QUARTERLY REPORT: July August September 2013


1.   The real nature of religion—the fate of Institutional religion—what Jesus had to say
concerning the institutionalization of religion.
2.   The Doctrine of Atonement—meaning of death on the cross.

Shortly following the Discourse on True Religion Jesus addressed his Apostles with the
following statement
: “And now, which one of you would prefer to take this easy path of
conformity to an established and fossilized religion, as defended by the Pharisees at
Jerusalem, rather than to suffer the difficulties and persecutions attendant upon the
mission of proclaiming a better way of salvation to men while you realize the satisfaction of
discovering for yourselves the beauties of the realities of a living and personal experience
in eternal truths and supreme grandeurs of the kingdom of heaven? Are you fearful, soft,
and ease-seeking? Are you afraid to trust your future in the hands of the God of truth,
whose sons you are? Are you distrustful of the Father, whose children you are? Will you
go back to the easy path of the certainty and intellectual settledness of the religion of
traditional authority, or will you gird yourselves to go forward with me into that uncertain
and troublous future of proclaiming the new truths of the religion of the spirit, the kingdom
of heaven in the hearts of men?”

“All twenty-four in attendance rose to their feet, intending to signify their united and loyal
response to this, one of the few emotional appeals which Jesus ever made to them…”

These discourses on religion are especially significant as they apply so well to the age in
which we are now living; we therefore felt it only consistent to follow the first discourse on
religion by the second which Jesus delivered less than 8 hours later. The first discourse
we sent out by email as an interim report and will be placed on our site soon. But before
we supply the discourse on that part of religion steering us away from tradition and
authority, we might refer to what real religion is--found on pages 1104-1105 under the
“Real religion lives and prospers, not by sight and feeling, but rather by faith and insight. It
consists not in the discovery of new facts or in the finding of a unique experience, but
rather in the discovery of new and spiritual meanings in facts already known to mankind.
The highest religious experience is not dependent on prior acts of belief, tradition, and
authority; neither is religion the offspring of sublime feelings and purely mystical emotions.
as far as such an experience is definable in terms of psychology, it is simply the
experience of experiencing the reality of believing in God as the reality of such a purely
personal experience.” (1105)

“Religion is a meaningful way of living dynamically face to face with the common place
realities of everyday life. But if religion is to stimulate individual development of character
and augment integration of personality, it must not be standardized. If it is to stimulate
evaluation of experience and serve as a value-lure, it must not be stereotyped. If religion
is to promote supreme loyalties, it must not be formalized.”

“No matter what upheavals may attend the social and economic growth of civilization,
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.” (Pg. 1089)

“The great difference between a religious and a non religious philosophy of living consists
in the nature and level of recognized values and in the object of loyalties. There are four
phases in the evolution of religious philosophy: Such an experience may become merely
conformative, resigned to submission to tradition and authority. Or it may be satisfied with
slight attainments, just enough to stabilize the daily living, and therefore become early
arrested on such an adventitious level. Such mortals believe in letting well enough alone.
A third group progress to the level of logical intellectuality but there stagnate in
consequence of cultural slavery. It is indeed pitiful to behold giant intellects held so
securely within the cruel grasp of cultural bondage. It is equally pathetic to observe those
who trade their cultural bondage for the materialistic fetters of a science, falsely so called.
The fourth level of philosophy attains freedom from all conventional and traditional
handicaps and dares to think, act, and live honestly, loyally, fearlessly, and truthfully.”
(Pg. 1114)

“The acid test for any religious philosophy consists in whether or not it distinguishes
between the realities of the material and the spiritual worlds while at the same moment
recognizing their unification in intellectual striving and social serving. A sound religious
philosophy does not confound the things of God with the things of Caesar. Neither does it
recognize the aesthetic cult of pure wonder as a substitute for religion.”

“Philosophy transforms that primitive religion which was largely a fairy tale of conscience
into a living experience in the ascending values of cosmic reality.”

“You have come out from among those of your fellows who choose to remain satisfied with
a religion of mind, who crave security and prefer conformity. You have elected to
exchange your feelings of authoritative certainty for the assurances of the spirit of
adventurous and progressive faith. You have dared to protest against the grueling
bondage of institutionalized religion and to reject the authority of the traditions of record
which are now regarded as the word of God. Our Father did indeed speak through Moses,
Elijah, Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea, but he did not cease to minister words of truth to the
world when these prophets of old made an end of their utterances. My father is no
respecter of races or generations in that the word of truth is vouchsafed one age and
withheld from another. Commit not the folly of calling that divine which is wholly human,
and fail not to discern the words of truth which come not through the traditional oracles of
supposed inspiration.”

