Home

CHRIST NAMES IN THE URANTIA PAPERS

 

This document was originally addressed as a letter to Martin Gardner, author of Urantia, a mistaken book on the origins of The Urantia Papers.  The date was September 6, 1993.  It has been edited slightly to bring it up to date, and to remove personal address.  The content remains the same.

The Urantia Papers uses six words or phrases for the personality we knew as Jesus. These are:
 

1. Jesus Christ 
2. Christ Jesus
3. Christ

4. Christ Michael
5. Jesus
6. Michael

 

Careful study of these words and phrases demonstrates clearly that no human being could have created or edited The Urantia Papers. This conclusion includes all personalities directly associated with the production of the Book -- not William Sadler, nor Wilfred Kellogg, nor any member of the Contact Commission, nor any member of the Forum.  (Refer to my paper on The Origin of the Urantia Papers, A Brief Account.)

 

I shall present the evidence to support this conclusion.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Click on items to go directly to that text.

 

Use of the Word Christ

New Testament Use of the Name Christ

Urantia Papers Use of the Phrases "Jesus Christ" or

"Christ Jesus"

Urantia Papers Use of the Word "Christ"

Urantia Papers Use of the Phrase "Christ Michael"

Why Jesus Is Not Christ

Authorship of The Urantia Papers

Theological Ramifications

Urantia Papers Techniques

APPENDIX A - The Phrases "Jesus Christ" and "Christ Jesus" in The Urantia Papers.

APPENDIX B - The Word Christ in The Urantia Papers.

Tabulation of Christ used as a time reference. Forty-four cases. 

APPENDIX C - The Word Christ in The Urantia Papers:

Tabulation of historical or Christian theological references. Thirty-five cases.

APPENDIX D - The Word Christ in The Urantia Papers:

Tabulation of other uses. Four cases.

APPENDIX E - The phrase "Christ Michael" in The Urantia Papers:

 

Use of the Word Christ

 

Christian Belief of the Messiah

 

Christians believe Jesus was the Christ. Their very name derives from that designation. The New Testament contains proscriptions against all those who do not believe Jesus was the Christ:

 

1 John 2:22 -- Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

 

The Greek Christos is the equivalent of the Hebrew Mawshiak, from which we get our English Messiah. Both words are identical in meaning, deriving respectively from Greek and Hebrew words which mean to rub with oil, an act of anointing. Many references in the Old Testament refer to the Anointed One, the Messiah.

 

The apostles, disciples and early followers of Jesus all believed he was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament. This belief has carried down universally among Christians to this day.

 

This belief shows in the written works of both Clyde Bedell and William Sadler. Clyde had statements in the first edition of his Concordex which demonstrate this belief. In his introduction, About the Urantia Book, Clyde used the word Christ about a dozen times. Examples are:

 

"And here he lived a man-God life as Jesus -- the Christ of Nazareth."

 

"Don't be afraid of the religion of Christ."

 

". . . society of believers for whom Christ's formulas shape a way of life."

 

I bought my copy of his Concordex in May of 1973. After examining it I wrote him a letter in which I took strong exception to his use of the word Christ as a name for Jesus. My letter did not get to him in time to modify his second edition, but he made changes in the third edition which apparently were influenced by my objections. Some of his uses of the word remained, but some were changed:

 

"Don't be afraid of the religion of Jesus."

 

". . . society of believers for whom Jesus' formulas shape a way of life."

 

Why did I take such strong exception? Why did Clyde change his use of the word?

 

The answer to those questions is the heart of this discussion.

 

Another essential part of this discussion is to note that William Sadler also used the word as a name in his written works. For example, in Piloting Modern Youth, 1931, he made remarks like:

 

"Too bad that our little ones couldn't have been taught from the nursery up through childhood and into adolescence the real gospel of Christ, . . ."

 

"Jesus makes a great appeal to youth and even to adults, in that He is personal; we can comprehend the personality of Christ, . . . "

 

In the 1936 edition of Theory and Practice of Psychiatry he devoted Chapter 73 to Religious Therapy. In that chapter Sadler again invoked Jesus as Christ.

 

"The teachings of Christ are the greatest known destroyers of doubt and despair."

 

"Irrespective of the future rewards of religion, laying aside all discussion of future life, it would pay any man or woman to live the Christ-life just for the mental and moral rewards it affords here in this present world."

"Some day man may awake to the fact that the teachings of Christ are potent and powerful in preventing and curing disease."

 

"Christ's words in the Garden of Gethsemane now seem wholly satisfying."

 

He repeated the same usage in his 1953 edition, renamed Practice of Psychiatry. He also then used the phrase Jesus Christ.

 

"Religion, as least the teachings of Jesus Christ, is founded on love."

 

These statements reflect Sadler's life-long continued use of the word "Christ" as a name for Jesus. In a paper called Consideration of Some Criticisms of The Urantia Book, typed and published in January, 1959, he still used this word as a name. In Criticism #13 he states:

 

"The Urantia Book recognizes the supremacy of Christ in all things religious, when it validates his many titles on Page 1965: . . ."

 

Thus it can be seen that Sadler's use of the word was identical to that of Clyde Bedell, and that both men were following the common practice of referring to Jesus by the name Christ. The fact that they used the word "Christ" as a name and not as a title is indicated by the single word, and not the phrase "the Christ."

 

In a telephone interview with Meredith Sprunger on August 31, 1993 I asked about this practice by himself, by Sadler, and by others he knew from his past intimate association with members of the Contact Commission and of the Forum.  Sprunger spent countless hours with Sadler and had learned directly from him many details of the events surrounding the origin of The Urantia Papers. How did he use the word? What was his knowledge of Sadler's use of the word? How did others directly involved in the production of the Book use the word? He admitted that he, as an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, uses "Christ" as synonymous with the name Jesus. As far as he can recall Sadler continued to use "Christ" in that manner through the period that he knew Sadler, until his death in 1969. Sadler may have used the words "Jesus," "Christ," "Jesus Christ," and so on as they were used in The Urantia Papers, but he did not distinguish differently among them, except to borrow the manner in which they were used by the Book. William Sadler, Jr. and Emma L. Christensen, (Christy), both of whom were members of the Contact Commission, and all members of the Forum, used the word "Christ" as synonymous with the name Jesus. This report by Meredith confirmed by my earlier quotations from Clyde Bedell and from William Sadler.

 

In a letter to me dated August 30, 1993 Sprunger stated explicitly:

 

"I, personally, have no policy regarding the use of the terms "Jesus," "Christ," "Christ Jesus," or "Jesus Christ." Usually I use the term "Jesus" but when writing to or for Christians I will use "Christ," "Jesus Christ," or "Christ Jesus." When writing to or for Urantia Book readers I sometimes use the term "Christ Michael."

 

He also stated in our telephone conversation that no individual associated with the creative process or production of the Papers ever indicated a desire or need to distinguish among these appellatives. Also, no one had ever performed a study to show the unique manner in which The Urantia Papers use the words, or ever brought the differences to another person's attention.

 

This evidence shows that:

 

No person associated with the creation or production of The Urantia Papers ever became aware of a purposeful intent by the Papers to distinguish among these names.

 

New Testament Use of the Name Christ

As we all know the word Christ is used as a name for Jesus throughout the New Testament. The phrase "Jesus Christ" is used 187 times. The word "Christ" alone as a name for Jesus is used 266 times.

 

This an extraordinary number of references to Jesus as Christ for a volume the size of the New Testament and shows the

importance of the name to apostolic belief. This replete practice then caused all following generations to cling to that usage until modern times, and shows why Bedell, Sadler, Sprunger and other Urantians continued to use it in that manner. All Christians I know refer to Jesus indiscriminately as Christ without distinguishing between the two words.

