PAPER 196 – THE FAITH OF JESUS

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  • #11928
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    .

    Good Day Ray, Bonita, nelsong, Brad, Rick B, Keryn, Mark, Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,

    Compare the first sentence of today’s reading:

    …Jesus founded the religion of personal experience in doing the will of God and serving the human brotherhood….  (2092.4)196:2.6

    …with this from Paper 195:

    …Jesus did not found the so-called Christian church, but he has, in every manner consistent with his nature, fostered it as the best existent exponent of his lifework on earth…. (2085.1)195:10.9

    ***

    The absence of unity in the religion that claims Jesus is evidence that his teachings have been perverted, mangled and/or ignored. The Midwayers label it a pity in today’s text:

     …it is indeed a pity that his followers failed to create a unified religion…. (2092.4)196:2.6

    It might also be called a tragedy, even a default. So, the inevitable question becomes: What should we do now, now that we have this new revelation that decries the lack of unity in the religion that supposedly follows the Master’s teachings? Will the world listen to, respect, and adopt a religion that has 40,000 disagreeing sects? Even the nascent Urantia community has its sectarian divides. Will we carry on as our Christian predecessors did with unending subdivisions, competing and irreconcilable versions of Jesus’ religion that divide and drive believers apart?

    ***

    What “hard saying” do you think the Midwayers are referring to in today’s OPAD?:

    …Many of his apparently hard sayings were more of a personal confession of faith and a pledge of devotion than commands to his followers…. (2093.1)196:2.7

    That term, “hard sayings” appears in two other places. The first is where Mary is pleading with her son to perform a miracle at the Cana wedding, in Paper 137:

    …Jesus replied: “Again I declare that I have not come to do things in this wise. Why do you trouble me again with these matters?” And then, breaking down in tears, Mary entreated him, “But, my son, I promised them that you would help us; won’t you please do something for me?” And then spoke Jesus: “Woman, what have you to do with making such promises? See that you do it not again. We must in all things wait upon the will of the Father in heaven.”

    Mary the mother of Jesus was crushed; she was stunned! As she stood there before him motionless, with the tears streaming down her face, the human heart of Jesus was overcome with compassion for the woman who had borne him in the flesh; and bending forward, he laid his hand tenderly upon her head, saying: “Now, now, Mother Mary, grieve not over my apparently hard sayings, for have I not many times told you that I have come only to do the will of my heavenly Father? Most gladly would I do what you ask of me if it were a part of the Father’s will — “ and Jesus stopped short, he hesitated. Mary seemed to sense that something was happening. Leaping up, she threw her arms around Jesus’ neck, kissed him, and rushed off to the servants’ quarters, saying, “Whatever my son says, that do.” But Jesus said nothing. He now realized that he had already said — or rather desirefully thought — too much…. (1530.1)137:4.9

    The other is in Paper 140:

    …Then asked Nathaniel: “Master, shall we give no place to justice? The law of Moses says, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ What shall we say?” And Jesus answered: “You shall return good for evil. My messengers must not strive with men, but be gentle toward all. Measure for measure shall not be your rule. The rulers of men may have such laws, but not so in the kingdom; mercy always shall determine your judgments and love your conduct. And if these are hard sayings, you can even now turn back. If you find the requirements of apostleship too hard, you may return to the less rigorous pathway of discipleship….” (1577.3)140:6.9

    ***

    Sad as it is, this provides a measure of comfort:

    …He saw most men as weak rather than wicked, more distraught than depraved…. (2093.3)196:2.9

    We want to follow his teachings, most of us, but we simply haven’t been taught how. We can take more comfort knowing if it was easy and simple, we wouldn’t need the long morontia regime for spiritual realignment and rehabilitation. From Paper 48:

    …There is a definite and divine purpose in all this morontia and subsequent spirit scheme of mortal progression, this elaborate universe training school for ascending creatures. It is the design of the Creators to afford the creatures of time a graduated opportunity to master the details of the operation and administration of the grand universe, and this long course of training is best carried forward by having the surviving mortal climb up gradually and by actual participation in every step of the ascent…. (557.17)48:8.2

    ***

    About human value, cited in today’s text:

     …He taught men to place a high value upon themselves in time and in eternity…. (2093.4)196:2.10

    From Paper 12:

    …The love of God strikingly portrays the transcendent value of each will creature, unmistakably reveals the high value which the Universal Father has placed upon each and every one of his children from the highest creator personality of Paradise status to the lowest personality of will dignity among the savage tribes of men…. (138.4)12:7.9

    From Paper 100:

     …Jesus loved men so much because he placed such a high value upon them…. (1098.1)100:4.4

    Self-respect has a high place in the religion of Jesus. This is from his teachings on the positive nature of religion, Paper 159:

    …It is the purpose of this gospel to restore self-respect to those who have lost it and to restrain it in those who have it. Make not the mistake of only condemning the wrongs in the lives of your pupils; remember also to accord generous recognition for the most praiseworthy things in their lives. Forget not that I will stop at nothing to restore self-respect to those who have lost it, and who really desire to regain it.

    Take care that you do not wound the self-respect of timid and fearful souls…. (1765.5)159:3.3&4

    ***

    The Midwayers end this Section on Jesus’ religion with a frank and inescapable declaration that should alert us all to the fact that high flying peace movements, contentious political strivings, moral idealism, and charitable work will amount to little, unless and until our priorities are set right:

    …The ideal of all social attainment can be realized only in the coming of this divine kingdom…. (2093.5)196:2.11

    It should eventually become obvious to all discerning minds and every sincere seeker that the fatherhood of God over the family of humanity trumps all other ideas, plans, purposes and goals.

    ***

    In tomorrow’s reading, the first of four parts of the final Section of the book: 3. The Supremacy of Religion, the Midwayers discuss the primary aspects of faith: Genuine spiritual experience, fundamental elements of reality, soul progress, and the indwelling presence of a fragment of God himself, living and working with and for us.

