Posts Tagged ‘Warren B. Smith’
Clearing Up Confusion: Warren B. Smith NOT Sharing Platform with Rick Warren at Restoring All Things Conference
Lighthouse Trails received a call this week by a concerned reader who said he heard on his local Christian radio station that Warren Smith was going to be speaking with Rick Warren at an upcoming conference called Restoring All Things. The reader was understandably worried about this. We assured him that OUR Warren Smith (aka: Warren B. Smith) was not going to be speaking at a conference called Restoring All Things with Saddleback pastor, Rick Warren. We explained that there are two Warren Smiths who are both Christian writers.
The “other” Warren Smith who is going to be speaking with Rick Warren at the Restoring All Things conference is Warren Cole Smith. A few years ago, when it came to both men’s attention that there was another Warren Smith out there and that people were becoming confused, each decided to begin identifying himself with a middle name or initial. But in the case of this conference, at the time of this writing, there is no middle name for Warren Cole Smith on the Restoring All Things conference (see here).
Warren Cole Smith is vice president of World News Group (the publisher for World Magazine). He wrote a book a few years ago titled A Lover’s Quarrel with the Evangelical Church, a book critiquing mega churches including Saddleback Church.
Warren B. Smith, a former New Age follower, is the author of several books including Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose Driven Church and “Another Jesus” Calling. He has been a strong and steady voice for many years now warning about the “new” spirituality that has entered the church.
Other speakers at the Restoring All Things conference include Jim Daly (president of now contemplative Focus on the Family), “new” spirituality leader Ed Stetzer, and John Stonestreet (works with Prison Fellowship and Chuck Colson Christian Center for Christian Worldview).
By Stand Up For the Truth with Amy Spreeman
March 19 – Today we’re bringing up some oldies but not-so-goodies. You may hear the names Oprah Winfrey, Rodney Howard Browne or Neil Donald Walsch and think, “Oh sure, SUFTT, we know they’re New Age. Nothing new to see here.”
But wait. What’s old news is new news again, especially when the fringes become mainstream. And when God “speaks” to these change agents, “he” tells them to forget the old; that a new Christ is coming. And our guest today says it’s coming into the mainstream visible Church.
Joining us is Warren Smith, a former New Ager, now born-again Christian, author and researcher who has just released his brand new booklet which you can read in it’s entirety on our site, titled, OPRAH WINFREY’S NEW AGE “CHRISTIANITY” (PART 2) Neale Donald Walsch, “God,” and Hitler. Click here to continue reading. Click here to listen to the interview.
NEW BOOKLET TRACT: Oprah Winfrey’s New Age “Christianity” (Part 2) – Neale Donald Walsch, “God,” and Hitler
Oprah Winfrey’s New Age “Christianity” (Part 2) – Neale Donald Walsch, “God,” and Hitler by Warren B. Smith is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Oprah Winfrey’s New Age “Christianity” (Part 2) – Neale Donald Walsch, “God,” and Hitler, click here.
By Warren B. Smith
Several months after the tragic events of 9/11/2001, Oprah Winfrey did a special program on the ten most “memorable thinkers” she had ever met.1 One of these memorable thinkers was a controversial New Age channeler by the name of Neale Donald Walsch who teaches—among other things—that we are all “God”2 and that “Hitler went to heaven.”3 Oprah’s high praise of Walsch provides important insight into the strong New Age beliefs she attempts to pass off as being “Christian.”
Who is Neale Donald Walsch?
In 1992, Neale Donald Walsch, a disillusioned and distraught former radio talk-show host, public relations professional, and longtime metaphysical seeker, sat down one night and wrote God an angry letter.4 He was amazed when “God” immediately answered his letter by speaking to him through an inner voice. That night, and in subsequent conversations, Walsch wrote down all the dictated answers to his questions. Walsch’s Conversations with God, Book 1 was published in 1995 and became the first in a series of best-selling Conversations with God books. It seemed that in Walsch, “God” had found yet another willing channel for his New Age/New Gospel/New Spirituality teachings.
In a style reminiscent of John Denver and George Burns in the movie Oh, God!, Walsch and “God” present a more “down home” version of the same New Age/New Gospel teachings that were conveyed through previous “inner voice” dictations to Helen Schucman (A Course in Miracles), Barbara Marx Hubbard (The Revelation), Benjamin Creme (Messages from Maitreya), and many others. With Walsch playing the role of devil’s advocate, “God” cleverly plays off of Walsch’s leading questions and comments. Walsch and “God” come across in these conversations as a couple of “everyday Joe’s” who systematically dismantle biblical Christianity with their straight-from-the-source, “thus saith the Lord,” “spiritually correct” teachings. With the assurance of two foxes now in control of the henhouse, they emphatically assert that their New Gospel is from God and the “Old Gospel” is not.
Delighted by the fact they are being taken seriously by millions of people around the world, “God” and Walsch appear to thoroughly enjoy their process of bringing the public up to spiritual speed. Continuing to build upon the foundation of New Age doctrine already introduced through other channelers, “God” and Walsch add some special twists of their own to the New Gospel story. Using Walsch as the straight man, “God” introduces many of his more extreme teachings with smug, authoritative declarations such as: “There are no such things as the Ten Commandments,”5 “So who said Jesus was perfect?,”6 and “Hitler went to heaven.”7
Hitler and Death
Regarding Adolph Hitler, Walsch’s “God” makes a number of provocative statements about him. The net effect is a minimization of Hitler’s actions and a glorification of death. The following are several examples of “God’s” comments about Hitler and death:
The real issue is whether Hitler’s actions were “wrong.” Yet I have said over and over again that there is no “right” or “wrong” in the universe. A thing is not intrinsically right or wrong. A thing simply is.8
Now your thought that Hitler was a monster is based on the fact that he ordered the killing of millions of people, correct? . . . Yet what if I told you that what you call “death” is the greatest thing that could happen to anyone—what then?9
So the first thing you have to understand—as I’ve already explained to you—is that Hitler didn’t hurt anyone. In a sense, he didn’t inflict suffering, he ended it.10
The mistakes Hitler made did no harm or damage to those whose deaths he caused. Those souls were released from their earthly bondage, like butterflies emerging from a cocoon.11
Walsch, always the public relations man, anticipates reader incredulity at statements like these by expressing apparent surprise and then asking “God” questions that the skeptical reader would probably ask. But in the process of seeming to challenge “God”—which he does with considerable skill—Walsch actually enables “God” to further expand upon and reinforce the thoughts and ideas contained in his teachings. Not surprisingly, Walsch always seems to come around to “God’s” point of view—even to some of his more extreme views about the nature of “God,” the glorification of death, and his strange proclamations regarding Adolph Hitler. In his book titled Questions and Answers on Conversations with God, Walsch tries to address reader concerns about some of the comments “God” makes about Hitler and death. In response to one person’s confusion, he states:
Yet while the books do state that life is eternal, that death is nothing to fear, and that returning to God is joyful, I do not believe that any reasonable interpretation of the material could fairly portray God as condoning the killing of human beings—or brushing it off as if it were of no importance or consequence.12
But his attempted explanation that his “God” does not condone killing human beings or taking death lightly is woefully inadequate and totally unconvincing. Neale Donald Walsch is caught in the vortex of his own twisted channelings. His “God” contradicts the one true God of the Bible at every turn. Contrary to what his New Age “God” teaches, we are not God; Satan is real; there is spiritual deception; there is a hell; and Jesus is Lord. In his convoluted rationalizations about Hitler and what he did, Walsch does not address the fact that he and other New Age leaders highly recommend Barbara Marx Hubbard’s The Revelation. This is a book in which the New Age “Christ” describes a future “selection process” that would result in the mandated deaths of all those who refuse to comply with the bottom-line doctrine of his New Spirituality—that we are all “God.”13 Thus, it would certainly appear that the New Age “God” and “Christ”—through their channeled New Age books and teachings—are trying to make it easier for people to rationalize the future elimination of Christians and all who oppose the New Spirituality.
