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Section 12...The New Age

 

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A Course In Miracles..

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A Course in Miracles: Christian Glossed Hinduism For The Masses
A Course in Miracles: A Biblical Evaluation

 

A Course in Miracles: Christian Glossed Hinduism For The Masses
Christian Research Institute..

What is it about A Course in Miracles? In the past century a glut of spiritistic Bibles have been published to help usher in the anticipated New Age of occult enlightenment, but none have rivaled the popularity and influence achieved by the Course. It has sold 1.25 million sets and has been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Hebrew, and many other languages. [2] 1900 study groups now exist in the United States and Europe. [3]

In light of its sales, the number of its teachers, and its indirect influence through other mediums, a conservative estimate would be that at least five million people have been exposed to the Course teachings. For example, prominent New Ager Marianne Williamson's million-copy bestseller, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles (Harper-Collins, 1992), is heavily based on the Course (see accompanying article). Her promotions of the Course on TV are also numerous. Popular TV host Oprah Winfrey was so enthralled with this book that she bought a thousand copies for her friends and others, many of noted influence. [4]

Influential psychiatrist Gerald Jampolsky also extols Course virtues throughout the country in his lectures and books. He has appeared on the Phil Donahue Show, Today, and 60 Minutes. Robert Schuller has hosted Jampolsky at his famous Crystal Cathedral. Jampolskys bestselling books, There Is a Rainbow Behind Every Cloud, Goodbye to Guilt, Out of Darkness into the Light, Love Is Letting Go of Fear, Teach Only Love, and Children as Teachers of Peace condense basic themes of the Course. His Center for Attitudinal Healing was founded in 1975 under the direction of an inner voice, which instructed him to establish a center where the principles of the Course could be taught and demonstrated.

The Course has influenced the Christian church as well. Evangelical Christians, such as author Virginia Mollenkott in Speech, Silence, Action, attest to its alleged benefits in their lives. [6] Some mainline churches use it as part of their educational programs, since numerous Catholic and Protestant clergy have given it glowing endorsements. In fact, the Course specifically commends itself toward acceptance within the Christian church. Distinctively Christian terminology is used throughout.

So back to our opening question, What is it that makes A Course in Miracles so successful? All in all, the Course is a masterpiece of spiritual strategy. It claims to be a revelation from Jesus Christ Himself, and it is intelligently organized and simply written. It appeals to personal pride and can become almost addicting emotionally. It is carefully designed for radically restructuring a persons perception against Christian faith and toward New Age occultism.

We might say the text was designed not only for spiritually searching individuals of a secular or psychic persuasion, but especially for nominal Christians in the church who have recognized the bankruptcy of theological liberalism and desire more spiritual reality in their lives. In essence, the Course simultaneously indoctrinates its students in Eastern metaphysics and human potential psychicism, while it specifically insulates them against biblical revelation and true Christianity. In achieving this end, its manipulation of psychological and emotional states is impressive, it offers carefully thought-out spiritual exercises, one for every day of the year.


BACKGROUND
A Course in Miracles was channeled (spiritistically delivered) through an atheistic psychologist named Helen Schucman. Dr. Schucman, who had an early background in New Thought metaphysics and the occult, [7] would not permit public knowledge of her role as the medium and eight-year channel for the Course until after her death. She died in 1981.

Due to job-related stress and a crisis at work, Schucman began to write down and explore her highly symbolic dreams. This exploration went on for several months. Unexpectedly, one day she heard an inner voice say, This is a course in miracles. Please take notes. From this experience ensued a form of inner dictation. Although it was not a form of automatic writing, the otherworldly nature of the phenomenon made her very uncomfortable. [8]

The method of transmission was a clear, distinct inner voice that promised to direct [her] very specifically. The voice did just that, and the same spiritistic direction is promised to students of the Course. [9] Schucman described the process as the kind of inner dictation common to many other channeled works. She wrote, It cant be an hallucination, really, because the Voice does not come from outside. Its all internal. Thereís no actual sound, and the words come mentally but very clearly. Its a kind of inner dictation you might say. [10]   Schucman took shorthand dictation from the voice almost daily: It always resumed dictation precisely where it had left off, no matter how much time had elapsed between sessions. [11]

Schucman was a most unlikely channel. She was a respected research psychologist, a pragmatic materialist, and a committed atheist before receiving the revelations. Among her prestigious appointments, she had been Associate Professor at Columbia Universityís College of Physicians and Surgeons, and associate research scientist and chief psychologist at the Neurological Institute of The Presbyterian Hospital. Her Jewish background and commitment to atheism made her very uncomfortable with the Christian tone of the messages.

