Quarterly Report --- July Aug Sept 2015


                                              
  The Real Nature of Religion II

   The fact that there are hundreds of religious philosophies prevalent in today’s world, we will attempt
to extract those ideas that will purvey the true nature and meaning of religion by extracting the most
salient material from several chapters in our revelation, bearing in mind that we are limited to the extent
of our scope for the sake of brevity.  

   We are living in a culture where the youth of America has all but abandoned religion, largely
because it lacks meaning in their lives. It was never a priority for many young people in the last one
hundred years, but did hold a place of importance in most children’s lives until these latest decades.
The reason for this is obvious—they cannot understand spiritual reality, nor do they understand just
how God may enter their lives. It is a natural reaction to the culture they are confronted with in their day
to day lives, leaving them with a prime option to pursue that which can readily be understood—the
world of materiality over the world of spirituality. In this report we will try to combine both the nature of
religion with the more perceivable world of materiality—the physical world they have been born into and
have come to understand and consequently interact. This generation is concerned with the pleasures
of a material world that has more to offer than all past ages put together. These material gratifications
have come to dominate man’s occupations into one long pleasure pursuit, there being no time for self-
reflection, meditation, introspection, and the awareness of the meaning of life apart from anything
material.

   Our revelation mentions early on that there are three main drives in human life: Self-gratification,
self-maintenance, and self-perpetuation. Self- perpetuation could, and perhaps should, entail
preparing for our future into eternity—this would entail a recognition of a new reality—a spiritual reality.
Unfortunately, today’s preoccupation precludes the latter which is just as important as the first two
drives. However, not many people today have even prepared for their immediate future, let alone
eternity; they have failed to set aside resources (mainly money) for tomorrow. Many live from day to
day, totally unconcerned, or unable to do anything about the days ahead. When adverse conditions
befall our culture many will be unprepared both materially and spiritually and without material and
spiritual resources in place, total panic will ensue. It is a total gamble to live day to day expecting some
handout from friends or the government itself.  There will be no peace of mind for anyone unprepared
if a collapse comes to our society—this collapse appears inevitable. (URI)

True Religion (Pg. 1104)    

   “True religion is not a system of philosophic belief which can be reasoned out and substantiated by
natural proofs, neither is it a fantastic and mystic experience of indescribable feelings of ecstasy which
can be enjoyed only by the romantic devotees of mysticism. Religion is not a product of reason, but
viewed from within, it is altogether reasonable. Religion is not derived from the logic of human
philosophy, but as a mortal experience it is altogether logical. Religion is the experiencing of divinity in
the consciousness of a moral being of evolutionary origin; it represents true experience with eternal
realities in time, the realization of spiritual satisfactions while yet in the flesh.”

   “Religion lives and prospers, then by sight and feeling, but rather by faith and insight. It consists not
in the discovery of new and spiritual meanings in facts already well 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. It is rather, a profoundly

deep and actual experience of spiritual communion with the spiritual influences resident within the
human mind, and 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. (Page 1105)

  “Faith unites moral insight with conscientious discriminations of values, and the pre-existent
evolutionary sense of duty completes the ancestry of true religion. The experience of religion
eventually results in the certain consciousness of God and in the undoubted assurance of the survival
of the believing personality. “

   “Thus it may be seen that religious longings and spiritual urges are not of such a nature as merely
lead men to want to believe in God, but rather are they of such nature and power that men are
profoundly impressed with the conviction that they ought to believe in God…” (1105)

    There is so much presented on the subject of religion that we will have to jump around from page to
page, but will try to maintain a sense of cohesiveness to our discourse so as not to appear totally
distracted. What we have so far conveyed is that true religion is personal and can be apart from
institutions. One can benefit from institutional religions, but true religion has to come from within. (URI)

Institutional Religion (1092)

 
  “Sectarianism is a disease of institutional religion; and dogmatism is an enslavement of the spiritual
nature. It is far better to have a religion with a church than a church without religion. The religious
turmoil of the twentieth century does not, in and of itself, betoken spiritual decadence. Confusion goes
before growth as well as before destruction.

   There is a real purpose in the socialization of religion. It is the purpose of group religious activities to
dramatize the loyalties of religion; to magnify the lures of truth, beauty, and goodness; to foster the
attractions of supreme values; to enhance the service of unselfish fellowship; to glorify the potentials of
family life; to promote religious education; to provide wise counsel and spiritual guidance; and to
encourage group worship. And all live religions encourage human friendship, conserve morality,
promote neighborhood welfare, and facilitate the spread of the essential gospel of their respective
messages of eternal salvation.”

