Q: What does The Urantia Book say about sin? How can an individual know if something is a sin? Are homosexual relations a sin?

A: Here are a few Urantia Book quotes that will help you to understand what sin is, as contrasted with evil, error and iniquity:

(67:1.4) There are many ways of looking at sin, but from the universe philosophic viewpoint sin is the attitude of a personality who is knowingly resisting cosmic reality. Error might be regarded as a misconception or distortion of reality. Evil is a partial realization of, or maladjustment to, universe realities. But sin is a purposeful resistance to divine reality—a conscious choosing to oppose spiritual progress—while iniquity consists in an open and persistent defiance of recognized reality and signifies such a degree of personality disintegration as to border on cosmic insanity.

Error suggests lack of intellectual keenness; evil, deficiency of wisdom; sin, abject spiritual poverty; but iniquity is indicative of vanishing personality control.

(148:4.4) [Jesus said:] “Sin is the conscious, knowing, and deliberate transgression of the divine law, the Father’s will. Sin is the measure of unwillingness to be divinely led and spiritually directed.”

So, we can see that sin is a conscious choice to “oppose spiritual progress” and a “deliberate transgression of the divine law, the Father’s will.” In other words, one must know that what one is doing is a clear violation of the principles of truth, beauty and goodness, and then decide to do it anyway. This constitutes sin.

The ability to recognize sinful behavior is tied up with the development of a strong character. Here are some passages that illuminate this topic:

(140:4.8)Remember: While inherited urges cannot be fundamentally modified, emotional responses to such urges can be changed; therefore the moral nature can be modified, character can be improved. In the strong character emotional responses are integrated and co-ordinated, and thus is produced a unified personality. Deficient unification weakens the moral nature and engenders unhappiness.

(160:1.2) Human life consists in three great drives–urges, desires, and lures. Strong character, commanding personality, is only acquired by converting the natural urge of life into the social art of living, by transforming present desires into those higher longings which are capable of lasting attainment, while the commonplace lure of existence must be transferred from one’s conventional and established ideas to the higher realms of unexplored ideas and undiscovered ideals.

(184:2.12) It requires a great and noble character, having started out wrong, to turn about and go right. All too often one’s own mind tends to justify continuance in the path of error when once it is entered upon.

As for homosexual relations, this is an issue that The Urantia Book says nothing about. Although it does extol the value of friendship between same-sex persons, there are no guidelines in the book either for or against sexual relations in such a loving friendship, or the morality of such relations. Unlike the the Bible, The Urantia Book is not specific about many of the social issues we face today, and it does not make blanket claims about specific behaviors. These “mores” are determined age to age by the prevailing sentiments of society. Having said that, I would also say that the teachings of The Urantia Book do exalt the man-woman relationship, along with marriage, children and family life, as the highest ideal of relationship. In all inter-personal relations, unselfish love—the desire to do good to others—should be the primary concern.

And regarding the sex urge, consider this quote:

(82:1.10) No human emotion or impulse, when unbridled and overindulged, can produce so much harm and sorrow as this powerful sex urge.

I would invite you to interpret this reply and the above quotes with your highest, most spiritual thinking while deriving a personally meaningful answer to this question.

Date published:
Author: Staff