What we believe:
The Unchanging Nature and Character of “GOD IS”
God is Love, God is Light, God is Good, Transcendent, yet Imminent and Intimate, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, altogether Righteous, and His judgments make us learn righteousness. God is always giving, His mercy never ends. All good things come from Him and even the bad are not out of his control. God does not keep his anger forever, Loves even His enemies. God will overcome all evil with good. Even his correction is in his red-hot love and passion for our perfection to become like Jesus who is the perfect representation of his nature and ways. God is always good to all, even when it seems bad He is working for our good. He never changes; He never makes a mistake, or is out-witted or overpowered. God knows the beginning to the end and He works ALL things out in accordance with his will and desire and pleasure. God is good all the time He never stops being Good. We can trust God for all of today’s needs and concerns, and put them in His great, awesome loving hands, His Power working through grace and mercy is sufficient for our weakness, sickness, sin and needs. Jesus took all that on himself and overcame it all and is now working in us this same victory over sin, the flesh, the devil, and death. Praise God The Father through CHRIST Jesus The Son we have been, are being, and will be reconciled to GOD - GOD did not need to be reconciled to us. But we will overcome our own alienation and hostility to GOD which is only in our minds. This is accomplished by The Holy Spirit of CHRIST showing us what GOD IS REALLY LIKE as He leads us ever closer to Himself. Thank You Father God in the Holy Spirit of Christ and the Name of The Lord Jesus, And it is so, Amen! Even ever so be it.”
24 God is “spirit”, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
For Jesus Promised to come to us in the SPIRIT OF CHRIST; “John 14:15–27 (CEV)
15 Jesus said to his disciples:
If you love me “The Christ”, you will do as “I” command - “My” instructions, orders, and teaching. 16 Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit =[Christ] who will help you and always be with you. 17 The Spirit will show you what is true. The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit, because they don’t see or know GOD. But you know the Spirit, -[of CHRIST] who is with you - speaking to you through me; and will keep on living in you.
And because I live, you will live. 20 Then you will know that “I am one with the Father”. You will know that “you are one with me”, and “I am one with you”. 21 If you love me, you will do what I have said, and my Father will love you. I will also love you and show you WHAT I AM LIKE…….
26 The Holy Spirit will come and help you, because the Father “will send the Spirit [of CHRIST] to TAKE MY PLACE”. The Spirit will teach you EVERYTHING and will remind you of what I said….
27 I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn’t like the peace that this world can give. So don’t be worried or afraid.
( emphisis and bracketed mine DDC )
Philippians 2:13 (The Living Bible)
“For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants.”
‘What I Believe NOW”
WHAT I BELIEVE NOW
1. I BELIEVE in the living God Who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe (1 Timothy 4:10). His salvation will ultimately reconcile all of humanity to Himself…but I believe in Him NOW!
2. I BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8), and I behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29)…and I behold Him NOW!
3. I BELIEVE that every knee in heaven and on earth and under the earth will eventually bow, and that every tongue in heaven and on earth and under the earth will eventually confess to the glory of God that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:9, 10)…but my knees bow to Him NOW …and my tongue confesses that He is Lord NOW!
4. I BELIEVE that all were condemned in Adam, but all are justified in Christ (Romans 5:17-21), for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22). I was lost in Adam, but I am found in Christ…condemned in Adam, but justified in Christ…dead in Adam, but alive in Christ…and I am found, justified, and alive NOW!
5. I BELIEVE that Jesus Christ was and is the atoning sacrifice for my sins, and not for my sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:22). He has removed them from me as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12), and I was chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, that I should be holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4). I am forgiven…and I am forgiven NOW!
6. I BELIEVE that, because Jesus was lifted up from the earth on the cross, He will ultimately draw all peoples unto Himself (John 12:32), but I come to Him of my own free will…and I come to Him NOW!
7. I BELIEVE that the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all humanity shall see it together (Isaiah 40:5)…that He will pour out of His Spirit on all humanity (Joel 2:28)…and that He will come with clouds, and every eye shall see Him (Revelation 1:7). But I see His glory NOW …His Spirit is poured out on me NOW …and I see Him coming to me NOW!
8. I BELIEVE that it is not His will that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), that the grace of God has appeared that brings salvation to all mankind (Titus 2:11), and that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them (2 Corinthians 5:19). This knowledge of His universal goodness brings me to repentance (Romans 2:4)…and His goodness is revealed in my mind NOW!
