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A New World Picture

Christianity in an intellectualised form

Why do many people - here in the West in particular - lose their ability to believe in religion? Does it mean that Christianity is losing its significance?

According to Martinus it is actually quite natural that Christianity in its present form loses its inspirational force in a modern society that is characterised by science and logical thinking. It shows merely that we are in the middle of an inevitable change. But this change does not cause Christianity to lose its significance.

We will, on the contrary, experience a development that will lead to the humane, basic Christian ideals of care for others, forgiveness and neighbourly love becoming pivotal values and creating the foundation for an entirely new world culture. The more these values are manifest in practice, the more Christianity actually fulfils its mission.

In popular terms this means that Christianity moves from the pulpit to daily life and the life of society. Here it is practised in the form of politics and humaneness, but the core content is the same. A good example is the political agreement to help the weak and ill in society, something that is inspired by the Christian message of neighbourly love.

Time for a third testament

When the ability to believe in religion diminishes, the need for a logical explanation of life and its religious dimension grows. The time has therefore come for what Martinus describes as an "intellectualised Christianity" or a "science of universal love".

By entitling his collected works The Third Testament Martinus places our age in a natural continuation of the two earlier epochs represented by "The Old Testament" and "The New Testament" respectively, as well as by the morality, culture and consciousness implicit in each of these epochs.

In "The Old Testament" the prevailing morality was "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth", that is to say that revenge and punishment were legitimate means. Morality in "The New Testament", on the contrary, meant loving one’s enemies and turning the other cheek. With these new moral norms Jesus heralded more than 2000 years ago the first stages of a humane world culture.

Jesus had to communicate these moral norms in a form that people of his time could understand. For this reason his teachings were handed down in the form of parables and dogmas, and were supported by his personal behaviour and ability to work miracles. Jesus was, according to Martinus’ description, a model of a real human being - what the Bible describes as "a finished human being in God’s image after his likeness".

Spiritual science helps us to get a logical explanation of this phenomenon and others. We are to understand this finished human being in God’s image as a human being with an all-embracing capacity to love and a perfect, logical and intellectual ability to think. And it is interesting to note that this perfect state is reserved not for a few chosen individuals but is the goal for all living beings. We just have to be patient because the evolutionary process involved spans thousands of years.

The merging of science and religion

The message that a continuation of the mission of Christianity would come can be found in Jesus’ predictions about the comforter, the holy spirit: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." "But the Comforter, who is the Holy Ghost whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

This comforter is, according to Martinus, not to be understood as a person. It is not a matter of Christ coming again as a new messiah. It is a matter of "sacred knowledge". This knowledge is everything that people could not understand at the time of Jesus. But now mankind is ready to receive it in an intellectualised and scientific form.

By virtue of his fully developed faculty of intuition and his cosmic consciousness, Martinus was able to disseminate this knowledge. His works contain a cohesive, logical explanation of the spiritual and physical dimensions of existence. This forms a foundation for uniting science and religion in a new spiritual science.

Martinus spent 60 years of his life disseminating this new knowledge. Reserved and modest as he was, he stressed that all human beings are equal with the words: "The abilities that I have managed to develop are merely what all others before me have attained, and what all others after me - absolutely everyone without exception - will attain."