    Contents of: Paper 196 – THE FAITH OF JESUS

    1. Jesus — The Man

    2. The Religion of Jesus

    3. The Supremacy of Religion

    Listen to Paper 196: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

    Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.

    Much love, Rick/OPAD host.

    #11934
    Bradly
    Bradly
    Participant

    What “hard saying” do you think the Midwayers are referring to in today’s OPAD?

     

    Excellent question!!  I think most of his “rebukes” and stern admonishments were specifically directed at those most exposed to the most dangerous temptations – the priests, the Apostles and Disciples, the lazy, the materialists, the comfort and wonder seekers, the impatient and tempestuous, the foolish, and the hypocrite.  I wonder if he recognized by his own experience what obstacles are the most difficult for mortals to overcome and his “hard” sayings were, in this way, very personal expressions of warning related to the effects realized by such dangers to our ability to transfer the seat of identity from material to spiritual?  He too was “tested” in all ways and by every temptation and trial,  yes?

    #11935
    Avatar
    nelsong
    Participant

    …it is indeed a pity that his followers failed to create a unified religion…. (2092.4)196:2.6

    It might also be called a tragedy, even a default. So, the inevitable question becomes: What should we do now, now that we have this new revelation that decries the lack of unity in the religion that supposedly follows the Master’s teachings? Will the world listen to, respect, and adopt a religion that has 40,000 disagreeing sects? Even the nascent Urantia community has its sectarian divides. Will we carry on as our Christian predecessors did with unending subdivisions, competing and irreconcilable versions of Jesus’ religion that divide and drive believers apart?

     

    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    I believe that  a unified religion is possible but not likely and may even be a waste of effort. All past efforts have only lead to uniformity in religion as opposed to unity. This is curious because the nature of personality is unity. So to me the message is to become unified with reality as an individual person and associate with other unified persons and maybe the end result will evolve a unified religious system or something like that where unified people can be their own individual persons and be unified in purpose and leave uniformity to the mechanists where it is appropriate.

    In other words, unify ourselves and don’t try to create a religion and maybe a unified religion may just happen as a result with no focus on creating one.

    #11936
    Bonita
    Bonita
    Participant

    Most of Jesus’ hard sayings had to do with the level of commitment necessary for active apostleship rather than the easier path of passive discipleship.  It is hard to love your enemies and to have faith in God’s will.  It is hard not to hold grudges and instead to trust in divine justice.  It is hard to maintain an attitude of active and spontaneous kindness.  It is hard to go the second mile and third mile and always seek for truth, beauty in goodness in everything and everyone you meet.  These things are very hard to do. Jesus did them all to perfection in order to light the way for us to try to do them too, as best we can and as we are willing.

    #11951
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    Good and thoughtful additions Brad, nelsong, Bonita. Thanks for the comments/replies.

    Brad, the Midwayers answered and agree with you in at least three places:

     …Indeed was he “tested in all points like as you are….” (1403.2) 127:5.4

    …He hungered and satisfied such cravings with food; he thirsted and quenched his thirst with water. He experienced the full gamut of human feelings and emotions; he was “in all things tested, even as you are,” and he suffered and died…. (1407.7) 128:1.2

    …It is forever and gloriously true: “We have a high ruler who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. We have a Sovereign who was in all points tested and tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” And since he himself has suffered, being tested and tried, he is abundantly able to understand and minister to those who are confused and distressed…. (1408.2) 128:1.5

    ***

    Nelsong, that’s a tall order. We’ll see, but knowing humans, I’m predicting we will at least try to capture and codify truth into a religion.

     …When a strong and moving religion threatens to dominate him, he invariably tries to rationalize, traditionalize, and institutionalize it, thereby hoping to gain control of it…. (2083.2) 195:9.6

    ***

    Bonita, indeed, “as best we can and we are willing”, ever falling short of his perfection, yet not giving up until the top of Paradise Mountain has been reached. Let us grow.

     

    #11952
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

     

    Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

    Today’s Presentation

    Paper 196 – The Faith Of Jesus

    3. The Supremacy of Religion

    [Part 1 of 4]

       Personal, spiritual religious experience is an efficient solvent for most mortal difficulties; it is an effective sorter, evaluator, and adjuster of all human problems. Religion does not remove or destroy human troubles, but it does dissolve, absorb, illuminate, and transcend them. True religion unifies the personality for effective adjustment to all mortal requirements. Religious faith — the positive leading of the indwelling divine presence — unfailingly enables the God-knowing man to bridge that gulf existing between the intellectual logic which recognizes the Universal First Cause as It and those positive affirmations of the soul which aver this First Cause is He, the heavenly Father of Jesus’ gospel, the personal God of human salvation.

    (2094.1)196:3.2 There are just three elements in universal reality: fact, idea, and relation. The religious consciousness identifies these realities as science, philosophy, and truth. Philosophy would be inclined to view these activities as reason, wisdom, and faith — physical reality, intellectual reality, and spiritual reality. We are in the habit of designating these realities as thing, meaning, and value.

    (2094.2)196:3.3 The progressive comprehension of reality is the equivalent of approaching God. The finding of God, the consciousness of identity with reality, is the equivalent of the experiencing of self-completion — self-entirety, self-totality. The experiencing of total reality is the full realization of God, the finality of the God-knowing experience.

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

    (2094.4)196:3.5 Physical certainty consists in the logic of science; moral certainty, in the wisdom of philosophy; spiritual certainty, in the truth of genuine religious experience.

    (2094.5)196:3.6 The mind of man can attain high levels of spiritual insight and corresponding spheres of divinity of values because it is not wholly material. There is a spirit nucleus in the mind of man — the Adjuster of the divine presence. There are three separate evidences of this spirit indwelling of the human mind:

    1. Humanitarian fellowship — love. The purely animal mind may be gregarious for self-protection, but only the spirit-indwelt intellect is unselfishly altruistic and unconditionally loving.

