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Geordon

Universal Life In The 21St Century

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I am about 1/3 through the text in the title, and I have to say, it surprises me that Rev. Hensley wasn't literally lynched in th early years. His teachings are... Unorthodox, at best and downright heretical in a number of places, not the least of which was his claim that The Devil was in charge on Earth, and that God and The Devil are either the same entity or in cahoots, at least.

Has anyone else read the text? Want to discuss it?

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I would appreciate that. I'm having a bit of a struggle to get through it, mostly because of the non-academic writing style (I'm currently a graduate student), but I would like to have someone to bounce off of. The missus is not terribly keen on discussing anything ULC related. Not actively objects, but she just has no interest and can't grasp mine. Which is OK.

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He wasn't the first to suggest that the devil was in charge. For example, C. S. Lewis had a similar view running through his "out of the silent planet" trilogy.

Going much further back, it seems to tie into some of the Gnostic positions, such as Sethianism and Manicheanism. I can't pretend to understand all the subtle distinctions, but most of these views were indeed condemned.

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I would be glad to do so. I'll start tonight and I am a fast reader so I will probably be able to start talking sometime tomorrow. In the meantime leave any questions or thoughts and I will reply when I am ready. I used to try to run a book club here and I encourage anyone who has the time or access to join in on this discussion.

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He wasn't the first to suggest that the devil was in charge. For example, C. S. Lewis had a similar view running through his "out of the silent planet" trilogy.

Going much further back, it seems to tie into some of the Gnostic positions, such as Sethianism and Manicheanism. I can't pretend to understand all the subtle distinctions, but most of these views were indeed condemned.

I was raised in a home that was devoutly areligious. My dad was dragged to church every Sunday while he was growing up, but his two younger brothers were allowed to stay home. I don't know much more about his religious experience than that (e.g. I don't know what denomination his mother was), but religion was not a topic discussed while I was growing up. Because of that, I was able to form my faith system organically, without much outside influence, including any explicitly Christian authors. C. S. Lewis was only in my realm of experience because of Narnia, and only to the extent that it was in the school library.

All that being said, it would seem to me that there is a deep-seated desire in (at least American) society that yearns for a more pragmatic and eccumenical faith system, at least with many of the younger generations that are growing into adulthood these days. (Note to self: Look into Sethianism and Manicheanism)

I would be glad to do so. I'll start tonight and I am a fast reader so I will probably be able to start talking sometime tomorrow. In the meantime leave any questions or thoughts and I will reply when I am ready. I used to try to run a book club here and I encourage anyone who has the time or access to join in on this discussion.

A couple of months back, my wife made fun of me because I read every paragraph of every page of every text that I get for school (current Emergency Management masters program, but prior to that AA Psych and BA Emergency Management). Apparently, unbeknown to me, this is not a common trait. I'm only about 1/3 through the book, so you'll probably finish before I will. :)

A question, though. I understand that there is essentially only one official ULC doctrine: "Do that which is right." However, I'm curious to know how others view that, in concert with Rev Hensley's history and writing. It seems to me that I've seen people on the forum say that, alternately, that this is a difficult doctrine to follow and that this is an easyone to follow. For myself, I've found that doing that which is right is often not popular, and doing what is popular is often not right.

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OUR BELIEF

OUR OBJECTIVE: ETERNAL PROGRESSION

OUR GOAL: A FULL.ER LIFE FOR EVERYONE

OUR SLOGAN: TO LIVE AND HELP LIVE

WE ARE ADVOCATES OF THE GOOD LIFE

We want - to be competent, to be proficient, to be cooperative, to love

our fellow man, to appreciate, to be humble, to be honest, to be moral,

to live positively, to be what we profess.

FREEDOM

is the most important thing to everyone.

Every living thing on this earth fights for its

freedom - to be free to shape its own life,

free to move around, free to fulfill its

dreams and ambitions. The Universal Life

Church is the active advocate of freedom

for everyone, as long as that freedom does

not infringe on the rights of others.

FOOD

Without food there can be no freedom, only

a desperate fight for survival. Thus food is

one of the foundations of freedom, a key to

prosperity and happiness for all mankind.

