Good Morning Beloved!
What did the Buddha say to the hotdog vendor? “Make me one with everything.”
Then the vendor gave the Buddha a hotdog with everything on it — mustard, onion and relish.
The Buddha gave him a twenty dollar bill, although monks are not supposed to handle cash. The Buddha waited for his change but the vendor didn’t give to the Buddha.
Finally, the Buddha said softly, “Sir, aren’t you going to give me my change?”
The vendor said, “The change must come from within!”
Ask the Rev
1. What is the origination of the book of Genesis? Book of Beginning, thought to be written by Moses, but we believe otherwise, most likely written by at least 4 different people or influences. Mostly by the Yahwist; who where considered to be the ‘Priestly sect’, and drew on four separate blocks of traditional stories about Abraham, Jacob, Judah and Joseph, combining them with genealogies, itineraries and the “promise” theme to create a unified whole. When composing the “primeval history” he drew on Greek and Mesopotamian sources, editing and adding to them to create a unified work that fit his theological agenda. The Yahwistic work was then revised and expanded into the final edition by the authors of the Priestly source.With that in mind, we must remember who the Bible was written for…not necessarily you & I, but for the Israelites. It was a ‘story’ of how they came into being.
We, in Unity, look at the Bible as not only a history of a nation but as a journey that we all take when it is looked at from a metaphysical point of view. And when we look at the gospel stories, they were handed down by the social, political & theological forces of the Judeo-Hellenistic world, not just to record what Jesus supposedly said and did.Consider how you would write today’s history from your point of view and you get the picture. It’s what we do with the history that is important, whether it’s a world history, a national history or a personal history.
2. How do we know what Gods will is for us? God’s will is always the highest good for all in every circumstance. So our “free choice’ comes into play. Without it, life would be safe, but boring. We would ALL be wearing the same clothes, the same hair style and drive the same car (Henry Ford might have been onto something – all black, same style car!) Sameness isn’t what works…this is a creative multiverse….so sameness is not an option. We are ALL creators and so, we all must participate in the creation of our lives.What do YOU think God’s will is for you? Only you can figure that out in the long run. Others are here to listen and prod and suggest ideas, but the choice is yours.
Bryant McGill said, “The purpose of your life is the purpose you bring to it, choice by choice; and recognition by recognition.”
I am reminded of a song, “Love Wins” and THAT can be your guide. It’s ALL about love
3. What does it mean “Jesus is our Savior?”– John 14:6 is often quoted by those passionate about Jesus being the ‘only way.’ “… no one comes to the Father but by me,” means we must find God individually; discover the Father-Mother God the way Jesus did, and how many of us have done, go within. We must follow the example of our Way-Shower, Jesus. Only we, ourselves can ‘save’ ourselves by how we live our lives.
There is no secret moral behavior required for knowing or pleasing God, or what some call “salvation,” beyond becoming a loving person in mind, heart, body, and soul.Unity’s founders studied many of the world religions and philosophies and choose Jesus as their way-shower. Many of the Unity philosophies are similar to some Eastern Religious beliefs, such as Silence and meditation, we are all one.I have chosen to follow the Fillmore’s guidance at this time.
And as Charles has been known to say, “I reserve the right to change my mind.
4. What is the meaning of life? Education, learn how to be fully human and divine, our destiny to oneness with God. Everything in life teaches us something. And to do this, we must learn who and what we are. Go within, Know thyself…, we hear that all the time; what do you think that means?
5 Does Unity believe in Hell/Heaven? New Thought, an overall description of the philosophy that Unity believes, does not believe in an actual, physical Heaven or Hell. We believe that Heaven or Hell are states of thought, the stress and worry we place upon ourselves as we go through our day can be ‘hellish’ or if we learn to keep our perspective and look at situations through the heart, they can be ‘Heaven.’ It is all on how we ‘see’ things that are happening around us and how we react, or not, to them. Perspective!
6. Predestination – If we believed in predestination, then where is our free will? Then everything would be happening ‘to us’ and not ‘through us.’ That is not free will.
I believe that there is a touch of predestination for all of us…in that we all will be returning in realization to the energy that we are all a part of. And that there are many paths but all leading to the same Source.
7. Do animals have a soul? According to Pope Francis, YES! And from Ecclesiastes 3:19 “For the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same; as one dies, so does the other. They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals…Who knows whether the human spirit goes upward and the spirit of animals goes downward to the earth?”
Personally, YES! I have looked into the eyes of my companion animals, as well as, the eyes of many others. I believe animals are here to teach us many things, that they may even be more ‘evolved’ than we are, that they are here to help us on our journey and I am Blessed for them!