    2. Interpretation of the universe — wisdom. Only the spirit-indwelt mind can comprehend that the universe is friendly to the individual.

    3. Spiritual evaluation of life — worship. Only the spirit-indwelt man can realize the divine presence and seek to attain a fuller experience in and with this foretaste of divinity.

    (2094.9)196:3.10 The human mind does not create real values; human experience does not yield universe insight. Concerning insight, the recognition of moral values and the discernment of spiritual meanings, all that the human mind can do is to discover, recognize, interpret, and choose.

    (2094.10)196:3.11 The moral values of the universe become intellectual possessions by the exercise of the three basic judgments, or choices, of the mortal mind:

    1. Self-judgment — moral choice.

    2. Social-judgment — ethical choice.

    3. God-judgment — religious choice.

    (2094.14)196:3.15 Thus it appears that all human progress is effected by a technique of conjoint revelational evolution.

    (2094.15)196:3.16 Unless a divine lover lived in man, he could not unselfishly and spiritually love. Unless an interpreter lived in the mind, man could not truly realize the unity of the universe. Unless an evaluator dwelt with man, he could not possibly appraise moral values and recognize spiritual meanings. And this lover hails from the very source of infinite love; this interpreter is a part of Universal Unity; this evaluator is the child of the Center and Source of all absolute values of divine and eternal reality.

    ***

    [Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]

    #11953
    Ray
    Ray
    Participant

    We are in the habit of designating these realities as thing, meaning, and value. Who be: ‘We”?  This is an awesome insight freely given! A Tao. Who knows man’s personalized mind this well? Can’t think that the Master didn’t have a hand in this paper!

    Walk with God. May His Peace be unto you.

    #11956
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    .

    Greetings Brad, Ray, nelsong, Bonita, Rick B, Keryn, Mark K, Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

    What would the universe be like if God were merely an IT, and not a PERSON?? Is such a universe desirable, or even possible? Cold indeed would be a universe of truth without goodness and beauty.

    If Jesus is the highest and most perfect human expression of the nature and character of God, then I want to know God, I have to. Jesus was so personable and lovable, “hard sayings” and all, that I will do whatever it takes, no matter how long it takes, to follow him to our Paradise Father, the one the Midwayers name in today’s reading, “the personal God of human salvation.”

    ***

    These three elements of reality, named in the second paragraph of today’s text:

    …We are in the habit of designating these realities as thing, meaning, and value…. (2094.1)196:3.2

    …also appear in Paper 9:

    Energy is thing, mind is meaning, spirit is value…. (102.5)9:4.5

    …and in Paper 16:

     …Matter-energy is recognized by the mathematical logic of the senses; mind-reason intuitively knows its moral duty; spirit-faith (worship) is the religion of the reality of spiritual experience. These three basic factors in reflective thinking may be unified and co-ordinated in personality development, or they may become disproportionate and virtually unrelated in their respective functions. But when they become unified, they produce a strong character consisting in the correlation of a factual science, a moral philosophy, and a genuine religious experience. And it is these three cosmic intuitions that give objective validity, reality, to man’s experience in and with things, meanings, and values…. (192.6)16:6.10

    …and in Paper 100:

    …Spirituality enhances the ability to discover beauty in things, recognize truth in meanings, and discover goodness in values…. (1096.1)100:2.4

    …and in Paper 102:

     …mind can never succeed in this unification of the diversity of reality unless such mind is firmly aware of material things, intellectual meanings, and spiritual values; only in the harmony of the triunity of functional reality is there unity, and only in unity is there the personality satisfaction of the realization of cosmic constancy and consistency….
     (1120.2)102:2.5

    …and in Paper 103:

    …Reason is the act of recognizing the conclusions of consciousness with regard to the experience in and with the physical world of energy and matter. Faith is the act of recognizing the validity of spiritual consciousness — something which is incapable of other mortal proof. Logic is the synthetic truth-seeking progression of the unity of faith and reason and is founded on the constitutive mind endowments of mortal beings, the innate recognition of things, meanings, and values…. (1139.5)103:7.13

    And there are others: 105:5:10, 106:0:19

    ***

    Now we know what full enlightenment is. From today’s reading:

    …The experiencing of total reality is the full realization of God, the finality of the God-knowing experience…. (2094.2)196:3.3

    So, what constitutes “total reality”? These Papers attempt to convey its definition:

    103. The Reality of Religious Experience

    1. Philosophy of Religion

    2. Religion and the Individual

    3. Religion and the Human Race

    4. Spiritual Communion

    5. The Origin of Ideals

    6. Philosophic Co-ordination

    7. Science and Religion

    8. Philosophy and Religion

    9. The Essence of Religion

    105. Deity and Reality

    1. The Philosophic Concept of the I AM

    2. The I AM as Triune and as Sevenfold

    3. The Seven Absolutes of Infinity

    4. Unity, Duality, and Triunity

    5. Promulgation of Finite Reality

    6. Repercussions of Finite Reality

    7. Eventuation of Transcendentals

    106. Universe Levels of Reality

    1. Primary Association of Finite Functionals

    2. Secondary Supreme Finite Integration  

    3. Transcendental Tertiary Reality Association  

    4. Ultimate Quartan Integration  

    5. Coabsolute or Fifth-Phase Association  

    6. Absolute or Sixth-Phase Integration  

    7. Finality of Destiny

    8. The Trinity of Trinities

    9. Existential Infinite Unification

    ***

    Compare this in today’s text:

    …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

    …with this in the New Testament, Romans, chapter 3:

    28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

    From Romans 5:

    1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

    From Galatians 2:

    16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

    From Galatians 3:

    11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

    24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

    ***

    About the three certainties, cited in today’s reading:

