The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Unitarians and a relationship with Jesus

If you believe in Unitarianism, then would that place less importance on forming a relationship with Jesus?

Jesus as the Messiah has a specific role in humanities history and without him gentiles would not have the ability to get closer to God. I am often confused when people say that Jesus has such a big role in their lives and they couldn’t live without him. Is this another one of the common Christian add ons? Or can we go on throughout life without the knowledge of what Jesus has done and still be considered righteous in Gods eyes? People in the OT did, so why can’t we? Also I would add that since Jesus was sinless and lived a righteous life, then understanding his values and actions is the best thing to do if you want to improve and learn.


Who says we can’t? Cornelius in the NT was considered righteous BEFORE he knew of Jesus…

MIK - it can be a great source of comfort and confidence to be able to worship and pray to Jesus, our elder brother, tempted in all respects like we are yet victorious in his life of obedience and love for the Father - not with the help of a hidden, omniscient, omnipotent ‘second nature’ within, but as a man attested by God, filled with the Spirit. In other words, a fully human being like we could be.
So as a man he knew pain, happiness, had to go ‘potty’ just like the rest of us, like all men of all time probably had an erection now and then, ate and enjoyed food, got tired, got sick perhaps, teeth not so good after awhile (a big problem in most societies) - etc. There is nothing wrong about any of those things, and if he truly was a man and not a god, and experienced them as we do, then I am not saying anything disrespectful AT ALL. I certainly mean none,
There are of course other glorious things as well - his dignity, his wisdom, his learning, his total honesty, his love to the uttermost - that none of us will approach; and over all his vocation, his messiahship, his oneness with the Father, that are areas of reality we cannot experience.
But the highest things are always built on the ‘lowest’ - our common humanity, our bodies, our senses - the heights cannot be reached without those things as foundation. They are not to be despised!
All that to say - we have a great high priest who knows us, is one of us, and can be approached in worship and confession and prayers of need and praise. The MAN Jesus Christ is the mediator between us and the Father.

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Thanks for the input. Im on the same page with you in that there isn’t any disrespect in seeing Jesus as a man. It really should be seen as even more honouring to God. Evangelicals always used to ask “how’s your relationship with Jesus going?” and I’d end up saying ‘really good!’. I feel like I was just faking it to try and make it - but why do you even need a relationship with Jesus?

For those of you that have a relationship with Jesus, what does that really look like?


Well, in the early seventies…I hung around - for a short spell - with the Unitarians, Unity School of Christianity, Christian Scientists, Quakers, Religious Scientists, the Liberal Catholic Church, the Baha’i faith and Buddhists. The only ones - outside of Christianity that I liked…were the Baha’i faith and Buddhists.

So I remember well. I hung around the Unitarians, for a few weeks. And I was NOT a member. And they sent this weird looking chap, over to visit me. He was seeking me, to put some donations - into the collection plate each week. That was the ONLY purpose, for his visit. After that visit, I NEVER went back.


Their only thing is social justice. That works for my Eastern path friend Art. It doesn’t work for other Eastern path friends, he invited to the Unitarian church. If it works for Art and Dave here, then good for them!

Personally, I think the Christian Churches - as a whole - do a better job, of handling social justice. Just as I think Buddhists, do a better job than Christians - at teaching methods of contemplation. You just need to disregard the philosophical elements, attached to it.

Do you worship a higher Jesus Christ than the millions of uni’s do? A better one, a more fuller Christ? Do you just know God in the ‘real’ way that we don’t? Is that what you are saying? If not, what ARE you saying? Why are you still dissing a thoroughly scriptural stance?

Dave. Folks who are Unitarians, don’t worship Jesus. I hung around them. I know what they are about. They follow humanism:

You really really know what they are about, until you hang around them. It goes for anyone. Whether it’s the Outlaws, Hell’s Angels, Zombies from Z-Hell (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9), etc.

Truthfully! Have you attended their services, talked to their members, listened to their sermons, etc.?

I do worship Jesus! - so do the uni’s on this site and other sites I visit. There are hypocrites in every single denomination and church - uni’s are no exception.
I laid out what Channing and others have said - scriptural, worshipful, glorious. The fact that some silly people take on themselves the Uni label does not undo those truths.
Buddhists don’t worship Jesus either, right? Or all shamans? Or all Orthodox?

Just sayin = please don’t attack a straw man. I’ve clearly shown what I believe is the true doctrine of Jesus.

It boils down to definitions. Folks here - like yourself - probably following original folks like Channing. Would worship Jesus. Folks who attend the Unitarian Church I attended…or that my friend Art attends - do not. So it depends on the definition of Unitarian.


Dave, when you affirm that those who see Jesus as only human “worship” him, could you amplify on what meaning you attach to “worshipping” someone?

That’s actually a question I have been thinking about for some time - but in the opposite direction. These are actual questions of mine and I hope some feel free to answer them!

Is worship a matter of intellect? Do we worship a set of propositions? Or a Presence? Or an Idea?
What do we even mean by worship?
If someone is worshiping the Jesus of the NT, is he not worshiping the Jesus of the Creeds?
Can we be WRONG about who Jesus is, but still worship him?

