Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Eckhart Tolle Christianity (Understanding Eckhart Tolle - Comparison / Difference with Christianity)

I believe it important that both believers and unbelievers understand the difference between the teaching of Eckhart Tolle and Christianity. Here's a brief post to introduce you to a few of the significant differences. (Note, I've just been exposed to Tolle, but it doesn't seem to take long to discern the differences)

Context (the problem)Taken from here.:
Despite Oprah and Eckhart's reduction of Christianity to but one "way" amongst many other equally legitimate ways to God, and their calling Christ a "revolutionary" who has been misunderstood by the Church, and who simply came to manifest "Christ-consciousness", a quick search through the internet reveals that many Christians are following Oprah in attempting to fuse together the teachings of Eckhart, and the doctrines of the historical Christian church.


Great website to gain quick summary of Eckhart's beliefs/teachings: Ripples on the Surface of Being

Key Responses by Eckhart Tolle
AC: Ultimately, would you say that real spiritual practice or real spiritual experience is meant to lead one to the letting go of the world, the transcendence of the world, the relinquishment of attachment to the world?

ET: Yes. Sometimes people ask, "How do you get to that? It sounds wonderful, but how do you get there?" In concrete terms, at its most basic, it simply means to say "yes" to this moment. That is the state of surrender-a total "yes" to what is. Not the inner "no" to what is. And the complete "yes" to what is, is the transcendence of the world. It's as simple as that-a total openness to whatever arises at this moment. The usual state of consciousness is to resist, to run away from it, to deny it, to not look at it.


JM: I was also struck by your interpretation of the cross as a symbol of "thy will be done".

ET: It's a strange dualistic symbol. Basically, it's a torture instrument. To me, Jesus stands for humanity. So this man is nailed to the torture instrument, totally helpless, in deep suffering. At that point comes total surrender to what is. "Not my will, but thy will be done." At that point, the symbolic significance of the cross is changed from being a torture instrument to a symbol of the divine. So what it points to is that the very thing that seems to stand in the way of realizing who you are. The very suffering that comes with being here in this physical realm---because eventually some form of suffering comes to everybody---can become an opening into that which we call the divine. If you're lucky, disaster comes before the physical form is lost and the psychological form dissolves. This sometimes happens through extreme suffering, when people lose everything, or they find out they don't have much more time to live. So they are faced with extreme disaster which cannot be explained away.
(From ">here)


The possibility of such a transformation has been the central message of the great wisdom teachings of humankind. The messengers—Buddha, Jesus, and others, not all of them known—were humanity's early flowers. They were precursors, rare and precious beings. A widespread flowering was not yet possible at that time, and their message became largely misunderstood and often greatly distorted. It certainly did not transform human behavior, except in a small minority of people.
From here.
=================================
SUMMARY

1. Whereas in recent days, many have viewed Jesus as only a "GOOD TEACHER" rather than the "Son of God and Savior of the world"; Eckhart views Jesus (along with others such as Buddha) as one who only SET AN EXAMPLE for others in "SURRENDERING" as a result of suffering, BUT NOT ONE WHOSE SACRIFICE WAS NECESSARY FOR ATONEMENT! [i.e. Historic Christianity] In doing this, Jesus was only "one among many". (Note: In this view, Eckhart Tolle has done as much if not more than Jesus for us... since he not only supposedly sets the example for us in surrendering, but according to him...his teachings are not misunderstood and twisted like Jesus' example and teaching... so according to his view, Tolle, not Jesus is or becomes the de facto "real" or "best" Savior)

In other words, whereas before Jesus was a good "teacher" whose teachings (along with others) were instrumental in leading people to God, now in Eckhart's view Jesus (along with others) is one who has gone before in "participating in the right experience" (that of renouncing the world, ego, etc.) that leads people to experience reality (stillness, pure consciousness, self, transcendence of the world).

Put another way, in Eckhart's view, when Christ said "thy will be done, not my will", Jesus was not simply expressing the continuous attitude of his heart even in light of the present circumstances, but he had arrived at the divine and accomplished what is needed by others (an awakening), so that what followed (the penal substitution and atonement) was essentially unnecessary [/CONTRARY to SCRIPTURE and ESSENTIALS of Historic Christianity].

Finally, it should be noted that whereas Eckhart sees Jesus on the cross as "representing" humanity; he fails to see that Jesus set himself "in the place of" humanity (the elect). (Isaiah 53 "...Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, ..., ...he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.")

Such teaching fails to take into account passages such as:
Matt 6:10 (Lord's prayer) "...your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
John 6:27 "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
Phil 2:6 "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,",
... not to mention those dealing with substitutionary atonement, including:
Romans 3:25 "God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood..."
Hebrews 10:10 "And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
... also not to mention those dealing with God's decretal will in regard to the events of the cross
Acts 4:27-28 "Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what YOUR POWER AND WILL had decided beforehand should happen." (i.e. Jesus didn't just suffer the wrath of men but the fulfilled the plan and suffered the wrath of God for those he represented through federal relationship.)

2. Eckhart falsely supposes that man can renounce the world and self on his own apart from any grace in Christ.

Such teaching suggests man can change his own nature, that the death of Christ was not necessary for man to die to sin, and that grace is not needed for man to renounce the world and himself.

This runs counter to:
Jeremiah 13:23 "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil."
John 17:19 "For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified."
Romans 8:7 "the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so."
Rom 6:13 "Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life;..."

3. Those who seek to "together the teachings of Eckhart, and the doctrines of the historical Christian church" are fooling themselves. Not only do they attempt to join together doctrines that can't be joined (like oil and water) but they deny the critical teaching of Christianity found in the doctrine of the necessity of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ... along with teachings dealing with sanctification that accompany the doctrines of justification.

4. Eckhart is doing nothing different than others such as Joseph Smith or Muhammed when he seeks to supplant Scripture and the gospel of Christ by claiming the Scriptures have been misunderstood and that he knows better than the biblical writers.

For more, see here.

See also a comparison of Eckhart Tolle and Christianity on the Subject of Death.

71 comments:

  1. I am just one of the millions, yes millions of former born again Christians who have discovered over time that the American fundamentalist church has totally HIJACKED the teachings of Jesus.

    I no longer believe the lies that were taught me about Jesus by the church. That does not mean that I do not continue to follow Jesus. I do. I just don't follow "the church"

    What Eckhart Tolle is saying is RIGHT ON.

    In fact, if Jesus Christ came back today, I can assure you that the American Evangelical fundamentalist church in America would be the first in line to say that he must be some kind of new age guru. Just like when Jesus appeared 2000 years ago, it was HIS church that didn't recognize him.

    I will follow Jesus always. But my Jesus doesn't vote Republican, My Jesus doesn't say anything in the bible about gays (look it up), My Jesus is ambout peace, not war, My Jesus died for EVERYBODY (look it up).

    This old bullcrap taught by Josh Mc
    Dowell, which I used to believe, that you either have to accept Jesus as GOD or a lunatic is flawed logic.