    …Physical certainty consists in the logic of science; moral certainty, in the wisdom of philosophy; spiritual certainty, in the truth of genuine religious experience…. (2094.4)196:3.5

    Compare with this in Paper 103:

    …Although both science and philosophy may assume the probability of God by their reason and logic, only the personal religious experience of a spirit-led man can affirm the certainty of such a supreme and personal Deity. By the technique of such an incarnation of living truth the philosophic hypothesis of the probability of God becomes a religious reality…. (1140:1) 103:8.1

    Genuine and personal religious experience is a major theme in the book. Personal religious experience is presented as the one thing that proves the existence of God. From Paper 1:

    …The existence of God is utterly beyond all possibility of demonstration except for the contact between the God-consciousness of the human mind and the God-presence of the Thought Adjuster that indwells the mortal intellect and is bestowed upon man as the free gift of the Universal Father…. (24.6)1:2.8

    In today’s reading the Midwayers add three concomitants of personal religious experience that augment certainty: Love, Wisdom and Worship, also broad and deep themes in the Papers.

    But is there absolute certainty in religious experience? Compare the Midwayers words in today’s text with this from a Perfector of Wisdom in Paper 26:

    …That, then, is the primary or elementary course which confronts the faith-tested and much-traveled pilgrims of space. But long before reaching Havona, these ascendant children of time have learned to feast upon uncertainty, to fatten upon disappointment, to enthuse over apparent defeat, to invigorate in the presence of difficulties, to exhibit indomitable courage in the face of immensity, and to exercise unconquerable faith when confronted with the challenge of the inexplicable…. (291.3)26:5.3

    ***

    We are informed in today’s reading that values aren’t created, they are chosen. And there are three levels of choice:

    1. Self-judgment — moral choice.

    2. Social-judgment — ethical choice.

    3. God-judgment — religious choice.

    The first two must be advised and constrained by the third, no?

    ***

    Next we are given the formula for evolutionary progress, and in italics:

    …Thus it appears that all human progress is effected by a technique of conjoint revelational evolution…. (2094.14)196:3.15

    Jesus taught this in Paper 170:

    …In the course of this Sabbath afternoon’s sermon Jesus noted no less than five phases, or epochs, of the kingdom, and they were:

    1. The personal and inward experience of the spiritual life of the fellowship of the individual believer with God the Father.

    2. The enlarging brotherhood of gospel believers, the social aspects of the enhanced morals and quickened ethics resulting from the reign of God’s spirit in the hearts of individual believers.

    3. The supermortal brotherhood of invisible spiritual beings which prevails on earth and in heaven, the superhuman kingdom of God.

    4. The prospect of the more perfect fulfillment of the will of God, the advance toward the dawn of a new social order in connection with improved spiritual living — the next age of man.

    5. The kingdom in its fullness, the future spiritual age of light and life on earth…. (1862.9)170:4.1

    Compare those five phases with these five revelational epochs listed in Paper 92: The Gift Of Revelation:

    …There have been many events of religious revelation but only five of epochal significance. These were as follows:

    1. The Dalamatian teachings.

    2. The Edenic teachings.

    3. Melchizedek of Salem.

     4. Jesus of Nazareth.

     5. The Urantia Papers…. (1007.4)92:4.4

    ***

    Though they do not name the Thought Adjuster, the Mystery Monitor, in the last paragraph of today’s OPAD, there can be no doubt the Midwayers are pointing to this same Indweller, this:

    …divine lover…interpreter, evaluator…[who] is the child of the Center and Source of all absolute values of divine and eternal reality…. (2094.15)196:3.16

    Even our God.

    ***

    Tomorrow’s reading, the second of four parts of this final Section of the book: 3. The Supremacy of Religion, touches on several points: Morality, survival into the next life, sonship, worship, idealism, and the necessary unification and activation of divine values in the life of ascenders, specifically truth, beauty and goodness.

    Contents of: Paper 196 – THE FAITH OF JESUS

    1. Jesus — The Man

    2. The Religion of Jesus

    3. The Supremacy of Religion

    Listen to Paper 196: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

    Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.

    Much love, Rick/OPAD host.

    #11958
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    We are in the habit of designating these realities as thing, meaning, and value. Who be: ‘We”? This is an awesome insight freely given! A Tao. Who knows man’s personalized mind this well? Can’t think that the Master didn’t have a hand in this paper!

    Good question, Ray. “We” must be the royal we, in this case inclusive of all celestial life, no?

    No doubt the Master Toaed into this Paper, indeed the whole UB!

    #11966
    Ray
    Ray
    Participant

    Master Rick, you are indeed a most gracious host. Thank you for sharing your encompassing knowledge and wisdom. You are an humbling experience for me. “I needed that!” But I do enjoy your presentations. Beautiful meditative and uplifting thoughts. Many to follow by your example – isn’t that the highest form of flattery? No respose needed here – just know that you are valued.

    Do agree that IT is a pathway to transient truthes yet COLD indeed without the personal touch of the Son of God.

    Walk with God. May His Peace be unto you.

    #11981
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

     

    Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

    Today’s Presentation

    Paper 196 – The Faith Of Jesus

    3. The Supremacy of Religion

    [Part 2 of 4]

       Moral evaluation with a religious meaning — spiritual insight — connotes the individual’s choice between good and evil, truth and error, material and spiritual, human and divine, time and eternity. Human survival is in great measure dependent on consecrating the human will to the choosing of those values selected by this spirit-value sorter — the indwelling interpreter and unifier. Personal religious experience consists in two phases: discovery in the human mind and revelation by the indwelling divine spirit. Through oversophistication or as a result of the irreligious conduct of professed religionists, a man, or even a generation of men, may elect to suspend their efforts to discover the God who indwells them; they may fail to progress in and attain the divine revelation. But such attitudes of spiritual nonprogression cannot long persist because of the presence and influence of the indwelling Thought Adjusters.

