Rev. Leland Stewart, B.S.E., B.T.
Unity-and-Diversity World Fellowship
26 February 2012(12)
PROCLAIMING A NEW FAITH FOR A NEW WORLD
This is a new cycle of human power. It is the hour of unity among all peoples, and of the drawing together of all races and classes. –Baha’i Faith, Science and Spirituality, page 170
At the beginning of every new cycle of life, a new faith is needed for its implementation. We are now entering into the global civilization, a worldwide community of all races, cultures, and religions. In order to give clarity and power to this transformation, a new faith is required. This is not to say that the existing faiths are no longer needed but rather that the coming together of the world’s faiths requires a “new testament”, a new view and understanding of life based upon the new consciousness that is arising in our time. Anything less will not heal the wounds being inflicted upon the world’s peoples.
A lot of time and energy is presently being put into dialogue between the existing religions of the world. The historic religions are seriously beginning to talk with each other and to seek greater understanding of their similarities and differences. Some people say that the religions are all basically the same. Others say that they have irreconcilable differences. But somewhere in between these two opposites lies the truth that the religions are not the same, but that with effort they can understand each other.
In terms of Christianity, the Holy Bible has two parts, The Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is basically a Christian renaming of the Hebrew Bible. Christianity itself is expressed in the New Testament, which arose as a result of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and those who followed him. As the global civilization emerges, we need a testament based upon this new reality that will cultivate and sustain the modern world. Two of the new realities of this age are science and democracy, both of which are just beginning to be fully developed in the world at large.
The Unity-and-Diversity World Fellowship exists to proclaim this new consciousness and to cultivate its “unity-and-diversity gospel”. Let’s be clear that it does not seek to replace the existing religions but to put forth teachings that will emphasize unity, respect for diversity, and support a world that can live together in peace and harmony.
In order to accomplish this monumental task, interfaith services are needed in every community, services that bring together people of different faiths to inspire mutual understanding and cooperation. The teaching of Spirit is One; paths are many needs to be carried out through these services and the activities that will derive from them.
The World Scriptures now exist, including World Scriptures, Vol. 2 that looks to the future and brings forth the teachings that have developed since the birth of the world’s major religions. Science and Spirituality is the other book in this series, the one which has numerous readings from the religions and other sources as well as music, documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Global Ethic, and the Earth Charter, and a global timeline.
In the Spirit of Unity-and-Diversity!!!