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I have some pretty confusing questions/thoughts, it's basically trying to bridge the seeming discrepancies between the Jesus papers (plus some of the gospels) and the other ones. It seems that the other papers claim that salvation is almost a given (that the real life with big choices begins in the next life), whereas, and this seems to be where the Greek scriptures get their dogmatism from, that Jesus gives many conditions (e.g. sheep and goats illustration, tree not producing fruit will be cut down, mercy being rejected etc).

To make matters worse, Christians argue amongst themselves as to what constitutes salvation - there are many camps:

> Some say that all that's needed is belief

> Some say that words are not enough - actions are what counts (especially the Jehovahs Witnesses, making salvation feel like it's earned - this is the religion I was raised in so it can be hard to discern certain truths with the clouding previous indoctrinations).

There seems no clear distinction between entering the kingdom (faith and salvation), and remaining in the kingdom.

Then comes the complication of atheism and faith. The papers teach that throughout the centuries the divine messengers have tried to break it to humanity that all that is required is faith (not sacrifice). In that case then, can an atheist be saved? What really is faith? I always thought while reading the other papers that a person's survival qualities (being "saved") depended upon many factors (e.g. their attitude to life) and not just a person's belief system per ce? Can the divine judges really condemn one person because intellectually they couldn't justify belief in a Creator (yet they lived a good/loving life) but then accept the next person who's quite arrogant and nasty just because they have "faith"?

It just doesn't seem that there is a clear and consistent definition of faith. If it's just "belief" then that means that it's pretty unfair because the atheist who may behave better than the so called "Christian" gets extinguished (yet all the Christian has to do is sit back and say "I believe"). But then if faith requires action too, then that makes it sound as if it's earned? How can you say that salvation is unconditional (via God's Fatherly love), when in reality choosing to disobey God results in death (no salvation)?


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Salvation IS By Faith ! :wink:

And
ALL will creatures are to experience one true opportunity to make one undoubted, self-conscious, and final choice.


112:5.3 Mortal identity is a transient time-life condition in the universe; it is real only in so far as the personality elects to become a continuing universe phenomenon. This is the essential difference between man and an energy system: The energy system must continue, it has no choice; but man has everything to do with determining his own destiny. The Adjuster is truly the path to Paradise, but man himself must pursue that path by his own deciding, his freewill choosing.


112:5.5 And it is this very power of choice, the universe insignia of freewill creaturehood, that constitutes man’s greatest opportunity and his supreme cosmic responsibility. Upon the integrity of the human volition depends the eternal destiny of the future finaliter; upon the sincerity of the mortal free will the divine Adjuster depends for eternal personality; upon the faithfulness of mortal choice the Universal Father depends for the realization of a new ascending son; upon the steadfastness and wisdom of decision-actions the Supreme Being depends for the actuality of experiential evolution.


112:5.9 This does not mean that human beings are to enjoy a second opportunity in the face of the rejection of a first, not at all. But it does signify that all will creatures are to experience one true opportunity to make one undoubted, self-conscious, and final choice. The sovereign Judges of the universes will not deprive any being of personality status who has not finally and fully made the eternal choice; the soul of man must and will be given full and ample opportunity to reveal its true intent and real purpose.


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The right to enter the kingdom is conditioned by faith, personal belief.


140:8.28 The right to enter the kingdom is conditioned by faith, personal belief. The cost of remaining in the progressive ascent of the kingdom is the pearl of great price, in order to possess which a man sells all that he has.


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True salvation where the individual is 100 percent safe does not happen until fusion so anytime before that we can die. Atheists will get a chance to make an informed decision on the mansion worlds. If they still reject god there , they will die via self destruction. Sin is self destroying.

Also faith is not belief. With faith you are using that 3rd cosmic intuition to reach up and faith grasp divinity. It's a dynamic spiritual action.

I think the question is how much time will god give non believers a chance to excersize faith? My guess is that there will be given a big chunk of time given to non believers on the 7th mansion world. There is a passage in the book about how the Ancient of Days refuse to execute anyone where there is even slight hope.

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StrongcharactersRnotderivedfromnotdoingwrongbutratherfrom
actuallydoingrightUnselfishnesisthebadgeofhumangreatnes
Thehighestlevelsofselfrealizationareatainedbyworshipandservice
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Thanks for the replies!


boomshuka wrote:
Also faith is not belief. With faith you are using that 3rd cosmic intuition to reach up and faith grasp divinity. It's a dynamic spiritual action.


Can you expand on this? How would you explain this to a Christian (e.g. maybe using scripture)? Obviously it is limited when you use the bible but it still helps to "join the dots"...


