Saturday, April 12, 2008
Oprah Day 3: A New Earth
Sorry it's taken me a while to find time to watch each of these shows, and then write about it. This show in particular needed my full attention, and devotion to scripture.
Wow. This stuff is crazy. If any of you, like my friend Laurie who commented in the last Oprah segment, are finding yourselves in discussions about the validity of this cooky stuff, get out your Bibles.
Let me first say, if you are watching these shows, and you are not a mature believer, grounded in the Word, certain of what scripture says about salvation and living life, you should not be watching this.
It's deceptive. It's tricky. You can watch these real, live people give testimony as to how it's caused them to be better people, lose weight even (that will draw your attention!), stop your sinful behaviors, and think...Wow! This is good stuff.
I understand how lost people get sucked into this. If I were lost, I might.
But as believers and followers of Christ, we ough to know better!
We need to know the God we love, we have given everything up to follow, and know what His Word says about this junk.
So if you've been watching this, and you are not mature in your faith, and you don't have your Bible in your hand, completely on guard against this, you are being like the "weak-willed woman" in 2 Timothy 3:6, who allow false teaching to "worm it's way into our homes", and "are swayed by all kids of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth."
So what is the basic message of this New Earth business?
Their advertisements say "Learn who you really are...awaken to your life's purpose...your place in the universe...only for those who are ready."
On the show, and also on the website, they assure you this will NOT intefere with your religious beliefs. It will only add to it, sweeten it.
Let's pause it. God's Word and Jesus don't need to add this little hobbit's guy teaching to sweeten it or add to it. (Rusty thinks this guy Eckhart Tolle, the author of the book, looks like a hobbit.)
Jesus' sacrifice for our sins and full teaching will stand alone, thank you very much. Not only did He take care of our sin problem once and for all on the cross, but then He gifted us with God's Word and His Holy Spirit, telling us everything we need to know in how to follow Him with obedient lives. What else could we possibly need? If you're a Christian, you certainly don't need this peculiar guy's book to "add to" your belief system. We don't need "A New Earth", we don't need the Book of Mormon, or any other book to add to His Word.
Let's start with one major deception: Being better people
Every good deception has a fragment of truth woven into it. It wouldn't hook us if it didn't. The objectives in this teaching sound good, and like some of our own objectives as Christians. I'm trying to catch the lingo they are using in this teaching...egos (pride)...pain bodies...that's our favorite. I tell you, this has provided for some hilarious jokes among me, Rusty, Heather and Aaron this week. Good fun.
But here are some of the objectives I heard in this one show:
-Breaking down of egos. We could find the theme of getting rid of our pride, as in passages like Phil. 2
-Breaking attachments to material things, similarly found in 1 John 2:16-17 and Luke 12:34
-Being present in the moment. This is the major theme! Something that might sound similar is in James 4:13-17 and Luke 12:28-31, teaching us not to presume upon God's future plans for us, and not to worry about tomorrow.
-Letting go of what we would call sinful thought patterns, like bitterness, unforgiveness, obsessive eating. etc. You will find that in passages like Ephesians 4:31, Col. 3:8, and Phil. 4:8
Let me be clear- their objectives are not founded in these scriptures, but they make it look like our goals are the same. It can be very deceiving.
Then they differentiated between the difference of spirituality and religion.
They defined spirituality as-the longing in each of us for MORE, for a higher purpose, and eternal journey.
Religion was defined as-what we use to answer these questions about eternity. Religion is meant to FILL that longing.
There's this idea in the world that you can be a spiritual person or grow spiritually outside of the knowledge and relationship with Jesus Christ.
We know we cannot separate these things. Everything about us, our spirits and bodies, are meant to glorify God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 1 Cor. 6 tells us that our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit, meant to glorify God, if we are believers. Paul's who life and goal was to be poured out like a drink offering (Phil 2) to further His kingdom.
If we are just trying to better ourselves, making us kinder, more "present in the moment", less bitter, more forgiving, whatever, it is in vain if it is to please ourselves and not to please God.
2 Cor 5:15
15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them.
