The Urantia “Brotherhood” that I was involved with for 15 years was a group of folks like me getting together to discuss the 2000 page “revelation.”
Many of the other people in the group seemed to be maintaining a dual allegiance. Quite a few of them were members of regular Christian churches including not just a few pastors at the same time they attended the urantia meetings. They had no problem, seeing the urantia book as providing further details for “their” Christianity. However, at the time, except for one wedding ceremony, I had not seen the inside of any church since I was a teen.
My last experience [ my mother flitting from church to church] after mormonism, and before the urantia group had been a few of my early teen years spent in a Seventh Day Adventist church. Another experience with some “good” people.
But from my late 20’s in 1976 until my early 40’s in about mid-1991, I was more or less captivated by the urantia book.
If truly, “everything is prologue” then certainly, considering all that has happened, I think it is accurate to believe that the first forty years were only my being, “raised up” for real life.
If you believe in an eternity, and I certainly do, then the first forty years of my life are like 1 second out of a century of seconds or even a millennium. But the memory of the 1 second experience and what I learned may be forever with me.
In my early 20’s I was in a near fatal accident, in which someone else did die. Anyway, my rehabilitation and physical therapy pain was so intense, one of my therapists actually quit the profession, and her boss [who had developed the tough skin he had to have] took and got me through.
The pain, some of which comes and goes through a lifetime, means nothing in the run of an eternity of living. It will be less than the blink of an eye. But, the experience gave me a much greater understanding and compassion for people I consider truly handicapped or crippled worse than me. The physical experience will mean nothing, except as a base for understanding, which I can carry through eternity.
What does this have to do with a childhood of Fate magazine, or mormonism, or 7th Day Adventism, or living “in” urantia?
Much, I believe.
I used to tell the inmates in the rehabilitation program to learn to do what works! Then I might launch into a story about going to get my favorite hamburger or to a video store to pick out a movie or just a night with the wife and kids. Then, without missing a beat I would point at the metal bunks or the fence topped with barbed wire and ask; “Does this look like this works?”
“Does this look like this works?” could also be; “What part of this don’t you get?” Or, better yet; “What could you possibly be thinking? You are in a jail, do you really think this is really living?”
“Sounds like mormonism,” was for me the equivalent of; “what could you possibly be thinking?” And, as I have said, I grew up with close family friends who were mormons. I still have friends who have been fairly close who are mormon.
I was sent by a girlfriend, to the church office of a young pastor, whom I of course knew was not nearly as theologically astute as I was. I mean I was almost smug in my knowledge that I was in on the next big thing. I and only a million or so folks out of the whole planet were in possession of the revelation of the ages. I was going to enlighten this young pastor with only maybe a masters degree while I had the inside track.
That was almost his entire rebuttal. “Hmmm, sounds like mormonism.” and, “Nope, I never heard of it.”
“Sounds like mormonism,” kept bugging me, because he was right. There is more than just a superficial similarity. What bugged me was not just the books which form the basis of the two worldviews, but the nature of the “revelation” of the two very similar tales.
For the first time in my life, I began to read atheist and agnostics who had converted to Christianity. I started studying the “fairy tales” as I had once believed, in earnest.
As I said,a blog or so ago, it is amazing how blind we really are.