Urantia Papers Use of the Phrases "Jesus Christ" or "Christ Jesus"

The Urantia Papers use the phrases "Jesus Christ" and "Christ Jesus" twelve times. This is an amazingly low number for a tome the size of the Book and for a personality who consumes so many of its pages.

 

Furthermore, the phrase "Jesus Christ" invariably includes the world "Lord," as "Lord Jesus Christ."

 

I list these uses in Appendix A. You will quickly see that seven are quotations from the New Testament. The other five are references to Christian theological usage. From these facts we arrive at an extraordinary observation:
 

The Urantia Papers never use the phrases "Jesus Christ" or "Christ Jesus" in any of its discussions or on any of its pages as a designation for Jesus, except in historical or Christian theological reference.

 

I quote the last two paragraphs in Appendix A in full because they mention how the human Jesus was transformed by his apostles and disciples into the divine Christ.

 

These paragraphs show that the authors of The Urantia Papers recognized this early alteration of human attitudes toward Jesus, alterations which directly affected the religious and social developments of all following generations of western man.

 

I shall discuss these potent ramifications later in this letter.

In my telephone interview with Sprunger he stated that Sadler was aware of the teaching of The Urantia Papers  which describes how the human Jesus was transformed into the divine Christ. However:
 

Sadler's knowledge did not modify his use of the words "Jesus" and "Christ" as direct synomyms.  All available evidence shows that he did not sense a need to distinguish between them.

 

I shall demonstrate why this failure on the part of Sadler was so crucial in any thesis of the creation and origin of The Urantia Papers.

 

These facts lead to several critical questions: Did William Sadler concern himself with possible apostolic theological influences upon the evolution of western culture? Did he place these profound perspectives into the Book? Did he borrow these penetrating insights from other human authors in a possible editing of the Book? If he was unaware of a need to distinguish between the appellatives in his everyday activities and discussion why would he edit the Book to remove all designations to Jesus as "Jesus Christ" or "Christ Jesus?" Why is the synonymity between "Christ" and "Jesus" to be avoided?

 

Further examination will help answer these questions.

Urantia Papers Use of the Word "Christ"

A count of words and phrases within The Urantia Papers yields the following results:
 

1. Christ (regardless of association with other words) 133

2. Jesus Christ 8

3. Christ Jesus 3

4. Christ Michael 35

 

Thus The Urantia Papers use the word "Christ" eighty-seven times in isolation from, or not coupled to, the words Jesus and Michael.

 

Appendix B shows that forty-four of those are as time designations. These are in addition to the abbreviated forms B.C., (Before Christ, 70 cases), and A.D., (Anno Domini, 97 cases). Thus we see that The Urantia Papers often use the

common literary device of B.C. or A.D. for time designation. The authors never used the explicit form "Anno Domini," the "Year of our Lord." There was an important reason. The Book design made it necessary that future students not be misled about the role of Jesus.

 

The remaining uses of the word "Christ" also show special application. Except for four cases these are listed in Appendix C. They are historical quotations, or Christian theological references." (Another is included in the leading quotation in Appendix B.)

 

I list the phrases here in order for you to obtain a quick idea of how The Urantia Papers use this word. This list is by conceptual order, not page order. Three cases are direct quotations from the New Testament.

the glorified Christ - 3 cases 
divine and risen Christ - 2 cases 
risen and glorified Christ 
divine Christ 
second coming of Christ - 4 cases 
proclamation of the resurrection and ascension of Christ 
humanity or the divinity of the Christ 
even Christ himself being claimed 
glorified Jesus as the Christ 
known to Urantia as the Christ, the anointed one 
others said he could not be the Christ 
those who profess to be followers of the Christ

(Paul) was inspired not only by Christ 
Christ as the world's redeemer 
(Paul's) doctrine of Christ 
Christians to make when, in presenting Christ 
Christ thus became the head of the church 
Christ was about to become the creed 
follow Nathaniel in proclaiming Christ 
loyalty to the Christ of the gospel 
Rome ... boldly adopted Christ 
all Rome to receive Christ 
Christ became the last and all-sufficient human sacrifice 
Christian religion ... built up around the fact of the death of Christ

One Christian theological case is used as a time designation, "since the cross of Christ"; perhaps it should be tabulated in Appendix B.

 

One other case is again a reference to Christian tradition -- "These paintings of Christ."

 

The remaining four cases are listed in Appendix D. The one from Page 1339 is another time designation and should be included

in the list of Appendix B. I let it stand in Appendix D to remove doubt about any prejudice I may have had in my assignments. The remaining three uses are uniquely interesting.

 

(Any discrepancies in counts are due to multiple uses in paragraphs.)

 

Before continuing with an examination of those remaining three I shall consider a unique coinage used in The Urantia Papers.

 

Urantia Papers Use of the Phrase "Christ Michael"

As far as I am aware the phrase "Christ Michael" does not appear in any historic source; it is unique to The Urantia Papers. There are thirty-five cases. I list several for illustration in Appendix E. It can be seen that all usages reflect his status as Sovereign of his universe, as a Master Son.

 

A statement on Page 366 defines this newly coined term:

 

Because of the name associated with his seventh and final bestowal on Urantia, he is sometimes spoken of as Christ Michael. Sometimes we refer to the sovereign of your universe of Nebadon as Christ Michael.

 

What name in the phrase "Christ Michael" is associated with the bestowal of Jesus on this world? It can only be the name "Christ." Thus, The Urantia Papers explicitly identify the word "Christ" as a name when associated with Jesus, and not as a title. However, the authors then turn this into a title by placing it in front of the name Michael.

 

This new coinage expresses a special anointing, the "Anointed" Michael, but only in his status as a Sovereign Son, now a Master Son, the Creator and Administrator of his universe, who experienced an unusual incarnation and criminal execution on our world. An array of possible theological ramifications open from this new concept but it is not my purpose here to explore those possibilities.

 

The statement on Page 448 uses the phrase, ". . . Christ, the victorious Michael . . ." This is another form of the title "Christ Michael."

 

The remaining two cases show that someone erred in editing The Urantia Papers.

 

(Please note that by editing I mean superficial correction of grammatical and typographical errors. I do not mean textual editing.)

 

The phrase:

 

"Since the triumph of Christ, all Norlatiadek . . ."

 

should read:

 

"Since the triumph of Christ Michael, all Norlatiadek . . ."
 

The phrase:

 

". . . it was literally true that Christ did receive provisional title to Urantia . . ."

 

should read :

 

". . . it was literally true that Christ Michael did receive provisional title to Urantia . . ."

 

I make a claim of editorial error because it is apparent that these two cases are references to Michael in his celestial title and rulership, as cosmic designations, and do not refer to the human Jesus. My claim is confirmed by the definitions I cited above. Those passages define the sovereign status of Michael, not the human Jesus. In The Urantia Papers the word "Christ" is applied to Jesus-Michael only in that sovereign status, not to the human incarnation.

Therefore, it is evident that all uses of the word "Christ" in The Urantia Papers are

 

a), time references oriented to the event of the birth of Jesus, or

 

b), historical or Christian theological references to Jesus, or

 

c), Christ Michael titles.
 

These are the rules for application of the word "Christ" within The Urantia Papers.
 

From this evaluation we arrive at another extraordinary observation: 
 

The Urantia Papers never use the word "Christ" in any of their discussions or on any of their pages as a designation of the human Jesus.

