SOME BASIC CONCEPTS
1. Our objective is to formulate a new approach toward theology designed to help people find the reality of God within themselves, and then use this personal relationship with God in a collective manner, whereby, we express our love for God in our responsible actions toward each other and the creation we are a part of.
While we recognize that many churches do address social injustices and environmental abuses, they often fail because in their faith these things are not the priority. Our formula is simple: we look to the inspiration of God from all religions, ultimately seeing the same messages over and over. Based on this it would seem, the priority of God is our treatment of one another, and our treatment of the earth --- these: as the first priority of one's faith! Houses of worship - dogmas - creeds - prayer - worship - and even faith would seem to be of little value in the Eyes of the Creator, if we: mistreat - neglect - or make secondary our responsibility toward each other and the gift of creation which surrounds us.
God does not need to offer salvation, rewards or punishments, not would they be what God would desire to be our motivation. God offers us unrequited love (His/Her Essence) and desires us to love Him/Her in return. The only real way we can express such love is in our treatment of creation, which includes our fellow human being.
We live in a world where so many claim to believe in, and love, God; but in the reality of that world, innocent children starve, wars among nations continue, individuals are oppressed. Our societies seem to thrive on selfishness and greed. There is inequality - injustice - bigotry - hatred - and violent crimes of every sort. We feel that religion often fails to overcome these iniquities in society because of their confused priorities, theology's lack of relevance to the real world, and a psychological portrayal of a violent nature to God. Most religions, as they seem to exist, place God off in some distant heaven and offer little significance to His/Her role in the active creation. They have us placing our hopes in the next world; leaving this world doomed to its fate. So long as we believe that we cannot change what is --- so long as we pass responsibility to God, or resolve that the planet is under some Satan's rule: such will remain the case. Our interpretations of inspiration lead us to offer hope for the real world, encourage individuals to change their hearts and lead us to the realization that God has given us a far greater potential than we now experience. God's gift to us is Earth, and we are not worthy of anything more until we become responsible to that.
Our vision is of a religion that will actively
speak out, and actively participate in the solutions to social problems that
have plagued mankind for thousands of years. We feel that while man has
significantly evolved in his intellectual skills and technological expertise;
his emotional evolution and spiritual state remain in an almost primordial
state. Equality of opportunity, peace, brotherhood, justice, compassion, balance with nature, harmony among peoples, tolerance and love:
are the true gifts God has endowed us with. These are the true "mustard
seeds" that we can cultivate and grow into the
2. Eclecticism's fundamental premise is that the only true faith and worship of God is expressed by our interactions with one another and Creation. Our aim is to offer a theology that is a catalyst for people to change their hearts, ultimately, making a difference in our world.
Our view of inspiration tells us that it is not God, or any devil, who causes human misery and injustice. Evil is a result of human indifference, projection of personal responsibility, and selfishness that leads to narcissism.
While we strongly believe that God can, and does, help us as human beings; we also realize, that God should not be expected to do for us what He/She has already given us the ability to do for ourselves.
It is our opinion that religion should be redefined and redirected to: encourage individuals to find God's truth in themselves, instead of declaring it for them --- encourage a faith expressed in actions because of belief, rather than, a faith in words --- help people to realize that the love of God is not expressed in some ritual, prayer or song, but rather, in the reality of our treatment of one another and the creation God has placed us in.
3. Mankind's biggest problem seems to be in his lack of balance in things. Human beings seem to be creatures of extremes, painting pictures in black and white. People seem to overlook the fact that all the reality around them, the reality God designed, is in fact in shades of gray that are blended and harmonized, making it all work.
Religion should be helping us to reach a balance within ourselves --- a balance of giving in proportion to what we take --- balance our personal wants and needs with concern for the whole --- balance our selfish actions with responsible actions expressing concern for the whole --- harmonizing our lives with the very creation that gives us life --- all this in a practical manner!
4. Our approach towards God's inspiration views that inspiration as a communication between the Divine and humankind, one which is expressed in its symbolism and meant to convey ideals --- meant to help us improve our everyday lives. These symbols are universal, in every faith, rooted in our myths and cultures, and are from the past --- in the present --- and will continue into the future.
What religions often fail to see is that, while God inspires, it is men who record and interpret the inspiration; therefore, no inspiration could be considered the written "Word of God". If we are to be objective and search sacred books and other sources of inspiration for the truth we must keep in mind that much was written for another age and understood differently --- that men are capable of error and misunderstanding --- that men are capable of self deceit and lying --- that there are often problems with translations from the ancient languages into our modern English.
Inspiration should not be evaluated as infallible Divine Truth, but rather as a guide map which points us in the right direction to contribute to the creation in a manner consistent with our potential. No inspiration can be absolute truth for it is written by men. What becomes the absolute truth is our actions because of the inspiration --- this is truth because it is reality.
5. We postualate that God's inspiration is to ALL people, All cultures and to All generations --- and are not limited to one book, or selected prophets, or chosen spokesmen. The inspirations that truly come from God encourage us to get along with one another --- encourage us to love one another. God's inspiration leads us to the discovery of truth in all areas of human knowledge and that truth enables us to understand our universe so that we might use such knowledge to improve the quality of life for ALL living things. And we believe that God's inspiration would never lead us into judging others, intolerance, or violence!
