The First Unitarian Church is a faith and religious organization that operates under the Unitarian Universalist Association. The church follows a liberal religious and spiritual philosophy, guided by core principles that emphasize the inherent worth and dignity of every person, respect for the interdependent web of which we are all a part, and a goal of justice, equity and compassion in human relationships.
The church understands its beliefs as an evolving search for truth, offering a free and responsible search for meaning by individuals within a faith community. The church affirms seven core principles: the inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice, equity and compassion in human relations; acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations; a free and responsible search for truth and meaning; the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large; the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; and respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
What did the Unitarians believe about God and Jesus?
Unitarians believed that God was one indivisible unity and existed as one entity, rather than three persons. This contrasts with traditional Christian beliefs, which hold that God is made up of the Trinity of three persons in one–God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Unitarians also rejected traditional depictions of Jesus and instead viewed him as a great moral teacher and an example for humanity to follow. They believed that Jesus was a human being who, through his teachings and example, showed people the way to achieve a meaningful and peaceful existence.
Unitarians did not believe in the divinity or atonement of Jesus, and instead described the resurrection as a metaphor for spiritual growth.
Do Unitarian Universalists believe in the Bible?
Unitarian Universalists (UUs) do not believe in any one specific religious book or holy text, including the Bible. While most UUs recognize the Bible as a part of our widely shared human heritage, we view it as an evolving compilation of sacred stories and doctrines which capture the teachings and common values of many religious traditions.
UUs may draw inspiration and teachings from the Bible and other sources, such as the Torah, the Quran, the Talmud, the writings of Rumi or contemporary poets, or the philosophy of the ancient Greek and Latin classics.
Our guiding principle of being an inclusive, progressive faith is reflected in the recognition and respect we show to the various sources of sacred wisdom available to us.
Do Unitarians celebrate Christmas?
Yes, Unitarians do celebrate Christmas as part of a broader commitment to joyfully celebrate the diversity of life. While celebrating the birth of Jesus is an important part of Unitarian beliefs, the faith itself is built on a broad range of spiritual practices and beliefs–including gratitude for the religious teachings of the world’s major faith traditions.
Unitarian congregations provide safe and inspirational services of worship throughout the holiday season, even if the congregants celebrate different holidays or don’t actively observe any particular faith.
Unitarian services can include songs and stories of peace, Christmas carols, secular readings, and reflections. Children are especially welcomed and encouraged to creatively explore the festive season.
Many Unitarian communities also take part in causes to help those in need, such as providing aid to the homeless and creating alternative gift markets to support charitable causes. Ultimately, Unitarianism is all about inclusion and celebration; it’s an embrace and acceptance of all our cultural celebrations, traditions, and beliefs, no matter the holiday.
Do Unitarians pray to God?
Unitarians do not necessarily pray to a deity but rather encourage individual spiritual practices that help members reflect on their beliefs. Rather than praying to God, Unitarians might practice peaceful meditation, listen to inspiring music, express gratitude, or write in a journal.
Unitarians also embrace silence and religious contemplations. Though two Unitarians may use different spiritual practices to deepen their spiritual awareness, they both share the same goals: deepening relationship with the universe and discovering the sacred in their everyday lives.
Prayer can play a role in Unitarian practice, particularly if it serves as a vehicle for connecting their inner selves with the greater world, seeking guidance and comfort, receiving answers to questions, and celebrating milestones.
However, they often use secular terms when they communicate with their higher power, such as “Divine Wisdom” or “compassionate energy. ” Unitarians also don’t always pray communally but may opt for individual practice.
Ultimately, Unitarians believe that spiritual experiences are very personal and should be left to each individual.
What do Unitarians think of the Bible?
Unitarians approach the Bible with varying levels of reverence. Historically, Unitarians rejected the concept of inerrancy and often viewed the Bible as a book written by humans, with faults and strengths, and subject to interpretation.
Contemporary Unitarians may draw upon the Bible for inspiration and ethical guidance, but don’t take the Bible literally or accept it as the final and most authoritative source of moral truth. They are generally quite open to other interpretations, both ancient and modern, of the same texts.