 

The Urantia Papers use a newly coined designation for the status of Jesus as a Master Sovereign of this Universe, with the title "Christ Michael."  The only other uses of the word "Christ" are as time designations, or in historical and Christian theological reference.

 

From this further evidence we arrive at an additional important conclusion:  
 

The human caretakers of The Urantia Papers did not recognize the omission of the name Michael in the two cases cited above.  When they transcribed the text they failed to detect this omission.

 

Had the human transcribers been thoroughly familiar with the name designations, as defined and used throughout The Urantia Papers, that person(s) should have detected those omissions. They are important omissions because

 

a), they violate rigid rules for use of the word Christ in the Book, and because

 

b), they are the only two violations of those rules for use of the word Christ within Book.

 

Several possibilities exist:
 

1. The errors in the text were produced by celestial beings but the human transcribers were not aware of the rules of use, and therefore would not have known to watch for such omissions.
 

2. The human transcribers were not aware of the rules of use for text given by celestial beings, and therefore intentionally struck out the name Michael in those two cases.
 

3. The human transcribers, because of intimate familiarity with conventional use of the word "Christ," and because of social habit, accidentally omitted the word Michael in those two cases while transcribing the text given from celestial sources.
 

Other possibilities may exist.
 

Before going on to further discussion of this problem it is necessary to examine the rationale behind the rules for use of the word "Christ" within The Urantia Papers.  

 

Why Jesus Is Not Christ

Refusal by the authors of The Urantia Papers to apply the designations "Christ," "Jesus Christ," or "Christ Jesus" to the human Jesus shows a deliberate and conscious effort to avoid such designations. Since the Greek word "Christ" is directly equivalent to the Hebrew "Messiah" this can only mean that the authors avoided all designations which would make the human Jesus the Messiah. This is in direct opposition to Christian theological understanding, New Testament proscriptions, and two thousand years of tradition.
 

However, denial of Jesus as the Messiah is not a new idea. Deep students of the Bible recognize serious difficulty in assignments of Jesus as the Messiah.  He did not fulfill the prophecies. This is one of the important reasons why Jews reject him as the Messiah. Another important reason for Jewish rejection is his death on the cross.  The Messiah would become a world ruler, not a martyr in such ignominy.
 

I shall briefly cite some passages which indicate the Jewish difficulty.
 

In the Book of Acts, 4:24ff, the new body of Christian believers claim Psalm 2 as a promise of future Messiahship which Jesus did not fulfill during his human life. They did so because the Psalm opens with oppression of the LORD's Anointed One, the Messiah. It was an easy application. The oppression took place during his human incarnation; they could now look forward to his sometime return as the Messiah and the completion of the promises of the Psalm.
 

Other verses of this Psalm are quoted in Acts 13 and Hebrews 1 and 5. The author of the Book of Hebrews builds a theological argument around verse 7. His human suffering was a mere precursor to his future rulership in tenderness and mercy.
 

However, in order to make this assignment one must break the continuity and the heart of the Psalm. A distortion occurs in the promise. The theological contortion necessary to apply the promise to Jesus went beyond the pale of reason for most Jews.
 

From careful evaluation of Christian theology we can say that:
   

All apostolic and later Christian interpretations of the Messianic prophecies contain theological distortions in order to make them fit the facts of Jesus' life on this earth.

 

Support for Jewish rejection of Jesus is easily obtained in other promises. A day of trouble for the LORD's Anointed One, the Messiah in Psalm 20, is answered with God's direct intervention. The Messiah would not suffer ignominy. In Psalm 72 the Royal Son rules with righteousness. The mountains bring prosperity to the people. He will live as long as the sun endures, and as long as the moon shines, through all generations. He will have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. But Jesus was a failure; he was crucified; he could not be the Messiah.

Furthermore, the Messiah would be named Melchizedek, Psalm 110. Jesus was not Melchizedek. This requirement is discussed in some Jewish exegetical literature, but is not well known. In an attempt to salvage this requirement from Psalm 110, the author of the Book of Hebrews makes Jesus "a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek," Heb 5:6, 5:10, 6:20, and so on. Unfortunately, in making this assignment, the author of that work must reduce Jesus' celestial role from Creator to Messiah, or at least combine the two into a confusion of celestial assignments.

These are a few brief reasons why Jesus did not meet the requirements of the promised Messiah.
 

The Urantia Papers meet this Messiah problem head-on. They deny Jesus as the Messiah and place future planetary rule in the hands of Melchizedek, returning him to the promises of Psalm 110, and the other prophecies. In Section 10 of Paper 93 the Papers state explicitly that he has been appointed Vicegerent Planetary Prince of Urantia.

 

Page 1025: It is our belief that, as long as Urantia remains an inhabited planet, Machiventa Melchizedek will not be fully returned to the duties of his order of sonship but will remain, speaking in the terms of time, forever a planetary minister representing Christ Michael.

 

These words echo Psalm 110, Psalm 72 and other promises.
 

This assignment of Melchizedek as Planetary Ruler is also discussed in manuscripts from the recent discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Theodore Gaster, in The Dead Sea Scriptures, Doubleday Anchor, third edition, 1976, discusses this assignment, pages 390-391.

 

"Melchizedek is introduced into our sermon as the future savior-king who will bring peace and salvation to the faithful and condign punishment to the wicked and who will also mediate divine forgiveness for the former on the final Day of Atonement.
 

". . . Melchizedek combines the functions of king and priest, and therefore serves fittingly as a prefiguration of the future Messiah . . ."

 

Thus, the Old Testament prophecies on Melchizedek as the Messiah, The Urantia Papers discussion of Melchizedek as a future planetary ruler, and the Dead Sea Scroll discussion of Melchizedek as a future planetary ruler, all agree.

 

A most curious fact now faces us. If human authors wrote The Urantia Papers and were arbitrarily making Melchizedek the Messiah how could they know the Dead Sea Scrolls would bring confirmation of that assignment more than ten years after publication of the Book? In order to make the assignment to Melchizedek the authors of The Urantia Papers had to be cognizant of the Messiah problem, its direct opposition to Christian belief, and in the face of two thousand years of Christian tradition. Did William Sadler or any other person associated with the production of the Book recognize the intricacies of this problem? How could they have been so fortunate to receive this confirmation from the Dead Sea materials? Or is there a basis for agreement among these three different sources which is founded in a different reality?
 

The evidence, when combined, provides a mighty demonstration that Melchizedek is the Messiah, the Christ. Therefore, to be consistent, The Urantia Papers could not make such an assignment to Jesus. But it had to deal with the traditional Christian assignments to Jesus. It solved this problem by using the word Christ only in historical or Christian theological context, and as a means to maintain calendar reference dates consistent with contemporary methods. It also converted assignment of the word "Christ" from the human Jesus to Michael in his celestial power and glory. Those were the rules for use of the word "Christ" in The Urantia Papers.

 

 

Authorship of The Urantia Papers

We are now in a position to examine authorship of The Urantia Papers more rigorously. But first, a personal note, pertinent to this discussion.
 

I first returned to a deep and mature study of the Bible in June, 1967. Initially, my attention was focused on Planetary Judgments, not on destiny schedules. I met The Urantia Papers in the early fall of that year. My attention there was first directed to the Papers on The Paradise Sons of God and The Paradise Creator Sons, Papers 20 and 21. I immediately came to recognize Jesus as my Creator and the Ruler of a universe with a vividness I had never before encountered. Because of my Christian orientations I had considerable difficulty with the Revelation, and did not give it serious reflection until after I attended the Urantia summer study session at 533 Diversey Parkway in August, 1968. Thereafter, the more I studied the Bible and The Urantia Papers the more I became aware of the Messiah problem. But it probably was not until about mid-1970 that I came into full recognition of that difficulty. I came to understand that Jesus was not the Messiah, the Christ, and that any references to him as such were in great error. This, then, led to my letter of remonstration to Clyde Bedell in 1973.
 