    (2095.2)196:3.18 This profound experience of the reality of the divine indwelling forever transcends the crude materialistic technique of the physical sciences. You cannot put spiritual joy under a microscope; you cannot weigh love in a balance; you cannot measure moral values; neither can you estimate the quality of spiritual worship.

    (2095.3)196:3.19 The Hebrews had a religion of moral sublimity; the Greeks evolved a religion of beauty; Paul and his conferees founded a religion of faith, hope, and charity. Jesus revealed and exemplified a religion of love: security in the Father’s love, with joy and satisfaction consequent upon sharing this love in the service of the human brotherhood.

    (2095.4)196:3.20 Every time man makes a reflective moral choice, he immediately experiences a new divine invasion of his soul. Moral choosing constitutes religion as the motive of inner response to outer conditions. But such a real religion is not a purely subjective experience. It signifies the whole of the subjectivity of the individual engaged in a meaningful and intelligent response to total objectivity — the universe and its Maker.

    (2095.5)196:3.21 The exquisite and transcendent experience of loving and being loved is not just a psychic illusion because it is so purely subjective. The one truly divine and objective reality that is associated with mortal beings, the Thought Adjuster, functions to human observation apparently as an exclusively subjective phenomenon. Man’s contact with the highest objective reality, God, is only through the purely subjective experience of knowing him, of worshiping him, of realizing sonship with him.

    (2095.6)196:3.22 True religious worship is not a futile monologue of self-deception. Worship is a personal communion with that which is divinely real, with that which is the very source of reality. Man aspires by worship to be better and thereby eventually attains the best.

    (2095.7)196:3.23 The idealization and attempted service of truth, beauty, and goodness is not a substitute for genuine religious experience — spiritual reality. Psychology and idealism are not the equivalent of religious reality. The projections of the human intellect may indeed originate false gods — gods in man’s image — but the true God-consciousness does not have such an origin. The God-consciousness is resident in the indwelling spirit. Many of the religious systems of man come from the formulations of the human intellect, but the God-consciousness is not necessarily a part of these grotesque systems of religious slavery.

    (2095.8)196:3.24 God is not the mere invention of man’s idealism; he is the very source of all such superanimal insights and values. God is not a hypothesis formulated to unify the human concepts of truth, beauty, and goodness; he is the personality of love from whom all of these universe manifestations are derived. The truth, beauty, and goodness of man’s world are unified by the increasing spirituality of the experience of mortals ascending toward Paradise realities. The unity of truth, beauty, and goodness can only be realized in the spiritual experience of the God-knowing personality.

    ***

    [Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]

    #11982
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    .

    Good day Ray, nelsong, Bonita, Mark K, Rick B, Brad, Keryn, Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,

    Morality without religion is like a train without tracks. Its existence is a statement, but it doesn’t go anywhere, it can’t serve as it should.

    Compare the first sentence of today’s OPAD:

       …Moral evaluation with a religious meaning — spiritual insight — connotes the individual’s choice between good and evil, truth and error, material and spiritual, human and divine, time and eternity….  (2095.1)196:3.17

    …with this from Jesus’ discourse on the soul, in Paper 133:

    “…Moral self-consciousness is true human self-realization and constitutes the foundation of the human soul, and the soul is that part of man which represents the potential survival value of human experience….” (1478:4) 133:6.5

    Morality can be an aid to soul growth when it is directed by spirit, or a detriment to soul progress when it has no spiritual center. Morality can be abused, misused and perverted. This is from a Divine Counselor in Paper 2:

     …The overstressed and isolated morality of modern religion, which fails to hold the devotion and loyalty of many twentieth-century men, would rehabilitate itself if, in addition to its moral mandates, it would give equal consideration to the truths of science, philosophy, and spiritual experience, and to the beauties of the physical creation, the charm of intellectual art, and the grandeur of genuine character achievement…. (43.2)2:7.9

    ***

    This is a noteworthy insight on genuine religious experience in the first paragraph of today’s reading:

    …Personal religious experience consists in two phases: discovery in the human mind and revelation by the indwelling divine spirit…. (2095.2)196:3.18

    Evidently both phases of religious experience are inevitable in true seekers, thanks to the seven Adjutant Mind Spirits bestowed by the Divine Mother, and the ministrations of the Indweller given by the Universal Father. From the last sentence of the first paragraph of today’s read:

    …such attitudes of spiritual nonprogression cannot long persist because of the presence and influence of the indwelling Thought Adjusters…. (2095.2)196:3.18

    Of course the Spirit of Truth assists when it has been bestowed. From Paper 194:

    …And so did the bestowal of the Spirit of Truth bring to the world and its peoples the last of the spirit endowment designed to aid in the ascending search for God…. (2062:9) 194:2.20

    Apparently morality (evolved ideals of behavior) and science can augment religious experience, but both can be misapplied, misdirected and corrupted. From the second paragraph of today’s text:

     …This profound experience of the reality of the divine indwelling forever transcends the crude materialistic technique of the physical sciences…. (2095.2)196:3.18

    This is from the Master’s teachings on “True Values”, in Paper 132:

    …The materialistic scientist and the extreme idealist are destined always to be at loggerheads. This is not true of those scientists and idealists who are in possession of a common standard of high moral values and spiritual test levels. In every age scientists and religionists must recognize that they are on trial before the bar of human need. They must eschew all warfare between themselves while they strive valiantly to justify their continued survival by enhanced devotion to the service of human progress. If the so-called science or religion of any age is false, then must it either purify its activities or pass away before the emergence of a material science or spiritual religion of a truer and more worthy order…. (1457.3)132:1.4

    ***

    This in today’s reading:

    …The Hebrews had a religion of moral sublimity; the Greeks evolved a religion of beauty; Paul and his conferees founded a religion of faith, hope, and charity. Jesus revealed and exemplified a religion of love…. (2095.3)196:3.19

    …has a close relative in Paper 5:

    …The Hebrews based their religion on goodness; the Greeks on beauty; both religions sought truth. Jesus revealed a God of love, and love is all-embracing of truth, beauty, and goodness…. (67.4)5:4.6

    ***

    Next the Midwayers make several references to objective and subjective points of view. This is a simple definition of the two:

    Subjective refers to personal perspectives, feelings, or opinions entering the decision making process.

