The Master's Ministry
The Art of Brotherhood
November 26, 2016
The recent election in the United States has resulted in extreme emotions revealing a deep polarization between the two major political parties and their adherents. Some have been encouraged by the results, yet others are deeply distressed. These sentiments can spill over into the faith community causing division among brothers who have previously enjoyed close association. What can the faith community do to alleviate the tension and change the discourse? And how can the knowledge we acquired from The Urantia Book be utilized to foster unity and broaden the borders of the spiritual brotherhood of faith sons? The answer lies in engaging the ‘art of brotherhood’
Readers of The Urantia Book know that the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man are the foundation stones of a progressive, spirit-conscious society. Learning to love God with our whole being, and our neighbors as ourselves fulfills all divine requirements and creates in us a personality capable of survival after death. And it also creates a personality capable of uniting mankind in an international brotherhood, no matter their underlying differences.
Take a look at the outreach efforts by those engaging in inter-faith activities. Because they know the nature and origin of religion, much prejudice against the various sects of religion have vanished. They have learned to look beyond the superficial differences and find the highest ideals of each group. Without judging, they engage in conversation with a view to finding common ground and ideas upon which they can agree. When they do, they have transcended mere ‘interfaith’ and have achieved ‘shared faith.’ That aptly describes the ‘art of brotherhood.’
The ‘art of brotherhood’ involves applying what The Urantia Book and the Bible call “the fruits of the spirit” enumerated as peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.” (UB 34:6.13; Galatians 5:22-23) It requires tact, an open mind, and a genuine interest in others. Some of us are still developing that art, but many are mastering it.
This same ‘art of brotherhood’ can be applied in every area where differences of opinion arise, including cultural differences and the vast divide in political discourse. Just as we are discovering common ideals among religions that are, historically speaking, adversaries, we will discover that those with a more liberal view of politics have some of the same ideals as those with a more conservative view. This is especially true in the faith community where all recognize the sovereignty of Deity, the gift of free will, and the divine objective of achieving light and life. Thus, any differences that may exist are merely differences in methods, not goals.
For example, all readers of The Urantia Book know that global government is a major goal in our journey to light and life. Some are hoping for such a government to present itself now, in our lifetime, believing that it would unite all nations and establish world peace. And so they expend themselves in the political arena lobbying for just such an outcome. But others believe that establishing a global government now is premature and would result in another planetary default just as occurred when our Planetary Prince sought to establish liberty among a society that was ill-prepared for the corresponding responsibilities. They expend themselves working to build an international brotherhood that could support and sustain a global government. (UB 134:6.13) The goals are the same, but the methods are different. Meaningful dialogue, engaging the ‘art of brotherhood,’ could reveal ways that both methods could be applied in a concerted effort to achieve the goal. And it might reveal that the two methods are not mutually exclusive.
This is just one way the ‘art of brotherhood’ can be applied to draw out our brothers in faith who appear to be on opposite sides of an issue, and unite us under common ideals. It can also be used outside of the religious arena to open constructive dialogue in politics, science, economics, education, etc. In this way, the faith community can exercise its purpose:
The purpose of religion is not to satisfy curiosity about God but rather to afford intellectual constancy and philosophic security, to stabilize and enrich human living by blending the mortal with the divine, the partial with the perfect, man and God. It is through religious experience that man's concepts of ideality are endowed with reality. (UB 101:10.5)
Engaging the art of brotherhood is one of the ways we contribute to the solutions and do our part in facilitating our planetary destiny of light and life.
Your Family in the Faith,
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