Veridicanism is a neologism that derives from the word “veridical.”
Veridical, in the case of this word, means true. The suffix -an is combined with veridical to denote a follower of that which is true (Veridican), and -ism is a suffix attached that denotes a doctrine. Thus, according to practicing Veridicans, Veridicanism means The doctrine of those who follow that which is true.
Veridicanism is the name of a Christian religion founded by Edward Jerome Gordon in Riverside, California in 1993. It began as the Veridical Christian Society, a protestant non-denominational sect with only a few members, but over the next twenty years evolved into its current form. Veridicanism is the theological philosophy of a group of believers known as Veridicans and they belong to the online Church of the Veridican which started in January of 2013. Although Veridicans maintain they are Christians, the ideology of Veridicanism is widely dismissed by many other Christians as heretical.
Articles of Faith
Below are the stated Articles of Faith for those belonging to the Veridican religion.
We live our lives in preparation for the eternal life hereafter. In aid of that we hold the following articles of faith to be true:
God is the fundamental monistic consciousness, creator of the universe in all its dimensions, father of souls, the definition of Life, author of truth, existence for its own sake.
The basic purpose of all human beings is to transform our spirit into Christ. Christ is God conscious of Himself from within His creation.
We assert that Jesus Christ was a physical man living on earth who was the first among us to transform into Christ. Thus his life and teachings are the instructions we follow for our transformation.
Jesus Christ is the Savior, the Son of God, God on Earth. He lived during the time of the Ancient Roman Empire, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate. He died, but he rose to life again three days later and ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Glory of God. He will return to earth one day to judge the living and the dead.
Salvation is the transformation from our inborn human spirit into the spirit of Christ. It is accomplished when we put our faith in the concept of Christ, realize our imperfection as human beings, and honestly desire that transformation.
We define baptism as transformation through death and rebirth. We all have a baptism to undergo in that our human spirit must die and be reborn as Christ.
We believe that during the ceremony of eating bread and drinking wine that our faith transforms the bread into the actual body of Christ and the wine into Christ’s actual blood, and when we consume it, we transform into it. We hold this ritual on each solstice of every year, either alone or in community.
We interpret the true life and teachings of Jesus Christ from the Veridican Gospel of Jesus Christ. All other religious books and writings are available for our edification, but the Veridican Gospel of Jesus Christ is the final authoritative text in all matters of our faith.
We hold that it is inerrant in purpose in that it will not fail to transform and grow the human spirit into Christ if read and understood.
We have only two moral commandments: That we should love God with all our heart, all our mind, all our soul, and all our strength. And that we should love our neighbor by doing unto them what we would have done unto us.
We define sin as any action or thought that impedes our spiritual transformation into Christ. Anything that moves us toward becoming Christ is good; anything that slows that or reverses it is evil.
We hold that the Church is the community of minds where Christ is present. Thus we define it as the body of believers united in the solitary purpose of transforming into Christ. For Jesus Christ said, “Where two are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”
We believe in a spiritual entity that exists to draw human beings away from any development into Christ. We hold that Satan is a creation of God intended to purify the elect and to prune those from the Church who are not truly committed to it by faith. Anyone not in a league with Christ necessarily remains in a league with Satan.
We hold that if a human dies while transforming into Christ, they continue that transformation in paradise. Paradise is an alternate plane where individual souls have a much greater control over their environment than what they have in the physical plane. Heaven is not the end, of the transformation, but only a stop along the way to a complete union with God.
We believe hell is a place of spiritual agony where souls are kept for the pleasure of God. We believe anyone not transforming into Christ at the time of death will go to hell.
We believe it is our duty to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to whomever will listen in hopes the seed of the Word of God will grow within them and the transformation into Christ will commence. We evangelize because we love our fellow human being, even as God loves us all, therefore we evangelize with fervor, commitment, and by any means necessary.
We believe there are two meanings inherent in the “Second Coming.”
1. We believe Christ returns whenever a human being is transformed into Christ through faith in Christ.
2. We wait for the return of our teacher, Jesus Christ, who said he would come again to judge the world. This we believe occurs just before the end of the physical world.
Veridicans exists to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to the world and reveal the great potential of humankind expressed through the fullness of Christ. To this end, we endeavor by the power of God to be a light within the world, and from that power, to follow our template who is the firstborn among us—Jesus Christ. The fruition of our work is a great awakening within the human soul, empowering it to overthrow the kingdom of Satan and usher in the kingdom of God ruled eternally by those unified in Christ. We hold this to be the will of our Heavenly Father and the legacy of Glory owed to our posterity. Therefore, with perseverance we continue this struggle through the power of faith, the boldness of truth, our commitment to Christ, and the indomitable favor of the Lord our God.
Differences from mainstream Christianity
Veridicans deny the Holy Bible as the current word of God and follow instead The Veridican Gospel of Jesus Christ, a synthesis of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas authored by Edward Gordon in 2005 and published in 2012.
Veridicans believe the human spirit is transformed into Christ through faith, communion, and the study of scripture.
Veridicans believe that God is a monistic fundamental consciousness and as such is not separate from his creation, but rather is his creation. Mainstream Christians often view this as a form of pantheism, but Veridicans disagree claiming that in pantheism, the universe is God, but in monistic consciousness all that exists is of the substance of God. In this respect they are loosely aligned with the philosophy of Barouche Spinoza, in his work, Ethics.
Veridicans believe that Christ is actually God, but is God conscious of himself, or self-aware, within his own creation. Therefore, Veridicans believe that when a human being is transformed into Christ, they simply become aware of being God from a perspective within the creation as opposed to outside the creation looking in. However, it is understood that while the process of transformation begins on earth during their physical life, much of this progression into Christ occurs after death when their soul enters a lucid spiritual plane they believe Jesus referred to as “paradise.”
Veridicans come together in an online forum owned by Gordon, entitled, “The Veridican.” Membership is free, however, there is a subscription required for added member benefits and to be nominated for leadership roles.
Veridicans are considered by some to be fundamentalist in the sense that they adhere strongly to the teachings found in The Veridican Gospel of Jesus Christ, but they are liberal in many areas. Veridicans have no stated opinion on homosexuality, abortion, capital punishment, or drug use. They do not endorse any political party, and they have no stated prejudices related to race, religion, or sex.
Their strongest fundamental trait is probably best observed in their vehement resistance toward atheism. According to Edward Gordon:
“We hate atheism because we love the human being who is tormented by atheism. We are committed to fighting the atheistic influence in society, and see it as a detriment to the psychological functioning of human beings, to society as a whole, and to future generations influenced by it.”
Indeed, most of the efforts of Veridicans today are directed at challenging atheistic beliefs through online discussions, debate, and through sermons offered on a weekly basis through the Church of the Veridican.
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