    Objective refers to the elimination of subjective perspectives and a process that is purely based on hard facts.

    Definition Source: Business Dictionary

    It’s a fascinating paradox isn’t it? The greatest subjective experience somehow makes contact with the greatest objective experience! From today’s reading:

    …The one truly divine and objective reality that is associated with mortal beings, the Thought Adjuster, functions to human observation apparently as an exclusively subjective phenomenon….(2095.5)196:3.21

    Such is reality for the time/space ascender.

    ***

    Atheists often accuse religionists of merely talking to themselves, rather than making inner contact with God. The Midwayers refute that in today’s text:

     …True religious worship is not a futile monologue of self-deception…. (2095.6)196:3.22

    Many are the references to the meaning, purpose and value of worship in the UB. This is from today’s reading:

    …Man aspires by worship to be better and thereby eventually attains the best…. (2095.6)196:3.22

    This is from Paper 146:

    …The spirit of the Father speaks best to man when the human mind is in an attitude of true worship. We worship God by the aid of the Father’s indwelling spirit and by the illumination of the human mind through the ministry of truth…. (1641:1) 146:2.17

    There are whole Sections on worship. From Paper 5:

    3. True Worship

    Paper 85 is all about the evolution and practice of worship:

    The Origins of Worship

    1. Worship of Stones and Hills
    2. Worship of Plants and Trees
    3. The Worship of Animals
    4. Worship of the Elements
    5. Worship of the Heavenly Bodies
    6. Worship of Man
    7. The Adjutants of Worship and Wisdom

    ***

    Truth, beauty and goodness appear three times in the last two paragraphs of today’s reading. Two of those admonish us not to put truth, beauty and goodness above their high spiritual source–God:

     …The idealization and attempted service of truth, beauty, and goodness is not a substitute for genuine religious experience — spiritual reality.

    …The truth, beauty, and goodness of man’s world are unified by the increasing spirituality of the experience of mortals ascending toward Paradise realities. The unity of truth, beauty, and goodness can only be realized in the spiritual experience of the God-knowing personality…. (2095.7)196:3.23

    Compare the third use of TB&G in today’s OPAD:

    …God is not a hypothesis formulated to unify the human concepts of truth, beauty, and goodness; he is the personality of love from whom all of these universe manifestations are derived…. (2095.8)196:3.24

    …with this use in Paper 2:

    …Truth, beauty, and goodness are divine realities, and as man ascends the scale of spiritual living, these supreme qualities of the Eternal become increasingly co-ordinated and unified in God, who is love…. (43.3) 2:7.10

    The authors use this trio throughout the book. They employ them seven times in Paper 196.

    84 Uses of Truth, Beauty & Goodness In 16 Languages

    ***

    In tomorrow’s reading, the third of four parts of this final Section of the book: 3. The Supremacy of Religion, the Midwayers continue to discourse on morality as it intersects with religion. They go on offering insights into love, art, philosophy, science, pursuing Godlikeness, and learning to “do righteousness”.

    Contents of: Paper 196 – THE FAITH OF JESUS

    1. Jesus — The Man

    2. The Religion of Jesus

    3. The Supremacy of Religion

    Listen to Paper 196: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

    Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.

    Much love, Rick/OPAD host.

    #11994
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

    Today’s Presentation

    Paper 196 – The Faith Of Jesus

    3. The Supremacy of Religion

    [Part 3 of 4]

       Morality is the essential pre-existent soil of personal God-consciousness, the personal realization of the Adjuster’s inner presence, but such morality is not the source of religious experience and the resultant spiritual insight. The moral nature is superanimal but subspiritual. Morality is equivalent to the recognition of duty, the realization of the existence of right and wrong. The moral zone intervenes between the animal and the human types of mind as morontia functions between the material and the spiritual spheres of personality attainment.

    (2096.2)196:3.26 The evolutionary mind is able to discover law, morals, and ethics; but the bestowed spirit, the indwelling Adjuster, reveals to the evolving human mind the lawgiver, the Father-source of all that is true, beautiful, and good; and such an illuminated man has a religion and is spiritually equipped to begin the long and adventurous search for God.

    (2096.3)196:3.27 Morality is not necessarily spiritual; it may be wholly and purely human, albeit real religion enhances all moral values, makes them more meaningful. Morality without religion fails to reveal ultimate goodness, and it also fails to provide for the survival of even its own moral values. Religion provides for the enhancement, glorification, and assured survival of everything morality recognizes and approves.

    (2096.4)196:3.28 Religion stands above science, art, philosophy, ethics, and morals, but not independent of them. They are all indissolubly interrelated in human experience, personal and social. Religion is man’s supreme experience in the mortal nature, but finite language makes it forever impossible for theology ever adequately to depict real religious experience.

    (2096.5)196:3.29 Religious insight possesses the power of turning defeat into higher desires and new determinations. Love is the highest motivation which man may utilize in his universe ascent. But love, divested of truth, beauty, and goodness, is only a sentiment, a philosophic distortion, a psychic illusion, a spiritual deception. Love must always be redefined on successive levels of morontia and spirit progression.

    (2096.6)196:3.30 Art results from man’s attempt to escape from the lack of beauty in his material environment; it is a gesture toward the morontia level. Science is man’s effort to solve the apparent riddles of the material universe. Philosophy is man’s attempt at the unification of human experience. Religion is man’s supreme gesture, his magnificent reach for final reality, his determination to find God and to be like him.

