Comments from Zshonette Reed
November 16, 1999
I have read the open letter from the
Urantia Foundation regarding Mr. Harry McMullan and the several response thereto. It seems that
everyone involved and everyone interested seeks a peaceful resolution. That is
to be commended.
Many good suggestions were offered
to resolve the matter, but I find one thing puzzling. Why are we talking about defending and protecting
the Urantia Book as if it were a helpless infant unable to speak for
itself? I personally find the revelation to be alive and sufficiently competent
to defend itself. I direct your attention to Paper 159, Chapter 2.
I will reproduce the entire Chapter for your convenience:
THE STRANGE PREACHER
went over to Gamala to visit John and those who worked with him at that place. That evening, after the session
of questions and answers, John said to Jesus: "Master, yesterday I went over
to Ashtaroth to see a man who was teaching in your name and even claiming to
be able to cast out devils. Now this fellow had never been with us,
neither does he follow after us; therefore I forbade him to do such things."
Then said Jesus: "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 this gospel shall be subject to your
direction? Rejoice that already our teaching has begun to manifest itself beyond
the bounds of our personal influence. Do you not see, John, that those
who profess to do great works in my name must eventually support our
cause? They certainly will not be quick to speak evil of me. My son, in
matters of this sort it would be better for you to reckon that he who is not against
us is for us. In the generations to come many who are not wholly worthy
will do many strange things in my name, but I will not forbid them. I tell
you that, even when a cup of cold water is given to a thirsty soul, the
Father's messengers shall ever make record of such a service of love."
instruction greatly perplexed John. Had he not heard the Master say, "He who is not with me is against me"? And he
did not perceive that in this case Jesus was referring to man's personal relation
to the spiritual teachings of the kingdom, while in the other case
reference was made to the outward and far-flung social relations of believers regarding the questions of administrative control and the jurisdiction
of one group of believers over the work of other groups which would
eventually compose the forthcoming world-wide brotherhood.
John oftentimes recounted this experience in connection with his subsequent labors in behalf of the kingdom. Nevertheless, many times did the apostles take offense at those who
made bold to reach in the Master's name. To them it always seemed
inappropriate that those who had never sat at Jesus' feet should dare to teach in
man whom John forbade to teach and work in Jesus' name did not heed the apostle's injunction. He went right on
with his efforts and raised up a considerable company of believers at
Kanata before going on into Mesopotamia. This man, Aden, had been led to
in Jesus through the testimony of the demented man whom Jesus healed
near Kheresa, and who so confidently believed that the supposed evil
spirits which the Master cast out of him entered the herd of swine and rushed
them headlong over the cliff to their destruction."
I believe the answer we all seek is
contained in this Chapter. As regards the Urantia Foundation's trust to "perpetually preserve
inviolate the text of THE Urantia BOOK and to disseminate the principles,
teachings, and doctrines of THE Urantia BOOK," I do not see how Mr. McMullan's
actions have any ability to affect that trust. This responsibility has been taken
on by the Urantia Foundation alone. The language of the trust does not
impose this obligation on others. Mr. McMullan is not a member of the
Urantia Foundation and therefore owes no duty to assist the Foundation in
fulfilling its own obligation. Thus, if the Urantia Foundation's
publications perpetually preserve the text inviolate, they have fulfilled their obligation.
I hope this letter will be of some
value in resolving this unfortunate dispute. Personally, I am pleased that Mr. McMullan is
taking an active part in spreading the message. He is setting a fine example
of discipleship for all of us.
P.S. -- I have sent the same letter to the Urantia Foundation this