What is wrong with the UU Church? I know their beliefs are very different from Catholicism, but they seem to be “nice” people. Also, are there any specific resources for Catholics encountering Unitarian Universalists?
I know a few in some of the business circles I work in and they seem very nice and respectful. I’m not considering converting, but just wanted to know what people thought and where I can look for information (from a Catholic perspective).
Thank you for your response. As to my remark about them being nice…I was looking at the “fruit” of the philosophy/religion. Despite the “rightness” or “wrongness” of a religion, if it produces a bunch of jerks, you have to wonder about it…the inverse is true. Like I said, I don’t plan on converting, but I want to understand out of respect as I would expect of someone questioning the Catholic faith.
They, as a church are free to believe in One God, many gods and or goddesses or none of the above.
They believe in good works, but NOT for the glory of God.
To give you an idea of a Sunday service for them. I read my uncle’s church bulletin and their service consisted of a couple who had traveled to Europe and brought back a vile of DIRT!! They placed this on their “alter” and talked the entire time about what their trip meant to them and how they “connected” with their European roots vie the dirt.
Every UU church does things differently, but the one thing they have in common is that you as an individual have the “freedom” to choose who or what you will worship.
I think for only having some members describing themselves as UU Christians but with the majority not identifying themselves in such a way, they still nevertheless exemplify to thy neighbor, love and Christian service to others.
I would know this - the first Unitarian Universalist I met was (initially) a troll on a website who engaged in a conversation with me by telling me how he read the Bible, “corrected it”, and threw it in a trash can. Since then we have become friends (and he’s become much nicer), but it puts into perspective the fact that it is unreliable to make generalizations.
Bryan, I attended a UU church for over a year, while I was an atheist. They are humanists. There is no set of beliefs in the UU church regarding God. No theology. The church I attended was a mix of pagans, Christians, deists and atheists. By far the majority of the group I attended were humanist atheists.
My daughter attended with me at the time, and summed up their principals with “don’t be an inconvenience to my person”. That pegged it pretty well!
In light of Catholicism, the major wrongness is a reliance on humans. As Christians, our reliance is on Jesus Christ. “niceness” is a fruit of the humanist ideology that all the woes of the world can be solved by humans being nice to each other. There is no God in this ideology, at all. If a UU individual has a belief in God, what they believe has to be placed under UU beliefs.
Because of this major difference, moral issues arise for a Catholic. As an example, being pro-life as a UU is fine, as long as your belief in the dignity of all life doesn’t inconvenience someone else.
In this way, they are very pluralistic and individuals can be very syncretic in their beliefs and practices. They have a distinct pagan influence.
I eventually left the group. As an atheist, the humanist ideology was wearing thin for me. Then, I chaperoned a group of UU youth to a regional conference, which was an eye opener. They had instructors their to teach the kids things like, which pronouns are appropriate to use with transgendered persons. (You should ask the person what they prefer.) Of course, this is so people know how to not inconvenience the less than 1% of the population that is transgendered. At the point where a group of pagans at the church I went to performed a faerie blessing…I was done.
Nice people, yes, but I’m hard pressed to call them a religion. That is one of their traits that was attractive to me, I wasn’t interested in religion at the time.
You could press the niceness of the people at your office, by expressing Catholic social belief. Could be fun! I’ve seen plenty of UUs in disagreement, since at this point, someone or everyone are being an inconvenience to the others, either one party has to give in and get over-trodden. Tuck their beliefs in where they can’t be seen, or, leave the group.
If this doesn’t solve the disagreement, they have vote, and the majority rules. So the losing person(s) still only has the option of going along, or leaving.
Personally, I came to see this “system” as totalitarian in nature.
I went to a UU church when I was seeking and was not overly impressed. They had no prayers at all. The congregation was filled with Drs and University Proffesors. And the talks often went over my head. Still don’t know what a “meme” is for instance.
Other times they would have members of various religions speak, like a Hindu swami, Jews etc. But they took none of it seriously. Once they had the president of the local Planned Parenthood chapter as a speaker.
They call themselves “liberal religionists”, and as another poster said tend to be atheists and humanists.
They had a pagan sub-group that held rituals like winter solstice and spring eqinox celebations.
