Friday, June 5, 2009

more on ACIM (A Course In Miracles)

I don't like it, but I found out that some born-again Christians like it even less. I found this article by Warren Smith

Warren claims to have been one of the ACIM disciples, but reading what he writes, I doubt he understood much of what ACIM teaches. Not that I do either, considering that I am struggling trying to understand the first lesson :-D But even though I don't much like the Greek Scriptures and Jesus and his teachings and all that, there is one thing I agree full-heartedly. That is "you know the tree by its fruits". The Greek Scriptures also say "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Now, I see that in Marianne Williamson, but not in Warren Smith. I think Marianne is one of the sweetest, kindest, gentlest people on this Earth and when I read her book, I felt love to everyone and everything. ME! I who am "allergic" to spiritual love, Christianity, Jesus and all that! Warren is just complaining, whining, arguing, sowing hatred and distrust. I wonder where in the Greek Scriptures he finds Jesus saying "persecute those who are not with me" and "it's ok to do against what I told you to do, when it's for harming your enemy". As far as I know, Jesus told his disciples to love their enemy as they love their family. As far as I know Jesus told his disciples to forgive everything, and not to resist "an ill-doer". As far as I know Jesus told the parabel of the Samaritan to show that he doesn't give a dime about what you SAY. It's all in DOING his will.

And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?”
And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
Matt 19: 16-19

Warren, if you wish to enter into life, do not bear false witness! Quoting a person out of context is bearing false witness.

You claim that ACIM says:

“There is no sin. . . "
A “slain Christ has no meaning.”
“The journey to the cross should be the last ‘useless journey.”
“Do not make the pathetic error of ‘clinging to the old rugged cross.’”
“The Name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol... It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray.”
“God is in everything I see.”
“The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.”
“The oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity and your limitless power.”
“The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation.”

and that "most Christians recognize that these teachings are the opposite of what the Bible teaches."

Ok... let's look at it.

Yes, ACIM claims there is no sin. ACIM says that only what is from God, what is created by God, what is of Love exists, is real and true. Everything else is an illusion, a nightmare, something we have created ourselves, a lie. It is not real, it doesn't exist, it is not. Sin is absence of Love, it is a lie, thus it is not real, thus it doesn't exist.
You could also say this by saying: "our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin."

The whole quote and context is:

"Let me remember there is no sin"

Sin is the only thought that makes the goal of God seem unobtainable. What else could blind us to the obvious, and make the strange and the distorted seem more clear? What else but sin engenders our attacks? What else but sin could be the source of guilt, demanding punishment and suffering? And what but this could be the source of fear, obscuring God’s creation; giving love the attributes of fear and of attack?

“Father, I would not be insane today. I would not be afraid of love, nor seek for refuge in its opposite. For love can have no opposite. You are the Source of everything that is. And everything that is remains with You and You with it.”

So, in what way is that "opposite of what the Bible teaches"?

Yes, ACIM says "a slain Christ has no meaning"... But the context is "the promise of resurrection". "Let us not spend this holy week brooding on the crucifixion of God's Son, but happily in the celebration of his release." "A slain Christ has no meaning. But a RISEN Christ becomes the symbol of the Son of God's forgiveness upon himself; the sign he looks upon himself as healed and whole."
The death of Jesus was meaningless WITHOUT THE RESURRECTION, says ACIM. Even the Bible says so: "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith also is in vain."

Then the next two quotes in context:

"Chesterton wrote an excellent description of Cervantes and his perception of his "unheroic hero," a view of man which the ego tolerates all too frequently, but the Soul NEVER countenances:
"And he sees across a weary land, a straggling road in Spain,
Up which a lean and foolish knight forever rides in vain."

