April 25, 1918
Received by James Padgett
Let me write a line - Luke.
I was with you tonight at the church and listened to what the preacher (Gordon) said in reference to religions and their point of contact and was somewhat surprised at his declarations as to the analogy which he drew between the believers in the various so-called Christian religions.
While, as you know, there is implanted in the souls of men a longing for that which tends to elevate and spiritualize them, even though this longing may not be consciously present with a large number of them; yet the beliefs as to the ways in which this longing may be made manifest and develop the spiritual nature of the soul are very different among those professing these various religions and the ways are not equally efficacious in causing their spiritual development.
Religion is a matter of soul and not of intellect, and the greater the development of the soul in the right direction, the higher will be the spiritual state or condition of the soul. Mere intellectual belief, no matter how intense and undoubting, will not tend to bring about this spiritual development, for "religion is really nothing but the relationship and harmony of men's souls with the Soul of God." The mind will not be sufficient to create this state because the mind of man cannot possibly bring into harmony the Soul of the Creator and that of the creature. Mind, in its exercise, may tend to awaken the soul to this possibility of relationship, but only the workings of the soul can effectuate the complete unity of the Creator and the created. Only soul can speak to soul, and mind is only a helper, provided the soul is alive in its longings.
So it is apparent that that form of belief which is wholly of the intellect can have no common meeting place with that belief which is the result of the development of the soul; and, hence, to say that men of all the various religions, just because they are what are called Christians, are in an equal relationship to the Father, is erroneous and misleading.
As regards the condition of man as the perfect man, these several religions may tend to bring about this state of perfection, if the moral precepts which they teach are observed and practiced by men. But as regards man as the Divine Angel; that is, as a spirit having in itself the Essence of the Divine, only that religion which teaches the true way to acquire this Divinity can lead men to the at-onement with the Father in His very nature. There can be, in this respect, only one true religion, and only one way in which that religion can be practiced and possessed; and to say that all religions have a common point of approach is misleading and deceiving.
I know that among these various religions there are individuals who have found the way to the method of becoming transformed into the Divine Nature of the Father, and this notwithstanding that the teachings and creeds of the several churches do not show the way to this soul development into the spiritual of the Divine. But in these churches there is wanting in their dogmas and doctrines that which will help men to this true religion.
Because it may be found that in the churches there are some who have, to a degree, this Divine spirituality, there is no justification in saying that there is any common place of meeting in these several religions. Of course, the moral precepts may be and are taught by all the Christian churches, and when observed will ultimately lead all men to the condition of the perfect natural man, and only to this extent can it be said that they may have a common ground of religion arising from the belief in the moral teachings.
And the church which declares and teaches as its religion with great exactness and more enlarged comprehension is the church in which this, as I may call it, natural religion exists; and the more dissimilar these churches are in these teachings the farther apart is their approach. If a preacher of one church knows, with the conviction that arises from his sincere and honest investigation of the moral laws, that some other church is not teaching or insisting on the observation on the part of its members of these great moral truths, then he has no right to conclude and say this latter church is the possessor of religion, as is the church in which these moral truths are taught and followed by its adherents.
It is a mistake for a preacher to say that because there may be good and spiritual men in all churches, therefore, one church is as good and religious in its teachings as another church. Truth is of such a nature that it cannot be compromised, and the man or preacher who would compromise the truth is not fulfilling his duty to God or man.
The church which teaches that there is nothing greater than morality, and that man can become no more transcendent than the perfect man, is devoid of the truth and would not be accepted as a teacher of the full truth, as should the church which knows and teaches the way by which man may become a Divine Angel.
That the preachers of the various churches should accept as equal and the possessors of the true religion whenever these moral lessons are alike taught by these churches, and have a common point of approach, is not to be wondered at, because these preachers do not know the higher religion, or are able to teach the way to the same. And when it is understood that a moral truth is a truth no matter where it may appear and by whom taught, there is some justification in declaring that all churches which teach the moral truths are on a plane of equality, and that one is entitled to as much respect and freedom from criticism as another. And further, as the great truth of the rebestowal of the potentiality of receiving the Divine Love, and the effect on men's souls, was never known and taught until the coming of the Master, it is not surprising that none of the churches can or do teach this great spiritual truth and the only true religion arising there from. The knowledge of this truth perished from the earth a short time after the passing of the Master and, hence, no church can teach this religion of the soul that transforms the mortal into the Divine.
The religion of the perfect man may exist in varying degrees in all the Christian churches, but the religion of the Divine Angel exists in none, although some individuals of these churches, to some extent, have received in their souls the great truth - the Divine Love - even though they have no intellectual knowledge of the same.
I thought it advisable to make these few remarks on the declaration of the preacher as showing that his broad assertion that the religions mentioned, which to him is all embracing, may have a common meeting point with every religion. When he learns the truth, he will realize the errors of his human and brotherly declarations. I will not write more. Good night and God bless you.
Your brother in Christ,