    Many thousands of people got "saved" before Jesus was even born. And many more got saved in the 15th century by "attending" church- that was the way to be saved back then. No sinners prayer or four spiritual laws book- sorry fundy.

    I'm glad to see so many people today rethinking the "truths" they have been taught about Jesus and instead are finding out how to EXPERIENCE Jesus.

    After all, Jesus did give a warning to the church, that is still good today. MANY SHALL SAY LORD LORD, but Jesus won't even know them. Wake up Church. Knowing God is not that same as saying JESUS JESUS JESUS. Ask Benny Hinn, lol

    Peace out. fundys.com

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  2. Don,
    It is obvious you do not get your beliefs from the Holy Bible. May I ask what document or teacher you base your views on?

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  3. don,

    What's your position:
    a. Are sins of the past just part of a "photo" or do they result in guilt before God?

    b. Did Jesus come just as an example of how to renounce the world or to also provide for man's justification before God? (You seem to say both... when you say "What Exkhart is saying is right on" ... but then you go on to say "My Jesus died for everybody".... Which is it?)

    PS I'm afraid if you continue to discuss these matters we're going to find your "MY Jesus" may not be the same as the Bible's Jesus.

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  4. I was born and raised in a very conservative Protestant church and have no conflict with the writings and teachings of Eckhart Tolle. The Bible can be interpreted on many, many levels from the very literal to a much deeper understanding. A person can only comprehend and interpret it from his or her current level of consciousness, so Tolle's comments and writings may not be the same as someone who is living from a different state of consciousness. It would seem quite alien from that of someone staying very close to the surface of the Bible and Jesus' words and taking them as more outer historical documents rather than spiritual guidelines and examples for us to follow in an authentically inner way. Neither way (outer or inner) are better or worse than the other, but only in synchrony with ones state of consciousness.

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  5. csp,

    Just as one can be "sincerely" wrong while being sincere; one can also be of a "wrong" state of consciousness while claiming a particular type or level of consciousnessness.

    Also, while your background may have been a good one, it is not the text of orthodoxy and truth, Scripture is, and what Tolle teaches in inconsistent with the clear teaching of Scripure. While you may want to debate the perspicuity of Scripture, the framers of the Westminster Confession put it well when they said "All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them. (2 Pet 3:16; Ps 129:105,130).

    Your argument is likened unto that of Tolle in that in order to justify your beliefs as coming from the Bible, you must first attempt to discredit those who uphold the Bibles teaching and then attempt to supplant the teaching of the Bible with a substitute. This is no different that attempts by Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and even on one level, atheists attempt to do.

    Tell us... do YOU deny the necessity of the substitutionary atonement of Christ?





    e

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  6. Yes, there are differences in interpretations of Scripture, but the differences are not as vague as you want to make them. When it comes to salvation and how Christ works in that, there is not real mystery. The Bible is not something to be interpreted however we so choose.

    Prime example, the passage quoted from Matthew by Don, espoused by societyvs, applies to those who practice "lawlessness", like pro-abortion/gay marriage Christians. Be sure to quote the whole verse, instead of part of it to suit your own needs. Such practices are merely humanism disguised as Christianity.

    BTW: I won't speak for others, but I'm no fan of Benny Hinn either.

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  7. There are significant differences in Bible interpretation, how Christ works, salvation, etc. between, for example, Eastern Orthodox, Catholics, Protestants, early Christian Gnostics, etc. Even "Atonement" is divided between substitutionary and penal and has greater or lesser degrees of importance within each of the Christian denominations. Doctrines have also changed over time. Jesus came to tear down the intermediaries between God and man and show us the direct path home.

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  8. CSP,
    You said……There no authority or Church standing between a person and Christ.

    You are correct in that statement, but there is something standing between a person and Christ and that is TRUTH. John 1:14 reports that Jesus came full of grace and truth. This is absolute truth and as Swordbearer said the essentials of salvation are easily discernable to all. No level of consciousness, intoxication, or any other new age imagined requirement is necessary to discern the truth of Biblical revelation. A person would do well to read it as God’s truth.

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  9. Truth and Salvation are not so easy to find because our conditioned mind and ego will utilize whatever it has at its disposal to stand between us and Christ.

    The Bible is a sacred text of God's word, but reading it with a conditioned mind will give one only a very superficial understanding that serves our ego and personality, as well as strengthening the individual will. I must decrease so that he may increase.

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  10. It's not confusing.

    Jesus said: John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

    Yes, his word is truth, but this does mean a person understands him. The reaction to someone speaking the truth is quite often negative and without understanding. Thus, it can be very difficult to both see and understand the truth.

    Gotta go ... more later.

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  11. CSP,
    You said....Yes, his word is truth, but this does mean a person understands him. The reaction to someone speaking the truth is quite often negative and without understanding. Thus, it can be very difficult to both see and understand the truth.

    The Bible says that it is not difficult....Rom. 1:19-20 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. (20) For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

    Check out 2 Cor 3.... Especially v. 15 which says, and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

    It says through faith in Christ Jesus and not through achieving the correct level of consciousness.

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  12. It is interesting that you quote ...

    Rom. 1:19-20 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. (20) For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

    This is completely in line with Tolle. He repeatedly states that we can know God through his creations in nature. If we are silent and still with nature we can perceive God's divine nature.

    As for consciousness ...

    We do not achieve correct levels of consciousness. First, there is no "correct" consciousness just differences in consciousness. Secondly, they are not achieved. That would be ego-consciousness created by self-will. Any change in consciousness is by the grace of God through self-surrender. His will and not thy will.

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  13. csp,
    You said....Any change in consciousness is by the grace of God through self-surrender.

    This seems to be an oxymoron. Is it by grace or self-surrender? I would agree that salvation comes by grace through the divine intervention of God in the human creature, but I would deny that it depends on self-surrender. John 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. and further Romans 9:16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

    When God intervenes with grace, the sinner will respond willingly. The ultimate cause is God and not self.

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  14. You left out an important part of the quote ...

    For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.

    Yes ... I believe in this. He has shown us the way. Our soul, through the power of Christ, has to be reborn and connected once again with the Spirit from which it has been severed since The Fall.

    Not sure I understand ...

    Your argument falsely supposes that apart from the union and grace that comes through and is found in Christ (and his death, burial, and resurrection) that man can and will renounce the world and experience the eternal. You falsely seek to claim the benefits without the foundation.

    Can you explain in another way?

    Also ... what does "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you" mean to you?

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  15. To quote (csl): "You left out an important part of the quote ...

    For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.

    Yes ... I believe in this. He has shown us the way. Our soul, through the power of Christ, has to be reborn and connected once again with the Spirit from which it has been severed since The Fall.

    Not sure I understand ...

    Response: When you state "yes, I believe in this", do you mean that it was "necessary" for Jesus to be "put to death in the flesh" (in the sense of a substitutionary atonement for sin ... not just a mortification of "self- consciousness" or "self-ego"?