Do not embark on foolish journeys because they are indeed in vain. The ego may will them because the ego IS both lean and foolish. But the Soul CANNOT embark on them because it is forever UNwilling to depart from its Foundation. The journey to the cross should be the LAST foolish journey for every mind. Do not dwell upon it, but dismiss it as accomplished. If you can accept that as YOUR OWN last foolish journey, you are free also to join My Resurrection. Human living has indeed been needlessly wasted in repetition compulsion. It re-enacts the Separation, the loss of power, the foolish journey of the ego in its attempt at reparation, and finally the crucifixion of the body, or death. Repetition compulsions can be endless, unless they are given up by an act of will, or, more properly as active creation. Do not make the pathetic human error of "clinging to the old rugged cross." The only message of the crucifixion is in respect for man's ability to OVERCOME the cross. Unless he does so, he is free to crucify himself as often as he chooses. But this was NOT the gospel I intended to offer him."

He is obviously not talking about the Crucifixion and Atonement as "useless journey", but about the man's desire to engage in irrelevant things. As far as I understand it, Jesus already did that so that no-one else needs to. People are to accept the gift and follow Jesus IN LIFE, not in death.

"The Name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol. But it stands for love that is not of this world. It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray. It becomes the shining symbol for the Word of God, so close to what it stands for that the little space between the two is lost, the moment that the Name is called to mind. Remembering the Name of Jesus Christ is to give thanks for all the gifts that God has given you. And gratitude to God becomes the way in which He is remembered, for love cannot be far behind a grateful heart and thankful mind. God enters easily, for these are the true conditions for your homecoming."

It doesn't say that all gods are the same. Even though, when there IS only ONE God, you would be praying to God, which ever name you use - none of us KNOWS God's name anyway. It MIGHT be Saraswati, Abu or Quetzacotl, we don't KNOW. Just because some people use that name when they pray to God, doesn't automatically mean it's wrong. They might have guessed right. Weirder things have happened. The Jewish tradition says God has 72 names, and Islam says God has 99 names.
What it says is that if you have been praying to false gods and transfer your faith from them to Jesus, it's a good thing. That it is safe to pray to Jesus, more safe than praying to any of the gods you USED to pray. Isn't this exactly what the Christians teach?
It's not the NAME that is important. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and if Jesus had been named Immanuel or Chizqiyahu, he would have been the same still. Or do you believe names have magical powers and numerology and other such things, that would be the only reason to get upset when someone says that the name is not important in itself? Really, if his name had been Chizqiyahu, in the story the angel had told Mary and Joseph to name the child so.

"God is in everything I see"

The main message of ACIM is that everything that is real is created by God. God hasn't created anything without a purpose. So everything real has a purpose. This is what is meant with "God is in everything I see", not some pantheistic idea of there being a god in statues, tables and clothehangers. We can see God's fingerprints in the whole Creation and every part of it.

Also, Ephesians 4:6
"one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all."

"The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself"

Genesis 1:27 says:
"God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him"
Genesis 2:7 says:
"Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."
1 Corinthians 12:12-13 and 27 says:
"For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."
"Now you are Christ’s body..."

"The oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity and your limitless power"

Again, you have to remember that ACIM is based on the idea that only what God created is real, only Love is real, everything else is illusions, fantasy, your imagination, your nightmares, illustrated fears. God is Love and the creation is an expression of this Love, and just as every artwork has something from the artist itself in it, so has God's Creation something of God in it.

" Two men talked among themselves and decided they did not need God anymore.
So they went up on a mountain and called God.
He came down, and they to Him: "We have decided that we no longer need You at all."
God looked at them and said: "I think you Do need me."
The two men said: "Nope. We don't, and to prove it we are going to have a man-making contest."
God said: "Okay, fine by me."
One of the men bent over and picked up a fistful of dirt, at which point God stopped him and said: "Uh-uh. Use your own dirt.""

God is one, Creation is one, the Creation is part of God and God and Creation are one as body is one, I am part of Creation, so I am part of God, one with God.
Everything else is an illusion, not true, a lie, and to build your life on lies is insane. I am not separated from God, I am united with God... United - made into one. As I do God's will, God will also help me with all his might... anything else would be insane.

So the idea of that this would be about people using the Course in Miracles to living an illusion that they are all-powerful Gods creating "miracles" to get money and power and sex and what not means that the person hasn't got the idea with Course in Miracles at all.

So - Warren's page tells more about him and why he was into New Age than about ACIM...

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