Below you will see an email forward that recently hit my inbox:
“Oprah and Friends” to teach course on New Age Christ
Jesus Christ being reinvented, redefined, and blasphemed and , this false New-Age Christ teaching is about to make huge inroads into the world, with the help of the queen of television talk shows, Oprah Winfrey.
Oprah Winfrey, beginning January 1, 2008, on her daily radio program offered a year-long course on the New Age Christ, in a lesson a day and completely cover the 365 lessons from the Course in Miracles “Workbook.”
Listeners are encouraged to buy A Course in Miracles for the year-long course, and an audio version, recited by Richard (John Boy Walton) Thomas will be available on compact disc.
Those who finish the Course will have a wholly redefined spiritual mindset-a New Age world view that include the beliefs that there is NO sin, no evil, NO devil. A Course in Miracles teaches its students to rethink everything they believe about God and life, and, bluntly stated “This is a course in mind training” and is dedicated to “thought reversal.”
The Course in Miracles – in reality is the truth of the Bible turned upside
Oprah told her television audience that Williamson’s book, A Course in Miracles was one of her favorite books, and that she had already bought a thousand copies and handed them out to everyone in her studio audience. Oprah’s endorsement skyrocketed Williamson’s book to the top of the New York Times bestseller list .
A Course in Miracles is allegedly a “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 channeled teachings in 1965 to a Columbia University Professor Medical Psychology, 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 voice that described himself as “Jesus.” Here are some quotes from the “Jesus” voice 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.”
“The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.”
“The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned , man has NO need of salvation.”
Much of what is reported here would and should be considered heterodox teaching. Yet I must admit that Oprah’s class is right on one count (a point which the letter writer misses). A slain Christ is of no use to anyone. Or let me put it another way a journey that simply ends at the cross is of no use to the Christian.
Before anyone accuses me of being in danger of hellfire, let me say that Paul would agree with me. He states in 1 Cor. 15 that:
“12if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.
20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For he “has put everything under his feet.”F45 Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
29Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them? 30And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31I die every day–I mean that, brothers–just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,
“Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.” 33Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 34Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God–I say this to your shame.”
Should we be concerned and combat anyone who comes preaching a Christ other than the one spoken of in scripture? Absolutely. But I must admit that the author’s reaction to this shows what for me has been a disheartening discourse in Modern Christianity. We have become fixated on the cross, to the extent that we have forgotten that the power of our Christianity lies not on the cross, but in the empty tomb. A dead Christ has no power to heal. No power to renew. No ability to establish his kingdom both in the now and in the coming Day of the Lord. A dead Christ is just another religious leader, another good man mouldering in his grave. A dead Christ is no better than a dead Mohemmed, or a dead Stalin, or a dead Lincoln.
True we might take comfort in their wisdom, but they have no enduring power beyond the merely symbolic. If this were the case the authors of this study would be correct in calling the Christian Church a dead and dying entity. To serve this slain savior might mean that one’s sins had been forgiven, but it would also mean that one had no power to live a new life renewed in the image of God, a new life of power, a life which enables one to withstand the temptations of the lust, the flesh, the eyes, and the pride of life. We would be no better than the narrator of Ian Elwan’s seminal novel Atonement, attempting to find meaning in the retelling and reclaiming of the story. We would be like Oprah’s spiritual advisors.
BUT LUCKY FOR US THEN THAT WE DO NOT SERVE A SLAIN SAVIOR. We serve a living God whom was raised on the third day and sits at the right hand of the Father. True, we serve a great high priest that has been tempted in every way, has been tried, and found a perfect sacrifice, and we should stand in arms at anyone who dares spit upon the idea of this great atonement won for us.
In our haste to be biblical and to protect our doctrines of atonement. let us not forget the power of the empty tomb. Let us not forget that Christ is not slain, that He is alive and well and still moves mightily through his Spirit. Let us not forget that He is victorious over sin, death, and the devil. For this we can thank whatever demon who has been masquerading as an angel of light and speaking with Oprah’s friends. He may have lied about much, but even tha foul being admitted that Jesus Christ is alive. Let be our shame if we cannot make just such a claim the centerpiece of our message which is afterall, supposed to be “Good News of Great Joy.” Jesus the Christ is alive. Amen and Amen.