Humanity as “God”
At one point in their conversation, Walsch’s “God” expounds upon the fact that man is not subject to God because man is “God.” His “God” explains there are no rules, and there is no right or wrong because man, as “God,” is his own “rule-maker.” Walsch’s “God” contends that because “God” and humanity are one, it is therefore up to humanity to determine what “God” wants to do. If humanity wants to make up a new set of rules this late in the game, humanity can do that because it was humanity—as “God”—that devised the original rules in the first place. Everything is relative. Everything is up to the prevailing majority. Therefore, because humanity is believed to be “God,” humanity can create whatever rules and whatever future it wants. “God” tells Walsch:
You are the Creator and the Created.14
All your life you have been told that God created you. I come now to tell you this: You are creating God.15
You are your own rule-maker.16
In truth, there is no such thing as a “sinner,” for no one can be sinned against—least of all Me.17
Think, speak, and act as the God you are.18
Your future is creatable. Create it as you want it.19
There is only one of Us. You and I are One.20
And do not stay so “stuck” in your present beliefs and customs that you halt the process of evolution itself.21
Walsch’s “God” makes it clear that his postmodern progressive “revelation” is for people who have never really understood his teachings about man being “God.” Walsch’s “God” contends that the only real “sin” is for man to see himself as sinful and separate from God. He states that the only “devil”—or “Satan”—is the separatist thinking that causes people to make a distinction between man and God.
When at last you see that there is no separation in God’s World—that is, nothing which is not God—then, at last, will you let go of this invention of man which you have called Satan.22 (emphasis added)
The mind can make the belief in separation very real and very fearful, and this belief is the “devil.”23(emphasis added)
Echoing A Course in Miracles and other channeled New Age teachings Oprah Winfrey has also endorsed, her New Age “God” states that only as humanity sees through the illusion of “separation” and “sin” and affirms its own godhood and “Oneness” with all creation, will the planet be saved from ultimate ruin.
New Age/New Gospel Politics
Walsch’s New Age “God” warns that in the future people will have to make a choice between the “old” and “new” gospels. The choice they make will have great bearing on the future of mankind. His “God” declares that humanity, by collectively imagining and envisioning its highest hopes and dreams, can override Bible prophecy by consciously creating a positive future. “God” expresses great optimism that the New Age/New Gospel spirituality will prevail and tells Walsch that humanity is standing on the threshold of a “golden” “New Age.”
The twenty-first century will be the time of awakening, of meeting The Creator Within. Many beings will experience Oneness with God and with all of life. This will be the beginning of the golden age of the New Human, of which it has been written; the time of the universal human, which has been eloquently described by those with deep insight among you.
There are many such people in the world now—teachers and messengers, Masters and visionaries—who are placing this vision before humankind and offering tools with which to create it. These messengers and visionaries are the heralds of a New Age.24 (emphasis added)
Regarding how the New Age will be achieved and ultimately overseen, “God” impresses Walsch with the importance of bringing spirituality into politics and government. Walsch’s “God” is very specific about how this spiritualization of politics should ultimately manifest itself:
“God”: Something will have to be new if you wish your world to change. You must begin to see someone else’s interests as your own. This will happen only when you reconstruct your global reality and govern yourselves accordingly.
Walsch: Are you talking about a one-world government?
“God”: I am.25
“God” then exhorts Walsch to carry out his mission to change the world and bring in a spiritually based new-world order by issuing this charge:
Go, therefore, and teach ye all nations, spreading far and wide The New Gospel: WE ARE ALL ONE.26
And certainly, Walsch seems to be doing his part. Responding to his “God’s” charge to spread the New Gospel and to help establish sympathy for a “one-world government,” he co-founded “The Global Renaissance Alliance” to help further the New Age agenda for world peace. GRA members include Deepak Chopra, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Wayne Dyer, James Redfield, and Gary Zukav among others.
Walsch, “God,” and Hitler
And while Walsch’s New Age “God” describes his unbiblical plans to save humanity, he also puts forth his bizarre views regarding Adolph Hitler. The channeled teachings about Hitler alone prompt one to seriously question how Oprah Winfrey could even begin to describe Neale Donald Walsch as one of the ten most “memorable thinkers” she had ever met. Did she read all the statements Walsch claims to have channeled from “God?” Did Oprah and her staff somehow miss what “God” said about Hitler—such as “Hitler went to heaven, “Hitler didn’t hurt anyone,” Hitler “did no harm or damage to those whose deaths he caused,” etc. If those statements weren’t enough, Walsch’s “God” seems to wonder why anyone—like Hitler—should be punished for bringing the “greatest peace” and the “greatest joy” to those who were killed:
I tell you this, at the moment of your death you will realize the greatest freedom, the greatest peace, the greatest joy, and the greatest love you have ever known. Shall we therefore punish Bre’r Fox for throwing Bre’r Rabbit into the briar patch?27
A generation or so ago, Neale Donald Walsch would never have been taken seriously. Yet in today’s metaphysically minded mainstream society, he is regarded as one of America’s top spiritual leaders—someone to whom Oprah Winfrey gave her highest praise. What was Oprah thinking to single out Walsch as one of the most “memorable thinkers” she has ever met?
Humanity’s Team and the Oprah Interview
To encourage people to accept and defend the teachings of the New Age/New Spirituality and to help Walsch reinvent himself, he founded a new organization in 2003 called Humanity’s Team. At the first “Humanity’s Team Leadership Gathering” held June 27-29, 2003 in Portland, Oregon, Walsch described Humanity’s Team to its leaders:
A grassroots, citizen’s movement with chapters and people active in cities, towns and communities and villages all over the world. . . . We seek to create the possibility for a New Spirituality to emerge on the planet. . . . We seek to encourage humanity to expand and explore its ideas about God and about Life. To change our fundamental beliefs in such a way that we alter our collective reality. . . . We are trying, we are seeking to create a cultural story for the whole of humanity.28
One of the things Neale Donald Walsch wanted to impress upon those attending his Humanity’s Team Leadership Gathering was how to effectively deal with the media. In a session titled “The Care and Feeding of the Press,” Walsch taught his team leaders some subtle tricks of the trade. Because he and his Conversations with God books were so controversial, he warned attendees they would have some problems with the press. To make it easier for people to accept his ideas, Walsch described how he was in the process of “reinventing” and “repackaging” himself. He explained that the establishment of Humanity’s Team was an important part of the “repackaging” process. He told them:
You’re fighting an uphill battle here because I’m the guy who says he has conversations with God and nobody in the media wants to touch that with a ten foot pole. . . . The reason we formed Humanity’s Team was to get it away from me. And to get it away—at least one step away—from the Conversations with God stuff. . . . We formed Humanity’s Team as a way frankly . . . of repackaging, repackaging the product, if you please, which is the New Spirituality. And suddenly we are getting media, suddenly we are getting interviews. . . . We’ve stepped into a place that generically is difficult to disagree with. Humanity’s Team is difficult to disagree with. Conversations with God brings up disagreement almost at once.29
In this presentation, Walsch disclosed some interesting things about himself. In a very revealing talk, he used a personal situation with Oprah Winfrey to illustrate the problems he has had with the media and why he felt the need to “repackage” and “reinvent” himself. To illustrate his point to attendees, Walsch described how Oprah had flown him to Chicago where they taped a special two-hour interview. He goes on to recount how she held up his book Conversations and called it her “favorite book.” In his presentation, Walsch inadvertently revealed how New Age leaders like Oprah Winfrey and himself are subtly—and not so subtly—maneuvering and manipulating people into accepting the teachings of the New Age/New Spirituality. Because the context is so important, I have quoted Walsch at length:
Oprah brought me to Chicago. She loves Conversations. In fact she says it is her favorite book. She says that on the air—“This is my favorite book”—and she holds up Conversations with God. So she brought me to Chicago and she said, “Let’s do two hours.” I’m gonna do a two-hour special. And she interviewed me on videotape for two hours and we had a fascinating conversation, the way only Oprah can, ’cause she gets right into the interior of it. And I went back home, flying back home, and I thought, My God, they’re going to do a two-hour special. This is incredible . . . talk about zooming sales. And I went home and . . . it stayed in the can for a year and a half. I did not call her, ’cause I didn’t want to bother Oprah with, you know, “Where is my program? When are you going to put it on?” . . . But finally the producer called us and said, “You know, Neale, we just can’t use it. You are so incredibly provocative in what you’re saying about your relationship with God, humanity’s relationship with God, where religion currently stands in the world etc. etc. . . . that we’ve looked at this thing, we’ve watched this program eight times and all of us agree it’s just too soon. You’re way ahead of the curve, we can’t put this on now.”30
Thus, the unaired interview was perceived as a potential public relations problem for Oprah and her staff. They thought the public wasn’t quite ready for a controversial interview with a man who claimed to be taking spiritual dictation from “God.” And they were definitely not happy that Walsch had mentioned the unaired interview in one of his newsletters and took him to task for bringing the whole situation into the open. Walsch explained:
I made a comment about this—just a short one or two sentence comment in a newsletter about a year and a half ago—about this. And she didn’t get a thousand e-mails, she got about six thousand e-mails and phone calls and letters. And they actually had one of her personal assistants call me and say, “Neale, would you just, could you just not do that, because you’re hurting yourself more than you’re helping yourself. You’re irritating the producers here. I know you didn’t do it personally, but you’re upsetting. You’ll never get on the show that way. Don’t do that . . . Don’t send letters of protest to Oprah because you’ll just ruin it—any chance.”31
Walsch proceeded to use the whole interview incident to teach his Humanity’s Team leaders how to avoid antagonizing the media. Walsch suggested that it was his own low-key reassuring attitude that helped Oprah and her staff find an alternative way to introduce him to their millions of viewers. It also set up the possibility for airing the entire interview sometime in the future.