With God, and the Holy Spirit in us, we have the power to please God.
you must be even more careful to put into action God's saving work in your lives, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him. Without God, we are powerless to do this. When we are lost, we are enslaved to sin. Ask anyone who's ever been addicted to any sin (which is all of us.) Only God's power sets us free once and for all.
4 Sin is no longer your master, for you are no longer subject to the law, which enslaves you to sin. Instead, you are free by God's grace.
Be your authentic self.
I don't know about you, but my authentic self is pretty gross.
The me, before Christ, is sinful. Yucky. Selfish.
Without Christ, I wouldn't know how to be any other way.
Without the standard of God's holiness, what would I be? Whoever I want to be?
I don't want to be her. She's not nice. She's all about herself.
This idea of connecting with your inner self is faulty to the core.
If our inner selves were nice people, we would not live in a world of sinful, evil, people. But we do.
Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned; all fall short of the glory of God's glorious standard." We are guilty, on the fast road to being condemned for eternity without God. But the good news- the verse right before this one- Romans 3:22 "We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are and what we have done."
We are in need of a Savior, no doubt about it. We are not good enough, and our "authentic selves" will never be good enough.
Being present in the moment and eternal life.
This is the last thing I will try to tackle today.
It seems the overriding theme of this teaching, outside of being our "authentic selves" and being better people, is what I heard them say over and over...being present in the moment. This moment is all we have. Jenny McCarthy said "The only peace we can find is in the present."
One of them said "The NOW is where our power resides."
Wow. Where do I begin?
Living for the now goes against everything Christianity is about.
The NOW is not all we have. Eternal life is promised to those who trust in Jesus. John 3:16. Our home is really in heaven as believers. We are just aliens here, passing through. Our lives are fleeting here on earth.
Margit-a guest and Catholic minister said she had her "Aha moment" (if I hear that term one more time, I'm going to scream!) when she really got that Jesus didn't come to die on the cross for our sins- but to show us how to do it, how to live.
Wow!!! At this point, Oprah says "Yeah, you know I'm a Christian too...Jesus came to show us "Christ's consciousness." I'm not even sure what this means, but this is the most dangerous lie of all!!!!
We already saw in one of the clips from that video I previously posted that Oprah has denounced Jesus as the only way.
Jesus himself said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." John 14:6
Oprah claims Christianity, but does not believe in his whole purpose for coming to save us! He DID come to die on the cross for our sins! I'll let scripture speak for that.
25 For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God's anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.
1 Tim 1:15
15 This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners
1 John 3:4-6
4 Those who sin are opposed to the law of God, for all sin opposes the law of God. 5 And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, for there is no sin in him. 6 So if we continue to live in him, we won't sin either. But those who keep on sinning have never known him or understood who he is.
Without knowing this, and accepting this sacrifice, trading our life for His life, we will never know eternal life.
Except this is what they had to say about eternal life...scariest part of the show hands down.
This poor woman, Penny, who is nearing to death due to cancer, says she has found great peace in knowing she now will have eternal life based on reading this book. Tolle (hobbit guy) explains eternal life by saying we all have "energy", our life, and energy can't die. It goes on, but our "form" our bodies, will disentigrate.
Doesn't that sound simple?
And he says "This is Jesus' teaching."
No...no, it's not. He uses Jesus' name and supposed teaching in the book to weave into this treacherous lie.
Yes, eternal life exists. Of course. But you will spend it in hell if you don't surrender your life to Christ and follow Him!
Yet Penny says now she has no fear in death. Eckhart Tolle says he has absolutely no fear in death. I am fearing it for them.
As Jesus put it:
5 No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will also perish."
A lot of the quotes they give sound like double talk and "deep thoughts" that used to be on Saturday Night Live. Really, this is weird stuff.
Finally, Be very careful when you hear any teaching, with Jesus' name on it or not, that never mentions SIN.
1 John 1:8-10
8 If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
We all have a sin problem. All of us.
It can't be solved with breathing, better space, living in the moment.
It can't be solved with ANYTHING other than accepting Jesus' sacrifice on the cross and dying to our "authentic selves" to follow Him.