    Put another way, did Jesus just "show us the way" (i.e., through demonstration of a new consciousness) or was it also necessary that he make possible the way (by appeasing the wrath of God and opening the way for the grace of God)?
    ==
    To quote (csl): Can you explain in another way?

    Response: On one level you have stated that "Any change in consciousness is by the grace of God through self-surrender."

    One one level, one must clarify the question: Does "self surrender" come as as the "result, effect, or fruit" of God's grace, or does "self surrender" serve as the "necessary qualification on man's part" to "receive" the grace of God which is a new consciousness?

    On another level, the greater question is: Is the grace of God (that results in a new consciousness) connected to and dependent upon the necessary, effective, and accepted mediatiatorial work and atonement of Christ?

    Put another way, does God bestow grace of this sort on ANY man (without reference to Christ and the satisfaction associated with his substitutionary sacrifice)... or does grace of this nature only extended and available to those whom God saves "in keeping" with Christ's satisfaction/sacrifice?
    ==

    To quote (csl) "Also ... what does "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you" mean to you?"

    Response: That's a pretty wide question, but I'll address what I think you mean by it.

    Unlike false views historically where men have looked for some sort of earthly manifestation of God's kingdom (i.e., the messiah would come to rule on (/the) earth like earthly kings, etc.); the kingdom of God and of heaven is spiritual in nature, and while Christ rules over heaven and earth (external... on one level), the kingdom of heaven is (also) found (within man) where the rule and presence of Christ (God) enters, to unseat, overthrow, and replace all which has and does stand opposed to him as result of man's fall into sin. This change however, comes about not as a result of man achieving some new state of consciousness apart from Christ and his saving grace, but through the grace and power of God who enables the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk, and the dead to experience renewed understanding and a newness of life, wherein one through belief and persuasion in the reality of God and of the truth concerning this world, is enabled to and motivated to renounce the world in looking to God (in Christ) for full satisfaction and fulfillment.

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  16. csp,

    Do you believe Jesus to be the "Son of God" or just a man (/prophet) who showed the way?

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  17. I'll respond to each comment individually as I have time.

    Question:
    1. You seem to suggest there is more than one path, perhaps even paths apart from Christ.
    2. Does the path to God depend on Jesus as mediator and appeasement?

    Response:
    My comments suggested there is only one path and there is only one path. What that path is called, labeled, or named is a creation of man and not indicative of more than one path. That path requires the Light and Love of Christ.

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  18. csp stated: "I'll respond to each comment individually as I have time."

    Response: Sounds great. I'll be away for part if not most of the weekend as well.

    csp state: My comments suggested there is only one path and there is only one path.


    Response: In regard to "there is only one path", I'm glad to see you state this, though your comments referred to "It was necessary for Christ to manifest in the flesh TO OPEN A MORE DIRECT PATH" [CAPS, my emphasis].

    The question remains (and you have yet to respond): Is this path dependent on Jesus Christ being the Son of God and securing salvation for sinners based upon his appeasing the wrath of God by offering himself in the place of sinners and enabling reconcilation between God and man (who otherwise would remain alienated as a result of sin)?

    csp stated: "What that path is called, labeled, or named is a creation of man and not indicative of more than one path. That path requires the Light and Love of Christ."

    Response:
    1. I'm not sure what you mean by "is a creation of man". God himself, being not only sovereign, the offended one, as well as the giver of mercy is the one who has determined, provided for and revealed the path, this being clearly communicated in his word.

    2. In response to "That path requires the Light and Love of Christ", I ask again... By the "Love of Christ", do you include the sacrificial, substitutionary and redemptive love of Christ by which he gave of himself in order to satisfy the justice of God and to secure forgiveness of sins on the part of those he gave himself for?

    (Note: You know it seems strange to me you have such a hard time answering this question. Are you hiding something? Are you afraid to state your beliefs? Or, are you not sure as you are continuing to search for the truth and find yourself in a quandry as to what to believe?

    Don't you think it strange that for over two thousand years (as well as the years prior to that when the O.T. believers placed their faith in the fact that God would provide) that the message of salvation was confused until Tolle came along? Does it not strike you that that's the same argument that's found among Muslims and Mormons? Do you not find it strange that if Jesus had "come to know the truth" was simply in coming to a consciousness that "thy will,not mine be done", that it was necessary for him to continue in the way of the cross... for what reason?... and What would this say about God, who in that view determined Jesus should die a ruthless death, though it was not necessary ...)

    True believers throughout the ages have not hesitated to profess their faith in Jesus as the Son of God and the surety of their hope and salvation which has come about through Christ's sacrificial death and resurrection (bodily, not just consciousness). These are the very things the apostles gloried in, and counted all other things as dung, and yet you are elusive when it comes to your beliefs. Do you not submit to the Scripture which says "Always be prepared to give an answer to the hope you have"? I'm simply asking you to define that hope, particularly in light of Christ and his sacrifice. If you would prefer to discuss this more privately, I'd be glad to do that with you... for at this point, I'm afraid you've perhaps bought into the lie that salvation depends on man attaining a particular consciousness rather than God securing and providing salvation for man through his own love and mercy.

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  19. CSP, stop being cryptic and lay out your position backed by Scriptural exegesis.

    Your assumption is of course that you are the only one, or one of the select few, who has the "right level of consciousness" to really understand, and others whose teachings are turned into doctrine and preached in churches do not. I'd like to see some proof for that assumption.

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  20. You've misunderstood me and I don't mean to be cryptic. Under no circumstances do I think the church is wrong or that my consciousness is higher. I'm stating that your form of Christianity is right for you, but it is not the only form of Christianity. There are many and Tolle's teaching is in agreement with a particular form and practice of Christianity.

    I hope that is non-cryptic, but if not I apologize for not being able to express myself more clearly.

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  21. csp, ok, but then you and Tolle have to justify in the same manner how there can be many forms of Christianity. Christianity by definition exclusively means certain things, and if one deviates from that, it is no longer Christianity.

    For Tolle to state that "church" and "doctrine" is to limit God is simply to replace it with his own doctrine. All believers adhere to some kind of doctrine, whether he likes it or not. But we can know which doctrines hold true by comparing it to the source of objective truth. To do that you need to establish and prove your epistemology and hermeneutic as Scripturally based, and then show that your conclusions are logically consistent within the authority of Scripture.

    I have seen nothing of the sort form Tolle, just brute assertion based on an unintelligible hermeneutic and epistemology.

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  22. csp,
    Speaking of Scripture you said.... I wouldn't propose them as an objective truth against which other beliefs are to be judged.

    Here is the problem! Your rejection of Scripture as absolute truth, has left you with no truth whatsoever. This only leaves you with exactly what it has left Eckhart Tolle. GOBBLY-GOOK.

    With that kind of world-view, it would be easier for you to nail jello to the wall than to find truth!

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  23. OK. Fair enough. I'll answer the questions you have put forth in the post, but first ...

