New Age 6


Solipsism

We’re going to partly combine two of the major problems with the N.A.M.

When I was 14, I conceived of what seemed to me to be a novel new idea. It occurred to me that…

  1. only I am inside my head
  2. what my reality is, is only my perception
  3. my perception can be misled
  4. therefore… there is no absolute evidence that there is anyone but me in the universe.

This is what you’d call extreme solipsism. Solipsism is the conception of “what my reality is, is only my perception”. Yes, I used to sit around and philosophize when I was a boy. Nobody understood me then.

Almost nobody understands me now, so, I’ve improved slightly.

The N.A.M. has a strong solipsism contingent. The most notable proponent of this in the NAM is Shirley MacLaine, best known for her performance in “The Trouble With Harry” by Alfred Hitchcock.

Sorry, I don’t see a lot of movies. I saw that years ago, and it was such a quirky movie.

Shirley Maclaine is apparently best known to the general public for her movie or tv show on the New Age Movement where apparently she wandered around on a beach that God made, and proclaimed loudly amidst the thundering surf, “I am god!”

Using the thought process of Extreme Solipsism, the New Ager adds one completely illogical thought to solipsism.

  1. only I am inside my head
  2. what my reality is, is only my perception
  3. my perception can be misled
  4. therefore… there is no absolute evidence that there is anyone but me in the universe.
  5. Therefore I am god.

If you took the time to analyze my pathetic use of logic (I was 14 – forgive me), you’ll see my own conclusions were fairly illogical. But even I in my childhood did not cross the line to conclusion number 5.

Here’s how we defeat solipsism. It’s called a punch in the nose. Someone doesn’t like you, and they land one right on the schnozz. As you recoil, eyes watering, you realize that conclusion 4 is light years away from correct thinking. Thouless would have scolded me greatly.

There’s absolute evidence that others exist in this world. It does not benefit me at all if I’m the only person and the universe, and I gain weight when I eat too much candy. It does not benefit me at all if there’s something I want, and I cannot afford it. If I am only-man, then I should direct my perception of reality to that where I have unlimited resources. Or better yet… I have everything I want.

So, solipsism was a bad case of flawed logic. I was 14. It lasted about a month and a half. Then I realized it was really stupid. What makes no sense to me is solipsists who are older than 14, and have held onto the views for YEARS.

If I were writing a book about this (how useless, really) I’d probably call it “A punch in the nose: the uselessness of Solipsism”.

I was interested to note that as I researched this, there’s someone else who’s identified the Solipsistic nature of much of the new age.

Here’s the bottom line. At some point, you’re going to die. We dealt with the reincarnation thing already. That’s busted. You’re going to have to face the real God, who’s going to ask you uncomfortable questions about your “I am god” declaration. And when you ask Him to save you, He’s doubtless going to reply…

“you’re a god. Save yourself.”

And your eternity in Hell is going to be horrific.

You’re not God. You’re not even a god. you are human.

You are flawed. You are often wrong. You are a selfish, hating, sinful, angry, covetous, blasphemous, lying, adulterous thief. And so are we all.

Now, examine God. God is utterly Holy. God is THRICE holy, if you can imagine that. God is complete Holiness. He is Omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (everywhere at once, not limited by time or space) and omnipotent (all powerful, without limit).

You are claiming to be god. But there’s so many problems with that.

Do you have an origin? You had at some point, a birth. You therefore are not omnipresent. You therefore are not God.

Jesus Christ was pre-existent before His birth. He had knowledge of His existence from birth. We do not completely understand the complexity of the self limiting of Jesus Christ. But He is described in Isaiah as the unto is a child is born, unto us a son is given, wonderful, counselor, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of peace.

Jesus Christ is God. But you demote Him to man, and you elevate yourself to a god. As a matter of fact, you declare yourself to be alone God. By crying out “I am god!” on a borrowed beach, where the crashing waves demonstrate that you indeed are not god, you are declaring yourself to be the only God.

Are you omnipotent? Are you omniscient? Are you Omnipresent? If so, please go downstairs and bring me another cup of coffee, please. No, you don’t need a jet to get to my house. You’re omnipresent, remember???

To be God, you must have existed forever. You must know all things. You must be able to do anything, at any time. Show me you’re God. Make the sun stand in the sky while Israel defeats its enemies. Or split the Red Sea, so that Israel can walk across on dry land.

Feed Israel manna from the skies. I’ll wait right here, humming a little tune to myself.

Hmmm… quite a delay! Is there a problem?

Oh. I see. You’re not God.

A finite, sinful being cannot be God. A finite sinful person needs God.

you need God.

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New Age 2


25% of people say they believe in reincarnation.

42% say they’ve been in contact with someone that has died.

15% endorse the work of spirit mediums and channelers.

67% read horiscope columns in the newspaper.

