Religious tradition is the imperfectly preserved record of the experiences of the God-knowing men of past ages, but such records are untrustworthy as guides for religious living or as the source of true information about the universal Father. Such ancient beliefs have been invariably altered by the fact that primitive man was a mythmaker. One of the greatest sources of confusion on our planet Urantia concerning the nature of God grows out of the failure of our sacred books clearly to distinguish between the personalities of the Paradise Trinity and between Paradise Deity and the local universe creators and administrators.
During the past dispensations of partial understanding, our priests and prophets failed clearly to differentiate between Planetary Princes, System Sovereigns, Constellation Fathers, Creator Sons, Superuniverse Rulers, the Supreme Being, and the Universal Father. Many of the messages of subordinate personalities, such as Life Carriers and various orders of angels, have been, in our records, presented as corning from God Himself. Our Urantian religious thought still confuses the associate personalities of Deity with the Universal Father Himself, so that all are included under one appellation.
There are people here on our plan et who continue to suffer from the influence of primitive concepts of God. The gods who go on a rampage in the storm; who shake the earth in their wrath and strike down men in their anger; who inflict their judgments of displeasure in times of famine and flood – these are the gods of primitive religion; they are not the Gods who live and rule the universes. Such concepts are a relic of the times when men supposed that the universe was under the guidance and domination of the whims of such imaginary gods. But mortal man is beginning to realize that he lives in a realm of comparative law and order as far as concerns the administrative policies and conduct of the Supreme Creators and the Supreme Controllers.
The barbarous idea of appeasing an angry God, of propitiating an offended Lord, of winning the favor of Deity through sacrifices and penance and even by the shedding of blood, represents a religion wholly puerile and primitive, a philosophy unworthy of an enlightened age of science and truth. Such beliefs are utterly repulsive to the celestial beings and the divine rulers who serve and reign in the universes. It is an affront to God to believe, hold, or teach that innocent blood must be shed in order to win His favor or to divert the fictitious divine wrath.
The Hebrews believe that “without the shedding of blood there could be no remission of sin.” They had not found deliverance from the old and pagan idea that the Gods could not be appeased except by the sight of blood, though Moses did make a distinct advance when he forbade human sacrifices and substituted therefor, in the primitive minds of his childlike Bedouin followers, the ceremonial sacrifice of animals.
The bestowal of a Paradise Creator Son on our world – Jesus of Nazareth – was inherent in the situation of closing a planetary age; it was inescapable, and it was not made necessary for the purpose of winning the favor of God. This bestowal also happened to be the final personal act of a Creator Son in the long adventure of earning the experiential sovereignty of his universe. What a travesty upon the infinite character of God! This teaching that His fatherly heart in all its austere coldness and hardness was so untouched by the misfortunes and sorrows of His creatures that His tender mercies were not forthcoming until He saw His blameless Son bleeding and dying upon the cross of Calvary! But we are to find deliverance from these ancient errors and pagan superstitions respecting the nature of the Universal Father. The revelation of the truth about God is appearing, and our human race is destined to know the Universal Father in all that beauty of character and loveliness of attributes so magnificently portrayed by our Creator Son who sojourned on Urantia as the Son of Man and the Son of God.