Conversations with God Author:
Russ Wise Date:6/12/2003 3:40:35 PM
Spirituality and Revelation
Today a growing number of Americans are aware that our nation needs a spiritual awakening. This realization has moved from our religious leaders into much of the general population, and increasingly men and women are seeking “spirituality” and religious experience.
A resurgence in true spirituality and biblical religious expression is desirable, but unfortunately much of the current revival reflects a spirituality that is based in the self rather than in the God of the Bible.
This development should not be too surprising because our culture had largely turned its back on biblical orthodoxy with widespread ignorance of the Bible as the inevitable result. Thus many today try to find “spiritual’ solutions to fill the emptiness in their hearts but do not have the basic biblical knowledge to guide them that was common in past generations. These eager but undiscerning seekers are easily mislead by those claiming to be “spiritual” leaders or guides who claim to be “enlightened” and freed from past orthodoxy.
Neale Donald Walsch is a self-proclaimed “enlightened” one. In truth, he is personally deceived, and through his very popular books, he is deceiving thousands. He claims that God talks with him and wants him to speak to the people of the world through the records of their discussions. His book, Conversations with God – an uncommon dialogue, is believed by many to be “God’s latest word on things . . .” 1 Walsch’s God deals with many of the questions that man has regarding life. Including love, relationships, good and evil, guilt and sin, forgiveness, sex, power, money, marriage, and a host of other issues that trouble humanity.2
For Walsch, revelation remains open and God has much more to say to His children.3Walsch’s God introduces a number of “truths” that diametrically oppose Scripture. For example, he accepts reincarnation, rejects original sin, denies the devil and hell, and devalues the biblical God. These are but a few of the distorted teachings of this “God” who superintends Walsch’s hand and through him offers us his “new revelation.”
Walsch is no different from any other new age writer in that he first devalues the Scripture by saying that it is not authoritative and then introduces experience as the only source for knowing truth.4According to Walsch and his “divine” messenger, making choices opens the doorway to experience and experience becomes the master teacher.
Experience Vs. The Word of God
Walsch’s God not only employs experience as the ultimate teacher, but he uses our feelings to communicate his truth to humanity.5He believes that “if you want to know what’s true for you about something, look at how you’re feeling about it . . . hidden in your deepest feelings is your highest truth.” The divine messenger adds, “In addition to feelings and thoughts, I also use the vehicle of experience as a grand communicator. And finally, when feelings and thoughts, and experience all fail, I use words.”
This divine messenger tells us that “the supreme irony here is that you have all placed so much importance on the Word of God, and so little on experience.” He continues by saying, “In fact, you place so little value on experience that when what you experience of God differs from what you’ve heard of God, you automatically discard the experience and own the words, when itshould be just the other way around.” 6
According to Walsch, the Word of God is insufficient to teach and instruct in righteousness. Instead, we are to first rely on our feelings. Experience will indicate to us whether or not our feelings agree with God’s Word. Indeed, this approach makes experience the ultimate authority.
Love and Fear
The juxtaposition of the emotions of love and fear lies at the center of new age teaching. For the New Ager, the idea that God is love is the highest and most noble of all truths. Fear is a reality and is considered to be inferior. It is “rooted in the idea of a fearful, vengeful God,” 7 a God who will judge and send the evildoer to an everlasting hell. As a result, fear shapes our present and our future.
“Every action taken by human beings is based in love or fear” and is anchored in thought. So whatever we do, in “love” or in “fear” is a result of our Sponsoring Thought,8 or controlling thought.
This philosophy appears attractive, but it is not just nor is it workable. It does not allow for a righteous fear of God nor does it allow for a God of justice and judgment. According to Walsch’s mythology, since God is pure love She9 is not capable of punishing sin or judging anyone because there is no need to do so.10 Walsch’s God declares that, “in order to justify the idea of a punitive God, your religions needed to create something for Me to be angry about. So even those people who lead exemplary lives somehow need to be saved.”11
In other words, if we fail to recognize our personal perfection12 (our divinity or divine self13), we are allowing the sponsoring thought of fear to guide us. However, if we allow love to be our sponsoring thought, we become fully realized or enlightened.14
The following statements regarding doctrine are mentioned as truth, in the text, by Walsch. Each false claim is followed by a comment from Walsch highlighting the statement and then followed by a brief biblical rebuttal to counter the false assertion.
CLAIM -There is no devil or Satan.15 “And so you have created in your mythology the being you call ‘devil.’” “You have come here to work out an individual plan for your own salvation. Yet salvation does not mean saving yourself from the snares of the devil. There is no such thing as the devil, and hell does not exist.” “Of course, a real devil does not exist – but I reply to the idiom you choose.”
