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The New Massachusetts Universalist Convention

 

Universalist Declaration of Faith

   
General Assemblies of 1935 and 1953
   
  We avow our faith in
    God as eternal and all-conquering love;
    the spiritual leadership of Jesus;
    the supreme worth of every human personality;
    the authority of truth, known or to be known; and
    the power of persons of good will and sacrificial spirit to overcome
        all evil and progressively establish the kingdom of God.
Neither this nor any other statement shall be imposed as a creedal test.
   

We avow our faith in God as eternal and all-conquering love. Universalism insists on using the term "God," though allows great latitude in the term’s interpretation. By linking God with love, Universalism is saying that people are in harmony with the divine when they are in loving relationship with one another.

... the spiritual leadership of Jesus. It’s important to notice that this doesn’t say "Christ," and it doesn’t say "only of Jesus."

Jesus, not Christ. Universalism upholds the religion of Jesus but not religion about Jesus (mainstream Christianity). "Christ" is Christianity’s title for the "son of God" who died "for our sins" and was resurrected on the third day. By contrast, the Jesus of Universalism is the Jesus of history--an Israelite prophet and defender of the powerless whose eloquent restatements of traditional Israelite ethical principles move people still.

Not just Jesus. Since at least 1805 Universalism has acknowledged the importance of other spiritual leaders--like Moses, Buddha, and Lao-Tzu. And interest in world religions is integral to the meaning of the off-center cross.

... the supreme worth of every human personality. This is the source of the first UU principle: "the inherent worth and dignity of every person."

... the authority of truth, known or to be known. Universalism is committed to reason and is open to new insights, from whatever source.

...and the power of persons of good will and sacrificial spirit to overcome all evil and progressively establish the kingdom of God. For Universalism, the kingdom of God is here--it is the world, finally made just.

Neither this nor any other statement shall be imposed as a creedal test. The declaration of faith sounds a lot like a creed, but denies that it is. What gives?

Universalism is committed to individual freedom of belief. But Universalism always tries to speak to heart and head at the same time, and sometimes does things for the sake of the heart that the head finds confusing. The declaration of faith is a statement of feelings--of things Universalists give their hearts to.

 

 

     

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This page was last updated on 09/02/2013.
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