What We Believe
"We see a world free of homelessness, violence, war, hunger, separation and disenfranchisement. We see a world in which there is generous and continuous sharing of heart and resources - a world in which forgiveness, whether for errors, injustices, or debts, is the norm - a world in which borders are irrelevant - a world which has renewed its emphasis on beauty, nature and love through a resurgence of creativity, art, and aesthetics - a world in which fellowship prospers and connects through the guidance of spiritual wisdom and experience - a world in which we live and grow as One Human Family."
There are many contemporary authors and teachers illustrating the principles of Religious Science through their work. Among them are Wayne Dyer - Ram Dass - Caroline Myss - Suze Orman - Thomas Moore - John Gray - Stephen Covey - Gabrielle Roth - Gary Zukav - Julia Cameron - Marianne Williamson - Frithjof Capra - Louise Hay -Larry Dossey - Bernie Siegel - Iyanla VanZant - Christiane Northrop - Neale Donald Walsch - Alan Cohen - Jerry Jampolsky - Don Miguel Ruiz - Elizabet Sahtouris - Fred Alan Wolf - Eckart Tolle - Jean Houston - Peter Russell - Raphael Cushnir - Greg Levoy - Colin Tipping - Walter Starcke - Peter Drucker - Patrick Harbula.
Our faith is not a revelation of some particular individual or of any one group. Rather, it is a correlation of the most empowering truths found in religious texts and the discoveries of science. We start with the simple proposition that God, known to many by many names and traditions, is an immediate Presence not only around but also within every person.
We believe in a power greater than ourselves. We believe that an invisible law, force, and intelligence governs everything in the universe. We, as individuals, endeavor to discover our immediate relationship to that Power and become partners in its activities.
The particular style of New Thought we teach, Religious Science, is based upon the ideas in Dr. Holmes 1926 book, The Science of Mind. These ideas aren't new. In fact, there were many influences in the formation of Religious Science. Dr. Holmes studied the world's great religions and philosophy, scripture from man traditions (The Bible, Upanishads, Vedas, Loran, etc.) and the best that science had to offer in his day. He read the works of Emerson and Thoreau, studied the mystics and followed his own intuition. The result was a book that offered a practical way to approach spirituality that is free from dogma, from rigid rules of thinking, and totally contemporary today.
He encourages us to go within ourselves to find the truth that will set us free, teaching that we all have the inner truth, inner wisdom of the Indwelling Creator God.
So What Does New Thought Teach?
Simply stated, New Thought teaches the law of cause and effect; that it is done unto us as we believe; that as we sow, we do indeed reap. While the theory of New thought or Religious Science is simple, the proof of it is in the practice.
We teach clear, easy-to-follow ways to change our beliefs; to consciously change our thinking and to set only those causes in motion that we are happy to experience.
The primary practice we teach is affirmative prayer, which Dr. Holmes called Spiritual Mind Treatment. It's spiritual, because it deals with the spiritually-based causes of what we experience. It's mental because it happens in our own hearts and minds. And it's treatment, because it provides tangible definite results! This is a teaching that has helped millions of people. They have experienced healings of terminal, inoperable cancer, depression, poverty, bad relationships and lack of job fulfillment.
Many Religious Science churches also teach meditation techniques, and classes that lead to positive forms of living. Whatever the vehicle, the point is to live more consciously so that our lives become richer, fuller and more meaningful.
Religious Science has a strong, interesting curriculum with classes that lead individuals to an enriched, positive life.
Are We Christian?
Ernest Holmes, the founder of Religious Science, came out of a Christian tradition. He studied all of the world's religions, and synthesized what he saw to be the truths running through them all, free of any particular dogma. He began the philosophy with the intention that all churches, especially Christian ones, would embrace the philosophy and incorporate those teachings into their own. When that did not happen on a large-scale basis, he allowed the people around him to talk him into starting a church to make sure that the teachings would endure. His original intention was not to start a new religion. Religious Science comes out of the Christian tradition in the sense that we believe in the teachings of Jesus and use them to create a "Heaven on Earth".
Do We Believe in Jesus Christ?
In Religious Science, Christ is viewed as a universal principle rather than a person. It is the principle of God expressing through humanity. Jesus of Nazareth was a human personality through which the Christ Principle, or Divine Personality, expressed itself on Earth. The principle of Jesus Christ represents the mystical marriage of our inner spirit with our outer personality. This union produces an expression of Life that includes both, yet is greater than either. The potential for this expression lies within each one of us. Therefore, Jesus is viewed as a great example for humanity, rather than the great exception. Ernest Holmes, founder of the philosophy of Religious Science, says:
"Religious Science does not deny the divinity of Jesus; but it does affirm the divinity of all people. It does not deny that Jesus was the son of God; but affirms that all beings are children of God. It does not deny that the Kingdom of God was revealed through Jesus; but affirms that the Kingdom of God is also revealed through you and me."
So what is a New Thought Christian?
One of the questions most frequently asked me as a Religious Science Minister is: "Are you a Christian."
I always respond that I am - but that I'm a new thought Christian. The inevitable question that follows is: "Well, what is that?" I believe that Jesus was a man who walked the earth as you and I. His pursuit of an expanded relationship with God propelled him into becoming the expressed Christ. Christ was a title used long before Jesus was born to signify the highest expression of God in man/woman. We might say that as the human in Jesus gave way to his divinity, he became the Christ. This is the great possibility for each of us. Jesus lived as the great example, not the great exception.
In the Science of Mind teaching, we believe that our most important responsibility is to begin a deepening of our personal relationship with God/Spirit/The Universe by entering into prayer or meditation as a first choice in making decisions or seeking guidance - instead of as a last resort. This conscious connection with The Creator overcomes fear, brings comfort and propels one into satisfying, fulfilling life experiences.
The second responsibility is that of bringing healing to the world. Moment by moment, we are given the opportunity to make choices. Will our choices be based upon fear and separation or upon love and the declaration of good? Who is guiding our thoughts, feelings, actions and words? Is it the voice of God (good) or the voice for separation (fear)?
HAVING A CHRIST-LIKE OUTLOOK
We teach love through our actions, setting healthy boundaries in our relationships, affirming words of belief, confidence, trust, faith and goodness for those in places of illness, confusion or lack of any kind. We believe in the Divinity in each human being. By this we are knowing that God is in action in each and every one of us.
We listen to our own inner guidance - and we know the truth about ourselves. We also joyfully, calmly, confidently know it for those around us, as well as for all humanity.
HOW DO WE TEACH OTHERS?
We believe in teaching by example. As our own consciousness increases, others notice the light within us and begin to ask why. Our stories can be an inspiration to those around us if we share them at an opportune time.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
The love that begins to grow in our hearts fills our whole being with satisfaction and peace.
Our conscious connection assures a sense of confidence in living our daily life. We are not alone. The Wise Comforter is always available, forgiving and supporting our good. Through this acceptance of our Divinity, a new sense of joy sweeps our consciousness.
A New Thought Christian believes in his/her own Divinity and believes in the Divinity of all people - and - in the power of good to transform the world.
No outward ceremony is necessary. We bless babies to acknowledge as a spiritual community, that we recognize the Divinity within the child, and promise to give nurturing and tender loving care to this family.