8. Were we born with Original sin? Unity does not believe in sin, much less ‘original sin.’ We believe that humanity is essentially good, because we are ‘made in the image and likeness of God/Goddess.’ And if God/Goddess is ALL GOOD, then we are also. We Unitics believe we are born in divine blessing.
Yes we are not perfect on earth, we make ‘errors,’ we ‘miss the mark’ which is what ‘sin’ means. But we are not ‘marked’ to be sinful. That, again, is choice.
9. What does Jesus say about homosexuality? – Nothing. He never mentioned it, so it was obviously not a pressing or important matter to him. JESUS ACCEPTED PEOPLE FOR WHO THEY WERE. So it seems to me He would affirm the right of people to be whatever God created them to be, including in matters of sexual orientation.Look at what Jesus did stand for, then you will know that this would not have been an issue for Him.
If you look at some of the Hebrew verses that are thrown at people saying that homosexuality is an abomination, you must consider the culture of the time, the people it was written for and he context that the verses are taken from. To label one part of society an abomination based on a culture over 2000 years old is not necessarily a good thing. If we did that we would be able to sell our daughters, never cut our hair and have to change our complete diet, among other various things.
We can get into the meaning behind the HEBREW Bible in lessons through the coming year, if you like, or study it metaphysically in a class.
10. Does God get angry? No, God is all good. The men who wrote the stories in the Bible, however, DID get angry. And they portrayed their God the same way they are; angry, changing their minds, making errors and repenting.Keep in mind what the Hebrew Bible is; a history of a people who made their God in their image, just as their God made them in His image. So, if they got angry, so did their God.If we look at the New Testament, with the influence of Jesus, we see a different God, one that is an example of the Love we are and can be in all our endeavors.
11. What is Unity’s view of reincarnation? I looked at Rev. Ed’s response to this question to make sure I kept my feelings about it out of the response. He said, “I think Unity’s understanding of spiritual truth cannot possibly make sense unless we accept the idea of reincarnation. If our purpose as spiritual beings engaged in a human experience is to bring more of our spiritual energy into tangible expression, to achieve that new dimension of consciousness that Jesus calls ‘the kingdom of heaven,’ then it must follow that the process requires more than the limits of a single lifetime. I believe this understanding is implicit in the entire ministry of Jesus—indeed, in the entire Bible. And there are brief passages in which the implicit seems to become increasingly explicit. But it’s difficult to point to any specific teaching or passage that directly speaks to the question. Apparently we just weren’t ready, in collective consciousness, to grasp it at the time the scriptures were written.”
Charles Fillmore not only believed in reincarnation, but he believed we could live a much longer life because we can heal our own bodies. This was proved by himself and his wife.
12. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does God make us suffer? God is all good, so does not cause us to suffer. The cosmos operates on scientific and spiritual laws. When a law is not adhered to, a consequence occurs. We are to discover these laws and principles and use them. Thus we have gravity as well as the law of cause and effect.Keep in mind we ALL have free will…choices we make cause effects. To have that choice of ‘good, we must have the choice of ‘not good,’ again, it’s our choice.This question also takes into account reincarnation, if we have ‘lessons’ to learn in our incarnations, then who are we to know if what is happening to someone is not for their or someone else’s lesson?
But this question leads into the next….
13. What is Race or Collective Consciousness? – outside events have an effect on us, if we allow that energy to overcome our defenses and change our outlook on life and our own situations, we have allowed what Charles Fillmore called “Race Consciousness” to affect our lives.This has nothing to do with the different races of our Earthly nations. It is just a term meaning all of humanity. It means the energy from other people and situations have influenced us and our thoughts and behaviors. Like a MOB mentality. Or ‘it’s always been this way’ mentality.
We see the results of Collective Consciousness often in the news; when people react violently to a situation or have a peaceful demonstration to press an issue. We also see it when people react to a call for help, whether physically or monetarily or for prayer.Will you allow Race or Collective Consciousness dictate your actions and reactions? That, my friends, is the question.
14. What does it mean to “Own Unity of Rehoboth Beach?” Ownership, to belong here and be a part of it. To help it grow and not falter. We are a baby in this world of Spiritual entities. The only way we can continue to be a part of this community and our lives is if and when we all take ownership. Help where you are able. Spread the word. Bring a friend or two.Soon we will celebrate one year. I envision this growing and prospering. Please, if this community is important to you…help us keep it growing and going strong.There are many examples of what one person can accomplish when they choose to do what is theirs to do. What is yours to do, my friends?