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Let me say, in addition to and in support of Boom's and Coop's posts, a few words about differentiating belief and faith. Faith IS an act or it is NOT faith. Belief does come first often enough....maybe always. But faith is choosing and acting based on belief. But the belief may be false, partially or relatively true, or even mostly true based on the constraints and limitations of material mind to discern and understand truth.

One may be very faithful and very wrong in their facts/beliefs and thusly, we are taught that it is the faith of the believer and not the beliefs of the believer that determine spirit progress. There are ample quotes throughout the Revelation that are reiterations of this truth, consistantly from page 1 to the last page of text.

The way I read the spectrum of spirit progress is...... hope - faith - experiential confidence - sublime assurance. This progression is attainable by mortals and is so regardless of the facts driving the experience. My athiest friends will be found along this spectrum as well, based on their development of ethics, morality, and selfless love of others that bring duty, loyalty, sacrifice, and affection into their lives....wrong facts, again, but responsiveness to Father for ALL love flows from that fountain ONLY. So, yes, one may drink of the living water without knowing it or believing or believing the opposite.

The spirit within always speaks. Who responds? How they respond is not so important upon the planet of origin but it certainly will get important upon graduation to the morontial experience. While we cannot earn mercy (since all are given a great reservoir of forgiveness/mercy credits), each mind must still work to enjoy spirit progress. The mind must choose and do so by discerning the reality of love, the attraction of truth, beauty, and goodness and to grow in the spirit thusly. Salvation is a universal gift....as is our free will to choose it or to reject it.

Truth is not true until it is experienced as true. It's only theoretical until experienced and known by the mind receiving, discerning, choosing, and living it. Truth is also ALWAYS relative in the material mind. That is it is both partially true but incompletely true in our material, experiential mind. This will remain so for a long, long time in spirit progress.


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An atheist may have faith that his/her mechanistic and spiritless belief of the universe is correct...but salvation involves the transfer of personal self-identity from the mortal self to the indwelling spirit (culminating in fusion with the Thought Adjuster) and so is impossible for those who have chosen to deny and ignore their spirit intuition.


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I don't believe (haha) that is true at all....for survival of the mortal to mansonia. It certainly is true upon those shores and it certainly is helpful here for those so enlightened. But your claim is that facts must be known prior to salvation. Love any text in support of such a notion but doubt you find any. We do need to be clear about which experience we are discussing....the temporal/material life or the morontial life. Soul mass is built with faith and love and experience in truth, beauty, and goodness....and not by facts, beliefs, creeds, ceremonies, symbols, etc. - no matter how factual those are or are not. Athiests are no more doomed by lack of information than is the pope or the deacon....all of us are way short in the facts department.

Even if the Revelation is wholly true (and I believe it is), the truths within are partial, relative, and personalized only by our faith acts based on our love experience. There are some mighty empty souls that survive with but a faint flicker of love response.

I feel an interesting discussion brewing here....I'll post some quotes tomorrow and maybe others will chime in before?

Peace fellow pilgrims and tadpoles. 8)


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Here is something else to consider. There are quotes in the book about requirements for mortals to survive. A lot of readers think they are just talking about humans. Well we are actually still mortals on the lower mansion worlds. So even being completely ignorant in this life, you are not doomed. Even atheists survive death, well most of them will.

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actuallydoingrightUnselfishnesisthebadgeofhumangreatnes
Thehighestlevelsofselfrealizationareatainedbyworshipandservice
Thehapyandefectivepersonismotivatednotbyfearofwrongdoingbutby
loveofrightdoing


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Quote:
But your claim is that facts must be known prior to salvation.


My claim is that viable choices must be made and that intuitive spiritual experience precedes the expression of beliefs.

[edit] and just in case you misunderstood me...i wasn't discounting the role of Living faith in the process of salvation...merely adding to the process the role of self-identification.


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BrotherP wrote:
Thanks for the replies!


boomshuka wrote:
Also faith is not belief. With faith you are using that 3rd cosmic intuition to reach up and faith grasp divinity. It's a dynamic spiritual action.


Can you expand on this? How would you explain this to a Christian (e.g. maybe using scripture)? Obviously it is limited when you use the bible but it still helps to "join the dots"...



Quote:
http://www.urantia.org/topical-studies/faith

“That faith is concerned only with the grasp of ideal values is shown by the New Testament definition which declares that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” (1091.7) 99:5.8 Heb 11:1.