9. I BELIEVE that God has not appointed us unto wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:9), and that we shall not all sleep in death, but we shall all be changed (1 Corinthians 15:51). I will be saved…and I am being saved NOW ; I will be changed…and I am being changed NOW!
10. I BELIEVE that all things shall be made subject to Him so that God may be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:28), and that Christ is all and is in all (Colossians 3:11). The kingdom of God is IN me (Luke 17:21), and therefore God has revealed His Son IN me (Galatians 1:16). Christ IN me is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27), so I acknowledge that Christ is IN me…and He is revealed IN me NOW!
… By Bishop Jim Swilley, Pastor of Church in the Now, and I agree! NOW!
I am a member of the “Christian Universalist Asscociation”
We are in agreement with the statement of faith on their site. For your information I have included it here:
What We Believe, CUA Statement of Faith – Revised statement approved by CUA Board of Directors, Sept. 11, 2011:
What We Believe
Every spiritual organization should have a clear statement of what it believes and teaches, to guide its mission to the world and help people decide whether it is worth supporting. If a religious organization is to exist at all, it should stand for something about important questions of life, faith, God, and the world beyond.
In the CUA, there are several important spiritual and moral beliefs that we as an organization agree upon and proclaim. This list is short and simple, leaving much room for diversity of thought, personal opinion and conscience, while upholding the basic essentials of the Gospel. Here are the beliefs our organization teaches as truth. Click on the links below each statement to read a short article explaining it.
The Christian Universalist Association affirms the following in our statement of faith:
Who Is God?
We believe in God, who is Love, Light, Truth, and Spirit, the Creator of the universe, whom we are called to seek, know, and love; and whose nature was revealed to the world in the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
The Bible tells us that the universe was created by a Divine Being, who is commonly referred to as “God” (G
en. 1:1). Therefore, everything that exists is ultimately God’s responsibility, since it is God’s creation.
The historical man, Jesus of Nazareth, assured us that God is personally interested in us, reaches out to us in love, and that we should seek to know and love God (Mark 12:30). If we wish to know about God, we can look at Jesus as the human manifestation of God’s nature and character (John 14:10, Col. 1:15). God is not a remote, unapproachable deity who resides beyond and apart from the universe, letting it run like clockwork. In the person of Jesus, we find God’s nature manifested as love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, holiness, righteousness, and with a desire for justice, peace, and the healing of all. We see that God is willing to go to great lengths to reach people on earth — even endure the torture of death on a cross — to show God’s love for us, and to redeem all of humankind from the power of sin and death (Rom. 5:8, 6:15-23, Gal. 1:3-4, 2:19-20a, Phil. 2:5-11, 1 Tim. 2:3-6, 1 Pet. 2:24).
Jesus’ teachings about God emphasize God’s nature as a loving parent. Jesus taught us to pray to God as “our Father” (Mat. 6:9), encouraging us to be receptive to God, develop a personal relationship with God and to understand that God has our best interests at heart, in the way that a good father would protect and raise up his children (Luke 11:11-13).
The Bible tells us that God is Spirit (John 4:24), transcending such physical attributes as gender, race, and any other categories of this world. God is pure Light, and in God there is no darkness, no evil (1 John 1:5). God is perfect Love (1 John 4:8, 16), full of kindness and patience, never failing. God is the Truth, meaning that God determines what is real and what is imaginary (John 3:33). Our own fantasies and ideologies may seem real to us, but there is such a thing as Absolute Truth — and that is God and that which emanates from the mind of God.
Knowing that there is a God and what God is like, we can be confident that we live in a universe with true meaning and benevolent purpose. We can know that our own existence is for a good reason, and that we are God’s beloved children. We can be open to God’s transforming love and thus engage in the process of growing closer to God and deepening our love for the Spiritual Source who created us.
The Golden Rule
We believe that the universal commandment is to love and serve one another as we love ourselves.
This is a basic, essential moral teaching that is found in many of the world’s great religions and philosophies. It was articulated by Jesus 2000 years ago, when he urged his followers to love their neighbor and, not only that, even to love their enemies (Luke 6:27-31). A high level of morality is derived from this one “Golden Rule” — that we should treat everyone else the way we would wish to be treated.
Jesus not only taught, but demonstrated a radical message of love for all people, through his willingness to share fellowship with the outcasts of society: lepers (who were considered ritually unclean), tax collectors for the Roman Empire (who were considered traitors to Israel), and various types of sinners (who were regarded as inappropriate company for a rabbi or holy man). He radiated compassion, mercy, and forgiveness as great divine virtues — and encouraged us to follow in his steps and forgive those who have sinned against us (Mat. 6:12, 18:21-22, Luke 23:34).