REBUTTAL -1Peter 5:8 says that our adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Jesus said this of the Jews who would not accept His ministry to the lost, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.” The Book of Revelation reminds us that “the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophets were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
CLAIM -There is no sin – original or otherwise.16“If there were such a thing as sin, this would be it: to allow yourself to become what you are because of the experience of others. This is the ‘sin’ you have committed. All of you.” “You accept that you were born in ‘sin.’ This alleged state of imperfection in which you are said to have come into this world is what your religionists have the gall to call original sin. And it is original sin – but not yours. It is the first sin to be perpetrated upon you by a world which knows nothing of God if it thinks that God would – or could – create anything imperfect. Yet, in order to justify the idea of a punitive God, your religions needed to create something for Me to be angry about. So that even those people who lead exemplary lives need to be saved.”
REBUTTAL -Romans tells us that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The Gospel of Mark has these words of Jesus, “What comes out of a man is what defiles man. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man” (Mark -23). John 16:8-11 states that “When the Holy Spirit comes, He will convince the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” In 1John 1:8 we read, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Verse ten then says, “If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
CLAIM -There is no hell or place of eternal damnation.17“But hell does not exist as this place you have fantasized, where you burn in some everlasting fire, or exist in some state of everlasting torment. What purpose could I have in that?” “There is no such thing as the devil, and hell does not exist.” “The first place you go is to your religionists . . . you go to your priests and your rabbis and your ministers and your teachers, and they tell you to stop listening to your Self. The worst of them try to scare you away from it; scare you away from what you intuitively know. They’ll tell you about the devil, Satan, about demons and evil spirits and hell and damnation and every frightening thing they can think of to get you to see how what you were intuitively knowing and feeling was wrong.”
REBUTTAL -Jesus warned his followers of the eternal punishment awaiting those who would reject Him. We find His admonition in Matthew 13:40-42 where He says that the angels will gather the evildoers and throw them into the furnace of fire where they will weep and gnash their teeth. He continues the thought in Matthew 25:46, when He declares, “They will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Revelation 20:10 tells of the disposition of the devil, “The devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
CLAIM -Reincarnation is true.18“This is a big task, taking many lifetimes, for you are wont to rush to judgment, to call a thing ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ or ‘not enough,’ rather than to bless what you do not choose.” “It may take lifetimes to understand this – and even more lifetimes to implement – for this truth revolves around an even greater one.” This entity that Walsch is dialoguing with makes the following comment regarding Walsch’s intense desire to know if he has had previous incarnations. “You have had exactly 647 past lives, since you insist on being exact. This is your 648th. You were everything in them. A king, a queen, a serf. A teacher, a student, a master. A male, a female. A warrior, a pacifist. A hero, a coward. A killer, a savior. A sage, a fool. You have been all of it.”
REBUTTAL -Hebrews 9:27 offers these words regarding reincarnation, “It is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes the judgment.”
CLAIM -God is personal and impersonal, as well as male and female.19“God the Son is experiencing – the embodiment, the acting out, of all that the Father knows of itself.” “Of course, you are well past the point where you must have it explained to you that the father-son descriptions of God have nothing to do with gender.” “If you think God looks only one way or sounds only one way or is only one way, you’re going to look right past Me night and day. You’ll spend your whole life looking for God and not finding Her. Because you’re looking for a Him.” “The promise of God is that you are His son. Her offspring. Its likeness. His equal.” “You will know you are the son of God when you honor your Father/Mother God in all that you say or do or think.” “Yet the thinking mind begs to ask: if God has a way She wants me to be, why didn’t She simply create me that way to begin with?” “Yes, I am God, as you now understand Him. I am Goddess as you now comprehend Her.”
REBUTTAL -It is clear in Scripture that Jesus had a personal relationship with His Father. Jesus addressed His Father in prayer, and He likewise admonishes us to pray as well. Matthew 6:6 says that the Father sees what one prays in secret and knows what we need even before we ask Him. Later in verse 14 we see that the Father will forgive us if we forgive others. God repeatedly displays personal behavior throughout Scripture. He possesses many attributes of personality: God hears (Ex. 2:24), God sees (Gen. 1:4), God knows (2 Tim. 2:19; Jer.29:11), God has a will (1 John 2:17; Matt. 6:10, 26:39; Rev. 4:11), God communicates (Ex. 3:13-14), God plans (Eph. 1:11), God demonstrates emotion (Gen. 6:6), and God demonstrates character (2 Peter 3:9).
The Bible consistently refers to God as male. There is not one reference to God as an “It,” a “Goddess,” or as a “She” in all of the Scriptures.
CLAIM -Jesus is just another master like Buddha or Krishna.20“This is what Jesus did. It is the path of the Buddha, the way of Krishna, the walk of every Master who has appeared on the planet. And every Master has likewise the same message: What I am, you are. What I can do, you can do. These things, and more, shall you also do. You say it is difficult to walk the path of Christ, to follow the teachings of the Buddha, to hold the light of Krishna, to be a Master.”
REBUTTAL -Jesus is unique. There is no other like Him. He is the Christ, the Son of God, not a son, but The Son. He is the only Savior, there is no other. He is the Way, the Truth, the Life (John 14:6).