We’ve got to make Oprah and her people totally okay with the decision they made. You know what I said to Oprah, I called Oprah personally. I know Oprah. I called her personally. I said, “You know, Ope”—see now, you know you know Oprah personally when you call her ‘Ope.’ I said, “You know Ope, I totally get it. I totally understand. I’m totally okay. I’m right there with you. Don’t you put me on your program one minute before you think your audience is ready to receive it. I would not have you jeopardize all the wonderful good you’re doing in the world by stepping into that before your audience is ready to go there with you. You will know when the right time is and I will be there, unless I’m not.” And she got to feel like, whew . . . totally understood, totally embraced and totally made okay with the decision that she had made. That’s how I’ll get on Oprah if I’m ever on it.
So what happened? Last January Oprah did this really neat program. Last January—you may have seen it. She said the ten most influential people in my life. She had Nelson Mandela. She had Vaclav Havel. She had people at that level, and she had a clip from our interview. And she said, “Neale Donald Walsch.” It was a minute and fifty-seven second clip—less than two minutes of an interview of that two hours. She took about two minutes. But you know what—traveling in some pretty fast company . . . and even with those two minutes, our book sales just went through the roof. . . . So we learned don’t—that’s my last word to you here today—don’t antagonize the media.32
Walsch’s revealing account illustrates how New Age leaders like Walsch and media personalities like Oprah Winfrey are spiritually molding an unsuspecting public. They understand that the media is the message and that timing is everything. They are pushing their New Age/New Gospel/New Spirituality beliefs, but they have to make sure the public is ready for what they have to say. They must always anticipate what their audience can handle. And this is why Oprah and her staff decided to introduce Walsch in a short, safe, carefully edited clip describing him as a “memorable thinker” rather than in the longer interview and describing him as the “man who has conversations with God.”
Walsch Anticipates Criticism
In a special tutorial session that immediately followed the Humanity’s Team Leadership Conference, Walsch warned team leaders about media questions that would inevitably arise regarding “God’s” controversial statements about Hitler. He explained that the Hitler material—if not carefully explained—had the potential to damage their New Age/New Gospel/New Spirituality message.
To prepare his team leaders for what they might encounter, Walsch introduced a question and answer role-playing exercise. He used a seemingly logical, formulaic presentation they could employ to convince people that Hitler had really gone to heaven. The simple routine was cleverly designed to take skeptics through a process that would lead them to ultimately agree that if God’s capacity for love and forgiveness was all-encompassing, then God could forgive anyone of anything at anytime—if they were really sorry—even if the person had already passed on—even if that person was Adolf Hitler.33
But for all his talk of love and forgiveness, Walsch never really explained why his “God” seemed to be excusing Hitler for what he did—even going so far as to glorify death in the process. Unbelievably, Walsch’s “God” makes it look like Hitler actually did the Jewish people a favor by killing them. A knowledgeable observer, with prior understanding of the New Age’s proposed “selection process,”34 might suggest that Walsch and his New Age “God” were conditioning the public for the spiritual euthanasia of future resisters to their New Age/New Spirituality. In fact, it sounds a lot like Antichrist and his future plans for those who oppose him. It brings to mind the following Scripture where the true Jesus Christ warns about this kind of situation:
These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. (John 16:1-3)
In Conversations with God, Book 1, “God” told Walsch:
You know you have found God when you observe that you will not murder (that is, willfully kill, without cause). For while you will understand that you cannot end another’s life in any event (all life is eternal), you will not choose to terminate any particular incarnation, nor change any life energy from one form to another, without the most sacred justification.35 (emphasis added)
One has to wonder just what Walsch and his New Age “God” would say about what constitutes the “sacred justification” of killing someone. In Walsch’s 2006 book Home With God, his New Age “God” continues to glorify death as he teaches that no one can die against his own will. In other words, Walsch’s “God” would have us believe that those who were killed by Hitler gave their consent to the Holocaust and thus bear equal responsibility for it. This kind of thinking even trumps the absurdity of those who insist there never was a Holocaust. The following are some quotes from Walsch’s ”God” that could one day be used to justify killing those who do not “choose” to conform to the dictates of the New Age/New Gospel/New Spirituality:
Dying is something you do for you.36
You are the cause of your own death. This is always true, no matter where, or how, you die.37
You cannot die against your will.38
Death is never a tragedy. It is always a gift.39
Death does not exist.40
If Oprah was embarrassed by her endorsement of A Million Little Pieces—author James Frey’s partially fabricated book—it will seem like a very small matter compared to the fallout she could receive if she chooses to air the long-delayed interview with Neale Donald Walsch. Unless, of course, her viewers have been sufficiently conditioned to accept what Walsch says without question. Her praise of this New Age teacher is a tragic statement about her spiritual beliefs and her New Age “Christianity” that is no Christianity at all.
In 2002, the same year that Oprah declared Walsch to be one of the ten most “memorable thinkers” she had ever met, Walsch released a new book titled The New Revelations: A Conversation with God. In this book, Walsch’s “God” states:
There have always been ideological differences on your planet, but the present widening of the split in ideology with a simultaneous advance in technology has created the conditions for rapid self-destruction. . . .
It will take an unprecedented act of courage, on a grand scale. You may have to do something virtually unknown in the annals of human history. . . . You may have to give up some of your most sacred beliefs.41
Later in the book, Walsch’s “God” lays out the heretical bottom line of his New Age/New Gospel Spirituality when he categorically states:
Yet let me make something clear. The era of the Single Savior is over.42
Oprah or Orpah?
At birth, Oprah Winfrey was given the biblical name of Orpah. She was named after the biblical Ruth’s daughter-in-law Orpah, and that name was recorded on her birth certificate. But her name was mispronounced by her family as the r and the p were inverted and her name morphed into Oprah. A little letter or two can leaven a biblical name away from its biblical foundation. And a little New Age leaven—God “in” everyone—can leaven away the true foundation of biblical Christianity (Galatians 5:9).
Oprah is not God and neither are any of the rest of us. Hopefully she will one day recognize the falsity of the deceptive teachings that have converted her to the New Age/New Gospel/New Spirituality that she is sharing with her millions of followers. We should all pray that Oprah will one day renounce the false New Age “God” and “Christ” she has learned from Neale Donald Walsch and all the other New Age figures she has read, studied, and featured on her programs throughout the years. Until then, Oprah Winfrey remains one of the most influential and charismatic false teachers in the world today.
To order copies of Oprah Winfrey’s New Age “Christianity” (Part 2) – Neale Donald Walsch, “God,” and Hitler, click here.
- “Memorable Thinkers” (The Oprah Winfrey Show, January 2002).
- Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: an uncommon dialogue, Book 1 (New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995), p. 202.
- Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: an uncommon dialogue, Book 2 (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1997), p. 35.
- Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 1, op. cit., p. 1.
- Ibid., p. 95.
- Ibid., p. 192.
- Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 2, op. cit., p. 35.
- Ibid., p. 36.
- Ibid., p. 56.
- Ibid., p. 42.
- Neale Donald Walsch, Questions and Answers on “Conversations with God” (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1999), p. 334.
- Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium (Novato, CA: Nataraj Publishing, 1995), pp. 240, 267.
- Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: an uncommon dialogue, Book 3 (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, 1998), p. 350.
- Ibid., p. 256.
- Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 1, op. cit., p. 41.
- Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 3, op. cit., p. 87.
- Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 1, op. cit., p. 76.
- Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 2, op. cit., p. 235.
- Neale Donald Walsch, Friendship with God: an uncommon dialogue (New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1999), p. 23.
- Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 3, op. cit., p. 89.
- Ibid., p. 56.
- A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume (Glen Ellen, CA: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1975, 1992, Text), p. 50.
- Walsch, Friendship with God, op. cit., pp. 295-296.
- Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 2, op. cit., p. 141.
- Walsch, Friendship with God, op. cit., p. 375.
- Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 2, op. cit., p. 36.
- Humanity’s Team Leadership Gathering, Portland, Oregon, June 27-July 1, 2003: Session: “The Care and Feeding of the Press.” Transcribed by author from audiotape of conference. Note: January program Walsch is referring to is The Oprah Winfrey Show that aired in January 2002 and titled “Memorable Thinkers”).
- Humanity’s Team Teacher’s Tutorial: Session 12, Portland, Oregon, June 30-July 1, 2003. Transcribed by author from compact disc of the tutorial.
- Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation, op. cit., pp. 240, 267.
- Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 1, op. cit., pp. 96-97.
- Neale Donald Walsch, Home with God: In a Life That Never Ends: A wondrous message of love in a final Conversation with God (New York, NY: Atria Books, 2006), p. 7.
- Ibid., p. 8.
- Ibid., p. 10.
- Ibid., p. 42.
- Ibid., p. 89.
- Neale Donald Walsch, The New Revelations: A Conversation with God (New York, NY: Atria Books, 2002), p. 175.
- Ibid., p. 157.
To order copies of Oprah Winfrey’s New Age “Christianity” (Part 2) – Neale Donald Walsch, “God,” and Hitler, click here.
Letter to the Editor: Her Pastor: “Warren B. Smith Not in Communion With Holy Spirit Because of “Another Jesus” Calling” | LT: “Church Will Bear Brunt of Pastor’s Negligence”
To Lighthouse Trails:
Last year I ordered at least 10 copies of “Another Jesus” Calling to give to others who had greatly enjoyed Jesus Calling or to others who have shared my concern about the book. Both of my daughters in their mid-twenties began reading Jesus Calling a few years ago, but praise the Lord, they both abandoned the book because, like me, they found it “off.”
I gave “Another Jesus” Calling to a couple of missionary wives when they came to our church. I found it interesting that even though they are in other countries, they have been concerned about Jesus Calling and that while home on deputation, they have seen the wide use of the book.
I gave a copy of “Another Jesus” Calling to two friends at church, as well as my pastor. I asked each of them to read the book, and if they didn’t want to keep it, give it back. . . . I had not heard back from my pastor at all until yesterday. . . .
I want you to know upfront that our [pastor] . . . has through the years done series on the Emergent Church and why it is wrong. . . . He is spot on with most of his teaching, and there is nothing on your “what we believe” statement page that our church could not agree with. So, it saddened me when I got this note from him about “Another Jesus” Calling:
So sorry it has taken me so long to get this book back to you. While I can appreciate the author’s perspective and background (I had read Johanna Michaelson’s book [Beautiful Side of Evil] years ago along a similar vein), I do believe he is reacting because of his past occult involvements and is not balanced in his thinking. I believe he is missing what the Scripture calls “the communion of the Holy Spirit.”
You know I am a teacher who is naturally skeptical. But I have read Jesus Calling and Sarah Young’s other works with my antennae on full, and I have found absolutely nothing that is contrary to Scripture. If she ever does come out with something that does contradict the Bible, I would be the first to denounce it. But, as I said, I’ve found nothing that is not validated by the Word of God. I also know a number of people who have been enormously ministered to and comforted through very difficult trials, and without fail, their walk with the Lord has been strengthened, not hindered in any way. It is important to test the fruit of a person’s teachings/writings. I appreciate you sharing it with me! Blessings, Pastor ____
I am so confused. How can some people I know are strong Christians not see the red flags, but some of us, like me [whom I do not consider the paragon of Bible study], can see? My daughters, who were raised under this pastor’s teachings of deep Bible study and classes devoted to studying the Bible in context and testing what you read, have both expressed concern for this book. I attribute their being skeptical directly to our pastor’s teaching! My pastor has been very staunch in preaching against false teachers/emergent, so this review has taken us by surprise.
Anyway, I don’t know what I am expecting or asking of you by sending you this e-mail. If you want to reply somehow, that would be nice, but if you don’t feel led to respond, I’ll understand.
Sincerely, Sally [not real name]
Thank you for sharing some of your situation. The fact that your pastor says he found ” absolutely nothing that is contrary to Scripture” in Jesus Calling speaks volumes. First, he must not have read “Another Jesus” Calling from cover to cover or at least not with a non-biased attitude. There are numerous documentation points (see links below) listed in “Another Jesus” Calling that clearly show Jesus Calling has many things about it that are contrary to Scripture. E.g.: The fact that Sarah Young says Jesus Calling was inspired by a channeled New Age book, God Calling, is absolutely contrary to Scripture. The fact that Sarah Young uses multiple New Age terms (such as co-creation, a term not even hinted at in the Bible as being a legitimate concept), is contrary to Scripture. The fact that Sarah Young’s “Jesus” speaks of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph in such a derogatory manner is contrary to Scripture. And so on and so forth.
Sally, your pastor’s answer would lead us to suspect that Jesus Calling isn’t the only “new” spirituality book he thinks is OK. We believe that for someone to say what he did is evidence that he is on a road to deception. Further, for your pastor to say that Warren Smith is missing “the communion of the Holy Ghost” (2 Corinthians 13:14) is without warrant. Warren does believe in the “communion” of the Holy Spirit and nothing in “Another Jesus” Calling would suggest anything different. If we take your pastor’s reasoning further, then anyone who challenges or tests the spirit (as the Bible tells us to do) is not having “communion” with the Holy Spirit. This is similar to hyper-charismatic teachers who say we should not question what they say are the works of the Holy Spirit. Surely your pastor knows there is the legitimate work (and communion) of the Holy Spirit and then there are the works of false spirits (Satan and his demons), and as Bereans, we are instructed in Scripture to carefully and diligently determine which is which. Warren Smith examined Jesus Calling, weighed it against Scripture, and found it to be seriously lacking in biblical integrity. We are sorry your pastor does not see this, and we are sorry for your church, which is going to bear the brunt of your pastor’s negligence. We don’t mean to sound harsh, Sally, but we don’t know how else to say it.
On a final note, regarding your pastor’s comment, “[Warren Smith] is reacting because of his past occult involvements and is not balanced in his thinking,” this is ridiculous reasoning. That would be like saying that for a former alcoholic to warn those using and abusing alcohol means he is not balanced in his thinking because of his past involvement with it. It is because of Warren’s past involvement with the occult that he is qualified to spot it and warn against it. Sadly, there are too many pastors out there who share your pastor’s reasonings when it comes to spiritual deception. And thus, we find the church in its present condition.
Thanks again for sharing,
Editors at Lighthouse Trails
Documentation on Jesus Calling by Warren B. Smith:
“Elephant in the room” or Elephant in the living room” is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss. It is based on the idea that an elephant in a room would be impossible to overlook.1
Lighthouse Trails recently published a booklet titled False Revival Coming: Part 1. The booklet expressed our concern that Holy Laughter/Holy Ghost bartender Rodney Howard-Browne was not only back—but had apparently never gone away! With discernment at an all time low in the church, Browne is traveling the world with what he describes as his God-mandated “Great Awakening Tour.” He hopes his tour will ignite a global transformation to the Christian faith. Partnering with New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) figures like Bethel’s Bill Johnson, Randy Clark, and others, Howard-Browne and his NAR colleagues would have the church believe they are bringing about the ultimate end-times “revival”—a “Great Awakening” move of God that will usher in a planetary Pentecost.
Howard-Browne’s “revival” activities were brought to our attention when we were informed that the “Holy Ghost Bartender” had organized and hosted a star-studded two-week “Celebrate America” event over the 4th of July last summer (2014) in Washington D.C. The event featured pastor/author Jonathan Cahn, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Senate Chaplain Barry Black, Fox News commentator Todd Starnes, author/columnist Dr. Ben Carson, and many others. “Celebrate America” was sponsored by a number of organizations that included The Washington Times, World Net Daily, Christian Coalition of America, and Cornerstone Television Network.