Her co-scribe on the project was Dr. William Thetford, an agnostic teacher and research assistant to the famed psychologist Dr. Carl Rogers. Thetford held appointments at the Washington School of Psychiatry, Cornell University Medica1 College, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. Before his death he was civilian medical specialist in family medicine at the David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base, California, and director of the Center for Attitudinal Healing in Tiburon, California. Thetfordís prestigious standing in the medical community and his wide influence gave him many opportunities to publicize the Course.

Some might argue that Schucman simply wanted to discredit orthodox Christianity. But nothing in her life or personality suggests she would deliberately go to such lengths merely to undermine the Christian faith. Furthermore, the voice, as is generally the case in spiritism, was merciless and unrelenting. This was clearly a force controlling Schucman, not a personally desired writing project to reinvent Christianity.


TEACHINGS
A Course in Miracles teaches people that for physical and spiritual health, they must accept proper attitudes toward themselves, life in general, and the world. What are these proper attitudes? In essence, they constitute (1) the rejection of biblical understandings about such issues as sin, guilt, and atonement, and (2) the acceptance of New Age occult teachings, such as pantheism (All is God, God is All) and psychic development. Specifically, the Course offers a form of Westernized Hinduism with the distinct goal of changing its readers perceptions into conformity with the nondualistic (advaita) school of Vedanta Hinduism. This school maintains that the world is ultimately a dream or illusion and that all men and women are in reality divine manifestations of the godhead. Another chief goal of the Course is to encourage the student to accept psychic (spiritistic) guidance.

    Volume 1 is the text itself, which presents spiritual (metaphysical) and theological teachings, including heretical treatments of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross as a vicarious atonement, the Holy Spirit, and the doctrine of salvation.

    Volume 2 is a Workbook for Students, which offers 365 spiritual lessons and exercises to help the participant personally and experientially assimilate this new worldview and cultivate an openness to psychic and spiritual guidance. Volume 2 has two specific goals: (1) learning New Age Hinduism and (2) unlearning biblical Christianity.

    Volume 3 is a Manual for Teachers of the Course. It offers them a sense of divine destiny for their spiritual mission, Course teachers are referred to as teachers of God.

In addition to the set of three volumes described above, another manual, Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice, is suggested by Course promoters for integrating its concepts with modern psychotherapy. This is for the professional therapist who wishes to use Course teachings in his or her counseling practice. [12]

The Courseís encouragement toward psychic guidance is obvious. Writing in New Realities, Brian Van der Horst observes Above all, the Course instructs students in the discovery of their own inner guidance, the revelation of a spiritual voice that counsels one in all situations. The Voice or God or Holy Spirit, as it is called, that gives everything from direction for making decisions on business, career, and life purpose, to advice to the lovelorn. [13]


THEOLOGICAL CONTENT
Eastern philosophy, particularly Hinduism, plays an important role in the Course. Robert Skutch, publisher of the Course, writes:

    What they now had in their possession was a spiritual document that was very closely related to the teachings of the non-dualistic Vedanta of the Hindu religion, and that the profundity of the Vedanta certainly paralleled the obvious profundity of the Course. He [Thetford] realized the basic spiritual teachings of both had many striking similarities to each other, and that the main difference between them was that the Course was stating the perennial philosophy of eternal truths in Christian terminology with a psychological application that seemed expressly aimed at a contemporary audience. [14]

In Course usage, words undergo drastic changes of purpose. Often, the new meanings are the opposite of their biblical usage. For example, atonement no longer refers to Jesus Christís substitutionary death on the cross for sin. In biblical teaching, the Atonement is based on the fact that mans sinfulness separates him from God. Before man can be reconciled to God, there must be a divine judgment of sin. Christ sacrificed His own life on the cross He was judged in our place to accomplish this reconciliation. This is what Christians mean by the word atonement, or the atoning sacrifice of Christ (John 3:16, 18).

See Salvation

In the Course, the word atonement involves the exact opposite: one is not, and never has been, separate from God. An atoning sacrifice in the biblical sense is therefore meaningless. For the Course, the term atonement now refers to correcting the belief that people are separate from God, which is presumed to be a false belief. Hence, because the Atonement is not yet completed (i.e., some people still think they are separate from God), Course students are told they have an important role to play in the Atonement. [15] Their job is to help reconcile men and women to the spiritual truth that they are God and therefore cannot be separate from Him.

