A Study of the Cults--a Christian Perspective #2
Within every human being lies a conscience that bears the shape of the One True God. When God does not occupy that space, something will fill the void. When God rejecters reject God, that God-shaped vacuum still exists and must be filled with something. When so many people reject the One True God, is there any wonder the cults have flourished in the past century. The further we get from the Truth, the closer we get to accepting lies to fill the void. The number of present day cults is well into the hundreds if not thousands.
One false principle that man uses to fill the void is that of enlightenment. It may be expressed in terms such as “heightened awareness”, “nirvana”, “god-realization”, “cosmic consciousness”, and many other such terms.
It may take the form of zen, yoga, or meditation. It may be in the religious context of Buddhism, Hinduism, Theosophy, or Scientology. But when all the façade is stripped away, we are left with the central truth of enlightenment.
The teaching here is that man’s mind is an obstacle on the path to higher consciousness. “True” understanding comes from exploring the inner self as it reaches god-ward from the soul. Enlightenment does not accept reality, but “reality” becomes an alter-reality.
Chasing after enlightenment is like chasing the wind.
Those chasing after enlightenment can not be dealt with using logic. Logic is reality and has no place in enlightenment. Feelings and emotions are what matters. While devotees seek the “light of the inner man” that leads to godhood, Jesus Christ declared, “…I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” All spiritual Light comes only from Christ.
Although the methods of practice may differ, there are three areas that are common to cultic activity involving enlightenment. They are 1.) the mind and body inhibit the attainment of truth because of their confining sensory capacity. 2.) A universal unity of spirit pervades the universe. This includes all the nature of God as well as the souls of man. 3.) Time, space, and matter are all an illusion, therefore sin is a figment of the imagination.
In John 5: 24 Jesus says again, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” Jesus was using logic. Hear. Weigh the evidence. Examine the facts.
Enlightenment is just the opposite. Reason is thrown out the spiritual window and replaced with trances and altered consciences. Reality and reason have no place.
A Case Study
A blind woman came to the office of a psychiatrist who told her this. “Say a prayer to your higher self and Almighty God. Your mental body will leave your physical body and come back down in the life having the answers to the questions you have posed.” Her question—why was I born blind?
Through the practice of past-lives therapy and hypnotism, the woman found herself back in New York in 1943. She had just had a fight with her boyfriend and had thrown a bottle at him. Moving forward in time, she sees her boyfriend again—this time with a patch over his eye. She was now ready to return to her body in the present.
She now understood. She would be punished in this life for her anger in a past life. It was necessary to be punished to work out her karma. This was the lesson that she learned. “My higher self says I must learn to control myself in this life.”
The story is true. Whether or not the facts are true is a different matter, but for sure, past-lives therapists have no shortage of appointments.
Reincarnation is one of the fastest growing cults in the world. In America, Hollywood fuels the belief. Films such as Trance, Return, Audrey Rose, and even the playful Jack Frost portray reincarnation as an accepted belief.
The film Audrey Rose was adapted from a book by Frank De Felitta. After hearing his six year old child sit down at a piano and playing wonderful music (after never having lessons) he decided his child must have been a reincarnation of a past great musician. The child said that his fingers moved spontaneously without any conscious effort.
I do not want to pour water on anybody’s fire, but the devil can cause fingers to move spontaneously and without conscious effort. As a matter of fact, a phenomenon called automatic writing fits the category. While in a trance, the hand begins to move across the page and in a few seconds whole books or songs are written. Many rock musicians give credit to the automatic writing of their songs.
Reincarnation finds its way into many cults. Although we will not
study all of these, some of the more popular are Scientology,
Hinduism, Rosicrucianism, Unity School of Christianity, Hare Krishna, Theosophy, and Urantia. Reincarnation has gained acceptance and respectability. You do not have to go to some exotic cult to find teaching on reincarnation. Statistics tell us that more than 60% of Americans see reincarnation as a likely possibility.
The word “reincarnation” comes from the Latin words “in carnis”, which means “in the flesh”. It refers to the cyclical evolution of a man’s soul as it passes to a new body at death. This continues until the soul reaches a state of perfection and returns to its source. True reincarnation can only take place in a human body.
The Hindus practice a belief in transmigration. Transmigration is the belief that the soul can return in other substances, either organic or inorganic. This teaching is more suited to Hinduism in the east. Westerners prefer the belief of reincarnation because it would be more pleasant to come back as another person rather than a bug or a rock. In transmigration the soul returns to an earthly object based on its past karma.
Karma, although it has undergone many definitions over the centuries, has come to represent the immutable law of reaping what has been sown. The idea is that with each successive incarnation, punishment is meted to purify the soul. It was this purifying or refining process that was meant to prepare the soul to return to absorption with the Universal Soul from which it came.
In the long run it is karma that allows man to justify his sin. He is only working on the difficulties from past lives. What he does not get right in this life, he will have the opportunity to correct in the next.
Karma and reincarnation promise an eventual release of guilt. Man is still sinful even if he does not believe in the concept of sin. It still nags him as he looks to fill that empty God-shaped void. Reincarnation also helps to falsely explain the age old problem of human suffering. Birth defects, handicaps, low I.Q.’s etc. can all very neatly be explained. The only problem is, none of it is true.
Part 3 will arrive shortly.