Articles and Outlines - Contemporary Issues - Rethinking the New Age and Thought Reform


Rethinking the New Age and Thought Reform

Author: Russ Wise - Warren Smith
Date: 12/5/2007 1:02:42 PM


Oprah Winfrey is back with her New Age guru Marianne Williamson promoting A Course in Miracles1 on her XM Radio program Oprah and Friends beginning January 1, 2008. Another event taking place in Southern California soon afterward is Robert Schuller’s Rethink Conference to be held January 17-19, 2008.


Robert Schuller has been one of Christendom’s forward thinking (Not necessarily Biblical) luminaries and has entertained new age notables such as Jerald Jampolsky, a prominent influence in metaphysical circles. According to Bill Dallas, the Rethink Conference director, These culture pioneers know what is center-stage in our culture right now and also what is breaking on the horizon . . . This conference will confront outdated and pre-conceived ideas, offer new perspectives and open our minds to all kinds of possibilities that connect us with our shifting culture without compromising our core values." The question that looms in discerning minds is simply this: just what are these outdated and pre-conceived ideas that seemingly burden our present culture – spiritually, theologically and otherwise.


Ms. Winfrey is further promoting her long-time new age friend and guru Marianne Williamson by providing her a platform where she can influence the masses. No one would question the fact that The Oprah2 is recognized as the most influential pop-culture Icon of the twentieth century and beyond. Her influence has literally been a change-agent3 in millions of lives. Oprah currently reaches 49 million viewers each week who intently listen to her every word of instruction and her XM audience will be no different. They are intently listening to The Oprah and her spiritual teacher, Ms. Williamson, to glean the latest nugget of “truth”.


Warren Smith, as a former New Age sympathizer, has written4 on these issues from a unique perspective. He has not only been a student of A Course in Miracles, but he has also been one of the foremost thinkers and writers exposing new age methodologies and tactics that have had influence in the church at large.


Smith makes these stunning observations in a recent article for World Net Daily. He offers the reader hard evidence of Robert Schuller’s long-time involvement with notable adherents of New Age mysticism. He makes the connection between the Rethink Conference and the Emergent Church. The connections offered by Smith are somewhat tenuous on the surface; however, they have deep and widespread links to prominent New Age practitioners. Lastly, he ties a bow around it by exposing the networking that has been prescient among those within Schuller’s realm of influence. Sadly, there will be many who participate in the conference who have no understanding nor do they have any allegiance to New Age thought. They will simply be used as credible witnesses to the fact that change is on the horizon. The question at hand is, or should be this, Is change always in the best interest of the church?


You can read Warren Smith’s expose of the Rethink Conference and Oprah’s endorsement of Marianne Williamson and her teaching of The Course (ACIM) on her XM Radio program below.


 


Endnotes:


These articles written by Russ Wise can be found here:



  1. A Course in Miracles, http://christianinformation.org/article.asp?artID=41

  2. The Oprahfication of America, http://christianinformation.org/article.asp?artID=103

  3. Conversations with God, Neale Donald Walsch  http://christianinformation.org/article.asp?artID=63

  4. Warren Smith, The Light That Was Dark, Mountain Stream Press, Magalia, CA., 2005. This book by Warren Smith is the best available description of the deception found in A Course in Miracles and how it brings spiritual corruption into one’s life and church.

 


Rethinking Robert Schuller






Posted: October 30, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern


By Warren Smith


As a former New Age follower, I could hardly believe it. On Oct. 17, 2004, more than 20 years after his first appearance on the "Hour of Power," New Age leader Gerald Jampolsky was once again Robert Schuller's featured guest. I was not surprised on one level because I had always been aware of Schuller's affection for New Age teachings. What did surprise me was Schuller's willingness still to be so openly aligned with a veteran New Age leader like Jampolsky.


I was very familiar with Gerald Jampolsky. When I was exploring New Age teachings, he was the first one to introduce me to the New Age Christ and to the New Age/New Gospel teachings of "A Course in Miracles." Widely reputed in New Age circles to be the closest thing to a New Age bible, "A Course in Miracles" taught me that "there is no sin," "a slain Christ has no meaning" and "the recognition of God is the recognition of yourself."


