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Why I Built TruthUnity

The Human Side of Unity
The Human Side of Unity

Mark Hicks

Hi Friends -

I have spent 14 years developing a website that introduces Fillmore teachings to people in churches. I’ve done that because of my own story. I had left the mainstream church because traditional Christian theology no longer made sense. But I never lost my affection for people in churches. Fillmore teachings provided a new understanding of God that restored my faith. The Fillmore teachings gave me back the Gospel. Like everyone who finds something special, I wanted to share it with friends and family in my church.

So I began putting some of the Fillmore writings on the Internet. And I found ways to make them easy to read and understand through hyperlinking of text to the Revealing Word and the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary. Turns out that nearly two-thirds of my visitors were soon accessing Bible materials. So many people were coming that any search for “metaphysical meaning of ____” would come up first in Google searches. Technical tools indicate that many of them are not in Unity and have no idea what Unity is. They just like the metaphysical interpretations.

While studying at Unity Village to become a Licensed Teacher I discovered an entire room in the library with audio cassette recordings of Unity teachers from the 1970s, 80s and 90s. They were conveying to me a form of Unity that was once taught but was quite different from what I was learning in my classes. So, while sitting in class I was always running a cassette player at the back of the room, piping audio files into my computer. I checked out cassette albums and ran my tape player all night in my room, waking up every hour to flip the cassette. That is where I learned most of what Unity had to offer people in churches.

I began segmenting the long audio files into short 2-3 minute clips. I had discovered that not many people will listen to a 60 minute audio file, but they will sample a clip and then continue on. The most popular audio resource was Eric Butterworth’s Practical Metaphysics, which hadn’t been listened to for years. That led to me formatting Practical Metaphysics into a book, with chapters broken into segments same as the audio files. I ordered 5 copies from Lulu and sent one to Jim Blake. Unity chose to publish it and it has became a best seller.

I was proud of that, but never so proud as when a high school classmate, a good Catholic boy, whom I hadn’t connected with for nearly 50 years, joined my mailing list and began listening to all the Butterworth sermons. I can’t tell you how good it makes me feel when a friend or family finds something on Unity that has enriches their faith experience. My high school friend is still Catholic, but Butterworth has enriched his catholicism.

By far the most difficult work has been producing the Fillmore Study Bible New Testament. It took a little over five years. Why did I do it? Because I wanted visitors to Unity churches to find something in the church bookstore that was familiar, something that would quickly enrich their understanding of God, no matter where they were on their spiritual journey and no matter what church they were attending. And I wanted every visitor to the TruthUnity website to find in a few clicks how Charles Fillmore and his students interpreted their favorite Bible verse.

So it makes no sense for me to put the Fillmore Study Bible out on Amazon. I need to get the Bibles into church bookstores and lending libraries where they can do the good work of connecting visitors from other churches to Fillmore teaching. I need to get the Bibles to ministers and licensed teachers to hand out in pastoral visits, in Bible studies, in prison ministries and as gifts to new church members. That is why I choose to make Unity churches and their ministers the primary distribution channel for the Bibles.

And, over fourteen years, I have accumulated enough donations to stock the churches and their ministers with Bibles—for free. I have been telling people the Bibles were funded by “generous donors.” That’s not quite true. The donors are not a few wealthy donors. The donors are you. People who have contributed to TruthUnity over fourteen years. Earlier this month I placed my fourth order for 500 Bibles. They are now in stock and waiting for Unity churches who want them.

We, together, have an opportunity today to carry on, and perhaps finish, the vision, mission and strategy of Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in bringing their metaphysical teachings to the churches and their people.

The Fillmore vision is “UNITY as a link in the great ed­ucational movement inaugurated by Jesus Christ.” Like me, the Fillmores wanted to see people in churches reading metaphysical materials. So they published books like Lessons in Truth and Christian Healing, trusting that their way to the hearts of people in churches was straight and clear.

The Fillmore mission was reforming the message of the churches, particularly reforming the excessively negative message of 19th century Evangelicalism that has frightened many people. We have today, perhaps for the first time since Unity’s founding in 1889, an opportunity to “go forward” in partnership with post-Evangelicals in healing divisions and reforming the Christian message instead of “going away” and becoming a movement of nones.

The Fillmore strategy was prayer and publishing—equipping people in churches and their ministers with new materials and introducing a new form of spiritual healing. My strategy is content and connections—I’ll have more to say about that in the coming months.

If TruthUnity means anything today, it means that people in churches are looking for new expressions of Christianity; it means that people in churches are looking for a better way. I am confident of that. The Fillmores were also confident that people in churches were looking for a better way—so confident of their mission, vision and strategy for reaching people in churches that they walked out of New Thought because the vague, confusing messages New Thought sent to everyday people in churches did not rise to the “Jesus Christ standard.”

My point in this short little rant is that the Fillmores discovered that people in churches weren’t put off by the Unity message; rather they were attracted to the Unity message. That has been my experience, for myself as well as for visitors to TruthUnity.

The Fillmores did not choose to turn away from people in churches, the Fillmores directed their message directly to people in churches. That has been and continues to be my direction as well.

I have a long way to go; there are 2.3 billion Christians in the world, many or most of them are in churches. Few of them know about the Fillmore teachings. I hope you will join me in finishing the vision, mission and strategy of the Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in bringing the Good News of unity, health and prosperity to people in churches. That is why I built TruthUnity.

Mark Hicks
Friday, December 29, 2023

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