“I have called upon you to be born again, to be born of the spirit. I have called you out of
the darkness of authority and the lethargy of tradition into the transcendent light of the
realization of the possibility of making for yourselves the greatest discovery possible for
the human soul to make—the supernal experience of finding God for yourself, in yourself,
and of yourself, and of doing all this as a fact in your own personal experience. And so
may you pass from death to life, from the authority of tradition to the experience of
knowing God; thus will you pass from darkness to light, from a racial faith inherited to a
personal faith achieved by actual experience; and thereby will you progress from a
theology of mind handed down by your ancestors to a true religion of spirit which shall be
built up in your souls as an eternal endowment.”

“Your religion shall change from the mere intellectual belief in traditional authority to the
actual experience of that living faith which is able to grasp the reality of God and all that
relates to the divine spirit of the Father. The religion of the mind ties you hopelessly to the
past: the religion of the spirit consists in the progressive revelation and ever beckons you
on toward higher and holier achievements in spiritual ideals and eternal realities.”

“While the religion of authority may impart a present feeling of settled security, you pay for
such a transient satisfaction the price of the loss of your spiritual freedom and religious
liberty. My Father does not require of you as the price of entering the kingdom of heaven
that you should force yourself to subscribe to a belief in things which are spiritually
repugnant, unholy, and untruthful. It is not required of you that your own sense of mercy,
justice, and truth should be outraged by submission to an outworn system of religious
forms and ceremonies. The religion of the spirit leaves you forever free to follow the truth
wherever the leadings of the spirit may take you. And who can judge—perhaps this spirit
may have something to impart to this generation which other generations have refused to

“Shame on those false religious teachers who would drag hungry souls back into the dim
and distant past and there leave them! And so are these unfortunate persons doomed to
become frightened by every new discovery, while they are discomfited by every new
revelation of truth. The prophet who said, “He will be kept in perfect peace whose mind is
stayed on God,” was not a mere intellectual believer in authoritative theology. This truth-
knowing human had discovered God; he was not merely talking about God.”

“I admonish you to give up the practice of always quoting the prophets of praising the
heroes of Israel, and instead aspire to become living prophets of the Most High and
spiritual heroes of the coming kingdom. To honor the God-knowing leaders of the past
may indeed be worth while, but why, in so doing, should you sacrifice the supreme
experience of human existence: finding God for yourself and knowing him in your own

“Every race of mankind has its own mental outlook upon human existence; therefore must
the religion of the mind ever run true to these various racial viewpoints. Never can
religions of authority come to unification. Human unity and mortal brotherhood can be
achieved only by and through the superendowment of the religion of the spirit. Racial
minds may differ, but all brotherhood can only be realized when, and as, the divergent
mind religions of authority become impregnated with, and overshadowed by, the unifying
and ennobling religion of the spirit—the religion of personal spiritual experience.”

“The religions of authority can only divide men and set them in conscientious array
against each other; the religion of the spirit will progressively draw men together and
cause them to become understandingly sympathetic with one another. The religions of
authority require of men uniformity in belief, but this is impossible of realization in the
present state of the world. The religion of the spirit requires only unity of experience—
uniformity of destiny—making full allowance for diversity of belief. The religion of the spirit
requires only uniformity of insight, not uniformity of viewpoint and outlook. The religion of
the spirit does not demand uniformity of intellectual views, only unity of spirit feeling. The
religions of authority crystallize into lifeless creeds; the religion of the spirit grows into the
increasing joy and liberty of ennobling deeds of loving service and merciful ministration.”

“But watch, lest any of you look with disdain upon the children of Abraham because they
have fallen on these evil days of traditional barrenness. Our forefathers gave themselves
up to the persistent and passionate search for God, and they found him as no other whole
race of men have ever know him since the times of Adam, who knew much of this as he
was himself a Son of God.”

“My Father has not failed to mark the long and untiring struggle of Israel, ever since the
days of Moses, to find God and to know God. For weary generations the Jews have not
ceased to toil, sweat, groan, travail, and endure the sufferings and experience the
sorrows of a misunderstood and despised people, all in order that they might come a little
nearer the discovery of the truth about God. And, notwithstanding all the failures and
falterings of Israel, our fathers progressively, from Moses to the times of Amos and Hosea,
did reveal increasingly to the whole world an ever clearer and more truthful picture of the
eternal God. And so was the way prepared for the still greater revelation of the Father
which you have been called to share.”