    Comment: There is just one purpose for man in this earth, and it is not to replace Christ with some "indwelling divinity". It is to glorify the Holy Triune God Yahweh. And there is no way to do that other than to accept His glorious free gift of salvation from our sins through the death and resurrection of His only Son Jesus on the cross.

    Question: How do you know the above statement to be true?

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  24. How about???

    "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

    "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

    These are easy to interpret. Pretty straight forward. Any other "interpretation" of these passages is merely an invention of human neurons.

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  25. Comment: How about???

    "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

    "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

    These are easy to interpret. Pretty straight forward. Any other "interpretation" of these passages is merely an invention of human neurons.

    Question: That still begs the question ... how do you know the above passages are true? What is the epistemological basis of your knowledge of truth concerning the scriptures?

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  26. Because all knowledge and wisdom comes from God (Col. 2:3), and he reveals that through the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16).

    One one hand, you seem to agree.

    "I respect your honoring of the scriptures, and I too hold them to be the most sacred of texts."

    However, it is clear that you do not believe the Scriptures, or else you want to pick and choose the ones you want to believe.

    So to answer your question, my epistemology is based on the Scriptures themselves and the only infallible source of truth, given by God Himself. Yours is based on what? Oprah?

    Thus the problem you have is very simple to diagnose. It's called "unbelief". You want a god who behaves the way you want him to, and find Oprah's false god attractive.

    On what basis will you have a just and holy God allow you into His kingdom. Without Christ, you can make no such claim.

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  27. Comment: So to answer your question, my epistemology is based on the Scriptures themselves and the only infallible source of truth, given by God Himself.

    Response: That is circular reasoning. You can't base the truth of a document on the document itself. If that were the case then, for instance, the Koran would also be true because it states within its scriptures that it is the revealed word of God.

    So ... again ... what is the epistemological basis of your assertion that the scriptures are true? Once that is established then I will give you mine. The reason is that in the end, I think, our basis for truth may not be as different from each other as you think.

    P.S. Let's leave Oprah, unbelief, false Gods, etc. out of it for the time being because those are distractions from, and have nothing to do with, the epistemological question.

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  28. csp, having witnessed your (and Tolle's) equivocation before, I will answer your question if you define God for me.

    I also already answered this objection: "Response: That is circular reasoning. You can't base the truth of a document on the document itself. If that were the case then, for instance, the Koran would also be true because it states within its scriptures that it is the revealed word of God."

    The document is true if it withstands internal and external critiques. The Koran does not withstand an internal critique, so its own testimony cannot be accepted. Biblical Scripture does withstand an internal critique, unless you wish to mount a new critique which we haven't heard before.

    Anyway, your objection is simply begging the question in your own favor, because you are still have not established a standard by which to measure truth claims, and as such is in no position to be criticizing truth claims.

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  29. "That is circular reasoning."

    That may well be the case, but so is any worldview when you get down to epistemology.

    However, if you deny that knowledge comes from God Himself, than I need an alternative before I can see the circular reasoning. AS of yet, No one has ever been able to provide one.

    In any case, we can rid ourselves of the delusion that you are a Christian and believe the Scriptures, based on your last few comments. Why do unbelievers insist on doing this? "I'm a Christian too, but..." Just come right out and say that you don't believe the Scriptures, and spare us the task of dragging that out of you. We could have saved 40 comments and gotten down to business.

    It is clear that you reject what the Scriptures say about human knowledge, so you must then justify your epistemology before we can continue. Otherwise, every line of reasoning you take is to be considered as nothing more than electricity floating around inside your skull.

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  30. csp,
    You said..... A veil of the heart. There is a voiceless voice, a voice of the silence or stillness that we can hear if we listen. It is an inner witness and a wordless knowing. This is all that Tolle is saying.

    I believe David Koresh and Jim Jones relied on their inner witness instead of the revelation of God through the Holy Bible. The result was tragic endings for them and their followers.

    The Bible gives us the following counsel on following our hearts....

    Ezekiel 13:1-4 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, who are prophesying, and say to those who prophesy from their own hearts: ‘Hear the word of the Lord!’ 3 Thus says the Lord God, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! 4 Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel.

    ReplyDelete
  31. csp, you want me to start answering questions now after you have been ignoring mine for two days?

    I've answered your questions so far, and even answered your assertions and objections.

    I'd be happy to show you detailed studies on textual criticism and internal and external critiques on all the major religions. But it ain't happening until you start answering some questions first.

    You came here to defend Tolle. Why don't you go ahead and do that. It seems you want to avoid the issue here.

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  32. Comment: csp, you want me to start answering questions now after you have been ignoring mine for two days?

    I've answered your questions so far, and even answered your assertions and objections.

    I'd be happy to show you detailed studies on textual criticism and internal and external critiques on all the major religions. But it ain't happening until you start answering some questions first.

    You came here to defend Tolle. Why don't you go ahead and do that. It seems you want to avoid the issue here.

    Response: I answered your questions and defended Tolle. It comes down to Jim Jones and Karesh? Wow.

    Bye. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Objective truth = science and subjective truth = religion and spirituality. I have no problem with this separation. There is a fair amount of internal consistency (coherence theory of truth) to the Bible, but there are also many historical, etc. inaccuracies that would not support it as objective truth. I know it to be subjectively true though, based on its correspondence with my internal knowing. The Koran, for instance, does not meet this correspondence criteria for truth for me.

    The deeper understanding of the Bible that Tolle and I talk about is that knowing based on a scriptural correspondence with the truth etched in our soul and not that of an external authority (guru or priest). When this soul recognition occurs it is a knowing that surpasses all other knowing because it is a living reality that transcends the mind.

    I'm sorry of that seems abstract, but I have no other way (at least this late at night) to explain it.

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  34. Csp,
    Speaking of the truth of the Koran, you said…..
    ”I don't know. It doesn't correspond with my current inner knowing and truth, but it is possible that there is some aspect of the Koran that I don't understand. Thus, I won't judge anyone who wants to follow the Koran because it is their personal experience.”

    You speak of a current inner knowledge and truth. Does this mean your inner knowledge and truth may change? Since your inner knowledge and truth trump orthodox and Scripture passages that are plain and clear, how is your inner knowledge and truth detector any different than that of David Koresh and Jim Jones? Since they were obviously deluded, how can you be certain that you are not being deluded by your inner knowing and truth?

    ReplyDelete
  35. csp,
    You affirmed that your inner knowing and truth can change. If your inner knowing and truth can change, then it is not truth at all. It would simply be your current inner theory. When it changes it would then be your latest inner theory. Since you are not sure that your inner theory is true, you are basing your argument on something you doubt.

    However, the Bible gives absolute truth that does not change. It is a truth that comes from outside of oneself and not on inner theories that are in doubt. Therefore, you are debating from a position of admitted doubt of inner theories against the absolute truth of Holy Spirit inspired Biblical revelation.

    You physics analogy is very weak. While Einstein’s physics expanded knowledge over Newtonian physics, if there are any direct contradictions, then at least one or possibly both are wrong!