50% believe in ESP.

The New Age is extremely powerful. The New Age practitioners include many politicians and influential personalities (note – the ability to pretend your someone else does not automatically give you an open platform to air your political or religious views!).

While people seem to think it first appeared in the 1960’s, the New Age has been around for quite a long time – making the New Age not so new!

The original New Age movement originally started as the Mystery Religion of Babylon. The proponents of new age often cite old Druidic origins of it, but they’re often doing this out of ignorance. Most New Age adherents cannot cite their own history.

The Mystery Religion of Babylon placed experience over knowledge. Ecstatic emotional state was believed to lift one into a higher realm of existence, where one could emotionally be in contact with deity. Recently I listened to a John MacArthur sermon (still working on my Master’s Thesis, and searching for quotes) where MacArthur gave quote after quote on the Mystery Religions in Corinth, where pretty much things hadn’t changed religion wise since it first came from Babylon.

There are some differences, of course. Animal Sacrifice was done in those days. The mystery religions spread throughout the world, carried with them by the peoples who left the Middle East for Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas and all points in between.

the modern new age movement came together from a number of unusual sources. One of the roots of it is Swedeborgianism. Emmanuel Swedenborg was a self professed mystic who claimed the ability to speak to angels and demons – kind of a stupid claim, since, well – demons are angels. And unless you’re born again, Angels are not likely to speak to you, so… three guesses who Swedenborg was speaking to. Swedenborg was born in 1688, and began his mystery religion, which he apparently viewed as a divergent form of Christianity.

It was now, for the first time, too, that he gave a deep consideration to the condition of the Christian Church, revealed in otherworld judgment to be one of spiritual devastation and impotency. To serve in the revelation of “doctrine for a New Church” became his Divinely appointed work. He forwent his reputation as a man of science, gave up his assessorship, cleared his desk of everything but the Scriptures. He beheld in the Word of God a spiritual meaning, as he did a spiritual world in the world of phenomena. In revealing both of these the Lord, he said, made His Second Coming.

— The Gist of Swedenborg, pg. 4

Swedenborgianism presented itself as a form of Christianity, when it in reality was yet another esoteric cult. Swedenborgianism maintained pockets of adherents in the United States.

Swedenborgianism joined forces with Franz Mesmer to create the New Thought phenomenon, popularized by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, surfacing today as the cousin of the New Age movement, the Charismatic movement. While all three movements were separate, it was truly Quimby, among others, who began to popularize the esoteric teachings.

The movement was lumped into a grab bag called spiritualism, which serves as the precursor to the New Age. As it passed into the 19th Century, it met with the bizarre teachings of Madame Helena Blatavsky, a woman living in Aisia who claimed to be a Russian. She founded the THeosophical Society (meaning Theos, God, and Sophos, knowledge).

This is where the odd and cultic origins of New Age really get bizarre. Blatavsky claims to have met “Ascended Masters” (to use the modern term) who instructed her to go to Tibet to learn more. Later critics would claim these people were fictitious, and Blatavsky actually spent the time in Europe. She claimed psychic powers that the masters had taught her how to use these powers. She led a bizarre life, but her most hard fought battle was in trying to change the Spiritualist belief that the spirits they were talking to were “The dead”, and instead that of “ascended masters” and “Angelic beings”.

Blatavsky claimed to study of the Kabbalah in Mentanah, which is extremely doubtful that any Rabbi would teach a Gentile woman Kabbalah. She also claimed during the same time to fight in war disguised as a man. Blatavsky’s life is difficult to research, as she made wildly contradictory claims and falsified facts and events throughout her life.

Oddly enough, Blatavsky’s teachings of the Theosophical Society gathered momentum, based upon books she wrote, which were devoured by the 19th century Europe and America.

The Theosophical teachings gained the most influence in the oddest of places…

Germany.

The Thule societies arose, building upon Spiritualism, Swedeborgianism, Theosophy and New Thought, and wrapping it in German folklore and the operas of Wagner (!), to become the Thule Society. The Thule society’s teachings really become the breeding grounds from which the modern New Age sprung. The Thule Society chose as its emblem the symbol of rebirth used in Asia, the Swastika. Surprisingly, the German Army, a little suspicious of any movement gaining ground, actually used to place spies in every society group. The Thule Society managed to influence a political group known as the National Socialist party, who wrapped the Thule/Theosophy/Swedenborg/New Thought/Spritualist teachings into one political movement, based upon GErman Nationalism. So the German Army placed a spy in this group – and set in motion events that cost the lives of millions of people.

The spy they chose was an Austrian Corporal who had enlisted in the German army.

Adolph Hitler.