“Never forget there is only one adventure which is more satisfying and thrilling than the
attempt to discover the will of the living God, and that is the supreme experience of
honestly trying to do that divine will. And fail not to remember that the will of God can be
done in any earthly occupation. Some callings are not holy and others secular. All things
are sacred in the lives of those who are spirit led; that is, subordinated to truth, ennobled
by love, dominated by mercy, and restrained by fairness—justice. The spirit which my
Father and I shall send into the world is not only the Spirit of Truth but also the spirit of
idealistic beauty.”

“You must cease to seek for the word of God only on the pages of the olden records of
theologic authority. Those who are born of the spirit of God shall henceforth discern the
word of God regardless of whence it appears to take origin. Divine truth must not be
discounted because the channel of its bestowal is apparently human. Many of your
brethren have minds which accept the theory of God while they spiritually fail to realize the
presence of god…”

There was more to the discourse but in  keeping to the brevity of our reports in trying to
keep them to ten pages or less one can read on their own the last page of the discourse,
while we proceed to set the record straight regarding one of the greatest misnomers of
the Christian faith: The act of atonement. The widely circulated myth that Jesus died on
the cross to save our sins is regarded as repugnant throughout our universe, but
somehow early Christians fabricated a story of a most ridiculous barter between Jesus
and God which finally people have begun to question—something the Urantia book
thoroughly explains.

“In the vast court of the resurrection halls of the first mansion world of Satania, there may
now be observed a magnificent material-morontia structure known as the “Michael
Memorial,” now bearing the seal of Gabriel. This memorial was created shortly after
Michael departed from this world, and it bears this inscription: “In commemoration of the
mortal transit of Jesus of Nazareth on Urantia”

There are records extant which show that during this period the supreme council of
Salvington, numbering one hundred, held an executive meeting on Urantia under the
presidency of Gabriel. There are also records showing that the Ancients of Days of
Uversa communicated with Michael regarding the status of the universe of Nebadon
during this time.

We know that at least one message passed between Michael and Immanuel on Salvington
while the Master’s body lay in the tomb.

There is good reason for believing that some personality sat in the seat of Caligastia in
the system council of the Planetary Princes on Jerusem which convened while the body of
Jesus rested in the tomb.

“Although Jesus did not die this death on the cross to atone for the racial guilt of mortal
man nor to provide some sort of effective approach to an otherwise offended and
unforgiving God; even though the Son of Man did not offer himself as a sacrifice to
appease the wrath of God and to open the way for sinful man to obtain salvation;
notwithstanding that these ideas of atonement and propitiation are erroneous,
nonetheless, there are significances attached to this death of Jesus on the cross which
should not be overlooked. It is a fact that Urantia has become known among other
neighboring inhabited planets as the “World of the Cross.”

“Jesus desired to live a full mortal life in the flesh on Urantia. Death is, ordinarily, a part of
life. Death is the last act in the mortal drama. In your well-meant efforts to escape the
superstitious errors of the false interpretation of the meaning of the death on the cross,
you should be careful not to make the great mistake of failing to perceive the true
significance and genuine import of the Master’s death”

“Mortal man was never the property of the archdeceivers. Jesus did not die to ransom
man from the clutch of the apostate rulers and fallen princes of the spheres. The Father
in heaven never conceived of such a crass injustice as damming a mortal soul because of
the evildoing of his ancestors. Neither was the Master’s death on the cross a sacrifice
which consisted in an effort to pay God a debt which the race of mankind had come to
owe him.”

“Before Jesus lived on earth, you might possibly have been justified in believing in such a
God, but not since the Master lived and died among your fellow mortals. Moses taught the
dignity and justice of a Creator God; but Jesus portrayed the love and mercy of a
heavenly Father.”

“The animal nature—the tendency toward evildoing—may be hereditary, but sin is not
transmitted from parent to child. Sin is the act of conscious and deliberate rebellion
against the Father’s will and the Sons’ laws by an individual will creature.”

“Jesus lived and died for a whole universe, not just for the races of this one world. While
the mortals of the realms had salvation even before Jesus lived and died on Urantia, it is
nevertheless a fact that his bestowal on this world greatly illuminated the way of salvation;
his death did much to make forever plain the certainty of mortal survival after death in the

“Though it is hardly proper to speak of Jesus as a sacrificer, a ransomer, or redeemer, it
is wholly correct to refer to him as a savior. He forever made the way of salvation
(survival) more clear and certain: he did better and more surely show the way of salvation
for all the mortals of all the worlds of the universe of Nebadon.”