    ReplyDelete
  36. csp,
    you said...
    Of course it can change. Let me give you another example from physics that might help make it more clear. Matter was thought to be a particle. Then it was discovered to have properties of a wave. Now we understand that both are true. Sometimes matter acts like a particle and sometimes like a wave. So ... my initial understanding and truth of matter being a particle was and is true, as well as my more recent understanding and truth that it can also be a wave.

    Not a good analogy. Water may be a better one. When it gets real cold it is ice, yet still H2O. When it gets hot it becomes a water vapor. It is still H2O.
    There is no contridiction here or with your matter analogy. Truth is amplified but not contridicted. Words mean things and you said your inner truth may change......... I must go for awhile.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Comment: Water may be a better one. When it gets real cold it is ice, yet still H2O. When it gets hot it becomes a water vapor. It is still H2O.

    Response: Your example doesn't quite get at what I was saying, but it's close enough. :-)

    Comment: Truth is amplified but not contradicted. Words mean things and you said your inner truth may change.

    Response: Amplified, changed, seen from a different angle, etc. Those are all fine with me. Seems like I'm in agreement with you, but maybe I'm not understanding your comment.

    ReplyDelete
  38. To Quote (societyvs): "...I actually haven't attacked anyone on this site...

    To Quote (societyvs)"...he was not accepted all along and in the end his faith was 'demonized' - in which - he showed come class by not doing it back."

    Response: Really?? He was not accepted all along? Really?? his faith was 'demonized'? Really?? He showed some class (assumption - others didn't) but you have not attacked anyone? Really??

    Seems in your view ... it's "attacking" when others point out real differences between belief systems (whether some are willing to admit them or not) and only "stating a perspective" when you presume to know our motives and falsely accuse us.
    ==
    ... but while I would hate to see this tread reduced to arguments of this nature... answer the following...
    ==
    To Quote (societyvs): "...but I like CFB - and I think he held biblical values..."

    Societyvs,
    Is one's position, which either rejects, denies or treats the substitutionary atonement of Christ as irrelevant or unnecessary... biblical?

    ReplyDelete
  39. The column concerns Tolle and Christianity which is why I tried to keep the focus on that subject. However, since you've shifted to that of "atonement" ...

    Atonement is not such a simple matter. My view on substitutionary atonement is ...

    The Son of Man will be betrayed (Judas) to the chief priests and the teachers of the law (scribes). They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles (Romans) to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life. (Matthew 20:18-19)

    In this scheme, where does the Father fit in? Is he behind it? Inspiring them? No, Jesus and the Gospel writers point to Satan and wicked men as those who inspired the betrayal and murder of Jesus. What is the Father’s role? He commissions Jesus to endure in love and then raises him up, thus conquering Satan, sin and death. Christ calls us to love, trust and obey his Father as he did, even unto death. He urges us to unite with him through death, resurrection and ultimate fellowship with God. In Jesus’ own understanding of the Cross, the element of "substitution" appears when Jesus humbly endures the wrath of mankind instead of invoking the wrath of God upon us.

    The satisfaction of the Father is in his Son’s obedience and faithfulness to the mission, expressing God’s love and forgiveness to the uttermost. The Father’s foreknowledge and willingness to overturn our wicked intentions through forgiveness and resurrection is neither an endorsement of our murderous act nor divine complicity in it. Rather, it testifies to God’s power to redeem.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I did not delete anything. My blog is moderated, and I've been away for a couple of days so I've not yet had a chance to look at the comments.

    csp, just to be clear though, you are stating that Tolle is a Christian and his book speaks about the Christian God?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Comment: I did not delete anything. My blog is moderated, and I've been away for a couple of days so I've not yet had a chance to look at the comments.

    csp, just to be clear though, you are stating that Tolle is a Christian and his book speaks about the Christian God?


    Response: My comment was there waiting to be approved by the moderator and is now gone.

    I don't know if Tolle is a Christian or not. That's his personal business. However, I've read all his books and have not seen any text that would contradict what I've read in the Bible and experience as a Christian. That's why I've been trying to clarify his writings and teachings in this column.

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  42. Comment: They did what YOUR POWER AND WILL HAD DECIDED BEFOREHAND SHOULD HAPPEN. This man was handed over to you BY GOD'S SET PURPOSE AND FOREKNOWLEDGE; and you with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.

    Response: Of course, God is all-knowing and all-seeing. Jesus, also being of the divine, could also foresee what was going to happen. That is different from "inciting" what was to occur. Did God cause the gentiles and wicked to kill Jesus? Did they not have free will? Do some of us have free will and others not? Does God temporarily take our free will and then return it when a specific plan is fulfilled?

    Love-Theology v. Fear-Theology

    We should embrace a love-theology rather than a fear-theology. Our desire to please God should come from pure gratitude, not because of fear or obligation.

    Hell is a chosen rejection of love, not a place designed for punishment. If a soul chooses selfishness over love, hell will be their fate. If a soul wishes to be with God’s love, and demonstrates it by exercising love, Divine Love will not reject that wish. Yes, hell is a place of suffering, but it is a chosen suffering, because to be embraced by love, self must be sacrificed.

    God cannot reach into hell to save the damned because hell is the absence of love, and there, God does not go. Nor can a soul in hell ever be repentant, for hell’s darkness is eternal selfishness. When in such a state, there is no desire for change. We will be actively choosing to be there by rejecting love.

    The lesson Jesus teaches is that we must give up our selfishness in order to gain this reward. It is not such a strange command, since we all know that true love requires sacrificing our own desires to the desires of the beloved.

    God is not aloof and distant, but challenges us to accept love every moment of every day. We make the mistake of viewing God as so big and powerful that he is beyond our sight and comprehension. But God is so big and powerful that he is present in the smallest of things, not only able but willing to walk with us at every moment.

    How does God prove this love? By not only walking with us, but by becoming one of us. As God incarnate, Jesus seeks us in our lowest moments, sharing in our suffering for the chance to lead us through.

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  43. csp,

    One additional question,
    Since you state you have not found anything in Tolle's books that disagrees with Scripture, do you agree with his assessment concerning the understanding (or lack thereof) of the writers of Scripture?

    To what degree is Scripture authoritative?

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  44. OR csp,

    If that's too many questions for you, answer this ONE.....

    WHAT IS THE NATURE OF GOD?
    (i.e., Does it include love only, or justice and holiness? If the latter two as well, then, to what degree?)

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  45. Comment: Are you suggesting this passage only suggests God's "foreknowledge" and not does not include his "will"?

    Response: I am stating that God's foreknowledge does not negate free-will. Are you saying that God wills our actions? Does he will us to sin? Does he will some people to kill children? Are we just play acting to a script created by God?

    Comment: Are you suggesting God rewards based on works (change on our part) instead of grace?

    Response: So he rewards people who are changed by his grace and not because of what they DID to receive or open themselves to this grace? Does a person have to do anything to receive grace? If no .. then we are predestined to receive it or not. If yes .. then IT IS the action that is being rewarded.

