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Is "Christ Consciousness" New Age or Christian?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
March 8, 2024 4:30 pm

Is "Christ Consciousness" New Age or Christian?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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March 8, 2024 4:30 pm

Episode 1441 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

    1. Does God consider my common law relationship as a marriage?   2. Is my disability part of God's perfect plan, or will I be healed in heaven?   3. What is "Christian Nationalism" and is it biblical?   4. Why is Jesus referred to as the 'Angel of the Lord' when he is God?     Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

Is Christ Consciousness New Age, or is it Christian? That's just one of the reasons questions we'll be asking on today's edition of Core Christianity. Hi, it's Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We'd love to hear from you. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Now, you can also post your question on one of our social media sites. In fact, we are live right now on Instagram and YouTube, so if you want to send Adriel your question that way, you can. And of course, you can always email us at questions at corechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to a voicemail from one of our listeners.

This is Wayne. I've been listening to your show for quite a while, and I'm very grateful for you with the message that you give. My question today is about marriage. I've been with my, I call, wife for 20 years, but legally we haven't been married. Does that glorify Jesus that we're not married legally, but I've been true to her for 20 years? Yeah, that's about it. Thank you. Hey, Wayne. God bless you. Thank you for reaching out and asking that question.

I'll just be, I mean, real frank. I would say, no, you should be legally married. Marriage is not something that we just sort of say, hey, you know, I find somebody, I'm interested in this person. Let's just say we're married and be committed to each other, and it's just kind of a you and me thing, not before God, not before other witnesses. No, there's more to marriage than just kind of my personal decision.

Now, I think it sounds to me like you're saying, look, we've been faithful to each other. Obviously, it sounds like you guys have been acting and living as though you're married, but I do believe that it would be honoring to the Lord for you to actually follow through with the legal aspect. I don't know if you also, I mean, thinking about the significance of marriage according to scripture and the fact that it's a picture of the relationship that exists between Christ and the church, as Paul says in the book of Ephesians, you know, getting married, you know, before the Lord, before other witnesses, you know, tying the knot legally, as they say.

I think that's the right thing to do. Jesus makes it clear that marriage is before the Lord, but there is also this legal component. You see this in Deuteronomy chapter 24, or, you know, in the Sermon on the Mount, when Jesus is giving teaching with regard to marriage, he says in chapter 5 verse 31, it was also said, whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce. Now, again, he's alluding there to Deuteronomy 24, but the idea of having to give this person a certificate of divorce indicates that there was more to it than just, hey, you feel this way, I feel this way, we're married, and then, you know, okay, we don't want to do this anymore, bye.

No, there was this legal aspect, there was a certificate involved, but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery, and so I would encourage you to, you know, Wayne, follow through, and I don't know what the circumstances are, or why you guys never got married, even though you're just living as though you're married, but I think that this is something that you need to do. The Bible says that if we're not married and we're living together, that's fornication, that's a sin, and so just would ask you to consider those things and hope that you guys do indeed follow through, okay? God bless.

By the way, we have a great resource on the topic of marriage, it's called Why Would Anyone Get Married? And you can find that at our website, corechristianity.com. While you're there, browse around, check out some of the other great resources we have. We have what we call our core guides, our core questions, and then, of course, our great core Bible studies on books from both the New and the Old Testament.

You can find those at corechristianity.com. Well, our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.

You can also leave a voicemail of that same number over the weekend, if you'd like. Right now, let's go to an email that came in from one of our listeners, and this is an interesting one, Adriel, and you're going to have to think about the whole issue of disabilities here. This is from Allison. She says, I've been blind since I was around seven months old, the result of a brain tumor. While I'm happy and well adjusted to this disability, I eagerly anticipate the new creation when I believe my sight will be restored, as prophesied in Isaiah 35. Even as a small child going to church every week with my family, my ears would perk up when reading John 9, as this passage felt personal to me. But I have read perspectives from other Christians with disabilities who believe that God may not heal their resurrected body in the new creation.

They point to the fact that Jesus's resurrected body still bore the nail marks from his crucifixion and to scripture, which says we will be recognizable as the same person we were in this life, just without the capacity to sin. Some also say they don't want to be healed because people with disabilities often form cultures of their own, and they believe people with disabilities may be part of a beautiful diversity of God's creation. Some also take offense to the very idea of anticipating literal healing of disabilities, viewing it as a sort of theological eugenics that distracts the church from working toward full inclusion of people with disabilities in the here and now. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this matter.

