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What is the Unity School of Christianity?

Question: "What is the Unity School of Christianity?"

The Unity School of Christianity is considered a classic pantheistic New Age cult. It was founded in 1889 by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore and incorporated as a church in Kansas City in 1903. There are approximately 110,000 members in over 300 Unity churches. It is one of the largest metaphysical groups in the United States, and has a huge mail-order base (its magazine “Daily Word” has millions of readers).

The Unity School of Christianity got its start through an illness. Myrtle had developed tuberculosis and was searching for anything that would heal her. After attending a lecture by Dr. Eugene Weeks, a disciple of Quimby's New Thought teachings, she learned about metaphysical healing. Two years after this lecture, and after much research and personal application of metaphysics, she claims she was healed. Her husband, while skeptical at first, began to study metaphysics also, as well as other religions and philosophies. What emerged was the Unity School of Christianity, named after Charles heard a voice say to him, "unity." This name fit well, as the Fillmores' religious philosophy was a mix of New Thought, Christian Science, Divine Science, Hinduism, Theosophy, Rosicrucianism, Spiritualism, and others. As quoted by Charles, they "borrowed the best from all religions." Excited by Myrtle's healing and by the knowledge they had recently acquired, they began holding meetings to teach others their new theology.

The Unity School of Christianity claims that through adherence to its teachings, people can be happier, healthier, and achieve their divine potential. Six of its main teachings are: 1) All sacred writings of all religions contain spiritual insights, and should be interpreted metaphysically, though spiritual insight can be gained without consulting holy books; 2) God is an impersonal principle, and is found in all things, animate and inanimate, and all things are in God; 3) Jesus was just a man who achieved divine consciousness, and became the voice of God to humanity; 4) Because the divine nature is found in all things, man is also divine; 5) Salvation comes through obtaining perfect union between one's mind and the divine mind, by obtaining divine consciousness—there is no sin to deal with; and 6) Reincarnation annuls the dissolution of spirit, soul and body caused by death.

In spite of its name, the Unity School of Christianity has nothing whatsoever to do with biblical Christianity, denying each and every doctrine of the true Faith. The Bible refutes each and every point of Unity theology: 1) The Bible alone is the Word of God, given to mankind so that we might each come to know Jesus Christ in a personal, saving way (John 17:17; Psalm 119:89, 140; 2 Timothy 3:16-17); 2) God is an extremely personal God Who created all things, and while omnipresent, He exists apart from His creation (Psalm 139:7-12; John 1:1-5; 14:6; Ephesians 2:4-5; Hebrews 1:3); 3) Jesus is the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, God manifested in human form, being fully divine while fully human (John 1:1, 14; 5:18; Acts 4:12; Philippians 2:6-7; Colossians 1:15-18); 4) Mankind is not divine, but fallen, and is in need of salvation due to our sin nature (Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:23; 1 Corinthians 3:3; 1 John 3:4); 5) Salvation comes through faith in Christ alone (Isaiah 7:14; Luke 2:11; John 3:16; 1 John 2:2); and 6) Because of sin, mankind experiences physical death only once (Hebrews 9:27).

Clearly, Unity is not a Christian sect or denomination. It is not biblical and at its core is the deceiver of mankind, Satan, who “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Recommended Resource: The Kingdom of the Cults, revised and updated edition.

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What is the Unity School of Christianity?