation under a rock.

"The church, as a social outgrowth of the kingdom, would have been wholly natural and even desirable. The evil of the church was not its existence, but rather that it almost completely supplanted the Jesus concept of the kingdom. Paul's institutionalized church became a virtual substitute for the kingdom of heaven which Jesus had proclaimed".



So it would be with the Urantia Book Movement... why?? because human mind is involved... human endeavor... which inevitably wants to crystallize and formalize anything it gets it's hands on...

You don't have to form a "church" to keep from "hiding revelation under a rock." The problem is not with hiding it; the problem is not altering the revelation so that it "fits" what feels good or seems real...


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195:10.11 ....The true church -- the Jesus brotherhood -- is invisible, spiritual, and is characterized by unity, not necessarily by uniformity. Uniformity is the earmark of the physical world of mechanistic nature. Spiritual unity is the fruit of faith union with the living Jesus. The visible church should refuse longer to handicap the progress of the invisible and spiritual brotherhood of the kingdom of God. And this brotherhood is destined to become a living organism in contrast to an institutionalized social organization. It may well utilize such social organizations, but it must not be supplanted by them.

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My dear brother Kreneep

Your beating a dead horse, I don't go to church for the many reasons you have posted. But you are turning blue in the face trying to convince us there won't be a church.

Now let me tell you what my TA has revealed to me, believe it or not: "The church is already here, the study groups are the beginning. When the John the Baptist evangilists arrive, and then soon after the Sons of God, together they will evangilize the world and the churches of what ever belief, seeing the Sons of God with Power and Glory will put aside there Bibles, Toras, etc. and the already existing churches, mosques, will pick up the UB and continue on in growing harmony that will eventually lead us to lite and life." The churches will just swap books, millions of churches.

This why we need to concentrate on the DISSIMINATION and TRANSLATIONS of this brilliant manuscript and quit arguing on where there will be a church or not. We need IDEAS to help the FOUNDATION do the job they were chosen to do.

In brotherly love .... Jess

PS "CONTEXT" a very important word when it comes to reading the Bible. 325 fundemental churches have been formed because of improper "context" But I find that the UB is written in such a way that what ever it says in one sentence in PART I of the UB means the same in part IV. You have to deliberatly twist thing in the UB. I find it very difficult to do.


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I must defend my pal, here, who is like a voice crying in the wilderness. A church will most definitely change the tenor of the gospel. Anytime any group of people get together and form a corporation, an institution, a system, a business, a club, a church, ANYTHING, they have lassoed it. They create rules and regulations. It becomes something people manage. And it changes the original into something else.

This does not have to be a bad thing, as evidenced by the state of matrimony. Signing your name on the dotted line of a Certificate of Matrimony changes people. You might not want it to, you might not think it does, but it does. No longer are you two independent people, you are two interdependent people. Plus, the relationship is no longer a private matter; it is a civic matter.

The thing is, those of us who have been damaged by the church, or who see the down side of organized religions MORE SO than the up side, are going to be hard pressed to support that which has done them harm, just as surely as a woman whose husband has been caught in adultery will be reluctant to ever trust a man again. This condition can be healed in the individual, a woman can learn to trust a man again, and the marriage can be saved, the couple can know marital bliss. But it takes work, and the fear of deception might not ever completely go away.

A person can similarly be forgiving regarding institutions, such as church, or the police, or the government, but it takes work, and the fear of deception might not ever completely go away. But nobody is ever going to convince anybody of what they should do by logic alone. It is also an emotional issue, and only each of us can determine that for ourselves. We feel what we feel and there is no shame in how we feel. So Kreneep can wail night and day if that is what Kreneep is compelled to do; and Jess can defend the church night and day if that is what Jess is called to do. We all have free will. There is no right or wrong answer here. There is no penalty for one choice or the other. We serve where we are led.

Viva le differance!

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Sis

There is common sense, there are other project other things. I don't defend a church. Maybe you missed it I don't go to one nor do I plan to go to one. But I do plan to make this my last statment on the coming church.

In brotherly love ...Jess


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Sorry, Jess. I didn't mean to presume. Overall, however, I had the impression you were an apologist for organized religion. As for me, I am familiar with cultural conditioning and social dysfunction; I speak psycho-babble; I understand enabling and rescuing; I appreciate what it means to be co-dependent and I tend to root for the underdog. My motivation was human. It was to support Kreneep when it was said s/he was "beating a dead horse." It isn't dead.

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It just seems to me that we are making a religion about not making a religion, much in the same way that Moses's aversion to idol making became an idol of sorts.

