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 Post subject: Urantian and Catholic?
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Recently, I've been returning to the Catholic faith in which I was raised. I've been reading the Urantia Book for almost two years, and I see no radical conflict between the Urantia Book and my Catholic faith. In fact, I believe that that the Urantia Book is more compatible with Catholicism than with conservative Protestantism.

Since Vatican II, the catechism has defended the right to conscience of the individual on religious matters. The Catholic Church's tradition of continuing revelation leaves open the possibility that the Urantia Book is a form of God's revelation for today. While avoiding medieval debates about transubstantiation, The Urantia Book says that Christ is present in the sharing of the Eucharist. The Catholic veneration of Mother Mary can be interpreted as a representation of the Mother Spirit. The Urantia Book's teaching on an evolving universe, God the Supreme, the Thought Adjuster, and the Kingdom of God on earth being the ultimate goal of human evolution can almost thought for thought be found in the writings of Teilhard de Chardin, a Catholic priest who wrote before the Urantia Book was published.

When taking all of this into consideration, one can see how the Urantia Book can enrich, rather than destroy, the faith of a sincere Catholic. I choose to make a distinction between the institution, which is made up of men and dates more or less to Constantine's Christianization of the Roman Empire, and the essence of the Catholic faith, which goes back for 2000 years. When I attend Catholic mass, it is not to worship the Vatican but to be in communion with over a billion Catholics today and with Catholics throughout history in celebration of the Eucharist.

This article is helpful on this topic: http://www.truthbook.com/toughest/dsp_v ... ionID=3402

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I agree absolutely


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To me, it boils down as to whether one believes in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. I may not believe in the papacy or the immaculate conception or a whole host of other doctrines, but I believe in the Eucharist. There are too many Eucharistic miracles throughout history and in the present to just say that it's the "mind at mischief."

youtube.com/watch?v=N6SH93arrIE

youtube.com/watch?v=Y_BOYgIoaTM&feature=fvwrel

youtube.com/watch?v=8zTikIjz2l8&feature=fvwrel

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Yoder777,

You touch upon a subject that has recently gained interest with me. I grew up for many years going to Catholic school, was baptized and subsequently confirmed later on. I decided to follow the rituals so that I'd have a "religion to fall back on" but honestly I lost appreciation for the faith at a very early age. In many ways I am thankful for this early experience, for it allowed me to think independently and disassociate the theology of the church with the religion of the self. This realization allowed me to search for truth outside the church, and of course, eventually led me to the UB.

But I must confess to you, one of the biggest struggles I had with the church, and probably one of the principle factors causing me to leave it entirely was the tenet of transubstantiation. That people could believe such baloney (to me) was too much of a turn off. I simply couldn't associate myself with it. It remains a very large stumbling block for me today.

Lately I have been flirting with the idea of going back to the church. I now have a family and I know it would be good for my children to be involved in some type of spiritual community. I live in the Bible Belt here in the USA, and I am aware of the evangelical/protestant churches around me. Let me tell you, I wholeheartedly agree with you that Catholicism is actually a much better framework in which to integrate the UB teachings than a good majority of protestant churches around here. At least with Catholicism, you do not have to deal with inerrancy, literalism, fundamentalism, and in some cases mysticism (speaking in tongues, anyone?)

But the one thing that I associate with Catholicism that reminds me of those churches is the blind acceptance of transubstantiation dogma. It's just really hard for me to get over. I can handle the emphasis on Mary, Paul, and many of the issues you touched on, but to say something is the literal body of Christ so resonates discord within me, I just don't know how to even begin to wrap my head around it. I will check out the videos you linked, perhaps they can provide some enlightenment and cause me not to rush to judgement so quickly.

Thanks,
- quil


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Transubstantiation really is a medieval way of explaining the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Why not, like the Urantia Book, just accept that Christ is truly present and leave it at that? And about mysticism, I can think of no greater mystical experience than consuming the body, soul, and divinity of Christ in the Eucharist. Again, I choose not to go into speculation about how that is possible. I simply leave that up to God.

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Yoder777 wrote:
…When taking all of this into consideration, one can see how the Urantia Book can enrich, rather than destroy, the faith of a sincere Catholic. I choose to make a distinction between the institution, which is made up of men and dates more or less to Constantine's Christianization of the Roman Empire, and the essence of the Catholic faith, which goes back for 2000 years. When I attend Catholic mass, it is not to worship the Vatican but to be in communion with over a billion Catholics today and with Catholics throughout history in celebration of the Eucharist. …
Hi Yoder – I think that the total denial in The Urantia Book of the validity of the Paulian atonement doctrine is by far the greatest obstacle for most Christians (of all nominations) to allow the book to "enrich their faith."
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In Christian theology the atonement doctrine refers to the forgiving or pardoning of sin through the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion, which made possible the reconciliation between God and creation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atonement_in_Christianity

2:6.5 Righteousness implies that God is the source of the moral law of the universe. Truth exhibits God as a revealer, as a teacher. But love gives and craves affection, seeks understanding fellowship such as exists between parent and child. Righteousness may be the divine thought, but love is a father’s attitude. The erroneous supposition that the righteousness of God was irreconcilable with the selfless love of the heavenly Father, presupposed absence of unity in the nature of Deity and led directly to the elaboration of the atonement doctrine, which is a philosophic assault upon both the unity and the free-willness of God.


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Bart wrote:
Yoder777 wrote:
…When taking all of this into consideration, one can see how the Urantia Book can enrich, rather than destroy, the faith of a sincere Catholic. I choose to make a distinction between the institution, which is made up of men and dates more or less to Constantine's Christianization of the Roman Empire, and the essence of the Catholic faith, which goes back for 2000 years. When I attend Catholic mass, it is not to worship the Vatican but to be in communion with over a billion Catholics today and with Catholics throughout history in celebration of the Eucharist. …
Hi Yoder – I think that the total denial in The Urantia Book of the validity of the Paulian atonement doctrine is by far the greatest obstacle for most Christians (of all nominations) to allow the book to "enrich their faith."
Quote:
In Christian theology the atonement doctrine refers to the forgiving or pardoning of sin through the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion, which made possible the reconciliation between God and creation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atonement_in_Christianity

2:6.5 Righteousness implies that God is the source of the moral law of the universe. Truth exhibits God as a revealer, as a teacher. But love gives and craves affection, seeks understanding fellowship such as exists between parent and child. Righteousness may be the divine thought, but love is a father’s attitude. The erroneous supposition that the righteousness of God was irreconcilable with the selfless love of the heavenly Father, presupposed absence of unity in the nature of Deity and led directly to the elaboration of the atonement doctrine, which is a philosophic assault upon both the unity and the free-willness of God.


The theory of penal substitution was developed by Anselm, a thousand years after the birth of Christianity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penal_substitution#History

The early church's view of Jesus' death was very much in line with what the Urantia Book teaches.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_infl ... _atonement

I recommend looking up the New Perspective on Paul.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_perspe ... _Atonement

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Thanks Yoder! :) I wasn’t aware of that. It even seems that this "New Perspective on Paul" may become the new "Catholic perspective on Paul":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_perspe ... _reactions

Nevertheless, according to The Urantia Book, Paul did adhere to the doctrine of atonement for sin by "the shedding of blood," and he preserved it in his writings. And some phases of Paul’s teachings regarding original sin and the atonement were original with himself:
Quote:
63:6.4 Very early the Andonic peoples formed the habit of refraining from eating the flesh of the animal of tribal veneration. Presently, in order more suitably to impress the minds of their youths, they evolved a ceremony of reverence which was carried out about the body of one of these venerated animals; and still later on, this primitive performance developed into the more elaborate sacrificial ceremonies of their descendants. And this is the origin of sacrifices as a part of worship. This idea was elaborated by Moses in the Hebrew ritual and was preserved, in principle, by the Apostle Paul as the doctrine of atonement for sin by “the shedding of blood.”

121:6.5 Many, but not all, of Philo’s inconsistencies resulting from an effort to combine Greek mystical philosophy and Roman Stoic doctrines with the legalistic theology of the Hebrews, Paul recognized and wisely eliminated from his pre-Christian basic theology. Philo led the way for Paul more fully to restore the concept of the Paradise Trinity, which had long been dormant in Jewish theology. In only one matter did Paul fail to keep pace with Philo or to transcend the teachings of this wealthy and educated Jew of Alexandria, and that was the doctrine of the atonement; Philo taught deliverance from the doctrine of forgiveness only by the shedding of blood. He also possibly glimpsed the reality and presence of the Thought Adjusters more clearly than did Paul. But Paul’s theory of original sin, the doctrines of hereditary guilt and innate evil and redemption therefrom, was partially Mithraic in origin, having little in common with Hebrew theology, Philo’s philosophy, or Jesus’ teachings. Some phases of Paul’s teachings regarding original sin and the atonement were original with himself.


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Yoder777 wrote:
Transubstantiation really is a medieval way of explaining the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Why not, like the Urantia Book, just accept that Christ is truly present and leave it at that? And about mysticism, I can think of no greater mystical experience than consuming the body, soul, and divinity of Christ in the Eucharist. Again, I choose not to go into speculation about how that is possible. I simply leave that up to God.


You may be more comfortable in the Episcopal church. The liturgy is very "Catholic" but doctrinally is closer to Lewis's "mere Christianity". Their understanding of the Eucharist is that Christ is "mystically present, " with attempt to pin that down in scholastic metaphysics. You may also find them more open to ideas from sources outside the mainstream. They're more about unity in worship and service than about doctrinally unity.

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ubizmo wrote:
Yoder777 wrote:
Transubstantiation really is a medieval way of explaining the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Why not, like the Urantia Book, just accept that Christ is truly present and leave it at that? And about mysticism, I can think of no greater mystical experience than consuming the body, soul, and divinity of Christ in the Eucharist. Again, I choose not to go into speculation about how that is possible. I simply leave that up to God.


