Handbook of Today's Religions
The early years of their marriage recorded many financial ups and downs until they finally established a modest real estate office in Kansas City, Missouri. Myrtle's family had a history of tuberculosis and she herself was eventually stricken ill with the dreaded disease. She also contracted malaria and was given, by her doctor, only six months to live.
In 1886, the Fillmores
went to a lecture which was to change their lives dramatically.
The speaker, E. B. Weeks, said to the crowd that night, "I
am a child of God and therefore I do not inherit sickness."
Myrtle believed the statement and continued to recite it over and
over again. Eventually she was healed.
Borrowing heavily from
Christian Science and New Thought, (a 19th century metaphysical
healing movement developed from the system of mental healer
Phineas Quimby), the Fillmores added their own interpretations,
including the Eastern concept of reincarnation, and presented
their teachings first to the people of Missouri and then to the
world. Under pressure from Christian Science founder, Mary Baker
Eddy, the Fillmores stopped using terms common to Christian
Myrtle Fillmore died in
1931 whereupon Charles married Cora Dedrick, his private
secretary. Charles Fillmore died in 1948. The leadership of Unity
was taken over by the Fillmores' two sons, Lowell and Rickert,
and subsequently experienced a rapid growth. Today, Unity has
some two million adherents worldwide, with its headquarters at
Unity Village, in Lee's Summit, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas
It was 30 years before Charles Fillmore drew up a statement of faith which was qualified with the following: "We are hereby giving warning that we shall not be bound to this tentative statement of what Unity believes. We may change our mind tomorrow on some of the points, and if we do, we shall feel free to make a new statement" (James Dillet Freeman, What Is Unity?, Lee's Summit, Missouri, n.d., p. 5).
Contrary to Fillmore's
statement is the Bible's continued assertion that what a person
believes is important. "He who believes in the Son has
eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see
life; but the wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36 NASB.
See also Hebrews 11:6. [For further documentation on why right
belief is vital to the Christian faith, see our work, Answers to
Tough Questions, pp. 149-1511].
According to gnosticism,
God is impersonal and one's eventual goal is to reach oneness
with this impersonal God. Gnostics view Jesus Christ as a human
being who possessed, in some great way, the expression or
presence of God. To them, Jesus refers to the man and Christ
refers to the divine influence. Rather than agreeing with the
Bible by declaring that Jesus is the Christ (1 John 5:1),
gnostics, including Unity, separate Jesus from the Christ.
This can be readily seen by a statement from Myrtle Fillmore. "Though personal to each one of us, God is it, neither male nor female, but principle" (Myrtle Fillmore, How to Let God Help You, 1956, p. 25). The Metaphysical Dictionary, a work of Charles Fillmore states, "The Father is Principle, the Son is that Principle revealed in creative plan, the Holy Spirit is the executive power of both Father and Son carrying out the creative plan' '(Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, p. 629). One Unity publication states, "God is all and all is God" (Unity, August, 1974, p. 40).
Fillmore also said,
"God is not loving ... God does not love anybody or
anything. God is the love in everybody and everything. God is
love ... God exercises none of His attributes except through the
inner consciousness of the universe and man" (Jesus Christ
Heals, Unity School of Christianity, 1944, pp. 31,32).
"And we are to
follow into this perfect state and become like Him, for in each
of us is the Christ, the only begotten Son. We can, through Jesus
Christ, our Redeemer and example, bring forth the Christ within
us, the true self of all is perfect, as Jesus Christ commanded
his followers to be" (Unity, Vol. 57, no. 5, 464, and Vol.
72, no. 2, p. 8).
Unity teaches that within all of us there is an "inner Christ," equated with perfection, a divine awareness (Elizabeth Sand Turner, What Unity Teaches, Lee's Summit, Missouri, n.d., p. 9). All of us are capable of attaining that "inner Christ," that divine awareness and perfection.
The New Testament
maintains that Jesus is different from us by the fact that He is
God by His very nature: "In the beginning was the Word, and
the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1).
Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God (John 1:14). No one else
can be the Son of God as Jesus Christ is the Son of God (John
5:18-23). He alone is the "image of the invisible God"
(Colossians 1:15), the "radiance of His glory and the exact
representation of His nature" (Hebrews 1:3).
Here again we have Unity
in direct contradiction to the Bible that acknowledges sin as a
reality, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of
God" (Romans 3:23). Furthermore, "The wages of sin is
death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
our Lord" (Romans 6:23). If a person does not come to Christ
for salvation he will be lost in his sin, "For unless you
believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins" (John 8:24
Reincarnation teaches that only through many lifetimes can one rid himself of the debt for all of his sins. However, the Bible teaches that through Jesus Christ we can be rid of all of our sins at one time (1 John 1:8-10). His purpose for dying on the cross was as a sacrifice for our sins (Acts 3:18, 19).
Jesus Christ is the only
Savior we ever need because "He abides forever, holds His
priesthood permanently. Hence, also, He is able to save forever
those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to
make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:24, 25). We have the
promise of God Himself that our salvation has been guaranteed
through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross (I
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