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Problems of Humanity - Chapter V - The Problem of the Churches
IV. The Regeneration of the Churches

Can the churches, both in the East and in the West, be regenerated, purified and brought into line with divine truth? Can they in reality take over the task which they loudly proclaim is theirs and become the genuine dispensers of truth and the representatives of the kingdom of God on earth? The answer is yes. These changes [153] can be made and their possibility can be demonstrated by the recognition of certain factors which are oft overlooked.

A profound and sound optimism is entirely possible even in the midst of discouraging conditions. The heart of humanity is sound; God in His very nature and, with all His power is present in the person of every man, unrevealed as yet in the majority but eternally present and moving towards full expression. Nothing can or ever has prevented mankind from a steady progress which has been from ignorance to knowledge and from darkness to light. The first great clause of the most ancient prayer in the world., "Lead us from darkness to Light", has seen fulfilment to a large degree. Today we are on the verge of seeing the answer to the second clause: "Lead us from the unreal to the Real". This may well be the outstanding effect of the coming fifth Approach.

God is not as He has been presented; salvation is not achieved as the churches teach; man is not the miserable sinner which the clergy force him to believe. All this is unreal but the Real exists; it exists for the churches and for the professional representatives of organized religion as much as for any other man or group. Churchmen are as basically divine, as sound and as surely on their way to enlightenment as any other group of men on earth. The salvation of the churches rests on the humanity of its representatives and on their innate divinity as surely as does the salvation of the mass of men. This is for the church a hard saying.

Great and good, holy and humble men are to be found serving as priests in every church, silently and quietly endeavoring to live as Christ would have them live, setting an example of a Christ-like consciousness and demonstrating their close and recognized relation to God. [154]

Let these men rise up, and in their spiritual might let them eliminate out of the churches those materially minded and narrow doctrinaires who keep the church as it is today; let them intensify the fire in their hearts and draw closer - with deliberation and understanding - to the Christ they serve; let them gather closer to the Hierarchy those they are seeking to help; let them discard - without fighting, comment or fury - the doctrines which hold the people in a mental prison and present those few and true teachings to which the hearts of all men everywhere respond. Let them have courage and cheer, optimism and joy, for the forces of evil have been greatly weakened and the masses of men axe rapidly awakening to the true spiritual values; let them know that Christ and the true inner church are on their side; therefore victory is already theirs.

The processes of evolution may be long but they are proven and sure and nothing can arrest the moving forward into the Kingdom of God. Humanity must progress; stage by stage and cycle after cycle, humanity approaches closer to divinity, discovers a more brilliant light and arrives at a growing knowledge of God. God, in the person of Christ and of His disciples, also draws nearer to men. What has been in the past shall indeed be in the future; revelation will succeed revelation until the great Informing Life of our planet (called in the Bible the Ancient of Days) will stand finally revealed in all His glory; He will then Himself approach His regenerated and purified people.

Another point which should be remembered is that in the new generation lies hope - hope through repudiation of the ancient and undesirable, hope because of their ceaseless demand for spiritual light, hope because of the promptness with which they recognize truth wherever it is to be found (in the church or out of it) and hope because, having been born in the midst of a [155] ruined world and a general chaos, they are ready for the rebuilding.

The church will then proclaim that men can draw near to God, not through the mediation, absolution and the intercessory work of any priest or churchman but by right of man's inherent divinity. This it will be the duty of every churchman to evoke by example, by the energy of applied and practical love (not expressed through a soporific paternalism), and by the unified effort of the clergy of all faiths everywhere in the world.

The churches in the West need to realize that basically there is only one church but it is not necessarily only the orthodox Christian institution; God works in many ways, through many faiths and religious agencies; in their union will the fullness of truth be revealed. This is one reason for the elimination of non-essential doctrines.

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