According to the Bible, God freely pardons, or forgives, a believers sins on the basis of Jesus Christís atonement. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives (1 John 1:8-10). Denying the reality of sin, the Course rejects this central biblical teaching, just as it rejects the biblical concept of the Atonement. For the Course, forgiveness merely involves the realization that there never were any sins to pardon. Likewise, sinners do not exist, because sin is an illusion.

As a result of this distorted theology, the Courseís approach to salvation lies in understanding that no one requires salvation in the biblical sense because all men and women are already divine. Salvation is merely accepting ones true identity as one essence with God. Therefore, we need nothing from God because each persons true nature is God. [16] [See Sin and Salvation]

Sin, guilt, death, judgment, propitiatory atonement, and other biblical doctrines are viewed as attack philosophies by the Course; that is, they are concepts that supposedly stand in the way of spiritual progress and severely damage the realization of our true divine nature. People must become free of these false, enslaving, and evil ideas if they desire true spiritual freedom. Otherwise, they choose to remain in hell and to kill the God of love. [17]

In this worldview, orthodox Christian beliefs (biblical teachings given by the one true God) are held to be evil, insane, and anti-Christ. Such Course teachings prove that the Jesus of the New Testament could not be its source. This means that the apparent [18] entity who dictated the Course to Helen Schucman lied when he claimed to be Jesus Christ. The most logical possibility for the true author of the Course is therefore a demon, a spiritual underling of Satan, the one Jesus called a liar and a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44).


THE OCCULT NATURE OF THE COURSE
The spiritistic nature of the Course should now be obvious. Several themes that it has in common with spiritistic revelations are: (1) spirit dictation to an uninterested or hesitant party; (2) forcing production of the revelations; (3) unbiblical content; and (4) encouraging psychic guidance. The wholesale denial of Gods Word and Gods Son is also typical of spiritistic revelations in general. [19]

Again, these spiritistic themes identify the author of the Course as a demonic spirit. When the Course, as a supernatural revelation, actively promotes another Jesus, a different spirit, and a false gospel, the Scripture declares that its origin must be demonic (2 Cor. 11:3-4, 13-15). Significantly, even Course editor and promoter, psychologist Kenneth Wapnick, commented that if the Bible were considered literally true, then the Course would have to be viewed as demonically inspired. [20] This is why the Bible warns,

    Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.. Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist (1 John 4:1-3).

Because false christs and false prophets are in the world, and lying spirits associated with them. Scripture warns that all who proclaim a false gospel are liable to eternal judgment: But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! (Gal. 1:8).

That the eventual production of the Course was supernaturally arranged behind the scenes by demonic initiative should be obvious to those familiar with the methods of spiritual warfare revealed in Scripture, and in the history of occult revelations. The extent of this occult collaboration, and the power it represents on the part of the spirit world to influence human affairs, is not small. In light of biblical revelation, neither is it unexpected (2 Cor. 4:4; 1 John 5:19). Similar manipulation of events and people are found in the lives of innumerable psychics, occultists, and mediums. [21]

The Course content also promotes occultism and spiritistic guidance, which is another characteristic goal of demonic revelations. As an example of the psychic guidance people have been led to accept through the Course, many people have received the author of the Course (Jesus) as their personal spirit guide in other words, a demon cleverly impersonating Jesus. In his Good-Bye to Guilt, Gerald Jampolsky confesses that Jesus became his spirit guide and even possessed him in order to act and speak through him. [22]

Dr. Jampolsky has had such amazing experiences by listening to his inner voice that he now follows its guidance even when it seems irrational. [23] Even the dead themselves allegedly can be contacted, although the practice is explicitly condemned in Deuteronomy 18:1012. He states that communication is never broken, even when the body is destroyed, provided that we do not believe that bodies are essential for communication. Isnít that what Jesus taught the world by the resurrection? [24]

No, this is not what Jesus taught. What Jesus taught by His resurrection was that I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6); and I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies (John 11:25). Jesus would never promote contact with the dead when the Word of God specifically prohibits it. The Bible warns that no one is to become a medium or a spiritist, or [a person] who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord (Deut, 18:11-12).

 

Notes

1 This article is derived from John Ankerberg and John Weldons Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1996). Used by permission.

