The Bible and the Christian faith is the truth verified in many ways. This includes the life of Jesus Christ and the accuracy of the Bible including the realistic account of people in the Bible, the many Bible prophecies that have been already literally fulfilled concerning the life of the Messiah or Christ in Jesus of Nazareth and the support by archaelogy and reliable secular history of much history and fulfilled prophecy in the Bible as well as support of science with the Bible including taken in a literal sense. Paganism, gnosticism and the new age movement are for the most part temptations with the same enticement the devil the enemy of man and God gave to our first parents that if they took part of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil and rebelled against God and His word they would not surely die but they would become as gods knowing good and evil and that this fruit was to be desired to make one wise. Following is a comparion of what Biblical Christianity on one hand and paganism, gnosticism and the new age movement say on the other hand on some fundamental subjects.
The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the Son of God the second person of the Divine Trinity who came to earth in a virgin birth and took upon himself the nature of a sinless but still temptable man. The Bible also teaches that Jesus came to earth sent by God the Father to die on the cross for our sins and rise again from the dead to give up new life. In paganism, gnosticism and the new age view Jesus Christ was a man Jesus that obtained enlightenment with the Christ spirit which put him in connection with the cosmic consciousness but that this Christ spirit has also come upon other people. The views of paganism, gnosticism and the new age movement deny or oppose the idea that Jesus was the incarnation of the creator God or that he died for the sins of the world as part of his purpose for coming to earth and that he rose bodily from the dead. Paganism, gnosticim and the new age movement also teach that their are many intermediaries beside Jesus between God and man and that Jesus is just one among them.
The Christian scriptures teach that the Bible is the word of God that is infallible especially in its original language for the words as well as the thoughts through all the Bible and that God has notably preserved his word at least with all the thoughts and most of the words. However there are some minor errors in a few words in English and other translated languages. Paganism, gnosticism and the new age movement teach that the Bible is just one perspective and in some cases that traditional Christians have changed the Bible or removed or denied gnostic gospels or other books to deny the pagan idea of a mystical Christ. However there is no evidence to support this pagan or gnostic or new age movement accusation of traditional Christians manipulating the Bible.
The Bible teaches all the world, material as well as spiritual, was created by a personal and transcendant or distinct from his creation God was created good initially. However soon after the time of creation because of the sin or rebellion of God's foremost creation, man, the creation was marred or corrupted by sin or rebellion but still has many aspects of the original goodness or beauty. The Bible teaches the world was created in six days by God speaking it into existence. The Bible teaches that before man's sin there was an incident of sin or rebellion in the heavens by probably a third of the angels led by the angel Lucifer who later came to be known as Satan or the devil. The Bible teaches that the devil is now the god of this world although under the overall control of God but that God through Jesus Christ at the end of man's rule on earth will take over control of this world (earth) from the devil and man to reign a thousand years and for eternity with those who trust in Jesus Christ or the Messiah in this life. The Bible teaches God will in his rule on earth remove the effects of sin which probably include things like viruses, weeds, excessive natural radiation, disease, animal wildness as well as the effects of pollution caused by man over time. Paganism, gnosticism and the new age movement teach that the material world including the body is to some extent evil or inferior and just an outward manifestation of the more fundamental divine cosmic consciousness. These religions teach one should strive to merge with the cosmic consciousness by freeing oneself from attention to the material world. Paganism, gnosticim and the new age movement do teach to protect the environment which is viewed by at least some of their followers as living and so to be respected and cared for. Paganism, gnosticism and the new age movement also teach to respect especially all human and animal life because of their belief in reincarnation that all people and animals could be incarnations of people along their path to godhood.
The Bible teaches man is the highest of God's earthly creation and was made in God's image including uniquely except for angels, having a spirit that can be in communion with God. The Bible also teaches that God originally put man in a beautiful garden in a state of innocense where man didn't have a knowledge of good or evil and told not to take part of one tree called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. However the first woman Eve was deceived to take part of the fruit of this tree by the devil Satan in the serpent and she then persuaded her husband the first man Adam to also take part which he did. This the Bible teaches brought a sinful state on Adam and Eve and spiritual separation and alienation from God and later physical disease and death which were then passed along to all other humans through reproduction. This is except for Jesus Christ who was God born of a virgin Mary and conceived by the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches any person can be brought in forgivenss and reconciliation with God through faith in the Messiah who has turned out to be Jesus of Nazareth. The Bible teaches that in this age and in the Millennial Kingdom people can be born of and indwelt of God's Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches all believing people will ultimately live forever in God's presence in His image physically and spiritual but still with distinct personalities and identities. Paganism, gnosticism and the new age movement teach that man is a being that is supposed to find godhood by supposedly coming to the conclusion one isn't sinful or created by a personal Creator God but are destined to lose one's distinct existence or nature and blend in with the universal self and the divine cosmic consciousness and be freed also from one's body and the material world.