The ideals of selfless service and giving to the less fortunate were repeatedly promoted by Jesus as a necessary aspect of spirituality, in fact, as a foundation of God’s expectations for human behavior (Mat. 25:34-40). Love, service, and charity are so important that without these, a person’s commitment to religious doctrines is meaningless (James. 2:14-17).
All people are God’s children (Mal. 2:10, Rom. 8:16), and therefore we must view and treat each individual as our brother or sister. Anything less is to demean humanity and, therefore, to demean oneself. There are no exceptions to this rule: not even the most wicked, corrupted, deviant or otherwise undesirable person is beyond our call to love (Mat. 5:43-45, John 13:34-35). And that includes oneself! Loving others begins with loving yourself as the son or daughter of God that you are. No matter who you are or what you have done, you are worthy of God’s love, and therefore worthy of love from yourself and others. As one who is worthy to be loved — with your faults and all — you are called to love others regardless of their faults.
Divine Justice and Life After Death
We believe in the law of justice by which actions generate consequences, whether to be manifested in this life or the life to come; and that love, grace and forgiveness ultimately overcome the law of justice.
The law of justice is a foundational belief of all the great spiritual traditions of the world. In Eastern religions and philosophies it is known as “karma.” In the Hebrew Scriptures, God promised that those who follow God’s commandments will experience blessings, and that judgments will befall those who do wrong (Deut. 30:15-20, Ps. 1:1-6, Prov. 3:33). Sinful actions were to be repaid in direct proportion to the violation of moral law (Ex. 21:23-25, Lev. 24:17-20). Jesus offered a similar illustration of the proportionality and balance of the scales of justice, warning that those who take up the sword will die by the sword (Mat. 26:52). On the other side of the coin, he promised great benefits for those who devote their lives to God’s calling (Mat. 19:29).
Obviously, people do not always get what they deserve — either good or bad — in this life. Therefore, spiritual traditions teach that the life of individual human beings continues after death in some form, and that in the life to come, justice will be more fully manifested (Gal. 6:7-9).
Proportionality also ensures that any judgments must be temporary and limited, since the sin that caused those judgments to ensue was also limited. The word used in the original New Testament to express this limited judgment is aionios, which means lasting for a distinct age or period of time with a beginning and an end. It is the Greek word from which we derive the English word eon, and it was used in the time of Jesus to refer to a period lasting anywhere from the length of a man’s life to a thousand years. There is no such thing as “eternal hell”, despite what many Christians have been led to believe based on mistranslations of the Bible.
Another thing the Bible makes clear is that the purpose of divine judgment is reformative not vindictive, to help people to learn from their mistakes and grow closer to perfection. The word used in the original Greek New Testament is kolasis, which means a beneficial chastening such as a gardener prunes a vine to remove dead vegetation and make it grow more fruitfully.
While we believe in the reality of cause and effect, in the law of justice, we believe that if that were the only dynamic involved in life, that would not be particularly good news, and the Christian faith would not mean very much. Instead, we believe that ultimately we will all receive forgiveness (from God, from others and from ourselves), and that will short-circuit karma and overcome the law of justice. That truth is expressed in Psalms 130:3-4, as follows: “If you, O lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.”
Forgiveness can truly be a radical thing, such as when Jesus told the person crucified next to him, “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). When Jesus walked among us, he routinely declared that people were forgiven, even before they repented. People at that time objected to such an extravagant outpouring of love and grace, and many still do. But that is God’s way. Jesus spoke of radical love and forgiveness. Consistent with that, Jesus prayed for those who crucified him, saying; “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). The good news is that, “as far as the east is from the west, so far [God] removes our transgressions from us” (Psalms 103:12).
So we believe that the experience of divine judgment is the natural consequence of our behavior. But that is not the whole story; it is not the final word. Without forgiveness, grace, mercy and love, suffering continues, but with those life-changing forces, we and others are “being transformed into [God’s] image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Cor. 3:18), and heaven ensues. That is truly good news!
We believe in the full and final triumph of the grace of God over the powers of sin and death: that the mercy and forgiveness of God are victorious; that this victory of redemption is revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; and that, therefore, no human being will be condemned or allowed to suffer pain and separation forever
We believe in universal salvation, the idea that there is no such thing as eternal hell or annihilation because God has planned the universe to produce a positive outcome for all people of all times. Hopeful prophecies in the Bible point to a future time of universal restoration and renewal (Mat. 19:28, Acts 3:21). The end of all things is a state of blessed reunion with God, the Creator — not eternal separation, misery, or destruction (John 12:32, Rom. 5:18, 1 Cor. 15:22,28, Col. 1:20, 1 Tim. 2:4-6). In the early Christian church, this was called apokatastasis — the reconciliation of all things — and it was recognized as an important teaching of the Gospel during the first few centuries of Christianity.