Hitler took the Thule/National Socialist party teachings, and enflamed an entire nation in the rhetoric of occultism, manifest destiny, and German folklore. Riding it to power, he very nearly conquered much of the known world. When the Third Reich crashed, the teachings of the Thule Society migrated everywhere its adherents moved to avoid prosecution in war trials.

It went underground in the US, and managed to find one more key to the puzzle.

The Seventh Day Adventists had a falling out in the late 19th century, over the leadership and working of Dr. Kellogg (see my writings on the Seventh Day Adventist cult for more information). The group involved in the Kellogg affair finally uncovered evidence that Ellen G. White was plagiarizing a great number of Christian and sometimes cultic writings, such as the Book of mormon. When the break finally occurred and Ellen White excommunicated some of the Kellogg group, they were in a quandry. They’d lost faith in Ellen White, knew of her plagiarism, but were too indoctrinated in her cult.

So they wrote a book. Urantia. The Urantia papers still are popular among the members of the New Age Movement. It’s bizarre doublespeak influenced many, and set the stage for the last key to the New Age puzzle. It combined many of the teachings of Swedenborg, New Thought, Christian Science, Theosophy, etc.

The Beatles.

The Beatles held an almost religious influence upon their fans. As one person once wrote, “when the Beatles grew their hair long, we grew our hair long. When they dropped acid, we dropped acid. When they went Hindu, we went Hindu.”

Paul McCartney followed George Harrison into the Hindu religion. McCartney pulled out of it after becoming disillusioned by the Yogi they wer following. Harrison never renounced his Hindu beliefs, and the last recording he did before dying of brain cancer ended with Hindu chantings.

McCartney simply took more of a syncretionistic view of religion. And as the most popular Beatle, he proceeded to set the stage for millions of Beatle fans, who grew their hair, dropped acid, and got into Hinduism.

The closest we ever came to disaster for Christians and Christianity was a Beatles fan who dropped acid, grew his hair, dropped out of the army, and began studying Hinduism – until he picked up a hitch-hiker with a bicycle. They drove from Florida to Mexico and back, arguing all the while about Religion. The hitch-hiker was a Christian evangelist, and the Hindu devotee was David Cloud.

History shows who won that argument! Cloud has, by the way, never lost an argument since.

When the Beatles broke up, millions of fans had nowhere to turn for guidance. Some got more into Hinduism. Some went into Buddhism. Some found the Urantia papers.

The 1950’s through 1970’s was crazy for occultism. Books and TV specials were flying off the presses about UFO’s, Bigfoot, the Bermuda Triangle, ghosts, vanishings nad disappearances. The most popular science fiction storys went from “space exploration” to Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land”, a blasphemous fiction piece about a New Age messiah who was a man from Mars, who attempted to teach people Martian language and religion.

The “Stranger in a strange land” book grew very popular with hippies, and in many ways was the start of the hippie movement. When the Beatles broke up, it got even more popular. The next step for its fans was to find anything remotely like it. they found Urantia.

I suppose I should mention the truly bizarre book called “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”, which was written through “spirit channeling”.

The New Age movement was born out of all this mess. You’re interested in ancient Celtic religion, thanks to a low budget UK movie about a Burning Man? You can combine that with Urantia to form New Age. You into Hinduism? You can combine that with flying saucerws and Atlantis. You into Ghosts? Room for them too.

Atlantis myths furnished crystals, which became the next piece of the puzzle. People began searching for any writing they could find that was occultic. Even the Thule society teachings were spread. And it really went wild when Edgar Cayce was discovered. The “Sleeping Prophet” supposedly gave predictions, and his followers proudly explain he read the Bible through every year. Did him no good, as he died without Christ.

And of course, the next spirit channeled books, such as “Jesus calling” and “Seth Speaks” came out.

All the new age really was waiting on at that point was Yanni, really. Beads and bracelets became crystals, figurines, buddhas, peace signs.

So now we have the history of the hodge podge that is the NAM, and we can begin!

Proofs of Christianity 17


Since I’m dealing with the Dr. Ray Hagins issue at the request of a friend, I re-posted an article from just two weeks ago, as it is apparently very timely.

A favorite tactic of some Jewish anti-missionaries is this – to attempt to claim Jesus never existed. I’m going to quote from my rabbi, who in his gravelly voice made a sound of disdain and replied, “The Gemara says he existed. Toledot Yeshu says he existed. They don’t know what they’re talking about.” This was from a man who was definitely no follower or fan of Jesus. I’m sure if he found out I was now a Christian, he’d be banging on my door in some anger.

Toledot Yeshu is a Jewish book speaking of Jesus. It is, to be blunt, a book full of hostile conjecture and lies, claiming Jesus had a human father, a Roman soldier named Pantera (kind of an odd name for a Roman, really), that Jesus could fly, practiced sorcery, and had discovered the complete name of God using Egyptian magic, and tattooed it on his flesh – thus giving him miraculous powers.

