Thursday, June 26, 2008

The New Enlightenment Pt.4

Rev. 2:18-21 ~ "And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; 19I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. 20Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not."

The July 2008 issue of Charisma Magazine featured a story about Oprah Winfrey entitled "Oprah’s Strange New Gospel" by Ken Walker

In the article, Oprah, a self described "Christian Free-Thinker" is said to have reconciled her current beliefs with her Christian beliefs. She said she "took God out of the box." In the "box" were belief systems, rules and doctrines. She took God out of that box. WOW!

All this time God was waiting for Oprah to liberate HIM. More specifically, it seems as if Oprah has done what over 2000 years of some of the greatest Christian teachers in history, and in her case even Jesus himself, could not do. Get God out of that "box". Self exaltation has many forms even the form of "box openers".

Rev. 2: 22-25- "Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 24But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. 25But that which ye have already hold fast till I come"

As bad as it may be, Oprah is not alone in her quest to help the nation arise to this New Consciousness and metaphysical mysticism that is being promoted both on her show and web-broadcasts. One of the greatest efforts to indoctrinate individuals into New Age philosophical teachings and constructs have been undertaken by corporate America and the public school systems across the country. Collectively called the "Human Potential Movement" these programs teach, and introduce the same or similar concepts to an even grater captive audience. The employees and in many cases students are sometime unwilling participants in "mandatory" seminars and classes designed to tech people how to "think positively", "reach or achieve their potential" or "reflect on yourself to create a better humanity"

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

The New Enlightenment Pt. 3

Acts 19:18-20 ~ "And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed."

One of the most dynamic aspects of the New Consciousness is the partnerships that have been developed to proliferate ideas and the enlightenment’s agendas. As stated in The New Enlightenment Pt. 1, New Ageism is currently being taught amongst secular corporations under the guise of worker productivity training, schools under the guise of literacy training and efficient learning techniques and in formal education venues under the guise of transcendental meditation and personal performance and confidence building.

Even health clubs have joined the fray by instituting programs such as Yoga, hypnotism and self-centering. There are NBA coaches such as Phil Jackson aka "The Zen Master", who are known for their practices of Zen Buddhism, which teaches that Zen is the way to the Buddha, which is the way to the mind which is the way to the "nature" (spiritual nature) which is the way to god because all is god. (Say What?)

Hollywood further promotes the New Enlightenment. One of it’s most famous and celebrated series ever in history was "Star Wars" by George Lucas, who admittedly introduced Yoda as a good "Zen Master" in order to draw contrasts between good and evil forces. ("Rolling Stone July 24th 1980 pg. 37) Still other stars such as John Travolta, Tom Cruise, and reportedly even Will Smith are avid Scientologists, who believe in the preeminence of the mind, Pantheism (all is God) and many metaphysical constructs clearly taught within the new enlightenment.

The food industry has joined the move with new, appealing, energy and conscience enhancing foods and drinks such as "Vitamin Water" which offers drink mixtures, some named after many of the 43 elements of the bodhipakkhiyā dhammā (Pali Dhamma) or Qualities Conducive or Related To Enlightenment as found within Buddhism. Even medicines for sexual dysfunction have been given names and variations of names based on eastern religions and constructs. For example Viagra is a variation of the term Viraga (also Buddhism) which means absence of desire. Viraga is one of the six special elements of enlightenment found within the Pali Canon’s Netti discourse.

As stated one of the most prolific examples of this new strategy is the partnership between New York Times Best Selling Author Eckhart Tolle and Oprah Winfrey’s O Web Network. It is reported that there have been over 27 Million downloads of Tolle’s Monday night e-web-cast seminars on the O-Web Network which proliferates the message the book "A New Earth" which is a newly repackaged version of spiritual bondage, eclecticism, mysticism, new ageism, Hinduism, and the new enlightenment in general. Modern history has not witnessed such a wholesale interest in mysticism and non-church spirituality as we are seeing through this book "A New Earth" and Oprah’s Web Network.

The problem is in part because the stage and venue of Oprah Winfrey is large and very popular. This unfortunately, has led to a validation by many of today’s top Christian leaders such a Bishop T.D. Jakes and gospel singers such as Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin and of course the Winan Family who have been friends and associates with Oprah before she became famous.

The result is that many Christians trying to find comfort, direction and inspiration have unknowingly been duped and baptized into these mystical teachings unknowingly, some without even questioning the content or spiritual outcomes of following occultism.

So that you that are spiritual can get an idea of just how insidious many of these teachings are, I have decided to summarize some of the more disturbing lessons from Eckhart Tolle’s best seller, "A New Earth."

