Christianity-New Age dialogue #3

On Nov 17, 2009, Joshua wrote:

Hello Scott,

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to you, I will try to be more timely in the future.

Here is my theory on how the universe began. This is not based in scripture but rather various sources and personal feeling/experience. Sometimes I will look to scripture for wisdom and understanding, but my interpretation comes from a perspective of God being everything in existence. In the beginning there was the void, out of which came God. God was a kind of energy with no physical form.

I think that God condensed the energy he is made up of to create physicality- matter. The purpose of creating the matter was/is to experience that which God already knows. One can have a knowing of something, but without the experience, it is like not having it at all. Once the matter was formed it was divided in what scientists refer to as the big bang. I think the big bang and evolution were just processes chosen by God to create.

Did you ever make a lego ship and want to in-habit the legos so you could fly around and play with your creation? Perhaps you have had a similar feeling with something different. I think of creation as god’s lego set, and since god is who she is, she chose to dwell in creation to experience the many different aspects of self. I do agree with you whole heartedly with your statement,”He alone is the Creator, there is no other, and everything else is a creature and result of his creation.” I look at it in a different way. If in the beginning there was nothing but God, then there would be nothing to look back at God and see the magnificence. I think God wanted to experience being magnificent and all the different aspects of God wanted to experience themselves as well, so the aspects broke away from each other. When the many aspects of God broke away from the whole, they could look back on the whole and see the beauty, and how perfect God is. God recognized that since there was nothing else, the point of relativity had to come from within himself. There is a parable that I think explains this better.

There was once a soul who knew itself to be the light. This was a new soul, and so anxious for experience, “I am the light,” it said, “I am the light!” Yet all the knowing of it and all the saying of it could not substitute for the experience of it. And in the realm from which the soul emerged, there was nothing but the light. Every soul was grand, every soul was magnificent, and every soul was shining with the brilliance of God’s awesome light. So the little soul in question was like a candle in the sun. In the midst of the grandest light of which it was apart, it could not see itself nor experience itself as who and what it really is. Now it came to pass that the little soul yearned and yearned to know itself. So great was its yearning, that God one day said, “Do you know little one what you must do to satisfy this yearning of yours?”

“Oh what God? What? I’ll do anything!” the little soul said.

“You must separate yourself from the rest of us,” God answered, “and then you must call upon yourself the darkness.”

“What is the darkness oh holy one?” the little soul asked

“That which you are not.” God replied, and the soul understood. And so this the soul did, removing itself from the all, yea going even unto another realm. In this realm, the soul had the power to call into its experience all sorts of darkness, and this it did. Yet in the midst of all the darkness did it cry out, “Father, father, why hast thou forsaken me?”

“Even as have you in your blackest times, yet I have never forsaken you. I stand by you always, ready to remind you who you really are. Ready, always ready to call you home. Therefore, be a light unto the darkness, and curse it not; and forget not who you are in the moment of your encirclement by that which you are not. But do you praise to the creation, even as you seek to change it, and know that what you do in the time of your greatest trial can be your greatest triumph. For the experience you create is a statement of who you are and of who you want to be.” -taken from Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

It is interesting what you said about us being created in god’s image having to do with ruling. If I understand you correctly, then you are saying that god rules over us as we do over creation? I think you are on the right track about the ruling being serving.

Christ was one of God’s teachers, I believe that he was the son of God as well. I think his message was that we are what he is. He yearned and yearned for a way for us to self-realize, for us to step into who we really are as sons and daughters of God. This self-realization is salvation, and Jesus died that he might stand as our eternal salvation; if we could not realize that we are the offspring of God, then we can self-realize through Christ. There is a part in scripture that says that the church is the bride of christ. One might think of the process we are going through as development; life living is a tool for the development of our souls (I can go more into that later if you like). In the Christian way, I guess we could think of it as getting ready for the wedding day.

I was thinking about Christ and about what I believe about the origin of the universe and I saw a parallel. God took the time to manifest matter which is concentrated god-energy, and then sacrificed his manifestation so that we could live as we know it. This sacrifice saved us from the oblivion of not being able to experience ourselves as we were all candles in the sun. I think once we are finished developing we will return to absolute oneness with god for a while, perhaps a really long while. After being in the absolute state for a while, maybe we will return to the relative realm.

