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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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Four Gospels Seminary Course Final Essay

The Four Gospels Seminary Course Final Essay

I had never actually gone through the Gospels straight through until taking this course.   I was very surprised to see the similarities which I honestly did expect to see but I was really blown away in seeing the differences.   I think the glaringly obvious thing I got from seeing what quotes and stories came from which Gospels is that the Gospel of John really does seem to fit at all with the other three.   

I have always have problems with certain teachings of the Church.   I was raised Episcopal but that is so similar to the Catholic Church that I can go to mass at either church and not miss a beat.     

Many of the issues I had, especially some of the biggest seem to all come from John.   I am just at a loss at why that book was chosen to go along with the others.  I can see the benefit from its wording in helping building the Church and promote a certain view of the Faith but one would think it would be taking a risk that people would read ALL the books and see how this one doesn't fit.   Apparently history doesn't support my common sense theory on this point.   I can only assume literacy levels and the Church being the source of the metering out of knowledge helped in keeping the differences less noticeable by the masses.    

John 14:6 has always been the top problematic issue for me since I find it hard to believe that a God of love and Jesus's teachings of openness, understanding and love would condemn all other belief systems.  This is exactly how this verse is used commonly in Christianity and it has always given me a very cold feeling.   

Perhaps Jesus was saying that the way to God was by listening to his teachings, many of which are universal like the Golden Rule.  The Jesus I believe in is not the one written of in the Gospel of John, I see him in the loving teacher who did not take any credit for his miracles and actions but gave credit to God the Father.

Rev. Dave Juliano

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