A Call For Common Sense
Saskia Raevouri

Dear Readership,

I believe all of our troubles within the Urantia movement stem from a simple misinterpretation of the meaning of the most basic instruction--the mandate to preserve the text inviolate. Because there is something in The Urantia Book to offend everyone, it is imperative that there be a body of individuals whose sacred obligation is to insure that every time the revelation is officially reprinted or translated, it contains each and every word of the original text.

Just imagine, for instance, that in fifty years it becomes a punishable crime to use words such as "inferior" or "superior" with regard to races or individuals. Will the Trustees of that future day still have the courage to print the full, unadulterated text? Or will they vote to tone down the language, to rephrase it, or to eliminate the offending passages altogether? Personally, if I were in charge of reprinting the book, I might omit the passages that say we cannot communicate with the dead, since my personal experience proves otherwise. My brother--also a reader--would probably rewrite the passages that denounce the concept of reincarnation, as he firmly believes that reincarnation is a fact. Some would revise the outdated science chapters. And on an on. That is where the true test will come. That is where we need Trustees who will be strong and steadfast in the face of persecution, ridicule, and perhaps even persuasion from the readership itself. By steadfastly continuing to publish the inviolate text they will be fulfilling their trust. They don't need a copyright to do that.
". . . the Master was so reasonable, . . . while all his plans were characterized by such sanctified common sense." (p.1101)

Common sense tells us that whenever the Foundation reprints or translates the book, it should deliver an inviolate text. It is REASONABLE to picture God placing this responsibility in the hands of five people. But a God of reason would NEVER demand that those same five people go against all the teachings in the book to enforce an unenforceable law, to police the whole world as the revelation goes out to make sure nobody else distorts or abridges the text. This idea is not reasonable and it lacks common sense.

Jesus' teachings were positive. He taught us to ACT--to DO something--as opposed to the negative teachings that FORBID. Each of us in our spiritual family must search deep inside and reason with God whether our actions are right before carrying them out, and then follow our highest convictions of truth. I'm sure Harry McMullan did that before embarking on his venture of publishing Part IV separately. Nothing was ever accomplished on our planet by sitting and waiting for things to happen--all progress has come about through the ACTIONS of those who were considered rebels and troublemakers in their day. Jesus comes immediately to mind, and there were many others. Today we don't crucify the offenders or burn them at the stake, but use more refined methods of destroying them, such as dragging them into court.

While Jesus himself preached and taught a pure and unadulterated gospel, he fully expected each apostle to take away with him and teach only what he comprehended. Not only did Jesus anticipate that, he encouraged it. Let us not forget Jesus's oft-quoted admonition to John, when John reported to Jesus the doings of the strange preacher:

"Forbid him not. Do you not perceive that this gospel of the kingdom shall presently be proclaimed in all the world? How can you expect that all who will believe the gospel shall be subject to your direction? Rejoice that already our teaching has begun to manifest itself beyond the bounds of our personal influence."(p.1764)

The Foundation has declared the publication of Harry McMullan's book a sad event. I couldn't disagree more. It is one of the most joyous occasions we have had so far in our 45-year Urantia history. I am grateful to Harry for giving the world such a beautiful edition of the life of Jesus to offer my truth-seeking friends. I simply cannot imagine Jesus being distraught over its publication.

The breaking up of The Urantia Book would be a sad event if the Foundation itself decided to embark on such a project. Curiously, they have endorsed the IUA-produced Thought Gems calendar, a compilation of extracts from The Urantia Book. When taken out of context and regarded individually, these quotes reduce the vast scope of the teachings down to a series of greeting-card platitudes. This piecemeal collection is far more of a dilution of the text than Harry's intact Life and Teachings of Jesus. Had the calendar been offered by an independent reader it would have been a delightful idea, but the bestowal of the Foundation's three-concentric-circles seal of approval gives it an air of authority that it should not possess.

The Trustees should be so busy dealing with publishing and fostering translations that they have no time to worry about what others are doing. Had the Foundation spent its time policing itself instead of the readership, valuable resources would not have been wasted trying to do an impossible job. By now we would have many more than just a handful of translations, as well as high-quality Urantia Books to share with the world. A careful study of the recent mistake-laden leather-bound edition demonstrates that the Foundation has been so preoccupied trying to prevent others from doing their jobs that they have failed to do their own. The fact that there are still two BOXED softcover editions still sitting on the shelf at our local Borders bookstore is another indication that they are too distracted by irrelevant issues to keep up with the times.

I hope and pray that the Foundation will come to its senses and step aside from its self-appointed task of being the lone controller and shoulderer of the massive weight of the revelation.  "In entering the kingdom, you cannot escape its responsibilities or avoid its obligations, but remember: The gospel yoke is easy and the burden of truth is light." (p.1766)  When things become too heavy and difficult we know we have strayed from God's path. We need some self-criticism and common sense to bring us back on track.

I repeat: the Foundation does NOT need a copyright to publish and translate an inviolate text.
Ever hopeful that they will see the light,
Saskia Raevouri