2 Telephone interview, Foundation for Inner Peace, 23 November 1998.

3 Telephone interview, Miracle Distribution Center, 23 November 1998.

4 Martin Gardner, Marianne Williamson and A Course in Miracles, The Skeptical Inquirer, Fall 1992, 21.

5 Frances Adeney, Re-visioning Reality: A Critique of A Course in Miracles, SCP Newsletter 7, no.2 (1981): 3.

6 Ibid.

7 Gardner, 21.

8 Robert Basil, ed., Not Necessarily the New Age: Critical Essays (New York: Prometheus. 1988), 23.

9 A Course in Miracles, vol. 2: Workbook for Students (Huntington Station, NY: Foundation for Inner Peace, I977), 477-78.

10 James Bolen, Interview: William N. Thetford (Part 1), New Realities, July-August 1984, 20.

11 Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Harpers Encyclopedia of Mystical and Paranormal Experience (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1991), 2.

12 For a critique of modern secular psychology see John Ankerberg and John Weldon, The Facts on Self-Esteem, Psychology and the Recovery Movement (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1995).

13 Brian Van Der Horst, Update on A Course in Miracles, New Realities, August 1979, 50.

14 Bolen, 24.

15 A Course in Miracles, vol. 1, Text (Huntington Station, NY: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1977), 7, 10.

16 Ibid., chaps. 13, 22-23.

17 Ibid., chaps. 5-6; pp. 374-78.

18 Although secular skeptics would argue that at best the Course is a creation of Schucmans subconscious, the Christian has every biblical reason to suspect that Schucman truly was guided by an otherworldly intelligence (see below).

19 John Ankerberg and John Weldon, The Coming Darkness: Confronting Occult Deception (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1993), appendix.

20 Dean C. Halverson, Seeing Yourself as Sinless, SCP Journal 7, no. 1 (l987): 23.

21 For example, see accounts printed by the editors of Psychic magazine, Psychics: In-depth interviews (New York: Harper & Row, 1972).

22 Gerald Jampolsky, Good-Bye to Guilt: Releasing Fear through Forgiveness (New York: Bantam, 1985), 62-64.

23 Ibid., 56.

24 Ibid., 136.

 

Sola-Scriptura-Bar

 

A Course In Miracles.. A Biblical Evaluation
by Russ Wise

Historical Background In 1965 a Jewish atheistic psychologist from Columbia University began to channel messages from a spirit she believed to be Jesus. She ultimately produced, or she says Jesus revealed to her, well over a thousand pages of revelation during the next seven years.

According to her testimony, Helen Schucman had a difficult relationship with her department head at the university. In an attempt to move beyond their differences, they set out on a journey to find a base of common agreement. Schucman began having "highly symbolic dreams" and experiencing "strange images." Her colleague encouraged her to transcribe the content of these phenomena so they might understand them better.

As she began to write, she was surprised to see "This is a course in miracles" appear on the paper. She went on to say that this was her introduction to the "Voice." This voice began to give her rapid inner dictation that she took down in shorthand.

According to the dictated material, the voice of The Course was Jesus. As a result of the influence Christianity has had on humanity, The Course chose Christian terminology to convey its message. A 1977 pamphlet published by the Foundation For Inner Peace states "its only purpose is to provide a way in which some people will be able to find their own Internal Teacher"- -in other words, their personal "Spirit Guide."


Key Players

There are several individuals who play key roles in spreading the message of The Course. Perhaps the most prominent is Marianne Williamson. A former lounge singer and now its most celebrated guru, she has become The Course's media star, appearing on numerous television programs. Her most-watched and persuasive appearance was on Oprah. She has been Oprah's guest on several occasions. Because of her personal interest in New Age philosophy, Oprah Winfrey purchased a thousand copies of A Return To Love, Williamson's book, to give to her television audiences.

(See Critique of A Return To Love)

Another high profile individual, well-known in New Age circles, is Gerald Jampolsky, M.D. He is a psychiatrist, formerly on the faculty of the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco and founder of the Center for Attitudinal Healing in 1975. He has written several books based on what he has gleaned from The Course.

In his influential book, Good-Bye to Guilt, Jampolsky describes his conversion to The Course.