The Gemara is the Talmud, which attempts to claim Jesus was a disciple of the great Rabbi Hillel, but after a disagreement, turned to idolatry. it also lays claim to Jesus being crucified during the correct time period, which according to the Talmud’s version of things, would have made Jesus 130 years old or so.

my point here today is not to refute these two books – they do a fine job of that all on their own – but rather, to cite two hostile witnesses that bear evidence that Jesus existed.

I’ve never refuted the Loch Ness monster or Bigfoot on my blog, because well… I don’t think they exist. The Jewish people simply would not waste time refuting the existence of someone who had never existed.

Now, that right there is going to get complaints. There’s a couple of readers who get angry whenever I attempt to forecast someone’s motivations. “You can’t possibly know their motivations!” is the objections. Yes I can, because their own actions (or lack thereof) exhibit their motivations. Police officers and District Attorneys do it ALL THE TIME in a court of law, and no judge ever overrules it. The defense counsel does not object – indeed, the defense counsel often attempts to forecast the motivations of the other parties involved as part of their defense!

So, let’s not hear that motivation argument again.

So, if two hostile witnesses claim Jesus existed, they have nothing to gain and everything to lose if Jesus Christ was a myth.

Thallus wrote of Jesus Christ in AD 52, and was quoted by Julius Africanus 170 years later.

Cornelius Tacitus mentions Jesus Christ in his Annals, written around 100 AD. He also mentions Christians in the account of the burning of the Temple in his Histories, written around 70 AD.

Yesterday, I made mention of the Nazarene Inscription, further proof of Jesus Christ.

Suetonius wrote of Christians causing problems due to their religion at the behest of “chrestus”.

Plinius Secundus writes of Christians and their faith in Christ, and how difficult it was to get most of them to deny Christ, as they held Him to be a God. Written around AD 112.

Tertullian also testified of Jesus Christ around AD 137

justin Martyr wrote of Jesus Christ in AD 150.

Flavius Josephus also wrote of Jesus Christ, and James His half brother.

Lucian of Samosota mocked Christianity and Jesus Christ in his The Passing Pegrinus. Written around 200 AD, it attests to the existence of Christ.

If Jesus never existed, there’s a lot of documentary evidence, about half of it from hostile sources, attesting to His existence!

It’s time people abandoned the “Jesus never existed” approach. It’s really silly, and too easily disproved.

Proofs of Christianity 16


12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. Exodus 12:12 (KJV)

Now, let me address another part of Dr. Hagins’s assertion – that the worship of Egypt is the true god, and the true religion, and that Europeans stole it. Again, I will not be able to answer all of this tonight, but may be able to answer more in detail this weekend…

Let me ask some simple questions Dr. Hagins has not considered.

If Egypt is the true religion, i.e., the true god is the Egyptian pantheon of Horus, Semiramis, Ra, Set, Anubis, etc…

  1. why did the Egyptian religion fail? If the Egyptian mythos is the true religion, would not Ra be angered that all persons had left their worship? Would they not be punishing the world for forsaking them?
  2. What exactly are the plagues Egypt swore would befall the world for forsaking their mythos? where are these prophecies written, and where is the historical fulfillment of those plagues or curses?
  3. why have the Egyptian holy writings not survived intact, miraculously preserved like the Bible has been?
  4. where have the followers of Ra been, since 50 BC?
  5. what fulfilled prophecies and miracles prove the Egyptian religion is the true religion?
  6. If the Egyptian religion is the true religion, why did Ra, Horus, Set, and the others allow the God of the Hebrews to utterly humiliate them during the 10 plagues and afterwards during the Exodus?
  7. if the Egyptian mythos is the true religion, why did the legends, beliefs and practices of that religion change over time?
  8. are the Egyptian pantheon capricious and fickle? Why would they change the legends, beliefs and practices of their religion if they were the true religion?
  9. Why is it only the rulers of Egypt were permitted to enter the afterlife? what about the common Egyptian? Where is their elaborate pyramids?
  10. What are the Egyptian doctrines of sin and atonement? if the Egyptian gods are the true gods, how do you bridge the gap when you’ve offended them? If you have sinned and offended your gods, your sin offerings are tainted by your hands… so how can you atone for them? and if the Egyptian gods are going to atone for them, when did they do it, and which one elected to do it? Where in the Egyptian writings is this recorded in prophecy then fulfilled?
  11. If the afterlife of the Egyptians is limited to the Pharaohs, then for heaven’s sake what’s the point? Are YOU a Pharaoh? If not, you better amass one big army and get ready for a nasty fight, because the Egyptian military is no joke – and they’re not just about to sit back and let you conquer their country with an offended, “I say! That’s very rude!”
  12. How do we benefit from these doctrines if we are not Pharaohs? Trust me, Egyptian motif decor around your house does not make you a Pharaoh. How do we benefit, without our own elaborate tombs? and why does it require elaborate tombs? To launch us into the afterlife? If the Egyptian gods are so powerful, can’t they give you a boost, or afoot-up? how about a jump start, or reaching down a hand or a ladder for you to climb up?
  13. And if you do build your elaborate tomb, what difference does it make if it’s not exactly perfect? What if its 500 feet on one side, and 500 feet 2 inches on another? Does that affect it at all? Everyone makes a big deal about the supposed perfection of the Great Pyramid – what about the Bent Pyramid??? Did its owner make it into the afterlife? “sorry buddy – you hired cheap labor!”