First, Some History:
According to The Christian Research Institute Mr. Tolle suffered from a rather disturbing childhood in which there was abuse, neglect and a host of experiences unbefitting for a child to suffer. It was during that time at approximately ages 7 to 10 that he began to experience depression and feelings of suicide. In the midst of that despair, reportedly, he suddenly became aware of his interconnectedness with the universe. This feeling of "oneness" with creation eventually led him to begin receiving certain information or "wisdom" regarding life’s circumstances and situations. This cosmic knowledge and teaching has followed him and shaped his work even until today.

Initially, I wondered why Mr. Tolle’s book was simply, "A New Earth" instead of "a new heaven and a new Earth" but it didn’t take long to find the answer:
  • "Collective human consciousness and life on our planet are intrinsically connected. "A new heaven" is an emergence of a transformed state of human consciousness, and "a new earth" is a reflection in the physical realm. Since human life and human consciousness are intrinsically one with the life of the planet, as the old consciousness dissolves, there are bound to be synchronistic geographic and climatic natural upheavals in many parts of the planet, some of which we’re already witnessing now." Pg. 23
According to Mr. Tolle we may blame all of the natural tragedies such as hurricaines, global warming, typhoons, earthquakes, volcanoes and other upheaveals on him and Oprah for stirring the human consciousness. I am left to wonder what will happen before the universal consciousness is fully reached. Besides his utter confusion and desire for deification, the concept that jumps out here is Pantheism or "oneness" with all existence, which is an underlying staple of the entire book. In this case human life and human consciousness as "one with the life of the planet" This is further affirmed:
  • "...the divine life essence, the one indwelling consciousness or spirit of every creature, every life form, recognize it as one with their own essence and so love it as themselves." Pg. 4
  • "Any life form in any realm-mineral, vegetable, animal, or human-can be said to undergo "enlightenment." Pg. 3
Mr. Tolle borrows labels from Hinduism such as "ego" to indicate the "unawakened" individual self (Pg. 7) and "collective Ego" to indicate institutions such as the church or governments in which there is order. Here is what can only be amounted to as a prophecy against "collective ego":
  • "We are witnessing not only an unprecedented influx of consciousness at this time but also an entrenchment and intensification of the ego. Some religious institutions will be open to the new consciousness; others will harden their doctrinal positions and become part of all those other manmade structures through which the collective ego will defend itself and "fight back" " Pg. 19
  • "But ego is destined to dissolve, and all of its ossified structures, whether they be religious or other institutions, corporations, or governments, will disintegrate from within, no matter how deeply entrenched they appear to be. The most rigid structures, the most impervious to change will collapse first. Pg. 19
  • "A significant portion of the earth’s population will soon recognize, if they haven’t already done so, that humanity is now faced with a stark choice: evolve or die." Pg. 21
  • "We are coming to the end of not only mythologies but also of ideologies and belief systems." Pg. 21
The book itself is a treasure-trove of mysticism and convoluted thoughts. One only need open and read any paragraph and a host of problems are presented. The amazing thing is that he sees clearly what is happening and defines it openly.
  • "In Hindu teachings (and sometimes in Buddhism also), this transformation is called enlightenment. In the teachings of Jesus, it is salvation, and in Buddhism, it is the end of suffering. Liberation and awakening are other terms used to describe this transformation." Pg. 13
  • "Partially as a result of spiritual teachings that have arisen outside the established religions, but also due to the influx of the ancient eastern wisdom teachings, a growing number of followers of traditional religions are able to let go of identification with form, dogma, and rigid belief systems and discover the original depth that is hidden within their own spiritual tradition at the same time as they discover the depth within themselves. They realize that how spiritual you are has nothing to do with what you believe but everything to do with your state of consciousness." Pg. 18
  • "All religions are equally false and equally true, depending on how you use them." Pg. 70
One of the more troublesome issues with Mr. Tolle’s book is his complete and wholesale redefinition of scripture and especially the teachings of Jesus.

On The Holy Spirit’s Roll In The Earth:
  • "This is why these three "en-lightened" life forms have played such an important part in the evolution of human consciousness since ancient times; why, for example, the jewel in the lotus flower is a central symbol of Buddhism and a white bird, the dove, signifies the Holy Spirit in Christianity. THEY have been preparing the ground for a profound shift in planetary consciousness that is destined to take place in the human species. This is the spiritual awakening that we are beginning to witness now." Pg. 5
Now, notice in Tolle’s world view the Holy Spirit is working in tandem with Buddhism’s lotus flower the and "crystal" of Hinduism to prepare humanity for a great spiritual awakening. If that wasn’t bad enough he also redefines terms, especially biblical terms, and especially the teachings of Jesus and biblical doctrines. The following are examples:

