This post is dedicated to Carol Kneedler who you can find at: carol kneedler <email@example.com>,
and who is a Universal Unitarian. She is a our web Diva and genius, and she along with Shane Bumgarner and Lanny Montgomery make this web site possible.
But First, “What is Unitarianism?”
Unitarianism is the belief in the single personality of God, in contrast to the doctrine of the Trinity (three persons in one God). It is the philosophy upon which the modern Unitarian movement was based, and, according to its proponents, is the original form of Christianity. Unitarian Christians believe in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as found in the New Testament and other early Christian writings, and hold him up as an exemplar. Adhering to strict monotheism, they maintain that Jesus was a great man and a prophet of God, perhaps even a supernatural being, but not God himself. Unitarians believe in the moral authority, but not necessarily the divinity, of Jesus. They do not pray to Jesus. Their theology is thus distinguishable from the theology of Catholic, Orthodox, mainline Protestant, and other Christian denominations, who hold the Trinity doctrine as a core belief.
Some Evangelicals hold a unitarian theology in that they see God as a single person, and are thus antitrinitarian, but because they perceive Jesus to be God himself do not fall into the general theology discussed here, which sees Jesus as subordinate to God and a finite being. Instead see: Sabellianism, Oneness theology, Oneness Pentecostalism, Monarchianism, Binitarianism.
While there are both religiously liberal and religiously conservative unitarians, the name “Unitarian” is most commonly associated with the liberal branch of this theology.
Conservative (Biblical or Evangelical) unitarians strictly adhere to the principle of sola scriptura and their belief that the Bible is both inspired and inerrant and uphold “fundamentals” of belief. This version of unitarianism is more commonly called Nontrinitarianism, rather than Unitarianism.
Unitarians sum up their faith as “the religion of Jesus, not a religion about Jesus.” Historically, they have encouraged non-dogmatic views of God, Jesus, the world and purpose of life as revealed through reason, scholarship, science, philosophy, scripture and other prophets and religions. They believe that reason and belief are complementary and that religion and science can co-exist and guide them in their understanding of nature and God. They also do not enforce belief in creeds or dogmatic formulas. Although there is flexibility in the nuances of belief or basic truths for the individual Unitarian Christian, general principles of faith have been recognized as a way to bind the group in some commonality. Adherents generally accept religious pluralism and find value in all teachings, but remain committed to their core belief in Christ’s teachings. Liberal Unitarians value a secular society in which government stays out of religious affairs.
OK are you asleep yet? But as a Red Letter Christian I find it all very interesting.
Wiki goes on:
The term “Unitarian” has been applied both to those who hold a Unitarian theological belief and to those who belong to a Unitarian church. A hundred years ago, this would not have made much of a difference, but today it is a distinction that needs to be made.
Unitarian theology is distinguishable from the belief system of modern Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist churches and fellowships in several countries. This is because over time, some Unitarians and many Unitarian Universalists have moved away from the traditional Christian roots of Unitarianism. For example, in the 1890s the American Unitarian Association began to allow non-Christian and non-theistic churches and individuals to be part of their fellowship. As a result, people who held no Unitarian belief began to be called “Unitarians,” simply because they were members of churches that belonged to the American Unitarian Association. After several decades, the non-theistic members outnumbered the theological Unitarians. A similar, though proportionally much smaller, phenomenon has taken place in the Unitarian churches in the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and other countries, which remain more theologically based.
But I guess I could have let them speak for themselves….
Welcome to Unitarian Universalism!
Unitarian Universalists are a caring, open-minded religious community that encourages you to seek your own spiritual path. Our congregations are places where people gather to nurture their spirits and put their faith into action by helping to make our communities—and the world—a better place.
Explore our website,visit a congregation in your area and discover Unitarian Universalism. We invite you to join us.
Nurture Your Spirit. Help Heal Our World.
Find Out More!
Unitarian Universalists are committed not only to spiritual growth and transformation but also to involvement in the world. Read these Unitarian Universalist Perspectives to see how we live out our values.
- Ecology, Justice, and Compassion
- Affirmation of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender People
- The Relationship Between Religion and Science
- The Role of Religion in American Democracy
- Religion, Morality, and Sexuality
Please note that their FIRST issue is Ecology! Is that cool or what? But then there is the pretty picture syndrome:
UU Ministry for Earth (formerly the Seventh Principle Project) is an affiliate organization of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Our mission is to facilitate and support the work of Unitarian Universalists by affirming and promoting the Seventh Principle of the UUA, “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” Our members believe that the Earth is in peril from human activities, and for us as people of faith, this is a moral and spiritual crisis of utmost importance.
We sponsor the congregation based Green Sanctuary Program which provides a framework for study and reflection, and encourages individual and collective action for responding to the call to heal the Earth. In addition, our annual programs and exhibit booth at General Assembly provide hundreds of Unitarian Universalists with education and collaboration opportunities around critical environmental issues.
So there you have it…it is the Whole Church. Pretty amazing actually…