Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What is Oprah Teaching About EASTER?

"The song of Easter is the glad refrain the Son of God was never crucified."
-- "Jesus" of A Course in Miracles

During this Easter week, it is important to understand what Oprah Winfrey, Marianne Williamson and Eckhart Tolle are teaching about Jesus Christ and Easter.

This week and daily throughout this whole year, Oprah has enlisted Marianne Williamson to teach from the A Course in Miracles, on her Oprah & Friends XM Satellite Radio. A Course in Miracles is reputedly "new revelation" that was channeled from a "Jesus" through a New York psychologist by the name of Helen Schucman.

Oprah is also in the midst of a ten-week New Age Internet class that she is co-teaching with "spiritual teacher" Eckhart Tolle, which is based on his new book The New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Plume, 2006). According to Tolle, Jesus' teaching of "salvation" means "a radical transformation of human consciousness" (p. 13) and the process of "rebirth" is "reincarnation." (p. 252)

The "Jesus" of A Course in Miracles teaches the following things about the Easter story:

  • "This is Palm Sunday, the celebration of victory and the acceptance of the truth. Let us not spend this holy week brooding on the crucifixion of God's Son, but happily in the celebration of his release. For Easter is the sign of peace, not pain. A slain Christ has no meaning." (ACIM Text, p. 425)
  • "In you the knowledge lies, ready to be unveiled and free from all the terror that kept it hidden. There is no fear in love. The song of Easter is the glad refrain the Son of God was never crucified. Let us lift up our eyes together, not in fear but in faith." (ACIM Text, p. 428)
  • "The crucifixion did not establish the atonement; the resurrection did. Many sincere Christians have misunderstood this." (ACIM Text, p. 36)
  • "For the undoing of the crucifixion of God's Son is the work of redemption, in which everyone has a part of equal value." (ACIM Text, p. 209)
  • "Sacrifice is a notion totally unknown to God. It arises solely from fear, and frightened people can be vicious." (ACIM Text, p. 37)
  • "The journey to the cross should be the last 'useless journey.'" (ACIM Text, p. 52)
  • "Do not make the pathetic error of 'clinging to the old rugged cross.'" (ACIM Text, p. 52)
  • "The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation." (ACIM Text, p. 237) [all emphasis added]

Are you a spiritual seeker? This is not what Easter is about. This is not what salvation is.

The Truth:

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?" -John 11:25,26

Here is what J.C. Philpot preached, in part, on these verses many years ago:

And I would say to you, "Believest thou this?" Believest thou that though thou art condemned by law, condemned by conscience, condemned by the feelings of thine own soul, as being much shut up in darkness and death, there is in thee some living faith in the Son of God?

Dost thou believe that Jesus is the Resurrection? What evidence hast thou that He is? Has He quickened thy soul? Has he convinced thee of thy sins and given thee repentance for them? Has he brought thee out of the world? Has he turned thee from darkness unto light, and from the power of Satan unto God? Has he raised thee from the dead--that death in sin or death in profession in which thou once walkedst? Dost thou ever feel any movements of divine life in thy soul, such as sighing, crying, groaning, hungering, thirsting, longing, panting and mourning? Hast thou any spirit of prayer in thy breast? Any earnestness, sincerity, self-abhorrence? Hast thou any contrition, brokenness, humility, softness of spirit and tenderness of conscience? Hast thou any godly fear working in thy bosom in buying and selling, in your daily walk, in your families, in your business, in the various matters and movements of your dally life? Do you find a fountain of life in you to depart from the snares of death, and some power and strength communicated to fight against your corruptions and overcome them? Has Jesus at any time or in any measure manifested Himself as a suitable Saviour to your soul? I say suitable, for that is sometimes the first view, which we have of Him. Has He in any measure drawn out a faith in Himself as such, and in the power and experience of that faith you have received and embraced Him as the Son of God?

Believest thou that He is the Resurrection? Why do you believe it, and that Jesus has risen from the dead? What evidence have you of that cardinal doctrine of our most holy faith, that vital, glorious truth, which shines in the world like the sun in the sky to illuminate the whole page of revelation with its gracious and glorious beams? Is this your evidence that you have seen Him as such by the eye of faith, and life flowed through it into your soul? Then you have a real, experimental evidence, though perhaps not a very sure one in your own feelings, that He has quickened you into divine life; that He raised you up with Himself when He rose from the dead, and that you are a member of His mystical body.

Do bear in mind that these things can only be received and realised by faith. Your faith may be small and yet blessedly real. But you say, "The law condemns me, my conscience accuses me, my sins are a heavy burden to me, under which at times I seem almost ready to sink, and I do feel such thorough inability to bring myself any relief, such complete helplessness and miserable impotency to deliver myself out of my state, that it seems as if I shall die in my sins. O that pardon would reach my breast." But is there no longing look to the risen Son of God, no ardent cry, that He would manifest Himself and drop a word into your soul? Is there no breathing in your heart after Jesus that He would graciously come over the hills and mountains of your sin and shame, and break in upon you with some beams of heavenly light? Have you never seen Him suitable to your case? Have you never beheld his Person by the eye of faith as the great and glorious God-Man? Have you never seen the efficacy of His atoning blood, the beauty and blessedness of His justifying righteousness, and have you never heard some gracious words from His mouth? Has His holy word never been opened up to your mind so that you have seen light in God’s light, and believed what you read from the sacred, solemn power, which attended it to your Soul? Have you never been blessed under the preached word, and found faith raised up to receive and believe what dropped with sweetness into your ear and heart? This was faith; for "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

Then, though you feel dead, as slain by the sentence of the law and the verdict of your own conscience, yet if you find any living faith in the Son of God as the resurrection, you shall live. The Lord has declared it, and His word will stand when the world is in a blaze, "Thou shalt live." Thou shalt live here by a life of faith in the Son of God. Thy small faith shall be increased, thy hope be enlarged, and thy scanty love, which now steals through the weeds almost unseen, like a little tiny brooklet, will open into a stream, and before thou art laid upon a dying bed, or perhaps there, thy peace shall flow like a river. It is hard to believe this, for we look so much to self and so lose sight of the freeness and fullness of sovereign superabounding grace. But do weigh these things in the balance of the sanctuary, and especially by the word of the Lord in our text. Do you not find in your own bosom these two things-death and life? Your own death as a condemned sinner and your life, which is hid with Christ in God. Then, by this death and by this life you have a manifested interest in the promise, "Though he were dead, yet shall he live."