Had Melchizedek been as religiously anti organization then the schools at Salem wouldn't have happened.

My friend Gerdean knows of the principle "We aught never be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve". Imagine if the 12 step groups (who predominantly rent space in church's) took this anti organizational idea to the same extreme? We would all stay home, probably get drunk, yet confident that we didn't form any kind of a cult!

There is a way of forming a program around an ideal without ecclesiastical authority, it's been practiced quietly, ironically, since 1934 all over the world.

Colter


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Thanks for your contribution, Colter. I do indeed know the principle that "We aught never be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve". I'm not opposed to organizing. I serve on a board or committee occasionally myself. "Being directly responsible to those they serve" is the acid test. Ecclesiastical authority needs to be kept in check. I don't think we are creating a religion out of anything. We are falling into politics because, fact is, we don't have enough to do.

Oh, hey, I know what! Let's start a church! Let me know where you want me to sign and what you want me to commit. Meanwhile, I think I'll take some time out to go visit a cult or two. Ciao.

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But you are turning blue in the face trying to convince us there won't be a church.


No sir!... I am turning blue in the face trying to defend what the Urantia Book is saying about "organized", religion of the mind and what Jesus intended the religion of the spirit to be.

I have never said there "won't" be a "church"... I have maintained that I believe there should not be another "church" because there is already a "church" which is the spiritual Brotherhood of Man in Christ.

So, please do not put words in my mouth.

And, thanks Gerdean.

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Had Melchizedek been as religiously anti organization then the schools at Salem wouldn't have happened.


And Colter... a school is something different than a "church". What Melchizedek organized was what was absolutely needed at that point in time... now, in this point in time it is time for the spiritual church to become that "living organism", made without hands and whose head is Jesus. It's time for a shift in our thinking regarding the Kingdom of God... just as it was time when Melchizedek was here during Abraham's time.

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There is a way of forming a program around an ideal without ecclesiastical authority, it's been practiced quietly, ironically, since 1934 all over the world.


Good statement and practical!

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p1017:3 93:4.1 The ceremonies of the Salem worship were very simple. Every person who signed or marked the clay-tablet rolls of the Melchizedek church committed to memory, and subscribed to, the following belief:

p1017:4 93:4.2 1. I believe in El Elyon, the Most High God, the only Universal Father and Creator of all things.
p1017:5 93:4.3 2. I accept the Melchizedek covenant with the Most High, which bestows the favor of God on my faith, not on sacrifices and burnt offerings.
p1017:6 93:4.4 3. I promise to obey the seven commandments of Melchizedek and to tell the good news of this covenant with the Most High to all men.


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93:4.1 The ceremonies of the Salem worship were very simple. Every person who signed or marked the clay-tablet rolls of the Melchizedek church committed to memory, and subscribed to, the following belief:

93:4.2 1. I believe in El Elyon, the Most High God, the only Universal Father and Creator of all things.

93:4.3 2. I accept the Melchizedek covenant with the Most High, which bestows the favor of God on my faith, not on sacrifices and burnt offerings.

93:4.4 3. I promise to obey the seven commandments of Melchizedek and to tell the good news of this covenant with the Most High to all men.


Thanks Iris... I don't remember reading that that closely...

Nevertheless, at that point in time those people had need for structure and "creed" and "commandments" even though it was far beyond their grasp at that time. That was then, 1973 years before Jesus... this is now... 2000 years after Jesus and the outpouring of the Spirit of Truth...

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93:4.5 And that was the whole of the creed of the Salem colony. But even such a short and simple declaration of faith was altogether too much and too advanced for the men of those days. They simply could not grasp the idea of getting divine favor for nothing—by faith. They were too deeply confirmed in the belief that man was born under forfeit to the gods. Too long and too earnestly had they sacrificed and made gifts to the priests to be able to comprehend the good news that salvation, divine favor, was a free gift to all who would believe in the Melchizedek covenant. But Abraham did believe halfheartedly, and even that was " counted for righteousness. "


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93:4.14 While no sacrifices were permitted within the colony, Melchizedek well knew how difficult it is to suddenly uproot long-established customs and accordingly had wisely offered these people the substitute of a sacrament of bread and wine for the older sacrifice of flesh and blood.


This is 2000 years later and we are suppose to be a more advanced civilization, with more advance "religious" thought and understanding... buut, I guess I am wrong... people haven't changed in 4000 years... they still need structure, ritual and most of all security in their "idols" (this time another book)...

Too bad... I was optimistic about the "Brotherhood of Man"... now I am beginning to see how sad it really is... God help us!

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