Bible Christianity teaches the way of salvation is only through Jesus Christ and His death on the cross for our sins and his resurrection from the dead to give us new life. The Bible teaches that everyone should in this life admits we are sinnners and can't save ourselves and believes in and receives Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour that he died for our sins and rose again from the dead to give us new life. The Bible further teaches that when we do all these things we get a new sinless nature or heart that is indwelt and empowered by God's Holy Spirit. Paganism, gnosticism and the new age movement teach that the way of salvation is to reach a realization that the material world including our bodies are evil and the spiritual world is good and to try to escape with one's spirit to merge into the cosmic consciousness or their idea of an impersonal cosmic god. When this is done it is viewed as one obtaining salvation or enlightnement about one's god nature. This is mostly through mediation such as using a mantra (the same words repeated over and over again or deep breathing or other techniques to try to escape the normal thinking process and empty the mind). When this mediatation is followed for a while and a state of deep mediatation is reached people can then enter into a higher consciousness or enlightenment and sense that they are one with all other people and the universe and their idea of God in all these people and places. This also tends to give people a very negative idea of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross and acknowledging we are sinners and can only be saved and have God within us in the Person of the Holy Spirit by admitting we are sinners and placing our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and SAviour that he died for our sins and rose again from the dead to give us new life. Unfortunately although this is bad enough these type of teachings are now infiltrating the church starting with the Roman Catholics and Mainline Protestants such as Anglicans, Lutherans and Presbyterians and are now spreading to evangelicals such as Pentecostals, Charismatics and even Baptists through in the form of the silence and contemplative prayer advocated by people like Thomas Merton, Richard Foster, Henri Nouwen and Brennan Manning. Although these people might sound like sound Christians in some ways their advocating contemplative prayer or the silence is against what Jesus spoke against in using "Vain repetitions like the heathen do" in Matthew 6 and they acknowledge and some new age teachers that recommend their teachings acknowledge these regarded Christian teachers are teaching the same thing as meditation that seeks to block out the thought processes and reach a higher level of consciousness. In this higher level of consciousness some of the devotees in the New Age or in the contemplative spirituality say they then get the Christ consciousness or became a Christ. There is also a similiar idea in Jewish mysticism now in people such as Melinda Ribner. Some quotes supporting this although in these cases my New Age writers are increasingly reflected by supposedly Christian contemplative spirituality. One quote is "The Christ is You. YOu are the one who is to come - each of you. Each and everyone of you." Donald H. Yott Man and Metaphysics New York, NY Samuel Weiser quoted in A Time of Departing Could This Really Be the End of the Age? page 121. Another quote is : "Christhood is not something to come at a point in the future when you are more evolved. Christhood is - right now! I am the Christ of God. You are the Christ of God. by Armand Biteaux, The New Consciousness (Willits, CA Oliver Press) page 128 quoted in A Time of Departing chapter Is This REally the End of the Age page 121. One example by a professing Christian who follows contemplative spirituality with the same idea is in the following quote: "But we cannot confine the existence of the divine to this one man (Jesus) among men. Therefore we are not to worship the man Jesus, though we cannot refrain from worshipping the source of this Holy Spirit or Christ-life which for many of us has been revealed primarily in this historical figure." my John R. Yungblut former Dean of Studies at the Quaker Meditation Center at Pendle Hill, Pennsylvania. This is quoted in the book by John Randolph Price The Planetary Commission Austin, TX Quartus Books pages 143, 145 and is also quoted in the book A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen on page 121 in the chapter Is This Really the End of the Age. On the previous page of this book A Time of Departing the author observes that the word many of those who will deceive others in the last days saying that they are Christ doesn't just mean a handful but a multitude as we see in the New Age movement and Eastern mysticism and increasingly in Christian terms in contemplative spirituality or prayer. This verse is in Gospel of Matthew 24:4-5.This verse goes as follows in the King James Version of the Bible: And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. I personally believe the main application of this verse is to the tribulation or 70th week of Daniel but that it will become increasingly the case leading up to that time. The fact we are seeing a dramatic increase in Christians saying they have Christ- consciousness or that they are Christ I think is a strong indication the tribulation is just around the corner and the Antichrist who will be the supreme encourager of this type of thinking. This idea of a higher consciousness or Christ consciousness was probably at least partly in the mind of Satan when he said the forbidden fruit was to be desired to make one wise and that the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil could make the partakers as gods knowing good and evil. God of course warned them not to take of this fruit which would lead to death including spiritual death. Dear reader if you have fallen into this temptation or are being attracted to it I urge you to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and confess this sins so you can have God's true eternal life from the moment you trust in Him and the rest of this life and the everlasting life to come. This meditation and higher consciousness including the so-called Christian version that might use the name of Jesus but follows the same practices and has the same effects is probably what will unite the world's religions and their followers at the mystical level and characterize the falling away the great delusion that will pave the way for people to yield to and accept the Antichrist and False Prophet in the tribulation and be resistant to the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The "Desert FAthers" that are cited as early Christian practitioners in this area were mystics that were experimenting to different spiritual techniques and probably got these ideas from Alexandria which got these ideas from India and Hinduism and similiar religions. You can find out more about this subject in books like A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen published by Lighthouse Trails ISBN 0-9721512-7-3 or 978-0-9721512-7-6 or look at his web site at www.lighthousetrails.com.
The ultimate goal for Christians or believers according to the Bible is to go to heaven and eventually be resurrected with an immortal spiritual or heavenly and sinless body which together with our spirit freed of our sinful or fleshly nature or heart will make us fit for heaven and God's presence. Christians will then also be able to explore the renewed or new earth, heavens and Jerusalem for ever as well. The ultimate goal for followers of paganism, gnosticism and the new age movement is to realize the universal self within oneself and blend in with the divine cosmic consciousness. This would be sometime after many lives or reincarnations after which it is thought all the bad karma and bad thoughts, words and actions and their repurcussions have been worked out
For more information, comments, questions or advice contact Doug Currie at Contact Spirit and Truth Ministries