So Who, and What is God?
Unity teaches that God is not an anthropomorphic being that exists somewhere and is capable of being either pleased or angered by the activity of humankind. God is the Only Presence, Only Power, the Only Reality in existence, and is best understood through the “pronoun” – Love. We teach that God can also be understood through the word “Principle” or “Law”. Therefore, working with Principle or Law, and with self-responsibility, we allow this Reality of God to meld with our conscious minds, and then as a very personal experience, to be a viable part in our lives.
I have heard that Unity doesn’t accept Jesus as the Son of God or that He died for our sins. Can this be true?
Certainly Jesus was/is the Son of God, but everyone else can also be thought of within this context of “son” or “daughter”. The difference is not in content, but in the awareness of the content. John 3:16 speaks to an “idea” of perfect manifestation, not but one man. And, Unity teaches that Jesus lived, not died, as the major purpose of His life and ministry. It was not to save us, but to show us how to “save” ourselves by embracing only God, therefore only Love. Unity does not teach that there is a God “out there someplace” who is placated through the painful death of an “only son” who was sent for this very purpose.
Then, Christ and Jesus?
Unity understands that Christ is the Principle of total God awareness that was certainly expressed by Jesus, and must also be expressed by each. So, in the strictest of accuracy, it is a total misnomer to say that Christ was born or that Christ died. Jesus certainly was born and “died”. Christ is the Principle, Jesus the man.
Does Unity believe in the Bible?
Certainly. But, not as the literal word of God from Genesis through Revelation. It is inspiration. It is history. And, through the understanding of the ministry of Jesus, is the example of how to internalize and then become conscious of “The glory we knew with God before the world was.” (John 17:5) Unity teaches that the Bible can be made to be a wonderful part of our lives as we see it as a metaphysical tool that speaks to the journey of each from the Adam or Eve state of consciousness, all the way to the Christ. Therefore, it is a roadmap to follow as we exercise the causes that work, or that bring joy and gladness to life, and to exclude causes that do not work, or that bring sadness and fear.
What is the term “New Thought”?
Early in the development of the INTA, a “Congress” was held in London in June of 1914. It was “the outsider” who heard the eternal Truths expressed through the speakers who then went away saying, “Why, that is a new thought!” The term seemed to take, and although it was not anything new that the speakers and writers were sharing, but Truths as old as time. However when it first enters the minds of a seeker, it appears to be new.
Christianity, but Metaphysical Practical Christianity. What does this mean?
Metaphysical is a word coined by Aristotle and came out of his understanding of the existence of first cause, or the genesis of the nature of being which begins in the mind of man. It speaks to the understanding that mankind has a direct role in directing the Energy of Pure Being into manifest form and removes the crutch of a belief in accident, chance or luck in one’s life or environment. Emmet Fox then succinctly coined another phrase. “Life is consciousness.” We believe that Jesus was/is the Master Meta-physician and fully understood the movement of Spirit through the mind of man and woman to then become their world. He taught of cause and effect and exemplified the application of this Principle as He fulfilled His ministry.
Practical Christianity is the understanding that in order for one’s spirituality (religion) to be meaningful and even useful, it must do such mundane things like paying the rent. Unity teaches that the application of the Eternal Principles that Jesus taught are not only for the purpose of finding that center of all Knowledge and Knowing within us, but must then be applicable throughout one’s life. Unity teaches that it is indeed God’s good pleasure to give each the Kingdom, and the Kingdom manifests right now within our world as abundant supply, harmonious relationships, perfect peace and the abundance of love.
What is the difference between Unity and other branches of Christianity?
We seldom seek to amplify differences, and we certainly never attempt to define another’s teachings as they can do that for themselves. What we have discovered, however, is a teaching that seems to be a point of departure from orthodox Christianity and is what some would call “the major difference”. Unity, and New Thought as a whole, accepts that Jesus is example and not exception. We see Him as Way Shower, Elder Brother, and indeed example of what must happen through us as we allow the same Energy of Pure Being (God) to manifest and express through us.
I’ve been told that Unity is a cult. Is this true?
There are those who would think that anyone other than followers of their personal belief system belong to a cult, and so be it. The word itself was once a very positive word and throughout the years has gone through a pejorative cycle until today it has a meaning that coincides with a raised eyebrow. If “cult” means the effort to control how one thinks, or makes demands upon their wealth, or tells them who they should marry or divorce or similar things, Unity is not.
Does Unity teach that only through a Christian belief can one go to Heaven?
No. Truth is Truth wherever it is found, and the journey of awakening or enlightenment is not limited to a follower of the teachings of Jesus. It is much like learning that 7 times 7 is 49 within a Christian setting, or is made by someone sitting in the outback using stones to discover the principle of multiplication. God (Principle) doesn’t “care”, and God (Principle) has unlimited “patience” as humankind remembers that in Truth they are God-kind.
What about Heaven and Hell?
Unity teaches that the two “H’s” are first states of consciousness, and then as with each moment, consciousness becomes a “place” wherein we perceive ourselves to be. Heaven or hell are not pieces of real estate. Heaven is an ever unfolding state of consciousness wherein we realize that there is but God. Hell is a state of consciousness wherein we perceive ourselves as separated from our Source.
Unity does not believe there is a hell, nor is there a locatable heaven that exists anywhere. Both are found wherever we are and wherever we go; one is an expression of consciousness that is ever more deeply consciously aware of Oneness, the other is experienced when one attempts to live outside the eternal Truth of One Presence, One Power. Then, in our journey there is not anything outside of us that grants us punishment or reward – both extremes are the result of choices (causes) within the journey – they are self-generated (effects). There is only God and because there is nothing else, this Energy is individualized at the core of who and what we are. Therefore, it is God moving through and as us that is co-creating. We are always doing it – as we are always thinking and thought lays hold of the one Energy of creation. Said another way, we are always in the loop of what takes place in our lives. Thought becoming word and becoming action is the tool we use. Remember, in this process you can never get it wrong because you never get it done. You are eternal!