When Marianne Williamson appeared on Oprah’s show in 1992 promoting her book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles, she sold out the 70,000 copy first printing in one day.
Marianne’s reflections were based upon a book called “A Course In Miracles” written by Helen Shucman, a professor of Medical Psychology at Colombia University who took ‘dictation’ from an ‘inner voice’ that she recognised as Jesus.
In the years since, A Course in Miracles has resulted in an international spiritual movement expressive in two foundations: Inner Peace, an administrative and publishing arm, and the Foundation for A Course in Miracles, with thousands of study groups, hundreds of newsletters, and many teaching centres.
Helen’s Jesus told her the Bible needed correction. It took from 1965 to 1972 to complete all Jesus had to say. I guess Jesus had a lot to correct. Her Jesus began by saying, “This is a course in miracles, please take notes”.
These are some of the corrections that Jesus had to make to the Bible:
God is your identity, you will be like God.
God’s name is holy, but no holier than yours.
To call upon His Name is but to call upon your own.
God Himself is incomplete without me.
God and man are not separated. The writings teach that God and His creation are one.
If you are part of one you must be part of the other, because they are one. The Holy Trinity is holy because it is One. If you exclude yourself from this union, you perceive the Holy Trinity as separated.
There is no separation of God and His creation.
The Kingdom of heaven is the dwelling place of the Son of God, who left not his Father and dwells not apart from Him. Heaven is neither a place nor condition. It is merely the awareness of perfect oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else, nothing outside this oneness, and nothing else within.
We do not need a saviour. We are the sources of our own salvation.
My salvation comes from me. Nothing outside of me can hold me back. Within me is the world’s salvation and my own.
He will teach you how to see yourself without condemnation by learning how to look on everything without it. Condemnation will then not be real to you, and all your errors will be forgiven.
There is no sin, it is all an illusion.
And therefore all your sins have been forgiven because they carried no effects at all. And so they were but dreams.
Do not make the pathetic error of ‘clinging to the old rugged Cross’. The only message of the crucifixion is that you can overcome the Cross. Until then you are free to crucify yourself as often as you choose. This is not the Gospel I intended to offer you.
Helen’s Jesus did not intend to give us the Gospel we have now. He meant to give us the pantheistic (everything is God) bible. He meant to give us the moral relativist bible. He meant to give us the bible which is more aligned with Hinduism than anything else.
I am amazed at how many people believe and adhere to A Course in Miracles. I overheard a woman on a plane in the seat across from me telling her friend she believed every word in it. Many intelligent women take the word of one woman who says she heard voices in her head over the time-tested authenticity of the Bible.
Worse yet, countless churches in America use this book in place of Bible study. Why would they do such a thing? According to one pastor, “My congregation likes it”. I’m sure they do – it absolves them from sin without repentance.
The reason this book plays well for many baby boomers who left the church when they were kids and are now starting to come back is because it sounds like Christianity. The language of the book is very Christian. Since they have little biblical knowledge they are easily duped. For the uninformed, it is the perfect book, combining the familiarity of Christianity with moral relativism and pantheism. Many people today want the comfort the church can give without all the inconvenient repentance part – and certainly not the part that says there is only one way to God.
Marianne Williamson, who has fashioned herself after Helen Shucman and her Course in Miracles attempts to personalise an impersonal God who is an energy or force she calls love.
“The love in one of us is the love in all of us. There’s actually no place where God stops and you start, and no place where you stop and I start. Love is energy, an infinite continuum.”
In this statement, God is impersonal. However, in other parts of the book she prays to him and states that he guides our thoughts and feelings. Again she refers to God as impersonal and then back to personal. She can’t seem to make up her mind. This idea is not uncommon with the New Ager. He may pray to a God whom he sees in his mind, who cares about him in the morning, and then whom he later tries to connect to as a God-like energy by aligning his chakras in the afternoon. At no time does it occur to him that he is living in complete spiritual contradiction.
One of the themes of the New Age is the reference to Jesus and Christ as being separate from each other. Jesus was one who embodied the Christ consciousness, the attitude of complete love and forgiveness, better than anyone else. The Christ consciousness is a goal or an indwelling spirit to be obtained – not a separate God to be worshipped.
New Age writer David Spangler wrote a book titled Reflections on the Christ, in which he states that Jesus was an ordinary (though quite spiritual) human being who became a vehicle through which the Christ manifested himself for a short period of three years.
After this time, at the crucifixion, the Christ departed from the body of Jesus, having fully accomplished his mission.
The Christ is a mighty spirit being (or force) who utilised the body of Jesus in order to become a potent evolutionary influence in man’s development on Earth. The Christ needed the body of Jesus in order to make the transfer from his own realm (that is, the spiritual realm) to the realm of Jesus (that is, the realm of matter and form).
Marianne believes this same concept: Jesus was the one who perfectly embodied the Christ (love) essence and hence is a perfect model for the rest of us. The special thing about Jesus is that he was a perfect vehicle for the ‘Christ’. But we can do just as he did. Jesus fully ‘accepted’ Christ, and so can we!
The concept of a divine, or ‘Christ’ mind, is the idea that, at our core, we are not just identical, but actually the same being. “There is only one begotten Son” doesn’t mean that someone else was it, and we’re not. It means we’re all it….. Christ refers to the common thread of divine love that is the core and essence of every human mind”.
This of course contradicts the Bible. “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
The underlying theme of Marianne Williamson’s belief system goes back to the Bible when Lucifer said we can become like God. In an interview with In Touch magazine, Marianne stated: “Because the world as it is perceived by most people, is a world of finite resources… Jesus was able to do the miracles of the loaves and the fishes because he realised that he was not a being of this world. When we realise that we are not beings of this world, we are freed from being at the effects of those laws.”
Marianne believes we have unlimited power available to us or she would not have written a book about it. However, she has yet to duplicate the miracle Jesus performed with the loaves and the fishes. Granted, she has sold thousands of books and made a lot of money, proving that a great source of wealth can be gained by writing about this subject. Selling 70,000 books after one appearance on Oprah might be considered a miracle.
The poor audience on Oprah’s show ponies up hard-earned money to buy books like this, hoping they too can enjoy the benefits that Marianne promises. Is Marianne right? Or has she followed the philosophy of another great mind to produce her miracle – P.T. Barnum. To paraphrase Barnum’s most notable quote, there is an infinite source of fools born every day looking for God, wealth and happiness in all the wrong places. Marianne and others like her stand ready at the till.
by Brian Flynn – excerpted from “Running Against the Wind”