    ReplyDelete
  46. My apologies for the bold and capital lettering in my last post. It looks like I'm screaming, but that wasn't my intention.

    ReplyDelete
  47. csp,

    WHAT IS THE NATURE OF GOD?
    (i.e., Does it include love only, or justice and holiness? If the latter two as well, then, to what degree?)

    ReplyDelete
  48. So you hold to predestination, the elect, etc. God's will has preordained those who are to be saved and those who are not. God is sovereign, thus has the right to choose those that are to be with him and those that are to be damned to hell independent of anyones intentions, desires, devotion, etc. A deterministic metaphysical doctrine to say the least and similar to some Indian ontological systems.

    What about the end statement of Matthew 5:28?

    "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

    ReplyDelete
  49. To Quote (csp): ... God is sovereign, thus has the right to choose those that are to be with him and those that are to be DAMNED TO HELL "INDEPENDENT" OF ANYONE'S INTENTIONS, DESIRES, DEVOTION, ETC." [Caps, quotations, my emphasis]

    Response: Show me in Scripture where you find God "damns people to hell" regardless of their "intentions, desires, devotions", etc. It's not there. You have created a strawman, as well as misunderstood and mischaracterized positions associated with predestination.

    To Quote (csp): "What about the end statement of Matthew 5:28? 'Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.'"

    Response: What about it?
    1. The problem as shown above was NOT with God's perfection, but with your mischaracterization of him.
    2. God IS perfect. (Not only in love, but also in holiness and justice).
    3. Question: Do you meet God's standard in the first part of the verse?

    ReplyDelete
  50. csp,

    Did Jesus simply suffer the wrath of "mankind",or did he also suffer the wrath of "God" at Calvary?

    ReplyDelete
  51. " Show me in Scripture where you find God "damns people to hell" regardless of their "intentions, desires, devotions", etc. It's not there. You have created a strawman, as well as misunderstood and mischaracterized positions associated with predestination."
    Ah. All of a sudden, you want scripture. Indeed, this is progress :)

    But first, it is you who created a strawman. Nowhere did I suggest that God "damns people to hell" regardless of their "intentions, desires, devotions", etc". But he does predestine some to Hell, and sovereignly works in the acts of wicked men in order to bring about His immutable decree. (You are not alone, as there are many who would consider themselve orthodox Christians who really do not like the God of the Bible.)

    I'm sure that you are well aware of the multitude of Scriptures that shows God's predestination to heaven, so we'll focus on the predestination to Hell. Does God predestine to Hell? Yes.

    "The Lord hath made all things for his own sake: yea, the ungodly for the day of wrath." (Proverbs 16:4)

    "Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory--" (Romans 9:21-23)

    "For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ." (Jude 1:4)

    I realize the shock value that these scripture may cause to those who really don't know God. Keep in mind that God owes no man salvation. He is God, and He does whatever pleases Him (Psalm 115:3)

    You also may want to check Election and the Myth of Contingent Predestination. Absolute Predestination is the only kind of predestination that there is.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Puritan Lad,

    Your points are well made, however, let me point out one correction. I was the one who pointed out csp was creating a strawman... and I was also the one who was looking for Scriptural justification. (I thought I'd clear that up as the muddied waters and confusion probably resulted from the way I included my question in quoting csp). I'll take the blame for that one.


    On another note, it needs to be stated that while God's decretal will involves people ending up in hell, that is not apart from their freedom in exercising their own sinful nature, mind, attitude and will within his permissive will ... such that they end up where they do not because of any fault of God, but because of their own guilt and sin. Note, the Bible NEVER speaks of man ending up in hell because of God, but always points to man's own culpability and guilt as the reason for receiving the punishment that he does. In other words, the argument that man is a puppet and God is evil does not fly in the face of truth, for it not only shifts the blame where it does not belong, but fails to attribute the glory to God which does belong.

    I state this because all too often I see those who need to deal with their own failure to meet God's righteous standard, and to come to understand the way that mercy and grace works, who are all too prone to divert to issues over predestination and election ... in which they can create strawmen and debate forever to avoid the issues they need to deal with including their own sin, and their need for mercy. Hopefully, csp will stay on topic and not avoid the real issues. I have yet to hear him respond to the following:

    1. WHAT IS THE NATURE OF GOD?
    (i.e., Does it include love only, or justice and holiness? If the latter two as well, then, to what degree?)

    2. Did Jesus simply suffer the wrath of "mankind",or did he also suffer the wrath of "God" at Calvary?

    Not only this, but asked about the difference between salvation by grace versus salvation by works (and given Scripture verses that support the former), he has yet to respond, other than jumping off in what seemed to be somewhat of a tirade in which he set up a strawman to argue against, this simply being a diversion, for as Scripture states "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death." This is the way of salvation by works (or of trying to attain salvation ourselves rather than looking to it as a "gift" which is freely given without being "earned" or "deserved".

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  53. Oops. You are correct Swordbearer. You confused me.

    To clarify my point, when man gets to Heaven, he has no one to glorify but God. When he goes to Hell, he has no one to blame but himself.

    God is not the author of sin, but He does sovereignly work in the sinful acts of wicked men (ex. 2 Samuel 12:11-12)

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  54. csp,

    I'm grateful for having had the discussion with you and I honor your decision to bow out of the discussion.

    In our parting comments though, let me say that while each possesses the freedom to hold whatever beliefs they will, it is also true that for those who question whether Tolle's teaching are "Christian" or not, the follow items:

    1. Your continued failure to address basic issues related to the justice of God.
    2. Your assertion that salvation depends upon the merit and works of man.
    3. Your assertion that Jesus suffered the wrath "of man" but (even after repeated questioning) would not affirm that he also suffered wrath of "God".
    4. Your failure to recognize God's purpose being accomplished in the death (in addition to the "consciousness") of Christ
    5. Your affirmation of all Tolle's writings that not only question but suggest the inspired messengers of God were confused.

    ... should RAISE SERIOUS QUESTION and CONCERN (if not DOUBT and DISBELIEF) as to whether Tolle's teachings are Christian. I say they are CLEARLY NOT, as these matters are not insignificant or trivial in nature, but involve and hit on the heart of the gospel itself.

    Even so, it's been our pleasure and privilege to have discussed these matters with you.

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  55. Readers should note that csp has later admitted to denying the necessity of the atonement of Christ.

    [See comment at: http://christianskepticism.blogspot.com/2008/04/chuck-norris-is-skeptical-of-oprah-and.html

    ... in which he states: "No, I haven't changed my position on substitutionary or penal atonement"]

    ReplyDelete
  56. Dear PuritanLad

    Thank you for responding. One of the reasons I do not consider myself Christian is no one can really tell me what a Christian should believe which would be universally acceptable to all those who call themselves followers of Christ. There are over 200 sects and differences even within these which appear to be unreconciliable to those that profess them. No one can agree and each has his own interpretation of what constitutes a Christian. There is no unity, no agreement, and in many cases very little patience or understanding from those who hold what might be considered a strict "fundamentalist" literal view of biblical texts for those who "stray" from their dogmatic interpretation. What interpretation therefore should a new convert adopt...who should he believe? I came to the conclusion long ago that I could not agree with any one creed or dogmatic approach to the truth about God our our relationship with Him.
    I then began to study the bible, metaphysics, ancient history and the origins of Christianity to divine my own truth. It is a long and sordid one indeed.