Okay. Well, Allison, thank you so much for reaching out and for sending that thoughtful email, and may the Lord be with you and bless you. It sounds like you've certainly thought a lot about this, and I wasn't even aware of all of the different viewpoints that are out there, but let me share my perspective. And my perspective is one, you know, in this world, we do experience disability, pain, sickness, death.

And this is, according to scripture, the result of the fall. Why do we have blindness? Why do we have disease?

Why do we have these various things? It's not because this is, you know, how God intended the creation to be from the very beginning, for our eyes not to work, or for our ears not to work, or for our bodies to decay. No, God intended us to live forever, to experience that new creation reality, and it's the result of sin, the effects of sin in the world. Now, that doesn't mean that an individual who has a disability or struggles with some kind of other issue, a sickness, something, you know, as a result of living in a fallen world, that that person can't thrive and be used mightily by the Lord. And I trust that the Lord has used you, Allison, mightily for his purposes. And we know that God is sovereign over these things. You know, the Lord made that clear to Moses when Moses was saying, Lord, you know, how am I going to speak? My speech is not that good.

I have a stutter. And the Lord says, who made you, Moses? God is sovereign over these things. So we trust the Lord. We trust that he works in and through these circumstances, even though they may not be the most ideal circumstances.

We trust that we're able to thrive as his creatures made in his image, even though we live in a fallen world. But I do believe that in the new creation, when we're raised once again, glorified, that our bodies, we are going to be recognized, we're going to know each other, but I do believe that we're going to be fully restored. That is, that the effects of sin are no longer going to cling to us. And so that brokenness in our bodies, in our minds, that's not going to be something that weighs us down, that we have anymore. And, you know, I understand, you know, what you're saying with regard to, you know, some saying, well, this is a part of my identity, who I am.

And I, you know, I'm sensitive to that. But just recognizing that what's going to happen in the new creation is there is a part of my identity that is going to be no more sin. And the effects of sin in the fallen world are no longer going to be present. And so, you know, the language in the book of Revelation, for example, where Jesus is depicted as a lamb standing as though he was slain, you know, he's got, he's still got the marks there. I think that that's communicating something to us about, in a vivid way, about our Lord Jesus is communicating the reality of his resurrection from the dead, the fact that he's conquered sin and death through dying and rising again. But I don't think that, you know, we're supposed to take that to mean that now Jesus has something, something that's holding him back, or that he's still characterized by, in the new creation, some kind of a weakness.

No, this is John giving us a picture of the risen Christ in this apocalyptic book. And so that's my view. And of course, you know, when I say those things, when I'm talking about Jesus restoring all of us and our bodies so that they're perfect and glorified, I'm not trying to say that, you know, those who are living with these disabilities and who are trusting in the Lord and walking with the Lord and clinging to Jesus and living in light of, you know, this struggle that really is very much a part of their identity. I'm not trying to minimize that. I'm just trying to say the power of the Lord Jesus is going to raise us up in such a way that those things are no longer going to cling to us.

And that's something that we all anticipate and look forward to with groaning. Thank you for reaching out to us and for that email. May the Lord bless you. You know, Adriel, I was just thinking that we have to be very careful when we say things like, God made me this way, because we're hearing that now from homosexuals and transgender individuals, that this is how God intended me to be. Even he blessed me with homosexuality.

He blessed me with gender identity issues. That's just a real danger. Yeah.

Well, I mean, we're talking about two different things now. So obviously, in a situation like that, where an individual is saying, you know, God made me this way and they're living in sin, that there's an issue there. But when we're talking about, you know, disabilities and we're talking about sickness and we just recognize that God is in control of that and that he is sovereign over those types of things. And that gives us hope, realizing that, hey, God is working and can work in and through these circumstances, that the Lord knows me intimately.

And certainly he does. And that's true for Allison and the Lord is with her. And may God continue to bless her and be with all those who live with some disability, whether it came from birth or through an accident. May God be with them and may God be with all of us, helping us to grow in the grace and the knowledge of Christ.

So well said. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can call us right now for the next 15 minutes or so. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.

Let's go to Lee calling in from Wisconsin. Lee, what's your question for Adriel? Hi. Yeah, thanks for taking my call. I'll start out by saying you don't need religion to have a moral compass. You need religion to cover up not having one. And I'd like to know his thoughts on the threat we're facing today in this country with the Christian nationalist movement headed by Donald Trump and the parallels that we see with that and Adolf Hitler in the early days of Hitler.

