MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS by Linda Andrus Liscensed Unity Teacher

December 30, 2023

I have recently discovered posts on Facebook by a man named Jim Palmer, a former evangelical pastor, who gave up his huge megachurch, with the accompanying salary, because of new (to him) revelations about spirituality, Jesus, and the role of the Bible in Christianity. I have shared some of his posts that I found especially meaningful. If you want to see lots of Jim’s writings, please check him out on Facebook or YouTube. What Jim has to say about the history of the Bible, and the distortions organized religions have placed upon it, leading to the prevalent belief in sin and the idea that only through worshipping Jesus can we be saved, resonate with me. Ever since I was a child, I couldn’t accept the idea that a loving God would condemn people to hell just because they didn’t worship in the way the church said they had to. That seemed to me to totally negate the idea of a God who loves us unconditionally. Not to mention all those people in different parts of the world who have never heard of Jesus and who have a totally different belief system. Are they truly condemned to hell as well? Even my immature mind couldn’t believe that.

As I grew older, I went through times of not believing in God at all, since organized religion’s God wasn’t one I could buy into, and then into a period of agnosticism as I learned there were lots of other experiences of God outside of Christianity. In my twenties, I was introduced to the idea that the best way to describe God was to call it (Him?) “energy,” since it was obvious there was a force that made a body move, breath, and have consciousness. This is when I discovered ESP, psychic phenomena, and finally, Edgar Cayce. The Edgar Cayce teachings led me to establishing a prayer practice, and then, at last, home to Unity. Unity’s metaphysical interpretation of the Bible made it possible for me to accept that, perhaps, the Bible could have a place in my life. At least, I could understand it on another level beyond that of the literal.

One of the best learning experiences I have had through the years was a workshop presented by Glen Moyers, a pastor from a Christian church here in Missoula, who posited: “There is no hell in the Bible.” The word for hell in the Bible is the name assigned to the trash heap outside of town, where fires burned 

constantly as the trash was disposed of. This idea made perfect sense to me and I have relied on this teaching ever since.

I am so glad that Unity doesn’t teach a fear-based religion, but rather one based on love. Unity’s basic tenet: “There is only one presence and one power, the all-loving goodness of God,” followed by the belief we all have that presence and power within each of us, has been my guiding principle for over four decades. To go a step further, and to know and accept that that goodness of God is my reality, and that I am loved no matter what, bring me great comfort, even in the midst of seeming tragedy. To be able to go out into the world, carrying love with me and as me, then to be able to trust that whatever is going on will pass away, leaving only the reality of goodness in its wake, is the biggest blessing of all.

So let’s join together in this new year, and remember that we can indeed change our world as we remember that we carry only light with us. Let us see peace and love throughout this world. Amen.

Linda Andrus, your Licensed Unity Teacher