Heb 11:1. King James version: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

“Just as certainly as men share their religious beliefs, they create a religious group of some sort which eventually creates common goals. Someday religionists will get together and actually effect co-operation on the basis of unity of ideals and purposes rather than attempting to do so on the basis of psychological opinions and theological beliefs. Goals rather than creeds should unify religionists. Since true religion is a matter of personal spiritual experience, it is inevitable that each individual religionist must have his own and personal interpretation of the realization of that spiritual experience. Let the term ‘faith’ stand for the individual’s relation to God rather than for the creedal formulation of what some group of mortals have been able to agree upon as a common religious attitude. ‘Have you faith? Then have it to yourself.’” (1091.6) 99:5.7 Rom 14:22.

“The full summation of human life is the knowledge that man is educated by fact, ennobled by wisdom, and saved—justified—by religious faith.” (2094.3) 196:3.4 Rom 5:1.

“When Jesus had listened to this recital, he touched the kneeling father and bade him rise while he gave the near-by apostles a searching survey. Then said Jesus to all those who stood before him: ‘O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I bear with you? How long shall I be with you? How long ere you learn that the works of faith come not forth at the bidding of doubting unbelief?’ And then, pointing to the bewildered father, Jesus said, ‘Bring hither your son.’ And when James had brought the lad before Jesus, he asked, ‘How long has the boy been afflicted in this way?’ The father answered, ‘Since he was a very young child.’ And as they talked, the youth was seized with a violent attack and fell in their midst, gnashing his teeth and foaming at the mouth. After a succession of violent convulsions he lay there before them as one dead. Now did the father again kneel at Jesus’ feet while he implored the Master, saying: ‘If you can cure him, I beseech you to have compassion on us and deliver us from this affliction.’ And when Jesus heard these words, he looked down into the father’s anxious face, saying: ‘Question not my Father’s power of love, only the sincerity and reach of your faith. All things are possible to him who really believes.’ And then James of Safed spoke those long-to-be-remembered words of commingled faith and doubt, ‘Lord, I believe. I pray you help my unbelief.’” (1757.2) 158:5.2 Mark 9:14-24.


This is a good quote that should help distinguish faith and belief to even non readers.

“Belief has attained the level of faith when it motivates life and shapes the mode of living. The acceptance of a teaching as true is not faith; that is mere belief. Neither is certainty nor conviction faith. A state of mind attains to faith levels only when it actually dominates the mode of living. Faith is a living attribute of genuine personal religious experience. One believes truth, admires beauty, and reverences goodness, but does not worship them; such an attitude of saving faith is centered on God alone, who is all of these personified and infinitely more.” (1114.5) 101:8.1


With faith we can reach up to God and at the same time he can reach down and grab/grasp a hold of us. It would seem that God needs us to get to a certain height for him to engage us personally and directly. So with this faith we can reach up towards him with an outstretched hand and once it reaches a certain level it is 100 percent engageable by God. Its just a simple reach up/inward for God, and when faith finally reaches God that faith can turn into Trust and Love. So instead of having just faith in God, you have began to literally be in communion with him so you feel his love flow through you. But I haven't quite gotten to the point where my faith reaches god so I can only speculate that this is what happens. Of coarse I have faith in it hahaha.

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StrongcharactersRnotderivedfromnotdoingwrongbutratherfrom
actuallydoingrightUnselfishnesisthebadgeofhumangreatnes
Thehighestlevelsofselfrealizationareatainedbyworshipandservice
Thehapyandefectivepersonismotivatednotbyfearofwrongdoingbutby
loveofrightdoing


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boomshuka wrote:
Even atheists survive death, well most of them will.


Quote:
140:10.9 John asked Jesus, “Master, what is the kingdom of heaven?” And Jesus answered: “The kingdom of heaven consists in these three essentials: first, recognition of the fact of the sovereignty of God; second, belief in the truth of sonship with God; and third, faith in the effectiveness of the supreme human desire to do the will of God—to be like God. And this is the good news of the gospel: that by faith every mortal may have all these essentials of salvation.”


Feel free to explain how atheists recognize the fact of the sovereignty of God and thereby lay this cornerstone essential for the construction of the soul. And how the faithless pass the test of faith.


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FAITH IS A Personal living experience

101:8.2
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.


101:8.3 Faith has falsified its trust when it presumes to deny realities and to confer upon its devotees assumed knowledge. Faith is a traitor when it fosters betrayal of intellectual integrity and belittles loyalty to supreme values and divine ideals. Faith never shuns the problem-solving duty of mortal living. Living faith does not foster bigotry, persecution, or intolerance.


101:8.4 Faith does not shackle the creative imagination, neither does it maintain an unreasoning prejudice toward the discoveries of scientific investigation. Faith vitalizes religion and constrains the religionist heroically to live the golden rule. The zeal of faith is according to knowledge, and its strivings are the preludes to sublime peace.


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8)

Salvation should be taken for granted by those who believe in the fatherhood of God.

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.


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