“When you once grasp the idea of God as a true and loving Father, the only concept
which Jesus ever taught, you must forthwith in all consistency, utterly abandon all those
primitive notions about God as an offended monarch, a stern and all-powerful ruler whose
chief delight is to detect his subjects in wrongdoing and to see that they are adequately
punished, unless some being almost equal to himself should volunteer to suffer for them,
to die as a substitute and in their stead. The whole idea of ransom and atonement is
incompatible with the concept of God as it was taught and exemplified by Jesus of
Nazareth. The infinite love of God is not secondary to anything in the divine nature.”

“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.”

“Neither do genuine believers trouble themselves so much about the future punishment of
sin. The real believer is only concerned about present separation from God. True, wise
fathers may chasten their sons, but they do all this in love and for corrective purposes.
They do not punish in anger, neither do they chastise in retribution.”

“Even if God were the stern and legal monarch of a universe in which justice ruled
supreme, he certainly would not be satisfied with the childish scheme of substituting an
innocent sufferer for a guilty offender.”

“The great thing about the death of Jesus, as it is related to the enrichment of human
experience and the enlargement of the way of salvation, is not the fact of his death but
rather the superb manner and the matchless spirit in which he met death.”

“This entire idea of the ransom of the atonement places salvation upon a plane of
unreality; such a concept is purely philosophic. Human salvation is real; it is based on two
realities which may be grasped by the creature’s faith and thereby become incorporated
into individual human experience; the fact of the fatherhood of God and its correlated
truth, the brotherhood of man. It is true, after all, that you are to be “forgiven your debts,
even as you forgive your debtors.”

If we can, at least, get this one fact across to Christian Fundamentalist—that God and his
Son do not barter, especially with the lives of innocent individuals, then we are doing one
small thing to take religion to the next step. No sane earthly father would ever forfeit the
life of one errant son, or in the case of Jesus one exemplary son, for one whose hasn’t
even been born yet, who might even be far more evil than the one whose life was taken.
Yet many Christians actually believe that Jesus asked his Father to take his life as a
substitute for the evil committed by future humanity.

Secondly, if we can expatiate upon the real meaning of religion as defined in the second
discourse on religion by Jesus—making religion a personal experience apart from a more
social enterprise run by an ecclesiastical hierarchy of sorts, thus allowing people to come
to God without running to the church to confess perceived sins and confer with the priest
or clergy in some manner for consolation, then again we are driving religion a step
forward. If that clergy happens to be perverse as so often the case in Islam, then the
religious conditioning will do more harm than good to the believers. When the cathedrals
in Mexico are solid gold and the towns people are all next to starving, then whatever is
said in a sermon lacks credibility due to the hypocrisy of pretending to follow the teachings
of Jesus; and when the Mosques in Iraq and Iran are hiding places for armament to carry
on warfare then they are political outposts for the army and become a part of the power
structure or regime running the country. When the country’s leader publicly announces
that he intends to annihilate an entire country in the near future and professes to be a
religious Muslim and his constituents are Muslim, it’s a case of religion running amuck,
and a good reason for a separation of church and state.  

Secularism while far out-pacing religion is leaving spirit led people in the lurch, forcing
them unwittingly to conform to social conditions they find repugnant; forced to pay taxes to
a corrupt government to sustain wars costing billions, and frivolously giving our resources
to backward countries and even countries who are considered to be our enemies as well
as collective nations (U.N.) certain monies that they fritter away on projects that have
absolutely no influence or benefit to the United States. The revelation informs us that:

“The mechanistic naturalism of some supposedly educated men and the thoughtless
secularism of the man in the street are both exclusively concerned with things; they are
barren of al real values, sanctions, and satisfactions of a spiritual nature, as well as being
devoid of faith, hope, and eternal assurances. One of the great troubles with modern life
is that man thinks he is too busy to find time for spiritual meditation and religious
devotion.” (Pg. 2077)

“The majority of professed Christians of Western civilization are unwittingly actual
secularists.” (Pg. 2081)

“Materialism denies God, secularism simply ignores him; at least that was the earlier
attitude. More recently, secularism has assumed a more militant attitude, assuming to take
the place of the religion whose totalitarian bondage it onetime resisted. Twentieth-century
secularism tends to affirm that man does not need God. But beware! This godless
philosophy of human society will lead only to unrest, animosity, unhappiness, war, and
world-wide disaster.” (Pg. 2081)

Please read this paper on Secular Totalitarianism and you will gain an understanding as
to why world-wide disaster appears inevitable in the near future.

Urantia Readers International (URI)  Website—Urantiareadersintl.com
Staff: Dick Ziglar 919-210-1730 (We welcome your calls.) Dr. Jeanette Francis
Baker Jordan, Dennis Kidwell, John Hassler, Dr. James Perry, Dr. Bruce Thomas.