    (2096.7)196:3.31 In the realm of religious experience, spiritual possibility is potential reality. Man’s forward spiritual urge is not a psychic illusion. All of man’s universe romancing may not be fact, but much, very much, is truth.

    (2096.8)196:3.32 Some men’s lives are too great and noble to descend to the low level of being merely successful. The animal must adapt itself to the environment, but the religious man transcends his environment and in this way escapes the limitations of the present material world through this insight of divine love. This concept of love generates in the soul of man that superanimal effort to find truth, beauty, and goodness; and when he does find them, he is glorified in their embrace; he is consumed with the desire to live them, to do righteousness.

    ***

    [Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]

    #11995
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    .

    Greetings Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

    Have you noticed how morals evolve, change over the years? Morality is an arbitrary and ever shifting set of rules and beliefs usually prescribed, sanctioned and enforced by church and/or law. What is considered moral and acceptable in one age or nation may not be in another time or place. Morality cannot be depended on for enduring guidance and lasting support, unlike Divine Truth. The Midwayers are succinct in today’s reading:

    …The moral nature is superanimal but subspiritual…. (2096.1)196:3.25

    ***

    We find the 81st use of the Truth, Beauty and Goodness trio in the second paragraph of today’s text:

    …the bestowed spirit, the indwelling Adjuster, reveals to the evolving human mind the lawgiver, the Father-source of all that is true, beautiful, and good…. (2096.2) 196:3.26

    Truth, Beauty and Goodness are the words chosen by the many UB authors to depict God’s nature and character. Adjusters and TBG are found together in five other of the 84 Truth, Beauty & Goodness quotes:

    44. …In a sense the Adjusters may be fostering a certain degree of planetary cross-fertilization in the domains of truth, beauty, and goodness…. (1199.1) 109:4.6 
     .
    46. …You can consciously augment Adjuster harmony by…Choosing to respond to divine leading; sincerely basing the human life on the highest consciousness of truth, beauty, and goodness, and then co-ordinating these qualities of divinity through wisdom, worship, faith, and love…. (1206.4) 110:3.6
     .
     47. …The Adjuster bestowed upon man is, in the last analysis, impervious to evil and incapable of sin, but mortal mind can actually be twisted, distorted, and rendered evil and ugly by the sinful machinations of a perverse and self-seeking human will. Likewise can this mind be made noble, beautiful, true, and good–actually great–in accordance with the spirit-illuminated will of a God-knowing human being…. (1217.1) 111:1.6 

    .

    60. …Goodness is always growing toward new levels of the increasing liberty of moral self-realization and spiritual personality attainment–the discovery of, and identification with, the indwelling Adjuster. An experience is good when it heightens the appreciation of beauty, augments the moral will, enhances the discernment of truth, enlarges the capacity to love and serve one’s fellows, exalts the spiritual ideals, and unifies the supreme human motives of time with the eternal plans of the indwelling Adjuster…. (1458.2)132:2.5 

    .84. …Even that which is true, beautiful, and good may not perish in human experience. If man does not choose to survive, then does the surviving Adjuster conserve those realities born of love and nurtured in service…. (2097.3) 196:3.35

    .

    ***

    This in today’s reading very well sums up why we can’t convincingly explain our personal religious experiences to those who haven’t yet had one:

    …finite language makes it forever impossible for theology ever adequately to depict real religious experience….(2096.4)196:3.28

    Here, in today’s OPAD, the Midwayers move from a discussion of morality to love, and use truth, beauty and goodness for the 82 time:

    …love, divested of truth, beauty, and goodness, is only a sentiment, a philosophic distortion, a psychic illusion, a spiritual deception…. (2096.5)196:3.29

    Compare that with this from a Melchizedek in Paper 103:

    …Through truth man attains beauty and by spiritual love ascends to goodness…. (1142:1) 103:9.10

    ***

    Next the Midwayers point to the focal center of Section 3, the supremacy of true and pure religion over art, science, philosophy:

     …Religion is man’s supreme gesture, his magnificent reach for final reality, his determination to find God and to be like him…. (2096.6)196:3.30

    Godlikeness is another important theme in the book, a relatively new idea and ideal for humanity.

    …An experience is good when it heightens the appreciation of beauty, augments the moral will, enhances the discernment of truth, enlarges the capacity to love and serve one’s fellows, exalts the spiritual ideals, and unifies the supreme human motives of time with the eternal plans of the indwelling Adjuster, all of which lead directly to an increased desire to do the Father’s will, thereby fostering the divine passion to find God and to be more like him…. (1458.2)132:2.5 
     .
    …Revealed truth, personally discovered truth, is the supreme delight of the human soul; it is the joint creation of the material mind and the indwelling spirit. The eternal salvation of this truth-discerning and beauty-loving soul is assured by that hunger and thirst for goodness which leads this mortal to develop a singleness of purpose to do the Father’s will, to find God and to become like him…. (1459.4)132:3.4
     .
    …In substance Jesus said: The will of God is the way of God, partnership with the choice of God in the face of any potential alternative. To do the will of God, therefore, is the progressive experience of becoming more and more like God, and God is the source and destiny of all that is good and beautiful and true…. (1431.2) 130:2.7
     .
    …These divine qualities are perfectly and absolutely unified in God. And every God-knowing man or angel possesses the potential of unlimited self-expression on ever-progressive levels of unified self- realization by the technique of the never-ending achievement of Godlikeness–the experiential blending in the evolutionary experience of eternal truth, universal beauty, and divine goodness…. (507.5) 44:7.4

    .

