Invitation To A New Interpretation In Religion
By Rev. John E. MAC MARTIN
Department of Publications
Universalist Church of America
16 Beacon Street
UNIVERSALISM looks with respect and affection upon all religious faiths, and
their adherents; will work cooperatively with all who will; and welcomes any to
its worship, fellowship, life, and work.
NEVERTHELESS, - Universalism has a point of view of its own, which is:
The constant adjustment and adaptation of its religious attitudes and practices
in accordance with advancing understanding in ALL fields of learning.
IN HARMONY WITH this point of view,
UNIVERSALISTS GENERALLY BELIEVE IN:
1. A PROCESS of creation that is never-ending, surprising and delighting us
with its infinite variety and beauty, rather than in an ACT of creation,
accomplished in a relatively short span of time, and final.
(Many find it logical and helpful to think of the Creator, God, in terms of
the Energy (impersonal) which is unfolding through an evolutionary process, in
new and ever more wonderful forms and species, reaching its peak, to date, in
men like Christ, Lincoln, Ghandi, Schweitzer. )
2. A world operating CONSISTENTLY, intelligibly, and dependably, under
NATURAL LAW, rather than one subject to CAPRICE and INTERVENTION, either for our
help or harm.
3. The RISE of Man, - physically, mentally, morally, spiritually, from less
to more, climbing, climbing, climbing,
rather than the FALL of Man, from perfection and grace.
4. A God of LOVE, understanding, and forgiveness, rather than a God of wrath,
judgment, and condemnation.
HEAVEN and HELL as "states of mind" (of our own creation) rather than as "places
JUSTICE as "inherent" in our attitudes and acts, instant, immediate, rather than
5. A life FREE from unfounded fears and unwise and unworthy expectations in
which Man is at liberty, and able, to exploit his capacities to the utmost,
courageously, adventurously, constructively, cooperatively.
6. A RELIGION concerned to advance the cause of universal health, prosperity,
goodwill, optimism, peace and brother
hood, rather than a religion concerned to advance the cause of ANY individual,
as an object of special favor, on the part of God.
i. e., in a religion concerned to save the WORLD, in THIS day, rather than to
save the INDIVIDUAL, in some FUTURE day.
7. The immortality of ENERGY, the immortality of INFLUENCE, the immortality
of the SEED, rather than the immortality of the SOUL.
(The trend is AWAY from DUALISM, earth and heaven, body and soul, time and
eternity, and TOWARDS MONISM, life as ONE in nature and kind, of one "essence,"
but ever-changing in form and structure, forever flowing, forever ongoing.)
Nevertheless, there are still many who believe in the immortality of the soul;
who feel that there must be SOMETHING, some "product" of life, in itself of
ultimate, imperishable worth; something to give meaning to all our striving
besides the contribution to generations as yet unborn; something that goes "on
and on," in the knowlege of itself, and in the love of God and its own kind.
UNIVERSALISTS THINK OF:
1. The BIBLE as the record, inspiring, but obviously UNFINISHED, of Man's
increasing understanding of moral and spiritual values and truths; to be
considered and evaluated by the side of the scriptures of older and other
faiths, and the writings of modern saints and seers.
2. PRAYER, - Not as a means of coercing God to our special and peculiar needs
and desires, but of accommodating our selves gracefully and sensibly to His
of finding "empathy"' with the whole rich and wonderful world of which we are a
of tapping those infinite resources of strength and quietness, of courage and
new life, which are ever available to all.
3. COMMON WORSHIP as the most effective instrument and opportunity for
expressing our sense of unity of origin and destiny; our common failure and
hunger, or aspiration, our sense of sympathy for one another; our overflowing
impulse of appreciation for the privilege of life: our new, and high, and holy
resolve to greater understanding and more purposeful living.
TWO RITES - Baptism (or christening) and the Lord's Supper, but think of
neither as having "sacramental" value.
BAPTISM is viewed as an "act of dedication" of the life to the idealism and
way of Christ.
THE LORD'S SUPPER is observed as a "memorial" to a great leader, who showed us
the way and the worth of sacrificial living.
UNIVERSALISTS have no ready-made CREED. Rather do we try to aid and assist
one another, adult and child, to find and to formulate his OWN "articles of
We do not require CONFORMITY of thought, and specifically as regards matters
that are admittedly "speculative" and not subject to final judgment,
but only that our members ACT towards one another, and towards the whole
human family, with genuine interest and sympathy; and strive always to achieve a
normal and healthy balance between the equally native impulses of
self-expression and self-realization (on the one hand) and consideration,
kindliness, and cooperation (on the other.)
IF YOU FIND YOURSELF IN AGREEMENT with our point of view, and feel that you
would be happy in our fellowship,
WE INVITE YOU TO
Attend our services of worship regularly; Bring your children to our Church
Find a place in one of our organizations; Share in the activities and
outreach of our church and denomination;
Give, freely and gladly, towards the support and promotion of Universalism,
in proportion to your ability;
AND, as soon as you are ready, of your own freewill and choice, to become a
legal, voting member of this body, by signing the register. An informal service
of reception is customarily held.
The minister is always available to serve you or your family in any crisis,
or time of need, and will be equally glad to consult with you on any of the
points mentioned above.
Feel free to call upon him!