Deity: Unity has abandoned the popular image that God is an elderly,
superhuman male with a white flowing beard who lives in a remote place "up
there". We do not believe that God is fickle, answering some prayers and
ignoring others. We do not look upon God as a deity to be feared.
One fundamental attribute of God is that God is good. We are created to
be "healthy, happy, prosperous, loved and loving, courageous and
strong". If we fall short of these goals, it is because we have separated our
mind from God, and allowed negative thoughts to intrude.
God is within each one of us; and is directly accessible. We need only
to quietly turn within ourselves to contact God.
God exists in all things. God is present throughout creation: in
humans, plants, animals, the earth itself, etc.
Jesus Christ: Unity rejects the traditional view that Jesus is a deity
to be worshipped. At no time did Jesus tell his disciples to worship
him. We look upon Jesus as a great healer, miracle worker, and mystic who
had a direct access to God. We believe that his actions can be emulated
by us today.
One's life is to be dominated by love, and compassion, even toward
Unity rejects the concept of original sin, (the belief that because of
Adam and Eve's actions in the Garden of Eden, we are all born in sin).
We look upon the Genesis story as an allegory; a very human attempt to
explain our beginnings. We emphasize that humans are created in the
image and likeness of God, and are thus not intrinsically evil or sinful.
Heaven: Rather than looking upon heaven as a place "up there" to be
experienced as a reward after death, Unity conceives of heaven as
expressed by Jesus: "The kingdom of heaven is at hand", and "The kingdom of God is in the midst of (within) you". Charles Fillmore defined it as "a
state of consciousness in which the soul and the body are in harmony with
Divine Mind". One does not have to wait until death. Heaven can be
enjoyed at any time through prayer. Through proper technique, attitude and
receptivity one can elevate one's personal consciousness to a heavenly
Hell: Unity does not believe hell to be a place of eternal torment in
which people are eternally punished with fire because of their beliefs
and /or actions during life. It is not a place to go to after death.
Rather it is a state of consciousness to be suffered here on earth.
Charles Fillmore wrote: "One does not have to die in order to go to hell, any
more than one has to die to get to heaven. Both are states of mind and
conditions, which people experience as a direct outworking of their
thoughts, beliefs, words, and acts. If one's mental processes are out of
harmony with the law of our being, they result in trouble and sorrow;
mental as well as bodily anguish overtakes one, and this is hell".
Satan: Many look upon Satan as a separate power; an all evil presence
who is the opposite of the goodness of God. Satan and God are often
portrayed as fighting over individuals souls. This dual divinity has
obvious links to Zoroastrianism which was incorporated into ancient Jewish
legends which, in turn, were later codified as parts of the book of
Genesis. Other aspects of Satan were derived from ancient Greek and
Unity interprets Satan's temptation of Jesus symbolically. Satan did
not tempt Jesus to turn stones into bread; it was the "voice of human
hunger"; the temptation to throw himself off the highest part of the
temple was "the voice of human desire for recognition"; the temptation to
become a ruler was "the voice of worldliness".
Thus Satan is not a separate entity; but is our lower nature:
selfishness, greed, the desire to turn away from God. Satan can be resisted by
systematically striving towards our higher nature.
Sin: Traditionally, sin has been defined as falling short of
perfection. Unity uses an alternate definition: "living under a false sense of
separation from God". We view this as a delusion because God is in
reality continuously present within us. This false belief can be overcome
Life After Death: Unity defines heaven and hell as conditions in the
here and now. They are not places where people go to spend eternity. Many
in Unity believe in a form of reincarnation. After death the soul is
believed to leave the body, and to live again in another human body. This
is / was a common belief among:
*Present day Eastern religions
*The early Christian Church prior to the Council of Constantinople in
*The Essenes, one of the three Jewish sects while Jesus was alive.
Unity cites references from the Christian Scriptures which show that
the concept of reincarnation was common during Jesus' time. In the
Gospels of Matthew and Mark , John the Baptist is referred to as the
reincarnation of Elijah. In Matthew, some of the populace guessed that Jesus
was a reincarnation of John the Baptist; others guessed Elijah; still
others guessed Jeremiah or one of the other prophets. Jesus neither
criticized the people for their beliefs, nor declared reincarnation to be
Each lifetime is viewed as a time of preparation for the next life,
leading towards eventual perfection.
Unity has no missionaries. We rely upon our teachings being spread by
our readers and followers and by the literature itself.
"New centers and churches are normally started as study groups
sponsored by an existing ministry or the expansion department of the
Association of Unity Churches. Both the Association and Unity School of
Christianity provide support materials and services to emerging ministries."
Prayer: Real prayer does not involve begging God for a favour, or
repeating standard prayers in a ritual setting. It an act of becoming
spiritually one with God. If one applies Ralph Waldo Emerson's concept of
prayer: the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of
view, then prayer can be a constant personal activity. One can also use
the "arms" of prayer by mentally embracing some other individual as the
target of a prayer or the "wings" of prayer by directing one's prayer
at all those who are receptive.
Worship: It is not limited to Sunday church services. Worship can be
pursued at any time and location when one feels adoration and devotion
for God. Ideally, it can be experienced continually through the day.
Baptism: Within Christianity, some groups follow the tradition started
by John the Baptist; they totally immerse the body in water. Others
regard baptism as symbolic; they simply sprinkle drops of water on the
person. In Unity one experiences a Spiritual Baptism which is a deeply
personal event, a cleansing "prayer experience with Spirit, an ultimate
union between an individual and God." The individual emerges purified,
having experienced a spiritual conversion of great intensity.
Communion: There is mystical meaning in the details and purpose of the
rite of Holy Communion, the Lord's Supper. We recall the words of St.
Paul "The Kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and
peace and joy in the Holy Spirit". Communion becomes a close encounter
with God in prayer, in which one becomes aware of the impact that God is
making in all areas of one's life.
Sacred Texts: The Hebrew and Christian Scriptures are the main
religious text used by Unity followers. However, all writings of all world
religions are respected. "Unity believes that there is good in every
religion on earth" (Charles Fillmore).