    I happen to believe that the John quote you cite was never said by Jesus nor believed by him. If you could somehow prove to me unequivocably (not possible)that this was said by Jesus then I would have to reject him as being a false prophet. Why? Because it does not align itself with the truth revealed to me by the Holy Spirit, or what I prefer to refer to as my primary spiritual Self or Soul.
    I am reminded of a famous quote from Voltaire: “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities”. This has been the unsavory history of virtually all true believers whoever the prophet or so-called savior has been that their followers have given birth to an “organization” of “their truth”. Then follows the “authority” given it by their followers by assigning it Divine Authority simply by virtue of “their” testimony….this is the absurdity of which Voltaire speaks. All manner of nonense has been divinized in this way….holding no more truth than you or I can realize ourselves if we are but open to that Holy Spirit within us.
    They had or have no more right to claim divine authority than you or I, no matter who it is “said” to have written or spoken it!….God’s divine wisdom is imparted to each of us through either what you would call the Holy Spirit or what the new quantum physicists like Amit Goswami would call the supramental quantum monad (see his “Physics of the Soul”), and I would simply call your primary Conscious being, your soul.

    We must evaluate ALL revelation or individual realization from the standpoint of whether it is life, love or growth-affirming….if it is not, it will NOT have ANY real authority for you or me… unless you suspend your critical reason and unconditional love…this includes the Bible or any other scriptural claims to God’s authority.

    Any ideas or spiritual revelations or realizations of profound life and love affirming truths which do not somehow align themselves with the strict interpretation of the true believer in “whatever”( be it Christianity, Islam, Judaism or even some followers of Hinduism and Buddhism) must come from that wonderful creation of man’s tormented ego…Satan or if you will, the Devil (particularly co-opted by Christianity but all opposing views of the true believer are condemned and become corrupted by their followers for that is the nature of any “organized truth”). This is always the argument of one who has run out of arguments.

    If there is an “evil god of this world” as many "true Christians" say, he surely was the creator of the abominably incidious concept of “original sin” and most assuredly of all “organized truth”. No two ideas have brought more pain, death and suffering to this world than those.

    May you awaken to the light of your own soul,

    Wayne

    ReplyDelete
  57. Wayne: ”One of the reasons I do not consider myself Christian is no one can really tell me what a Christian should believe which would be universally acceptable to all those who call themselves followers of Christ. There are over 200 sects and differences even within these which appear to be unreconciliable to those that profess them. No one can agree and each has his own interpretation of what constitutes a Christian.”

    Response: Wayne, the so-called “sects” of Christianity are not as different as you would have us believe. All forms of Christianity hold that God has revealed Himself in the Holy Scriptures. Those who deny this are, by definition, not Christian.

    Wayne: ”I happen to believe that the John quote you cite was never said by Jesus nor believed by him. If you could somehow prove to me unequivocably (not possible)that this was said by Jesus then I would have to reject him as being a false prophet. Why? Because it does not align itself with the truth revealed to me by the Holy Spirit, or what I prefer to refer to as my primary spiritual Self or Soul.”

    Response: Do you reject the idea that Jesus said this based on some proof, or do you just reject it because you don’t like it. Rejecting something is not the same as refuting it. Also, where do you get your view of the Holy Spirit? Do you have any evidence to support the idea that the Holy Spirit is your “primary spiritual Self or Soul”? If you reject God’s revelation concerning the Holy Spirit, the how do you account for any such being?

    Wayne: ”God’s divine wisdom is imparted to each of us through either what you would call the Holy Spirit or what the new quantum physicists like Amit Goswami would call the supramental quantum monad (see his “Physics of the Soul”), and I would simply call your primary Conscious being, your soul.”

    Response: There is a sense in which this is true. God has made Himself known through the physical world, so that all mankind is without excuse.

    However, God’s redeeming attributes cannot be known through natural revelation. They can only be known by the Holy Spirit, and this does not happen for everyone.

    Wayne: ”We must evaluate ALL revelation or individual realization from the standpoint of whether it is life, love or growth-affirming”

    Response: Says who? We must evaluate all revelation from the standpoint of what God has already revealed. Otherwise, we make the human mind autonomous, which it clearly is not.

    Wayne: ”If there is an “evil god of this world” as many "true Christians" say, he surely was the creator of the abominably incidious concept of “original sin” and most assuredly of all “organized truth”. No two ideas have brought more pain, death and suffering to this world than those.”

    Response: Can you expound this a little? It sounds like your objection to the true God of Christianity isn’t so much logical as it is emotional. In other words, it’s Ok if God exists, just as long as He runs things like you think He should.

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  58. Wayne,

    If you would be so kind, I'd be interested in reading about the new "evidence" since you have failed to give me any. Do you have links, or do you actually expect me to pay my hard earned money for such nonsense.

    But I must ask, what evidence do you have of "Jesus' living and "Loving" God the Father who values and cares for His "children" with love and forgiveness". You have already rejected the Holy Writ. Or maybe you would like to pick and choose what parts of God's revelation that you will accept based on whether or not you find them to be "more uplifting and empowering".

    I agree that God shows redeeming love towards His Children. But I don't accept that all people are God's children. Rather only those whom He predestined to adoption can be considered God's children. All others are of their father the Devil, and His will they do.

    Wayne, the biggest problem is that you think too much of man and not enough of God. You boast of "overwhelming feelings of love, forgiveness, compassion and tolerance towards my fellow spiritual brothers and sisters", yet you are quite intolerant of Orthodox Christianity.

    You have asked for extrabiblical proof of the Old Testament (which is supported by the New Testament. (Jesus believed the Old Testament). By asking for such, you are suggesting that God's revelation of Himself is somehow unclear. (Actually, I think that your real objection is that you really don't like God very much.)

    So to have us some time, and me reading alot of nonsense, let's simplify things a bit.

    Just provide me with the "objective scientific evidence" for reincarnation. Please to post a bunch of links that I have to sort through, one are two short clear ones will to.

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  59. TYPO CORRECTION (it's late): Just provide me with the "objective scientific evidence" for reincarnation. Please do not post a bunch of links that I have to sort through, one are two short clear ones will do.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Wayne,

    Great,

    You have established that you are not a Christian. THen please leave our beliefs alone. In spite of your assertions, you ARE trying to redefine, using rehashed new age philosophy. YOu are simply bringing up the pathetic line of "Jesus is a great teacher but..." mixed in with some absurb reincarnation supported with non-scientific anecdotal evidence. No scientist who supports basic experimental methods would consider you Dr. Stevenson's anecdotes hard data. Children are notoriously impressionable and are not the greatest at giving testimony. And even if they were, this is still anecdotal, not great evidence for reincarnation. You really think that these impressionable 2-4 year old's were not polluted with the cultures ideas? There is a reason that he only went to certain countries that believe reincarnation, you know.

