Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Foundation for Inner Peace?

"Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God." ~ A Course in Miracles

A Foundation For Inner Peace?

          The topic of  the book, “A Course in Miracles” has been discussed here before. In fact, it has been widely-discussed in Christian circles. Recently, this writer has encountered many Christians who have “discovered” this “enlightened doctrine” and are quite impressed with it. It is important to know the Truth. The Truth about this can be found in the Word of God. We must always be prepared to defend our faith, to be able to accurately tell WHY we believe what we believe and to discern what is true and what is not.
            No doubt, many readers are familiar with the term “con man” and what this typically means. Satan is the greatest con of all. He has many ways to con a person out of their most precious possession. The book, A Course in Miracles, is one of his many cons. The Bible warns us of this in many ways. The most precious possession we have – what Satan wants so desperately, is our eternal life and future as a child of God. He will kill, steal and destroy in order to get it. And, he will use others to help him.
          The Bible warns of a great spiritual war that will take place in the future—actually in the very near future. Many of you reading this article may be alive during that traumatic time. But notice this amazing statement: "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" (Revelation 12:9).
            Read that carefully. Satan, the devil, deceives the whole world! That means the people of every nation. That means you and me, others like us. I was once deceived. You have been deceived. But, thankfully, God calls us out of this deception, through the true Jesus Christ of the Bible!
Do you think that because you are a religious person, you cannot be deceived? Jesus revealed that one of the most pervasive forms of deception is found in religious practice. And the Bible reveals who is behind many religious deceptions.  The Apostle Paul warns the Corinthians against false ministers: "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works" (2 Corinthians 11:13–15).
            Yes, Satan has many strategies, schemes, and devices to deceive us. Some unknowingly worship him as an "angel of light" while others look to him through séances, tarot cards, channeling and astrology. Millions of people dabble in the occult and seek answers from soothsayers and mystics. These dark practices are deceptive, and most who call themselves Christians can recognize blatant Satanic influence. But Satan also has many other more subtle schemes. The Apostle Paul, encouraging forgiveness for a repentant sinner, went on to say, "lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices" (2 Corinthians 2:11). I Peter 5:8-9 tells us, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
            Helen Schucman, a Jewish atheist psychologist from Columbia University began to “channel” messages from a spirit she believed to be Jesus.  Is Jesus a “spirit?”  We know that the Trinity is the Father (God), the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised to send “the comforter” after he departed the earth and instructed his disciples to wait on this. We know that after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, he was on earth 40 days. Numerous accounts have been given in the Bible of those who encountered or saw Jesus during this time. These scriptures indicate that indicates he was not a “spirit.”  He was flesh. He was resurrected from the dead.  Matthew 28:9 when the women saw him, they "held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