I had such strong feelings about it I was short on patience for anyone who used the name "Christ" without recognition of its implications. Clyde Bedell obviously did not understand; if he did he would not have used the name in the traditional, habitual manner. Such use violated the teachings of The Urantia Papers. I concluded that he did not recognize the deeper teachings of the Papers on the Messiah and the rules for use of the word "Christ."
 

The same conflict in application by Sadler, Sprunger and others demonstrated equally strong that they also did not recognize the deeper teachings of the Papers on the Messiah and the rules for use of the word "Christ."
 

But the difficulty was greater than mere recognition. It seemed to me that The Urantia Papers had been designed to inhibit recognition of this problem. Its many uses of the word "Christ" would lead all superficial students to believe the traditional and habitual form was acceptable. This conclusion was supported by the fact that:
 

The Urantia Papers failed to offer explicit discussion of this difficulty in name assignments.  They left deduction to the student.  Therefore, superficial theological examination would not reveal this design of the Papers.

 

This intentional design could not have originated with Sadler or any Forum members because they were unaware of the intent of this design. It was beyond their range of competence.
 

If Sadler had originated this design he would not have then exhibited such habitual Christian use of the word "Christ." He would have known better. He could not have lived in two different theological worlds so sharply contradicting one another. The evidence of his written statements, continuing well beyond the publication of The Urantia Papers shows that he was not aware of the manner in which the Book used those designations.
 

Furthermore, if he were a textual editor of the Papers he would have had to make a conscious effort to maintain consistency in such use. He would have known the rules for application of the word "Christ" and the rationale behind the rules. The two omissions of the name Michael associated with the title "Christ" show that he was unaware of this lack of consistency. They were acts of error through human ignorance. Sadler or other human editors were not aware of those omissions nor did they have criteria by which to recognize the omissions. (Or perhaps they deleted the name Michael through mere oversight when typing the text from the original copy because of conventional social habits.)

 

As Meredith Sprunger admitted, no human being associated with production of the Book was aware of the rules for internal use of the "Christ" names, nor did anyone attempt to bring it to the attention of others. Surely, if human beings were the creators of the Papers, criteria for application of the "Christ" names would have held high priority, and would have been taught to others. Such knowledge would have spread quickly among the Forumites; they would have left a potent legacy upon all following generations of Urantians. But such amazing phenomenon did not occur.
 

As Sprunger said, he had no policy for use of the different Christ names. Since he was so devoted to William Sadler he would not have rejected a policy devised by Sadler. Sadler would have taught it to him, and would have given all the rules for the rationale behind such policy. But Sadler had no policy for use of the names. He had no policy because he was not aware that one existed.
 

This conclusion is supported remarkably well by Sadler's statement in Consideration of Some Criticism of The Urantia Book. To repeat:

 

The Urantia Book recognizes the supremacy of Christ in all things religious, when it validates his many titles on Page 1965: . . .

 

The names on Page 1965 are names for the Father revealed by Jesus. They are functional names or functional statements, not appellatives. A more appropriate list for Jesus is in the paragraph beginning at the bottom of Page 1408. But in none of these lists is there a suggestion of the Christ. The lists show Jesus as God and Creator, not as a Messiah.
 

Sadler's words were directed toward a group of Christian Pastors; therefore, his use of the word "Christ" is traditional. But he could have expressed his thought far better if he had said "Jesus." He did not know the better expression; he did not realize he was misleading those Pastors about the role of Jesus. His statement is an unintentional falsehood, in disagreement with the teachings of The Urantia Papers.
 

How could someone, if he were intimately involved in the creation and textual editing of a written work, make such obvious errors, in direct violation of his own rules?
 
 

The evidence, when gathered together, shows clearly that William Sadler could not have had a hand in creation nor in editing of The Urantia Papers.

 

Nor could the Book come out of the subconscious mind of some channeler. The rigid and disciplined use of the word "Christ," the masterful structure of this use within the Book, the maintenance of the sophisticated theological concept of Messiahship -- all of this could not have had origins in an uncontrolled subconscious mind. Such minds are not intellectually disciplined; they ramble. They go off into mystical presentations. They do not originate sophisticated theological concepts of the magnitude necessary to correlate prophetical statements with such great insights from our traditional religious literature and from undiscovered Dead Sea Scrolls.
 

Theses of origin from a channeling mind or through editorial manipulation by William Sadler are grossly inadequate to the testimony of The Urantia Papers.

 

But more important conclusions derive from this discussion.

 

Theological Ramifications

 

A remarkable feature of The Urantia Papers are their ability to openly prophesy. Serious students of the Papers find their minds being conditioned to straight thinking. The Papers appeal to clear thinking and deep reasoning minds. As it so plainly states:

 

Page 1007: It is the mission of revelation to sort and censor the successive religions of evolution.

 

Christianity is an evolutionary religion. While its roots lie in the event of Jesus' life on this world, its theology is almost exclusively that of Paul, John, Peter and a few other individuals, as expanded and modified over the ensuing centuries. Failure of the apostles and later Christians to recognize the true role of Jesus, and equal failure to recognize the constrictions on the appearance of the Messiah, led to great theological error.
 

Without The Urantia Papers I would not have carefully examined the prophecies of the Messiah, nor the conditions for their fulfillment, nor their theological ramifications. Nor could I have arrived at this analytical study of the "Christ" names within the Book to show the potent ramifications. The Papers sorted this material in my mind, and censored the nonsense of my Christian training. That is why I initially had such difficulty with it. I had to rid myself of all those bad Christian habits.
 

I did not fall into this out of some desperate hope for personal salvation. I entered into it with a conscious desire to understand more about God. Because my desire was to understand I was open to reflective and self-critical thought. With time and experience I came to recognize that I could trust The Urantia Papers in their presentations. I could come to much deeper and more profound understanding of God's plans for this world.
 

I also eventually came to recognize that Christian attitudes about Jesus, his return, and his supposed resumption of rulership, conditioned how they viewed life and their social and planetary commitments.
 

If Jesus were returning to this world to complete fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies he would assume care for all mankind. This was the sense of the prophecies. But there was an insidious nature to that apostolic view. Jesus had commanded them to take the gospel to the world; this they attempted to do. Christians still feel this as their primary mission. But the apostolic gospel was one about the life, sacrificial death, and resurrection of Jesus. It was a gospel about Jesus, and not the gospel of Jesus. The Urantia Papers repeat this assertion time and again. Thus Christianity became a religion centered about the event of Jesus, not a religion based on his superb teachings.
 

The insidious part derives from Christian future expectation. With the concept that Jesus was returning to take up the work he did not complete while he lived here, a damaging psychological complex developed in the Christian believer. He waited for Jesus to solve world problems. He waited for Jesus to set up a new kingdom. He placed his cares upon Jesus; Jesus would do it all. This is a major theme in Christian teaching and worship yet today. By taking this psychological step Christians became personally irresponsible for the world. They waited for Jesus to do it. They did not devise long-range or extended plans to care for the generations. Eventually, with the ascent of technological power, the world went into gross pollution, genetic carelessness, and worldwide enmity. But this cultural devolution had its origins in the attitude of waiting for a Savior to return to fix the world.
 

This process created a mental attitude of planetary negligence. We did not assume cosmic responsibilities. If the end of the world were coming who could really care?
 