Thanks. Lee, trying to get me into trouble answering questions about these things. But I appreciate the question, and certainly this is something that many people, given we're in an election year, many people feel really, really strongly about. And the fact of the matter is, you know, people bring up the issue of Christian nationalism. It's almost like, you know, one of those phrases that gets thrown around now and everybody means something different by it.

And so you'd really have to define specifically what you mean by that. For some people, when they think of Christian nationalism, they say, well, what I mean by that is I think that Christians should let the Bible shape how they think about the world, and in particular, how to engage with broader political society as well. And if I just cling to or hold fast to my Christian convictions, if I vote in line with those convictions, people are going to accuse me of being a Christian nationalist. And the fact of the matter is, as I've seen that, I've seen people just act as Christians and seek to do good to their neighbors and seek to think about the world in a particular way.

And maybe they're not even trying to adopt this label for themselves, but some people on one side of the spectrum will say, you're a Christian nationalist. You're, you know, trying to, you know, ram your religion down my throat and whatnot. You know, there are people that aren't going to be satisfied unless we as Christians just completely keep our faith to ourselves in the closet. It doesn't have any role to play in the world. I mean, that's for you, but don't live as though it were true.

That's wild. Now, there's also, though, I think, you know, again, it depends on what people mean when they begin to talk about this and how they define this idea of Christian nationalism. And if what we're talking about is, no, what we really need to do is we need to sort of make America into a theocracy.

And we believe that, you know, God is going to have a special covenant with us, and he has a special covenant with us, just like he had with the Israelites. And it's our job to sort of, you know, by force and through coercion, expand the kingdom of God. And it's all about grasping for power and authority. And, well, that's a serious issue as well.

I mean, there's a real idolatry there. And so I think that there are, depending on how people define this, right, I think that there can be all sorts of issues. For me, as a Christian and as a pastor, I'm trying to encourage the people in my church to, one, first and foremost, be shaped not by all of the political debates that are out there in the world right now.

And certainly they're there, and they're going to continue to get hotter and hotter as the days go by. But to be shaped first and foremost by the Word of God, by the teaching of the Lord Jesus. And as that happens, right, the Word of God as it shapes us, it does shape how we live and how we relate to the rest of society.

And there are going to be some people that think, oh, you know, I don't appreciate it, or I don't like that you think this way. We talk about this on the broadcast with some frequency, you know, whether we're talking about the culture and how the culture views sexuality, whether we're talking about issues like the issue of abortion and the right to life in this country. These are important topics that are in the public sphere that we as Christians speak into and we ought to as followers of the Lord Jesus. And if you do, there are some people that are going to say, well, that's Christian nationalism.

That's not how I think about it. And at the same time, I think one concern that I have, you said, well, what's the concern with that? One concern that I do have is that we as the people of God, as Christians, the church, that we tie the advancement of God's kingdom together with taking over the political spheres of our country and of this world, so that if we don't have the right person in office, it's the kingdom of God that's really suffering. No, the kingdom of God is the new creation, and that advances through the proclamation of the gospel in the world.

That's what we're committed to. And so one of my concerns is that, you know, a lot of this discussion can lead to mission creep within the church. We're not focusing anymore on our job as Christians, which is first and foremost the great commission and the advancement of the gospel through preaching, through sacraments. And instead we're thinking, well, we're going to advance the kingdom in ways that don't require the Holy Spirit, and by coercion, and by forcing people to think a certain way.

Well, that's just not how it works. Hearts and minds change through the proclamation of the gospel, and that does have an effect on broader society, certainly. And I think we rejoice, you know, when that happens, and that's a good thing to pursue. But we pursue it through the advancement of the preaching of the gospel, through sending missionaries, through loving our neighbors, through hospitality. That's what we should be committed to as Christians and living in light of our convictions according to the scripture. And when you do that, there are going to be some people who say, well, I think that's Christian nationalism. I don't like that.

Well, okay, you're entitled to your opinion. But we really, I mean, we have to be committed as a church to what Christ has given to us and our mission, and that is the Great Commission. Now, there's a lot more to this discussion than even what I've been able to get into, and I know it's a thorny one.

So I'm inviting you, if you're listening and you want follow-up or you have more questions, feel free to reach out. I mean, this is what we're digging into, the scriptures, and we're tackling, you know, tough questions. And I do appreciate you reaching out with that question, Larry, and may God be with us, especially this year with the election season and everything going on, and help us to represent Jesus Christ well in the world. God bless.

