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 Post subject: Urantia a Cult
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I have been studying the Urantia book for a year now and find much truth in the book. I have, however run information about the book, Urantia, The Great Cult Mystery where it totally debunks the Urantia book. Where is the truth in the History of the book?

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 Post subject: Re: Urantia a Cult
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Hi Pamela,

As a reader of some 30+ years, I've heard it all... several times. :roll: What is really unfortunate is that books like Gardners, are distortions in the extreme. Gardner is well into his 80's, and it seem he has lost his wonderful scientific objectivity. For reason unknown, he decided to do a hatchet job on the UB. If you read what he wrote, it is obvious he did not bother actually to read the entire book, just picked pieces out of context, and ridiculed them. He even has information about the books origins that simply are factually false! :shock:

Now, as to being a cult; The UB has a statement somewhere that EVERY religion started out as a "cult". All that indicates is something different from what is currently accepted. We certainly fall into that catagory! Mo Siegle wrote a wonderful essay, which is here on site, way at the bottom of the list. I did a cut & paste of it, because I like to have it available to as many folks as possible. I hope you enjoy it as much as have I.

Bro Dave
:wink:

[Dave's link to the topic: REVELATION, TRUTH FROM HEAVEN AND EARTH, By Mo Siegel is no longer valid due to files being lost when the site was hacked. -- admin]

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Last edited by Bro Dave on Wed Jul 13, 2005 9:48 pm +0000, edited 1 time in total.

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Hi Pamela,

I have been studying the Urantia Book for about 18 years, my father about 25 years. The good news of this particular revelation is that you get to experience the supreme adventure of a lifetime, that being "decide for yourself what YOU think is the truth." There were people who sat at Jesus' feet, people who listened to him teach, one who was very close to him for 3+ years yet didn't believe. I almost ordered Gardeners book one day but then realized, "I already know the truth and the truth has set me free" Why pay the guy $35.00 dollars to tell me he doesn't believe the liberating teachings of Jesus and the Urantia Book? At the end of the day what possible harm can the UB bring to this world? Continue on, trust your God, he will not forsake you. I continue to find new gems even today. :smile:


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Hiya Pamela,

We are very pleased to have you leave this thought with us and hope you will hang around and leave many more!

I have one simple thing to add to this. The word [cult] is not a "bad" word with any negative connotation whatsoever. But many persons do perceive it that way. The associated negative-connotation word is OCCULT.

Here it is from the Worldbook Encyclopedia Dictionary:

Cult: 1. a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to rites and ceremonies. 2. great admiration for a person, thing, idea ect... 3. group showing such admiration...worshipers

So, one MAY call the Urantia \"movement people\" as being in a cult if one wishes and be accurate in doing so. But then again Christianity is likewise a cult as is any other religious movement.

Another case of the simple misuse of a particular word where society in general has a misconception of its meaning or has informally changed its meaning with modern vernacular usage.

Thanks Pamela


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Back when the Gardner book was yet to be released I spoke with some of the poeple he had interviewed for the book.

And I was told that these interviews were taking place at the begining of the trooubles with the Foundation and there lawsuit aginst some of the readers in the movement.

1) This was a very unfortunate time to be interviewing poeple about the U.B. because of the anger poeple had about the Foundations actions

2) I was also told that "Gardner"... By some one that was Interviewed by him that he sayed to them that he Had been planning to do a debunking book for some time but didn't know who to do it on ....He had several different groups in mind but eventually choose the U.B. because it was an unknown and there had already been others that had writen debunking book on every one else.


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Hi Pamela,

I have a friend who holds a Ph.D. in science. He works with many scientists. One day a fellow scientist came into his office and asked him what he knew about the UB. Apparently, he had just begun to read the book and what it had to say reminded him of some comments my friend had made to him from time to time. As it turns out, he is a huge Gardner fan. His wife found Urantia the Great Cult Mystery by Gardner in a book store and was delighted to find a Gardner book that her husband hadn't read. So she purchased it for him. The scientist read Gardner's book and was so taken by the few direct quotes from the UB that Gardner included he went out and purchased the UB. He loves the UB and feels that it's the most exquisite religious book he has ever read and all because he read between the lines on Gardner's effort to \"totally debunk\" The Urantia Book.