Rodney Howard-Browne, known for imparting Holy Laughter to countless people around the world, is once again placing his ministry in the limelight. Because of his heightened activity in today’s church, we believed it was important to reissue an article that attempted to honestly critique Howard-Browne and his holy laughter “revival” back when it was originally happening. The 1994 article is titled “Holy Laughter or Strong Delusion?” and was written by author Warren B. Smith. Initially published in a discernment newsletter, his article quickly circulated around the world. It helped many people to see the many problems associated with Howard-Browne and his Holy Laughter “revival.”
Just after republishing in booklet form Warren B. Smith’s provocative article, Rodney Howard-Browne announced that he was returning to Washington D.C. in July 2015 for another two week “Celebrate America” event that will include the fourth of July. Continuing his run on the nation’s capital, the speakers have yet to be announced.
Three “elephant in the room” questions that need to be addressed:
1) Are we to believe that God has appointed Rodney Howard-Browne—the Holy Ghost Bartender—to lead the church and the world into a “great spiritual awakening”—into global “revival?”
2) What Christian leaders will be speaking and aligning themselves with Howard-Browne at his “Celebrate America” event?
3)Is it possible that what looks like a “Great Awakening” will actually be a spiritual distraction that inadvertently leads to“Great Deception?”
A clip from the 2014 Celebrate America:
A CNN news video on the Holy Laughter movement:
Oprah Winfrey’s New Age “Christianity” and the Emperor’s New Clothes by Warren B. Smith is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 18 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Oprah Winfrey’s New Age “Christianity” and the Emperor’s New Clothes, click here. This Booklet also comes with two Appendices: 1) God is Not in Everything; and 2) The Gospel of the True Jesus Christ.
“Oprah Winfrey’s New Age “Christianity” and the Emperor’s New Clothes”
The twenty-first century will be the time of awakening, of meeting The Creator Within. Many beings will experience Oneness with God and with all of life. This will be the beginning of the golden age of the New Human, of which it has been written; the time of the universal human, which has been eloquently described by those with deep insight among you. There are many such people in the world now—teachers and messengers, Masters and visionaries—who are placing this vision before humankind and offering tools with which to create it. These messengers and visionaries are the heralds of a New Age.1 (emphasis added)—Neale Donald Walsch’s New Age “God”
Get ready to be awakened.2 (emphasis added)—Oprah Winfrey
The colorful orange and blue paper band around the book issued the following invitation to readers: “Join Oprah and Eckhart for a worldwide web event . . . Every Monday night for 10 weeks . . . Register at Oprah.com.” A personal message from Oprah stated, “Get ready to be awakened.” It was early in 2008, and it all had to do with a much-publicized selection from Oprah Winfrey’s book club—A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life Purpose by New Age author Eckhart Tolle. Through this worldwide web event with Tolle, Oprah was making a definite statement. She was no longer content to just share and promote her New Age beliefs. In this Internet class with Tolle, she would now be actively teaching them. This was a bold move by a woman who was willing to do everything in her power—which is considerable—to convert humanity to a new worldview and to a New Age “Christianity” that is no Christianity at all.
With her good friend Marianne Williamson simultaneously teaching a daily year-long class on A Course in Miracles on Oprah and Friends XM Satellite Radio, Oprah was unleashing two very public New Age classes. And these classes were teaching millions of people that the way to save themselves and the planet was not by accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior but rather by accepting the “God” and “Christ within.” As Williamson put it in her book A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles: “I accept the Christ within.”3
In defending her New Age beliefs, Oprah Winfrey would argue that what she was promoting was for the good of the world. She would also tell detractors—“I am not a New Age anything, and I resent being called that.”4 While Oprah is free to call her New Age teachings whatever she wants, a rose by any other name is still a rose. Oprah and her spiritual colleagues are New Age because they all teach the heretical New Age doctrine of spiritual Oneness—We are all one because we are all “God,” and we are all “Christ.” As Marianne Williamson writes:
We are all one, we are love itself. “Accepting the Christ” is merely a shift in self-perception.5
The New Age “shift” that Oprah, Williamson, and Tolle describe occurs when an individual “awakens” to the alleged “God” and “Christ within.” Shift is the big word. It means moving from one position to another—as in moving one’s focus away from the “ego” to the “Christ within.” With television, satellite radio, the Internet, and her Life You Want Tour revival meetings, Oprah is determined to teach the world how to “awaken” and make the “shift” to the “Christ within.”
In her first class with Eckhart Tolle—with people around the world watching—Oprah asked if anyone had experienced the “shift” to a new “awakening” while reading Tolle’s book, A New Earth. The question was reminiscent of the New Age EST program in the 1970s that taught this same idea of “shifting” one’s perception and similarly asking—“Did you get ‘IT?’” Obviously, there is pressure to get “IT”—to experience the “shift.” Oprah felt the “shift”—did you? Have you “awakened” to this New Age way of perceiving yourself and others that can save the planet; this understanding that we are all one because God is “in” everyone and everything? Get it? Got it? Good! Oprah encouraged everyone to keep logging on to her classes and to keep reading Eckhart Tolle’s book. In so doing, they would get “it” too!
“Evolve or Die”
Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth—like A Course in Miracles and countless other New Age books—describes how the world is at a crisis point and that we are in dire need of spiritual help. Tolle insists that humanity must “spiritually evolve” in order to avoid personal and planetary disaster. According to Oprah, Tolle, and New Age teachers everywhere, spiritually evolving means “shifting” and accepting the New Age/New Spirituality belief we are all divine—i.e., we are all “God.” In his book and in his first class with Oprah, Tolle reiterated the same teaching that key New Age leader Barbara Marx Hubbard received from her New Age “Christ”—“Evolve or die.”6 Thus, what people were basically being told by Winfrey and Tolle was—if you don’t “shift” to the New Age/New Spirituality point of view, planet earth may be destroyed and humanity may become extinct. This echoes what Barbara Marx Hubbard’s New Age “Christ” told her. He made it clear that in the future, those who refuse to see “God” and “Christ” in everyone will eventually be eliminated by what he describes as a spiritual “selection process.”7
Hubbard—highly respected by her New Age colleagues—also writes that her New Age “Christ” has proposed an “alternative to Armageddon.”8 Hubbard’s channeled New Age “Christ” states that the Bible’s prophesied battle of Armageddon doesn’t have to happen. He describes how his “alternative to Armageddon” Peace Plan can save the planet and bring world peace. This wholly unbiblical/extra-biblical Armageddon alternative is predicated on accepting the “shift” that Oprah, Tolle, and other New Age leaders are teaching. The New Age “Christ’s” view of the future inspired Hubbard to be one of the co-founders of the World Future Society. Merging/emerging church leader Brian McLaren has also written about an Armageddon alternative.9 Not surprisingly, McLaren was one of the featured speakers at the 2008 World Future Society’s annual gathering, along with Barbara Marx Hubbard herself.
Surprised by the Truth
In describing the New Age/New Spirituality “shift” and the necessity for everyone to spiritually evolve, Eckhart Tolle told Oprah Winfrey and their millions of viewers that once you “awaken” to your own godhood the “shift” is “irreversible.” What Tolle overlooked were those of us who had previously made the “shift” to New Age beliefs only to discover—by the grace of God—that we had been grossly deceived by these false New Age teachings. We then shifted out of the New Age as we renounced our New Age beliefs. Piercing through the darkness, the Bible proved itself to be shockingly true as it exposed the massive deception behind New Age/New Spirituality teachings.
It was extremely humbling for us to realize that the Bible didn’t need New Age correction—that it was authoritative and true and actually warned about the deception of which we had been a part. We were shown that God was God and we were not. Jesus was the one and only Christ. There was no universal “Christ within.” We also came to realize there really was a Devil and that he was orchestrating a New Age/New Spirituality deception through seducing spirits (1 Timothy 4:1). We were brought to the understanding that we were sinners and needed to be saved by the true Jesus Christ (Romans 3:23-25). We learned by God’s grace and through God’s Word that the New Age Peace Plan to save the world—the Armageddon alternative—was part of the last days deception the true Christ warned would come at the time of the end (Matthew 24:3-5). Like Oprah, we had been very enthusiastic and sincere about our New Age beliefs, but we came to realize we were sincerely wrong. The New Age “awakening” and the paradigm “shift” it inspires is a deceptive spiritual device being cleverly and mightily used to deceive the world (2 Corinthians 2:11).