You may be more comfortable in the Episcopal church. The liturgy is very "Catholic" but doctrinally is closer to Lewis's "mere Christianity". Their understanding of the Eucharist is that Christ is "mystically present, " with attempt to pin that down in scholastic metaphysics. You may also find them more open to ideas from sources outside the mainstream. They're more about unity in worship and service than about doctrinally unity.


I would consider that if I wasn't raised Catholic and if Episcopal churches were as common and available as Catholic churches. I don't have a car and Catholic churches are basically everywhere.

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Bart wrote:
Thanks Yoder! :) I wasn’t aware of that. It even seems that this "New Perspective on Paul" may become the new "Catholic perspective on Paul":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_perspe ... _reactions

Nevertheless, according to The Urantia Book, Paul did adhere to the doctrine of atonement for sin by "the shedding of blood," and he preserved it in his writings. And some phases of Paul’s teachings regarding original sin and the atonement were original with himself:
Quote:
63:6.4 Very early the Andonic peoples formed the habit of refraining from eating the flesh of the animal of tribal veneration. Presently, in order more suitably to impress the minds of their youths, they evolved a ceremony of reverence which was carried out about the body of one of these venerated animals; and still later on, this primitive performance developed into the more elaborate sacrificial ceremonies of their descendants. And this is the origin of sacrifices as a part of worship. This idea was elaborated by Moses in the Hebrew ritual and was preserved, in principle, by the Apostle Paul as the doctrine of atonement for sin by “the shedding of blood.”


Did Paul see Jesus' blood shed to appease an angry God or Jesus willingly offering up himself to the world out of love? There's a big difference based on how one interprets Paul's theology.

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Hi All,

I am very pleased to see this topic here. I too, am a born-and-bred Catholic, raised in the Catholic faith through high school. I too, had - and still have - an aversion to the transubstantiation doctrine (it's the ICK! factor for me). However, I am so grateful for the truth about the remembrance supper as we learn it in TUB, and because of that, I feel much more comfortable taking communion on the rare occasions when I do go to Mass.

Unfortunately, my family know I am a UBer, and I feel their judgment of me when I attend Mass with them. I know Jesus welcomes me, so I can hold my head up with a clear conscience, but still there's a wall of misunderstanding there that I have yet to scale effectively.

I agree about Mary - and that was also such a welcome learning from the book...the teaching about Mother Spirit. I have not been even a little successful in trying to introduce this concept to my family...sigh...

These are the hardest sticking points as I see them: Mary worship (and all the associated beliefs about her), the transubstantiation, and the atonement doctrine

in the end, I consider myself a member of the (small c) catholic church - "catholic" meaning universal...NOT the (capital C) Catholic Church, which I consider to be basically a man-made, evolutionary religion. However, I often wonder whether the Catholic Church might just be the "river bed" through which the river of truth may someday flow...

I have toyed with the idea of finding a progressive Catholic church to belong to - but I think my experiences as a child may have been too strong for me to really have a desire to do that. But, I absolutely support anyone's decision to belong to a church. What better way to be the "leaven" than in places like that? And really, the sticking points can be overcome by such a small tweaking of one's thought...opening the mind just a little bit...we can help with that! And the fellowship could be a great asset to one's spiritual growth, too...

Quote:
100:5.1 The world is filled with lost souls, not lost in the theologic sense but lost in the directional meaning, wandering about in confusion among the isms and cults of a frustrated philosophic era. Too few have learned how to install a philosophy of living in the place of religious authority. (The symbols of socialized religion are not to be despised as channels of growth, albeit the river bed is not the river.)


Anyway - random thoughts on a beautiful Thanksgiving Day...happy, happy to all!

MaryJo


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I disagree with the idea that Catholics worship Mary. It's more like we request her intercessory prayer.

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Sorry if I offended...it has always seemed like worship to me, but you are right...Mary is more like an intercessor. And that is how I was taught about her. I have some sisters who are so devoted to her, though...It just irks me for some reason, especially since I now know more about Mary. That's more about my own shortcomings, I think. But when I think of the Mother Spirit connection, it all makes much better sense...


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The Hail Mary is a beautiful prayer that provides comfort and assurance that Mary is praying for us. When people think that praying to Mary amounts to worship, they are forgetting the original definition of "pray," which means to supplicate, not to worship. If there is anyone to whom I would ask for intercessory prayer, it would be the mother of Jesus.

Another thing I've been thinking about as a Catholic is how I can confess in the creed that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary when the Urantia Book teaches she was not a virgin. Is it possible that, if she was conceived by Joseph, that she was a virgin at the moment of conception, that it only took that one time for her to become pregnant with Jesus? The prophecy in Isaiah says that a virgin would bear a child, not specifically that it would be a form of asexual reproduction.

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