The following information has been obtained from a number of web related sources. I have provided hyperlinks and source quotes where necessary. My hope is that the information will provide some context to the seriousness of the problem and the source from which it comes.
The Bible is not a systematic treatise on Theology, History, Science or any other topic. It is a REVELATION from God of His Plan and Purpose in the Ages as to the earth and the human race. They were given to us piecemeal “at sundry times and in divers manners.” Heb. 1: 1. Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit during a period of 1600 years, extending from B. C. 1492 to A. D. 100. The Bible consists of 66 separate books; 39 in the Old Testament, and 27 in the New. These books were written by about 40 different authors.
The Bible is the word of God. It reveals the Person, character and works of the Creator. It makes known His eternal purposes in creating the heavens and earth and all living beings. It records the history of man: his origin, his original innocence and fall from innocence; and it outlines the different ages of God’s dealings with him, in the past, presently and in the future. The Bible unfolds God’s plan for man’s redemption from the fall, the price that He paid to accomplish it, and the blessed future of those who receive it. It also tells the fate of those who reject their Creator-Redeemer’s great love.
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.”1 Timothy 4:1
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:12-13
Cheered by Oprah Winfrey and Larry King, an enticing little book and corresponding DVD have stirred widespread enthusiasm. “It’s making headlines around the world,” announced Oprah’s website, “and buzz just keeps building. Some say it’s the secret to creating the life you truly want—losing weight, making money, finding love.” Rhonda Byrne, the author of The Secret, is a disciple of a couple named Jerry and Esther Hicks. In the Acknowledgements of The Secret, Byrne thanked Jerry and Esther Hicks and the teachings of Abraham… a group of spirit guides that Esther Hicks channels for guidance on spiritual issues. On the Hicks website, they state: “Abraham, a group of obviously evolved teachers, speak their broader Non-physical perspective through the physical body of Esther [Hicks].
Speaking to our level of comprehension, from their present moment to our now, through a series of loving, allowing, brilliant yet comprehensively simple, recordings in print, in video, and in sound — they guide us to a clear connection with our Inner Being — they guide us to self-upliftment from our total self [god-self].”
Oprah Winfrey will be letting out all the stops on her XM Satellite Radio program this coming year. Beginning January 1, 2008, “Oprah & Friends” will offer a year-long course on the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles. A lesson a day throughout the year will completely cover the 365 lessons from the Course in Miracles “Workbook.” For example,Lesson #29 asks you to go through your day affirming that “God is in everything I see.”Lesson #61 tells each person to repeat the affirmation “I am the light of the world.”Lesson #70 teaches the student to say and believe “My salvation comes from me.”By the end of the year, “Oprah & Friends” listeners will have completed all of the lessons laid out in the Course in Miracles Workbook. Those who finish the Course will have a wholly redefined spiritual mindset–a New Age worldview that includes the belief that there is no sin, no evil, no devil, and that God is “in” everyone and everything. A Course in Miracles teaches its students to rethink everything they believe about God and life. The Course Workbook bluntly states: “This is a course in mind training” and is dedicated to “thought reversal.”Teaching A Course in Miracles will be Oprah’s longtime friend and special XM Satellite Radio reporter Marianne Williamson–who also happens to be one of today’s premier New Age leaders. She and Conversations with God author Neale Donald Walsch co-founded the American Renaissance Alliance in 1997, that later became the Global Renaissance Alliance of New Age leaders, that changed its name again in 2005 to the Peace Alliance. This Peace Alliance seeks to usher in an era of global peace founded on the principles of a New Age/New Spirituality that they are now referring to as a “civil rights movement for the soul.” They all agree that the principles of this New Age/New Spirituality are clearly articulated in A Course in Miracles–which is fast becoming the New Age Bible. So what is A Course in Miracles and what does it teach?A Course in Miracles is allegedly “new revelation” from “Jesus” to help humanity work through these troubled times. This “Jesus”–who bears no doctrinal resemblance to the Bible’s Jesus Christ–began delivering his channeled teachings in 1965 to a Columbia University Professor of Medical Psychology by the name of Helen Schucman.
One day Schucman heard an “inner voice” stating, “This is a course in miracles. Please take notes.” For seven years she diligently took spiritual dictation from this inner voice that described himself as “Jesus.” A Course in Miracles was quietly published in 1975 by the Foundation for Inner Peace. For many years “the Course” was an underground cult classic for New Age seekers who studied “the Course” individually, with friends, or in small study groups.Here are some quotes from the “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles:There is no sin. . . “A “slain Christ has no meaning.”“The journey to the cross should be the last ‘useless journey.’”“Do not make the pathetic error of ‘clinging to the old rugged cross.’”
