Seminary Program

This is where we post the essays from many of our Universal Life Church Seminary students. When students finish a ULC course, they write a comprehensive essay about their experiences with the course, what they learned, didn't learn, were inspired by, etc. Here are their essays.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Christian Studies

As I read the book, The Unvarnished Gospels, I compared what was contained within; to what I was taught to me by Thomas directly (some call him Saint Thomas ). Before I continue, I should probably explain. 
It was in 2006, when I was first attuned to Reiki. Before my first attunement, my Reiki teacher explained that once we are attuned to Reiki, our healing angel would make themselves known to us. Upon my first attunement, I suddenly began hearing the name Thomas over and over in my head. I asked my Reiki teacher about it, and she said that is how angels reinforce themselves- by repetition. While driving home that night, I began to hear, "Thomas from the Bible" over and over; I was confused, because I didn't recall a Thomas gospel in the Bible. When I got home, I opened my Bible and searched the index, but found no reference to Thomas; I decided I would search the internet later. I made dinner and sat down in front of the tv, when I turned it on, the History channel came up. Then the announcer said, "Coming up next on Banned from the Bible, the Gospel of Thomas." As you can imagine, I felt chills run through me and probably turned about five shades of white. 
Thomas was only with me a short time, approximately a month. During that time he opened me up to all sorts of teachings, but most importantly, the true teachings of Jesus; I believe that was his reason for being with me. For most of my life, I had a very negative view of Jesus, feeling that because of him, so much pain and death were wrought upon this world. Yet, through Thomas, I was exposed to the true teachings; I was shown in a mental, emotional and spiritual manner. This occurred while I was at work one day, since there is no 'time' within spirit; it took less than a few minutes. Afterward, tears began to flow down my face and would not stop. I had to retreat to the bathroom for several minutes, because I was so consumed with the power of what I had just experienced. Not only because the event itself was so powerful, but also because I realized how wrong I had been about Jesus. HE wasn't the one to blame for the atrocities carried out in his name, or the religion that sprang up in his name; it was ignorance and human ego that was to blame.
From that point forward, I felt a stronger connection to Jesus, and have been very grateful to Thomas for sharing his knowledge and wisdom with me. When Thomas left, I received a new healing angel, and I knew then that Thomas had only come to show me the truth of Jesus and help me to awaken myself to higher levels of understanding.
What I learned through reading the four gospels, even with the original Greek translation, is that all of them are mostly inaccurate about his teachings. I do not come from any religious background, so I believe that I can remain fairly impartial when examining religious teachings. I do not hold any particular scripture sacred, yet, I also do not believe that any religion or teachings are wrong. In all of my studies, I have found some Truth within each of the numerous religions around the world. I also know that every person is incarnated here and reincarnated numerous times, in order for their soul to learn, grow and evolve, and within that framework, people can only grasp the ideas and concepts that they are ready for.

In regards to the four gospels, it was clear from my viewpoint, having been exposed to Jesus' true intentions through Thomas, that none of the four gospel writers understood what Jesus was teaching. All of them appeared to exhibit Jewish foundational beliefs, and tried to explain Jesus through those precepts, instead of realizing that Jesus, while raised Jewish, was speaking about something clearly different from traditional Jewish teachings. Remember, Jews were taught about the Old Testament "wrathful and vengeful god that should be feared and worshiped" while Jesus taught about a radically different form of god. It should be of no surprise that most people, especially traditional Jews of that time, would not have understood this radical departure. The only way that many could understand, was by interweaving this new concept, within the old belief system; hence the reason each gospel author interpreted things in their own way.

Additionally clear, is that by the time John was written, the author(s) were clearly writing to solidify the new Jesus "religion". The lessons began to sound more like they came from an evangelical preacher, than from a humble enlightened carpenter who was teaching his wisdom to the masses in order to help build a better, more loving world.

I am sure there are people who will take exception to my essay based upon my connection to Thomas; however, I am not one to doubt my own personal experiences.

Through Thomas, I learned that Jesus was just an enlightened human man with human flaws just like everyone else. Jesus was teaching about the God within, and how by finding this pure, loving light within each of us; we could truly transform the world. He was both a leader and a teacher; willing to risk everything for what he felt compelled to share with the world.

In the end, he sacrificed himself to fulfill the prophecies, believing that this would bring about a revolution of human thinking and behavior, but what came instead was the complete opposite of his true intentions. Yet, over two-thousand years later, finally his true teachings are being realized, as many souls have finally evolved enough to comprehend the same understanding that Jesus had taught back then.

People are realizing that God does not live outside of us. God is not some deity living worlds apart. God is not hiding in another dimension, in the sky, or in a place called heaven. God does not judge, nor does God favor. God doesn't grant us wishes, nor does God answer prayers. God is apart of everything, as we are each a part of everything. God is within, because we are all an interconnected individualizations of God.

When Jesus said, "My God, your God, my Father, your Father" he was telling us that we are ALL children of God. There is nowhere that God is not. So seek God not outside of yourself, but learn to find and connect to the Divinity within. Once there, realize that you become your thoughts and your beliefs. It is not God, is it not fate, it is you that is in control of you. These are the Truths that I have awakened to in this lifetime.
With Blessings.
Rev. Bradley

"Those who are here to teach, should teach; Those who are here to live, should learn; Those with ears, should hear!"

Rev. Bradley


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