During the previous week, the multi-award winning and platinum selling Gospel musician – Dr Tumi released a public statement stating his reasons for not participating in an event organised by Muzi Cindi who proudly promotes a widely accepted concept called ‘Christ Consciousness’. This concept is taught by the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Pastor Chris Oyakilome who both enjoy a large array of support from their followers globally.
Criticism and messages of support overwhelmed Dr Tumi’s lengthy Facebook post, however not everyone took time to interrogate his stance and the underlying factors of his withdrawal, but that’s not the purpose of this article. This article serves to put two concepts on the table and weigh them against the Biblical texts.
Before we can inspect the interpretation of the representation of Christ through the two concepts in question, I would like for us to take into cognizance of the nature of the human mind and it’s ability as explained in the scriptures below:
1. Matthew 15:10-11 (Easy-to-read Version)
Jesus called the people to him. He said, “Listen and understand what I am saying. It is not what people put in their mouth that makes them wrong.[c] It is what comes out of their mouth that makes them wrong.”
2. Jeremiah 17:9 (God’s Word Translation)
The human mind [including the heart or feelings] is the most deceitful of all things. It is incurable. No one can understand how deceitful it is
3. Romans 7:15 (New Living Translation)
I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate
Based on the above-mentioned mentioned texts of the Bible, we can clearly see how deceptive the human mind can be. What more can it do if it is influenced by the intellectual community which always seems to deviate the masses from the teachings of Christ? This community of thought leaders, invest much resources and time into annihilating anything that remotely looks Christian. Thus, it is very important to approach such a community with both reason and logic without using faith and spirituality.
In order to conclude whether Christ Consciousness and the Doctrine of Christ work in harmony and in-sync with scriptures, we first need to clearly define these two theories and also interrogate both their primitive roots. In doing so, we’ll tackle them from a historical point of view, then scripturally in order to have a fair analysis.
To kick-off this discussion, let us first define The Doctrine of Christ as this is much evident in scripture than the latter.
WHAT IS THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST AND WHY DOES IT MATTER THAT WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT?
The Hebrews 6:1-2 account might be the only time where in scripture Christ teaches about the 6 elementary Doctrine of Christ, but throughout the Bible, particularly in the New Testament that we understand the nature of Christ and His role in the universe at large. It is therefore safe to say that first time we are introduced to the ‘Doctrine of Christ’ is when we read the Hebrews 6 account.
It reads as thus in the Old King James Version:
“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”
The Doctrine of Christ unpacks the 6 teachings in which other translations such as the New International Version deems them as “Elementary” to mean “the very basic teachings” of the Christian faith. The teachings are as follows:
1. Repentance from dead works
Being born of a natural man, we need to be aware that our nature is corrupt by virtue of the Adamic fall. Our works [thoughts and actions] are continuously corrupted by the evil that exists in this world we are born and live in. It is therefore advised by God for each one to constantly find repentance from our works which lead to death.
2. Faith towards God
The Bible makes it clear that only confessing with our lips that Christ is Lord and Saviour, we [every human being] will receive the gift of salvation from God. In order to have a relationship with God, we need to have faith in the existence, importance, power and relevancy of God in our lives. Thus, the Bible likens A-theism as foolishness (see Psalm 14:1)
3. Doctrine of Baptisms
Baptism as explained in scripture, is an important element in the continuous growth towards a relationship with the Father (God). This exercise may be a physical activity involving the immersion of one in water, however it holds a spiritual significance of the death of the old being to birth a new man who is in Christ.
4. Laying on of hands
The Bible teaches us that the ministry of healing is part of God’s plan for restoration of human life. It goes without saying that the largest miracles Jesus Christ performed in His time were centred around the restoration of health amongst human beings. Thus makes this subject an important element of the foundation of the Christian faith. Healing of the mind and body is pivotal to the spiritual growth of a human being.
5. Resurrection of the dead
If we believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour, it is also a nobrainer that the same Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah who was prophesied of in the OT. He has lived, died and rose again (resurrected from the dead) conquering both death and Hades (Hell/the grace).
6. Eternal Judgement
It is public knowledge that the Christian faith believes in the eternal judgement of souls. There might be differing views on how we will arrive at the ‘Judgement Day’ and their varied interpretation of the term ‘Last Day’, however we can all agree to a certain extent that the foundation of our faith embraces a teaching of eternal judgement. This is supported by hundreds of scriptures from both the OT and NT.
The writer in the Hebrew texts, lays a foundation for any person who wishes to establish a church or ministry that seemingly adopts teachings of the Christian faith. The 6 teachings forms the integral parts of a statement of faith of any church. Contrary to popular belief, the debatable theories such as Trinity, Speaking in Tongues, Rapture, and many other complex concepts DO NOT FORM part of the Doctrine of Christ. Therefore, a church should not be established on the basis of such theories. Also, revelations do not merit one to establish a church, but ONLY the Doctrine of Christ does.
The Doctrine of Christ matters to every Christian believer, because if you find yourself in any ministry or church that do not teach the above-mentioned elementary teachings of Christ, then they are committing a serious doctrinal error!
Furthermore, I encourage you to take a look at the material produced by Dr Sam Soleyn on The Doctrine of Christ. I have found him through-out history as one of the most sound teachers on this subject. Follow his teachings from 2012.
WHAT IS IS CHRIST CONSCIOUSNESS, HOW COME MANY CHRISTIANS DON’T KNOW ABOUT IT AND WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL?