Apostolic theology, centered around Jesus as the Messiah, created an enormous morass in the understanding of God's plans for this world. We became blind to the promises and of our potential contribution to those future developments. This led to ever-increasing incompatibilities between God's program and the real world. Many of us became disillusioned with Christian

thought and theology. We saw no hope; we became agnostic, atheistic, or nihilistic. We became godless. And the world entered into its present state of terror.

 

Someone, somewhere, recognized these terrifying social and religious developments, and their possible impact on the safety and future of our planet. They initiated steps to rescue individual men and women from this planetary morass. They offered a new revelation of hope and of righteous plans for this wayward world.
 

That new hope is within The Urantia Papers. It is now reasserting our planetary responsibilities. Neither William Sadler, for all his bright intellect, nor any member of the Forum, nor any other human being could have sorted this morass to offer that hope, and then go on to exhort us human beings to assist in rescuing the world from its suicidal path.
 

Melchizedek will return as planetary ruler. Meanwhile, we have an awesome responsibility resting on our shoulders.
 

Many statements within The Urantia Papers exhort us on to action. The authors of the Book want us to become contributors to a renovation of the world.
 

The statements on Page 2092 in Appendix A capture this problem to some extent. Again, the quotation from Page 1865 shows how this evolution took place. Other discussions on Page 2067 show other elements behind these developments.

 

Page 1866: There must come a revival of the actual teachings of Jesus, such a restatement as will undo the work of his early followers who went about to create a sociophilosophical system of belief regarding the fact of Michael's sojourn on earth.

 

As far as I am aware there is no student of The Urantia Paperstoday who is formulating a rigorous restatement of the actual teachings of Jesus that will undo the work of his early followers, except perhaps myself. That is a powerful mandate. There was no urging by Sadler for others to perform that task. I know of no dissertation by Sadler around that mandate. He remained bound to Christian psychology. If he had written those words he would have been filled with evangelistic zeal that others be converted to his views, and that they then go forth to accomplish such mighty and superb goal.

 

Meredith Sprunger is now urging others to build new Christian churches, formulated on his understanding of the teachings of The Urantia Papers, but without the tremendous insights of the Messiah revelations, and in ignorance of coming planetary judgments. His policy is one of uplift for the current social order, contrary to the teachings of The Urantia Papers. He does not display ability to recognize these secrets of the Papers. He does not seem to comprehend a reformulation that will undo the work of the early followers of Jesus.
 

When I have brought this passage to the attention of others invariably I am asked, "But what was the work of his early followers that must be undone?" No one recognizes the foolishness of the Messiah teachings, or their repercussion into blindness. No one seems to understand the unfolding of the real Kingdom of Heaven. No one comprehends real planetary judgments and, when told, they refuse to accept such dramatic possibility. All they see are those superstitious tales by Peter in the New Testament.
 

There is no rational way the potent theological and social ramifications of the teachings of The Urantia Papers could have derived from the subconscious mind of a channeler, or out of the limitations of the conscious minds of the Forum, or out of the circumscribed perspectives of William Sadler. It is asking too much of human beings.
 

Can you now grasp the theological ramifications posed by The Urantia Papers? Do you recognize how the energies of the generations were engrossed in theological entertainment? Do you see how apostolic interpretations conditioned the thinking of those generations, and how the developments of two thousand years of western culture were influenced by such beliefs?

 

Urantia Papers Techniques

 

The methodology of the "Christ" names within The Urantia Papers should tell us something about the design of the Revelation. The Papers were fashioned in such a way that conventional and traditional minds, dedicated to the current social order, would not recognize such insightful revelations. They would be trapped by the superficial implication of the Revelation. This means further that if its revelations were to be opened the process required unconventional minds and non-traditional human spirits. Still more, the design demands that we apply ourselves to this task; it does not take that work away from us. It does not deprive us of the unique opportunity to contribute to the welfare of our brothers and sisters. The Papers were waiting for human beings to recognize and develop the Revelation.
 

This  is a religious revelation, intended to uplift the spiritual welfare of this planet. It is not a technical revelation designed to provide unearned knowledge. But even more, it is designed to fend off all who would seek to follow the superficial implications or technicalities of its presentations.
 

Any genius capable of producing The Urantia Papers would be bright enough to know that the scientific but materialistic minds of this generation would quickly examine its scientific content. That is an easy path, and one which blunts true spiritual devotion to God. Then, when they had discovered the scientific errors, they would become disappointed with it. Similarly, other minds might follow the technicalities of its literary expressions and discover word-for-word parallels between human literary works and expressions within the Papers. Again, if their hearts are not centered on God they would easily become diverted by such superficial implications of expression.
 

The authors of the Papers did not want us to continue to develop our secular technical acumen. That is not the purpose of the Papers. They wanted us to concentrate on religious revelation and on our contribution to the spiritual welfare of this planet.

 

Page 1106: Science ends its reason-search in the hypothesis of a First Cause. Religion does not stop in its flight of faith until it is sure of a God of salvation. The discriminating study of science logically suggests the reality and existence of an Absolute. Religion believes unreservedly in the existence and reality of a God who fosters personality survival. What metaphysics fails utterly in doing, and what even philosophy fails partially in doing, revelation does; that is, affirms that this First Cause of science and religion's God of salvation are one and the same Deity.

Where did Martin Gardner stop in his search for God? Was it the logical suggestion of an Absolute? Did the superstitions of Christianity block personal advance to the realization of a real living God?

Page 2084: Christianity has indeed done a great service for this world, but what is now most needed is Jesus. The world needs to see Jesus living again on earth in the experience of spirit-born mortals who effectively reveal the Master to all men. It is futile to talk about a revival of primitive Christianity; you must go forward from where you find yourselves. Modern culture must become spiritually baptized with a new revelation of Jesus' life and illuminated with a new understanding of his gospel of eternal salvation. And when Jesus becomes thus lifted up, he will draw all men to himself. Jesus' disciples should be more than conquerors, even overflowing sources of inspiration and enhanced living to all men. Religion is only an exalted humanism until it is made divine by the discovery of the reality of the presence of God in personal experience.

 

There are so many thrilling words, such great inspiring messages, within The Urantia Papers. How could any reasonable soul believe they had their origin in the minds of mere human mortals?

 

Page 2090: The time is ripe to witness the figurative resurrection of the human Jesus from his burial tomb amidst the theological traditions and the religious dogmas of nineteen centuries. Jesus of Nazareth must not be longer sacrificed to even the splendid concept of the glorified Christ. What a transcendent service if, through this revelation, the Son of Man should be recovered from the tomb of traditional theology and be presented as the living Jesus to the church that bears his name, and to all other religions. Surely the Christian fellowship of believers will not hesitate to make such adjustments of faith and of practices of living as will enable it to "follow after" the Master in the demonstration of his real life of religious devotion to the doing of his Father's will and of consecration to the unselfish service of man. Do professed Christians fear the exposure of a self-sufficient and unconsecrated fellowship of social respectability and selfish economic maladjustment? Does institutional Christianity fear the possible jeopardy, or even the overthrow, of traditional ecclesiastical authority if the Jesus of Galilee is reinstated in the minds and souls of mortal men as the ideal of personal religious living? Indeed, the social readjustments, the economic transformations, the moral rejuvenations, and the religious revisions of Christian civilization would be drastic and revolutionary if the living religion of Jesus should suddenly supplant the theologic religion about Jesus.

 

That is the kind of call I find in The Urantia Papers. Those are stirring words, certainly sufficient to bring me far along a road of service to my fellow mortals. And that is why I spent so much time with Martin Gardner. He, too, is a brother. I would love to travel with him through the starry realms of space, and on to the glories of Paradise.