Really well said. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you're one of our regular listeners, we would love to invite you to join what we call our inner core. Yeah, if you've been blessed by the work that we're doing, would you consider joining the inner core?

It's a monthly donation of $25 or more. And as a thank you for joining the inner core, we'll send you a copy of the book by Michael Horton called Core Christianity. And as always, thank you to our inner core members.

You guys are a huge blessing to us. And I do hope, again, if you've been encouraged by the work that we're doing, that you would join the inner core. You can learn more about that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash inner core.

Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core, and here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Regina. My question is, I have often heard that what we need to make it to the Father is Christ consciousness, but not Jesus Christ himself. I would like to know what Pastor Sanchez thinks about this version of Christianity.

Thank you so much. Thank you, Regina, for that question. I think that that version of Christianity is not Christianity. And so, again, here definitions are important, but whenever I hear people throwing around the language of Christ consciousness, it's usually sort of this mixture of, you know, wanting to use Christianese together with Eastern spirituality or New Age spirituality. And it's the idea that we're trying to attain our own sort of self-realization, reach our own Christ consciousness, our own connection with the divine.

And it's actually separate from, really, Jesus, the Jesus of Scripture. Jesus said in John chapter 14, verse 6, no one comes to the Father except through me. And what he meant by that was not through you attaining Christ consciousness like me. What he was talking about was, I make the way through my redemptive work, through coming into the world and perfectly obeying the law of God, suffering the curse of the law in your place as a sinner, so that by faith in my name, you might receive eternal life. You might have a personal relationship with God.

Having had your sins forgiven and the gift of the Holy Spirit, I rose again from the dead to give you the hope of eternal life, the restoration of your body in the new creation, the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. And so, you know, Paul in 2 Corinthians warned about false Christs coming and people mingling, you know, the truth with error. You know, false teachers disguising themselves as angels of light. That's what Satan does. And a lot of times with false teaching, you know, it'll merge together Christian language together with false teaching and heresy in order to try to get people on board. And I think this is one of those instances. And so I think if, you know, you said this is, I hear a lot about this. I think if you're hearing about this in your church, if this is what your church is preaching, find a new church because it's not what the Bible is talking about when it talks about having a relationship with Jesus Christ and experiencing his redemptive power in your life. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Kerry calling in from Missouri.

Kerry, we've just got about a minute left. What's your question for Adriel? Thanks for taking my call. I was just wondering, in the Old Testament, where they say that the angel of the Lord was Jesus Christ pre-incarnated, and how come they call him an angel of the Lord when he's God? Oh, okay. Great question. So why do we sometimes refer to Jesus as the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament? And part of the reason is so the angel of the Lord is this mysterious figure that appears over and over again. In the Old Testament, places like Exodus chapter 14, as early as the book of Genesis, you have, you know, the angel of the Lord. And, you know, there have been people who said, okay, we're trying to get to, you know, the identity of this angel of the Lord. But what's interesting about the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament is so often he's associated with God himself. An individual will see the angel of the Lord and they'll say, I've seen the Lord. And, or, you know, an individual is in the presence of the angel of the Lord and they'll they'll act as though they're in the presence of God. So it's this mysterious figure because it's like, okay, this person is, this person is, this angel of the Lord is identified with the Lord himself. And so people have thought, you know, okay, is this just like a really high-ranking angel? Is this God revealing himself in this special way to people there in the Old Testament? Is this the Son of God, the eternal Son of God, Jesus making an appearance?

And I do think there's a strong case to be made for that. Now, referring to him as the angel of the Lord, the word angel just means messenger. It doesn't mean that Jesus is a created being. We know that Jesus is uncreated and that's one of the things that's so interesting, Kerry, about the angel of the Lord is, again, he's identified with the Lord himself. And so it's, well, this isn't a created being like the other angels. This is a heavenly messenger, the Lord himself coming and engaging with, interacting with his people, revealing himself in powerful ways. And so it's one of the instances where, you know, we talk about how we experience or see Christ in the Old Testament all over the place. And it's one of the ways I would say that we do see the work of the Lord Jesus in the Old Testament is through this mysterious figure, the angel of the Lord. And again, I want to stress that doesn't mean that he's created like the rest of the angels. No, he's the uncreated God who's revealed himself to us and did so even in those Old Testament passages throughout the pages of the Bible. God bless him. God bless you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-08 21:30:24 / 2024-03-08 21:40:42 / 10

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