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To the editor: I am teaching high school students the classic works of Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman, which in another lifetime I had to absorb in someone else’s classroom.
Even then, these authors were not high on my personal “hit parade.” They were the leaders of the 19th century pseudo-religion that accepted the moral teachings of Jesus but denied the divinity of Christ.
They asserted the divinity of man while renouncing historic Christianity.
I found the writings of these greatly esteemed men to be not so much wise as heretical, egocentric and godless, and I realized then it was possible to be both brilliant and wrong.
While their transcendentalism died out at the end of the 19th century, the foundational precepts of its godless teachings have remained alive and well.
A recent YouTube story shows that, once again, the gullible-faithful are beating path—this time not to Walden Pond but to the cyber-church of Oprah.
From that story: “Have you heard about the largest church in the world? Its first service was on March 8 and 300,000 people attended. The latest count shows two million followers. Their first mass-trance was March 17.
“Some of their teachings are: Who you are requires no belief; Heaven is not a place, it is the inner realm of your consciousness; My mind is part of God’s mind; I am very holy—my holiness is my salvation; There is no such thing as sin; and the man on the cross is the archetypal image of every man. Do not make the pathetic mistake of ‘clinging to the old rugged cross.’ The message of the crucifixion is that you can overcome the cross!”
Oprah continues: “There are millions of ways to reach what some call God. What difference does it make what you call your path as long as we all wind up in the same place?”
When challenged by a woman in the audience who asked, “What about Jesus,” Oprah responded, “What about Jesus?”
The woman went on, “There is only one way. Jesus is the way,” to which Oprah said, “There can’t be just one way.” The woman replied, “Because you say there can’t be one way?” Oprah cut her off with, “I’m not getting into a religious debate with you!”
But the woman was right. The First Commandment says, “Thou shall have no other Gods before me.” God wants us to worship, not the path, not the light, not nature, not ourselves, but Him.
In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes unto the Father but by Me.” Jesus never said, “There are many paths or ways to God and I am one of them.” He said, “I am the way.”
Oprah is also backing Obama for President. He too has bought into this cyber-church that was originally started by a man named Eckhard Tolle.
As I watched Tolle lead his powerful, wealthy guru in a “breathing in silence” exercise, I thought the two of them should ponder this in the midst of all their mystical quiet: “If two million people do a silly thing, it is still a silly thing.”