By Bill Randles
LTRP Note: This is the second part of Bill Randles’ earlier article: Self Exalted Above God . . . The Delusion
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. ( 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
I hope I have made it obvious, to all who have ears to hear, that our society is being set up for a delusion which will be damning. God will send this delusion as a judgment but only as the culmination of a thousand little steps in the direction, freely chosen by those who will be judged in it. They who will be deluded had to have rejected the Truth revealed in the Incarnation of Jesus and by the apostles and prophets of the Bible.
Instead, those trapped by the delusion are the ones who have fancied their own ways; they cherish the false illusion presented by the army of false prophets, teachers, opinion molders and shapers coming to them in our culture in the form of popular entertainers, spiritual innovators, people like Oprah Winfrey, popularizers of Yoga and Eastern religion, Rock and Roll entertainers, which have been poured out upon our culture.
Truly, Scripture itself warn us, “There is a way which seems right unto man, but the end leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12).
In my previous article, I mentioned the transformative “Self revolution,” which has swept modern culture, sweeping aside the Christian biblical approach to the self (self denial and distrust). Modern psychology, invented and promoted by atheists such as Freud, and even pantheists such as Carl Jung, have successfully inculcated most of the Western world in an entirely different doctrine of self.
It is amazing that Paul the apostle, among others, predicted this and warned that in the “last days men would be lovers of self” and that this development would become one of the prime dangers of those days, making them “perilous times” (see 2 Timothy 3).
New terms such as self-love, self-esteem, self-fulfillment, and self-actualization have flooded the consciousness of the West, turning people away from any fear of God and into themselves.
This blight has badly affected the church as well, which would be the reasonable antithesis to the self-revolution. But the shepherds have too often put confidence in the psychologists and have promoted and deferred to those with “psychological credentials” as if the Bible itself is not sufficient to teach us about the human soul.
My friend the late Dave Hunt used to make this powerful point that psychology, a compound word meaning “soul study,” should be the arena of those who believe and promote the Word of God. The Bible alone is sufficient for the cure of soul. It is not as if God had to wait for godless atheists such as Freud, Maslow, and Fromm to bring us new insights about the human condition! What a denial of Christ!
There is an even deeper teaching about the self which would be the inevitable end of the idolization of self and the usurpation of Christian ministry by atheists. Sooner or later in apostasy, all roads head east.
Atheism cannot sustain for long, for man is incurably spiritual and has spiritual longings. Jettison the Judeo-Christian heritage of Scripture, church, the view of the Fall, the state of man, heaven and Hell, judgment, and even eschatology, in the end, most people end up incredibly empty—and for many people, it has meant turning to Eastern religion.
What is the essential teaching of Hinduism ? That we must come to the realization, that we ourselves are God. All is one. The “true self” within each of us is God. All meditation, ascetic practices, Yoga, fasting, prayer is to be self-focused and directed within. As spaceandmotion.com articulates it:
The metaphysical foundation of Hinduism, which is expressed in both the Vedas and the Upanishads is that Reality (Brahman) is One or Absolute, changeless, perfect and eternal. The ordinary human world of many separate and discrete (finite) things (which our mind represents by our senses) is an illusion. Through meditation and purity of mind, one can experience their true Self which is Brahman, God, the One infinite eternal thing which causes and connects the many things. True enlightenment is Self-realisation, to experience the supreme reality as Self.
The deeper teaching about the SELF, which has come to us from the East as a consequence of our abandonment of the Judeo-Christian revelation is that the Self is Divine, that we are all part of God, and that we need to “self-realize” this “enlightenment.” This is the New Age movement in a nutshell, or I should call it by its more current name, “the consciousness revolution” which is erupting all across the West. It is also the lie of the serpent in the garden.
There is one very important distinction, in one primal verse of the Bible which is either a polemic to this error, or if ignored leads to it. I speak of Genesis 1:1, (You cannot get any more primal than that)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
What does this verse teach us about reality and existence? ( This verse is so full of light , thousands of books could be written about it alone). But I will direct you to my point: this verse teaches us that there are only two kinds of existence, Creator, and Creation.
Ours is a binary world. All is not one, all is two. Everything that exists is either the Creator, or Creation.
The Creator is self-existing, He always has been, He is and ever shall be, and He is absolutely distinct from His Creation. Creation is dependent, all of it, on the Creator, and is separate from Him. He, the Creator, is transcendent and eternal. The Creation has a beginning and an end.
The Serpent denies this, by blurring the distinction between Creator and creation, teaching pantheism, and panentheism, (i.e., either all is a part of the whole, which is God, or that God is in everything and everyone.
This lie achieves two huge things: 1) it depersonalizes God, and 2) it turns us from seeking God to seeking ourselves; it turns us within. Of course, sin does not factor in because there is no sin in the Eastern view, only ignorance of one’s own Deity.
Atheism has left people empty, looking for spirituality, but most reject Christianity. What is left? Islam or pantheism? The appeal of pantheism is that one can now be spiritual but not lose his or her autonomy. Thus, this generation is buying into the new teaching, that the Self is what we should be seeking for it is God! A perfect religion for a self-absorbed society.