 

 

 

APPENDIX A

 

The Phrases "Jesus Christ" and "Christ Jesus" in The Urantia Papers.

Tabulation of paragraphs using those phrases.

Twelve cases.

 

Page 67: The Greek religion had a watchword "Know yourself "; the Hebrews centered their teaching on "Know your God"; the Christians preach a gospel aimed at a "knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ"; Jesus proclaimed the good news of "knowing God, and yourself as a son of God."
 

Page 382: "The spirit of the life of Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of animal living and the temptations of evil and sin." "This is the victory that overcomes the flesh, even your faith."
 

Page 1050: Long the struggle continued between Babylonian Ishtar, Hebrew Yahweh, Iranian Ahura, and Christian Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. Never was one concept able fully to displace the others.
 

Page 1103: It is literally true: "If any man has Christ Jesus within him, he is a new creature; old things are passing away; behold, all things are becoming new."
 

Page-1342: Luke preserves much of the "grace of the Lord Jesus Christ" in his record as he gathered up these facts from Paul and others.
 

Page 1408: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being of the nature of God, thought it not strange to be equal with God. But he made himself to be of little import and, taking upon himself the form of a creature, was born in the likeness of mankind. And being thus fashioned as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross."

 

Page-1620: After Jesus' death and ascension to the Father it became the practice of many believers to finish this so-called Lord's prayer by the addition of--"In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ."
 

Page-2059: The gospel of the kingdom is: the fact of the fatherhood of God, coupled with the resultant truth of the sonship-brotherhood of men. Christianity, as it developed from

that day, is: the fact of God as the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, in association with the experience of believer-fellowship with the risen and glorified Christ.
 

Page 2064: No longer did these believers look upon Yahweh as "the Lord of Hosts." They now regarded the eternal Deity as the "God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ."
 

Page-2066: The gospel of the kingdom, the message of Jesus, had been suddenly changed into the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
 

Page-2092: But the greatest mistake was made in that, while the human Jesus was recognized as having a religion, the divine Jesus (Christ) almost overnight became a religion. Paul's Christianity made sure of the adoration of the divine Christ, but it almost wholly lost sight of the struggling and valiant human Jesus of Galilee, who, by the valor of his personal religious faith and the heroism of his indwelling Adjuster, ascended from the lowly levels of humanity to become one with divinity, thus becoming the new and living way whereby all mortals may so ascend from humanity to divinity. Mortals in all stages of spirituality and on all worlds may find in the personal life of Jesus that which will strengthen and inspire them as they progress from the lowest spirit levels up to the highest divine values, from the beginning to the end of all personal religious experience.
 

Page-2092: At the time of the writing of the New Testament, the authors not only most profoundly believed in the divinity of the risen Christ, but they also devotedly and sincerely believed in his immediate return to earth to consummate the heavenly kingdom. This strong faith in the Lord's immediate return had much to do with the tendency to omit from the record those references which portrayed the purely human experiences and attributes of the Master. The whole Christian movement tended away from the human picture of Jesus of Nazareth toward the exaltation of the risen Christ, the glorified and soon-returning Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

APPENDIX B

 

The Word Christ in The Urantia Papers:

Tabulation of those words used as a time reference.

The list is exhaustive and in sequential order, but not with page citations.

Forty-four cases. 

 

. . . third century after Christ, for he declared that "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself." 

twentieth century after Christ 

third millennium before Christ 

first century before Christ 

twentieth century after Christ 

sixth century before Christ 

first millennium after Christ 

third millennium before Christ 

sixth century before Christ 

sixth and seventh millenniums before Christ 

twentieth century after Christ 

sixteenth century after Christ 

first millennium after Christ 

two thousand years before Christ 

sixth century before Christ 

sixth century after Christ 

fifteenth century after Christ 

second millennium before Christ 

first millennium after Christ 

second millennium before Christ 

sixth century before Christ 

sixth century before Christ 

first millennium after Christ 

twentieth century after Christ 

the sixth before Christ 

sixth century before Christ 

tenth century before Christ 

twentieth century after Christ 

first century after Christ 

sixth century before Christ 

third century before Christ 

sixth century before Christ 

first century after Christ 

fifteenth century before Christ 

FIRST CENTURY AFTER CHRIST 

nineteenth century after Christ 

first century after Christ 

first century after Christ 

first century after Christ, 

first century before Christ 

first century after Christ. 

twentieth century after Christ 

first century after Christ 

second century after Christ 


 

APPENDIX C

 

The Word Christ in The Urantia Papers:

Tabulation of historical or Christian theological references.

Thirty-five cases.

 

Page 67: Christianity has elevated the concept of anthropomorphism from the ideal of the human to the transcendent and divine concept of the person of the glorified Christ. And this is the highest anthropomorphism that man can ever conceive.
 

Page 610: The devil has been given a great deal of credit for evil which does not belong to him. Caligastia has been comparatively impotent since the cross of Christ.
 

Page 984: According to Paul, Christ became the last and all-sufficient human sacrifice; the divine Judge is now fully and forever satisfied.
 

Page 1011: The Christian religion is the religion about the life and teachings of Christ based upon the theology of Judaism, modified further through the assimilation of certain Zoroastrian teachings and Greek philosophy, and formulated primarily by three individuals: Philo, Peter, and Paul. It is most unfortunate that those who have come to venerate the divine and risen Christ should have overlooked the man--the valiant and courageous hero--Joshua ben Joseph.
 

Page 1013: Nevertheless, man has been profoundly influenced, not only by his concepts of Deity, but also by the character of the heroes whom he has chosen to honor. It is most unfortunate that those who have come to venerate the divine and risen Christ should have overlooked the manthe valiant and courageous hero--Joshua ben Joseph.
 

Page 1032: Hinduism has survived because it is essentially an integral part of the basic social fabric of India. It has no great hierarchy which can be disturbed or destroyed; it is interwoven into the life pattern of the people. It has an adaptability to changing conditions that excels all other cults, and it displays a tolerant attitude of adoption toward many other religions, Gautama Buddha and even Christ himself being claimed as incarnations of Vishnu.
 

Page 1084: It has glorified Jesus as the Christ, the Messianic anointed one from God, but has largely forgotten the Master's personal gospel: the Fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of all men.
 

Page 1084: 5. The historic fact of the human life of Joshua ben Joseph, the reality of Jesus of Nazareth as the glorified Christ, the Son of God.
 

Page 1084: It is not the province of this paper to deal with the origin and dissemination of the Christian religion. Suffice it to say that it is built around the person of Jesus of Nazareth, the humanly incarnate Michael Son of Nebadon, known to Urantia as the Christ, the anointed one.
 

Page 1091: What a mistake for Christians to make when, in presenting Christ as the supreme ideal of spiritual leadership, they dare to require God-conscious men and women to reject the historic leadership of the God-knowing men who have contributed to their particular national or racial illumination during past ages.
 

Page 1123: The technique whereby you can accept another's idea as yours is the same whereby you may "let the mind which was in Christ be also in you. "
 

Page 1340: Paul's doctrines were influenced in theology and philosophy not only by Jesus' teachings but also by Plato and Philo. In ethics he was inspired not only by Christ but also by the Stoics.
 

Page 1552: But Peter persisted in making the mistake of trying to convince the Jews that Jesus was, after all, really and truly the Jewish Messiah. Right up to the day of his death, Simon Peter continued to suffer confusion in his mind between the concepts of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, Christ as the world's redeemer, and the Son of Man as the revelation of God, the loving Father of all mankind.
 

Page 1582: Paul, who formulated therefrom his doctrine of Christ as "the second Adam."
 

