The Social Problems of Religion






RELIGION achieves its highest social ministry when it has least connection with the secular institutions of society. In past ages, since social reforms were largely confined to the moral realms, religion did not have to adjust its attitude to extensive changes in economic and political systems. The chief problem of religion was the endeavor to replace evil with good within the existing social order of political and economic culture. Religion has thus indirectly tended to perpetuate the established order of society, to foster the maintenance of the existent type of civilization.

But religion should not be directly concerned either with the creation of new social orders or with the preservation of old ones. True religion does oppose violence as a technique of social evolution, but it does not oppose the intelligent efforts of society to adapt its usages and adjust its institutions to new economic conditions and cultural requirements.

Religion did approve the occasional social reforms of past centuries, but in the twentieth century it is of necessity called upon to face adjustment to extensive and continuing social reconstruction. Conditions of living alter so rapidly that institutional modifications must be greatly accelerated, and religion must accordingly quicken its adaptation to this new and ever-changing social order.





--Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon, from the Urantia Papers.





Religion and Social Reconstruction
Religion must not become organically involved in the secular work of social reconstruction and economic reorganization.


Weakness of Institutional Religions
Institutional religion is now caught in the stalemate of a vicious circle.


Religion and the Religionist
Early Christianity was entirely free from all civil entanglements, social commitments, and economic alliances.


Transition Difficulties
Transition is always accompanied by confusion, and there will be little tranquillity in the religious world until the great struggle between the three contending philosophies of religion is ended:


Social Aspects of Religion
While religion is exclusively a personal spiritual experience — knowing God as a Father — the corollary of this experience — knowing man as a brother — entails the adjustment of the self to other...


Institutional Religion
Sectarianism is a disease of institutional religion, and dogmatism is an enslavement of the spiritual nature.


Religion's Contribution
Religion inspires man to live courageously and joyfully on the face of the earth...


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