A UU Speaks Up - 04/18/2004

What an interesting site. You somehow throw in the word "cult" when describing the Unitarian Universalists. That is really propaganda on your part. If you want to use one dictionary definition of "cult", it's a "community of of religious worship". That seems to fit you too. But I am to assume you want to make UU something negative, a weird extremist group.You want to go for a second definition: "obssesive devotion to a person, principle or ideal." Actuially UU's have always known they are of many beliefs. Agreement on a person, principle or ideal is exactly what we don't do. But that definition might describe you.

What seems to infuriate you is that we have no "given" belief system. It is up to each UU member to find their own truth. Nothing is packaged beyond the belief in the dignity of man. It is called a personal search and it becomes our responsability to chose what makes sense to us. We tend to be a very well educated group of people who have serached in many places for connections with other humans, curious about what they believe to be their truths. We tend to be a very well traveled group, spending time building or doctoring or teaching all over the world but NEVER do we bring our personal religious beliefs to other people. We believe in dignifying others by respecting what their spiritual beliefs are, unless they use those beliefs to mistreat others.

Do we believe in "sin"? I don't, but I believe in wrong. It is wrong to kill. It is wrong to not have a concept of enough and to buy and buy and use earth's resources beyond my needs. It is wrong to not care for our children and the children of the world, and it is wrong not to share our huge wealth, except in the form of weapons and bombs. These I might call sins, but instead I call them wrongs and disgraces. Will I suffer if I am part of them? Yes, but not in hell but instead, in my soul.

I ask that if you call yourself a Christian, you practice tolerance. You can start by finding good in people's belief systems that are not your own.



CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:

Hi Judith.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.  There are several different definitions for "cult" in the dictionary.  The definitions you listed are in there, to be sure.  However, in the context in which we use the word at Contender Ministries, we are looking at Merriam-Webster's third definition, "a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also: its body of adherents."  That is not meant to be offensive.  Rather, when a religion does not acknowledge the absolute truth regarding the nature of God, the nature of man, sin, and salvation, we refer to that religion as a cult, or a false religion.  As you do not believe in absolute truth, this idea seems foreign, or even "intolerant" to you.  However, while we are intolerant of false religious beliefs (as is Jesus), this ministry is based on love for those who are deceived by those beliefs.  We are not "infuriated" by UU's, or any other people.  We simply desire for you to know and accept the absolute truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, so you can partake in the salvation that He freely gives.

There ARE many well-educated UU's, but they are also misguided.  1 Corinthians 1:20 says, "Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?"  Human wisdom and knowledge pales in comparison to the omniscience of Almighty God.  Furthermore, human wisdom is in vain when it does not acknowledge the Creator who gave that knowledge.  While you seem to disagree with Christian proselytizing, it is a commandment given us by Jesus Christ.  In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus gave us what we call the "Great Commission" when He said, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."  Later in the New Testament, Jude (likely a brother of Jesus) said, "Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.  For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord" (Jude 3,4).  You see, when you criticize our efforts to spread the gospel and contend for the faith, you are denying one of the core tenets of our faith.  This makes you guilty of the same accusations you make toward us. 

Let me ask you something.  You say you don't believe in sin, but you believe certain things are wrong?  What makes them wrong?  Why is it wrong to kill someone?  Why is it wrong to not care for our children?  When we put this in perspective of the absolute truth, we find that we're not only accountable to each other, but we're also accountable to God.  In Matthew 25:44-46 Jesus said, "They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."  What you call "wrongs" are also known as sins, and we will all be held accountable for our sins, unless we accept the salvation that only comes through Jesus Christ.

In conclusion, Jesus taught us to love one another, as one of the primary commandments.  But by His teaching and His example, that love does not mean tolerance of false religious beliefs.  We love UU's, but do not tolerate any beliefs that deny the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We love Muslims, but we strive against the false gospel established by Mohammad.  We love Mormons, but cannot abide the doctrines put forth by their false prophets.  We make a stand to win souls for His Kingdom, and we hope to see you there. 

In Christ,

Ben and Jennifer Rast
Contender Ministries