Urantia Book 58. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of Nebadon. On June 9, the 25 left Caesarea Philippi and reached Sidon a day later. They paused for lunch under a rock ledge, and Jesus delivered one of the most remarkable speeches his apostles ever listened to. This memorable discourse was on religion and Jesus said religions have a double origin–natural and revelatory. But there are three distinct forms of religious devotion: “1. primitive religion, the instinctive urge to fear mysterious energies and worship superior forces, chiefly a religion of a physical nature, the religion of fear; 2. the religion of civilization, the advancing religious concepts and practices of the civilizing races–the religion of the mind–the intellectual theology of the authority of established religious tradition; 3. true religion–the religion of revelation, the revelation of supernatural values, a partial insight into eternal realities, a glimpse of the goodness and beauty of the infinite character of the Father in heaven–the religion of the spirit as demonstrated in human experience. Jesus made it clear that the great difference between the religion of the mind and the religion of the spirit, is that, while the former is upheld by ecclesiastical authority, the latter is wholly based on human experience.” And then the Master went on to make clear these truths:”The acceptance of the traditional religions of authority presents the easy way out for man’s urge to seek satisfaction for the longings of his spiritual nature. The settled, crystallized and established religions of authority provide ready refuge to which the distracted and distraught soul of man may flee when harassed by fear and tormented by uncertainty. But these poor people compromise the sovereignty of their personality; debase the dignity of their self-respect; and they utterly surrender the right to participate in the personal quest for truth; the exhilaration of facing the perils of intellectual discovery; the realization of the victory of spiritual faith over intellectual doubt as it is honestly won in the supreme adventure of all human existence–man seeking God, for himself and as himself, and finding Him.************************* The religion of the spirit means effort, struggle, conflict, faith, determination, love, loyalty and progress. The religion of the mind–the theology of authority–requires little or none of these exertions from its formal believers.” Jesus went on to say: “At Jerusalem the religious leaders have formulated the various doctrines of their traditional teachers and the prophets of other days into an established system of intellectual beliefs, a religion of authority. The appeal of all such religions is largely to the mind. And now we are about to enter upon a deadly conflict with such a religion since we will shortly so boldly enter upon the proclamation of a new religion–a religion which is not a religion in the present day meaning of that word, a religion that makes its chief appeal to the divine spirit of my Father.” And then, standing up, Jesus pointed to each of the 24 and said: “And now which one of you would prefer to take this easy path of conformity to a fossilized and and established religion, as defended by the Pharisees at Jerusalem, rather than suffer the difficulties and persecutions attendant on 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 the eternal truths and the supreme grandeurs of the kingdom of heaven? Will you gird yourselves to go fourth 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 all humans?” They all stood up to declare their loyalty, but Jesus told them to go off alone and think about it. When they came back, Jesus merely started walking to their next port of call. He told them they were going into Phoenicia and would be staying there for a few weeks. Peter went up to Jesus and said: “Master, you have spoken to us the words of life and truth; we would hear more; we beseech you to speak to us further about these matters.” So as they rested under a tree, Jesus delivered his second discourse on religion: “You have dared to protest against the grueling bondage of institutional religion and to reject the authority of the traditions of record which are now regarded as the word of God. And so may you pass from the authority of tradition to the experience of knowing God. The religion of the mind ties you hopelessly to the past; the religion of the spirit consists in progressive revelation and forever beckons you on toward higher and holier achievements in spiritual ideals and eternal realities. 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. I admonish you to give up the practice of always quoting the prophets of old and always praising the heroes of Israel, and instead aspire to become living prophets of the Most High and spiritual heroes of the coming kingdom. 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 unity of viewpoint and outlook. It only demands unity of spirit feeling.******************** 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. It is not so important that you should know about the fact of God as that you should increasingly grow in the ability to feel the presence of God. And there are two positive and powerful demonstrations of the fact that you are God-knowing, and they are: 1 The fruits of the spirit of God showing forth in your daily routine life. 2. The fact that your entire life plan furnishes positive proof that you have unreservedly risked everything you are and have on the adventure on survival after death in the pursuit of the hope of finding the God of eternity whose presence you have foretasted in time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s