So, now, let me start answering the video, now that I’ve asked these questions.

Dr. Hagins makes a big deal about the stories of the Bible supposedly being stolen from Egypt. it’s interesting to me that several people have placed challenges for Dr. Hagins to produce any documentary evidence for his claims, and he has yet to avail himself of any of the reward money, which amounts to tens of thousands of dollars. If someone were to place a challenge to me to produce documents I had in my possession and the reward was $10,000 or more, I’d be driving to the bank to deposit that cash!

Dr. Norman Geisler, author of more than 70 books, writes, “The first real parallel of a dying and rising god does not appear until A.D. 150, more than a hundred years after the origin of Christianity. So if there was any influence of one on the other, it was the influence of the historical event of the New Testament [resurrection] on mythology, not the reverse. The only known account of a god surviving death that predates Christianity is the Egyptian cult god Osiris. In this myth, Osiris is cut into fourteen pieces, scattered around Egypt, then reassembled and brought back to life by the goddess Isis. However, Osiris does not actually come back to physical life but becomes a member of a shadowy underworld…This is far different than Jesus’ resurrection account where he was the gloriously risen Prince of life who was seen by others on earth before his ascension into heaven….even if there are myths about dying and rising gods prior to Christianity, that doesn’t mean the New Testaments writers copied from them. The fictional TV show Star Trek preceded the U.S. Space Shuttle program, but that doesn’t mean that newspaper reports of space shuttle missions are influenced by Star Trek episodes!” (I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be An Atheist, 2004, p. 312).

Dr. Ronald Nash, the author of many books including The Meaning of History and The Gospel andthe Greeks: Did the New Testament Borrow from Pagan Thought? writes, “Which mystery gods actually experienced a resurrection from the dead? Certainly no early texts refer to any resurrectionof Attis. Attempts to link the worship of Adonis to a resurrection are equally weak. Nor is the case for a resurrection of Osiris any stronger. After Isis gathered together the pieces of Osiris’s dismembered body, he became “Lord of the Underworld.”….And of course no claim can be made that Mithras was a dying and rising god. French scholar Andre Boulanger concludes: “The conception that the god dies and is resurrected in order to lead his faithful to eternal life is represented in no Hellenistic mystery religion.” (The Gospel and the Greeks: Did the NewTestament Borrow from Pagan Thought?, p. 161-162)

Dr. Gary Habermas and Dr. J.P. Moreland write, “Not one clear case of any alleged resurrection teaching appears in any pagan text before the late second century A.D., almost one hundred years after the New Testament was written.” (Cited by Dan Story in The Christian Combat Manual: Helps for Defending your Faith: A Handbook for Practical Apologetics, 2007, p. 206).

The Claims of Dr. Hagins are astoundingly similar to the Zeitgeist movie, so much so I have to wonder if Hagins was influenced by it? This kind of shoddy research has been going on since the 1960’s. What it amounts to is the speculate writings of someone in the 60’s, who was quickly refuted by Christian Apologists. However, the writings would be quoted by someone else without bothering to research, and lo and behold, we have to answer it again. And again. and again.

Dr. Ben Witherington says, “There was no such thing as the concept of bodily resurrection in Egyptian religion, and certainly not of a mythological deity, Horus, was not believed to have a human body. Sometimes commentators will use the term resurrection to speak loosely about an afterlife in another world, not a bodily return to this world.” (“The Zeitgeist of the ‘Zeitgeist Movie'”)

Michael Houdmann says, “Horus becoming a teacher at age 12 (mimicking the account of Jesus at the temple as a youth) is nowhere to be found in accounts of Horus; neither are there any statements to the effect that he had 12 “disciples.” According to the Horus accounts, Horus had four semi-gods that were followers and some indications of 16 human followers and an unknown number of blacksmiths that went into battle with him. No accounts of Horus being betrayed are found in his portrayals and he certainly did not die by crucifixion in any account. There is an incident described in one story of Horus being torn to pieces, with Iris requesting that the crocodile god pull him out of the water, but the movie does not mention this, as it does not fit their agenda. Further, the movie puts the account of Horus as originating in 3000 B.C., which predates the invention and practice of crucifixion, so there is another historical problem that must be overcome. The claims of Horus being buried for three days and resurrected are not to be found in any ancient Egyptian texts, either. Some accounts have Osiris being brought back to life by Isis and going to be the lord of the underworld. But there is no mention of a burial for three days and no mention of his physically coming out of a grave in the same physical body he went in with and never dying again. And there is certainly no account of Horus dying for others as Jesus did. In the end, the attempt to prove Horus was a picture/forerunner of Jesus simply fails from lack of any historical evidence.” (“Is There Any Validity to the Zeitgeist Movie?”)