    I began to change my way of looking at the world in 1975. Until then I had considered myself a militant atheist, and the last thing I was consciously interested in was being on a spiritual pathway that would lead to God. In that year I was introduced to . . . A Course in Miracles. . . . My resistance was immediate. . . . Nevertheless, after reading just one page, I had a sudden and dramatic experience. There was an instantaneous memory of God, a feeling of oneness with everyone in the world, and the belief that my only function on earth was to serve God.

As a result of the moral and spiritual bankruptcy of our society, namely the baby boomer generation, there is a ready-made market for the "feel good" spirituality of The Course. Through the influence of Williamson, Jampolsky, and others, a growing number of Christians are being sucked into this whirlpool of spiritual confusion in which they exchange the truth for a lie.


The Course and the Mainline Church

We have already established that The Course 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 The Course as being legitimate and introduced it into their churches.

Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians have used The Course in Sunday schools and special study groups within the church. Presently there are over 1,500 official study groups that have utilized The Course both inside and outside traditional Christian churches.


If It's Not Love--It Must Be Illusion

Marianne Williamson, author of the best-selling book A Return To Love, says that we have "a natural tendency to focus on love." [See A Return To Love]

Only love is real. All that is negative is illusion. It simply does not exist. If anything negative is in your consciousness, it is real only because you give it reality by holding it in your mind. According to The Course, sickness, hate, pain, fear, guilt, and sin are all illusions. The Cyclopedia In A Course In Miracles states that "illusions are investments. They will last as long as you value them." The Cyclopedia continues, "The only way to dispel illusions is to withdraw all investment from them, and they will have no life for you because you will have put them out of your mind."

The Course sums it up this way, "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." Try explaining to a mother who has lost a son or daughter that their loss is the result of an illusion.


The Problem of Evil

You guessed it, The Course also teaches that evil does not exist. It is an illusion that must be overcome by right thinking. The Text (i.e., volume one of The Course) reads, "Innocence is wisdom because it is unaware of evil, and evil does not exist." In essence what is meant is that evil does not stand on its own, that it only has reality as the individual believes its existence. So, you might say that the rape victim created her own evil situation and thereby caused her own suffering. The victim is guilty; the perpetrator had no choice. [See Barriers To Faith]


The Problem of Guilt and Sin

A pamphlet published by the Foundation For Inner Peace states, "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."

The Course 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.

The Text makes this point clear where it 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? [See Sin]


Thought-Reversal
The stated goal of The Course 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 The Course utilizes Christian terminology. The Manual for Teachers (i.e., volume three of The Course) boldly says, "It cannot be too strongly emphasized that this course aims at a complete reversal of thought."


Religious Recovery--The Thirteenth Step

Many who become involved in studying The Course 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, The Course offers what they believe to be God's correction of our misinterpretation of the original message of Jesus.

The Course 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. The Course 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.

The Course 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 new do-it-yourself psycho-spirituality is not new. The Hindus have been taught for centuries that the world and all that is in it is Maya, or illusion.


Sense and Sensibilities

We must be clear that the message of The Course in Miracles is not the message of Jesus Christ. Schucman and her Course 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.

Kenneth Wapnick, a Jewish agnostic who later became a Catholic monk, founded the Foundation for A Course in Miracles. Wapnick states that The Course and biblical Christianity are not compatible. He gives three reasons why he holds such a view. First, The Course teaches that God did not create the world. Second, The Course teaches that we are all equally Christ. Jesus is not the only Son of God. And third, The Course is clear in its teaching that Jesus did not suffer and die for man's sin.

The above differences clearly show why a Christian cannot in good faith consider The Course as a source for his or her spiritual understanding. It is unequivocally anti-biblical and is without doubt promoted by Satanic deception (2 Cor. 11:14: 1 Tim. 4:1).


A Short Course in Doctrine

The Course teaches that there are no absolutes; truth is relative and is determined by one's experience. According to the Cyclopedia In A Course In Miracles, "only what is loving is true." So truth is subjective.

Marianne Williamson, the author of A Return To Love, made this observation about truth in her book: "There's only one truth, spoken different ways, and the Course is just one path to it out of many." In other words, no one religious tradition has all the truth, but there are many avenues to the truth and the individual has the freedom to choose the path most suitable to him or her.


Who Is Jesus?

According to Williamson, Jesus is one of many enlightened beings. In her text she makes this statement, "Jesus and other enlightened masters are our evolutionary elder brothers." She continues by saying that "the mutation, the enlightened ones, (including Jesus) show the rest of us our evolutionary potential. They point the way." So in reality Jesus is a way-shower.