On this "Hour of Power" program, Schuller praised Jampolsky and recommended all of his "fabulous" books – in spite of the fact that every one of them was based on the New Age teachings of "A Course in Miracles." He also stated that Jampolsky's latest book, "Forgiveness," was available in the Crystal Cathedral bookstore. Amazingly, Schuller had begun the year as a featured speaker at the annual convention of the National Association of Evangelicals. He was now closing the year by featuring a prominent New Age leader as his special guest. As usual, no one in Christian leadership was holding him accountable, or even seemed to care. Over the years, Robert Schuller had obviously done a good job of softening up the church.


Schuller's latest move is to hold a "Rethink Conference" at his Crystal Cathedral. With an unusual mix of Christian and non-Christian speakers, the conference will take place Jan. 17-19, 2008. He is co-hosting the conference with Emerging Church movement leader Erwin McManus. Schuller's "rethink" website states the purpose of the conference: "Our aim is to bring together a cross-section of the key leaders in today's culture so we can grapple with what's truly happening in our world."


Among the 30 speakers lending their names and varying degrees of credibility to Robert Schuller's conference are Lee Strobel, Dan Kimball, Charles Colson, George Barna, Rupert Murdoch, George Herbert Walker Bush, Larry King and Rick Warren's wife, Kay Warren. While Rick Warren has tried desperately to deny his spiritual ties to Schuller, his wife's presence at the conference speaks volumes.


Conference speaker Lee Strobel's recent book, "The Real Jesus: A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ," purports to expose today's deceptive false Christs, yet an in-depth discussion of the false New Age Christ is completely missing from his book. Meanwhile, apologist Strobel, a former Saddleback pastor, makes no apologies for aligning himself with New Age sympathizer Robert Schuller.


The Emerging Church also refuses to take the New Age seriously. Not surprisingly, two of its top leaders – Erwin McManus and Dan Kimball – agreed to participate in this Schuller "Rethink Conference." The word "rethink" can be found throughout Kimball's book "The Emerging Church,” which was forewarded by Rick Warren and Brian McLaren. The word "rethink" can also be found throughout the books of other Emergent leaders, including McLaren. So what is this "Rethink Conference" really about? What do Schuller and "the forces that be" hope to accomplish?


In defining the word "rethink" Webster's states: "to think over again, with a view to changing." From my perspective as a former New Age follower, I believe that Robert Schuller's mission has always been to "rethink" and "change" biblical Christianity into something "new" – as in New Age/New Spirituality. There is a reason that New Age leader Neale Donald Walsch and his New Age "God" refer to Robert Schuller as an "extraordinary minister." There is a reason Gerald Jampolsky and so many other New Age leaders go out of their way to praise Schuller. They know that Robert Schuller has always been open to spiritual compromise.


In fact, in his latest book, "Don't Throw Away Tomorrow: Living God's Dream for Your Life," Schuller eagerly writes about the virtue of compromise. In this book, that bears New Age leader Gerald Jampolsky's endorsement on the back cover, Schuller states, "We need to learn the healing quality of wise compromise." He further states, "Perhaps the only way to deal with contradictions is to combine them creatively and produce something new. That's ingenious compromise." Whether Schuller knows it or not, he just presented the recipe for a New World Religion.


In "Don't Throw Away Tomorrow: Living God's Dream for Your Life," Schuller uses the term "God's Dream" in the subtitle and within the book. He used the term "God's Dream" heavily in his 1982 book "Self-Esteem: The New Reformation." Saddleback pastor Rick Warren used the Schuller term "God's Dream" to introduce his widely publicized global "P.E.A.C.E. Plan." He described his peace plan as "God's Dream for you – and the world." Brian McLaren, Bruce Wilkinson, Joel Osteen, Erwin McManus and a host of other Christian leaders also use the Schuller term "God's Dream." Why?


