Yes, we consider Unity to be a Christian denomination, but we do acknowledge that we don’t conform to some of the more conservative interpretations of some Christian denominations.
Yes, we are Christian if you mean do we follow the example and teachings of Jesus-the-Christ. Yes, if you mean do we love God with all our minds, hearts, souls, and strength, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Yes, if you mean that we lead lives of devoted service, seeking to compassionately care for those who may be marginalized, and in need of grace. Yes, if you mean do we stand up in the public square for justice and fairness as did Jesus.
Unity does not teach the acceptance of Jesus as the only savior and Christianity as the only path to God and eternal salvation. We do not subscribe to the religion created about Jesus that is often exclusive, laced with highly restrictive dogma, frequently overlooks Jesus, and emphasizes “doctrine”, which for many has been the source of tremendous confusion and pain.
Unity of Fairfax teaches that Jesus was not the great exception, but rather the great example. Classically, Unity and those in the New Thought–Ageless Wisdom tradition of spirituality regard Jesus an enlightened being, one who attained Christ, or liberation from a sense of separation from the Source of all that is. Jesus, like Gautama The Buddha, is revered as a way-shower, as an exemplar of unconditional love, selfless service, and self-mastery.
The Bible is the source and chief reference-point for Rev. Russ’s services and Unity of Fairfax’s classes, and it remains the cornerstone of the Unity teachings. We apply a metaphysical interpretation to the Bible, not a literal interpretation. To that end, we seek to find the practical inner-meaning of the Bible, as well as other ancient sacred writings and texts that have been handed down through the ages. Like our co-founder Charles Fillmore, we are always in search for the universal spiritual principles found in the ancient wisdom of the Bible and other holy texts. The Bible that is primarily used by Rev. Russ is the New Revised Standard version. He also references the Gnostic-inspired edition translated and interpreted from the original Aramaic, rather than the Greek translation used in traditional Christian churches such as the King James version or the Saint Gregory version used by the Catholic church.