Keep a True Lent

Many folks who begin attending Unity churches have rejected the teachings of their childhood religions, especially the ideas of sin and damnation. I was not from a church-going family, and I grew up with prejudices about the Bible and Jesus. Unity’s teachings about the original innocence of humankind, and Unity’s metaphysical Bible interpretation, allowed me to gain a new understanding of Jesus and the Judeo-Christian mythos.
Newcomers to Unity sometimes resist hearing about Jesus, and the scriptures. Although understandable, this aversion can result in “throwing the baby out with the bath water.” In Unity’s basic lessons, we hear that Jesus is viewed as our way-shower or elder brother. We learn that Jesus never intended for us to worship him, rather he was describing, and modeling, our relationship with God. He also was demonstrating what it means to be human.
This explanation of Jesus provides the first step to releasing any fear or reluctance to learning more. Because there is much more. Much, much more. Our current understanding of life, of God and of ourselves is limited by our learned perceptions and by the nearly imperceptible definitions of reality that we all share.
In Keep a True Lent Unity’s co-founder Charles Fillmore presents some radically different ideas about the history of Jesus, his role upon the Earth, and the message he came to share.
We read on page 130: “In order to understand the status of Jesus we have to visualize a universe like that in which we live as having existed during billions of years in the past, as having fulfilled its mission in the evolution of a superrace of men, and as then passing away leaving as its fruit God-men with creative power. Jesus was one of the God-men of that ancient creation, and it was His destiny to bring forth from the depths of Being a race of potential gods, place them in an environment where they could grow as he grew and become, like Him, a Son of God.”

From this paragraph, we could infer that Jesus was an extra-terrestrial, and that the realm of creator spirits is much vaster, and contains many more such creators than we have previously believed. Mr. Fillmore’s description of the mission of Jesus, and of the purpose of human life, portrays a background and a setting remarkably different from prevailing Christian thought.
We next look at the following statement from page 131: “Christ then began a series of physical incarnations, beginning prehistorically and ending with His Jesus incarnation.” Historians have noted similarities among the incarnations of many great creator spirits throughout the ages. Common elements include virgin births and resurrections. One explanation is that they were all incarnations of the Christ spirit.
Whether or not one accepts these excerpts from Keep a True Lent as literal truth, they exemplify a greater lesson: our understanding of Jesus Christ is not limited to a choice between the traditional Christian explanation and Unity’s teaching of Jesus as way-shower and elder brother.
We remember that Mr. Fillmore reserved the right to change his mind at any time. It’s not important that we agree that Christ was incarnated many times on earth, or that he was an intergalactic God-man on a mission to foster the development of a new race of God-men.
What is important is that we realize that there are countless interpretations of the life and work of Jesus Christ. What is important is that we are free to explore theories that break through conventional thought. What is important is that we open our minds and hearts to ideas that are fabulous, magical, powerful, mind-blowing, mystical and enticing. What is important is that we explore the probability that Jesus was, and we are, much more than we believe.
This is the true message of Easter. This is how we keep a true lent.

With much love,

Rev. Carla