The first time I was introduced to the subject of Consciousness, before learning of its infiltration within the Christian Faith to be what we now call ‘Christ Consciousness’ was after watching a debate on Subjective Idealism vs. Objective Materialism where Richard Dawkins said “consciousness is an emergent property of the brain.” This statement shook me because I have a problem with the term “emergence” especially when it comes to consciousness.
Let me try to explain…
Well a very basic definition of emergence is something like complex properties that result from the interaction of simple behaviours. So in essence, when people like Dawkins talk about emergent consciousness, they show nothing of this sort and therefore don’t answer the how part of consciousness.
A linguistics and research neuroscientist by the name of Marc Ettlinger (PhD) questions the missing mechanism around emergence in conscious. He puts it nicely by saying that “when we talk about real emergent properties, like those of a network, for example, we can show how a specific type of network (e.g., a Small-world network) will emerge in lots of different situations, (e.g., the brain, social networks etc.) because of simple properties that connections between things have: some sort of relationship between viability and proximity. From this, you get lots of local connections and a few non-local ones in certain proportions. ” Thus, the problem I have with Dawkin’s understanding is that emergent consciousness is not a model that can exhibit properties of self awareness and qualitative experience from chemical properties. Until it does, I think he should reserve his comments.
Basically, this concept of consciousness means that a human being can only be conscious of his existence outside a divine being. It means that we do not need the creator in our affairs since we are pro-creators. This is a BIG problem for me and such teaching needs not to enter the Christian faith and should never be taught.
WHERE DOES CHRIST CONSCIOUSNESS ORIGINATE?
A simple answer would be from the World Mission Society Church of God, also known as the Church of God, which is a new religious movement that began in South Korea in 1964 led by Joo-Cheol Kim. Accordingly to WikiPedia, the church believes in God the Father and God the Mother, claiming to be restoring the truth and practices of the early Church. Because the Bible mentions “the Spirit and the bride” in Revelation 22:17, the Church believes that the bride is God the Mother. Its interpretation of Genesis 1:26–27’s use of “us” and “our” has two gods: a male image of God and a female image of God. It calls the female image of God “God the Mother” and teaches that in the last days, God the Mother has to appear on earth in the flesh. The Church believes that God the Mother is Jang Gil-ja, the source of Mother.”
A rather bizarre observation is that the church also believes that Jesus was to come a second time in the flesh. They believe that Ahn Sahng-hong is the Second Coming Jesus, who came with a new name (Revelation 3:11–12 and Revelation 2:17), and it states that he fulfilled biblical prophecies that only Jesus could have fulfilled.
Some of these teachings were later carried out by Eric Butterworth who originated the Spiritual Therapy Workshops. In his book titled “Discover the Power Within You” published 1968, Eric introduces his audience to a concept called “Christ Consciousness” which is a more extremist approach to the World Mission Society Church of God. He talks about human beings being aware of their power which is equal to God’s. Jesus Christ is totally diminished in the plan of redemption for humanity.
The emergence of the New Age Movement making rounds in America and other developing countries in the world teaches that “The coming of this Master teacher 2,000 years ago was a milestone in the journey that marked a great acceleration in the process of moving back to alignment with the Light within. This master teacher was known as Jesus Christ. The man Jesus was a perfect child of the Goddess and God energy–just as we all are perfect children of the God-force.”
Oprah Winfrey who is part of the New Age Movement also believes that while Christianity is a valid way to achieve high states of spirituality, it must not be considered a unique way, or a “correct way,” nor is Jesus the only way. Oprah’s god is all about love and higher consciousness; she does not subscribe to the teaching that Almighty God is also holy, jealous, and just. Oprah also believes and teaches millions of her followers that Jesus Christ is not the only way to heaven or to God. This teaching is embodied within the Christ Consciousness.
Some of the shocking definitions of Christ Consciousness by the New Age Movement folks:
“The “Christ” itself refers to the Light that we are – the Self, the Atman, the Buddha nature, the Child of God, pearl of great price, treasure buried in a field, measure of meal that leavened the whole loaf, or mustard seed that grew into a great tree. The “Christ” is the “particle” of the Formless that is placed in the womb of Shakti, the Holy Spirit, who is the Divine Mother, mater, matter. (Note the Trinity here of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost or Brahman, Atman, and Shakti – or, for that matter, Osiris, Isis and Horus.)”
DOES CHRIST CONSCIOUSNESS LEAD PEOPLE TO CHRIST AS THE MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MEN?
John 14:6-7 NIV
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
If we were to look into the two in comparison, we would note that they differ vehemently and do not mix at all. If we are Christians, we should all believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal life (see John 3:16). The idea that we can look inside and believe in ourselves without the support of God’s influence in our lives is a total distortion of God’s word.
If we deny Jesus’ deity, there is no way we can ever believe in the six elementary doctrines of Christ as taught in Hebrews 6. Christ Consciousness is thus a blasphemy to the Christian Faith and is not in-sync with God’s word! Looking at the trends of this movement, I conclude by saying that Christ Consciousness on is a silent New Age Atheism. With the above-mentioned history and understanding of Christ Consciousness, we can rightly conclude that it does not lead people to Christ, but to themselves as self-saviours.
UNTIL WHEN WILL ATHEISTS TEACH US HOW TO UNDERSTAND GOD AND JESUS? UNTIL WHEN WILL WE ALLOW ATHEISTS EMBED THEIR BELIEFS INTO OUR FAITH? UNTIL WHEN SAINTS?
1 John 5:13 NIV
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.