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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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Comparative Religion

Final Essay Comparative Religion Course by Rev. Terry Glenn Rempel

 What a wonderful and interesting course to say the least. The pictures and graphics were incredible. A picture is certainly worth a thousand words and I learned and awful lot just from the pictures alone. My knowledge about other religions has been greatly enhanced and will help me in my ministry I have no doubt.

 Being a Christian Minister I've read the Bible off and on most of my life. The more I read the Bible the more I realize how incredibly deep this book is. The Bible can be read at a surface or literal level and there is some benefit to the reader, but from my experience I'm far better off if I read between the lines and look behind the letters. I call this reading deep and find this to be a more spiritual and sacred reading experience. Actually according to Rev. Kythera most of the worlds sacred texts have multiple layers and is what makes them sacred to the various religions. She goes on to say that, " they constantly grow and can be redefined according to the consciousness of the individual working with them." After taking this course I realized that mankind will always need the worlds sacred texts for direction and guidance no matter how high tech or advanced we become.

 I really enjoyed how Rev. Kythera begins discourse 3 by quoting The Bhagavad-Gita " Mankind comes to me along many roads, and on whatever road a man approaches me,on that do I welcome him, for all roads are mine." What wisdom, what beautiful tolerance. Speaking of wisdom, in this discourse I also learned that there are similar teachings throughout the world religions. She lists them as: 1 (The Golden Rule) 2 ( Peace) and 3 ( Seek within). What follows than is a lot of quotations from the sacred scriptures of the world that talk about , The Golden Rule, Peace, and Seek within. This certainly made for interesting reading and I came away with the feeling why all the fighting? Don't we all share at the core within all the major religions the things that truly matter, like the Golden Rule for example.

 In another discourse Rev. Kythera talks about similar stories throughout religions. For example in the Jesus story and Krishna story there are really a lot of similarities. I learned that in these two comparisons there was a warning send by a non human of upcoming danger. The Ruler or Governor in both these stories was hostile towards the mission of Jesus and Krishna. A decree was issued to kill them. Finally the parents of Krishna and Jesus flee the scene. It's human nature I suppose to think that we all have the perfect religion sent from God, but this course really challenges that notion. It certainly makes you think.

 As I journeyed through this course lesson after lesson I would sometimes get this feeling of how interconnected all the major world religions are. We are not as unique as we all like to think we are. At the beginning of my essay I professed to being Christian, but even years before I ever became a Christian I had this gut feeling or intuition that all the major world religions were valid. Jesus in the New Testament says " that I am the way, the truth and the life nobody comes unto the Father but by Me." I believe this to be true, but what you have to ask yourself is what was that way? At this stage in my spiritual growth I can honestly say that Jesus's way was the way of Love. All the world religions are valid if they follow the way of Love and they are on the way to the Father. With the power of Love we are all interconnected we are all part of the family of God. 

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