Have you ever met the New Age Jesus? Some popular teachers and authors claim to know more about Jesus Christ than ministers, priests and pastors. Who is this New Age Jesus they write about?
One of my favorite pastimes is to visit local bookstores, and usually the first place I visit is the Christian section. I often see books about Jesus by people like Deepak Chopra and Paramahansa Yogananda sharing space among the Christian books. Yet these “Jesus” books are not based on Christianity and the Jesus they portray is not the One from the Bible.
To be honest I occasionally move them over to the New Age section where they belong. Sometimes I even put a tract in between the pages.
I’ve wasted years exploring “spirituality” by reading New Age materials and philosophies. I was drawn to writers and teachers such as Edgar Cayce and Paramahansa Yogananda because they wrote extensively about their Jesus. God had placed a yearning in my heart and these people claimed to know Him intimately.
I became a member of Cayce’s ARE and Yogananda’s SRF in my thirst to know more about Jesus. That thirst was never quenched by these organizations. While Cayce was devoted to what he termed the “Master” and sometimes called “Elder Brother”, many ARE members resented frequent references to Jesus in the ARE Venture Inward magazine. Meanwhile the SRF had a pantheon of “Ascended Masters” of which Jesus was only one.
When I came to the point of completing my Kriya Yoga initiation, one of the requirements was to declare devotion to the SRF “spiritual masters.” My response was that only one of them was my Master. It ended my affiliation with them.
Yogananda was particularly prolific in his writing about Jesus. He wrote a massive 1600 page Two Volume commentary (among others) called The Second Coming of Christ. In it he referenced hundreds of biblical verses. One would ordinarily be impressed with his dedication.
I discovered that many self-professing Christians liked reading Yogananda. Pastors have even used his materials in their sermons. Several Christians pointed out how fondly Yogananda wrote about Jesus, and that we could all learn something from that.
The problem was that Yogananda’s Jesus was a counterfeit. Paramahansa Yogananda never knew the real Jesus Christ. Neither did Edgar Cayce, and nor does Deepak Chopra. For that matter, popular celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle do not really know Him either.
On Tolle’s website we read:
In Tolle’s world, Jesus is not central. However, he is a beloved teacher, who does it perfectly right himself. “Redemption,” as we understand it, is not necessary beyond letting go of our own fears, negativity, and oppositional energy. He might understand reality itself as gracious. We would localize that grace in and through Jesus, as the “Sacrament” of all of Creation. (Emphasis mine)
Their Jesus is not God who created all things and who became a man to die on the cross for our sins (John 1:1-14; 3:16). Cayce, Yogananda and Chopra reject the reality of sin and the need for Christ’s atonement. Their Jesus is an ascended master who attained the Christ Consciousness after many incarnations. They teach that we can all do that. This isn’t what the Bible says of Christ.
Notably, Yogananda rarely exposited these hundreds of verses he cited. In the few cases when he did he would paraphrase and use his own interpretation. In fact he promoted the idea that there was a deeper, truer meaning behind Scripture, and that he had the keys to it.
There are no hidden meanings. The Bible isn’t ambiguous. Christ expected His disciples to have known about Him through reading the Old Testament (Luke 24:25-27). The Apostle Paul used the Bereans as examples of good Christians searching out Scripture to check if his teaching was true (Acts 17:11). The disciples and the Bereans did not need Yogis to unravel “hidden” meanings.
The Bible is abundantly clear as to why Christ died on the cross and was resurrected (John 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:3-4). There’s more:
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 6:23
Paul warned the church that after his departure wolves would come in and not spare the flock (Acts 20:29). He admonished Timothy to preach the word in and out of season, for the time would come when they would not endure sound doctrine and would listen to fables (2 Tim. 4:2-4).
What would Paul have to say of Chopra, Tolle and Yogananda?
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. Gal. 1:8-9
Finally, Jesus does not share glory with Babaji, Yogananda or anyone else. Paul wrote:
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil. 2:9-11
Don’t be fooled. Your eternal destiny depends upon the decision you make about who Jesus Christ really is. We urge you to decide now while you still have time.
For more information on the New Age we strongly recommend Marcia Montenegro’s website Christian Answers for the New Age