Question about a Unity Church


#1

I have this link to this church in my town. unityofbakersfield.org/

It’s apparently a Christian church, but it seems kind of new agey to me.

I feel really lost guys & you all have helped me in ways you can never know.

As far as churches go, I’m afraid I won’t feel like I belong anywhere, being I refuse to believe in ECT.

The one on the link seems to be the closest to universal salvation that I could find in my area.

I’d appreciate any advice.

Thank you.


#2

Hi Christine,

I read their FAQ and I see that they reject the original deity of Jesus Christ. They say that the spirit of God indwells Jesus in the same way that the spirit of God indwells all people. This is along the lines of Unitarianism. See below:

unityofbakersfield.org/faq.htm#5
*Do Unity ministers and teachers believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ?

      Yes. Unity church leaders teach that the spirit of God dwelt in Jesus, just as it indwells every person; and that every person has the potential to express the perfection of Christ, as Jesus did, by being more Christ-like in everyday life.*

I believe that belief in the original deity of Jesus is a primary doctrine while belief in universal reconciliation is a secondary doctrine. As an Evangelical Universalist, I strongly recommend trying to find fellowship with believers in the original deity of Jesus who at least tolerate Universalism. I pray for you while you search for a local body of believers that helps you with your relationship with God.


#3

Crap… I had a nice chewy comment written up, and I thought I had posted it, but I had only previewed it when the phone rang here at the office. (Previews look like posts, when they’re at least a screen-length–long enough to push down the composition window beyond view.)

More shortly, though (since I’ve already now spent most of my limited time writing a vanished reply… sigh :wink: ):

1.) I agree with James, even more emphatically, and especially in regard to the importance of orthodox trinitarianism to universal reconciliation (which I talk about at some technical length here.)

2.) That being said, doctrinally serious unitarians have a lot more going in their favor than many other options (especially compared to doctrinally unserious anyone. :wink: )

3.) That being said: at the end of the day, Christ doesn’t judge us according to how doctrinally awesome we are. It’s better to be involved with (even if not in technical communion with) a church that’s doing great at being sheep and not goats; at cultivating the fruits of the Holy Spirit; at penitently seeking God’s salvation from their sins and from their sinning; at loving their neighbor (and especially at loving the ones they’re currently opposed to); at giving all of whatever they’ve been given to give; and at seeking the fair-togetherness of God–than to be involved with a church which currently stinks at doing such things (even if they happen to be nominally ‘correct’ about doctrine. Which in my experience they probably won’t be, even though they may be trying to be in some hateful fashion.)

4.) That being said: obviously all those things I mentioned back under point (3) are doctrinal positions, too. :mrgreen: So one way or another, there can easily come to be a point where there’s too much friction between belief. Which leads to fraction and schism; which is heartbreaking. (Also the main reason why St. Paul warns against marrying people of other beliefs–it’s likely to kill the stronger ‘ox’ of the pair! Then again, that’s what Jesus specifically did for us, even using the same analogy once inviting that relationship with us; so it can’t be intrinsically bad. :slight_smile: Just likely to end up with the stronger ox being scourged and crucified to death, analogically or literally. Count the cost, etc.)

5.) That having been said: if you have no problem with their beliefs and they have no problem with yours, then by tautology there’s going to be fewer problems all around! :laughing: I do not recommend simply dissing the importance of correct beliefs, in principle, in order to achieve this reduction in problems; but, as noted earlier, Christ doesn’t judge us by how doctrinally awesome we are. He judges us by grace–by His own grace primarily but also by what we do with the grace we have been given to give. (As He says once in GosLuke: “Freely given, you have received; be giving, freely given.” :slight_smile: )

Yay, I reconstructed the gist of my lost letter after all! Woot! :laughing:

Whew, back to ‘work’ work… :mrgreen:


#4

As always. Very helpful suggestions.

Thank you James & Jason. Much appreciated. And thank you for making me feel so welcome here.

It might not be quite the same thing as church, but I do feel a sense of belonging here. :slight_smile:


#5

Hi Christine,

I’m glad that we can help. And while your searching for a church, I encourage you to read a thread started by our very own Gregory MacDonald. It’s called “Should we form universalist congregations?”. It’s not primarily about finding a church, but many of the responses ended up discussing how some of us found a church. Below is the link:
[Should we form universalist congregations?)


#6

Oooh, I had forgotten that thread. And it’s a great one, too. :slight_smile:


#7

Very enlightening thread. Thank you very much. :smiley:


#8

Christine ~

it is possible to say that Unity is a religious movement incorporating many Christian ideas, themes, and words, which has its roots less in traditional Christian churches, as in the theosophic / new thought movement. thus, as you discerned earlier, there are many New Age components to this movement, which do not squre with or compliment Biblical, traditional Christian faith or doctrines. Christ is a “wayshower” as opposed to “the Way”, essentially no more God than you or i, and apparently one option among many possible salvifically (according to a member, our local Unity Church displays images of Christ, the Buddha, and other gods with equal prominance on their altar).

a neighbor of ours is very dedicated to Unity, and while it may offer a strong, warm sense of belonging… it’s not a church i’d personally recommend for Christians.

on a related note, i did find a webpage about these fellows :

rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tnhaw … neycr.html
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primitive_ … iversalist

they are Primitive Baptist Universalists, and as the name implies deny eternal torment, and are firm that Christ’s death on the cross reconciles all men and women, past present, and future, to the Father. not many of them, and mostly in Appalachia, but wow.