USA Today ran a story last week about Spiritual Teacher Eckhart Tolle author of the book “A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose.” The book, which was heavily promoted by Oprah Winfrey (one of the key leaders in the New Age movement) has sold 6 million copies. Oprah also hosted Tolle on her website for internet “webinars” which over 35 million people have watched. The man’s influence is staggering. What is even more staggering is the book’s message: we can have salvation without God. And since this book and the accompanying web series has become so popular it’s important that believers understand that the message of this book is extremely contrary to Biblical Christianity. Oprah who claims to be a Christian and other Christians have recommended this book or at least suggested that its compatible with Christianity when it clearly is not. Thus we need to warn those around us about these teachings.
Kjos Minitstry’s Crossroad Website has an excellent article on what this book teaches and embodies. Among some of the principles Tolle teaches:
On Heaven: “…heaven is not a location but refers to the inner realm of consciousness…. Earth, on the other hand, is the outer manifestation in form, which is always a reflection of the inner…. ‘A new heaven’ is the emergence of a transformed state of human consciousness, and ‘a new earth’ is its reflection in the physical realm.”[1,p.23]
Of course the Bible teaches us that Heaven is indeed a real location. God created it (Genesis 1:1), John The Revelator went there (Revelation 1 and 2) and the Apostle Stephen saw it from Earth:
Acts 7:56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
On Sin: “Recognize the ego for what it is: a collective dysfunction, the insanity of the human mind…. Nobody is wrong. It is the ego in someone, that’s all.”[1,p.76]
The Bible repeatedly tells us that our problem is sin. We are sinners by nature and have violated God’s laws. But there is good news. God in His love, made a plan for all of us:
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
On Jesus: Tolle states that Jesus was one of the fortunate few who was able to awaken His consciousness and become enlightened. But He was not God. He was just a in a line of enlightened people such as Buddah. This belief of course rejects the central tenant of Christianity, in that faith in Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and Resurrection saves us from eternal damnation
The Promise of Godhood: “Was Jesus the son of God?” he asks rhetorically. “Yes. But so are you. You just haven’t realized it yet.” (from the USA Today Article).
Once again, the message is that we have “Godhood” in us, but we just need to awaken from our unconscious state and release the deity within us. For Tolle this is the key to a consciousness shift and elevation. This is just the same repackaged lie the serpent used to deceive Eve.
Genesis 3:5For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods,
Hopefully it is becoming clear as to how this type of belief system and book is nothing a Christian can adhere to. Even if other Christians are recommending it. Tolle compliments Jesus and quotes the Bible throughout his book, but that does not make it Christianity. There is a God, there is sin and Jesus is The Son of God. And it’s in Him we need to place our trust for true eternal life. God is not an impersonal force. He is a very personal Creator who is so involved with us that He sent His only Son to die for us. And one day, when the sin of this world is fully removed, after the return of Jesus Christ, we will get the true New Earth.
Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.