   “But as religion becomes institutionalized, its power for good is curtailed, while the possibilities for
evil are greatly multiplied. The dangers of formalized religion are: fixation of beliefs and crystallization
of sentiments; accumulation of vested interests with increase of secularization; tendency to standardize
and fossilize truths; diversion of religion from the service of God to the service of the church; inclination
of leaders to become administrators instead of ministers; tendency to form sects and competitive
divisions ; establishment of oppressive ecclesiastical authority; creation of aristocratic “chosen-people
people” attitude; fostering of false and exaggerated ideas of sacredness; the routinizing of religion and
the petrification of worship; tendency to venerate the past while ignoring present demands; failure to
make up-to- date interpretations of religion; entanglement with functions of secular institutions; it
creates the evil discrimination of religious castes; it becomes an intolerant judge of orthodoxy; it fails to
hold the interests of adventurous youth and gradually  loses the saving message of the gospel of
eternal salvation.  

    Formal religion restrains men in their personal spiritual activities instead of releasing them for
heighten service as kingdom builders.” (1092)


Faith and Belief (1114)

 
  “Belief has attained the level of faith when it motivates life and shapes the mode of living. The
acceptance of a teaching as true is not faith; that is mere belief. Neither is certainty nor conviction faith.
A state of mind attains to faith levels only when it actually dominates the mode of living. Faith is a living
attribute of genuine personal religious experience. One believes truth, admires beauty, and reverences
goodness, but does not worship them; such an attitude of saving faith is centered on Gad alone, who is
all of these personified and infinitely more.

   Belief is always limiting and binding; faith is expanding and releasing. Belief fixates, faith liberates.
But living religious faith is more than the association of noble beliefs; it is more than an exalted system
of philosophy; it is a living experience concerned with spiritual meanings, divine ideals, and supreme
values; it is God-knowing and man-serving. Beliefs may become group possessions, but faith must be
personal. Theologic beliefs can be suggested to a group, but faith can rise up only in the heart of the
individual religionist.

   Faith has falsified its trust when it presumes to deny realities and to confer upon its devotees
assumed knowledge. Faith is a traitor when it fosters betrayal of intellectual integrity and belittles
loyalty to supreme values and divine ideals. Faith never shuns the problem-solving duty of mortal
living. Living faith does not foster bigotry, persecution, or intolerance.”  

   {It appears evident from the above, that radicalized Islam and perhaps Islam in general is pursuing a
falsified sense of faith, going all the way back to the inception of the religion, through its intolerance
and persecution of those religions different from their own; mainly Judaism and Christianity. It is our
belief that Islam fails to meet a decent criteria to be a valid religion in the 21st century.} (URI)

    “Faith does not shackle the creative imagination, neither does it maintain an unreasoning prejudice
toward the discoveries of scientific investigation. Faith vitalizes religion and constrains the religionist
heroically to live the golden rule. The zeal of faith is according to knowledge, and its strivings are the
preludes to sublime peace.” (1114-1115)

A Personal Philosophy of Religion (1113-1114)

   
“An idea is only a theoretical plan for action, while a positive decision is a validated plan of action. A
stereotype is a plan of action accepted without validation. The materials out of which to build a
personal philosophy of religion are derived from both the inner and the environmental experience of
the individual. The social status, economic conditions, educational opportunities, moral trends,
institutional influences, political developments, racial tendencies, and the religious teachings of one’s
time and place all become factors in the formulation of a personal philosophy of religion. Even the
inherent temperament and intellectual bent markedly determine the pattern of a religious philosophy.
Vocation, marriage, and kindred all influence the evolution of one’s personal standards of life.”

   “A philosophy of religion evolves out of a basic growth of ideas plus experimental living as both are
modified by the tendency to imitate associates. The soundness of philosophic conclusions depends on
keen, honest, and discriminating thinking in connection with sensitivity to meanings and accuracy of
evaluation. Moral cowards never achieve high planes of philosophic thinking; it requires courage to
invade new levels of experience and to attempt the exploration of unknown realms of intellectual living.

   Presently new systems of values come into existence; new formulations of principles and standards
are achieved; habits and ideals are reshaped; some idea of a personal God is attained, followed by
enlarging concepts of relationship thereto.  

   The great difference between a religious and a nonreligious 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.”

   “The acid test for any religious philosophy consists in whether or not it distinguishes between the
realities of the material and spiritual worlds while at the same moment recognizing their unification in
intellectual striving and in social serving.”

