New Age Concepts About Jesus...Points To Ponder
The author, I believe is correct when he says in his introduction: " In my opinion Jesus is the greatest spiritual teacher and benefactor of humanity who has ever lived. After his lifetime the most influential religion in the world began to develop. Yet many of the doctrines, methods, and actions of those people involved in the Christian religion have caused many conscientious people to cringe and doubt the value of the religion."
He also says of Christ's teachings: "It is my belief that his teachings are universal and when applied are a most practical way to long-lasting happiness both for individuals and for society. Unfortunately these teachings have been lived to the full by very few individuals and only occasionally by small segments of society.
By loving more, one's inner joy increases; and though difficulties and persecutions aimed at the loving one may occur, even these, if met with love, bring blessings to those in negativity and stimulate reform in the society. Today many people are searching for ways to improve their lives, and material values have not really satisfied that inner longing for spiritual fulfillment and peace of mind."
He explains that his chapter explaing the Gospel of Jesus as found in the Scriptures as being," For everyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of truth and the spiritual process of life, whether they be Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, philosophers, or agnostics."
And speaks of these Spiritual teachings as being, "universal." And that these teachings, "may be applied by anyone who desires to become a better person and live a more joyful and loving life."
He peaks truth when he says that the highly regarded King James Version of the Bible of 1611 has complications because, "the English language has changed in the last four centuries with the result that many expressions of "Biblical English" from that version are not well understood today."
And I found this point he made intersting: "I have attempted to avoid sexist language as much as possible but not so much as to change the original meaning of the texts. When pronouns are indefinite as to sex I have usually used "one" and sometimes "the same" when "oneself" would be too awkward. Instead of using the patriarchal term "kingdom" I have used "sovereignty."
Hummm...maybe the word,"sovereignty," would fit well.
There are many things,however, theologically, that I do not agree on as discribed in his "interpretations", section to each Chapter to the Christ Chapter. There are many we could look at but I have chosen the one on Prophecies of the End of the Age. He DOES agree that Jesus spoke of an end to THIS 'AGE' and NOT the physical earth as many have preached. See Matthew Chapters 9 and 24 in the Living Transation or Living Bible footnotes to verify this.
He wrote: "Jesus spoke of the destruction of the temple buildings, and then he was also asked about the end of the age."
He also writes: "The end of the age depends upon the consciousness of humanity."
No. I don't agree with this. This, I known is a popular thought amoung Eastern religious thought. The end of this age depends on God through His Son Jesus Christ. But God expect us to do our part to show that we support Christ's Coming Kingdom. Also, I don't embrace the concept of, as he phrased it, "karmic balancing." Yes, I DO believe in the natural law of cause and reaction..But NOT that this has anything to do with any beliefs in reincarnation.
"Jesus could see that the consciousness of humanity was tending toward great conflicts between nations and that various calamities would occur to shake loose people's consciousness so that they would awaken."
This is true. This is why Christ warn people not to dull the perceptive senses during these Last Days of this present age.
"Astrology is used to interpret signs from heaven. As there was the change from the Aries age to the Piscean Age two thousand years ago, so now in our time is occurring the transition from Pisces into the Aquarian Age. The cataclysms are the birth pangs of the earth laboring to bring forth the new consciousness." ...
But he also adds: "Many psychics claim to predict fortunes and events, but they are false prophets who take away an individual's freedom of choice and responsibility for living one's own life. In the chaos of the transformation many lose heart, become disillusioned and discouraged. Yet God will protect those who turn to this, and those who persevere to the end will find salvation."
Well, the Bible warns us about looking into "signs". So I don't mess with that but I think I understand what these New Agers are trying to say..and if their hearts are right God will reach them to look to Christ instead of charts or numbers.
"Jesus advised us to be aware of ourselves and when called before councils and governmental authorities to testify; we need not be concerned about preparing our defense, but speak what is in our hearts as the Holy Spirit gives it to us; they will not be successful in arguing against the wisdom of God. Some people will even give up their own brothers and family to be killed. Does this not happen in wars?"
This is true but Christ warned us that the devil influences of this present age and that the devil is even "The god of the present system of things."
"The spiritual consciousness must be communicated all across the planet so that humanity will be ready for the change."
This is discribed in the Bible as: "Preaching about the coming Good News of God's Kingdom Untill the end of this age comes."
"We must pray for the awakening of peace and harmony between people so that those days may be shortened, and humans may not use the power they have to destroy all life on earth."
We pray that individual's hearts and minds might come to embrace Christ's message that He is "The Prince of Peace." And only through a friendship with God will true peace come...NOT souly by human good efforts alone. And it may look hopeless at times but God will NOT allow humanity to destroy the earth.
"As people begin to awaken more to the Christ consciousness, they will demonstrate great abilities; and some will point them out as Christs. However, each person must discover and know the Christ in one's own heart, but to go outwardly following another person physically leads one away from oneself and one's own Christ within."
Again, this is where Eastern thought differs from my beliefs. We CAN become "Christ-LIKE"..but NONE of us can become "Christ." To REALLY become "God-realized", I believe means to become aware that God is in controll. That Holy Spirit may permeate within us and verify God's presene is alive and active..but God is still above and we are God's children.
"The Sound of God will be heard calling those who have chosen to follow the spiritual path. Have courage, for redemption is at hand. These are the signs and indication of these changes and awakenings in consciousness both individually and collectively. The process of spiritual awakening is available to every generation."