“You can believe that if you want to, but don’t be putting that on other people”. This was the admonition I received from some of my evangelical friends when they discovered I was embracing Unity. The warning behind it was clear, “Your judgement from God will be even worse if you lead others astray with your false new beliefs”. It struck me that so much of current religious thinking revolves around calamity and disaster. An entire industry in religion is fed by encouraging “end-time” calamity. It has spawned numerous books and movies which have generated literally billions of dollars for their producers.
Does anyone remember the “Y2K” scare? This was the widely heralded belief that the millennial change from 1999 to 2000 would result in a computer meltdown worldwide. Remember what actually occurred? Literally nothing. Interestingly, none of those authors issued any apologies for their “leading people astray” with fear and dread or refunded anyone the cost of their erroneous books. This is a pattern we have seen since 1970 when author Hal Lindsey issued The Late Great Planet Earth, assuring us all that Jesus would return to judge the earth in five years. Five years later Lindsey wrote a new book to show he was not mistaken in the previous one, and made a fresh prediction of the Apocalypse about every five years. Amazingly enough, this has not only kept a lucrative income stream flowing to Lindsey but has made him the “world’s greatest authority on biblical prophecy”! As my dad used to say, “What a country”! A recent example of a quasi-religious apocalyptic scenario was seen in the “Q Anon” conspiracy that predicted a blood-bath of executions of a satanic, child-molesting cabal. Again, literally nothing occurred, other than the extreme disappointment of its adherents.
I personally am not looking for a worsening of things to usher in the Kingdom of God. I believe, as Jesus taught, that the Kingdom is “at hand” and can be accessed now. I believe, as historical data indicate, that the world has made enormous progress in every measurable way; war, hunger, disease, poverty have all improved as enlightened consciousness prevails over darkness and ignorance. There are certainly problems yet to solve, but we have truly come a long way baby!
One can see the danger in extreme eschatological views when it comes to environmental issues. The attitude I have heard is, “no need to protect the planet, because Jesus is coming to destroy and recreate it”. There is a strange impulse in many people to believe that we cannot really work together to improve our world, but instead we need a divine being to destroy it and start all over.
We “mislead” Unity people proclaim a positive view of human progress. Charles Fillmore believed then, as we believe now, that the elevation to Divine consciousness will improve our lives, both individually and as the human race. I think I will continue to “put that on other people” every chance I get!