UU Minute #113

Things Most Commonly Believed Among Us

The 1886 Western Unitarian Conference rejected pleas of conservatives, led by Jabez Sunderland, and moved, instead, toward greater inclusion of theological diversity. The Conference revised its statement about who it welcomed into fellowship, replacing the phrase, “all who wish to work with it in advancing the kingdom of God,” with the phrase, “all who wish to join it to help establish Truth, Righteousness, and Love in the world.”

The conservatives were stunned. Within weeks, they withdrew from the Western Unitarian Conference to form the Western Unitarian Association. The national association, still tending conservative, threw all its support to the new Western Unitarian Association, and declined to recognize in any way the Western Conference, which nevertheless continued to meet.

The next year, at the Western Conference 1887 meeting, Rev. William Channing Gannett presented "Things Commonly Believed Among Us" – which was adopted by a vote of 59-3. Gannett’s statement affirmed:
“To love the Good and live the Good is the supreme thing in religion. Reason and conscience are final authorities of religion. We honor the Bible and all inspiring scripture, revere Jesus and all holy souls that have taught truth, righteousness, and love. Human nobility is growing, and the unfolding Universe is beautiful and beneficent. Good and evil invariably carry their own recompense; no good thing is failure and no evil thing success; heaven and hell are states of being; and all things work together for the victory of the Good. We ought to work together to advance the good, counting nothing good for self that is not good for all. The self-forgetting, loyal life awakes in us a union with things eternal. We worship that Light which lights every one, giving us power to become children of God — and that Love with which our souls commune.”

NEXT: Noncreedalism Victorious

No comments:

Post a Comment