The Urantia Book versus its Philosophy
Ann Bendall, Qld., Australia
Peter and the apostles, afire with the Spirit of Truth, went right against Jesus' request/demand/injunction that they teach the gospel of the kingdom rather than teach his life, and so they created a religion about Jesus rather than the religion of Jesus--instantly turning a revelation-based religion into an evolution-based one. Hence, "the kingdom as Jesus conceived it has to a large extent failed on earth" (1866)
When I first read The Urantia Book, I wanted to give it to everyone I knew. From a selfish perspective, this would enable the quality of my friendships to take a quantum step forward from my perspective. Every person on this planet could benefit from the reading of the book was my deduction and, although I verily continue to believe this, the reality is that the majority have no desire. What they need, for those who are "seeking," is help and guidance. They need a philosophy of life which promises peace and joy and happiness, and which enables them to make sense of the doings and attitudes of all of their brothers and sisters.
They neither need or desire a book. I value the opportunity to have the book, and my gratitude is to the organization which ensured it was in existence. But if we continue to put all effort into marketing the book, are we not making the same mistake that the apostles made with the fourth revelation?
I believe this is so, and I also believe it was never meant to replace the Bible. It was not given to us to form a new religion, or to heavily market. It was hoped instead that the individual who studied it would learn to exemplify its philosophy--Jesus' philosophy--and that, as a result of The Urantia Book, some men and women would take on "the religious challenge of this age" referred to by the Divine Counselor as, "to those farseeing and forward-looking men and women of spiritual insight who will dare to construct a new an appealing philosophy of living out of the enlarged and exquisitely integrated modern concepts of cosmic truth, universe beauty, and divine goodness. Such a new and righteous vision of morality will attract all that is good in the mind of man and challenge that which is best in the human soul." (43)
As I currently view the future of Urantia in the light of reading The Urantia Book, I see two streams of spiritual development in our immanent future, both clearly stipulated in the book:
i) The first was hoped to be as a direct result of people becoming students of the book and then livers of its philosophy. These would be the individuals who would perform the "transcendent service" of ensuring "a revival of the actual teachings of Jesus, such a restatement as will undo the work of his early followers who went about to create a sociophilosophical system of belief regarding the fact of Michael's sojourn on earth. In a short time the teaching of this story about Jesus nearly supplanted the preaching of Jesus' gospel of the kingdom. In this way an historical religion displaced that teaching in which Jesus had blended man's highest moral ideas and spiritual ideals with man's sublime hope for the future - eternal life. And that was the gospel of the kingdom......but someday the true believers in Jesus will not be thus spiritually divided in their attitude before unbelievers. Always we may have diversity of intellectual comprehension and interpretation, even varying degrees of socialization, but lack of spiritual brotherhood is both inexcusable and reprehensible." (1866)
The revelators are still waiting for us to become 'livers' of the philosophy of The Urantia Book, and "The time is ripe to witness the figurative resurrection of the human Jesus from his burial tomb amidst the theological traditions and the religious dogmas of nineteen centuries. Jesus of Nazareth must not be longer sacrificed to even the splendid concept of the glorified Christ. What a transcendent service if, through this revelation, the son of Man should be recovered from the tomb of traditional theology, and be presented as the living Jesus to the church that bears his name, and to all other religions. …(2090)
"....Indeed, the social readjustments, the economic transformations, the moral rejuvenations, and the religious revisions of Christian civilization would be drastic and revolutionary if the living religion of Jesus should suddenly supplant the theologic religion about Jesus. To 'follow Jesus' means to personally share his religious faith and to enter into the spirit of the Master's life of unselfish service for man. One of the most important things in human living is to find out what Jesus believed, to discover his ideals, and to strive for the achievement of his exalted life purpose. Of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it." (2090)
ii) The second: The reformation of the Christian churches. In the past 40 years there have been major changes occurring in Christianity, and it is now on the brink of the next great step which The Urantia Book sees as, "The hope of modern Christianity is that it should cease to sponsor the social systems and industrial policies of Western civilization." (2086) But for the church to, "humbly bow itself before the cross it so valiantly extols, there to learn anew from Jesus of Nazareth the greatest truths mortal man can ever hear--the living gospel of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man," we must patiently await that time when enough of its members become actual "livers" of the religion of Jesus--for "Christianity is an extemporized religion, and therefore must it operate in low gear. High-gear spiritual performances must await the new revelation and the more general acceptance of the real