We have also discovered that God's inspiration is designed to be understood according to the potential and abilities of the individuals to whom He/She communicates such inspirations. And, we suggest that God's inspiration has not ended, but continues in our present time on both a personal and collective level --- but because of our beliefs, mankind often fails to hear them!
It should be clearly understood here, we do not believe that God's inspirations come in the form of edicts and literal absolute truths. God created mankind as diverse as the universe itself, consequently, what might be meant for one person may not be meant for another.
And finally here: we do not accept that any human being, no matter how holy can speak for the absolute authority of God.
6. About miracles we believe that God answers prayers; but feel many religions have emphasized the supernatural to such a degree their faithful are failing to see the reality of the truest, and most visible, of God; which is, the very creation we exist in. In acknowledging such, we recognize LIFE ITSELF IS THE MOST PROFOUND OF ALL MIRACLES and need not cite any other, particularly any supernatural event, as conviction or justification for our faith in God.
And, while God may work supernaturally, we feel He/She chooses to exercise His/Her power within the realm of the laws He/She ordained; that is, according to the laws of physics. In acknowledging such, it is our opinion that God works through human beings who perform God's miracles in their acts of kindness which come from the human heart ---- for it is only when we serve others that we serve God --- our treatment of the creation is what we proclaim to God. Universal inspiration reveals that time is part of eternity as we experience it in the paradox of now!
7. We believe in life after death. However, we feel one can do little more than guess and speculate as to the state of existence which transcends our physical life. It is obvious to the objective mind that life is the immediate concern and by our experience in life we are in some way preparing for whatever lies beyond it. Any true salvation of mankind (however one defines salvation) is achieved by our own actions in this world, with guidance coming to all who listen for it, from God. It is our treatment of one another, and our interactions with the creation, which prepare us for whatever transcends life and our oneness of being with God.
Words of faith, words of prayers, rituals, and even adoration: would seem to be of little value to an Intellect such as God's if they are not expressed in the reality of the way we live our lives. Love of God is expressed in loving what is of God; obviously, that is creation itself.
8. The universal message. To view inspiration for its symbolic message is to open one's eyes to the universality of God's inspiration. One of the most clear of ideals is that God does not dwell apart from us, but within us as individuals. God is no further away than our own being, and we need no mediator to intercede in our communication with the Divine. God's presence within us is manifested every time we express love.
9. On the Divine Nature of Jesus. This becomes a personal decision, for we feel whatever he was is truly unknowable; but have concluded from his message in the Gospels, he neither intended or sought that we worship or idolize him in any manner. The primary message of the Gospels is to love one another and to be tolerant of one another, expressing our love for God in our treatment of one another.
Whatever his nature, Jesus left a profound
philosophy that is recorded in the message he preached and the example he set. It
is the living of that message which he intended to be the
Our mission is not to declare Jesus a savior, but rather, to draw upon his wisdom to aid us in our quest of improving human life for ourselves as well as others. Like other great prophets, Jesus contributes a wealth of information which could serve to make us all better people. Religion has become so lost in the Divinity of Jesus that they often fail to recognize his humanity! Jesus preached about living life; not preparing for death!
10. Religion and Science. While we DO NOT believe that religion should influence the pursuit of science, for science must remain objective; we Do accept that religion should be compatible with science. It is a self evident fact that the truth of the workings of our universe must be the truths ordained by its Creator. Religious ideals and theology that stand in opposition to the known laws of science must be in error, FOR THE WILL OF GOD IS EXPRESSED MOST OBSERVABLY IN THE REALITY OF THE CREATION.
We further attest that in studying the known laws of the universe, the laws of nature, the laws of human life: we can gain valuable insight into the intellect of God. This in fact is the only observable product we have to perceive the reality of God's design. We have come to view religion as being much more balanced, insightful and practical: if it incorporates the miracle of reality, scientific truth, and a healthy psychology into its theology. In the end, it leads us to a better understanding of God.
It would seem that God gave us the power of intellect and self-awareness to better understand ourselves, our world, and in doing so, gain more insight into His/Her reality.
A FINAL REFLECTION
Some have said we are pure idealists, and perhaps this is appropriate; but, human spiritual progress has been based on such ideals. Plato, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Luther, Ghandi, and numerous others in our history have been the idealist that have enabled us to envision the true potential of the human spirit. So long as peoples of the world continue to resolve themselves to the concept "that's the way it is and I can do nothing to change it!" --- that is the way it will continue to be.
Robert Kennedy said, "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why'? I dream dreams that are not and ask, 'Why not'? This is the spirit in which we move forward; realizing it is not God who will change the world for men; but men who can change the world in the spirit of their love for God.
If you see religion as missing God's greatest point --- If you feel you can make a difference in our world --- If you recognize the human need as the Divine need --- If you feel mankind has a greater potential --- You just may be one that God is calling to make this new religion of love and brotherhood work.
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