Understanding the Difference: Biblical Atonement or New Age At-One-Ment?

by Warren B. Smith

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.—Matthew 24:4–5

In 1965, Columbia University Professor of Medical Psychology, Helen Schucman, heard an “inner voice” saying, “This is a course in miracles. Please take notes.”1 Schucman’s initial resistance was overcome when the “inner voice,” identifying itself as “Jesus,” told her the purpose of the course:

The world situation is worsening to an alarming degree. People all over the world are being called on to help, and are making their individual contributions as part of an overall prearranged plan. Part of the plan is taking down A Course in Miracles, and I am fulfilling my part in the agreement, as you will fulfill yours. You will be using abilities you developed long ago, and which you are not really ready to use again. Because of the acute emergency, however, the usual slow, evolutionary process is being by-passed in what might best be described as a “celestial speed-up.”2

Baffled by her assignment, but nevertheless obliging, the skeptical Schucman diligently took dictation from this “inner voice.” In the seven and a half years of cumulative dictation that became A Course in Miracles, Schucman’s “Jesus” presents a whole new way of looking at the world. Using Christian terminology, sophisticated psychology, and convincing authority, Schucman’s “Jesus” teaches a completely different gospel than the one found in the Bible. His New Age/New Gospel wholly contradicts the Bible’s Gospel of Jesus Christ. Schucman’s “inner voice,” while claiming to be Jesus, actually opposes everything for which the Bible’s Jesus stands.

In brief, A Course in Miracles teaches that all is love. And while the Course teaches that the opposite of love is fear, it explains that fear is just an illusion based on wrong thinking. It states that the world we see is merely the projected manifestation of our own illusive, fearful thoughts. As each one of us learns to correct our fearful, wrong thinking, it will change not only how we see the world, but also change the world we see. The purpose of the Course is to facilitate this change in perception.

According to the Course, love is all there is. And because God is love, God is therefore in everyone and everything. It states God is sinless, perfect, and “at one” with all creation and that we, as a part of God, are also sinless and perfect in our “oneness” with Him. It teaches that man’s only “sin” is in not remembering his own perfect, sinless, divine nature. The only “devil” is our illusion that we are separate from, and not a part of, God. The Course tells its readers that a “sense of separation from God is the only lack you really need correct.”3

The Course also teaches that while “Christ” is in Jesus, so “Christ” is in everyone—and that the “Christ” in everyone is their divine connection with God and with each other. The Course further teaches that a “slain Christ has no meaning.”4 It states that wrong thinking has produced the misperception that man is a “sinner” and that he needs an external Christ to save him from his “sins.” The Course teaches that salvation has nothing to do with Jesus’ death on the cross. Salvation comes from what the Course calls the “Atonement” (“at-one-ment”) process.

This “Atonement,” or “atoning,” is when each person remembers and affirms and experiences their “oneness” (at-one-ment) with God and creation. The “Atonement” is the Course’s key to undoing “fear” and dispelling the illusion that man is “separate” from God. The Course stresses that the healing of the world is dependent upon each person’s fulfilling their Atonement “function” to teach this “oneness” to the world. When everyone comes to understand that “all is love and all is God,” then “inner peace” and “world peace” will finally happen. Only “fear” and the illusion of “separation” stand in the way of man’s attaining this peace for himself and his world. (For more on this and the “false christ,” read False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care?

Notes:
1. Robert Skutch, Journey without Distance: The Story behind “A Course in Miracles” (Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 1984), p. 54.
2. Ibid., p. 60.

Related Articles:

Social/Political Activism and the New Age by Ray Yungen

The Angel of Light’s “Plan” for World Peace by Tamara Hartzell

Makes No Sense for Contemplatives to Celebrate Easter

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