Our first principle states: “We believe in God as Infinite Intelligence.” God is not a personified being sitting upon a throne- neither male nor female but containing both – thus you may hear many of our ministers say “Father-Mother God.” Our understanding of God is more Panentheistic. (We are not referring to the gods and goddesses of the Mesopotamian myths.) PANENTHEISM removes these obstacles. The Greek roots of the word mean “everything (pan) is in (en) God (theos).” The middle syllable en has a double meaning: everything in God, and God in everything.
To cite the most concise biblical expression of panentheism, God is “the one in whom we live and move and have our being” (Acts. 17:28) Notice how the language works: Where are we in relation to God? We live in God; we move in God; we have our being in God. GOD IS NOT SOMEWHERE ELSE, but “right here,” all around us. God is the encompassing Spirit in whom everything that is, is.
Thus panentheism does not think of God as “a being”. To clarify, it does not think of God as a being separate from other beings, not as another being in addition to the universe of beings. Rather, it thinks of God (or “the sacred” or “Spirit,” terms which we use interchangeably and synonymously) as a non-material level or layer or dimension of reality that pervades the universe. To use William James’s generic term for God, God is “the more.”
“THE MORE” is all around us and within us; the universe is shot through with the presence of God. Thus God and the universe are not completely separate; rather, the universe is “in God,” and we, and all that is, are “in God.”
Importantly, panentheism does not identify God and the universe. God is not the universe, and the universe is not God. Rather, though the universe is in God, God is more than the universe. Thus “the more” is “right here,” intimately present, as well as “more than right here.” This expressed in our 2nd Principle.
We take the Bible seriously, but not literally. We do not accept the Bible as the inerrant Word of God! It has been translated many times and was written as part of the culture and social experience of that time. The “inerrant word of God” has supported throughout history a wide variety of completely discredited practices. The Bible was quoted to claim that kings rule by divine right, that the earth is the center of the universe around which the sun rotates, that slavery, segregation and apartheid are legitimate and moral social institutions, that women must be kept in second class positions, that evolution is wrong and that homosexuality is a condition condemned by God. In each of these cultural debates the Bible has lost.
We read and use the Bible as a book of the light of the soul, a metaphysical history of transcending consciousness—that is, a history which tells the story of human consciousness constantly rising above culture, environments, difficult situations, and trying events, including self-imposed limitations. “Thus Holy Scripture is a book of guidance, instruction, and teaching intended to enlighten humankind. It is a record of Hebrew law, drama, sacred history, poetry, philosophy, psychology, and religion.”
We may also think of God as the “Absolute.” According to the Genesis narrative, all things are created by God, exist, and are made manifest. Everything subsists in essence, and nothing exists without essence. The universe and humankind are manifestations of God and reflections of that Essence. Many believe that the earth was created in seven days. The number seven in many schools of numerology mean something was finished, completed, not literally seven days.
We can spend countless hours debating the big bang theory versus creation, etc.; however, remember that we internalize the scriptures. In light of this, how do we relate to “darkness?” Many teach that only light and the color white are symbolic of God. But darkness and the color black are also representations of God. Darkness, as a metaphor, presents God as the Inscrutable Source, the Unknowable and the Unmanifest. According to the early Egyptian writers, the first principle is characterized as darkness because it is beyond all classified and rational conceptions. We see the creation process beginning at the commandment, “Let there be light!” We see Divine Order taking place as names were given to things, such as day, night, and so forth. “The Hebrew cosmological depiction of a God-created “good” world in the biblical story is the ultimate purpose and destiny for the human family.” (The Mysteries of Creation) Rocco A. Errico
The term angel in Aramaic has many meanings: ambassador, messenger, preacher, a good man, holy man, a man of God, principal elder, minister of a congregation. In the book of the Revelation, John was asked to write to the angels of the seven churches in Asia Minor (Turkey) meaning to the head ministers of the seven churches. Angels, malakheh, are also considered spirits. (Aramaic Light on Genesis) Rocco A. Errico / George M. Lamsa
In many metaphysical circles you will hear people speak of their Master Teacher, their Ascended Master Teacher, their Guardian Angels, etc. A Master Teacher may be a “master” of a certain thing or subject as we have master electricians, carpenters, etc. An Ascended Master Teacher means that they have evolved into the “Christhood.” Todays usage of “Guardian Angel” simply means a guiding spirit.
In some Kabalistic circles Angels are God manifesting, for example, as the four main elements of earth life, earth, air, fire and water, and man personified them giving them individual names.
ADAM & EVE
“Adam and Eve are representational of humanity and are fictional characters who have become historicized. The narrative of the transgression of Adam and Eve, their punitive consequences, and exile from paradise is the story of what humanity continually endures by constantly seeking power over others. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil represents power—that is, becoming gods. Human beings have the tendency to self aggrandizement and deifying their own powers. Knowledge bestows power. One can use it to control and manipulate or bless and advance humanity into a new state of enlightenment and understanding.” Aramaic Light on Genesis” Rocco A. Errico/George M. Lamsa
FALL OF MAN-ORIGINAL SIN
Metaphysicians do not accept the concept of original sin! They believe that this is the beginning of man’s individual journey. The Christological interpretation is that only through accepting Jesus as your personal savior are you saved from “original sin.”