    An plausible alternative hypothesis would look at the parents beliefs and examine the high rate of consistency between the reports of prior lives and their beliefs.

    Just to provide the readers with an alternate view of Stevensons work

    http://www.skepticreport.com/newage/stevensonbelief.htm

    To be honest, it is quite laughable that you quite willingly believe this paper-thin support of reincarnation and then renounce a series of documents with plentiful historical veracity.

    And do I come with condemnation? Yeah...you come as a false teacher rejecting my Lord and Savior. You bet I'll condemn your beliefs. But I examined them and find them absurb.

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  61. A great review of his book and his faulty data collecting

    http://www.skepticreport.com/newage/stevensonbook.htm

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  62. Wayne,

    Can you explain why psychology should be considered a valid science, especially since it has been proven over and over again to be an abject failure? Is this what you consider to be "scientific proof"? If reincarnation is true, then how does the world's population continue to increase?

    Why do you accept the testimony of a few thousand nutcases who claim to have lived in a previous life, and yet reject the testimony of millions of Christians who have been born of the Spirit of God? What makes your group more scientific than mine?

    Again, the idea that the Bible text was copied from other Babylonian and Sumerian texts has been refuted time and again.

    See Did the Ancient Sumerian Shepherd-god Influence Christianity? and Is the Biblical Flood Account a Modified Copy of the Epic of Gilgamesh? for a few examples. (Why does it never occur to the unbeliever that these ancient documents may have been copied from Biblical accounts?)

    It sounds to me like you have a problem with God's Laws. If so, then you need to take that up with God. Maybe God should consult you before He makes His next decision.

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  63. What you are posting is nothing more than new age philosophy with no historical backing.

    YOu *have* no respect for Christianity (and for that matter, Judaism) since you deride the God presented in the Old Testament (which, if you bothered to study the matter, is the exact same God in the New Testament). What you want to do is simply cherry-pick what you want based on your ignorance of the scripture.

    In response to your last comment about being looked upon with disdain by our God (revealing your own disdain and disrespect for CHristianity)....

    I'm placing my trust and faith in a God who gave us HIs word and His law and ultimately HImself to redeem His loved ones, insuring that justice is fulfilled and yet showing incredible mercy, following HIs own justice and righteousness and bringing us into His family. ThAT sacrifice revealing the epitome of grave and love is a whole lot more substantial than anything your empty new age philosophy can provide. A LIVING, loving God with a RELATIONSHIP with this God? Let's see, compare to nebulous ideas about "enlightenment"? Yeah...I think I'll go with a personal relationship with Christ...

    And sorry, you are no brother in spirit with me. THat may sound harsh, but your entire philosophy and worldview is opposite mine.

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  64. I have not been giving you "nebulous ideas about enlightenment" and my final statement was in reference to a quote from Puritan Lad who stated that "God is Holy and Perfect, and cannot look upon us wicked sinners with anything but distain." I was simply asking whether he still prefered to be considered a wicked sinner and looked upon by his Holy and Perfect God with disdain given the new revelations of Dr. Newton's subjects. I have only been expounding upon the CONSISTENCE AND NON-CONTRADICTORY REPORTS of his subjects who had been regressed to their soul memories.

    Zoegirl, what do you find offensive in what these 2000 or so subjects have reported without exception? Again, these are NOT MY FINDINGS OR REVELATIONS or even the good Doctor's, they are from people just like you and me who held a variety of religious and ideological beliefs who have TAKEN HIM TO THE SPIRIT WORLD OF THEIR BIRTH...IT IS THEIR CONSISTENT CLAIMS OF THIS REALITY NOT THE DOCTOR'S OR MINE (Dr. Newton, unlike myself, was actually a functioning atheist and had no prior belief in an afterlife of any kind)! Tell me, what do you find unacceptable or contrary to your beliefs as a Christian in this finding by all of his subjects: "Everyone reports that through all of this process in the spirit world we are given unconditional and unlimited love, patience, understanding, encouragement, and NON-JUDGMENTAL assessment and correction as regards our mistakes, poor choices and the satisfying of our karmic debt (more about this later) in our lives here. THERE IS NO PUNISHMENT. No one is ever condemned or “left behind” and although some of us progress towards our goal faster than others, WE ALL WILL EVENTUALLY EVOLVE AND PROGRESS THROUGH ALL OF THE HIGHER LEVELS OF SOUL DEVELOPMENT. AND, THERE IS INFINITE TIME TO DO SO." Is this what you find to be OFFENSIVE? Please tell me from your own soul how you FEEL about this finding...not how it differs from or contradicts a 2000 year old text written by an unknown author. Are you able to give me your feeling rather than your "thinking". Can you suspend for a moment your "belief system" and look at empirical evidence and evaluate it as to its resonance with your own soul?

    Your Brother in Spirit (whether you accept me or not),

    Wayne

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  65. I love how many Christians feel like someone is attacking their very being when people don't agree with their views. They are more concerned with being right than allowing people to appreciate Christ in their own way.

    I believe Yeshua was the son of God just like we all are his children. We all can claim that and we'd be correct. He was exceptional man, teacher, prophet, son of God. Call him what you'd like and argue about that it feeds your egos needs. I'd rather learn from his teaching and apply it to my life.

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  66. Ed,

    What teaching of Christ do you apply, and how do you determine which ones to apply?

    On what basis do you claim that we are all God's children? Why do you believe that man has to right to "appreciate Christ in their own way"? Doesn't Christ has to right to demand how He will be worshipped?

    Seems to me that you're the one who feels attacked.

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  67. Wayne,

    Why would you reject the idea that Jesus said both of these quotes?


    "Compare these two quotes: Matthew 5:43
    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”
    To Mark 16:15-16
    He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned [to hell].
    Tell me, which one would you believe was the closest to what our beloved Jesus said? Which teaching do you find to be worthy of a humble and true teacher of righteousness? ….I rest my case, for now."


    Why could He have not said both? What standard of righteouness and truth are using to condemn the second passage?

    Is this your own arbitrary standard? You personally don't like one of the passages, you you reject it, though it is written in the ONLY source of Divine Inspiration.

    Christianity - God has revealed Himself in His Word.

    Tolle - Wayne gets to decide what Jesus really said based on his own personal preferences.

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  68. Holy "Narrow-mindedness" Batman!!! We are all connected people!! That is Tolle's message. God is in all of us, we are all God. We are One. It's as simple as that.

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  69. Ah yes. The myth of open mindedness yet again.

    Must be nice to decide your own virtues and label those who disagree as "narrowminded".

    We are NOT God, even just by definition. And we are not one.

    Signed, Narrowminded.

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  70. great discussion guys, thank you so much. amazing insights. love

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Vaccination is the “Right” thing to do!