"Religion" is a Naughty Word?
Ken Glasziou, Australia
The plethora of profundity poured out in the Urantia Papers is such that mere mortals like ourselves read it without digesting, pass over it without understanding.
One Urantia Book profundity states: "Religion is a living and dynamic experience of divinity attainment predicated on humanity service."
With that definition entrenched, should I not be more than proud to have a religion? In fact, if I do not have a religion then surely I should be fearful that I may have placed my eternal career in jeopardy?
So many times I have experienced Urantians pouring scorn upon religion and religious activity, even declaring with seeming pride that neither The Urantia Book nor the Urantia movement is a religion. True, "humanity service" activities appear to be conspicuously absent from the agendas of Urantia conferences and go unreported in Urantia publications, but surely that is not something of which we should be proud?
And if the Urantia movement is not a religious activity, what then is it?
Presumably what is "not religious" must be "non-religious?" That appears to be a logical enough conclusion. But the revelators declare, "all non-religious activities seek to bind the universe to the distorting service of self." So is that where things may have gone wrong--the movement has spurned "humanity service" and succumbed to the distorting service of self?
The revelators further declare: "The truly religious individual seeks to identify the self with the universe and then dedicate the activities of this unified self to the service of the universe family of fellow beings, human and superhuman."
On reflection, it may be a valid conclusion that Urantia Book reader organizations tend to involve members in intellectual activity, and leave "humanity service" to the private activities of the individual.
Having just re-read this material from the "God in Religion" section of Paper 5, and having digested it adequately for the very first time, I am left with a thankful heart that, after falling in love with the Urantia Papers about thirty years ago, I still persisted with my church membership in which "humanity service" does have a prominent role. It has also set me to ponder upon whether members of the Salvation Army (Volunteers of America) may get a warmer welcome on the mansion worlds than do Urantia Book readers? And Mother Teresa? I imagine she received celebrity status.
Question: Assume you are at the Pearly Gates seeking entrance, and must answer the question, "What did you do with your life." Which of these would you prefer to be able to give as your answer:
I was a member of a charity group and for more than twenty years served soup to the homeless at a soup kitchen on Skid Row.
I was President of the U.S.A.
I was a Trustee of the Urantia Foundation.
It surely is soup for thought.