Jesus is the creator (John 1:3), our Savior (John ), our judge (John ), the forgiver of sins (Mark 2:7,10). The ultimate indicator of Jesus’ uniqueness is His resurrection (Matthew 28:1-10; Mark16:1-8; Luke 24:1-11; John 20:1-18).
Neither Buddha, nor Krishna, nor any other so-called “Master” has been raised from the dead. They remain in their graves. Only Jesus, the Christ, has been so raised, thereby proving His unique position over all other so-called gods.
CLAIM -Man is God.21“My purpose in creating you, My spiritual offspring, was for Me to know Myself as God. I have no way save through you. Thus it can be said that My purpose for you is that you should know yourself as Me.” “You are, have always been, and will always be a divine part of the divine whole, a member of the body. That is why the act of rejoining the whole, of returning to God, is called remembrance. Your job on Earth, therefore, is not to learn, but to re-member Who You Are.” “In creating ‘something else’ – namely, the realm of the relative – I have produced an environment in which you may choose to be God, rather than simply be told that you are God.” “Do you want your life to truly ‘take off’? Then change your idea about it. About you. Think, speak, and act as the God You Are.” “Good, for I tell you this: You are already a God. You simply do not know it. Have I not said, ‘Ye are Gods’?”
REBUTTAL -Once again Walsch turns to new age philosophy regarding his view of man. He believes man to have evolved spiritually toward the “divine Self.” The Scripture makes it most clear that man is a finite being and not evolving toward deity. Man was formed from dust (Gen. 2:7) and is not eternal. Consider the following:
·God is everywhere present (Ps. 139:7-12; Jer. -24); man is limited to space and time (John ).
·God is all-knowing (Ps. 147:5); man is limited in his understanding (Job 38:4-15).
·God is all-powerful (Ps. 115:2-3); man is limited in his ability (John 15:5, 2 Cor. 3:5).
·God is holy (Is. 57:15); man is not holy (Is. 64:6).
·God is love (1 John 4:7-8); man is not able to love unconditionally (Gal. -21).
In the days of Herod men of his position were considered gods because they often pronounced life and death over individuals. Acts 12:21-23 records Herod’s death “because hedid not give God the glory” after being proclaimed a god by the people.
Romans 12:3 advises man “not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.”
CLAIM -Christianity is not exclusively true - there are many paths to God.22“Allow each soul to walk its path.” “Yet know this: there is no such thing as an incorrect path - for on this journey you cannot ‘not get’ where you are going.”
Walsch makes the following comment as he continues to question his divine messenger, “That is the second time in this book you seem to have launched a frontal attack on fundamentalist Christianity. I am surprised.” Walsch’s God (rather than admitting his attack on Christianity) makes thiscomment, “You have used the word ‘attack.’ I am simply engaging the issue.” In essence this false messenger allows Walsch to make the point without having to actually say it himself/herself and sound intolerant.
REBUTTAL -Perhaps Jesus’ words in John 14:6 seemed too absolute to Walsch when He stated, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by Me.”
CLAIM -Truth is not absolute, but experiential.23“Listen to your feelings. Listen to your Highest Thoughts. Listen to your experience.” “There are no ‘shoulds’ or ‘shouldn’ts’ in God’s world. Do what you want to do. Do what reflects you, what re-presents you as a grander version of your Self.” “I have never set down a ‘right’ or ‘wrong,’ a ‘do’ or a ‘don’t.’ To do so would be to strip you completely of your greatest gift – the opportunity to do as you please, and experience the results of that; the chance to create yourself anew in the image and likeness of Who You Are.” “I will begin with a statement that will startle you – and perhaps offend the sensitivities of many people. There are no such things as the Ten Commandments.”
REBUTTAL -Here once again Walsch’s “God” attacks the Scripture and denies the fundamental law of God - the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:3-17). This “God” is quick to introduce his more perfect understanding of the Ten Commitments (see appendix).
Neale Donald Walsch no doubt has a “God.” It is himself. He is unquestionably a pantheist and holds a new age world-view. Walsch’s writings are one in a long line of new age psycho-spiritual babble that is being paraded as the latest Christian message from a schizophrenic God. However, it is nothing more than another attempt to devour the undiscerning and naïve (1 Peter 5:8).
This book is without doubt one of the most deceiving since Betty Eadie’s tome, Embraced By The Light. Walsch and Eadie have several philosophical ideas in common, but the one that influences their writing the most is that they both serve and listen to a false god.
The above comment may seem a bit intolerant or harsh. I do not mean to denigrate the authors, but rather to expose their false teachings and lay bare the false god who superintends their pen. It is important to recognize that we are in a spiritual battle for the minds of men. We cannot take lightly these heresies and similar ones that are being assimilated into the Christian faith through false teachers. Keeping our heads in the sand and hoping that it will all just go away is not an adequate response. We, as Christians and as a church, must actively oppose false teaching and teachers wherever they may appear.
1.Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God (New York, N.Y.: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995), p. 2.