The Shifty New Age
In their initial March 3, 2008 webcast, Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle were careful not to describe “the shift” they were advocating as New Age. In fact, Oprah described herself as a “Christian.” In what appeared to be a conveniently screened first caller, a woman asked how Oprah reconciled her “new form of spirituality” with her “Christian” beliefs:
Kelly (Illinois): “I had a Catholic upbringing, I married a Catholic, and we’re raising our children this way. In reading books such as Tolle’s, I’ve really, it’s really opened my eyes up to a new way of thinking; a new form of spirituality that doesn’t always align with the teachings of Christianity. So my question is to you, Oprah, how have you reconciled these spiritual teachings with your Christian beliefs?”
Oprah Winfrey: “I’ve reconciled it because I was able to open my mind about the absolute indescribable hugeness of that which we call ‘God.’ I took God out of the box because I grew up in the Baptist church and there were, you know, rules and, you know, belief systems in doctrine . . . . “And you know, it’s been a journey to get to the place where I understand, as I said on the pre-show here, that what I believe is that Jesus came to show us Christ consciousness. . . . Jesus came to show us the way of the heart . . . to show us the higher consciousness that we’re all talking about here. . . . “And as I said earlier on that pre-show here, there is a wonderful book called Discover the Power Within You by Eric Butterworth, which helped me to reconcile the two. So that might be really good for those of you who are Christian and trying to balance the two”10 (emphasis added).
Oprah’s endorsement of New Age minister and author Eric Butterworth’s book was extremely significant. Twenty-one years earlier, on a September 18, 1987 Oprah Winfrey Show titled “The New Age Movement,”11 Oprah defined the New Age in positive terms by referring to Butterworth’s book, Discover the Power Within You. On this program about the New Age, this same idea of “awakening” and “shifting” one’s awareness to the “divine self” or “Christ within” was similarly introduced. Thus, everything Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle were referring to as a New Spirituality in 2008 had already been articulated by Winfrey and her guests on that 1987 program as New Age. During the 1987 show, Oprah stated:
They call themselves members of the New Age Movement, and they say that our hope for survival as a planet comes from learning about our own individual power and our own divinity . . . .
Later in the program Oprah talks about Eric Butterworth and his book. One of her guests on the show, New Age minister Dr. Donald Curtis, stated that her remarks about Eric Butterworth perfectly defined the term New Age:
Winfrey: “One of the most important books, I think, I’ve read, in my life was a book by Eric Butterworth whom I know you—”
Dr. Curtis: “Excellent, excellent.”
Winfrey: “Called Discover the Power Within You. And what Eric Butterworth said in that book is that Jesus did not come to teach how divine he was, but came to teach us that there is divinity within us. So that is essentially what we are talking about.”
Dr. Curtis: “That’s a summary statement of exactly where we are in what we call the New Age or the new thought.”
Winfrey: “And that’s what the new thought means, for those of you who are confused about it.”
But, in reality, Oprah is just adding to the confusion that she is attempting to clarify. She tells her detractors—“I am not a New Age anything and I resent being called that,” yet Eric Butterworth’s own website describes him as “a highly respected New Age pioneer and innovator of New Thought.”12 Obviously New Thought is New Age—and that is what she has been pushing through Butterworth and others down through the years. So what is most confusing is when Oprah tells everyone she is “Christian,” but everything she is believing and teaching is straight New Age. Also on the 1987 program, Oprah and Dr. Curtis have an exchange about “shifting” and “awakening” to the “divine self”—the “God” and “Christ within.”
Winfrey: “There seems to be a spiritual movement afoot, and I wonder if it’s because I sense my own spiritual evolvement, or is this something that’s really happening, Dr. Curtis?”
Dr. Curtis: “Well, I’m sure it’s happening, because as you said in the introduction, the New Age or the new thought religions are very much in line with traditional religion. I think it’s a dimension that comes when we’re aware of the awakening in consciousness, the shift, the new paradigms of thought, and all of the awakening of that divine self in individuals, that of course, where is one to go to find security or to find a sense of their own reality except within? . . . Can you imagine any greater revolutionary or New Age thinker than Jesus Christ when he came on the scene?” (emphasis added)
Winfrey: Yeah, absolutely.
Thus, on the March 3rd, 2008 webcast with Eckhart Tolle, Oprah Winfrey was just reiterating what she said twenty years previous on her 1987 program about the New Age movement. Her statements about Eric Butterworth and his book in 2008 were almost identical to what she was saying in 1987—that man is divine. The description of the New Age “awakening” to the “Christ within” and the New Age “shift” to the “divine self” on the 1987 program was exactly what she and Tolle were teaching—but instead of calling it New Age they, like other New Age proponents, were cleverly renaming it the New Spirituality.
The Ultimate Ego Trip vs. Being Born Again
Contrary to what Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle stated, New Age beliefs cannot be reconciled to biblical Christianity. The Bible makes it very clear that Jesus Christ came to the world as Messiah—the one and only Christ. He did not come to teach humanity to “shift” from the “ego” to their “inner Christ.” What Winfrey, Tolle, and other New Age/New Spirituality leaders overlook in their apparent renunciation of the ego, is that a “shift” from one’s “ego” to the “Christ within” is the biggest ego trip of all. Who do they think they are—God? And their answer is “Yes!” By claiming the title of “God” and “Christ” for themselves, they succumb to the original temptation that took place in the Garden of Eden—that “ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5).
The true Jesus Christ taught, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). He said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). He also said, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (John 3:7). Being born again means accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior—not accepting yourself as “God” and “shifting” to an alleged “Christ within.” Jesus meant it when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). The world doesn’t want to hear it, but Scripture lays it right on the line: Salvation does not come from “awakening” and “shifting” to the “Christ within.” Salvation can only be found in our one true Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Oprah and the “Great Heretical Idea”
On that same 1987 Oprah Winfrey Show titled “New Age Movement,” Oprah’s first guest was Marilyn Ferguson, the New Age author of The Aquarian Conspiracy. Winfrey described Ferguson’s book as “the bible of the New Age movement.” In The Aquarian Conspiracy, Ferguson introduces what she calls “a great heretical idea.” She believes this “great heretical idea” will enable humanity to spiritually evolve and achieve world peace. The “heretical idea” is the belief that God is “in” everyone and everything. Ferguson describes how immanence—the “God within”—has always been perceived as heresy. But if this idea of “God within” is “widely communicated”—she argues—it can “become our new consensus.” Ferguson wrote:
Usually at the point of crisis, someone has a great heretical idea. A powerful new insight explains the apparent contradictions. It introduces a new principle . . . a new perspective.13 Given the superior power and scope of the new idea, we might expect it to prevail rather quickly, but that almost never happens. The problem is that you can’t embrace the new paradigm unless you let go of the old.14
If these discoveries of transformation are to become our common heritage for the first time in history, they must be widely communicated. They must become our new consensus, what “everybody knows.”15 (emphasis added)
Over the last 28 years—ever since the 1987 program about the New Age movement—Oprah Winfrey has used her television program to promote scores of New Age authors and their occult/New Age books. With Oprah’s endorsement, the authors’ books attain instant notoriety as their books frequently sail to the top of the New York Times best-seller List. This has happened time after time as the New Age “great heretical idea” of the universal “God within” has been “widely communicated.” Oprah Winfrey has more than fulfilled the strategic New Age role laid out by Marilyn Ferguson in The Aquarian Conspiracy. The idea of “God within” has gradually become “what everybody knows.”
One graphic example of how Oprah Winfrey has “widely communicated” the “great heretical idea” of the “Christ within” over the last many years is seen in her popularization of friend and New Age leader Marianne Williamson’s book about A Course in Miracles. As previously mentioned, while Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle presented their New Age teachings about the “Christ within” on the Internet, Marianne Williamson was presenting the same New Age ideas on Oprah’s XM Satellite Radio station. Williamson had a daily, year-long class where she taught the channeled New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles. Sixteen years earlier in February 1992, Oprah had introduced Williamson and her book A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles to her worldwide television audience. On that program, Oprah stated that Williamson was:
A leader in a philosophy that I personally know could change the world—I believe that with all my heart. I have read many books over the years. I have never been as moved by a book as I have by Marianne Williamson’s book A Return to Love. So moved in fact that I went out and bought a thousand copies, and we’ll be giving you all a copy before you leave here today . . . If it sounds like I am trying to hype the book, I really am. It’s the first time you can open a book and actually see some answers.16
As a result of Oprah’s enthusiastic endorsement, Williamson’s book shot to the top of the New York Times best-seller list and stayed there for months. A Course in Miracles is reputedly “new revelation” channeled directly from “Jesus.” However, this channeled false Christ turns the Holy Bible upside down as he teaches—among other things—that “a slain Christ has no meaning.”17 He states that “The journey to the cross should be the ‘last useless journey,’”18 “Do not make the pathetic error of ‘clinging to the old rugged cross,”’19 and “The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.”20 This false Christ also teaches that there is no sin, no devil, and no need for salvation because we save ourselves by recognizing our divinity.21 The “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles is yet another beguiling New Age voice entreating unsuspecting persons to “awaken” and “shift” to the “God” and “Christ within.”