The Zeitgeist movie began trucking out the same tired “stolen religion” conspiracies we’d been hearing since the 60’s. How did these originate?

“The Beatles. The Beatles grew long hair, we grew long hair. The Beatles dropped acid, we dropped acid. The Beatles discovered Hinduism, we discovered Hinduism.” a Beatles Fan (sorry this is another quote out of the memory banks – I don’t remember who said it – David Gerrold?)

Hippies began looking into Hinduism, because their idols began looking into it. Sloppy research led some to believe the quote of some Hindu Yogi’s that “Jesus came to India to study Hinduism”, and that was circulated for a long time. Others began to add the Attis (or Apis) Cult claims, then adding Mithra into it, then Hercules, etc. I can remember having a book listing all those claims like an encyclopedia. If all you did was read a book like that, it would be devastating. Unfortunately, ALL the claims were stretched beyond truth, or the product of shoddy research, and “a friend said that a friend said that a friend said…”

Bottom line is… this stuff has been circulated over and over again since around 1967. And it’s been refuted time and time again.

now Mr. Hagins is using shoddy research to push the same thing, this time borrowing the same “research” to push his agenda. It amounts to the same thing, just from an Egyptian perspective. I’ve already answered many of his claims with this series, and today (again) I’m only briefly answering what he’s got on this series. It would require an entire month’s worth of articles to show the rampant errors in his approach.

Hagins makes a big deal about Serapis. This is a combination of a Roman god Apis (or Attis) and an Egyptian god. Odd that he should be turning to one of the gods of one of the very cultures he despises, but that’s his prerogative, if he wants to be wrong.

On benstanhope, Hagin’s Serapis Letter is analyzed, and I quote…

Hagins tries to show Christianity and Jesus evolved out of Egyptian religion by quoting the following correspondence “dated” to AD 134:

“Egypt, which you commended to me, my dearest Servianus, I have found to be wholly fickle and inconsistent, and continually wafted about by every breath of fame. The worshipers of Serapis [here] are called Christians, and those who are devoted to the god Serapis [I find], call themselves Bishops of Christ.”

So what’s the big deal? In short, this letter is a widely known forgery. It’s a fake.

Despite the obvious fact that the letter (if it were authentic) would be a century too old to demonstrate any meaningful Christian etiology, it is part of a late 4th century forgery entitled Historia Augusta. The Historia Augusta contains so many anachronisms that it is easily dated to AD 395. The “Serapis letter” itself is full of anachronisms demonstrating this point. Hadrian was only in Egypt in 130, and the letter mentions his adopted son Lucius Aelius, who Hadrian did not adopt until six years after. Hadrian also salutes Servianus as consul, but Servianus did receive position as consul until 134. The letter also mentions the “Patriarch of Jewry,” a position that did exist until he created it after the Jewish Revolt in 132.

Glanwill W. Bowersock, in a proceeding volume of the Genevan conference on the Historiae Augusae gives a scholastic survey of the dating of the texts. He writes:

“The presence of fiction in the Historia Augusta is by now an established fact. The mischievous author of this work pretended, as we all know, to be writing historical biographies; but this pretense, though compelling the inclusion of genuine historical material, imposed no perceptible limits on his wit and invention.”[1]

Günter Stemberger (PhD Jewish studies, Innsbruck and Göttingen), commenting on the Serapis letter confirms, “We should hardly assume the existence of an actual event on which these remarks were based.”[2]

If you’re interested in reading more on this, feel free to consult that web page. He does provide the citations for his quotes.

Since some will be searching for posts and web pages for Dr. Hagins, I’ll re-blog my post on proof for Jesus’s existence tomorrow, and then I’ll be done with this subject for a while, and should be finishing up this series. I’d hoped to be done with it by September 1, but again, I’ve fallen behind because of my schooling. Well, that does take precedence.

Now, this puts a major damper on Dr. Hagins conclusions. If his Serapis letter is a fraud, and I think I’ve found enough scholarly evidence of that, and if his major case for the Egyptian mythos being the true religion is shot down (and I think I took care of that today) and if I can establish ONCE AGAIN that Jesus Christ is a historical person…

…Then all of Dr. Hagin’s books, videos and seminars are worthless.

