The church has been under attack forever, but in the last fifty years eastern mysticism has found it’s way into the church. Pantheism is believing that God is in everything and it’s the seed of this thought that has found its way into the church. It is something I have struggled with over time because I believed that if God created everything then all must come from God, but that is wrong. God is NOT inside each of us, but the Holy Spirit can come into each of us who asks Jesus / Yeshua to come into our heart and build his kingdom there. If you want to hear a wonderful testimony, how Christianity does NOT teach reincarnation and never did. How the deception that has found it’s way into the church has caused so much loss and how many blessings can come from learning the truth, then this is for you:
In Mike’s search for truth, God worked amazing synchronicity into his life. Rather than debating theological points, his friend just told him “TRY JESUS”!
From Mike’s site:
Salvation Testimony: Mike Shreve was raised a Roman Catholic in a military family, but in his teen years drifted away from religion altogether. A near death experience during his freshman year in college caused him to turn his heart toward the pursuit of God. That year, in an effort to find the truth, he began studying under an Indian guru. Eventually, he became a teacher of Kundalini Yoga and meditation techniques at five Florida universities. He also formed and directed a yoga ashram in Tampa, Florida. Thank God his eyes were opened to the power of the cross and the uniqueness of Jesus when he was born again in the fall of 1970. His testimony is a powerful outreach to those who are seeking God and the Truth through Far Eastern religions. Click here to read Mike’s testimony.
Mike has an article on his site called: “Identifying The True Light”, and I will post a little bit of it, but I encourage you to read it in full here.
Do doctrinal differences between various sects have any relevance since, according to some belief systems, we are all headed for the same Ultimate Destiny anyway?
I believe that the sum of all the information we have covered in this book creates a serious theological hurdle for those who believe ‘all religions are one.’ At this juncture, most likely, we are in full agreement that ONLY ONE of the following two conclusions can be embraced:
(1) A person’s religious belief system is relatively unimportant (because all the varied doctrines and rituals are just shadowy representations, often misrepresentations, of some Ultimate Reality into which all will eventually be absorbed anyway),
(2) A person’s religious belief system is of absolute importance (because there is only one correct interpretation of truth, one path that leads from this present existence into that Ultimate Destiny which is eternal and glorious).
If the former is true, it would be impossible for the adherents of various sects to place their complete trust in any religious book: the Qur’an of Islam, the Bible of Christianity, the Torah of Judaism, the Adi Granth of Sikhism, the Avesta of Zoroastrianism, the Tao Te Ching of Taoism or the Vedas of Hinduism. None of these ‘holy writings’ can be taken literally anyway. There is no standard by which to judge the truthfulness of the doctrinal claims of any religious group. Totally contradictory beliefs can all be blended together into one homogenous whole. Exploring different religious theories may satisfy the intellectual curiosity of the ‘seeker for truth,’ but no dependable, lasting conclusions can ever be reached.
If the latter is true, it is absolutely essential to discover that unchanging standard of unquestionable truth that grants a successful passage from time into eternity. Yes, the vital essence of life is to identify the “True Light” and walk in its brilliance all the days of our earthly sojourn. The next section in this book will help you do that very thing.
Mike goes on to say :
“First, I do not disregard the sincerity, goodness and spiritual zeal that are often discovered in persons whose beliefs are sometimes non-biblical.
How genuine rings the admission of Paramahansa Yogananda, “FerventlyI implored Christ to guide me in divining the true meaning of his words!”1 I do not doubt that Yogananda was deeply sincere in asking for such guidance. I do doubt that he actually obtained it. Anyone who reads the prayers of Yogananda will quickly sense that he was a true lover of God. Unfortunately, though-just as I did, and as many others do-he tried to fit the message and life of Jesus into the framework of a Far Eastern worldview.He tried to assign to Jesus a role similar to a yogi or an eastern mystic. To do so is like attempting to force a square peg into a round hole. Even the Dalai Lama admitted that trying to meld Jesus into a Buddha-like figure “is like putting a yak’s head on a sheep’s body.”2 It doesn’t work. The two are just not compatible. Their messages and methods are oceans apart.
Second, I do not deny that there are common elements in almost all religions that have great worth.
I rejoice to concede: there are aspects of truth in all religions that are universally acceptable and universally beneficial. However, the presence of some truth does not authenticate, validate or substantiate an entire belief system.Besides, as Arthur S. Holmes so aptly put it, “All truth is God’s truth wherever you find it.”Mahatma Ghandi, whose life and character I deeply admire,felt that all “religions are true,” yet evidently flawed. Lamenting the situation, he explained they have been “interpreted with poor intellects,sometimes with poor hearts, and more often misinterpreted.”3 Though I cannot agree that all worldviews are basically true, I must admit that they have all been subject to misinterpretation-even Christianity!
There are actually two different types of Christians in this world: professing Christians and possessing Christians.
Professing Christians have a historical view of Jesus, what he accomplished and the message he preached; yet they lack a personal relationship with him. Possessing Christians not only know and appreciate the former; they possess the latter.Their ‘Christianity’ is not based on being christened at birth into some Christian denomination, or being born into a predominantly Christian society. It does not hinge on rituals and ceremonies. Rather, it rests on the heart-changing experience of being “born again.” While on earth, Jesus revealed to his disciples, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3) It is not enough to know about the Lord Jesus Christ; it is necessary to actually know him.
Buddhism teaches that misery results from self-centeredness and that to change this condition, we must strive to do all things right. This is true.
· Confucianism emphasizes the essential goodness of human nature, as a potential implanted by God. This is true.
· Hinduism teaches that union with the Divine is the goal of existence. This is true.
· Islam teaches that man’s goal should be submission to a sovereign and omnipotent God who administers both judgments and rewards. This is true.
· Jainism teaches that self-renunciation is essential to salvation. This is true.
· Sikhism teaches discipleship to the one true God, reverencing and trusting in his name. This is true.
· Shinto teaches reverence for the beauty of creation and for purity of heart. This is true.
· Taoism teaches that understanding life involves discerning and comprehending the dualities and opposites that make up this world. This is true.
· Zoroastrianism teaches active co-operation with a cosmic Power of goodness in a struggle against evil. This is true also.4
All of these doctrinal generalizations are basically true(though the words, ideas and concepts communicated must be placed within the framework of a Christian worldview in order to be interpreted correctly). Still,it is noteworthy that these parallel perceptions, concerning both the human condition and man’s connection with the Divine, have been evidenced in many world religions.
As R. Eugene Sterner points out:
“The laws of God are written in the tissues of our bodies, in the process of our minds, in the avenues of our souls, and in the fabric of society…They are part of your very nature.”
And as Plato insisted:
“The world is God’s epistle to mankind-his thoughts are flashing upon us from every direction.”
Once again, this does not imply that the bulk of doctrinal beliefs in all world religions are accurate and universally acceptable. Though the seed-like concepts listed on the previous page are all found planted in the soil of Christianity, many other beliefs of these various religions would not be found growing in the ground of biblical revelation.
When it comes to the most important points of theology like the exact nature of God, the full plan of salvation, the securing of a right relationship with the Creator and the precise means of inheriting eternal life,Christianity stands alone as a singular beacon of hope to the entire human race.
What is the Nature of Truth?