In the 2008 webinar, Oprah did for Tolle what she had previously done for Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Shirley MacLaine, Gary Zukav, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and so many other New Age figures through the years. Like King Midas, Oprah has a “golden touch” that instantly transforms otherwise obscure New Age books into golden best-sellers. But ultimately, King Midas’ “golden touch” was too much as he transformed things into gold that really shouldn’t have been—like his food, water, and even his daughter. Likewise, Oprah has also turned things into gold that should not have been—New Age books like A Return to Love, A New Earth, and The Secret—all to the spiritual detriment of her trusting viewers.
Oprah has performed her New Age evangelistic role extremely well—and continues to do so. For four separate decades, she has consistently communicated her strong New Age beliefs by favorably interviewing New Age authors and endorsing their New Age books. Thanks largely to Oprah, the “great heretical idea” of “God within” is now a mainstream belief embedded in today’s postmodern “progressive” culture. Oprah has an apparent zeal for God but not according to knowledge (Romans 10:2). The New Age “Jesus” is not the true Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:24). He is “another Jesus” with “another spirit” and “another gospel” (2 Corinthians 10:4).
Oprah and The Queen’s New (Age) Clothes
The good old minister went into the room where the swindlers sat before the empty looms. “Heaven preserve us!” he thought, and opened his eyes wide, “I cannot see anything at all,” but he did not say so. Both swindlers requested him to come near, and asked him if he did not admire the exquisite pattern and the beautiful colors, pointing to the empty looms. The poor old minister tried his very best, but he could see nothing, for there was nothing to be seen. “Oh dear,” he thought, “can I be so stupid? I should never have thought so, and nobody must know it! Is it possible that I am not fit for my office? No, no, I cannot say that I was unable to see the cloth.”—Hans Christian Andersen, The Emperor’s New Clothes
In the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, The Emperor’s New Clothes, some swindlers convince the Emperor and his ministers to see a suit of clothes that is actually non-existent. These swindlers convince the Emperor and his ministers by telling them that only “intelligent,” “well-informed” citizens can see the suit of clothes. Publicity about the Emperor’s “new” clothes went out unto all the kingdom as people were told what they were supposed to see. The people realized that if they were to be perceived as “smart” and not seem “stupid” they would see this suit of clothes. And, of course, no one wanted to be perceived as stupid.
Soon it was publicized throughout the kingdom that the Emperor would be showing off his new suit of clothes in a public procession several days hence. When the day came, the naked Emperor walked among his people and received unanimous acclaim for his new suit of clothes. The people saw what they had been told to see. “Isn’t it absolutely wonderful,” all the people proclaimed. “The Emperor is all dressed up in his new suit of clothes.”
Everyone was so taken by the Emperor’s “new” suit of clothes that they barely heard the little boy who hadn’t been told what he was supposed to see. “But the Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes,” said the lad. “The emperor is naked!”
Several people heard the boy and realized that what he was saying was true. Suddenly everyone’s eyes were opened, and they knew they had been tricked into seeing something that wasn’t even there. The Emperor wasn’t wearing a new suit of clothes. He was as naked as the day he was born. Swindlers had deceived the Emperor, his ministers, and almost the whole kingdom with their clever scheme.
And so it is with the “New” Age/”New” Spirituality and Oprah Winfrey. Widely regarded as the “Queen” of the airwaves, Oprah has been deceived into seeing a “New” Age/”New” Spirituality “suit of clothes” that simply isn’t there. The Queen’s advisors—Eric Butterworth, Maya Angelou, Marianne Williamson, Gary Zukav, Neale Donald Walsch, Esther Hicks, Eckhart Tolle, and countless others—have all been similarly deceived into seeing this “new” way of looking at themselves and the world. Deceived and deceiving (2 Timothy 3:13), they in turn convinced the Queen that she and everyone in her kingdom just needed to “shift” past their “egos” and “awaken” to the fact that they were naturally clothed in “Christ”—that they were already wearing this “new” suit from the New Age/New Spirituality wardrobe. All they had to do was accept and affirm the “God” and “Christ” within.
The Queen was very excited. She said she would help everyone “awaken” and “shift” to this new “Christ consciousness”—this “new” way of “seeing” themselves and their world. Being a sympathetic and caring person, she wanted the whole world to see what she and her advisors were seeing—that everyone was divine and clothed in this “Christ consciousness.” She knew that if this “New” Age/”New” Spirituality suit of clothes was presented properly, all the wise and well-informed people would “see” her point of view and “get it.” They would “awaken” as she and Marianne Williamson and Eckhart Tolle had. If everyone would just “awaken” and “shift” to this new way of seeing themselves, then everything in the kingdom could be made right again. With this “Great Awakening,” all of humanity could spiritually evolve and world peace could finally be achieved.
So with great fanfare and publicity, the Queen went on the worldwide web and told everyone in the world that what she and Eckhart Tolle were teaching was the most exciting thing she had ever done. On her first Internet class, the Queen told her enthusiastic followers that there was nothing more important than “awakening” to the “New” Spirituality—that we are all clothed in “Christ” and that we are all dressed in this same suit of clothes because we are all “God” and we are all “Christ.” She was hopeful everyone would see the world as “A New Earth” the way she and Eckhart, and all of her New Age colleagues, saw it. But she was worried about the people who were not smart enough to see that they were “God” and “Christ.” She told everyone in her first Internet class if there isn’t a shift, God only knows what will happen to us.
The Queen’s urgency let everyone know that it was really important that they have the “awakening” and make the “shift” to the “Christ” within. She was very charismatic and very convincing as she made it clear that the well-being of the planet depended on everyone seeing themselves as “God” and “Christ.” She and Eckhart warned that people would either be smart and evolve, or they would die.
But it wasn’t a little boy who warned the Queen that she was being greatly deceived—the warnings were from the one true God that had created her. His Holy Bible warned her not to be deceived by false prophets and false Christs that claimed “Christ” was within every person. His Scriptures made it clear that Jesus Christ was the one and only true Christ. But the Queen wasn’t listening to the words of the Bible. She was listening to Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, and her New Age colleagues.
Oprah’s Rude Awakening
Oprah has done her job well. For nearly thirty years, she has enthusiastically and consistently communicated her New Age beliefs through countless New Age authors. All those in the “Aquarian Conspiracy” must be very proud of her. Thanks to Oprah’s high visibility and continued popularity, “the great heretical idea” that “God” and “Christ” are within everyone has been “widely communicated” and is fast becoming our “new consensus” and “what everyone knows.” This ten-week class that she was teaching with Eckhart Tolle was the culmination of all that Oprah has sought to teach her viewers over the years about the New Age and how to see the world anew. But like the Emperor and his “new” suit of clothes, Oprah has been greatly deceived by her New Spirituality.
Sadly, if Oprah and her colleagues continue down the path of the New Age/New Spirituality, they will experience an “awakening” some day, but it will not be the “Great Awakening” they anticipated. Instead, it will be a rude awakening come Judgment Day. On that day, they will suddenly realize that God is God and they are not, and they never were. They will realize that Jesus Christ is Lord and that He is the one and only Christ, and there is no universal “Christ within.” They will see that they were deceived and that the Lord Jesus Christ really meant it when he said, “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).
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord. (2 Corinthians 4:5)
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light . . . put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 13: 11-12, 14)
To order copies of Oprah Winfrey’s New Age “Christianity” and the Emperor’s New Clothes, click here. This Booklet also comes with two Appendices: 1) God is Not in Everything; and 2) The Gospel of the True Jesus Christ.
1. Neale Donald Walsch, Friendship with God: an uncommon dialogue (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1999), p. 295-296.
2. Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (New York: A Plume Book (Published by Penguin Group), 2005): Personal message from Oprah Winfrey on orange and blue paper band on special edition of the book.
3. Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles (New York: Harper Perennial, 1996), p. 33.
4. “The Gospel According to Oprah” (Vantage Point, July 1998, Watchman Fellowship, www.fial.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=artNewAge.article_1); quoted from Stephen Mansfield, Where Has Oprah Taken Us? The Religious Influence of the World’s Most Influential Woman (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2011), p. 70.
5. Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love, op. cit., p. 32.
6. Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth, op. cit., p. 21; Barbara Marx Hubbard lecture at Texas A&M University, September 11, 2002, information taken from The Aggie Daily, September 12, 2002. (http://www.tamu.edu/univrel/aggiedaily/news/stories/02/091202-8.html).
7. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium (Novato, CA: Nataraj Publishing, 1995), pp. 240, 267. See also: False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care? (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press, 2011), p. 33-34.
8. Ibid., pp. 264-265.
9. Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything (Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group, 2006), pp.174-175.
10. A New Earth Online Class: Chapter 1 Transcript (images.oprah.com/images/obc_classic/book/2008/anewearth/ane_chapter1_transcript.pdf).
11. The Oprah Winfrey Show, Show #W265, Air Date September 18, 1987 (official transcript).
12. Eric Butterworth Home Page: http://www.ericbutterworth.com/html/eric_bio.html.
13. Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy (Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, Inc., 1980), p. 27.
15. Ibid., p. 34.
16. The Oprah Winfrey Show, February 4, 1992. Transcribed by author from video.
17. A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume (Glen Ellen, CA: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1975, 1992), Text p. 425.
18. Ibid., p. 52.
20. Ibid., p. 147.
21. A Course in Miracles, op. cit., Manual, p. 87.
To order copies of Oprah Winfrey’s New Age “Christianity” and the Emperor’s New Clothes, click here. This Booklet also comes with two Appendices: 1) God is Not in Everything; and 2) The Gospel of the True Jesus Christ.
God is Not “in” Everything
Put them in fear, O Lord: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. (Psalm 9:20)
[V]erily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. (Psalm 39:5)
Now the Egyptians are men, and not God. (Isaiah 31:3)
[F]or I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me. (Isaiah 46:9)
O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself. (Jeremiah 10:23)
Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God. (Ezekiel 28:2)
But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. (John 2:24-25)
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord. (2 Corinthians 4:5)
For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. (Galatians 6:3)
The Gospel of the True Jesus Christ
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 )
1) The true Jesus Christ said we must be born again from above.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:6-7)
2) To be born again we must recognize we are lost, fall short of the glory of God, and are sinners.
And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (Mark 7:20-23)
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
3) To remain in our sins is spiritual death. Believing in Jesus Christ brings eternal life and is a gift from God.
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. (John 11:25)
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
4) To save us from our sin, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to be our Savior.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)
5) The true Jesus Christ said we must repent of our sins.
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3)
6) To save us from our sin, Jesus Christ died for our sins on the Cross of Calvary.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
7) On the Cross of Calvary, Jesus Christ defeated sin and death.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. (Hebrews 2:14)
8) If you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)
9) We are saved by God’s grace through Jesus Christ—not by our own works.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
10) True faith comes from hearing the Word of God.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
11) Because of faith in the finished work of the true Jesus Christ on the Cross, we have peace with God.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)
12) We are the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ’s work of redemption on the Cross.
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26)
13) If we believe in the true Jesus Christ and continue in His Word, then we are His disciples.
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31)
14) The apostle Paul emphasized that we must stand on the truth and keep the Gospel of the true Jesus Christ.
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
15) Whoever calls upon the Lord in sincerity and truth will be saved.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)
***If you have never repented of your sins and asked the true Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior, consider doing it right now while it is still day—because night is coming on fast.
Warren B. Smith’s warning to the church—FALSE CHRIST COMING: DOES ANYBODY CARE?
Just as Hitler telegraphed his plans in Mein Kampf, so Antichrist has telegraphed his plans through his designated false teachers. Author Warren B. Smith is a former follower of this New Age “Christ.” False Christ Coming—Does Anybody Care? describes the deceptive teachings that undergird Antichrist’s deceptive Peace Plan. This book is a wake-up call to a church that remains strangely silent and in deep denial about the very deception that Jesus warned would come in His name (Matthew 24:3-5). Become aware of what’s happening, and then warn your friends and family (2 Corinthians 2:11). available through Lighthouse Trails. 160 pages | $14.95 | Lighthouse Trails Price: $13.95 Mountain Stream Press
Letter to the Editor: Christian & Missionary Alliance (Canada) Promoting Interspiritual, Panentheist Monk, Basil Pennington
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I thought this link would interest you. The Western Canadian District of the C&MA in Canada is promoting (yet with a disclaimer!) a number of books that teach the practices of contemplative prayer. I was surprised to see it promoted so blatantly on their website. http://www.transformcma.ca/resources-2/
There is also something called a “Holy Spirit Encounter” that they are starting to implement in their churches. I don’t quite understand what the point of these events are because the Holy Spirit lives within us [believers] all the time.
Just thought I would share these findings with you!
Our Comments: While Lighthouse Trails has been reporting on C & MA promotion of contemplative for a number of years, we believe it is worth posting this letter to the editor because of one particular name listed on the website linked to above: Basil Pennington (1931-2005). While the C & MA site gives a disclaimer, which states, “The following list of resources contain a variety of perspectives that cannot be fully endorsed by the WCD in every manner. We do believe, however, that the discerning reader can benefit greatly from these writings,” there is no way that a “discerning reader” could ever “benefit greatly” from the writings of Basil Pennington. The fact that he is included on the already highly problematic list they provide with contemplatives such as Brad Jersak, John of the Cross, Bill Johnson, Henri Nouwen, and so forth proves that the Western Canadian District of C & MA Canada has dropped into a deep level of apostasy from the leadership level.
Basil Pennington is a Catholic contemplative monk who teaches that God is in every person. As L. Putnam points out in one of her articles, Pennington believes in the “God’s Dream” concept (which is God in everyone). He states:
We do not know how precious we are in ourselves. As Dame Julian of Norwich, that delightful English mystic declared, we are God’s dream, his homiest home. We have too little respect for ourselves, too little esteem for our own importance. God sees things otherwise. (from Living in the Question: Meditations in the Style of Lectio Divina)
Interestingly, that sounds a lot like IF: Gathering leader Melissa Greene as we pointed out in a recent article. This idea of “God’s Dream” is actually taught by numerous contemplatives including Rick Warren and Robert Schuller (as Warren B. Smith discusses in Deceived on Purpose). If you hear that term being used by a pastor or teacher you know, it’s time to start asking some serious questions.
Basil Pennington (along with Thomas Merton and William Messinger) is ultimately responsible for bringing contemplative spirituality into mainstream Catholicism and eventually evangelical Christianity. These quotes are just two of many by Basil Pennington that help show his mystical propensities:
It is my sense, from having meditated with persons from many different [non-Christian] traditions, that in the silence we experience a deep unity. When we go beyond the portals of the rational mind into the experience, there is only one God to be experienced.—Basil Pennington (Centered Living, p. 192)
[I]n centering prayer we go beyond thought and image, beyond the senses and the rational mind, to that center of our being where God is working a wonderful work, just sitting there, doing nothing. Not even thinking some worthwhile thoughts or making some good resolutions-just being (source)
In Ray Yungen’s book, A Time of Departing, he explains:
In the book Finding Grace at the Center, written by [Basil Pennington and Thomas Keating], the following advice is given: ‘We should not hesitate to take the fruit of the age-old wisdom of the East and capture it for Christ. Indeed, those of us who are in ministry should make the necessary effort to acquaint ourselves with as many of these Eastern techniques as possible … Many Christians who take their prayer life seriously have been greatly helped by Yoga, Zen, TM and similar practices …” [pp. 5-6]. Thomas Keating and Basil Pennington have taken their Christianity and blended it with Eastern mysticism through a contemplative method they call centering prayer … Keating and Pennington have both authored a number of influential books on contemplative prayer thus advancing this movement greatly. Pennington essentially wrote a treatise on the subject called Centering Prayer while Keating has written the popular and influential classic, Open Mind, Open Heart.
If you are part of the Christian & Missionary Alliance, this is the direction that your leadership is heading, or frankly, has already gone.