The Goal of Religion

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THE GOAL OF RELIGION

CHARLES FILLMORE

Unity School of Christianity
917 Tracy Avenue
Kansas City, Mo.

Above all other objectives the great goal of religion is to develop in man the glory of Christ. "The mystery which hath been hid for ages and generations; but now hath it been manifested to his saints. . . . . . . which is Christ in you, the hope of glory". (Col. 1:26). Paul goes on to say in the same scripture, "Whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ."

That this is the fundamental work of religion is plain to anyone who is quickened in the Spirit and beholds the universal truth, that as we all have the mind of Christ as the implanted seed of the perfect man created by God, our prime object in living should be to follow the Master in making that ideal real.

God has done his part in imaging his perfection in his Son, or Word of promise, described in the Gospel of John as the Logos, in which is implanted all glory and power for man, when he complies with the divine law. Let it be emphasized that this glory of man was not the exclusive privilege of Jesus of Nazareth, but is open to all men who follow him in the regeneration. (Read Matt. 19:28) "Verily I say unto you, that ye who have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel".

To most men the Son of God is still a mystery, although Christianity has for nearly two thousand years been trying to reveal him. This revelation by the followers of Jesus has not always been an easy matter because we have exalted the personality of the Master beyond the range of human companionship: we have made him all divine and ourselves all human. Yet we are taught, and it appeals to our reason, that God is no respecter of persons. It must therefore be true as stated in the scriptures, that we all have the same essential attributes developed or undeveloped. If Jesus was the Son of God, we also are Sons of God, the difference being that Jesus unveiled the mystery of man’s inherent glory and found himself.

This revelation, that we are all Sons of God on the way to a consciousness of that mighty truth, does not belittle Jesus, but does exalt man. The revelation that all of the divine powers that Jesus expressed exist as potentialities in all of us, gives us a new hope and stirs in us the ambition to attain, at least in a measure, the perfection that he attained.

However, if Jesus demonstrated his Sonship through suffering, we shall not wholly escape the same soul surgery, although we have faith in his vicarious atonement for our sins. Jesus taught the law and opened the door to the forgiving love of the Father, and we must follow him. To follow Jesus is to do the works that he did, and "even greater works” as was his prophecy.

Through his marvelous insight and understanding of divine law, Jesus forged far ahead of our race consciousness, so far in fact, that in our limited concept of man and his powers, we have looked upon Jesus as very God and men as worms of the dust.

The Jews wanted to stone Jesus because, being a man, he made himself God. Jesus answered them, ”Is it not written in your law, I said ye are Gods?” He then explained that those to whom the word of God came, were God’s sons and that it was not blasphemy for him to say "I am the Son of God”.

The Son of God is God’s perfect, ideal pattern of man, to whom, we all have access and through whom we come to the Father. There is no other way. Whoever tries to climb up some other way is a thief and a robber. When the Christ in Jesus made this proclamation it was not from the personal but universal Christ Mind. So we should make the proper distinction in reading the scriptures; sometimes it was Christ, the Son of God talking, and sometimes Jesus, the Son of Man. In the end, however, the Son of Man was swallowed up by the Son of God.

To fully understand and practically apply the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is very helpful to understand man in his mind and brain structure. Modern science in philosophy, medicine and psychology, is revealing laws in body structure that shed light upon the teaching of Jesus. Both John the Baptist and Jesus emphasized a change of mind as essential to salvation. Their slogan was "Repent ye! Repent ye!”, which means a change of mind. Modern mental science makes a sharp distinction between the thought processes centering in the head and those in the solar plexus or heart. Those functioning through the heart are emotional and much more pronounced in their action upon the nervous system, than those in the head. "And Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?" (Matt. 9:4) He indicated that the thoughts of the heart were virtually equal to the overt act. Progressive physicians tell us that our heart thoughts, or emotions, are responsible for about half our bodily ills.

