It is wonderful to ask questions of our religion, because it is through the answers to these questions that our spiritual growth comes. Through asking Unity questions, our religion is allowed to evolve and grow as it finds the answers. Questions about Unity’ s Christianity are especially helpful and important, because we believe that Christianity is the most significant description of the work that we do in Unity.
The best way to answer the question of Unity’s Christianity is to look to the works of Unity’s founding thinkers. One doesn’ t have to look very deeply in any of the Unity texts to find reference to Jesus Christ, Christianity, and other like terms. In Unity’s Statement of Faith, written by Charles Fillmore in 1921, our Cofounder states that “We accept all the universal doctrines of Christianity.” It is common to see mission statements for Unity churches begin with “Jesus Christ is the Head of this Church!” One answer to the question “Is Unity Christian?” is that Unity is Christian because Unity claims to be Christian. This statement is true, but it also leads us to a deeper investigation of the subject matter.
Even when we accept that Unity is a Christian religion, our work is not finished. There are all kinds of churches and religious denominations all over the world that claim to be Christian, but very often what they mean when they say “Christianity” is quite different. Christianity for Catholics, Baptists, and Unity Students is not exactly the same. It is important to know, however, that all of these interpretations of the Jesus Christ Way are important and legitimate. All of these churches are authentically Christian churches, in that they each seek to learn and express the teachings of Jesus Christ according to their guidance. While it is true that Unity has its own path and guidance, we always respect those of others, as Doctor H. Emilie Cady wrote in Lessons in Truth:
I want to stimulate you to lose sight of all differences, all side issues and lesser things, and seek but for one thing — that is the consciousness of the presence of an indwelling God in you and your life. And believe me, just as there is less separation between the spokes of a wheel the nearer they get to the hub, so you will find that the nearer you both come to the perfect Center, which is your Father, the less difference will there be between you and your brother.
This is a wonderful knowing indeed. Doctor Cady’s words lead us to the desire to understand more about Unity’s Christianity, the “spoke” that we are on. We now find that our original question has been replaced with a new one; “How is Unity Christian?”
To understand more about Unity’s Christianity, it is helpful to look at the meaning of some important words; Jesus, Christ, and Jesus Christ. We understand Jesus to be the name of the historical person Whose work and teachings we read about in the Gospels. The word Christ is not Jesus’ last name, but is rather a description of the Divine nature of all God’s creations. The Apostle Paul wrote about “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27, NRSV Translation). Jesus taught about the Christ within us when He said “The one who believes in me will also do the works that I do, and greater works than these” (John 14:12), and when He referred to God as “Our Father” (Matthew 6:9). Jesus Christ is the phrase used to describe the perfect union of the natural person and their Divine Self, as demonstrated by Our Lord.
Unity is Christian in that it follows the path and teachings of Jesus, Who taught about the Christ within all of us. This path leads us to the perfect union of us with that Divine Spark in us, exemplified by our Wayshower, Jesus Christ.
Is Jesus Christ our Savior? Yes! Jesus’ life and teachings save us from ignoring or mis-using the Gift of life that God has given us. It is important to know, however, that Jesus did not do our work for us. Paul’s teaching to each of us is to “Work out your own salvation” (Philippians 2:12). We must consciously decide to think, speak, and act as children of God if we are to accept the gifts of children of God.
Did Jesus Christ die for our sins? While we do believe that Jesus experienced death on Good Friday, Unity teaches us not to end the story with that event. When we look further, we learn that the Christ never dies, and that Jesus lived again on Easter Sunday. Jesus Christ’ s miracle of unlimited Life was a demonstration for us and all of God’s children. The Truth is, Jesus lived, and lives, for us!
The Jesus Christ teachings are the Foundation of all that we do. We in Unity are Christians through and through! We are Christians because we follow the path of Jesus Christ that leads to the Regeneration, the perfect realization of Christ in us!
Unity is a link in the great educational movement inaugurated by Jesus Christ; our objective is to discern the truth in Christianity and prove it. The truth that we teach is not new, neither do we claim special revelations or discovery of new religious principles. Our purpose is to help and teach [humanity] to use and prove the eternal Truth taught by the Master. (Charles Fillmore, in the Frontispiece to Lessons in Truth)
Statements for the Realization of the Christ Presence
- I see with the Eyes of the Christ
- I live with the Life of the Christ
- I love with the Love of the Christ
- I walk the Path of my Wayshower, Jesus Christ!
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