On 1/23/2011 a friend of mine (Brandon) and I stood out in front of the Hillview United Methodist Church and passed out the following article to those who were entering and leaving the church service. The reason is because the Woman Pastor had written an article in a local newspaper (the Idaho Statesman) stating that God was "not a deity -- a someone. Rather, God was the divine energy and presence that flowed through all existence..." This is New Age philosophy and not biblical truth. If she got something wrong that is so basic to Christianity concerning God, what other errors is she teaching?
So, the motivation to pass out the article was three-fold: bring Glory to God by the presentation of who he really is, to warn the congregation of false teaching, and present the true Gospel.
The people were polite and automatically defended the UMC and their "pastor" Barbara Nixon, and told me that "God loves everyone." Really? Psalm 5:5; 11:5! Anyway, I added the footnote documentation for your perusal. They were not in the original handout.
Are you being fed the truth?
In the Idaho Statesman (12/11/10), in her article “Everyone can share in the expression of love this season,”1 Barbara Nixon said that “God wasn’t a deity -- a someone. Rather, God was the divine energy and presence that flowed through all existence offering healing and transformation -- the consciousness that invites us to see what is good and beautiful -- seeking expression through creation.” Unfortunately, what Ms. Nixon said is New Age philosophy and not what the Bible tells us.
In additional articles in the Idaho Statesman she reveals even more. In her article “On faith: Beware the pitfalls of quoting the Bible,” (8/12/10)2 “not all accounts are considered historically accurate because God has been interpreted for us by those who authored the Bible.” So, she doubts the Word of God’s accuracy and reliability (“Indeed, has God said…” – Gen. 3:1). Then, in the same article she says, “A purely practical reason that I don't quote the Bible is that I cannot be trusted to do so. If my capacity to remember the words of scripture accurately is any indication of what's out there, then Bible-quoters simply cannot be trusted!”3 This makes sense given the New Age philosophy of God she taught in her article of 12/11/10. Regarding Jesus’ words in the same article she says, “His words carry great authority with Christians, even though most scholars agree that not every word attributed to Jesus was spoken by him.” Ms. Nixon seems to believe only the Liberal “scholarship” that brings doubt to the Bible, doubt about even quoting it, and doubt about Jesus’ very words. She ignores the other side of scholarship which demonstrates reliability and accuracy of the Bible. Therefore, we have to ask if the real saving Gospel of Jesus can be properly presented with such a liberal, even New Age, perspective on God couched in a lack of commitment to authority and inspiration of Scripture.
Christians follow the Bible. So, in spite of Ms. Nixon’s self-proclaimed avoidance of quoting it, what does it actually say about God? Is God a “someone” as she denies? Most certainly he is! Let’s look at what Scripture actually says about God…and, please check out the verses for yourself in context in the Bible.
- Exodus 3:14, “And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
- Isaiah 43:10, “You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, in order that you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me.”
- Isaiah 45:5, “I am the Lord, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God.”
God was clearly speaking through the prophets Moses and Isaiah. Divine impersonal energies do not. Perhaps it is Ms. Nixon’s avoidance of quoting scripture that has led her to her New Age Philosophy about God. Who knows. However, the Bible clearly contradicts her teaching. If she misses one of the most fundamental basics of the Christian faith, we have to ask what else she teaches that contradicts God’s word. It is simple. Whenever the Bible is doubted, then people will be blown around by every wind of doctrine (Eph. 4:14) and miss the truth of who Jesus really is and what he actually did on the cross: atoned for our sins so that we might be justified before God the Father, by faith (Rom. 5:1).
If Ms. Nixon claims to be a Christian (and follows God’s word), then let’s see Christian truths that come from God’s word.
- God is personal, alive, self-aware (Exodus 3:14), and has a will (Luke 22:42).
- Jesus is God in flesh (John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9)
- Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose physically from the dead (1 Cor. 15:1-4, 14).
- Jesus alone is the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father but by him (John 14:6).
- We are all sinners (Rom. 3:23) and worthy of judgment before God (Eph. 2:1,3).
- Jesus is the only way to be saved from God’s righteous judgment (Acts 4:12).
- We must receive Jesus (John 1:12), by faith (John 3:16) and not trust our sincerity (Jer. 17:9), or good works (Eph. 2:8-9; Matt. 7:22-23).
Are these words easy? Maybe not. But they are true and are straight from God’s word. Think about it. Truth is not determined by our feelings or what we “want” to hear. The truth about God comes from God as revealed in the Bible.
We have to ask if the Real Gospel and Real Jesus is being preached from a person who denies the True and Living God by saying that God is not a someone, but is instead a divine energy and presence. Jesus said that a bad tree cannot produce good fruit (Matt. 7:18). How can a false view of God present a true view of Christ and the gospel?
Trust God’s word and not the teachings of those who redefine God in contradiction to biblical revelation. Christians are supposed to use God’s word as the standard of truth and righteousness because it is inspired (2 Tim. 3:16-17), not deny it and cast doubt on it and subject it to their own whims and emotions.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand,” (John 10:27-28).
Who are you following? Is it Jesus? Or do you follow a philosophy that redefines God, casts doubt on his word? Do you want the real God and Gospel? If so, then begin with the real God, not a divine, impersonal, energy.
Rev. Matt Slick, www.carm.org