In the almost two decades of my adult life prior to me accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior I read a LOT of books. Mostly self-help type books dealing with the topics of spiritual fulfillment and how to accomplish worldly success. One thing that is apparent is almost all of the new age and success gurus today frequently mention Jesus and vainly attempt to use grossly out of context Bible verses to validate their theories.
If you read books like “The Secret,” any of Eckhart Tolle‘s work, or more exhaustive works like “A Course in Miracles” that Marianne Williamson helped to popularize (just to name a few), you will notice a common thread of Biblical jargon, mentioning Jesus as “great teacher” and completely out of context Bible verses. I even once saw the publisher of “Success” magazine compare Jesus to people like Oprah, Mahatma Gandhi, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson, because He “went against the grain.” Anyone and everyone trying to deny Christ’s deity, compare Him with other historical figures and pervert His teachings in attempt to show others how to achieve worldly success, should really take the Apostle Paul’s words to the Galatians to heart:
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 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.” – Galatians 1:6-9
So with that as the set up, let’s begin our comparison of the Jesus we find in the Holy Bible versus the modernized Jesus being promoted by the new age as well as the people-pleasers of the emerging church:
#1) Modern Jesus was a good teacher and a man.
Biblical Jesus was born as God almighty in the flesh.
“In Tolle’s world, Jesus is not central. However, he is a beloved teacher, who does it perfectly right himself” – Richard Rohr, quoted from “Eckhart Tolle and the Christian Tradition“
As you can see such a quote is quite a drastic difference from what the Bible says about Jesus in John 1:1-14.
#2) Modern Jesus waters down words to avoid offending people.
Biblical Jesus loves us enough to speak the truth.
This false understanding of Jesus is blatantly displayed every time the Bible-believing Christian speaks out on something and the non-believers and luke-warm people throw the first six words of Matthew 7 at them: “Judge not, lest you be judged.” They clearly don’t know the rest of the passage and certainly aren’t familiar with the Jesus who drove out the money changers from the temple with a whip. (Matthew 21:12-13 & John 2:14-15)
Someone who really loves us tells us the truth, even when it hurts. Something the promoters of the modern Jesus fail to realize is that when Jesus comes with grace and truth, His light invades our darkness and brings healing and restoration. That is real love. (John 4:1-38)
#3) Modern Jesus promises earthly treasure.
Biblical Jesus instead points us toward heavenly treasure.
This is a big one and is running rampant in the world today. Word of Faith/Prosperity gospel teachers as well as most in the New Apostolic Reformation and promoters of dominionism or kingdom now theology simply promise worldly success and riches to their followers. Watch Kenneth Copeland brag about being a billionaire to see this false teaching at it’s worst. When he and others like Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen promise worldly treasure, it comes in stark contrast to the words of Christ Himself:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21
#4) Modern Jesus sends all to heaven and dismisses hell.
Biblical Jesus warns of sin, judgment and hell.
A while back after I witnessed to a friend, she asked me what I thought about the testimony of a lady named Nadia Khalil Bradley. Nadia is a muslim woman who claims “Christ” appeared to her and shared many revelations, one of which was that hell was not real. As with many false teachers like Neal Donald Walsch, Nadia’s accounts of a god that never judges or condemns appeals to the sinful wanting to just live our lives as we see fit and never fear being held accountable for our actions. Many people have claimed to have been spoken to directly by God besides these two I’ve just mentioned.
The Quran, the Book of Mormon, the Bahai‘s writings, all claim the same divine authorship, however they all contradict the Bible and in fact they also contradict themselves, which makes it clear they are not true. Once again Jesus Christ’s own words are quite contrary to the non-judgmental modern Jesus attempting to deceive the world today:
“If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.” – Matthew 5:29
#5) Modern Jesus omits or minimizes the need for repentance of sins.
Biblical Jesus commands repentance of sins.
Churches used to be a place where a God-fearing preacher would deliver a message solely focused on glorifying Christ, convicting the congregation of sins and preaching the dire need of repentance. Today countless churches deliver weekly messages that are more akin motivational speeches and feel-good pep talks than a true depiction of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As we quoted above in Galatians 1:7, there are some that “want to pervert the Gospel of Christ,” and one of the main ways this is done is by omitting the need for repentance. But what did Jesus say?
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 4:17
Next week we will continue with Part Two of this series and continue to highlight the glaring contrast between the true Jesus of the Bible, and the gross distortion of the modern Jesus today.
Have you ever found yourself deceived by by the modern Jesus? How can you make sure that you, being a witness of the Biblical Jesus, help to free people of the deception the new age has on society today?