Tune in tomorrow.

Are people actually reading these articles???


I’ve got to wonder. Last week I was writing on revival, separating from the world, and pursuing holiness.

I write an article called “Meditation”, calling it a pagan practice, described it as dangerous, and explained why Christians should never meditate.

Two New Age enthusiasts promptly clicked like.

Insert whatever mental image you’d like here of my head promptly exploding. Did you people READ the article before you clicked like? I can see Fundamentalists clicking “like”, because most of them agree with me Christianity should never be mixed with pagan practices, ever. Even the most cursory reading of the Bible makes that impression clear if you’ve read all 66 books.

I can only assume the New Age types were thinking, “Good! We don’t want those Christian folk spoiling our good time!”

Or more likely, they didn’t even skim the article, just clicked “like” on their way to visiting 10,000 other blogs with similar titles.

People, I suggest you read the article before clicking “like”. After all, you may not like what I just wrote!

New Age Christians


Okay, so yesterday we talked pretty strongly about adding paganism to Christianity. I know I’ve stepped on a lot of toes in the last few days. My advice is toughen up or get steel toed boots. i’m not done.

Central to the issue is the love a lot of Christians show for others. It’s good! Good on ya, as the Aussies say. But you need to temper that love with the knowledge that only those that are born again will enter heaven, Everyone else goes to Hell.

“how can you say that???”

Well, it took 20 letter E’s, 5 H’s… you get the picture. The Bible says it, so I’m saying it too. You should be saying it as well.

When we understand Christian love, and we temper it with that knowledge that only Born Again Christians go to heaven, it should motivate us all to rush out there and pass out tracts, give away Bibles, sponsor Revivals, have tent meetings, invite friends to church or sunday school or Bible studies…

In other words, it makes us functioning Christians.

But when we believe la-de-da that just EVERYONE goes to heaven, we become ineffective Christians. Bottom line. Why witness to them when they are going to heaven anyway?

They’re just worshipping Jesus by another name!

No, they’re worshipping another Jesus, not the Jesus Christ of the Bible.

Let’s talk about the attempt to sneak Hinduism into Christianity – or rather, it’s American counter-part, New Age. That is most definitely a different Jesus than the one preached of in the Bible. And I’m most definitely going to name names, as that is what the Bible tells me to do with false teachers. I dealt with a lot of this back on my series on Word Faith, but i’m going to briefly deal with it again, because there’s Episcopals, Presbyterians and… Baptists who seem to think it can’t apply to them.

Let’s explain prayer here. I can’t believe I have to do this, as obviously any five year old knows how to do this. You open your mouth and speak to God, thenking Him for things, praising Him, and then finally making any requests known to Him. You speak. God does hear silent prayer – witness Hannah’s prayer for a son, which was answered in Samuel. However, the vast majority of prayer in the Bible was done audibly – so we by example are taught that almost all of our prayer needs to be done in the same manner.
So what is Centering Prayer? Centering prayer is a silent prayer with God, in which one begins by greeting God, then emptying ones mind of thoughts, and allowing some kind of mental meeting or exchange that is silent between yourself and “God”. I can honestly tell you, I’ve read the Bible, and that’s not in there. At all. When Elijah met God, there were verbal words. When Moses spent time in God’s presence, there were verbal words.
It’s lie this! If you really sat in the presence of the God of the Universe, He’d usually be telling you, “get up, go do this.” That’s how we see it in EVERY example of anyone talking to God. The only exception being Moses, who was receiving the Law, and being taught for many days by God. The other example was Paul in the wilderness being taught by Christ.
In both cases, they were learning vast amounts of Bible doctrine. So, what doctrines are people being educated in by sitting at the feet of “God” in centering Prayer?

“uh, it’s not about doctrine…”

Then it’s not the God of the universe. You’re either having a nice fellowship time with Satan, or with an imaginary god inside your head. Yes, those tears, that closeness you feel, that wonderful feeling of love and acceptance – are either worship of Satan, or worship of yourself.

That’s the essence of New Age. “Thou art god.” was the teaching of Heinlein’s trashy free love science fiction novel, “Stranger in a strange Land”. It’s been repeated by every New Age guru since then. It’s amazing, how many of these “Ascended Masters” as they’re called, seem to be allergic to soap, water, and deodorant! Meeting many of them in person is an assault on the senses, as they’re usually very dynamic individuals, with bad breath, and a distinctive unwashed smell.

Where does New Age come from?

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3:4-5 (KJV)

There you go, the essence of the New Age straight from the lips of its founder, Satan.

The next thing we need to talk about is… Joel Osteen and his “visualize it” theology. His entire doctrine is based around commanding the Lord God to do things. This is, to put it bluntly, the complete and opposite way of how things work.