Dr. William Brady, who conducts a syndicated health column in the dally press, recently declared, "Worry, anxiety, fear, retard or inhibit the digestive process. It doesn’t matter much whether you worry about meeting the interest on your mortgage or about the dire effects you will suffer from autointoxication, Anger, hatred, jealousy, malevolence, — all have a marked inhibiting action. These unpleasant emotions throw the brakes on normal processes of digestion. That is how a little flare-up of anger or jealousy just before dinner, drives away appetite.

At a gathering of the American College of Physicians, Doctor Edward Weiss of Philadelphia, read a paper on diseases of the heart. He cited the journal of John Wesley, written in 1759, where he told of the case of a certain woman with a continuous pain in her stomach, for which doctors prescribed drugs without avail, Wesley wrote that he found the pain resulted “from fretting over the death of her son”, and that when she was comforted, her physical disorder left, "Why then”, asks Wesley, "do not all physicians consider how bodily disorders are caused or influenced by the mind?”

Doctor Weiss responds, "That is just what we are beginning to do”, is the answer of the doctors of today. After 175 years of medical darkness we are emerging into the light as to the source of about fifty per cent of humanity’s ills, — a state of mind.” The doctor further said that many persons had undergone operations to get rid of pain or discomfort which was entirely due to some emotional trouble. He cited the instance of one young woman who underwent four such operations, when her trouble was brought on by the fact that all her sisters were married while she seemed doomed to remain a lonely spinster. Fear, worry and the like, he said, caused such conditions.

In these discoveries in the dynamics of the mind we have the revelation of the cause of a legion of human ills, hut no sovereign remedy is offered. Business men have "Don’t Worry” mottoes on their office walls and resolve to quit worrying, but go right on in the same old anxious thought. Religion, when made a part of one’s |practical everyday life, not only shows how to dissolve the mob of anxious thoughts that beset us in the highway of mind, but it introduces us to a restorative law that will work with us night and day.

The Christian religion as taught by Jesus and interpreted by his followers offers a remedy for every human ill, and if it were applied, as Jesus applied it, sin, sickness, poverty, ignorance and insanity would soon disappear from the earth. But we must not look for material remedies in the pharmacopoeia of Jesus. He dealt with ideas, the source of everything. He warned against the unbridled anxious thoughts that run amuck when there is no restraining of the mind and climaxed his lesson by stabilizing the whole consciousness in God, as the unfailing supply and support of man’s every need. The sixth and seventh chapters of Matthew are unparalleled in all literature for clarity and simplicity in presenting the way to success in finances. Here you will find most efficient treatments against anxiety, and at the same time assurances by many comparisons and illustrations that God does provide for those who trust Him.

The recent revelations of science as to the real character of the atom and cosmic space are remarkable in their corroborations of the Bible. Science has completely reversed its former estimate of space as empty void. It is now regarded as the source of light, heat, mass, power; in fact, everything visible and invisible have their origin in the cosmic ether. Jesus evidently knew the ether to be the cause side of existence, which he named the kingdom of the heavens. He compared it to a net in which every kind of fish in the great sea of existence could be trapped, or as having the pearl of great price, or a field in which soil all things night be produced, etc., etc.

Sir Oliver Lodge once said that there is energy enough in a cubic inch of ether to run a forty-horse-power engine forty million years. Another scientist says that the atomic energy concealed in a single tear drop, if released instantly, would blow up a six-story building. The cells of our bodies are composed of those electrons and protons, "whirling in their orbits like cannon balls,” and beating like a billion hammers on the corpular shell of matter in which they are enclosed. Bible stories, like Joshua stopping the sun and Jonah and the whale, are commonplace compared with the tremendous tales that science tells about the forces that exist in the invisible ether in which we live, move and have our being. Professor William Millikan says, "The atom has revealed that it possesses functions so varied and mysterious that science has concluded that it is mind, rather than the old mechanical matter."