Discernment is truly the choice of the one who searches. As Jesus said, "He who has an ear, let him hear." I find it interesting the Martin Gardner spent any time at all on the UB. He admitted at one point he didn't know why he did it. As Shakespeare said, "Me thinks he doth protest too much." If the UB isn't the way things are, it's the way they ought to be. If God had no hand in writing it, I really think he would enjoy reading it. Until a more profound book of truth comes along, I'm sticking with it. It's the pearl of great price as far as I concerned.

Thanks for writing.
Blessings.....Paula


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Pamela, If the UB speaks to YOU, why should criticisms matter? Bill


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I wish to thank everyone for their thoughts and ideas. Urantia does speak to me.. and I find that I have a hunger for it. The reason I asked the question in the first place was because of a close friend of mine, who started studying Urantia and thought the world of it.. now has turned against it, completely because of Garner's book. It is sad to watch his process as he discovers his own boundaries of discernment. He is on this persecution kick to share with everyone in the Urantia group his disbeliefs of the book. He has to follow his own inner guidance.. it is his process.. his lesson.. his growth. I asked the question so that I could share your comments with him. He found them 'interesting', however, he has made up his mind that Urantia is bogus, raciest, full of plagiarisms and not Divinely inspired at all. Everyone is on their own spiritual path of enlightenment.
Thank you all again! Pamela

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.....Thanks for the Topic, and the excellent posts. Lots of scholarship and reflection demonstrated.
Re 'cults,' an old classmate of mine, a Christian fundamentalist, told me my Baha'i Faith is a cult, as is the Catholic Church! He would really flip over UB!!
When I found UB, it 'spoke to me' - as someone else described the feeling of 'congruency?'
It made sense - in a profound way (beyond words).

It is fascinating how human minds can come up with the following
differing conclusions:
(1) there is no God
(2) there may be a God
(3) my religion is the only true religion
(4) the 'devil' has dominion over the earth
(5) the 'devil' has no power
(6) there is no devil
and...... etc.

We accept what is sensible to our hearts and minds.
For me, the Urantia Book has a resounding RING of Truth.
I am grateful for all those who have brought it to us..... and to those
who share it.
........with Gratitude........


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The word 'cult' is surrounded by controversy because of its pejorative connotation, as opposed to the more neutral 'new religion'. In the in-depth study of such new religions, the word cult tends to be confined to groups that display three characteristics: totalistic or mind-control-like practices, a shift from worship of spiritual principles to worship of the guru or leader, and a combination of spiritual quest from below and exploitation, usually economic or sexual from above.

The Urantia papers stand in direct opposition to these practices, endorsing the true liberty that only a personal relationship with the Supreme Being can afford.


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Dear Pamela,

Jesus has shown us how to respond to both sincere and "trifling skeptics" or "carping critics," even those doubting critics such as Gardner, which is in the spirit of Jesus' words "Let us be patient; the truth never suffers from honest examination." (1711: 3) Jesus tells us very plainly that "True and genuine inward certainty does not in the least fear outward analysis, nor does truth resent honest criticism. You should never forget that intolerance is the mask covering up the entertainment of secret doubts as to the trueness of one's belief. No man is at any time disturbed by his neighbor's attitude when he has perfect confidence in the truth of that which he wholeheartedly believes. Courage is the confidence of thoroughgoing honesty about those things which one professes to believe. Sincere men are unafraid of the critical examination of their true convictions and noble ideals." (1641: 4) And one of the apostles was known as "doubting Thomas" because of his "superb analytical mind," but "he had a form of courageous loyalty which forbade those who knew him intimately to regard him as a trifling skeptic." About Thomas, we are further told "Thomas is the great example of a human being who has doubts, faces them, and wins. He had a great mind; he was no carping critic. He was a logical thinker; he was the acid test of Jesus and his fellow apostles. If Jesus and his work had not been genuine, it could not have held a man like Thomas from the start to the finish. He had a keen and sure sense of fact. At the first appearance of fraud or deception Thomas would have forsaken them all. Scientists may not fully understand all about Jesus and his work on earth, but there lived and worked with the Master and his human associates a man whose mind was that of a true scientist--Thomas Didymus--and he believed in Jesus of Nazareth." (1562: 6)