SEXUALITY

is the third part of this "trinity," that keeps

all living things going and keeps our world

alive. The Universal Life Church recognizes

sexuality as a positive force in our lives. If

you deny your desire for sex, then you

deny life itself.

Quotes from THE BUFFER ZONE.

There is a framework here that while admirable suffers from internal inconsistencies and deficiencies.

It seems to be libertarian in nature but does not grasp the workings that would realize the goals it desires and espouses.

That said, the ULC is the closest religious concept to perfection.

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I'm about a 1/4 of the way through. Some obligations have kept me busy so I apologize for not responding sooner. Did you want to discuss anything in particular??

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Do that which is right is an excellent and libertarian philosophy to me that is shadowed by be excellent to each other. Which although from Bill and Ted I find to be excellent as well. It is both hard and easy to follow Do that which is Right. The beauty of it is that that which is Right is left up to the person to decide. Like reality and morality it is ultimately subjective. I find that even people who do wrong barring mental issues know that they are doing wrong. Therefore they also know what right is as well. Basically on some level we have an idea of right and wrong and while knowing what's right is easy applying that knowledge can be hard and we as humans will fail. It doesn't mean we can't strive to do that which is Right at all times even though we fail because that is doing the Right thing.

Edited by Stormbringer

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I'm about a 1/4 of the way through. Some obligations have kept me busy so I apologize for not responding sooner. Did you want to discuss anything in particular??

Quite alright. I've had to take a couple of days away from the material myself, due to other things. There's nothing that I want to discuss in particular, but rather I find that general discussion of the subject helps me integrate the material more deeply. Such as my next comment...

Do that which is right is an excellent and libertarian philosophy to me that is shadowed by be excellent to each other. Which although from Bill and Ted I find to be excellent as well. It is both hard and easy to follow Do that which is Right. The beauty of it is that that which is Right is left up to the person to decide. Like reality and morality it is ultimately subjective. I find that even people who do wrong barring mental issues know that they are doing wrong. Therefore they also know what right is as well. Basically on some level we have an idea of right and wrong and while knowing what's right is easy applying that knowledge can be hard and we as humans will fail. It doesn't mean we can't strive to do that which is Right at all times even though we fail because that is doing the Right thing.

Leaving aside the political baggage of libertarianism (and self-professed political adherents of that philosophy), I like your Bill and Ted reference as a solid summation of the overall topic. "Be excellent to each other" is, at the surface, a simple task, especially so when things are good, free, and easy. However, the challenge comes when things are less "easy."

For example, I work in retail, have for almost 3 years. Most days, the shoppers are either pleasant or indifferent, but there are the occasional brusque or inconsiderate ones. All of these, I have no problem treating with courtesy, even the inconsiderate ones. However, the other night, I encountered the first person in some 20 years that I wanted to really put my foot up their ass. Completely rude, difficult, and condescending at the cash register, and I came to the point that I had to walk away from her or do/say something that would have gotten me fired.

On one side, doing "what is right" may have been taking the abuse. Maybe she was just having a bad day, or had something bad happen to her recently, you never know. However, on the other side, "doing that which is right" (in my case) necessitated me protecting myself (psychologically and emotionally) and removing myself from the situation. At $8.75/hr, I don't get paid enough to take that crap.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that doing that which is right is not always obvious, nor "black and white" as the saying goes.

I agree that all know what is right. It is what one finds acceptable in the way others act toward oneself.

This is one part of the reason that I think that everybody should have to work and live on the service sector for a while, early in their adult lives. That way, they can learn what it's like to be on the other side of the coin, to "see how the other half lives" so to say. Those who have been lucky enough to have a life of plenty, I don't begrudge them their comfort. However, when their comfort comes at the cost of someone else's ability to even get by (i.e. The working class poor and disappeared middle income), that's when I get hot under the collar. We are all in this together, whether you like it or not. "a rising tide lifts all boats"

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"This would be such an excellent planet if weren't for all the dang people on it!" - "Rev. Al"

Anyone who has worked with the public knows the dilemma you faced Geordon, and yes, stepping aside/away was definitely the best route to take.

