Many who find Unity have left a more “mainstream” Christian Church. Or others are unchurched or already metaphysically or mystically inclined. So Unity easily becomes a match with its basic principles, lack of dogma, and acceptance of all people. Since in Unity we differ in some of our beliefs from “mainstream” Christianity, there can be a resistance to exploring too much of that religion. And yet, like Hinduism and Buddhism and Islam, there are many sects (denominations) within, and wide differences. Like all religions, some of the sects/denominations are more orthodox or conservative, and others are more liberal.
Some ways in which Unity differs from “mainstream” Christianity include these beliefs:
1) We are born in original blessing rather than original sin.
2) Sin is “missing the mark” of our Divine potential,
3) “Being saved” from sin or unconsciousness is about waking up to our true identity,
4) The Bible is not the living word of God, but rather a divinely inspired book written by many writers,
5) The Bible is not literal, but rather filled with metaphor, and therefore, we interpret it “metaphysically,” with every person, place or event as an aspect of our consciousness.
6) Jesus was the historical man, and Christ is the consciousness and title he attained, and that we also can attain,
7) God is not only transcendent, above and beyond the Universe, but also immanent, within each of us,
8) We are panentheistic — God is in us and we are in God, as the ocean is in the wave and the wave is in the ocean,
9) The law of cause and effect or karma is the one supreme law of the Universe.
10) Reincarnation is the most logical explanation of eternal life and the seeming injustice in the world.
Some Christian denominations would agree with a number of these and some would not. All of us at our core are similar in the fact that we believe in God, in Jesus as very significant, in the power of love to heal, in peace and harmony for all, in the innate goodness of human beings, in the power of prayer and faith, and the mystery of grace.
I love that last week, in dialogue with the Buddhist Priest, Rev. Peter Hata, we discovered, that though Buddhists are known not to believe in God, we both use the metaphor of “the force” from Star Wars to explain God. We both teach that what people call God is the life force in all things! We are all more alike than we are different!
This Sunday, I will be dialoguing with/interviewing a newly ordained female Episcopal Priest. I am very excited to see what she has to say. From our emails, I expect an openness and a beautiful expression of her beliefs. I feel certain that it will be educational and very inspiring.
Love & blessings,