[See Section on Jesus. Also See Ascended Masters and
The Reappearance of the Christ Ö Jesus Christ or ĎThe Christí?]

Williamson makes a telling observation on page 41 of her book by saying that, "A Course In Miracles does not push Jesus. Although the books come from him, it is made very clear that you can be an advanced student of the Course and not relate personally to him at all." This is an interesting comment regarding the lack of relationship one is to have with their God. For Christians, faith is built on a personal relationship with Jesus. Without it, their salvation would be in question.

Williamson continues by saying, "Jesus reached total actualization of the Christ mind, and was then given by God the power to help the rest of us reach that place within ourselves." Such a statement brings to mind Matthew 7:23 where Jesus says, "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'"


The Christ and Salvation

The Manual For Teachers states that "Jesus became what all of you must be." It continues by declaring, "Is he the Christ? O yes, along with you."

The Course identifies with much of New Age thought in that it teaches false Christology. New Age proponents teach that The Christ is the one who is the most highly evolved being during a given age. This Christ, whether it be Buddha, Krishna, or Jesus, is the messiah for a given age. They believe, for example, that Jesus was The Christ for the Church or Piscean Age. According to their philosophy, Jesus achieved Christhood and by right-thinking we too can achieve Christhood.

The Text says that, "Christ waits for your acceptance of Him as yourself, and of His wholeness as yours." Keep in mind that these words you have just read are, according to The Course, the "spirit-dictated" words of Jesus. Now hear the true Word of God from the Bible where we read, "Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many" (Matt. 24:4-5). The Scripture is crystal clear about the deception of multitudes by signs and wonders based in experience rather than His Word.

The Scripture teaches that Jesus alone is the Christ, the Son of the living God. John 1:20 and 20:31 indicate that we are not His equals.


Abandoning Your Miracle

There are a growing number of people waking up to the fact that The Course cannot adequately meet their growing need to worship a being beyond themselves, much less defend them in spiritual warfare.

Warren and Joy Smith are examples of how The Course is totally inadequate when it comes to defending one's spirit from the evil one and his dominion. The Smith's were deeply involved in the study of The Course. Warren relates Joy's story in his book, The Light That Was Dark.

Joy was being spiritually harassed by a man who was highly proficient in astral projection (projecting his spirit for great distances). Warren relates how they faced the attacks. "We tried every metaphysical and spiritual technique we had ever learned--we repeated our Course in Miracles lessons, did visualizations, prayed as best we knew how, sent the spiritual intruder blessings, and kept the whole situation surrounded in white light--but none of it had any effect. We had to wait it out. The spiritual presence was calling the shots."

After an intense time of frustration, they went to their course study leaders for help. Joy explained that they "had repeatedly applied their Course in Miracles lessons, such as: 'There is nothing to fear,' 'In my defenselessness my safety lies,' and, 'I could see peace instead of this.'" After explaining that nothing had worked, Frank, their study leader, "made it clear that he agreed with the Course's metaphysical teaching that evil was only an illusion and that the experience was probably something that Joy was working out within herself."

Frank's wife, Trudy, was dazed when she heard herself say, "Put on the whole armor of God and stand fast against the wiles of the devil!" In amazement at herself she added, "Ephesians 6:10. It's in your Bible."

Trudy went on and said, "I'm sorry, Frank. There is a devil . . . read Ephesians!" In the days ahead Joy continued to undergo the harassing attacks. During this time of uncertainty Warren visited a bookstore and discovered a book entitled The Beautiful Side of Evil by Johanna Michaelsen. He read it through and decided its message of deliverance was worth a try.

It wasn't long before he had an opportunity to test his newly found discovery--biblical exorcism. Joy fell into a depression as she had on so many occasions, and Warren seized the opportunity to act.

He relates the incident in his book this way, "Reading from my notes the exact words that I had taken from Johanna's book, I firmly addressed the presence. 'Satan, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I command you to be gone! I forbid your presence here. I claim the protection of the blood of Jesus upon us. Go where Jesus sends you!" Immediately Joy's face cleared and the oppression was gone.

Warren later remarked, "We were amazed that the presence left every time we called on his [Jesus Christ's] name. Nothing in A Course in Miracles or any other metaphysical teachings had ever talked about this aspect of Jesus."

Warren and Joy's encounter with personal evil ultimately convinced them that the Bible was the spiritual teaching that they could rely on. Warren said it best, "So far it hasn't let us down."
 

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