Your Neighbor Is Probably a Unitarian Universalist

Your Neighbor Is In all probability a Unitarian Universalist

Most People are Unitarian Universalists. They only dont understand it. Solely 0.three p.c of People establish as members of the denomination, however its perception system has come to outline our tradition. The central message of the UU church is that you would be able to imagine something you wantexcept that there are objectively proper and fallacious beliefs.

Its an interesting message for a society that has misplaced its religion in God. However simply because we now not imagine in a better energy doesnt imply there isnt one. Human beings have a Creator. Like every other crop or plant, we are supposed to produce good fruit. There will probably be penalties if we produce unhealthy fruit, even when we dont need to admit it.

Think about the parable of the winery in Isaiah 5.

Vines and Rights

Within the first 4 chapters of Isaiah, the prophet lays out why the Assyrian military invading Judah was aninstrument God was utilizing to guage his individuals. The invasion had non secular undertones: the Jewish individuals had walked away from their Creator and ignored his instructions, and he was punishing them for his or her riot, simply as he promised when he initially gave them the Promised Land.

It was a harsh punishment, which is why Isaiah made some extent toremind his individuals about God’s goodness regardless of what was taking place round them. To additional illustrate that time, he introduces the parable of the winery. Like Jesus, Isaiah understood that folks may see issues clearer when a brand new context was put round a well-known story:

Let me sing for my beloved my love music regarding his winery: My beloved had a winery on a really fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with alternative vines; he constructed a watchtower within the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he seemed for it to yield grapes, nevertheless it yielded wild grapes. (Isa. 5:12)

As Isaiah goes on to clarify, Judah is the winery, the Promised Land is the fertile hill, and God is the one who planted it. The great grapes have been righteousness; the unhealthy fruit was sin. Gods creation had gone unhealthy, so he was going to tear it up and begin over: And now I’ll let you know what I’ll do to my winery. I’ll take away its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I’ll break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down (Isa. 5:4).

The important thing to understanding this parable is to look it at from the viewpoint of the vines. Why ought to they’ve to supply good fruit? Dont they’ve the precise to do what they need? Who’s God to inform them what’s or shouldn’t be unhealthy fruit?

Americas Faith

The reply to these questions is the place Christianity conflicts with the way in which most People view the world. Our tradition locations an enormous emphasis on independence. Nobody can inform us what to do or what to assume. We decide the course of our lives. Anthony Kennedy, the just lately retired Supreme Courtroom justice, summed it up in one in all his most well-known opinions: On the coronary heart of liberty is the precise to outline ones personal idea of existence, of the which means of the universe and the thriller of human life.

For probably the most half, God agrees with Kennedy. We’re free to imagine something we wish about this world. The distinction is God doesnt depart open the query of what the precise reply is.

It comes again to first ideas. If the universe is the product of random likelihood, and people are nothing greater than self-aware animals with the identical worth as every other creature on earth, then there isn’t any level to our temporary existence apart from what we make of it. Conversely, if the universe has a Creator, and human beings are fashioned in his picture, then the purpose of our lives is to know and expertise him. For those who begin with that perception, then good and evil are usually not issues we will outline for ourselves.

Later in Isaiah, the prophet pokes enjoyable on the concept of created issues questioning their Creator:

Woe to him who strives with him who fashioned him, a pot amongst earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who types it, What are you making? or Your work has no handles? Woe to him who says to a father, What are you begetting? or to a girl, With what are you in labor?

Thus says the LORD, the Holy One in all Israel, and the one who fashioned him: Ask me of issues to come back; will you command me regarding my kids and the work of my fingers? I made the earth and created man on it; it was my fingers that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host. (Isa. 45:912)

My Unitarian Universalist Childhood

As a result of my dad and mom raised me within the UU church, I’ve lived each side of this debate. The historical past of the church is fascinating. The Unitarians believed within the unity of God (i.e., not the Trinity; Jesus was only a human being) whereas the Universalists believed God would save all humanity no matter whether or not they believed in Jesus. The 2 teams ultimately merged into a faith whose major tenet is that we’re free to imagine something as long as our beliefs dont hurt anybody else. It’s a church for individuals who need church with out faith.

We took comparative faith courses in Sunday college. The New York Instances was our Bible. This was our model of the Lords Prayer:

Love is the doctrine of our church.
The search for fact is its sacrament.
And repair is its prayer.
To dwell collectively in peace.
To hunt data in freedom.
To serve humanity in fellowship.
Thus will we declare.

The “quest for truth” is just like the “pursuit of happiness” within the Declaration of Independence. The implication of trying to find one thing is that you just havent already discovered it. Identical to the Founding Fathers couldnt promise happiness to the residents of their new nation, the UU church fathers didnt promise fact to their parishioners.

Objectively Good (and Dangerous) Fruit

I didnt stay within the UU church as an grownup; in truth, solely 12.5 p.c of children raised within the church find yourself staying. Thats as a result of its already the default choice in American life. Why go on Sundays should you reside it 24/7?

The one solution to truly depart is to decide out and be a part of a unique religionone that provides solutions concerning the world, and about your id, that exist outdoors of your self and what others consider you. In my expertise, probably the most highly effective a part of turning into a Christian was studying that my id comes God. I dont must impress anybody. I’ve worth past my place in society. God loves me and died for me on the cross.

Unitarian Universalism is alreadythe default choice in American life. Why go on Sundays should you reside it 24/7?

The flip facet is that God decides what is true and fallacious, not me. I dont have all of the solutions. No Christian does. The selection everyone seems to be given on this life is to both imagine in an goal fact or go trying to find a subjective one.

Simply since you dont imagine in good and evil doesnt imply they dont exist. Thats what Isaiah was making an attempt to inform God’s individuals. There’s objectively good and unhealthy fruit on this worldgo to a grocery store should you dont imagine me. No sane individual goes to plant a winery and reside with unhealthy fruit eternally. It could appear merciless to the vines to tear them out of the bottom, however its higher for them. They have been created for a purpose, to bear a selected sort of fruit.

This is the reason the reality of the gospel is such excellent news for the UU world. We dont must provide you with solutions to life’s most tough questions on our personal, or marvel why they dont truly fulfill us. There’s a recipe on the market for a fruitful life. It was given to us greater than 2,000 years in the past.

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