Your friend may sincerely be searching for answers to his questions or doubts raised by Gardner's book. The only way to address your friends needs is to take each criticism Gardner raises, point by point, and honestly examine them. Of course, this requires much effort and work, and a study group may not be the best place to do this if that is not the desire of the group. But I truly sympathize with your friend. Of course, if your friend has made up his mind, and desires no further exploration or search for truth, than there is little anyone can do. On the other hand, if he desires for someone to substantively address his concerns and doubts raised by Gardner's book, and is sincere in his desire to follow truth wherever it will lead, than I can assure you on closer examination of many of Gardner's claims that they turn out to be false. I know, because I just completed a two year study (which will be published eventually) of Gardner's claims, and am very familiar with how he has distorted the truth and mischaracterized the facts not only with regards to what the Urantia Book really says, but with regards to the facts as they are discovered through the study of the history of science. I have been engaged in the study of the history of science for some 24 plus years now, which sheds much light on both Gardner's and the Urantia Book's claims.

I am not going to go into this at length here, but will give only one example:

Gardner did not read the Urantia Book; in fact, in some cases he was so careless that he did not even read the paragraph in question that he was critiquing. One (of many) examples of this mischaracterization of fact can be found in the "Addendum" to Gardner's "Notes of a Fringe-Watcher, The Star of Bethlehem" found at the URL below:

http://www.csicop.org/si/9911/gardner.html

So, unless your friend is a "trifling skeptic," he might want to turn a critical eye upon Gardner's claims too, and not just the Urantia Book, and be willing to make the effort to search out what actual scientists and historians of science say with regards to some of Gardner's claims. I have been doing this with regards to the Urantia Book's claims ever since I found it, which is some 30 years now.
Urantia Book wrote:
Thomas was the eighth apostle, and he was chosen by Philip. In later times he has become known as "doubting Thomas," but his fellow apostles hardly looked upon him as a chronic doubter. True, his was a logical, skeptical type of mind, but he had a form of courageous loyalty which forbade those who knew him intimately to regard him as a trifling skeptic. (1561: 1)

Thomas's great strength was his superb analytical mind coupled with his unflinching courage [to follow truth wherever it may lead.] (1561: 4)

Thomas is the great example of a human being who has doubts, faces them, and wins. He had a great mind; he was no carping critic. He was a logical thinker; he was the acid test of Jesus and his fellow apostles. If Jesus and his work had not been genuine, it could not have held a man like Thomas from the start to the finish. He had a keen and sure sense of fact. At the first appearance of fraud or deception Thomas would have forsaken them all. Scientists may not fully understand all about Jesus and his work on earth, but there lived and worked with the Master and his human associates a man whose mind was that of a true scientist--Thomas Didymus--and he believed in Jesus of Nazareth. (1562: 6)

The apostles were a bit disconcerted by the open manner of Jesus' assent to many of the Greek's propositions, but Jesus afterward privately said to them: "My children, marvel not that I was tolerant of the Greek's philosophy. True and genuine inward certainty does not in the least fear outward analysis, nor does truth resent honest criticism. You should never forget that intolerance is the mask covering up the entertainment of secret doubts as to the trueness of one's belief. No man is at any time disturbed by his neighbor's attitude when he has perfect confidence in the truth of that which he wholeheartedly believes. Courage is the confidence of thoroughgoing honesty about those things which one professes to believe. Sincere men are unafraid of the critical examination of their true convictions and noble ideals." (1641: 4)


http://www.bizmota.com/science/wegener/gardner.htm


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To become fetishes, words had to be considered inspired, and the invocation of supposed divinely inspired writings led directly to the establishment of the authority of the church, while the evolution of civil forms led to the fruition of the authority of the state. (970)

Words eventually became fetishes, more especially those which were regarded as God's words; in this way the sacred books of many religions have become fetishistic prisons incarcerating the spiritual imagination of man. (969)

In olden times the fetish word of authority was a fear-inspiring doctrine, the most terrible of all tyrants which enslave men. A doctrinal fetish will lead mortal man to betray himself into the clutches of bigotry, fanaticism, superstition, intolerance, and the most atrocious of barbarous cruelties. Modern respect for wisdom and truth is but the recent escape from the fetish-making tendency up to the higher levels of thinking and reasoning. Concerning the accumulated fetish writings which various religionists hold as sacred books, it is not only believed that what is in the book is true, but also that every truth is contained in the book. (969)