It was not always that way, the original Unitarians did beleive in God, but not the Holy Trinity, and the UU church in Boston still uses the Episcopal book of Common Prayer with references to the Trinity removed.
Thomas Jefferson was a Unitarian and re-wrote the bible, with all the miracles removed. The Adams both presidents were Unitarians, and I am distantly related.
it’s not that they differ just from Catholicism; they differ for all Christians.
They believe Jesus Christ was a liar (or grossly mistaken) when he said “I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except by me.” and
“if you do not know me; you do not know the Father.”
No Universalist would call Jesus a liar…some may call him over-exagerated by those who came to be his followers…how over time and discussion, Jesus life was come to be found to mean “more” than other lives…so the legends and stories of Jesus came into being by various authors…relyaying what that early Christian community hd come to believe about Jesus of Nazareth.
Paul’s letters…the earliest afffirm that Jesus was adopted by God at his resurrection…over time even Paul seems to have “shifted” and “grew” his Christology…Mark and Matthew have Jesus become God’s Son at his baptism…Luke at his birth…John as the Pre-existent Word Become Flesh…a progression of beliefs that grew up over time and thru whiched framed the story of Jesus of Nazareth…extraordinary words to seek to relay the Truth of this man.
Wow. Would you care to get a little more specific here. Paul affirms that Jesus was adopted by God at his resurrection? Mark and Matthew have Jesus become God’s Son at his baptism; Luke at his birth? Is this really what you have been taught?
That is one understanding of the historical development of from “Jesus” to “Christ”…doctrinal development as the fledgling Christian community sought collectively to “explain” this extraordinary life they had experienced…their language is “mythic” in seeking to “explain” what they came to believe was God in their midst.
Amazing, isn’t it Steve? All of those theories, which have been around for quite some time, have been thoroughly refuted time and again. That doesn’t seem to stop people from grasping at them in order to remain in their denial. Unbelief is truly a theological mystery.
And where did this “understanding” originate? Jesus is the Christ, he did not develop into the Christ. Peter made that proclamation “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Mat 16:16) and Jesus said that flesh and blood had not revealed this to him, but rather his Father in heaven. So this was not some development, it was revealed doctrine from the Father to Peter.
I am also interested in how you arrive at your conclusion concerning Paul, Mark and Luke. Again I will ask. Is this really what you believe or are you just throwing out some theories you have heard?
I do not believe the gospels are eyewitness accounts…but religious writings which sought to record what the early Christian community came to believe about Jesus of Nazareth. The “historical Jesus” and the Jesus of Faith" are not necessarily mutually exclusive…Truth is not dependent on the “historical blow by blow description” as outlined in the gospels. The "historical development’ makes much more sense to me.
Paul wrote about Jesus being the “first born of the dead”…Used scriptures to imply that Jesus was “adopted by God” at his resurrection…the resurrection was his “vindication” of who he was.
The baptism narratves came next…“this day I have begotten you”…at his baptism the Voice says “this IS my beloved son…”…later as the birth narratives developed, Jesus is God’s son from his birth…and finally, John, the last gospel to be written, has Jesus as the preexistent Word of God.
Christology developed over time…it did not arrive to us as a “whole” doctrine taught without changing from the resurrection till now…No…it took decades…if not centuries to develop a doctrine of the Incarnation.
Yes, there was no resurrection before Christ. He was the first born of the dead.
Please show me where this is “implied”.
I think this is from Psalm 2:7, not from the baptism narrative. The Psalms are poetic in nature and are describing an eternal event.
Yes, Jesus was God’s Son from his birth and, as John says, even before his birth. Am I missing something?
I don’t really know what to say except that you are grossly misinformed. What you are basically saying is that foundational Christian doctrine is man-made and not a revealed truth from God. This gives you the freedom to arrive at your own doctrines rather than submitting to the deposit of faith given to us from the Apostles, the first-hand witnesses of Christ’s life and teachings. You are free to make it up as you go along. Do all Quakers believe in this manner?
I believe I am a 'typical" Friend…there are many Friends who beleive much more closely with your beliefs…we are on a Journey of Discovery…Truth is something one lives more than how one “explains” and “frames” Truth in words…sometimes “words” are insufficient to fully explain and define Truth…our lives are a much better gauge of Truth than our words I think.