Word Faith at least tells us the basis for its poorly conceived doctrine. At least they can point to Bible verses. Joel is blundering in the dark, bereft of the Bible.

“You need to get a new vision!” He tells people over and over again. “Why don’t you get a bigger picture?”

well, maybe because the Bible tells us something different! We are to rely on and trust God. We don’t order God around. There’s no Scriptural proof for any such demands.

There’s no scriptural examples for us “visualizing” anything.

Picturing myself with Joel Osteen’s house and cars will not GET me Joel Osteen’s cars. If this was a Biblical practice, then millions of Asian Christians would be astounding all of their neighbors and co-workers by driving to work in Ferrari’s while the rest of them drove bycicles. Small barely liveable houses and shacks would suddenly be palaces, comparable to that of the president of that country. Chinese Christians would be inspiring jealousy as they get fat and wear nicer clothes than the party elite do.

Christians in Africa would be amazing all their relatives by tooling around on motorcycles, while everyone else walks or drives trucks. The Appalachian mountains in the US would have wealthy people, trying to find the nearest lake to take their new speedboats to.

Friends, this is not Christianity. This is avarice, greed. This is a license to covet. Coveting, for those who just tuned in to find what the Bible is teaching compared to Joel Osteen, is a SIN. To sit there and look at some rich man’s stupid, senseless toys and say, “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz? My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amens!” is…coveting. It’s sinful. It leads to discontentment.

Doesn’t the Bible advise us to be content with whatever state we are in? Don’t you know that poverty in this life may possibly be rewarded with wealth in the next? Look, what happens in this life is merely a chance to participate in the Lord’s work, and to earn rewards for the future? This life is only perhaps 80-100 years, and then it is over! The next life is FOREVER. Forever is a long, long time, to quote a song lyric.

Christians can have great wealth, don’t get me wrong. But the Lord tells us rather, it is far more profitable to try to invest in heaven. How do you do that? Faithful church attendance. Do something at church. Pass out tracts. That’s a big one! Witness to people. Get a WordPress site, and try witnessing on it! That’s a good way, I wish I’d thought of that one.
Service to the Lord and service to one another are GREAT ways to get wealth in the coming kingdom. Does this mean I’ll have electronic gizmos in heaven? Well, if the Lord allows such things, I’m sure they won’t need batteries!

True Christianity almost always is typified by poverty. Every time I look around at Christians, a few seem to have much – but many many more barely have enough. The Lord has truly blessed me in my life, and I am thankful. But please keep in mind that MILLIONS of Christians live in poverty. How DARE you tell me there’s anything wrong with that!
But this “Imagining myself to be wealthy” is something designed to… get you to send Joel Osteen money, and buy his books. He’s right – everything he’s preaching DOES work for him! But it’s a pyramid scheme. And nobody at his church is being fed any kind of serious food, any kind of serious doctrinal teachings. We’ve already seen such a thing is important to God!

Joel Osteen is a wolf in sheep clothing. Bottom line. He holds millions of Christians in bondage to his false Gospel. They could be learning sound doctrine, and getting involved at a church. Yet he’s got his electronic church of millions, many of whom send him tithes and offerings and gifts.

If Joel is saved, he’s got a lot to explain to God. If he’s not – and I cannot say, because he’s never REALLY talking about the Gospel – then his riches and wealth and nice suits will probably not protect him from the flames of hell.

Visualizing great wealth will do nothing more than cause me to backslide, because I’m dwelling in a place of coveting. Why isn’t anyone pointing that out?

There’s all kinds of neat things I’d love to own. Do I need any of them? Well, I don’t have them now and I’m doing just fine. I have to tell myself that, because it’s human nature to want to have nice stuff. “Wow, I’d love to have all kinds of fishing tackle!” “Philip, you don’t like fishing!” “Yeah, but it looks neat!”

I could have all kinds of Golf equipment! But I’m a terrible golfer – not to mention most country clubs won’t let me join anyway, because I’m Jewish.

I could have a REALLY NICE sports car! Wow! I’d love a brand new Ferrari, or a Lamborghini, or a Mustang! Yeah! Well.. I’ve got a car. Praise the Lord. I used to have one that the clutch went out yearly. Or the one I had that if it got above 90 degrees, the motor woudn’t start for some reason. Thank God I have a car.

That’s the attitude I should have, not praying, “Oh Lord… give me a Porsche. I’ll die if I don’t have one!”

Compare that attitude to that of a preacher who fervently prayed, “Oh Lord, give me Scotland ere I die!” THAT prayer was for men’s souls – and it was answered.
Osteen is teaching nothing more than Norman Vincent Peale re-heated and re-served. It’s the same New Age nonsense, pretending that your thoughts shape your reality.
Here’s a good key for us to follow – when Oprah endorses something, we know it’s bad. Questions?
Good.