“The Name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol… It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray.”“God is in everything I see.”“The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.”“The oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity and your limitless power.”“The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation.”
A NEW EARTH
Oprah Winfrey has embarked upon a project that has profound implications for the meditation movement. 700,000 of her followers have recently signed up for Oprah’s online course based on Eckart Tolle’s latest book titled A New Earth.
Tolle’s teaching is anything but new. One of his sources of inspiration was the 13th century father of German mysticism, Meister Eckhart, who wrote, “He who would be serene and pure needs but one thing, detachment.” It’s interesting that Tolle did “let go” of any attachment to his original first name, Ulrich. He changed it to Eckhart.
Neither facts, logical thinking, nor Biblical faith are relevant to the new spirituality. So it’s not surprising that Eckhart Tolle, celebrated author of A New Earth, dismisses them all as “form” or “ego”: distracting “attachments” that block awareness of human Divinity and oneness with “God.” To validate his message, Eckhart Tolle reinterprets history. Notice how he blends Eastern and Western mysticism — praising Zen as well as the Kabbalah:
The greatest achievement of humanity is… the recognition of its own dysfunction, its own madness. In the distant past, this recognition already came to a few individuals. A man called Gautama Siddhartha, who lived 2,600 years ago in India, was perhaps the first who saw it with absolute clarity. Later, the title Buddha was conferred upon him. Buddha means ‘the awakened one.’”[1,p.14]
Some additional excerpts of Eckhart Tolle’s reasoning follow:
…religions, to a large extent, became divisive rather than unifying forces. … They became ideologies, belief systems people could identify with and so use them to enhance their false sense of self. Through them, they could make themselves ‘right’ and others ‘wrong’…”[1,p.15]
…movements developed within all major religions that represented not only a rediscovery, but in some cases an intensification of the light of the original teaching. This is how Gnosticism and mysticism came into existence in early and medieval Christianity, Sufism in the Islamic religion, Hasidism and Kabbala in Judaism, Advaita Vedanta in Hinduism, Zen… in Buddhism….[1,p.16-17]
…heaven is not a location but refers to the inner realm of consciousness…. Earth, on the other hand, is the outer manifestation in form, which is always a reflection of the inner…. ‘A new heaven’ is the emergence of a transformed state of human consciousness, and ‘a new earth’ is its reflection in the physical realm.”[1,p.23]
The arising of a new heaven and by implication a new earth are not future events.”[1,p.308]
If evil has any reality… this is also its definition: complete identification with form…. This results in a total unawareness of my connectedness with the whole, my intrinsic oneness with every other as well as with the Source. This forgetfulness is original sin, suffering, delusion.”[1,p.22]
“Recognize the ego for what it is: a collective dysfunction, the insanity of the human mind…. Nobody is wrong. It is the ego in someone, that’s all.”[1,p.76]
“…only the present moment can make us free. That realization is the awakening…. A new heaven and a new earth are arising within you at this moment….” [1,p.308]
There exists only the present instant… a Now which always and without end is itself new.” Meister Eckhart
The Now is also central to the teaching of Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam. Sufis have a saying: ‘The Sufi is the son of time present.’ And Rumi, the great poet and teacher of Sufism, declares: ‘Past and future veil God from our sight; burn up both of them with fire.’ Meister Eckhart, the thirteenth-century spiritual teacher, summed it all up beautifully: ‘Time is what keeps the light from reaching us. There is no greater obstacle to God than time.’”
…religions, to a large extent, became divisive rather than unifying forces. … They became ideologies, belief systems people could identify with.”[1,p.15]
The true Church is the kingdom of God on earth …composed of all, regardless of race or creed, who live by the light within….”[1,p.11]
At that deeper level, all things are one. It is the Source, the unmanifested one Life. It is the timeless intelligence that manifests as a universe unfolding in time.”[1,p.276]
You realize your true identity as consciousness…. That’s the peace of God. The ultimate truth of who you are is not I am this or I am that, but I Am.”[1,p.56-57]
1. Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Plume, 2005).
4. Meister Eckhart quoted at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/meister_eckhart.html
7. Eckhart Tolle, The Power of NOW (Namaste Publishing, Canada, 2004), page 38.