Blessings and peace

Joshua

On Nov 25, 2009 I responded:

Joshua,

I am going to address your thoughts one at a time. I appreciate that you admit the origin of your theory of creation. You accept it fully as your own based on your own personal feeling and experience and other various sources. Many people in our world do not have the courage to admit that. The question I must ask you is this, “Why are these various sources and your personal experience/feelings normative?” What I mean is, “Why do you believe you can trust them more than you can trust the Bible?” We all have to make leaps of faith, there is no doubt about that. What seems obvious to me, appears as a leap of faith to someone else and vice versa, what seems obvious to them is a leap of faith to me. I will accept that. But you know, the leap of faith I take is to trust the Bible and it’s story of creation, sin, salvation and ultimate redemption. You know the Genesis story, so I won’t bore you repeating it, aside from saying “God is the creator of everything and we are created.” But what I would like to remind you of is a passage of Scripture from Romans 1:18-23:

Rom. 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

This is my fear for you, that as you continue in your wisdom, you are in fact denying the very God who loves you, created you and desires to have an intimate saving relationship with you.

You make the statement,

“If in the beginning there was nothing but God, then there would be nothing to look back as God and see the magnificence.”

You then go on to use that as a reason for his creating a world. According to the Scriptures, you are in error. God is a trinity of relationship: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Three persons yet One God, all three of the same substance and equal in power and glory. This is the God of the Bible, as God has revealed himself. These three are in perpetual relationship, always exalting one another. A good friend of mine here in Bellingham is fond of saying the Godhead is involved in a dance, a constant dance of admiration, humbling and exaltation. This fits the biblical image of God better than one taking from human reason. Unfortunately your parable of the little light, seems to appropriate Biblical imagery and equate Jesus with the little light. It says that Jesus wasn’t aware of his divinity and authority and was a “small” figure in heaven, not the central figure as Revelation indicates. But this isn’t what Philippians 2:5-11 states, rather it affirms Jesus was fully aware of who he was and what he was doing and it wasn’t to shine more fully, it was to save humanity that he came to earth, incarnated into the world.

Phil. 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

This is the biblical picture of God, a picture far different and less magnificent and compelling in my opinion. Is your vision of salvation and life really compelling to you? Do you want to be united to God, only to have to leave that and return to a relative realm and do it all again. Frankly, that isn’t salvation, it is the hindu notion of reincarnation, a view foreign to the Scriptures. If that is as good as salvation gets, my self work, culminating in more self work eventually, then I am doomed. I am a tenacious worker, but if I have to work endlessly, I will tire, that is the nature of humanity. Salvation must come from a source not in myself and it must be guaranteed by the God who saves. This is the message of the Bible. We are caterpillars surrounded by a ring of fire, our salvation doesn’t come in trying to put the fire out, it comes from God reaching down and plucking us from the danger. This is the story of Jesus. Why is it so hard to accept?

My prayers are for your salvation and submission to the revelation of God as given in the Bible. God’s peace,

Scott

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About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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4 Responses to Christianity-New Age dialogue #3

  1. elmucho says:

    I think I you hit the nail on the head with the question about source. Is it legitimate to create a cosmology just based on thoughts that occur to you as you ponder the universe? Funny aside: I was talking to a publisher recently who was preparing a manuscript for publication. The topic was historical and his editor kept pointing out places where the author needed to provide bibliographic justification for the "interesting" claims he was making. The author eventually tired of this intrusive behavior, declaring that he didn't really understand the problem. He just wrote the things that came to his head, so there was no need to provide references! Needless to say the project was dropped after that. This strikes me as the same type of thing. Surely it is not out of place to ask for SOME justification beyond "this is what came to me as I was contemplating the stars". Surely we impoverish ourselves by assuming that all important knowledge lies within ourselves. It seems quite narrow and bordering on solipsism.

  2. Adam Pastor says:

    Greetings Pastor ScottOn the subject of the Trinity,I recommend this video:The Human Jesus Take a couple of hours to watch it; and prayerfully it will aid you to reconsider "The Trinity"Yours In MessiahAdam Pastor

  3. Anonymous says:

    Here is a good refute of the above mentioned video.http://searchwarp.com/swa394436.htm

  4. Anonymous says:

    In reference to the first video, I think there is a Christian way to look at the trinity and how we are created in God's image. (However I am not a traditional Christian). God the Father was the mind of Christ, God the spirit was the soul of Jesus, and Jesus himself was the manifestation- the body of God. We are modeled after this given body, mind, and soul. However this has new age overtones.Joshua

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