Redefinition of Sin:
  • "According to Christian teachings, the normal collective state of humanity is one of "original sin". Sin is a word that has been greatly misunderstood and misinterpreted. Literally translated from the Greek in which the New Testament was written, sin means to miss the mark, as an archer who misses the target, so to sin means to miss the point of human existence. It means to live unskillfully, blindly, and thus to suffer and cause suffering." Pg. 9
  • "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. Pg. 22
Redefinition Of Heaven:
  • "We need to understand here that heaven is not a location but refers to an inner realm of consciousness. This is the esoteric meaning of the word, and this is also the meaning in the teachings of Jesus." Pg. 23
Redefinition Of Humanity's Relationship With God:
  • "I am the way the truth and the life." These words uttered by Jesus are one of the most powerful and direct pointers to the Truth, if understood correctly. If misinterpreted however they become a great obstacle. Jesus speaks of the innermost I Am, the essence identity of every man and woman, every life form in fact." Pg. 71
As if that weren’t enough:
  • "He (Jesus) speaks of the life that you are. Some Christian mystics have called it the Christ within; Buddhists call it you Buddha nature; for Hindus it’s Atman, the indwelling of God. When you are in touch with that dimension within yourself-and being in touch with it is your natural state, not some miraculous achievement- all your actions and relationships will reflect the oneness with all life that you sense deep within. This is love. Laws commandments, rules and regulations are necessary for those who are cut off from who they are, the Truth within." Pg. 71-72

  • "A new heaven and a new earth are arising within you at this moment, and if they are not arising at this moment they are no more than a thought n your head and therefore not rising at all. What did Jesus tell his disciples?" Heaven is right here in the midst of you." pg. 309-309
Reinterpretation Of Scripture Especially The Meek Inheriting The Earth:
  • "...the meek are the egoless. They are those who have awakened to their essential true nature as consciousness and recognize that essence in all "others" all life-forms. They live in a surrendered state and so feel their oneness with the whole and the Source. They embody the awakened consciousness that is changing all aspects of life on our planet, including nature because life on earth is inseparable from the human consciousness that perceives and interacts with it. This is the sense in which the meek will inherit the earth.
    A new species is arising on the planet. It is arising now, and you are it!" Pg. 309
On the atrocities of Christianity towards the world especially during medieval times Mr. Tolle says the following:
  • "The truth was considered more important than human life. And what was the Truth? A story you had to believe in; which means a bundle of thoughts." Pg. 70
In teaching on "the peace of God that surpasses all understanding" Mr Tolle sums up his observations as such:
  • "You realize your true identity as consciousness itself, rather than what consciousness had identified with. 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." pg. 57
Mr. Tolle clearly teaches relativism. There is No right and certainly no wrong. In this instance he redefines covetousness as just "consciousness" (ego). He says that it is neither right or wrong.
  • "Is it wrong then to be proud of one’s possessions or to feel resentful toward people who have more than you? Not at all." pg. 41
Mr. Tolle's declaration of the self existence of man is clear. He reverberates Exodus 3 where God described himself as "I AM" which is the ultimate statement of self-existence. Just in case one would doubt it he says it even more clearly regarding "truth":
  • The truth is inseparable from who you are. Yes, you are the Truth. If you look elsewhere, you will be deceived every time. The very being that you are is truth." Pg. 71
In Tolle’s world the addict, rapist, child abuser and the dedicated, God fearing, law abiding citizen are all morally equal to the truth. There is no commendation or reward for doing the right thing other than becoming "enlightened". Over 27 Million individuals have partaken of this doctrine of devils to some degree.

2 Tim. 4:3-4 ~ " For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables."

The scripture in the beginning of this segment Acts 19: 18-19, is telling. After devils had been cast out in Ephesus, and miracles done among God’s people. People were able to more clearly hear and understand the voice of God. The "many of them that believed" came and "confessed their deeds".

Some interpret this scripture to be regarding only them who beforehand did not know Christ and were coming to saving faith. This is an incorrect interpretation. Although, there may have been individuals who did originally come to Jesus this verse focused on those who already had a conviction of salvation but were "bound" with the wrong practices. The word "believed" or Pisteuo – deals with one who has had a moral conviction and has cone to believe and yield in trust to…

I began to wonder how many Christians had misplaced their trust, placing it in Oprah or Tolle or someone else? How many had picked up some habits and materials that yet bind s their hears and keeps them away from the full experience of blessing in Jesus?

Them that "believed" turned in 50,000 pieces of silver, which is roughly the equivalent of $1,600,000. Being bound is easy, being free comes with a price. Thankfully Jesus has paid it all.

You think this is confined to Oprah and Eckhart Tolle? I've got news for ya. In Pt. 4 we will discover how these same teachings have infiltrated many of our top U.S. corporations through the guise of performance and workplace teaching and training. We’ll show how these same concepts have infiltrated our school systems through literacy education training and seeks to destroy our families through redefining truth and family values.


Additional Resources Regarding Eckhart Tolle:
by the Christian Research Institute

Additional Resources Regarding The New Enlightenment:
By Norm Geisler & Ron Brooks

Additional Information:

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