Unitarians may approach the Bible as literature, looking for interesting characters, provocative and complex messages, and powerful images to help them live meaningful lives. For Unitarians, the Bible is a source of deep spiritual insight, rather than a literal source of historical or scientific facts.
What is the difference between Christianity and Unitarianism?
The primary difference between Christianity and Unitarianism is their views on the nature of God. Christianity, which is based on the teachings of the New Testament in the Bible, believes in the doctrine of the Trinity, or the belief that God exists in three persons – God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.
Unitarianism is a movement of liberal Christianity that is based on the belief of the inherent unity of God. This means that Unitarians reject the notion of a Trinity and instead view God as an all-powerful, singular being.
Other differences between Christianity and Unitarianism include the interpretation of scripture, with Unitarians generally taking a more liberal view of religious texts, and their view of Jesus, which Unitarians often interpret as a moral teacher and example, rather than a divine figure.
Furthermore, many Unitarian churches continue to incorporate elements from other faith traditions into their services, while most Christian churches tend to remain within their own tradition.
Do Unitarians believe Jesus was a prophet?
Unitarians do not take a shared stance on Jesus’ role as a prophet. Some Unitarians believe that Jesus was a prophet and is a role model of a moral life, while others view Jesus as a spiritual guide, a healer, or a teacher of wisdom.
Some Unitarians revere the teachings of Jesus derived from scripture, while others may draw their inspiration from different spiritual teachers and traditions. Unitarians are united in their respect for the value and dignity of all people, their commitment to justice and compassion, and their pursuit of truth and religious understanding.
How do Unitarians view God?
Unitarians view God in many ways that are open to interpretation. For them, God is seen as a source of love and support that is available to help guide us on our spiritual journey. Unitarians may see God as a higher power or force, yet they haven’t necessarily adopted any set dogma on what God is.
For many Unitarians, religious images aren’t very important, and they understand that people can have different ideas and beliefs. Unitarians are focused more on how God is a source of spiritual guidance than on any predetermined set of beliefs.
They feel that each person should be free to worship in their own way and interpret the concept of God for themselves. Unitarians also believe in the importance of being open and respectful to people of all faiths and backgrounds.
What Bible do Unitarians use?
Unitarians do not rely on any one particular Bible; rather, they draw on a wide variety of Scriptures, including both the Jewish and Christian religious traditions. Depending on the Unitarian congregation, Bible readings and study focus on the Hebrew Bible, Apocrypha, New Testament, and selected passages from the Qu’ran, as well as other sacred writings such as the writings of mystics, poets and other important religious figures such as the Dalai Lama.
Unitarians also value modern New Thought teachings and science and the search for spiritual truth. Unitarians may choose to bring together Bible verses, classic and contemporary writing, music, prayers and rituals on any given Sunday to celebrate the Unitarian Universalist faith.
Can Unitarians be atheist?
Yes, Unitarians can be atheist. Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion that encourages individual beliefs and principles. It focuses more on ethical and moral relativism than on theological doctrine, meaning Unitarians can be atheist, agnostic, deist, Pagan, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, or generally any other spiritual belief.
Unitarian Universalism does not require its followers to have a certain or specific set of beliefs and instead allows for individual interpretation. Thus, an individual could decide to not believe in a deity or a religious set of beliefs and still identify as Unitarian Universalist.
Does the Bible support Universalism?
The Bible does not specifically address the concept of universalism, which is the belief that all people will eventually be saved. However, there are some passages in the Bible which some people use to make the argument that the Bible does support universalism.
For example, 1 Timothy 2:4 says, “who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ” This verse implies that God has a desire for all people to be saved, though this does not necessarily mean that everyone will ultimately be saved.
Furthermore, 2 Peter 3:9 speaks of God’s “kindness and compassion,” which some argue supports the idea that all people will eventually be saved.
While there are some verses which can be interpreted in favor of universalism, there are other verses which suggest that not everyone will be saved. For example, Hebrews 10:26-27 speaks of the “just punishment” and “vengeance” that will befall those who reject God’s word.
A few verses later, in Hebrews 10:31, it explicitly says that those who reject God’s will will face “a terrifying expectation of judgment. “.
Ultimately, based on the Bible, the question of whether or not the Bible supports universalism is still open to interpretation.