    ***

    More than once the Midwayers refer to this innate forward “spiritual urge”. From today’s OPAD:

    …Man’s forward spiritual urge is not a psychic illusion…. (2096.7)196:3.31

    From Paper 194:

    …The spiritual forward urge is the most powerful driving force present in this world; the truth-learning believer is the one progressive and aggressive soul on earth…. (2063:2) 194:3.4

    ***

    This is a curious and intriguing statement in today’s reading:

     …All of man’s universe romancing may not be fact, but much, very much, is truth…. (2096.7)196:3.31

    What exactly do the Midwayers mean by that?

    Romance is also cited in Paper 112, by a Solitary Messenger:

    …What an adventure! What a romance! A gigantic creation to be administered by the children of the Supreme…. (1239.7)112:7.18

    That would be us!

    ***

    Lastly, in today’s reading, the Midwayers discuss the transcendence of mere success by love, using Truth, Beauty and Goodness for the 83rd time:

    …This concept of love generates in the soul of man that superanimal effort to find truth, beauty, and goodness; and when he does find them, he is glorified in their embrace; he is consumed with the desire to live them, to do righteousness…. (2096.8)196:3.32

    Love appears in many of the 84 Truth, Beauty & Goodness Quotoes:

    …The God of universal love unfailingly manifests himself to every one of his creatures up to the fullness of that creature’s capacity to spiritually grasp the qualities of divine truth, beauty, and goodness….  (26.7)1:4.5

    …Truth, beauty, and goodness are divine realities, and as man ascends the scale of spiritual living, these supreme qualities of the Eternal become increasingly co-ordinated and unified in God, who is love…. (43.3) 2:7.10

    …Truth is coherent, beauty attractive, goodness stabilizing. And when these values of that which is real are co-ordinated in personality experience, the result is a high order of love conditioned by wisdom and qualified by loyalty…. (43.5) 2:7.12

    …The Hebrews based their religion on goodness; the Greeks on beauty; both religions sought truth. Jesus revealed a God of love, and love is all-embracing of truth, beauty, and goodness…. (67.4) 5:4.6

    …In the Trinity Teacher Sons the love, mercy, and ministry of the three Paradise Deities are co-ordinated on the highest time-space value-levels and are presented to the universes as living truth, divine goodness, and true spiritual beauty…. (232.6)20:10.3

    …Mortal man must, through the recognition of truth, the appreciation of beauty, and the worship of goodness, evolve the recognition of a God of love and then progress through ascending deity levels to the comprehension of the Supreme…. (641.4) 56:6.3

    …To finite man truth, beauty, and goodness embrace the full revelation of divinity reality. As this love-comprehension of Deity finds spiritual expression in the lives of God-knowing mortals, there are yielded the fruits of divinity: intellectual peace, social progress, moral satisfaction, spiritual joy, and cosmic wisdom…. (648.3) 56:10.20

    …religion is genuine and worth while if it fosters in the individual an experience in which the sovereignty of truth, beauty, and goodness prevails, for such is the true spiritual concept of supreme reality. And through love and worship this becomes meaningful as fellowship with man and sonship with God…. (1089.12)99:4.4

    …Spirituality enhances the ability to discover beauty in things, recognize truth in meanings, and discover goodness in values. Spiritual development is determined by capacity therefor and is directly proportional to the elimination of the selfish qualities of love…. (1096.1) 100:2.4

    …Reason deals with factual knowledge; wisdom, with philosophy and revelation; faith, with living spiritual experience. Through truth man attains beauty and by spiritual love ascends to goodness…. (1142.1) 103:9.10

    …a Father life is one predicated on truth, sensitive to beauty, and dominated by goodness. Such a God-knowing person is inwardly illuminated by worship and outwardly devoted to the wholehearted service of the universal brotherhood of all personalities, a service ministry which is filled with mercy and motivated by love…. (1175.1) 106:9.12

    …The understandings of truth, beauty, and goodness, morality, ethics, duty, love, divinity, origin, existence, purpose, destiny, time, space, even Deity, are only relatively true…. (1206.3) 110:3.5

    …An experience is good when it heightens the appreciation of beauty, augments the moral will, enhances the discernment of truth, enlarges the capacity to love and serve one’s fellows, exalts the spiritual ideals, and unifies the supreme human motives of time with the eternal plans of the indwelling Adjuster…. (1458.2)132:2.5

    …He revealed a goodness equal to God. He exalted love–truth, beauty, and goodness–as the divine ideal and the eternal reality…. (1583.5) 140:8.31

    “…Devote your life to proving that love is the greatest thing in the world. It is the love of God that impels men to seek salvation. Love is the ancestor of all spiritual goodness, the essence of the true and the beautiful….” (2047.5) 192:2.1

    …We find God through the leadings of spiritual insight, but we approach this insight of the soul through the love of the beautiful, the pursuit of truth, loyalty to duty, and the worship of divine goodness. But of all these values, love is the true guide to real insight…. (2076.5) 195:5.14

    .

    ***

    Tomorrow’s reading is the last three paragraphs of Section: 3. The Supremacy of Religion, and the end of the book. The authors of the Life and Teachings of Jesus end this revelation on a positive note of encouragement, a challenge to modern humanity, and our highest possible concept of God.

    Contents of: Paper 196 – THE FAITH OF JESUS

    1. Jesus — The Man

    2. The Religion of Jesus

    3. The Supremacy of Religion

    Listen to Paper 196: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

    Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.

    Much love, Rick/OPAD host.

    #12002
    Ray
    Ray
    Participant

    This presentation is a keeper – made me more aware how the Son of God took complex and interrelated conceptualizations – and with masterful and majestic expressions planted the seeds for progressive evolutional growth for the present and future generations; in a quiet simplistic manner. His apparently charismatic personality radiated those qualities of his nature – truth, beauty and goodness – exemplified by his love of his Father and his loving ministry to us. His outward acts are characteristic of his nature – divinity in action – righteous experiential living – the factualizations of those values. Greater awe and inspiration is humbling and the realization of these truths reduces me to a childlike acceptance and faith. Thank you.

    Walk with God. May His Peace be unto you.

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