Although "God's Dream" is a Schulleresque term with no biblical foundation, it has become part of the vocabulary of the church's new emerging purpose-driven mindset. It is interesting that Warren uses the Schuller term "God's Dream" to describe his peace plan. Is "God's Dream" suddenly becoming the metaphor for world peace? Will we be asked to "rethink" and "compromise" our faith for the good of the world? Will we be asked to "rethink" and "compromise" our faith to attain the world peace that is "God's Dream"? Is this Schuller-inspired conference designed to initiate this kind of "rethink" and "compromise" process? So what are we expected to "rethink"? What must we ultimately "compromise"? The answer lies within the New Age itself.


The New Age also has a "peace plan" and its adherents are also calling for conferences like these. They insist that world peace will only occur when Christians abandon their "exclusive" and "divisive" relationship with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Neale Donald Walsch, speaking for his New Age "God," unequivocally states that "the era of the Single Savior is over." Yet at the same time, Walsch's "God" suggests that Robert Schuller could be instrumental in providing a bridge from the church to the peace and oneness of a New Spirituality. Is this New Spirituality where Robert Schuller and these kinds of conferences are ultimately headed? Time will tell. It is important to note that Walsch is not some obscure New Age leader. He is a best-selling author and highly regarded by his New Age peers. Just ask Gerald Jampolsky. It was Walsch who wrote the introduction to "Forgiveness" – the book that was so highly recommended by Schuller on that 2004 "Hour of Power" program with Jampolsky.


In Revelation 2:2, Jesus Christ commends the church of Ephesus for exposing false teachers and driving them out of the church. Men like Robert Schuller wouldn't have lasted five minutes in Ephesus. And neither would those who continue to stand alongside Schuller giving him undeserved influence and credibility. The church does not need to "rethink" and "compromise" its God-given biblical doctrines to accommodate the world. It needs to rethink its willingness to follow worldly leaders like Robert Schuller.


http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=58409






Friday, November 09, 2007


"Oprah and Friends" To Teach Course on New Age Christ


By Warren Smith


Oprah Winfrey will be letting out all the stops on her XM Satellite Radio program this coming year. Beginning January 1, 2008, “Oprah & Friends” will offer a year-long course on the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles.1 A lesson a day throughout the year will completely cover the 365 lessons from the Course in Miracles “Workbook.” For example, Lesson #29 asks you to go through your day affirming that “God is in everything I see.”2 Lesson #61 tells each person to repeat the affirmation “I am the light of the world.”3 Lesson #70 teaches the student to say and believe “My salvation comes from me.”4


By the end of the year, “Oprah & Friends” listeners will have completed all of the lessons laid out in the Course in Miracles Workbook. Those who finish the Course will have a wholly redefined spiritual mindset—a New Age worldview that includes the belief that there is no sin, no evil, no devil, and that God is “in” everyone and everything. A Course in Miracles teaches its students to rethink everything they believe about God and life. The Course Workbook bluntly states: “This is a course in mind training”5 and is dedicated to “thought reversal.”6


Teaching A Course in Miracles will be Oprah’s longtime friend and special XM Satellite Radio reporter Marianne Williamson—who also happens to be one of today’s premier New Age leaders. She and Conversations with God author Neale Donald Walsch co-founded the American Renaissance Alliance in 1997, that later became the Global Renaissance Alliance of New Age leaders, that changed its name again in 2005 to the Peace Alliance. This Peace Alliance seeks to usher in an era of global peace founded on the principles of a New Age/New Spirituality that they are now referring to as a “civil rights movement for the soul.”7 They all agree that the principles of this New Age/New Spirituality are clearly articulated in A Course in Miracles—which is fast becoming the New Age Bible. So what is A Course in Miracles and what does it teach?


A Course in Miracles is allegedly “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 his channeled teachings in 1965 to a Columbia University Professor of Medical Psychology by the name of Helen Schucman. One day Schucman heard an “inner voice” stating, “This is a course in miracles. Please take notes.”8 For seven years she diligently took spiritual dictation from this inner voice that described himself as “Jesus.” A Course in Miracles was quietly published in 1975 by the Foundation for Inner Peace. For many years “the Course” was an underground cult classic for New Age seekers who studied “the Course” individually, with friends, or in small study groups.