   This is the first time we have limited our personal responses to such a paucity of feed-back, partially
due to the nature of our topic -- who can elaborate much on the real nature of religion when half of
humanity scarcely knows what religion really is, and especially when this paper so clearly covers just
about all we can absorb in our present state. Adjuncts to religious ceremonies are simply that, merely
an ancillary event to aid, dramatize, or heighten the religious experience. The orchestra, band, guest
speakers, the gospel choir, organ music, etc. are becoming the new additions to church traditions; but
this in itself is not in any way an essential part of religion, albeit it has become just that. It has become
a draw to get people back into the church. Next it will be a comic, ventriloquist, magic act, or some
other form of entertainment as a draw to the sermon or other religious practices. There are, however
social aspects of religion that bring like-minded people together, which augment the religious
experiences and understandings of people sharing the same spiritual ideals. The socialization thus
becomes a valued adjunct to the spread and sharing of religion. (URI)

    
“The teachings of Jesus constituted the first Urantia religion which so fully embraced a harmonious
co-ordination of knowledge, wisdom, faith, truth, and love as completely and simultaneously to provide
temporal tranquility, intellectual certainty, and moral enlightenment, philosophic stability, ethical
sensitivity, God-consciousness, and the positive assurance of personal survival. The faith of Jesus
pointed the way to finality of human salvation, to the ultimate of mortal universe attainment, since it
provided for:

1. Salvation from material fetters in the personal realization of sonship with God, who is spirit.   

2. Salvation from intellectual bondage: man shall know the truth, and the truth shall set him free.

3. Salvation from spiritual blindness, the human realization of the fraternity of mortal beings and the
morontian awareness of the brotherhood of all universe creatures; the service-discovery of spiritual
reality and the ministry-revelation of the goodness of spirit values.

4. Salvation from incompleteness of self through the attainment of the spirit levels of the universe and
through the eventual realization of the harmony of Havona and the perfection of Paradise.

5. Salvation from self, deliverance from the limitations of self-consciousness through the

      attainment of the cosmic levels of the Supreme mind and by coordination with the
attainment                

           of all other self-conscious beings.

6. Salvation from time, the achievement of an eternal life of unending progression in God-recognition
and God-service.

7. Salvation from the finite, the perfected oneness with Deity in and through the Supreme by which the
creature attempts the transcendental discovery of the Ultimate on the postfinaliter levels of the
absonite.

   “Such a seven fold salvation is the equivalent of the completeness and perfection of the realization
of ultimate experience of the Universal Father. And all this, in potential, is contained within the reality of
the faith of the human experience of religion. And it can be so contained since the faith of Jesus was
nourished by, and was revelatory of, even beyond the ultimate; the faith of Jesus approached the
status of a universal absolute in so far as such is possible of manifestation in the evolving cosmos of
time and space.”


   All quoted material in the above was presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon (Name of the local
universe—Capital, Salvington)  

   Periodically we have chosen to provide clarification to names and places that most Urantia readers
are familiar with, however we have new readers and non-readers that also receive this discourse,
having yet to become familiar with the nomenclature of our revelation. Incidentally, the Melchizedeks
have the best teaching schools in the local universe. We know that still some people (non-readers) are
unimpressed with their status, even though they are high above the mortal level of being, and no one
in their order has ever gone astray. All advanced mortals throughout our universe appreciate
Melchizedek service and contributions toward our progress and upward mobility on the various spiritual
levels throughout Nebadon.  

   No matter what religious denomination one belongs to, the material presented above represents
ideas and ideals that can be incorporated into any advanced religious philosophy. It explains what true
religion really is and what it is not. Paper 101 begins on page1104 and ends on page 1117. Thirteen
pages that could change the world—teachings set forth by a very high order of being whose primary
aim is to help us gain a new understanding of religion for the purpose of elevating our love for life and
our insights to God and the brotherhood of mankind.

   It is our advice for anyone of any religious persuasion to read these thirteen pages in order to gain a
greater understanding of your own religion and the concepts that that should prevail therein.  To
“follow the truth wherever it may lead” (Jesus), one must have an open mind and be willing to displace
arcane and worn-out religious beliefs for new and higher concepts. The adage of: “The unexamined
life is not worth living” is still relevant today. Complacency preserves a status-quo, which inhibits moral
and intellectual development (growth)—an essential part of any religion should be to advance one’s
understanding of man’s relationship to God by embracing new meanings and values while abandoning
the dead and meaningless concepts of a stale-mated religion.  One can never go wrong by genuinely
examining his/her spiritual life!

Staff: President—Dick Ziglar; Vice President—Baker Jordan; Secretary/Web-Master— Jeanette
Francis; Treasurer—Bruce Thomas; Research—Dennis Kidwell.

Our website: urantiareadersintl.com—Our phone number: 919 210-1730  

We still have the largest independent Urantia organization in the United States with over 500 members.