If Jesus is more than human, Bob, what category does he fit into? And if he is more than human, how do we relate to him? Unless he genuinely lived as us, how can he be touched by our infirmity? If I talk to Jesus, which we can since he is lord of the world, am I not talking to someone who has walked the walk against temptations, against hatred, against complacency, and conquered? Who better to ask for help, for forgiveness, for new energy to continue on?

I affirm that Jesus is only human, but am unclear what it means for you to “worship” another man. You say, “Who better to ask for help” or for “new Energy”? I often ask a human being for help, but I’d think what would be even “better” is to seek the One who alone is God and Creator and whose supernatural Spirit can be the best source of Energy (than seeking an even especially great man).

Here is some input, from Got Questions on worship;

Randy - thanks, a most excellent link.

Bob - I think I mis-read your comments, so I deleted that inaccurate post of mine.

Part of my quandary about ‘worship’ is the perhaps mistaken use of the word in churches - where the ‘worship’ service is in some places a respectful singing of hymns, ranging in other places to the full-on cacophany of ‘Christian’ music fired by distortion-laden guitar, dope bass chops, heavy drums etc.
At either end of the spectrum it is called ‘worship’, when what Randy linked to is what the scripture calls ‘worship’. Nothing particularly ecstatic about it, no musical chaos, just a heartfelt obedience and thankfulness to the Father.
OTOH, " “Paul. . . to the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on3 the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours (1 Corinthians 1:1–2)"

So by God’s approval, it is acceptable to pray directly to Jesus his son; that is worship also in my way of thinking.

Do you understand Jesus as NOT be a human being, fully, like us? If he is something more can you explain exactly what that means? Or is this a mystery? I’d like to know.

No, my statement, “I affirm that Jesus is only human,” meant to clarify that my personal instinct
is to believe that Jesus is “a human being, fully like us.”

But I do sense that some NT writers do not see him as fully like us, but as something more. That may include seeing him as never having sinned, something untrue of any other human being, existing from eternity, participating in the creation of the universe but then becoming incarnate at the planned time, and possessing a kind of authority and power no human being has.

And my sense is that the distinctive Biblical meaning of “worship,” (and thus what defines 'idolatry")
is to give the unique place of God in our life only to God. That would be why God says in his early commandments, “You shall not worship” any except (or besides) “Your God (and lit. Yahweh).”
So NT hints of having Jesus share that place also suggests to me that they’d begun to see him
as much more than “fully like us.”

Of course, this is different than perceiving that they had developed Trinitarian dogmas.

Thanks Bob, clears it up for me.

Well… my belief (like that of the early Christians prior to the 4th century) is that the Son of God existed from the beginning of time when He was begotten by God. After He was born of Mary, He BECAME fully human as the Anointed Jesus, and was subject to the same weaknesses and strengths as any other human. He got hungry and thirsty like anyone else. He could do no miracles on His own, but the Father performed many miracles through Him.

After God raised Him from the dead, His state was similar to that prior to His incarnation, except that He then had a glorified body, and at one point walked through a closed door. When we are raised to life again, we too, will be able to do things that we cannot now do with our present mortal bodies.

Being a unitarian per se does not imply a disbelief in the deity of Jesus. Even Arius stated that Jesus was “fully God.” Consider his letter to Eusebius in A.D.321.

Letter of Arius to Eusebius, Bishop of Nicomedia ---- A.D. 321

To his dearest lord, the man of God, the faithful and orthodox Eusebius, Arius, unjustly persecuted by Pope Alexander on account of that all-conquering truth which you also champion, sends greetings in the Lord.

Since my father Ammonius is going into Nicomedia, I thought it my duty to salute you by him, and at the same time advise that naturally charitable disposition of yours, which you display towards the brethren for the sake of God and his Christ, how grievously the bishop attacks and persecutes us, and comes full tilt against us, so that he drives us from the city as atheists because we do not concur with him when he publicly preaches, “God always, the Son always; at the same time the Father, at the same time the Son; the Son co-exists with God, unbegotten; he is ever-begotten; he is not born-by-begetting; neither by thought nor by any moment of time does God precede the Son; God always, Son always; the Son exists from God himself.”

Eusebius, your brother Bishop of Caesarea, Theodatus, Paulinus, Athanasius, Gregory, Aetius, and all the other bishops of the east, have been condemned for saying that God existed, without beginning, before the Son; except Philogonius, Hellanicus, and Macarius, men who are heretics and unlearned in the faith; some of whom say that the Son is an effluence, others a projection, others that he is co-unbegotten.

To these impieties we cannot even listen, even though the heretics threaten us with a thousand deaths. But what we say and think we both have taught and continue to teach, that the Son is not unbegotten, nor part of the unbegotten in any way, nor is he derived from any substance; but that by his own will and counsel he existed before times and ages, fully God, only-begotten, unchangeable.

And before he was begotten, or created, or appointed, or established, he did not exist; for he was not unbegotten. We are persecuted because we say that the Son has a beginning, but God is without beginning. For that reason we are persecuted, and because we say that he is from what is not. And this we say because he is neither part of God nor derived from any essence. For this we are persecuted; the rest you know.

I trust, Eusebius, that you are strong in the Lord, mindful of our afflictions, a true fellow-disciple of Lucian.

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Bob, I quite like that.

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