Page 1590: The pictures of Jesus have been most unfortunate. These paintings of the Christ have exerted a deleterious influence on youth; the temple merchants would hardly have fled before Jesus if he had been such a man as your artists usually have depicted. His was a dignified manhood; he was good, but natural. Jesus did not pose as a mild, sweet, gentle, and kindly mystic. His teaching was thrillingly dynamic. He not only meant well, but he went about actually doing good.
 

Page 1614: Even the Christian religion has been persistently built up around the fact of the death of Christ instead of around the truth of his life. The world should be more concerned with his happy and God-revealing life than with his tragic and sorrowful death.
 

Page 1796: And Jesus continued to answer the questions of both the multitude and the Pharisees. Some thought he was a prophet; some believed him to be the Messiah; others said he could not be the Christ, seeing that he came from Galilee, and that the Messiah must restore David's throne.

 

Page 1865: When Jesus' immediate followers recognized their partial failure to realize his ideal of the establishment of the kingdom in the hearts of men by the spirit's domination and guidance of the individual believer, they set about to save his teaching from being wholly lost by substituting for the Master's ideal of the kingdom the gradual creation of a visible social organization, the Christian church. And when they had accomplished this program of substitution, in order to maintain consistency and to provide for the recognition of the Master's teaching regarding the fact of the kingdom, they proceeded to set the kingdom off into the future. The church, just as soon as it was well established, began to teach that the kingdom was in reality to appear at the culmination of the Christian age, at the second coming of Christ.
 

Page 1865: The concept of Jesus is still alive in the advanced religions of the world. Paul's Christian church is the socialized and humanized shadow of what Jesus intended the kingdom of heaven to be--and what it most certainly will yet become. Paul and his successors partly transferred the issues of eternal life from the individual to the church. Christ thus became the head of the church rather than the elder brother of each individual believer in the Father's family of the kingdom. Paul and his contemporaries applied all of Jesus' spiritual implications regarding himself and the individual believer to the church as a group of believers; and in doing this, they struck a deathblow to Jesus' concept of the divine kingdom in the heart of the individual believer.
 

Page 1866: Sooner or later another and greater John the Baptist is due to arise proclaiming "the kingdom of God is at hand"--meaning a return to the high spiritual concept of Jesus, who proclaimed that the kingdom is the will of his heavenly Father dominant and transcendent in the heart of the believer--and doing all this without in any way referring either to the visible church on earth or to the anticipated second coming of Christ.
 

Page 1909: The fact that the spiritual leaders and the religious teachers of the Jewish nation onetime rejected the teachings of Jesus and conspired to bring about his cruel death, does not in any manner affect the status of any individual Jew in his standing before God. And it should not cause those who profess to be followers of the Christ to be prejudiced against the Jew as a fellow mortal. The Jews, as a nation, as a sociopolitical group, paid in full the terrible price of rejecting the Prince of Peace. Long since they ceased to be the spiritual torchbearers of divine truth to the races of mankind, but this constitutes no valid reason why the individual descendants of these long-ago Jews should be made to suffer the persecutions which have been visited upon them by intolerant, unworthy, and bigoted professed followers of Jesus of Nazareth, who was, himself, a Jew by natural birth.
 

Page 1914: On several occasions Jesus had made statements which led his hearers to infer that, while he intended presently to leave this world, he would most certainly return to consummate the work of the heavenly kingdom. As the conviction grew on his followers that he was going to leave them, and after he had departed from this world, it was only natural for all believers to lay fast hold upon these promises to return. The doctrine of the second coming of Christ thus became early incorporated into the teachings of the Christians, and almost every subsequent generation of disciples has devoutly believed this truth and has confidently looked forward to his sometime coming.
 

Page 1918: But when the Roman armies leveled the walls of Jerusalem, destroyed the temple, and dispersed the Judean Jews, and still the Master did not reveal himself in power and glory, his followers began the formulation of that belief which eventually associated the second coming of Christ with the end of the age, even with the end of the world.
 

Page 2066: Their message has suddenly shifted to the proclamation of the risen Christ: "Jesus of Nazareth, a man God approved by mighty works and wonders; him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you did crucify and slay. The things which God foreshadowed by the mouth of all the prophets, he thus fulfilled. This Jesus did God raise up. God has made him both Lord and Christ. Being, by the

right hand of God, exalted and having received from the Father the promise of the spirit, he has poured forth this which you see and hear. Repent, that your sins may be blotted out; that the Father may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you, even Jesus, whom the heaven must receive until the times of the restoration of all things."
 

Page 2067: Christ was about to become the creed of the rapidly forming church. Jesus lives; he died for men; he gave the spirit; he is coming again. Jesus filled all their thoughts and determined all their new concept of God and everything else. They were too much enthused over the new doctrine that "God is the Father of the Lord Jesus" to be concerned with the old message that "God is the loving Father of all men," even of every single individual. True, a marvelous manifestation of brotherly love and unexampled good will did spring up in these early communities of believers. But it was a fellowship of believers in Jesus, not a fellowship of brothers in the family kingdom of the Father in heaven. Their good will arose from the love born of the concept of Jesus' bestowal and not from the recognition of the brotherhood of mortal man. Nevertheless, they were filled with joy, and they lived such new and unique lives that all men were attracted to their teachings about Jesus. They made the great mistake of using the living and illustrative commentary on the gospel of the kingdom for that gospel, but even that represented the greatest religion mankind had ever known.
 

Page 2069: Although the tradition-bound and priest-ridden Hebrews, as a people, refused to accept either Jesus' gospel of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man or Peter's and Paul's proclamation of the resurrection and ascension of Christ (subsequent Christianity), the rest of the Roman Empire was found to be receptive to the evolving Christian teachings. Western civilization was at this time intellectual, war weary, and thoroughly skeptical of all existing religions and universe philosophies. The peoples of the Western world, the beneficiaries of Greek culture, had a revered tradition of a great past. They could contemplate the inheritance of great accomplishments in philosophy, art, literature, and political progress. But with all these achievements they had no soul-satisfying religion. Their spiritual longings remained unsatisfied.
 

Page 2071: At the time Paul stood up in Athens preaching "Christ and Him Crucified," the Greeks were spiritually hungry; Rome, having little national philosophy or native culture, took over Greek culture for its own and boldly adopted Christ as its moral philosophy. Christianity became the moral culture of Rome but hardly its religion in the sense of being the individual experience in spiritual growth of those who embraced the new religion in such a wholesale manner. The Stoic and his sturdy appeal to "nature and conscience" had only the better prepared all Rome to receive Christ, at least in an intellectual sense. The Roman was by nature and training a lawyer; he revered even the laws of nature. And now, in Christianity, he discerned in the laws of nature the laws of God. A people that could produce Cicero and Vergil were ripe for Paul's Hellenized Christianity.
 

Page 2072: It was easy for these Greco-Romans to become just as spiritually devoted to an institutional church as they were politically devoted to the state. The Romans fought the church only when they feared it as a competitor of the state. Rome, having little national philosophy or native culture, took over Greek culture for its own and boldly adopted Christ as its moral philosophy. Christianity became the moral culture of Rome but hardly its religion in the sense of being the individual experience in spiritual growth of those who embraced the new religion in such a wholesale manner. True, indeed, many individuals did penetrate beneath the surface of all this state religion and found for the nourishment of their souls the real values of the hidden meanings held within the latent truths of Hellenized and paganized Christianity.
 

