Episode:Melchizedek Gospel—Response in the Occident (Part 4)

From Symmetry of Soul

The cult of Mithras arose in Iran and long persisted in its homeland. By the time Mithraism reached Rome, it had become greatly improved by the absorption of many of Zoroaster's teachings. It was chiefly through the Mithraic cult that the religion of Zoroaster exerted an influence upon later appearing Christianity. During the third century after Christ, Mithraic and Christian churches were very similar both in appearance and in the character of their ritual.

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Keywords: Urantia, Melchizedek of Salem, Zoroastrianism, Mithraism, Christianity

Note: Brad Garner was also a co-host on this episode.

Summary by Kermit

This episode concludes our twenty-three week study arc on the legacy of Machiventa Melchizedek and his gospel. In sections 5 and 6, of Paper 98 we get a glimpse of Mithraism, the greatest of the mystery cults, and its significant and lasting impact on Christianity. Finally, in section 7, we find an enumeration of the teachings, influences, beliefs, cults, and personal individual attitudes, which woven together gave rise to the Christian religion, currently the most visible and widely recognized expression of the fourth epochal revelation (4th ER) to Urantia.

98:5. The Cult of Mithras

The previously encountered Phrygian and Egyptian mysteries gave way to the worship of Mithras, the greatest of all the mystery cults. The Melchizedek author points out the importance of the Levant as a sort of staging area or collection point for those evolutionary threads of religious practices and philosophical thought by which Machiventa’s teachings and influence passed into the Occident. Notwithstanding the militant opposition of the followers of Zoroaster, Mithraism became the chief vehicle by which Christianity was influenced with some of the better aspects of Zoroaster’s teachings.

The revelators present several of the fundamental elements of Mithraism, all of which find virtually direct correspondence with early and current day Christianity. As with so many of our broadcasts, consulting of the archive of this show for the point by point enumeration is helpful.

The relationship between the Mithraic beliefs and practices and their Christian counterparts is bi-directional. On one hand, Christians augmented Jesus’ teachings with Mithraic elements to attract the Mithraic devotees. On the other hand, Jesus inserted himself into the world in an evolutional fashion, constructing a number of the details of his life so that they would match the evolutionary expectations of man, and be more acceptable to us mortals. Between these two phenomena, it is easy to see why skeptics might claim that the story of Jesus is a conglomerate construct of components from various sources.

That so many of the outward expressions of Christian worship are derived from Mithraic practices is not news to scholars and academics, but remains obscure to rank and file Christians (e.g., the birthday of Mithras is given as December 25).

In contemplating the many parallels between Mithraism and Christianity, we questioned whether they came about intentionally or unconsciously. Religion is very much an evolutionary phenomenon. You can establish new religion by the sword, however, examination often shows the new doctrines to be reworking of the old ones. We are reminded in [195:1] that Christianity triumphed over contending religions because the Greek mind was willing to borrow new and good ideas even from the Jews, and Paul willingly, by shrewd and sagacious compromise, allowed Mithraic ceremonialism into Christian practice, but eliminated the gross immoralities and other reprehensible practices of the Persian mystery.

98:6. Mithraism and Christianity

Religious consciousness prior to the mysteries and Christianity lacked a personal focus. Religion was more of a family, city-state, political, and imperial affair. People didn’t see themselves, at least in religious terms, as individuals. The Greeks had no sacred book or centralized worship system, and like the Romans their religious institutions did little for the preservation of the higher moral and spiritual values. We discussed again the double-edged role of organization and institutionalization. These features often detract from the spiritual quality of religion, yet they are necessary for the survival of said religion. Today, organized religious institutions manifest many features that are inimical to the spiritual growth of the individual, while at the same time they contribute to the management of a family.

The revelators refer to the great contest between Mithraism and Pauline Christianity. During the third century after Christ the parallels between these two churches was striking, from their appearance to their rituals, from altars and their backgrounds, to the use of holy water and baptism. Looking at current-day Christian sanctuaries and practices it’s apparent that Christianity absorbed Mithraism rather than eliminating it. The religions differed on the point of militarism: Mithraism encouraging it and early Christianity being ultrapacific. The tolerance of Mithraism for other religions (excepting later Christianity) led to its undoing, but the final deciding factor was Christianity’s admission of women into full fellowship.

Note the apparent deleterious effect of tolerance in the struggle for ascendancy between Mithraism and Christianity. The authors of the revelation are ever turning our spiritual idealism (in this case tolerance) back on us in our understanding of history, underscoring the necessity of interpreting historical events and trends in the context of their time. A stark example of this was mentioned referring to the practice of slavery as being a “great step forward” over the prior practice of eating one’s defeated and captured enemies.

Thus, the nominal Christian dominated the Occident, with the contributions of ethical values from the Greeks, the ritual of worship observance from Mithraism, and the technique for the conservation of moral and social values from Christianity as such.

98:7. The Christian Religion

In the first sentence of this final section of our arc, our revelator straightens out one of Christendom’s greatest misunderstandings concerning Jesus’ mission: the atonement doctrine. And he does it with words from Paul, the “great advocate” of this false doctrine. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, as opposed to Christ reconciling an angry God.

The Christian religion boasts a diverse pedigree, deriving from seven revelatory and evolutionary threads of teachings, influences, beliefs, cults, and personal individual attitudes. These are listed in the text beginning with the Melchizedek teachings, and follow our study arc to include the Hebraic system of morality, ethics, and theology; Zoroastrian teachings, mystery cults, the personal viewpoint of Paul, the philosophy of the Greeks, and of course Jesus himself. We did spend some time in discussing Paul and his significance in the evolution of Christianity. As one of our team pointed out, Paul was a means for the celestials to not allow the 4th ER to evaporate. As it is, with the Occidentalization of the teachings of Jesus, they began to lose their potential universal appeal. Today Christianity has become a religion well adapted to the white races, but has long ceased to be the religion of Jesus. While glorifying Jesus as the Christ it has largely forgotten the Master’s personal gospel of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men.

Conventional religious thought would suggest that this long story represents the history of God the Father inserting and injecting his influence into the events of time. And it is true, our world has been severed from many of the normal direct influences of God the Father. Yet the real story is the revelation and the action of God the Supreme, taking a seemingly random set of facts strewn throughout the world over millennia, and bringing them together into a purposeful result. As we are often reminded in this study, what revelation fails to accomplish, evolution always achieves. Such is the work of God the Mother.

Notes by Brad

  • Evolution is a divine process. It's all one evolutionary system.
    • Let's view the events of today in the context of their role in evolution and the realization of the Supreme.
    • God is not a puppetmaster down in space and time.
    • Are you a religionist impatiently demanding for Fatherly intervention to make something better now?
    • If it takes a long time, that's because it will take it that long for it to be the best it can be.
    • Patience is among the favorable conditions to allowing yourself to be grown.
    • Evolution is the Father's way. Can you have faith and trust?
      • Can you embrace being a child of God, on their path toward adolescence and eventual adulthood?
    • You want God to send angels to make things better? Pause and reflect how many angels the 5th ER tells us are already here, right now, working tirelessly for the evolutionary process.
    • Demanding God fix things now is perilously close to self-righteousness.

  • Look back on this arc and see how all these seemingly random processes "coincidentally" come together.
    • Should help you to build trust. Even though our world is far from "normal."

  • On the other hand, as an experimental world events over the long span may unfold faster than the normal world!