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Friday, June 29, 2007

Faith


Faith comprises both of itself and the doubt of itself...to live serenely and courageously in these tensions and to discover their ultimate unity in the depths of our own soul and in the depths of the divine life is the task and the dignity of human thought.


Paul Tillich

What does faith mean to you?

New Thought: To Be or Not to Be - Christian...

"Is New Thought Christian?" This seems to be a frequent and popular question in New Thought, and a hotly contested one among our own. The question that I have is Why? Why is this a debated issue and why is it important?

*Disclaimer before I go on* While using the term "New Thought" in this post I am mostly referring to Religious Science. Being that Unity historically is more biblically based and "Christian" identified. However, the issues I'm attempting to address may be relevant to the Unity movement.

The most common answer to the "Christian Question" within New Thought is "Yes and No" Yes, in that we are followers of the Christ Principles, No in that we are not burdened with dogmatic creeds or other limitations. Much of New Thought has attempted to separate its identity from the standard labels and race-consciousness associated with Christianity. Indeed a separation from the race-consciousness and general perception of Christianity is a very good idea. However, this has occurred at the cost of a true knowledge/Gnosis of our theological roots. And that should be of great concern.

Most of the ministers and general practitioners of New Thought that I have engaged with on this issue bring up the same concern. That is, if we align ourselves with the term "Christianity" it will automatically alienate our roots in other great world religions and traditions. Afterall, we believe in the golden thread of truth that runs through all faith traditions. Is it not the great gift of our theology - the ability to "stand for something and against nothing." Therefore, we believe in and honor all paths to God.

Yes - that is exactly true! Which is exactly why a true, deep theological understanding of Christianity and our connection to it is so important. For if we stay clear of the term due to the modern and current interpretations, most of which make us fairly uncomfortable, then we are doing a disservice to the deeper meaning of Christianity that New Thought is uniquely poised to express in the world. So much so , that one could argue that with out our expression - it would be lost to history forever.

Consider for a moment that all of our most important founding writers within New Thought both have and express a deep embodiment and understanding of this unique and powerful expression of Christianity. These writers understood, as we must do today, that embracing our Christian roots does not exclude our connection to eastern and other spiritual wisdom. In fact, it does just the opposite! Embracing our authentic form of Christianity - theologically empowers us us to embrace all paths to God. This is why and how our founding writers were able to so clearly speak of terms like "Christ Consciousness"

How? Because Christianity at its core is not about religion or creeds, nor is it about a man. It is fundamentally about a new way of Being.

Jesus represents a New Way of Being (with God).
Paul Tillich


...no religion as such produces the New Being. No religion matters - only a new state of things.
Paul Tillich, The New Being - p. 16


Christianity is more than a religion; it is the message of a New Creation. Christianity as a Religion is not important.
Paul Tillich, The New Being - p. 16

What do you think? is this perspective of Christianity important in defining New Thought?

Followers

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