As a former New Age follower and devoted student of A Course in Miracles, I eventually discovered that the Course in Miracles was—in reality—the truth of the Bible turned upside down. Not having a true understanding of the Bible at the time of my involvement, I was led to believe that A Course in Miracles was “a gift form God” to help everyone understand the “real” meaning of the Bible and to help bring peace to the world. Little did I know that the New Age “Christ” and the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles were everything the real Jesus Christ warned us to watch out for. In Matthew 24 Jesus warned about false teachers, false teachings and the false “Christs” who would pretend to be Him.


When I left the New Age “Christ” to follow the Bible’s Jesus Christ, I had come to understand that the “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles was a false “Christ,” and that his Course in Miracles was dangerously deceptive. Here are some quotes from the “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles:



  • “There is no sin. . .” 9

  • A “slain Christ has no meaning.”10

  • “The journey to the cross should be the last ‘useless journey.’”11

  • “Do not make the pathetic error of ‘clinging to the old rugged cross.’”12

  • “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.”13

  • “God is in everything I see.”14

  • “The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.”15

  • “The oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity and your limitless power.”16

  • “The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation.”17

Most Christians recognize that these teachings are the opposite of what the Bible teaches. In the Bible, Jesus Christ’s atoning death on the cross of Calvary was hardly a “useless journey.” His triumph on the cross provides salvation to all those who confess their sin, accept Him and follow Him as their Lord and Saviour. His victory on the cross rings throughout the New Testament. It has been gloriously sung about in beloved hymns through the ages and is at the heart of our Christian testimony. I found the Jesus of the Bible to be wholly believable as He taught God’s truth and warned about the spiritual deception that would come in His name. The “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles reveals himself to be an imposter when he blasphemes the true Jesus Christ by saying that a “slain Christ has no meaning” and that we are all “God” and that we are all “Christ.” It was by reading the Bible’s true teachings of Jesus Christ that I came to understand how deceived I had been by A Course in Miracles and my other New Age teachings.


I was introduced to A Course in Miracles by Dr. Gerald Jampolsky’s book Love is Letting Go of Fear. Jampolsky declared in his easy-to-read book how the teachings of A Course in Miracles had changed his life. As an ambassador for A Course in Miracles over the years, Jampolsky has been featured not only in New Age circles but at least twice on Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power. While Schuller introduced Jampolsky and his “fabulous”18 Course in Miracles-based books to his worldwide television audience, it was Marianne Williamson’s appearance on a 1992 Oprah Winfrey Show that really shook the rafters.


On that program, Oprah enthusiastically endorsed Williamson’s book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles. Oprah told her television audience that Williamson’s book about A Course in Miracles was one of her favorite books, and that she had already bought a thousand copies and would be handing them out to everyone in her studio audience. Oprah’s endorsement skyrocketed Williamson’s book about A Course in Miracles to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Ironically, all of this was happening after I had left the Course and the New Age. In fact, I was doing the final editing on my book The Light That Was Dark that warned about the dangers of the New Age—and in particular A Course in Miracles.


After being introduced to the world on Oprah, Marianne Williamson has continued to grow in popularity and, as previously mentioned, has become one of today’s foremost New Age leaders. Williamson credits Winfrey for bringing her book about A Course in Miracles before the world: “For that, my deepest thanks to Oprah Winfrey. Her enthusiasm and generosity have given the book, and me, an audience we would never otherwise have had.”19 In her 2004 book, The Gift of Change, Williamson wrote: “Twenty years ago, I saw the guidance of the Course as key to changing one’s personal life; today, I see its guidance as key to changing the world. More than anything else, I see how deeply the two are connected.”20


Thus the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles are about to be taught by Marianne Williamson to millions of listeners on Oprah’s XM Satellite Radio program. Listeners are encouraged to buy A Course in Miracles for the year-long course. An audio version of A Course in Miracles recited by Richard (John Boy Walton) Thomas is also available on compact disc. Popular author Wayne Dyer told his PBS television audience that the “brilliant writing” of A Course in Miracles would produce more peace in the world.21 Williamson’s New Age colleague, Neale Donald Walsch, said his “God” stated that “the era of the Single Saviour is over”22 and that he (“God”) was responsible for authoring the teachings of A Course in Miracles.23 Meanwhile, Gerald Jampolsky’s Course in Miracles-based book, Forgiveness, continues to be sold in Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral bookstore as Schuller prepares to host a January 17-19, 2008, “Rethink Conference” at his Crystal Cathedral.24