"Do that which is Right" is a judgment call which can mean different things to different folks, but in general, just do the best, most purposeful, most honorable thing you can in any given circumstance.

As for Kirby Hensley's works, he did write some pretty amazing things for a guy who was barely literate...which to this day I find amazing. I don't agree with everything he put out for us, but the vast majority of his works are spot on, IMHO.

Be Well, Blessings of Peace,

Al

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Quite alright. I've had to take a couple of days away from the material myself, due to other things. There's nothing that I want to discuss in particular, but rather I find that general discussion of the subject helps me integrate the material more deeply. Such as my next comment...

Leaving aside the political baggage of libertarianism (and self-professed political adherents of that philosophy), I like your Bill and Ted reference as a solid summation of the overall topic. "Be excellent to each other" is, at the surface, a simple task, especially so when things are good, free, and easy. However, the challenge comes when things are less "easy."

For example, I work in retail, have for almost 3 years. Most days, the shoppers are either pleasant or indifferent, but there are the occasional brusque or inconsiderate ones. All of these, I have no problem treating with courtesy, even the inconsiderate ones. However, the other night, I encountered the first person in some 20 years that I wanted to really put my foot up their ass. Completely rude, difficult, and condescending at the cash register, and I came to the point that I had to walk away from her or do/say something that would have gotten me fired.

On one side, doing "what is right" may have been taking the abuse. Maybe she was just having a bad day, or had something bad happen to her recently, you never know. However, on the other side, "doing that which is right" (in my case) necessitated me protecting myself (psychologically and emotionally) and removing myself from the situation. At $8.75/hr, I don't get paid enough to take that crap.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that doing that which is right is not always obvious, nor "black and white" as the saying goes.

This is one part of the reason that I think that everybody should have to work and live on the service sector for a while, early in their adult lives. That way, they can learn what it's like to be on the other side of the coin, to "see how the other half lives" so to say. Those who have been lucky enough to have a life of plenty, I don't begrudge them their comfort. However, when their comfort comes at the cost of someone else's ability to even get by (i.e. The working class poor and disappeared middle income), that's when I get hot under the collar. We are all in this together, whether you like it or not. "a rising tide lifts all boats"

Completely understand what your saying and the difficulties of working retail. I have worked for over ten years in a growing grocery store chain in many capacities involving customer interaction.

You made a correct decision, rather than risk your employment and free bad press the inconsiderate customer would have provided had you not.

"Do that which is right" can be difficult even as it sounds easy, indeed. As so was Jesus' command to love all, friends and enemies. Often a thing that is good and just does not come easily. Behavior factors into conflict and resolution so easily as to confuse proper response or decision making.

Life tends not to be all "black and white" with a lot of gray matter included. But that shouldn't stop people from being determined to do that which is right in all aspects of it.

Blessings and peace.

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On 3/5/2016 at 8:33 PM, SisterSalome said:

I'm not familiar with the text. Where could I find it?

The book is available for purchase through the bookstore at ulc.net. Or was the last time I looked. Been so busy since I got my last course there that I haven't visited that site in a while. Not sure if it'd be offered over at the Seminary, either.

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only available in kevins(.net)book store,as far as i know.i do not believe amy sells it at this time.

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I definitely must get hold of this book and will take a look at Pastor Kevin's store.

The question are the Devil and God the same and is the Devil in charge are interesting ones. If we look at God and the DevilĀ as part of a greater cosmic mind, one part pushing for greater work for mutual benefit and the other for greed and self interest, and we then look at the attunement of humankind towards this mind and these thoughts we can see the forces of the Devil drawing its power. Rather than the energies coming from above, the 'above' is drawing its energy from us and this manifests itself across the world.

The remedy I believe is in our own hands by going back to basics, appreciating each other, appreciating and working with nature and attuning our minds towards greater good rather than self interest. Like a radio, we choose what channel to listen to, its signal reaching our receivers and transformed into sounds for our ears. Yes we live in the age of the Devil, but its up to us to change the channel.

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