Discernment allows a Christian  to know the voice of our Lord. Jesus told us that He knows His sheep, and they know His voice. Do not be deceived as to what “voice” we could be hearing.
            Jesus was declared to be the Mighty God and Everlasting Father long before he was ever conceived in the womb of Mary. The Everlasting Father became the child and son born in the manger. Therefore Jesus truly is Immanuel, God with us. Jesus is Almighty God become a man.
Isaiah 9:6:For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 40:3 : “A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God (Prophecy). John 1:23: John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, "I am the voice of one calling in the desert, 'Make straight the way for the Lord'" (Isaiah 40:3 prophecy fulfilled). So we see that Jesus is in fact, God the Father and the Son. Jesus is not a “spirit” that gives dictation or revelations in the manner in which A Course in Miracles describes and came about.
            Schucman claimed that Jesus revealed to her thousands of pages of revelation over a period of seven years. This began back in 1965. This woman also said she had experienced “highly symbolic dreams” and “experienced strange images.” Her colleague at Columbia encouraged her to transcribe these in order to understand them.
            She began to refer to this “spirit” as the “Voice.” This voice began to give her rapid inner dictation that she documented in shorthand. We must step back and look at this from a Biblical standpoint. In the study of the Bible, the Word of God, we must look at the Truth. The Bible clearly teaches that if something is not from God, it is from Satan, "But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils" (1 Corinthians 10:20-21).  God is not the author of confusion, but Satan is.
            God confirms all of His Word that we preach. This is the way God has established it in the scriptures, and this is the way it should be. Mark 16:17–20 indicates this as well as: Hebrews 2:3–4 says: “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”
            God uses those who allow Him to reach the lost, to do His will. But, whatever it is that is done will NEVER be in contradiction of God's Word. God is not a liar. Does A Course in Miracles hold up to that statement? A Course in Miracles uses Christian terminology and its followers believe it to be the revelation of Jesus. As a result, a number of denominations within Christendom have embraced  this as being legitimate and have introduced it into their churches.
            Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians have used this book in Sunday schools and special study groups within the church. Presently there are over 1,500 official study groups that have utilized it both inside and outside traditional Christian churches. Oprah Winfrey has touted it and in fact, in doing so, has led untold millions astray. The fact that this book has sold so many copies, spun off so many profitable businesses depending upon it and deceived so many emphasizes how Satan is deceiving sinners, the physical churches (and their pastors and staff) as well as believers.
            According this doctrine,  sickness, hate, pain, fear, guilt, and sin are all illusions. The only real thing is love. "There is no life outside of Heaven. Where God created life, there life must be. In any state apart from Heaven life is illusion." There you have it! It is perfectly clear--murder, rape, and other forms of evil do not exist because they do not come from "love."  Is this Biblical? Does it following God's Word? Sin is defined as a '”lack of love.
Since love is all there is, sin in the sight of the Holy Sprit is a mistake to be corrected, rather than an evil to be punished."
            This book further teaches that there is no need to feel guilt because there is no sin. Sin does not exist. The problems that man faces are a result of separation from God. This separation is only illusion because it likewise does not exist. It is only a reality for those who believe they are not part of the divine.. It clearly declares that "no one is punished for sins, and the Sons of God are not sinners."
            As you might anticipate, there is likewise no need for the cross because there was never a transgression that needed to be dealt with by God, only a mistake. If we are a part of God, how then can we become fragmented by sin since separation (i.e., sin) does not exist?
            The goal of this doctrine is to change how one thinks, to change one's belief system by subtle deception. The individual is for the most part unaware of the transformation he or she is undergoing because A Course in Miracles utilizes Christian terminology.
            Many who become involved with and in studying this doctrine of the devil are active  in self-help groups such as Twelve Step programs. They are seeking to make connections in their lives and discover who they truly are. They are willing participants in this transformation. Many are desiring some form of "spirituality" and for those who see the Bible as being too harsh, this alternative offers what they believe to be God's correction of our misinterpretation of the original message of Jesus.
            A Course in Miracles becomes the "thirteenth step" in recovery for those who are attempting to escape the rigid fundamentalism that has smothered them in the past. For them, the recovery process becomes a spiritual transformation. The integration of psychology and spirituality becomes a lure that pulls them deeper into the web of deception and ultimately suffocates them. The biblical teaching of original sin is dismissed for the more palatable "original goodness."
            This "thirteenth step" regards all faiths as a part of the whole; they are one, and a psychological unity of sorts is achieved. A Course in Miracles becomes whatever the individual desires it to be, it is "Christian," but not if you don't want it to be. It's psychology, but more than psychology. It's not New Age, but then again it is. It claims to have all of life's answers. It has become the "spiritually correct" solution to bring about peace and unity. However, in the end, this transformation brings spiritual death.
            Helen Schucman's do-it-yourself psycho-spirituality is nothing new. The Hindus have been taught for centuries that the world and all that is in it is Maya, or illusion. We must be clear that the message of The Course in Miracles is not the message of Jesus Christ. Schucman and her book and subsequent editions and supplements that follow, do not teach that Jesus is God incarnate yet fully human, but that He is an highly evolved being who became divine. The Bible does not allow for such an idea.
            The Bible also leaves no room for the idea that evil does not exist, but instead that evil entered the world through disobedience. Likewise, the Bible does not allow for the idea that God is a universal oneness rather than a personal Being.
            The TRUTH is found in the Bible which is the Word of God. When we do not do as the Bereans did, and search the scripture whether a thing is true or not, we can be deceived.  Study God's word and protect your faith. The destroyer roams and he seeks you – for he wants not what he already has, but what belongs to God. That would be us.  Do not be deceived.

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