For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, Corinthians 15:3-4 NIV
This post is a continuation of last night’s post. (Thank you to those who have returned or chosen to continue on from Part 1.)
Before I delve into the “weird” I want to lay a little more groundwork. (I acknowledge that “weird” is a relative term. Some may find what I’m about to say “weird”.)
In (what I will call) traditional Christian thought (although, in postmodernism even “traditional” is up for grabs):
- Evil exists.
- Satan is real.
- Demons are real.
In New Age thought it’s all good. (Well, lets face it, plenty of Christians believe this too.) According to most New Agers (including those who don’t realize they are New Agers), evil is an illusion that can (and will) be overcome by individual and collective human enlightenment.
I’m generalizing here, because I have “met” New Agers who view evil as a separate external entity, but as a general rule, evil is downplayed in New Age thought. In many churches, this is true as well.
I’m not a fan of fire and brimstone preaching from the pulpit. Please don’t misunderstand. I don’t think evil should be the focus of every church service. But it should be mentioned often enough that congregants understand (or are given the opportunity to understand) the Christian view of evil, and that it is in stark contrast to the New Age view which has successfully permeated American culture. Christians need to know the difference so they can successfully navigate this world. If it looks good and it feels good, that doesn’t mean it is good.
And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14 NIV
Enter the Weird
I can’t connect all the dots or explain this all in one post, so I’m going to offer some dots and along with them, some brief explanation.
- Benjamin Creme.
This guy is a spokesperson for the “Ascended” Masters, primarily one named Maitreya. His telepathic conversations with these beings began in 1959. Creme explains it like this:
“I was told to get a tape-recorder and received many long dictations of various kinds. Some contained advice, guidance, or spiritual instruction. I was not told the identity of the Master (or Masters) who spoke thus, telepathically, to me, and I think I was too shy to ask, although I was told I could ask questions.”
It is believed that Ascended Masters are individuals who were formerly embodied on the Earth and learned the lessons of life during their incarnations. … An Ascended Master, in such an understanding, has become God-like and a source of unconditional “Divine Love” to all life, and through the Ascension has united with his or her own “God Self,” the “I AM Presence.”
According to Creme and others, Maitreya is the leader of the Ascended Masters.
And in the time of the people with eighty thousand-year life-span, there will arise in the world a Blessed Lord, an Arahant fully-enlightened Buddha named Metteyya, endowed with wisdom and conduct, a Well-Farer, Knower of the worlds, an incomparable Trainer of men to be tamed, Teacher of gods and humans, enlightened and blessed, just as I am now.
He will thoroughly know by his own super-knowledge, and proclaim, this universe with its devas and maras and Brahmas, its ascetics and Brahmins, and this generation with its princes and people, just as I do now. He will teach the Dhamma, lovely in the beginning, lovely in its middle, in the spirit and in the letter, and proclaim, just as I do now, the holy life in its fullness and purity. (DN 26 Cakkavatti Sutta (The Wheel-turning Emperor)
Is Helena Blatvatsky’s and Benjamin Creme’s Maitreya the Maitreya of Buddhist prophecy, or did some lying demon just decide to take on the name? I don’t know. Still, it’s kind of weird isn’t it?
Maitreya (per Benjamin Creme) will be made known to all of humanity on the Day of Declaration:
“Maitreya will be invited by the international media to speak directly to the entire world through the television networks linked together by satellites.
On this Day of Declaration, we will see his face on the television screen wherever we have access. The biblical statement, “All eyes will see him,” will be fulfilled, in the only way in which it can be fulfilled. We will see his face, but he will not speak. His thoughts, his ideas, his call to humanity for justice, sharing, right relationships and peace, will take place silently, telepathically. Each of us will hear him inwardly in our own language. In this way, he will re-enact on a worldwide scale the true happenings of Pentecost 2,000 years ago.
At the same time, the energy which he embodies ― the Christ Principle, the energy of love ― will flow out in tremendous potency through the hearts of all humanity. He has said: “It will be as if I embrace the world. People will feel it even physically.” This will evoke an intuitive, heartfelt response to his message. Simultaneously, on the outer, physical plane, there will be hundreds of thousands of miracle healings throughout the planet. In these three ways we will know that Maitreya is the World Teacher, come for all groups, religious and non-religious alike.”
Yes, very creepy. Is anyone else thinking what I’m thinking? (Antichrist.)
Creme doesn’t say when the Day of Declaration will be. Well, yes he does. It will occur in 1982.
While creepy, Creme’s (I mean Maitreya’s) prophecies have proven fallible, thus unpacking some of their punch.
Nevertheless, Creme’s “Day of Declaration” prophecy got me thinking. Suppose it were to happen in the near future? How would Christians react?
…false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time. Matthew 24: 24-25 NIV
Duped by the “Day of Declaration”
What seems clear to me (and disturbing) is that some variations of Christian thought would be very vulnerable to being duped by a “Day of Declaration” event.
(A second and perhaps more disturbing thought is, Would I be duped?)
Based on my research, here are some Christian schools of thought that I believe might be easily duped (I won’t go into detail, but will provide links so you can conduct your own research if you desire. Also, this isn’t an exhaustive list.):
- Ecumenical Movement (On the surface a united church sounds like a good thing. However, if unification requires abandoning fundamental Biblical truths, it could be very bad.)
- Social Gospel adherents (An old movement that has recently been repackaged.)
- Dominionism / NAR / Third Wave
- Emerging Church (Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, yada yada.)
- Contemplative Prayer advocates (Thomas Merton, Richard Foster, Basil Pennington, etc.)
- Christian Universalists (“Em. Excuse me. Did you just hear the voice of Jesus? Really? I did too. So did you? And you? We’re all saved!)
There are many links out there on all of the above. Most are heavily biased towards or against, so I took the time to listen to one of the vocal adherents. Here’s the video I watched:
I did my best to find non-biased links. It was very difficult. They are all biased. Let’s say instead that I tried to offer a variety. Readers will have to decide what they agree and disagree with.
It’s a lot of information to take in at once, and some of the teachings are so subtle they are difficult to spot. Personally, I see red flags in all of the above, and to be honest, it leaves me a bit skeptical about the overall health of the Christian church (little “c”).
Christ knows who belongs to his Church (big “C”) and I don’t wish to speculate on its members. My primary responsibility (as I see it) is to make sure I stay under the umbrella of the Church. To my chagrin, as I grow and become wiser (hopefully) that umbrella seems to grow smaller and smaller. However, Jesus of Nazareth said small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:14 NIV) so why should I be surprised?
I’m not really. But admittedly, I’m disheartened. My honeymoon period with the church is officially over. Doesn’t mean I’m ready to give up on it, just means I’m on higher guard.
What’s the ultimate point of this 2-part series, you ask? (I’m asking myself this question as I type.)
- I think it’s partly an info dump, so I can get this stuff out of my brain and move on. I apologize if you feel dumped on. My hope is that you learned something new and/or that you gained a renewed interest in sharpening your discernment.
- If you hear the voice of “Jesus” in your head at the exact moment everyone around you hears the voice of “Jesus” in their heads it’s not Jesus. Jesus has not returned. Do not be duped.
- To my fellow Christians, read your Bible. Often. (Note to self: Listen to self.) Put on your armor and secure it tightly. There are wolves prowling about. (Ephesians 6:10-19)
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:15-27 NIV