Regardless of the drawbacks and handicaps, every new revelation of truth has given rise to a new cult, and even the restatement of the religion of Jesus must develop a new and appropriate symbolism. Modern man must find some adequate symbolism for his new and expanding ideas, ideals, and loyalties. This enhanced symbol must arise out of religious living, spiritual experience. And this higher symbolism of a higher civilization must be predicated on the concept of the Fatherhood of God and be pregnant with the mighty ideal of the brotherhood of man. (966)

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A cult? According to Webster I guess us readers would qualify as I am sure the early followers of Jesus would also. If we are a \"cult\" in modern terms we are the most loose knit cult I've ever heard of...I am thrilled to meet another reader, that's why I really appreciate such sites as this...Hi guys :razz:

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 Post subject: Cults and more cults
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I have been a believer / student re the Urantia Book for 1 1/2 years. It has made me a more serious believer in Jesus as the King of this Universe.

I have been a member of the Baha'i Faith for 20 years. It has proclaimed the Oneness of humanity, and of the Oneness of all religions for 150 yrs.

Most of these bodies of Knowledge have been called "cult' over and over.

Let me pose one simple-simon defense. Many Christians have called the Koran a 'devil book.' If they spent an hour reading it - they would be surprised that the Koran discusses Jesus, Mary, Abraham, Joseph, and other "Biblical figures." It upholds these figures in a manner similar to the way Christians do.

I believe many serious seekers of Truth would be amazed at the beauty and wonder of UB, and of Baha'i Writings. Not-so-serious seekers simply say, "Lookie at da cult!"

As for me, and many here, UB is our HIGHEST VIEWPOINT of Truth, cosmology, and ethics.


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Hello Friends,

According to Webster this is what a cult is:

Etymology: French & Latin; French culte, from Latin cultus care, adoration, from colere to cultivate -- more at WHEEL
1 : formal religious veneration : WORSHIP
2 : a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
3 : a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
4 : a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator <health cults>
5 a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad b : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion.

By this definition, every religious movement on Earth qualifies as a "cult."
The fact the certain fundamentalists use the word in a derogatory manner to minimalize any belief system that is not exactly like their own is really insulting and absurd.

Most cults are benign and harmless, but some are truly dangerous. Current usages of word "cult" have a negative connotation, regardless of the true definition, because of people like Jim Jones and David Koresh and the sensational media coverage around the terrible consequences of being involved with these "cult" leaders. The main warning sign for a dangerous cult is one that seeks to control its followers with fear tactics.
Jesus never stooped to making people afraid and in fact, his whole life was dedicated to freeing humanity from negative motivations such as fear.

The truth is that many people have done many foolish and terrible things in the name of God. Religion is responsible for some of mankind's highest and most noble achievements and it is also responsible for some of man's worst insanity. People who destroy in God's name, because they believe this is what God would have them do, simply don't know God. People who do great acts of kindness and love in God's name, do know him. It's that simple.

The only real safeguard one has against being led astray by some dangerous cult, is to really learn how to think for one's self. The Zen Buddhists call this "beginner's mind." Giving one's self permission to ponder difficult concepts like God. I have always liked to think about God and for me, The Urantia Book simply confirmed what I already knew in my heart to be true about God, in spite of what I had been told about him.

Jesus told his followers that they would know each other by their fruits. To come to know the fruits (fruits of the spirit) of any individual or group takes a little time and effort. We live in a world of convenience and instant gratification, but we shouldn't label anybody. We should just take the time and effort to get to know and understand them.

Quote:
If you could only fathom the motives of your associates, how much better you would understand them. If you could only know your fellows, you would eventually fall in love with them.

You cannot truly love your fellows by a mere act of the will. Love is only born of thoroughgoing understanding of your neighbor's motives and sentiments. It is not so important to love all men today as it is that each day you learn to love one more human being. If each day or each week you achieve an understanding of one more of your fellows, and if this is the limit of your ability, then you are certainly socializing and truly spiritualizing your personality. Love is infectious, and when human devotion is intelligent and wise, love is more catching than hate. But only genuine and unselfish love is truly contagious. If each mortal could only become a focus of dynamic affection, this benign virus of love would soon pervade the sentimental emotion-stream of humanity to such an extent that all civilization would be encompassed by love, and that would be the realization of the brotherhood of man. P.1098

Love....Paula


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