Other Denominations and Isms
Our former series of studies on various denominations was so well received by the field that we herewith begin another series. Responses from field workers showed great interest in these particular surveys. These are not intended as exhaustive research in the ground covered, but rather to provide for our busy ministers and Bible instructors enough background facts to meet problems and objections of these churches and cults in an intelligent manner.
As we draw nearer to the end of time, Satan's deceptions must be met in a straightforward manner. For a worker to ignore the beliefs of other churches, or to discharge all responsibility to deal therewith, is not evangelism. We must definitely meet error with sound scriptural proof and method. While it is difficult at times to obtain exact statistics, especially for those divisions of the Protestant Church undergoing mergers, we may come reasonably close to accuracy by means of competent church census information. It is well to bear in mind that in dealing with any religious group, we should keep the main objectives of such research before us.
The first series (March to November, 1945, MINISTRY) covered the Presbyterian, AngloIsraelite, Christadelphian, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Protestant Episcopal, Congregational, Disciples; Latter Day Saints, Baptist, Jehovah's Witnesses, Roman Catholic, and Christian Science beliefs.
The current series, beginning with Unity or Fillmoreism in this issue of THE MINISTRY, and scheduled to run throughout the year, will also cover the following, although not necessarily in this order : Unitarianism, Mormons, Christian Science, Doukhobors (Spiritual Wrestlers), Buchmanism (Oxford Group Movement), Unitarian Church, Pentecostal Assemblies, Eastern Orthodox Church, British-Israelism, Baptists, and Jehovah's Witnesses.
L. C. K.
Unity or FillmoreismNAME: The Unity.School of Christianity.
FOUNDING: Charles and Myrtle Fillmore are the original founders. While living in Kansas City, menaced by poverty and sickness, Myrtle Fillmore claimed to have discovered her own deity. This discovery, she claimed, enabled her to heal herself, her family, and her friends.
HEADQUARTERS AND ORGANIZATION: The School of Silent Unity, founded in 1889, is located in Kansas City, Missouri, and is considered the New Jerusalem of the Unity movement. Through a series of telephone switchboards, telegraph receiving sets, hundreds of typewriters, a phonograph recording disk, a correspondence course, a broadcasting station, and the occasional making of a movie, this very modern organization keeps in touch with its two million adherents and receives on an average of two million calls a year. Thus we have in Unity an enormous mail-order concern, dispensing health and happiness on the large scale of a modern business enterprise.
They claim over five hundred allied schools or Unity centers, maintain eleven periodicals, and publish books and tracts without number.
They also claim that more than a thousand yearly subscriptions to Unity periodicals are entered daily. Many pay their subscriptions one hundred years in advance, since they eventually expect to conquer disease and death, and live forever. The wealth of the movement totals millions.
I. The entire system of Unity is thoroughly pantheistic, closely allied with Christian Science and New Thought. The body is God; you cannot become sick. God is a principle, not a person.
We shall become so spiritual we shall live in the spiritual ether with Jesus. This is the great and final resurrection.
1. Eternal life means not a future state after death but a physical immortality here. In due time this belief expects to overcome death and demonstrate bodily immortality.
2. Unity claims to be broad and liberal in asserting it is "not a sect or a church, but a school for investigating and demonstrating the scientific principles taught by Jesus."
Adherents do not leave their original churches but sow the seeds of this teaching into the churches of which they are members.
In a summary of the errors of Unity, Dr. H. A. Ironside, pastor of the Moody Church in Chicago, says.: "A careful examination of the Unity cult shows it to be a conglomeration of ancient errors presented to modern seekers after truth as a new and attractive discovery. In addition to its gnostic ideas as to Christ, it is theosophical in that it teaches the Hindu doctrine of reincarnation."
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Herbert M. Wyrick, Seven Religious Isms, Zondervan, 1940.
Charles W. Ferguson, The Confusion of Tongues, Doubleday, 1928.