Our belief in the ultimate salvation of all is based on a strong trust in God’s omnipotence and benevolence. God is both powerful enough and loving enough to cause all souls to be rescued from a state of separation and returned to their intended state of unity and harmony with the Divine. All things that are good will be preserved and restored to their fullest manifestation, but all things that are bad will perish (Mat. 3:12, 1 Cor. 3:10-15). Since no human being is totally bad, no human will perish eternally. It is God’s plan to take what is good in each individual and multiply it, and replace the bad within us with an infusion of God’s divine goodness, until only the good remains.
God does not decide to condemn some people to hell because they sinned too much or they chose the wrong religious beliefs. Nor does God allow some people to remain in a hellish condition indefinitely because of making bad decisions of their own free will (Phil. 2:9-11). Negative experiences which happen to us are designed to produce learning and growth, for the advancement of the soul. It is through purgatorial “fires” of tests and trials that the human spirit is cleansed of negative attributes and attains a character that is compatible with God (Mal. 3:2-3, Mark 9:49, 1 Pet. 1:7).
Salvation is not through efforts by which we must earn God’s love and approval. On the contrary, God already loves us unconditionally and is merciful towards us. We are told in Rom. 5:8 that “God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us”, and in Eph. 2:8-9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God – not the result of works, so that no one may boast”. God’s grace extends to everyone and, as we read in the Parable of the Lost Sheep, God is not satisfied with even ninety nine percent of people being saved, but keeps searching until the last lost sheep (person) is saved (Luke 15:3-7).
Souls that leave this life on earth without experiencing salvation will have other opportunities for conversion, learning and growth after death (1 Pet. 3:18-20, 4:6). No one will ever run out of chances to return home to their Creator. Even the most evil beings who have ever lived can still be saved — and will be, in the fullness of time (Phil. 2:10). That is God’s promise!
Human Nature and Destiny
We believe every person is the divine offspring of God, created in the image of the Heavenly Parent of all; and that every person is destined to be raised up from imperfection to maturity according to the pattern of the archetypal Christ, the Son of God, the Perfect Human in whose image all humanity shall be transformed.
In the early Greek church, divinization through the pattern of Christ was called theosis (literally: becoming godlike or one with God), and was a very important concept for many Christians. Early Christians understood salvation not merely as escaping hell, but as a total transformation of one’s being in conformity with the divine image (Eph. 4:13,15, 2 Cor. 3:18, 1 John 3:1-3). We today in the Christian Universalist Association share this greater understanding of salvation, based on a recognition of the image of God within human beings and, therefore, our divine potential, which was manifested in the person of Jesus.
The Bible makes it clear that God should be regarded as the Father of all people (Mal. 2:10, Mat. 6:9, Eph. 4:6); that all human beings, both male and female, are created in the divine image according to God’s own likeness (Gen. 1:26-27), that the Light or Spirit of God is within us (Job 33:4, Mat. 5:14, Mark 1:8,); and that we are literally God’s offspring (Acts 17:28).
Becoming one with God is the glorious destiny of all people! No one is excluded from this amazing divine plan. In the fullness of the ages, God will become “all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28), meaning that all beings will manifest the attributes of God to their fullest possible potential. Life — in whatever form it may take in our spiritual journey — is about striving and advancing toward ever-greater levels of divine manifestation until, by God’s grace and love and power, every trace of selfish separation is purged from us and we are transformed, made into a new creation, as Christ already was from the foundation of the world.
The Mystery of Faith
We believe in mysterious spiritual phenomena, such as the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which transcend materialistic views of reality.
Throughout history, events have taken place in this world which remain unexplained — happenings that defy our expectations, challenge our assumptions, and inspire us to look beyond what we know. Many of these occurrences have been, and continue to be, associated with religious faith. The Christian Universalist Association encourages a sense of reverence, awe, and open-mindedness concerning phenomena that appear to transcend the known laws of physical reality.
