Episode:Melchizedek Gospel—Response in the Orient (Part 1)
Urantia has never had more enthusiastic and aggressive missionaries of any religion than the noble men and women who carried the teachings of Melchizedek over the entire Eastern Hemisphere. They spread the gospel of man’s trust and faith in God as the only price of obtaining divine favor.
Summary by Kermit
(final edits by James)
Historical references to Melchizedek extant in the Judeo-Christian literature are sparse. The Old and New Testaments of the Bible contain only a handful of passages mentioning this most important figure. The reasons for this are explained in the revelation, but suffice it to say this omission had much to do with the Jews failing to recognize Michael’s mission for what it was. As it was, with the continued help of the twelve Melchizedek receivers over the intervening centuries, Machiventa’s teachings did spread across the eastern hemisphere and remnants can be found in the major religions of today.
Paper 94: The Melchizedek Teaching in the Orient
Early teachers of the Salem gospel: man’s faith and trust in the one universal God as the only price for obtaining divine favor, penetrated the remotest tribes of Africa and Eurasia. Our Melchizedek author goes on to say, “Urantia has never had more enthusiastic and aggressive missionaries of any religion than these noble men and women who carried the teachings of Melchizedek over the entire Eastern Hemisphere.” [94:0.1, p. 1027]
1. The Salem Teachings in Vedic India
The revelation does not provide here an historical restatement of the period, but helps us to recognize threads of truth that have been obscured by the complexities of the region over time. This high level simplification enables the student unfamiliar with the convoluted complexities of the Hindu religion to arrive at some understanding of the period.
Aryan-Andite invaders in the north and west had established religious and political dominance in India in the days of Melchizedek. It should be remembered that these Aryan-Andites were many, many generations removed from their origins in Mesopotamia. Their original monotheism and trinitarianism had devolved and were being re-synthesized. A pantheon of gods was organized under the triune leadership of Dyaus pitar, lord of heaven, Indra, lord of the atmosphere, and Agni, the three headed fire god, lord of earth, and the vestigial symbol of an earlier Trinity concept. We discussed the etymology and religious significance of these three important deities. Henotheistic development was paving the way for an evolved monotheism when the Salem missionaries arrived. Agni, the most ancient deity, often was exalted as the father-head of the entire pantheon. Likewise, a father-deity principle known variously as Prajapati or Brahma became submerged in the theological battle between the Brahman priests and the Salem teachers. The Brahman, an energy-divinity principle was seen as activating the entire pantheon, and provided a unity aspect to their theology.
The Salem teachers’ gospel of the one God—Most High of heaven—was not incompatible with Father-Brahma concept. However, the Salem doctrine was nonritualistic and on this point was in direct opposition to the dogmas, traditions, and teachings of the Brahman priesthood. And it was on this point of difference that the Brahman priests, marking a vital turning point for India, rejected the Melchizedek gospel of trust and faith.
In reflecting upon the “vital turning point for India,” signaled by their rejection of the gospel of the third epochal revelation, we are reminded of the consequences for the Jews in their later rejection of the fourth. We are further reminded that in four thousand years, not so much has changed with respect to the tenacity with which religionists cling to their more primitive ideas of God. So many persons today still refuse to accept the idea that simple faith is sufficient to secure God’s favor, and practice elaborate rituals and ceremonies to that end. When new truth challenges these ideas, religionists either embrace the new truth, or vigorously oppose it. They rarely remain indifferent. Religions of today largely consist of systems of ideology; their adherents consider the ideas sacrosanct. The mission of the fifth epochal revelation (5th ER) to our world is to transform our ideas about God. Many devoted students of the revelation have encountered strong resistance to these new ideas. These are most important circumstances to be considered as we seek the best methods and practices by which we proclaim and/or disseminate the revelation.
We also discussed other issues pertaining to the current state of religion, such as professionalism of the clergy and the various motivations for becoming clergy.
The Brahman priests, in their further attempts to combat the Melchizedek missionary attempts to decentralize worship, moved to crystallize, formalize, and fix their rituals of worship and sacrifice. Further, the Brahman priests culled their sacred writings and produced what we know today as the Rig-Veda. At their best, these writings are the equal of any other body of similar character. But over time they became contaminated with a plethora of superstitions, cults, and rituals of southern India. The result is that these Vedas contain some of the highest and some of the most debased concepts of Deity ever to be conceived.
The Aryan inhabitants of India instituted a caste system, designed to prevent the loss of racial identity. This caste system greatly retarded the progress of the Melchizedek missionaries, and failed to save the Aryan race, but did serve to perpetuate the Brahmans, who enjoyed religious hegemony even to the times of this revelation. We mentioned that the revelation cites social classes as one of the indispensable factors in progressing early civilization; however, the rigidity of a caste system was problematic. Today, discussing even an historical basis for social stratification is often beyond the bounds of political correctness.
The rejection of higher truth left the cult of the Aryans vulnerable to the increasing inroads from the south. To combat the tide of racial extinction and religious obliteration, the Brahman caste sought to place themselves on a level even above their gods. This signaled the collapse of their whole system before the debasing cults which poured in from the surrounding and less advanced civilizations.
In response to comments made earlier in the show about the current state of religious institutions and practices, a caller asked a thought-provoking question about the value and purpose of being a practicing religionist within existing religious institutions.
The following ideas were discussed in the response to that question.
As material mortals we serve two masters. No matter how lofty our thoughts and ideas, material issues are compelling to us. In evaluating the practice of a religionist today, what are the motivating and animating concerns of such a religionist? Are they material or spiritual? Moving into the twentieth century, among the most advanced religious practices we see a tendency for material gravity to pull the spiritual practices down to more concerns about social issues. Social issues are a link with spiritual issues above and material concerns below. The material concerns of modern religion abound, such that the spiritual concerns can be all but lost.
Spiritual ideals require spiritual insight to be grasped. Insight must be cultivated, and ideals adjusted to material facts and then translated into practical ideas. The 4th ER, Jesus, taught the ideals of love and service. The 5th ER presents us with the complexity of manifold ideas, not just about religion but also about everything. In your personal ministry find the threads of truth in your fellow’s religion, exalt it, and avoid contending about ideas.