Page 2073: The Stoic and his sturdy appeal to "nature and conscience" had only the better prepared all Rome to receive Christ, at least in an intellectual sense. The Roman was by nature and training a lawyer; he revered even the laws of nature. And now, in Christianity, he discerned in the laws of nature the laws of God. A people that could produce Cicero and Vergil were ripe for Paul's Hellenized Christianity.
 

Page 2074: Conditions, however, were not so bad at Alexandria. The early schools continued to hold much of Jesus' teachings free from compromise. Pantaenus taught Clement and then went on to follow Nathaniel in proclaiming Christ in India. While some of the ideals of Jesus were sacrificed in the building of Christianity, it should in all fairness be recorded that, by the end of the second century, practically all the great minds of the Greco-Roman world had become Christian. The triumph was approaching completion.
 

Page 2085: Many earnest persons who would gladly yield loyalty to the Christ of the gospel find it very difficult enthusiastically to support a church which exhibits so little of the spirit of his life and teachings, and which they have been erroneously taught he founded. Jesus did not found the so-called Christian church, but he has, in every manner consistent with his nature, fostered it as the best existent exponent of his lifework on earth.
 

Page 2090: Jesus' devotion to the Father's will and the service of man was even more than mortal decision and human determination; it was a wholehearted consecration of himself to such an unreserved bestowal of love. No matter how great the fact of the sovereignty of Michael, you must not take the human Jesus away from men. The Master has ascended on high as a man, as well as God; he belongs to men; men belong to him. How unfortunate that religion itself should be so misinterpreted as to take the human Jesus away from struggling mortals! Let not the discussions of the humanity or the divinity of the Christ obscure the saving truth that Jesus of Nazareth was a religious man who, by faith, achieved the knowing and the doing of the will of God; he was the most truly religious man who has ever lived on Urantia.
 

Page 2090: The time is ripe to witness the figurative resurrection of the human Jesus from his burial tomb amidst the theological traditions and the religious dogmas of nineteen centuries. Jesus of Nazareth must not be longer sacrificed to even the splendid concept of the glorified Christ. What a transcendent service if, through this revelation, the Son of Man should be recovered from the tomb of traditional theology and be presented as the living Jesus to the church that bears his name, and to all other religions. Surely the Christian fellowship of believers will not hesitate to make such adjustments of faith and of practices of living as will enable it to "follow after" the Master in the demonstration of his real life of religious devotion to the doing of his Father's will and of consecration to the unselfish service of man. Do professed Christians fear the exposure of a self-sufficient and unconsecrated fellowship of social respectability and selfish economic maladjustment? Does institutional Christianity fear the possible jeopardy, or even the overthrow, of traditional ecclesiastical authority if the Jesus of Galilee is reinstated in the minds and souls of mortal men as the ideal of personal religious living? Indeed, the social readjustments, the economic transformations, the moral rejuvenations, and the religious revisions of Christian civilization would be drastic and revolutionary if the living religion of Jesus should suddenly supplant the theologic religion about Jesus.
 

Page 2090: How unfortunate that religion itself should be so misinterpreted as to take the human Jesus away from struggling mortals! Let not the discussions of the humanity or the divinity of the Christ obscure the saving truth that Jesus of Nazareth was a religious man who, by faith, achieved the knowing and the doing of the will of God; he was the most truly religious man who has ever lived on Urantia.
 

Page 2091: Some day a reformation in the Christian church may strike deep enough to get back to the unadulterated religious teachings of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. You may preach a religion about Jesus, but, perforce, you must live the religion of Jesus. In the enthusiasm of Pentecost, Peter unintentionally inaugurated a new religion, the religion of the risen and glorified Christ. The Apostle Paul later on transformed this new gospel into Christianity, a religion embodying his own theologic views and portraying his own personal experience with the Jesus of the Damascus road. The gospel of the kingdom is founded on the personal religious experience of the Jesus of Galilee; Christianity is founded almost exclusively on the personal religious experience of the Apostle Paul. Almost the whole of the New Testament is devoted, not to the portrayal of the significant and inspiring religious life of Jesus, but to a discussion of Paul's religious experience and to a portrayal of his personal religious convictions. The only notable exceptions to this statement, aside from certain parts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are the Book of Hebrews and the Epistle of James. Even Peter, in his writing, only once reverted to the personal religious life of his Master. The New Testament is a superb Christian document, but it is only meagerly Jesusonian.
 

Page 2092: Jesus founded the religion of personal experience in doing the will of God and serving the human brotherhood; Paul founded a religion in which the glorified Jesus became the object of worship and the brotherhood consisted of fellow believers in the divine Christ. In the bestowal of Jesus these two concepts were potential in his divine-human life, and it is indeed a pity that his followers failed to create a unified religion which might have given proper recognition to both the human and the divine natures of the Master as they were inseparably bound up in his earth life and so gloriously set forth in the original gospel of the kingdom.

 


 

APPENDIX D

 

The Word Christ in The Urantia Papers:

Tabulation of other uses.

Four cases.

 

Page 448: A Creator Son of God became one of you; he is your elder brother in fact; and if in spirit you become truly related brothers of Christ, the victorious Michael, then in spirit must you also be sons of that Father which you have in common even the Universal Father of all.
 

Page 490: Since the triumph of Christ, all Norlatiadek is being cleansed of sin and rebels. The devil has been given a great deal of credit for evil which does not belong to him. Caligastia has been comparatively impotent since the cross of Christ.

Page 1024: While this comparison was not altogether fortunate, it was literally true that Christ did receive provisional title to Urantia "upon the orders of the twelve Melchizedek receivers" on duty at the time of his world bestowal.
 

Page 1339: At about the time of Christ a strange reversion of feeling toward the Jews occurred in Alexandria, and from this former Jewish stronghold there went forth a virulent wave of persecution, extending even to Rome, from which many thousands were banished.

 

 

APPENDIX E

 

The phrase "Christ Michael" in The Urantia Papers:

Tabulation of five cases

 

Page 8: On attained experiential levels all personality orders or values are associable and even cocreational. Even God and man can coexist in a unified personality, as is so exquisitely demonstrated in the present status of Christ Michael -- Son of Man and Son of God.
 

Page 234: These primary Paradise Sons are personalized as Michaels. As they go forth from Paradise to found their universes, they are known as Creator Michaels. When settled in supreme authority, they are called Master Michaels. Sometimes we refer to the sovereign of your universe of Nebadon as Christ Michael. Always and forever do they reign after the "order of Michael," that being the designation of the first Son of their order and nature.
 

Page 242: Just as the Deity of the Supreme is actualizing by virtue of experiential service, so are the Creator Sons achieving the personal realization of the Paradise-divinity potentials bound up in their unfathomable natures. When on Urantia, Christ Michael once said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." And we believe that in eternity the Michaels are literally destined to be "the way, the truth, and the life," ever blazing the path for all universe personalities as it leads from supreme divinity through ultimate absonity to eternal deity finality.

Page 366: Our Creator Son is the personification of the 611,121st original concept of infinite identity of simultaneous origin in the Universal Father and the Eternal Son. The Michael of Nebadon is the "only-begotten Son" personalizing this 611,121st universal concept of divinity and infinity. His headquarters is in the threefold mansion of light on Salvington. And this dwelling is so ordered because Michael has experienced the living of all three phases of intelligent creature existence: spiritual, morontial, and material. Because of the name associated with his seventh and final bestowal on Urantia, he is sometimes spoken of as Christ Michael.
 

Page 1331: Christ Michael did not progressively become God. God did not, at some vital moment in the earth life of Jesus, become man. Jesus was God and man--always and even forevermore. And this God and this man were, and now are, one, even as the Paradise Trinity of three beings is in reality one Deity.

Home