What Do We Believe?
Unity’s teachings are based on the five basic ideas that make up the Unity belief system:
1. The Nature of God —
God is absolute good, everywhere present.
This is true because God is Spirit. Jesus said “God is spirit, and those that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
2. The Original Virtue of Humankind
Human beings have a spark of divinity within them, the Christ spirit within. Their very essence is of God, and therefore they are also inherently good. God is not created in our image; we are created in the image of God, which is spiritual. “God created man in his own image.” Thus, rather than being conceived in original sin, we are conceived in original virtue.
3. Mind Power —
Human beings create their experiences by the activity of their thinking. Everything in the manifest realm has its beginnings in thought. “Thoughts held in mind produce after their kind.” This is the law of mind action, and with it we make our own world. What we truly feel with our emotions and give power to with our thoughts is what we are really thinking. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” In other words, we experience what we give our attention to, and we become what we think we are.
4. Prayer —
Prayer is creative thinking that heightens the connection with God Mind and therefore brings forth wisdom, healing, prosperity, and everything good. The apostle Paul recommended that we “pray constantly.” This is accomplished by maintaining an awareness of God’s eternal presence. Even though God is Spirit and we are spiritual, God’s presence is not always uppermost in our thoughts. The demands of physical existence tend to preoccupy us. We need to regularly go apart awhile to give attention to our spiritual side.
5. Action —
Knowing and understanding the laws of life, also called Truth, are not enough. A person must also live the truth as he or she knows.
Merely owning a deluxe set of bodybuilding equipment does not produce physical improvement. Gains are made only when these tools are consistently used. In the same way, comprehending the nature of God and humankind, understanding the power of the mind, and knowing how to pray will not stimulate spiritual growth unless applied to daily living. “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
What is Unity?
“Unity says that true religious growth is a ‘do-it-yourself’ project … One might describe Unity as a religious philosophy with an ‘open end,’ seeking to find God’s truth in all of life.”
— Charles R. Fillmore, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and grandson of the founders
Unity is a worldwide Christian organization over a century old. Because of similarity in names, Unity has, on occasion, been confused with other organizations. However, there is no connection between Unity and Unitarianism or the Unification church.
Unity is a trans-denominational spiritually-based, educational organization, teaching practical, livable principles based on ideas taught and demonstrated by Jesus Christ. Many see Unity more as a way of life than a religion.
Unity is an extremely positive approach to life, seeking to accept the good in people and all of life. God is seen as having many attributes, but the most important one is that God is Love. Unity stresses that God is not a physical man in the sky, for this limits God. God is Spirit, everywhere present, the one and only Spirit in and through all things.
Unity seeks to relate religion to daily needs, affirming that, for every need, there is God’s perfect answer. Its main textbook is the Bible and it relates its lessons to your life and everyday experiences.
Unity proclaims the divinity of Jesus, but goes further and assures you that you, too, are a child of God and, therefore, divine in nature. Jesus expressed his divine potential and sought to show us how to express ours as well. Salvation is then the expanding understanding of one’s innate divinity and perfectibility through living the life demonstrated by Jesus.
Unity explains the mind as your connecting link with God or divine Mind and shows you how the action of your mind affects your body and circumstances. Prayer is not seen as a technique for changing God, but for expanding and transforming your mind, and thus changing you.
Unity denies the existence of any power or presence opposed to God. It sees that there are evil appearances and suffering in the world, but ascribes these to one’s ignorance and erroneous use of God’s laws of Life.
Unity has no dogma, ritual, creedal requirements, or ecclesiastical garb. Unity chooses to believe that there is good in every religion. Different religions are like spokes on a wheel, with the hub being God. They may be set apart by a variance of beliefs and approaches, but they are all seeking the one God as the hub of all life. Consequently, Unity does not deny anyone the right to have his/her own beliefs.
Unity seeks worship as serving God by uplifting and glorifying God’s Spirit in people, in positive, joyous ways. It seeks not to emphasize one’s sins in the past but, instead, gives attention to the good that exists in everyone and what can be done now to transform one’s self and life. Its main concern is not so much with a “future life” but with teaching people how to live fully in the present, seeking the good in all things. Unity believes in eternal life and views the present moment as part of eternal life.
Unity does not impose any financial burdens or pressure on its adherents. It believes the desire for giving should be initiated from within the giver to reap the joys of sharing. Consequently, all support is by freewill offerings.
In summation, Unity emphasizes the divine potential within every child of God and teaches that, through a practical understanding and application of what Jesus taught, every person can realize and express his/her divine potential for a happier, fuller, and more successful life.