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WELL!! Isn't THAT refreshing!!
In addition to holding different beliefs on spiritual topics, individual Unitarian Universalists may also identify with and draw inspiration from Atheism and Agnosticism, Buddhism, Christianity, Humanism, Judaism, Paganism, and other religious or philosophical traditions.
Our Unitarian Universalist faith has evolved through a long history, with theological origins in European Christian traditions. Today Unitarian Universalism is a non-creedal faith which allows individual Unitarian Universalists the freedom to search for truth on many paths. While our congregations uphold shared principles, individual Unitarian Universalists may discern their own beliefs about spiritual, ethical, and theological issues.
Welcome to Unitarian Universalism, a religion that celebrates diversity of belief and is guided by seven principles. Our congregations are places where we gather to nurture our spirits and put our faith into action through social justice work in our communities and the wider world.
Newcomers are always welcome in Unitarian Universalist congregations. There is no formal conversion process, so becoming a Unitarian Universalist is simply a matter of self-identification. Membership is voluntary and does not require renouncing other religious affiliations or practices.
Beliefs about Life and Death in Unitarian Universalism
How do Unitarian Universalists understand death?
The Universalist tradition, which is an integral part of Unitarian Universalist heritage, was a Christian movement grounded in the belief in universal salvation and God's love for all people.
Many Unitarian Universalists trace their Universalist roots back to Hosea Ballou's Treatise on Atonement, published in 1805. This manifesto argued that it was not a fear of eternal damnation that led people to do good on earth, but an understanding that paradise is here and now. The gift of this knowledge is given to those who practice the ethics of paradise.
Today, Unitarian Universalism is a theologically diverse religion. Although Universalist influences are still woven into our faith in our Unitarian Universalist principles and emphasis on social justice work, we also welcome many different beliefs about death and the possibility of an afterlife.
Ballou's contention that all persons are worthy of salvation finds its modern expression in the UUA's First Principle affirming "the inherent worth and dignity of every person."
Ballou, son of a New Hampshire farmer-preacher, was raised in a Calvinist Baptist home. Unable to reconcile belief in a loving, all-powerful God with the idea of eternal punishment for most of humanity, he searched the Bible diligently and thought his way to a belief in universal salvation.
In his Treatise, Ballou focused on what he considered orthodoxy's weakest point: the doctrine of substitutionary atonement, the idea that Jesus' death paid for human sin. His treatment was deterministic, acknowledging God to be all-knowing and all-powerful. It was also rationalistic, drawing heavily on Deist thought, and rejected the doctrine of the Trinity—making Ballou a unitarian Universalist.
Thus Ballou argued that the orthodox had things backward: It was humanity that needed to be reconciled to God, not God to humanity. Moreover, this atoning spirit of love was available not only to Christians, but to all people, irrespective of "names, sects, denominations, people, or kingdoms." In no case would anyone be sent to eternal punishment by a loving God. No sin was that great; salvation was universal.
The Treatise made a strong and immediate impact, giving Universalists a common theological base from which to spread their message. Ballou was quickly recognized as the leader of the Universalist movement.
UU [Unitarian Universalist] Views of the Bible offers a glimpse into six spiritual journeys. One originates with an impassioned fundamentalist embrace of the Bible while others begin with the Bible as suspect. All of the journeys are refreshingly thoughtful, a bit provocative, and even humorous. The pamphlet offers no critical analysis of the Bible, interpretation of the historical Jesus, or promotion of the Darwinian theory of evolution over and against creation theory. Instead, it gives the reader a very frank approach to a text that is often misquoted, misinterpreted, and mistreated.
Unitarian Universalism (UU) draws from many sources:
Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
All understandings of the Bible are interpretations. But some interpretations are better informed. Some are more useful, edifying, inspirational, or enduring. Some are clearly oppressive, and some are empowering. I say the Bible must be read to liberate—to liberate people, and to liberate the wisdom within the scriptures themselves.
How can we find liberation in the Bible when it is so often used for oppressive ends?
It is all too easy to have a bad experience with the Bible. Authority figures may have offered an interpretation that seems, and is, unjust and oppressive. Those who sit down to read the Bible entirely on their own can also have a decidedly bad experience.
These (we, I must admit) folk, the UUs, believe in the MESSAGE of Jesus, but also acknowledge the good and true bits in other religions.
The UUs embrace ALL religious traditions, and YES, THEY BELIEVE THAT EVERYONE WILL GET TO REUNITE with the DIVINE.
Because I'm a "rainbows and unicorns kinda gal?"
The concept of HELL is an ongoing, heated debate.
I also believe in reincarnation to "atone" for our shortcomings...
Yeah, it was you...(and I was just wondering where the hell you've been?!!)
Maybe we could do a project, you and I? We could each choose one "place of worship" to visit, and then come back and tell about our reception there, our experience of the 'service', etc.
Im always around...
Im always around...
You need to be around more. When the boards get slow I tend to 'stalk you' to find good conversations. And when you aren't here ... I can't stalk ...
These (we, I must admit) folk, the UUs, believe in the MESSAGE of Jesus
Similar to what I think is the real deal but many people will not agree with us because they want to be the chosen people, they do not want Bob down the road also going to heaven because he is not a Catholic he is a protestant.