Founders: Charles and Myrtle (d. 1931) Fillmore
Headquarters: Lee's Summit, Missouri
Membership: Over one million
Origins: Unity began in Kansas City in 1889. Both Charles (a spiritist with no Christian background) and Myrtle (raised a Methodist) were involved with Christian Science and claimed that principles in Christian Science lead to healings in their lives. However, they disagreed with the Christian Science doctrine that matter is not real. They broke away, taught the reality of matter (Christian Science denies the reality of matter) and added, among other doctrines, the belief in reincarnation. Charles even believed he was the reincarnation of Paul the apostle. The Fillmores studied Hinduism and wove many of its other principles into their philosophy as their new religion grew. Unity is a mind science cult.
Doctrines: Unity School of Christianity denies the Trinity, the deity of Jesus, the personality of the Holy Spirit, the necessity of the atonement of Jesus for our sins, heaven, hell, sin, and the existence of the devil. Unity teaches reincarnation. "The second birth is that in which we 'put on Christ.' It is a process of mental adjustment and body transmutation that takes place right here on earth." They are largely vegetarians. It teaches that experience, if you are 'in tune' with God, is more accurate and reliable than the Bible. God, though, is a divine universal consciousness. Man is a part of that Divine Consciousness and is, therefore, divine by nature.
Unity separates Jesus from Christ saying that Jesus was a man, but that we all possess the Christ consciousness within us. Christ is the one complete idea of perfect man and divine Mind. Atonement is the reconciliation of our minds with the Divine Mind. It says that the Holy Spirit is a latent power within every one of us.
"Problems" disappear when you think correctly; that is, when you think according to the principles of divine mind as revealed in Unity. God is within us all as well as creation. "God slumbers in the rocks. God stirs in the flowers. God awakens in Man." All are children of God and Jesus was simply here to show us what we, as children of God, can do. It denies that Jesus is God in flesh and that he is to be worshiped. "But because He remained in a high state of spiritual consciousness, He became the ethical Messiah of the world."
Following are quotes from Charles Fillmore's book Christian Healing, Unity School of Christianity, Unity Village, MO. They are at the end of each chapter in his book and are meant as summarizations and points of meditation.
- "God is the name of my good" (p. 17).
- "God is the name of the everywhere Principle, in whom I live, move, and have my being" (p. 17).
- "I am the son of God, and the Spirit of the Most High dwells in me" (p. 29).
- "I am the only begotten son, dwelling in the bosom of the Father" (p. 29).
- "I am the Christ of God" (p. 29).
- "I and my Father are one" (p. 29).
- "I am one with Almightiness" (p. 29).
- "God is good, and God is all, therefore I refuse to believe in the reality of evil in any of its forms" (p. 60).
- "My perfection is now established in Divine Mind" (p. 83).
- "Holding continuously to the reality of things spiritual establishes them in mind -- they become mental substance" (p. 84).
- "I see the light of the Christ consciousness always" (p. 106).
Because unity denies basic Christian theology it is considered a non-Christian cult.
Publications: Wee Wisdom, for Children; Good Business, for business people; Weekly Unity, their devotional magazine. They use mail order extensively. There are many other writings some of which are "Mysteries of Genesis" and "Christian Healing" both by Charles Fillmore.
Comments: To uphold its doctrinal position, like most non-Christian cults, the true Christian position is misrepresented in order to justify this cult's "more correct" view. For example, Unity claims that Christianity views God as a man because we claim that God made us in His image. This is an erring assumption on their part as well as a misrepresentation. Unity uses the Bible and Jesus when it suits its needs but is not faithful to the biblical revelation of who and what God is, what Jesus has done, and the nature of the Trinity and salvation. It is a dangerous non-Christian cult that should be avoided.