Sir James Jeans, the eminent English scientist, says in his book, "The Mysterious Universe":

"For aught we know, or for aught that the new science can say to the contrary, the gods which play the part of fate to the atoms of our brains may be our own minds. Through these atoms our minds may perchance effect the motions of our bodies and so the state of the world around us."

Dr. Crile of Cleveland has estimated that the average human body is composed of thirty-nine trillion cells. These cells, so science says, are animated by protons and electrons possessing potentialities beyond human imagination. Another philosopher says, "We lie in the lap of immense intelligence, which makes us organs of its activity and receivers of its truth. When we discern justice, when we discern truth, we do nothing of ourselves, but allow a passage of its beams.”

Jesus did not claim to do the mighty works which were accomplished through Him. In John 14, He said to those who asked that he show them the Father, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I say unto you I speak not from myself; but the Father abiding in me doeth his works. Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.”

Science has revealed then that the kingdom of the heavens, or cosmic ether, is the source of everything except intelligence. Right here we need the illumined mind of Jesus to complete the revelation.

Dr. Osborne says that is the human family could be instructed how to release the ether energy hidden in their bodies we would achieve in a single generation more than we have in the past 6000 years. Because of the lamentable ignorance of men Jesus resorted to parables in teaching the deep truths about life. "Therefore speak I to them in parables; because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” (Matt. 13:13)

Religion, regardless of its many interpreters, has but one final goal and that is the attainment of eternal life by its devotees. Jesus proclaimed again and again that He came to show us the way to gain eternal life. “What doth it profit a man if he gain, the whole world and lose his own life?” Not only Christianity but all religions teach and promise to the faithful the joys of continuous life, usually in some state of bliss after death.

The promise of eternal life after death is often interpreted as the goal of those who follow Jesus, but a careful study of his words and works reveals that victory over death was one of the evidences that the disciple had attained eternal life. Death came into the world as the wages of sin, and the effacement of sin must atomatically restore one to original life. Paul says plainly in Romans 5 that death reigned until Jesus, who overcame death, and that we should reign through him in eternal life.

In 1 Cor. 15:53, Paul says that the body must be saved from death. "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality". "Then shall cone to pass the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory, O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” We thus see that the death which Jesus conquered, by restoring life to His body after it was killed, was bodily death. We know very little about the death of the soul, but are made tragically acquainted daily with the death of the body. So instead of accepting the death of the body as in some way under divine law, let us follow Jesus in redeeming our bodies from this satanic disorder.

The human family devotes the never ending efforts of its wisest man, with billions and billions of their hard earned money, to the overcoming of disease, that they may save their bodies from the tomb. They bring to bear every human device to this goal yet meet defeat in the end. Then they submit to what is taught as the inevitable end of man—and call it the will of God. But Jesus the Conqueror said. "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall never see death."

The popular religious teachers of Christianity have virtually thrown up their hands in the face of the seeming insurmountable difficulties in following Jesus to the final goal of his doctrine, the attainment of eternal life. Having failed to solve the simpler problems of the cause and error of the death of the body, they tell us that our great concern should be the salvation of our souls. Although God is omnipresent and all-powerful the conclusion is that He cannot do much for us until after we are dead. Jesus proclaimed to the Jews, who taught a future resurrection," God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." (Matt. 22:32).

The great majority of both the secular and religious world today admit that Jesus has given ns the soundest doctrine of morals ever propounded by man. Not only the moralist but the economist and scientist are quoting Jesus as the teacher of the highest principles in their special fields. Professors Eddington and Russel, both eminent scientists, are quoted by the press as saying that when we study Jesus’ teaching from the viewpoint of science we became convinced that ho understood light, energy, notion and space.

Jesus not only understood these finer forces of mind and body as science understands them, mechanically, but he developed his spiritual mind to a point where he could control them. The popular thought about Jesus’ teaching is that it is a negative factor in the present world, and the rewards are to follow in a spiritual world. But authority for such a conclusion is not borne out by the gospels. Jesus claimed all power in heaven and in earth, and authorized Ills followers to go forth in his name and cast out demons, heal the sick and raise the dead. The scripture says that they did these works, and that he was with them, as he promised, ”Lo, I am with you always”.

The need of those who claim to represent Jesus Christ, is a greater realization of His presence and power in the world today. We talk too much about the mighty works he did in the first century and too little about what he is doing in the twentieth century. The dynamic power of the Holy Spirit imparted at Pentecost can be had by Christians everywhere if they will only follow the example of those early disciples of the Master. We need more steadfastness and continuity of faith in our prayers.

The Spiritual ethers arc vibrant with energies, that properly released, would give abundant life and health to all God's people. The one and only outlet for these all-potential, electronic, life-imparting vitamins existing in the billions of atoms in the cells of our bodies, is our minds, localized on the Christ Mind, in prayer. Pray, believing that ye have received, and ye shall receive, is the promise of Jesus. All things for our good are already provided in the heavens, or higher realms of the mind, awaiting our realization. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you”.

The time is at hand when all those who believe in the power of God must get closer together in the few simple essentials of his law. The nations of the world have not found the spiritual unity which religion teaches and are looking forward to the havoc of another war. They may reap as they have sown, with the destruction of the (end of page 12)

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Most persons think of religion in terms of faith. "He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those that seek him".

The fact is that without faith no one goes very far in normal life. We do not perform the simplest act without first believing that we can do it. Religion requires the enlargement of faith until it lays hold of God. Those who follow Jesus in the enlargement of the spiritual life, find that they must believe farther than they can see, in order to comprehend, even in small degree, the tremendous field of action into which his philosophy launches one. He expecte1 those he healed to do something themselves, especially to believe that he could do it. When the two blind men came to him he said unto then, "Believe ye that I am able to do this?" They say unto him, "Yea Lord". Then touched he their eyes, saying, "According to your faith be it done unto you." And their eyes were opened, (Matt. 9: 28) To the woman who suffered for twelve years and was healed by stealthily touching the hem of his garment, he assuring exclaimed, "Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole”.. (Mk. 5:34)

Jesus exalted faith to on original creative place in man, as it is in God. Even God must have had faith in the power of his word before the universe was created. In the eleventh chapter of Hebrews we read, "By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the Word of God."

So we see that religion, and especially Christianity, tremendously enlarges the natural ability of man. His faith and trust in the goodness and truth of men must be broadened and deepened until he can look with the eye of faith into invisible nothingness and see it vibrant with mightiness: “have faith in God”.

But religion does not rest with the development of faith alone, for beyond the scope of the natural man it opens the mind to the understanding of creative principles. Christ opened the understanding of his disciples, and all those who seek him in faith find that they are spiritually quickened, according to their capacity to receive.

Understanding the Christ Mind in man and its relation to the universal life energy concealed in every atom, we begin to see what Jesus meant when he said, that his body and his blood were meat and drink. When we are spiritually quickened we can say that we have food which the man who functions in flesh and blood alone, knows not of. Also the partaking of the Lord’s body in the holy sacrament becomes a vital process of appropriation of the invisible life and substance sown in our race thought by the super-alchemy of the Master.

We all live in the very presence of an all-enfolding Spirit, which is life, love, substance and intelligence. Through the development of Super Mind faculties, which we all possess in potential ability, we shall come into the understanding and the power of Jesus Christ. “Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature". {2 Cor. 3:17) But there is a work ahead and "bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ", (2 Cor. 10:5) is no child’s play. Not only the mind but the body as well must be must be transformed and renewed under the discipline of the Christ; "So now also Christ shall be magnified in my body". (Phil. 1:30)

We cannot help but see that religion is the most vital and important part of our existence. Our religion should give us an understanding of our source, our destiny and our specific place in the great creative plan, for "The very hairs of your head are all numbered". (Matt. 10:30)


Margaret Garvin Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on July 16, 2018.