The URANTIA Book, the URANTIA Foundation, and the URANTIA three concentric circle symbol above (Banner of Michael) represent a modern-day Arian/Gnostic cult which began in the 1930's in the Midwest United States. The cult gained popularity during the hallucinogenic 1960s and 70s, as the associations between drugs, the occult, metaphysics, and the New Age movement were being forged.
The English word "Gnostic" comes from the Greek word gnosis, which means knowledge. Gnosticism is an ancient religion which, while altering is appearance down through history, always lays claim to special or secret knowledge based on extra-biblical revelations. Considered a dangerous heresy, several New Testament epistles (Colossians and 1, 2, & 3 John) contain warnings against gnosticism. Arianism (Arius) - was a movement in the early church that believed God the Father alone was God, and that Jesus was created. It was declared heretical at the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325, and again at the Council of Constantinople in A.D. 381.
The URANTIA Book, first copyrighted in 1955 and consisting of 2,097 six by eleven inch pages, is a collection of 196 apocryphal "papers" (i.e. revelations) transmitted by various "authors" (i.e. spirit beings). Their themes consists of highly detailed, mythology-like descriptions of (our) universe, surrounding universes, numerous extraterrestrial spirit beings which are said to inhabit these universes, the spiritual evolutionary history of planet earth (Urantia), and the life and teaching of a "Jesus", also called "Christ Michael", a "Creator Son".
The URANTIA Foundation has provided multiple copies of the cultic URANTIA Book to libraries across the United States. As part of the larger "Urantia Brotherhood", small groups of followers...Societies... hold regular, sometimes clandestine meetings "to study the book and ... pledge themselves to disseminate its teachings."
Legitimate Religion or Cult??
The Urantia can be classified as a cult largely due to the fact that according to them, the Lord Jesus Christ is considered a created spirit being, rather than the preexistent, second person of the Trinity, God the Son. The New Testament is full of warning concerning those who deny that Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh (e.g. 1 John 2:18-27, 2 John 7-11).
Like other cults, they engage in various semantic games in an effort to cloak and hide this fact. Their position is similar to the beliefs of Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, Christian Scientists, New Agers and others. The following direct quotes from the URANTIA Book substantiate the fact:
Thus, for the Urantia cultist who sees 'descending orders of spirit beings', the Lord Jesus Christ is lower down this chain of created beings. Similar to the teachings of the Cambridge, Massachusetts based Scientology sub-cult "The Process" or the "Church of the Final Judgment," the URANTIA Book views Satan and Jesus Christ as feuding angelic brothers. This can be documented in Paper #53 entitled, The Lucifer Rebellion.
Who Wrote the URANTIA Book?
The URANTIA Book's clear mark of "demonic" authorship is its total lack of understanding regarding the Christian doctrine of sin or salvation. Judaism and Christianity are continuously portrayed as "primitive" religions practiced by "primitive men." The biblical concept of progressive revelation is exchanged for an evolutionary theory which is used to explain most religious differences. Of course, the Urantia religionists considers themselves at the top of this spiritual evolutionary chain. While the book quotes and paraphrases several portions of the Bible, distortions of key biblical truths are found throughout. For example, Paper #89, Sin, Sacrifice, and Atonement states:
The concepts of substitutionary atonement and propitiation with blood are viewed by the Urantia as grotesque and grossly primitive.
Similar to other cults who deny the inherited consequences upon humanity of Adam and Eve's transgression, the gospel according to the Urantia speaks of:
Due to its extraordinary volume of information, it's hard to conceive that the URANTIA Book was the product of one man's inflated imagination. Recent information suggests occult "channeling" as the source. The fact that the Urantia agrees with the Bible in certain areas highly suggests that the author(s) had some understanding of spiritual subjects. Further, while select statements found in the URANTIA Book are not necessarily contradictory to the Bible, a number of critical topics are diametrically contrary to sound Christian teaching.
The following appears in the URANTIA Book's Forward:
The Holy Spirit, via the Apostle Paul, instructs believers that spirit beings were capable of communicating with human beings and warned the Christians living in the providence of Galatia to beware of such apocryphal messages. Christian, never forget this admonition:
Growing Christians, who have studied and become clear on the divine origin and nature of the Bible, are generally not vulnerable to the extra-revelatory claims of Pentecostals, charismatics, or various cults. They rest in the fact that the Bible is God's exclusive channel of written communication to man. Sadly from time to time, we receive email from vulnerable Pentecostals and charismatics who have fallen prey to the Urantia group and are attempting to justify their involvement. Numerous study guides, available through Christian bookstores, are designed to develop your knowledge of the Bible in this important area. This article was written to warn and protect new-creation Christians; not to rescue those of whom "the god of this age has blinded the minds" 1 Corinthians 4:4.
We regularly receive email from Urantia cultists (mostly hostile and many unprintable) challenging our conservative Christian views. For the most part, we only respond to those who appear to ask genuine questions. To the disingenuous, we apply Titus 3:10, "Warn a divisive [Greek: hairetokos - heretic] person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him."
Permission is granted to photocopy and distribute this article to your Christian friends and relatives who may have questions concerning the beliefs of the Urantia cult.
For additional information regarding URANTIA, see:
For further reading on the subject of Gnosticism, see: