About Us

The Via Christa is the natural outgrowth of the effect of the life, work and teachings of Dr. Edna Lister (1884 to 1971) on certain of her students in the United States. She taught that the Kingdom of Heaven is open to all believers, stressing the necessity of personal responsibility and accountability for one's own spiritual growth and ascension of consciousness.

"The Father wants all His children home," she said, but insisted that it is up to us to do the climbing, without expecting to hitch a ride into the kingdom, free of charge on Jesus' coat tails. To her, life's glass is always more than half full. She taught us to speak the Word for miracles – "This is good. Let there be Light" – and to stand steadfastly and know that all good will come to pass, according to our faith.

Edna Lister believed that everyone could walk with Jesus on the Way of the Christ. She founded the prayer and study groups that now form the Society of the Universal Living Christ. By studying spiritual law and choosing daily to apply it to your life, you can ascend in consciousness.

In 1940, Edna Lister asked Edna and Ruth Bender, of Buffalo, New York, to compile the spiritual laws and principles she was teaching into a textbook of laws. They created hundreds of typed file cards. Seventy-plus years later, we are fulfilling her desires, although in electronic rather than printed form.

As participants in Edna Lister's Society of the Universal Living Christ, we are part of her legacy, her life and teachings. We are people who have submitted our self to the spiritual and self disciplines she prescribed as an optimal way to walk the Via Christa, the Path of Ascension of consciousness.

We have experienced such positive results using the methods Edna Lister taught that we have spent decades, transcribing her outlines and students' notes to make available a record of her life's work. Those who chose to journey with her tended to remain her companions on the way for life. We have also.

The scope of Edna Lister's life work is enormous, including books, pamphlets, speeches, articles, essays, sermons, lectures and group and personal meetings with students in many cities in the Unites States, Europe, Great Britain, and Africa. Her personal correspondence was voluminous, and several students saved her letters and their notes from sermons, lectures and private meetings, bequeathing them to us.

The personal papers of the following persons have been used to create the content of this site: Edna Lister, Kay Wilder Abstein, Dorothy Allen, Elizabeth Barnes, Edna Bender, Joan Bender, Susan Bender, Ferne Carter Chapman, Ruth Bender Collord, Victor Stoms Collord, Jessica Reese Davis, Margaret Pratt Doan, Helen Effinger, Florence Garrett, Alfhild Graham, Theresa Grosscurth, Ruth Heymann Johnson, Lily V. Kondash, Lotus Judson Landis, Ellsworth Layer, Linda Hildebrand Mihalic, Lorraine Moffat, Eunice Morrison, Dorothy Rowe, Alice Schier, Darcea Schiesl, C.A.W., Florence Waldorf, Irene White, Ross Whitehead, Virginia Whitehead, and May Clark Wilder.

Our physical archive, which spans 1925-1971, is considerable. The collection would have remained unusable without the efforts of our transcription team, using typewriters at first and computers later. Those tireless workers include Kay Wilder Abstein, Molly Doan Bellamy, Lauren Visci Burnett, Mariann Cade, Margaret Pratt Doan, Helen Effinger, Lois Gillett, Sherry Abstein Gordon, Sandra Gustavson, Stephanie Briggs James, Barbara Imboden Martien, Linda Hildebrand Mihalic, Marge Pauls, Mona Nemer Rainwater, Ross and Virginia Whitehead.

What We Believe

We believe in Jesus the Christ as the first and only Begotten Son of God, who is the Messiah appointed to open the way of of salvation from sin and error on earth. While mainstream Christianity follows Jesus through the Crucifixion to his Resurrection, we follow Christ all the way into Ascension.

We define "church" as a building, a congregation, or a religious sect. Our Society of the Universal Living Christ is not a physical structure, but a non-sectarian congregation for prayer and religious study, focused on living life as Jesus the Christ taught.

The Bible, both the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and New Testament, is our chief textbook. While we believe that it was divinely inspired, we also understand that it has undergone numerous revisions, editing (redaction), deletions and insertions into the text over its 2,000+ year history. The Bible's editors were all human, and thus, subject to error in opinion and prejudice, as are we, and this is our "opinion."

We are not literalists in our beliefs. Always, we prefer to ponder what Jesus said, as recorded in the Gospels (including the Apocryphal Gospels) first, before choosing a way propounded by any Gospel or Epistle writer.

We believe in two doctrines that are not currently mainstream in Western thought, although they were in ancient times and still are in the East: The doctrine of many lives, the doctrine of absolute personal responsibility and accountability, and the related law of correspondence or reciprocity.

We live as many lives as it takes to learn our lessons and to apply divine law perfectly. In the Eastern world, they call this reincarnation.

The doctrine of absolute personal responsibility and accountability holds that although Jesus Christ may have "died for our sins," this does not give us carte blanche to continue in error, sin, or to commit acts or to say words that wound another.

The law of correspondence, or reciprocity, includes such scriptural laws as "as you sow, so shall you reap," which implies that if you do "bad" things, the "bad" will return to you, just as will the "good." In the Orient, they call this the doctrine of "karma," which is a Sanskrit word meaning "to carry over."

To us, this is "spiritual debt," which we create through unwise choices. We invest life sparks of our own soul substance when we choose to do wrong, even inadvertently. We must redeem that substance until we redress the balance of divine justice. We never owe debts to other people, but to God's law and His balance scales.

Articles of Faith

Edna Lister received these Article of Faith in the Golden Silence of the Soul between Palm Sunday and Easter 1934.

Crusaders of Light

As Crusaders of Light, we accept our responsibility to live as nearly as possible the life portrayed by our Master while he walked on earth. We feel that this is a life of joy not sorrow, success, not limitation. There is no place in it for death nor darkness.

We leave nothing out of this life. We believe that every creed, every denomination, every religious dogma, every teacher, minister, rabbi and priest is appointed to give something of God to the world. In each we find truth, and our business is to relate all these different ideas into a perfect, beautiful, coordinated working whole.

We subscribe our lives to do this in as unobtrusive a way as possible, taking no credit to ourselves, but giving God, as all the Power there is, the whole and complete credit.

Great Creed

I believe in God, the Manifold Creator, the Father-Mother of us all, Maker of the visible and invisible universe.

I believe in Father-Mother God as both the Source of all life and the expression of all life.

I believe in Father-Mother God as both Personality and Principle: Personality, which is the Father of Wisdom who plans and the Mother of Love who sustains all which they create; Principle as both spiritual Substance, which becomes, and divine Law that directs and controls.

I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, begotten, not made, before all worlds God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, who was incarnate by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, who lived on earth, suffered and was crucified.

I believe his soul ascended to his Father at once—that his body was buried and raised to be ascended the third day. I believe we must judge ourselves each day according to his standards.

I believe in turning to Light from all darkness and that, through surrender to the Power of God, all darkness shall be overcome. I believe we must be resurrected from all weakness into all strength.

I believe we may, by following our Lord Jesus Christ all the way, see the unseen, commune with the saints and bridge the abyss from the visible to the invisible here and now.

I believe we must ascend to our Father-Mother God for the life everlasting.

The Lord's Christed Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed is thy name.

Thy kingdom is come, thy will is done on earth as it is in heaven.

Thou hast given us, each day, our daily bread.

Thou hast forgiven us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors.

Thou leadest us not into temptation, but deliverest us from all evil,
for thine is the kingdom, and thine is the Power, and thine is the Glory,
forever and ever, amen.

The Creed of Christ

Our creed is Love. Our Path is Service. Our Goal is God.

Declaration of Unquenchable Love

Love is a flame and fire that burns ever, Love cannot be quenched. True love needs no assurances.

True love knows itself and its own.

Love is the fire that enthuses. Love is a fire that ever burns higher, always upward.

True love is the end as well as the beginning.

True love feeds upon itself and not upon the loved one.

True love magnifies the one whom it loves.

Love asks no favors and gives all.

Love's strength lies in its self-sustaining ability.

Love's keynote is a deep, abiding devotion to the one who is loved.

True love burns steadfast under all conditions, joy or sorrow, separation or unity.

True love counts no effort too great nor too small, and no task too hard nor too long.

True love is lifting, opens all doors and is all-compelling in its power to unite.

True love is never conscious of giving but like sunshine shares itself with all.

True love withstands all separation and lives forever.

Declaration of Unconquerable Faith

Faith is the golden stream of all life flowing from the Heart of God.

Faith is the ever-flowing bloodstream of the White Light of the Christ.

Faith is the beginning and the end of all life.

Faith is the substance underlying all manifestation, its foundation bedrock.

Faith is the everywhere evenly present substance from which all creations are fashioned and formed.

Faith is the flame of life within the heart of the co-Creator with God.

Faith is limitless, inexhaustible. Faith is unending and all enduring.

Faith is unconquerable. Faith is all-conquering.

Faith is complete here and now. Faith is ours to use here and now.

Faith can open all doors, overcome all darkness, overlook all weakness and perform miracle after miracle.

Faith is the Life of my life, the Heart of my heart, the Soul of my soul.

Faith is the divine rod of Power between God and His Sons and Daughters.

Let faith now rule our lives and reign upon earth forever!

Vows of Consecration

Neophyte: I vow to make my body a fitting dwelling place for my soul.

Disciple: I vow to surrender completely to become the servant of all the Power.

Adept: I vow to be selfless in my release of Power.

Mystic: I vow to keep my silence shining and golden.

Master: I vow to be master in all responsibility.

Priest: I vow to keep pure in heart, mind and purpose.

Christos: I vow to make my supreme vow of complete surrender of self.

Ten Commandments: Mosaic and Mystical

Ten Commandments of Moses

Mystic Ten Commandments

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Thou shalt love honor above all things.

Thou shalt not make unto thee
any graven image.

Thou shalt love justice and
live it continually.

Thou shalt not take the name of the
Lord thy God in vain.

Thou shalt live with thy neighbor
as thou dost desire to live
with thy Master.

Remember the Sabbath day
to keep it holy.

Thou shalt not live by false pretenses.

Thou shalt honor
thy father and thy mother.

Thou shalt honor thy Father and Mother Virtues, to live them in thy soul and heart, and glorify thy soul before thy Maker.

Thou shalt not kill.

Thou shalt not kill vision, lights,
prayer or love.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Thou shalt not disturb by word, by action, by deed, by false prophecies,
or by false pretenses.

Thou shalt not steal.

Thou shalt not steal an­other's faith,
ideals, hopes, aspirations or inspirations, for God will not hold him guiltless
who disturbs a soul's peace.

Thou shalt not bear false witness
against thy neighbor.

Thou shalt hold thy neighbor close.
His joy shall be thy joy,
his sorrow shall be thy sorrow,
and the understanding of Christ in you shall see the Light to shed.

Thou shalt not covet.

Thou shalt not desire another's goods
by look or by word or by action,
such as personal ideas, loves, friendships
or the path each chooses to follow,
for God will hold you responsible for their indirection from His directed path.

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For further information, contact us at info@viachrista.org