At this critical time in the history of the world, the New Gospel/New Spirituality is coming right at the world and the church with its New Age teachings and its New Age Peace Plan. But this New Age Peace Plan has at its deceptive core the bottom-line teaching from A Course in Miracles that “we are all one” because God is “in” everyone and everything. But the Bible is clear that we are not God (Ezekiel 28:2; Hosea 11:9). And per Galatians 3:26-28, our only oneness is in Jesus Christ—not in ourselves as “God” and “Christ.” What Oprah and Marianne Williamson and the world will learn one day is that humanity’s only real and lasting peace is with the true Jesus Christ who is described and quoted in the Holy Bible (Romans 5:1).


Oprah Winfrey’s misplaced faith in Marianne Williamson and the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles is a sure sign of the times. But an even surer sign of the times is that most Christians are not taking heed to what is happening in the world and in the church. We are not contending for the faith as the Bible admonishes us to do (Jude 3). It is time for all of our Purpose-Driven and Emerging church pastors to address the real issue of the day. Our true Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is being reinvented, redefined, and blasphemed right in front of our eyes and hardly anyone seems to notice or care. If we want the world to know who Jesus Christ is, we need to also warn them about who He is not. There is a false New Age “Christ” making huge inroads into the world and into the church. The Apostle Paul said that “it is a shame” we have to even talk about these things, but talk about them we must (Ephesians 5:12-16).


If people want to follow Oprah Winfrey and the New Age “Christ” of A Course in Miracles they certainly have that right. But let them be warned that the New Age “Christ” they are following is not the same Jesus Christ who is so clearly and authoritatively presented in the pages of the Bible.


Warren Smith is a former New Age follower who at one time was deeply involved in the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles. He is the author of The Light That Was Dark: From the New Age to Amazing Grace and Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose-Driven Church. His book Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel is available free online at www.reinventingjesuschrist.com
Endnotes:
1. http://marianne.com/book/index/htm
2. A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume (Glen Ellen, California: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1975), (Workbook), p. 45.
3. Ibid., p. 102.
4. Ibid., p. 119.
5. Ibid., (Text), p. 16.
6. Ibid., (Preface), p. ix.
7. Neale Donald Walsch, Tomorrow’s God: Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge (New York: Atria Books, Simon & Schuster, 2004), pp. 262-263.
8. Robert Skutch, Journey Without Distance: The Story behind “A Course in Miracles” (Berkeley, California: Celestial Arts, 1984), p. 54.
9. A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume, (Workbook), p. 183.
10. Ibid., (Text), p. 425.
11. Ibid., p. 52.
12. Ibid.
13. Ibid., (Teachers Manual), p. 58.
14. Ibid., (Workbook), p. 45.
15. Ibid., (Text), p. 147.
16. Ibid., p. 125.
17. Ibid., p. 237.
18. http://www.hourofpower.org/interviews/interviews_detail.cfm?ArticleID=3079
19. Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles A Course in Miracles (New York: Harper Perennial, 1996), p. ix.
20. Marianne Williamson, The Gift Of Change: Spiritual Guidance for a Radically New Life (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2004), p. 5.
21. Wayne Dyer, “There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem,” Public Broadcasting System broadcast in 2001.
22. Neale Donald Walsch, The New Revelations: A Conversation with God (New York: Atria Books, 2002), p. 157.
23. Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: an uncommon dialogue, Book 1 (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1996), p. 90.
24. http://www.rethinkconference.com (See also WorldNetDaily.com 10/30/07 “What is Robert Schuller ‘rethinking’?” by Joseph Farah and “Rethinking Robert Schuller” by Warren Smith. See also Herescope: "Rethinking Culture" and "Rethinking and Reinventing" (10/30/07)


http://herescope.blogspot.com/


 




Author's Comments:
Spiritual deception is a growing problem within the Christian church and in the lives of individual's as well. This article is an attempt to sound the alarm regarding seductive elements within the body of Christ. It has become more imperative in our present time to adequately discern the Word of God and rightly apply it in the life of the church.


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