We respect the validity of the scientific method and rational investigation of the material world. However, we do not believe materialistic views of reality go far enough in understanding all the forces that are at work in the universe. God’s universe is an unimaginably vast, complex, and multidimensional place, and some events that occur in physical reality seem to be influenced by unseen, spiritual forces. We do not know all that there is to know about how the universe works. There is such a thing as mystery, and it is an essential element of religious faith (1 Cor. 13:12).
One of the best examples of such mysterious spiritual phenomena is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (whether understood physically or spiritually), after he was executed on a cross and buried in a tomb (Mat. 28:5-10, John 20:18-20, 1 Cor. 15:3-8). Christianity spread primarily because of the witness of the apostles and other early disciples of Jesus, that he was in fact seen alive and able to exercise supernatural power after his physical body was killed. The resurrection of Jesus is the central proclamation of the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ, and dramatically demonstrates God’s awesome and unlimited power to overcome evil with good (1 Cor. 15:14-28, 1 Tim. 3:16).
Divine Revelation and the Pursuit of Truth
We believe that God’s Holy Spirit has inspired numerous prophets, saints, philosophers, and mystics throughout history, in a variety of cultures and traditions; and that by reading the Bible and other great texts of spiritual and moral wisdom with a discerning mind, and meditating to connect to the Spirit within, we may all gain a greater understanding of truth, which should be applied for the betterment of ourselves and our world.
Christians consider the Bible to be the authoritative textual basis of their faith, a collection of writings that contain divine revelations. We agree with this view of the Bible. We encourage all people to study the Bible in a prayerful and meditative spirit, and to seek a correct, scholarly understanding of how the Bible was put together by the early church, as well as the cultural context and background of the individual books and authors. Neglecting such study tends to lead to grossly inaccurate views of scripture.
As Universalists, we also recognize that the revelation of divine truth is not limited to the pages of the Bible. For one thing, many great Christian thinkers, such as church fathers, saints and mystics, have written texts which are very inspirational and valuable. Looking beyond the confines of Christianity, people throughout history have been able to seek and find God in nature (Rom. 1:20), as well as through the rational discourse of philosophy (Isa. 1:18, Acts 17:22-28). Some have attained great levels of understanding in these ways. Furthermore, there have been various holy persons and prophetic figures who have lived within the context of a wide variety of cultures and spiritual and philosophical traditions, whose explorations led them to gain and share important ideas related to God reaching out to all of humankind in love, and humanity’s search for the Divine.
We believe that the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, is the way that God is accessible to every individual. People who do not have the opportunity to know God through the Bible or other texts of spiritual and moral wisdom nonetheless are able to seek God through prayer, meditation, praise and worship, through which they might receive inspiration from God’s Spirit. The reason the Spirit is always accessible to us is because we all have God’s Spirit within us (Eph. 4:4, 6).
God has given each and every one of us the opportunity to seek truth by connecting with God’s Spirit. Truth is to be found both in great spiritual writings of the past and in our own hearts and minds today. When we discover truth, we are not to keep it to ourselves, but we are called to share the wisdom, the light, with others (Mat. 5:14-16).
The Unity of The Body of Christ
I would like for you to look at this website as a spiritual buffet. Take a good look at what is set before you, pick out what you like, leave whatever you cannot digest or find unappealing. Then enjoy what you can. Hopefully you can at least get a good meal that will strengthen you on your spiritual journey. Then trust Christ to work out the rest and eventually bring it all together in the end. Peace to you!
Ephesians 4:1–16 (GNB)
4 I urge you, then—I who am a prisoner because I serve the Lord: live a life that measures up to the standard God set when he called you. Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another. 3Do your best to preserve the unity which the Spirit gives by means of the peace that binds you together. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as there is one hope to which God has called you. 5There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6there is one God and Father of all, who is Lord of all, works through all, and is in all.
7 Each one of us has received a special gift in proportion to what Christ has given. As the scripture says:
“When he went up to the very heights,
he took many captives with him;
he gave gifts to people.”
9Now, what does “he went up” mean? It means that first he came down to the lowest depths of the earth. 10So the one who came down is the same one who went up, above and beyond the heavens, to fill the whole universe with his presence. 11It was he who “gave gifts”; he appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, others to be pastors and teachers. 12He did this to prepare all God’s people for the work of Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ. 13And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ’s full stature. 14Then we shall no longer be children, carried by the waves and blown about by every shifting wind of the teaching of deceitful people, who lead others into error by the tricks they invent. 15Instead, by speaking the truth in a spirit of love, we must grow up in every way to Christ, who is the head. Under his control all the different parts of the body fit together, and the whole body is held together by every joint with which it is provided. So when each separate part works as it should, the whole body grows and builds itself up through love.