By: Sharon Lee Giganti, 2008©
A Course in Miracles is the name of a book that was written by a channeled spirit, who claimed to be Jesus. Described as "spiritual psychotherapy", it's been widely promoted by Oprah, and as of January 2008, she now has Marianne Williamson, the Course's leading spokesperson, teaching this "Course" on her world-wide XM radio show.
This is unfortunate, because many of the Church's most trusted Catholic leaders-such as Fr. Mitch Pacwa and Fr. Benedict Groeschel -(Who has been quoted as saying, "A Course in Miracles has served to undermine authentic Christianity, more than just about any other work I can recall.") -- have warned the faithful for years, to stay away from this false teaching for the following reasons:
- The teachings of A Course in Miracles contradict Holy Scripture, Tradition, and Authentic Catholic Teaching; claiming that: Jesus was NOT God, the devil does not exist, and there's no such thing as evil, or sinâ€”especially original sin, as the Course teaches that man's fall from Grace in the Garden of Eden never happened--- (preface, pg. xiii) and that Holy Scripture cannot be trusted, as Christ's apostles misinterpreted his message and taught in error. (text pgs. 94 & 95) These false tenets alone clearly show that the channeled spirit who wrote them, while claiming to be Jesus, is in fact, a counterfeit Christ .
- The teachings of A Course in Miracles have FAILED many, if not all, of the standard "tests of discernment" the Church has used for centuries, to distinguish a true and Godly spirit from a false one.
EVEN FOR THE NON-CHRISTIAN, THE VERY REAL DANGER of studying "A Course in Miracles" can clearly be seen in what the Course asks you to believe: Claiming that physical life on Earth is really just a "nightmare" the collective human race is having while in a state of psychic sleep, (text pg. 18 and throughout) the Course teaches that: everything you see around you is an illusion,(lesson #14 and throughout) that sin and guilt are not real but, "solely an invention in your own mind"(lesson #70) that, you can neither hurt others, nor be hurt (text pg. 96 and throughout)... that "you can and should deny any belief that error can hurt you"... the false promise that: if you see your neighbor as sinless, "you will be released entirely from all effects of sin" (text pg. 474) that "the reality of everything is total harmlessness" (text pg. 158) ... that you alone are the sole cause of anything hurtful that's ever happened to you (lesson #23, #304, and throughout) ... that, "The world you see has nothing to do with reality. It is of your own making, and it does not exist."(lesson #14 and throughout)
MANY FORMER STUDENTS OF A COURSE IN MIRACLES , and it's founding teachers attest to it's core message: that if enough people, (an amount large enough to affect "mass consciousness") -or if even just one person realizes and integrates these "truths" fully, the human race will "awaken" from it's psychic nightmare and find that we've never left Heaven. The only condition necessary for this amazing occurrence is this: the student must make NO EXCEPTIONS in the application and full acceptance of the ideas. (Workbook intro. Pgs 1 & 2, Lesson #1, and throughout) Course students all over the world are seeking to be "the one" to hasten this "great awakening", because they've been taught that when it occurs, "in the twinkling of an eye", the entire world of "form", with all its' suffering and sorrow, will disappear and we'll be back in Paradise.
THE HAZARDS OF ADOPTING THIS OUTLOOK ON LIFE cannot be stressed enough-to give just a brief example, lest you think I'm exaggerating-- the 14th lesson, which is to be accepted as true by the student, reads as follows: "With eyes closed, think of all the horrors in the world that cross your mind. Name each one as it occurs to you, and then deny its' reality. God did not create it, and so it is not real. Say for example: God did not create that war, and so it is not real. God did not create that airplane crash, and so it is not real. God did not create that disaster, and so it is not real. Suitable subjects for the application of today's idea also include: Anything you are afraid might happen to you, or to anyone about whom you are concerned."
ANOTHER POISONOUS TENET the student of A Course in Miracles is asked to accept, is that-- any unjust, hurtful, or violent incident that happens to you, is, in actuality, merely an illusory "manifestation" of your own fearful "attack thoughts" projected outwards, like an image on a screen. . . (Workbook pg. I, lesson #23 and throughout) This is another reason, according to the Course, that no forgiveness is ever warranted since your own ego is the "cause" of anything hurtful that ever happens to you. (text pg. 649 and throughout) One could say, this is a perfect example of why our adversary, the devil, has been called, "the accuser of the brethren".
THE FAITHFUL ARE TO BE WARNED: The Course is very deceiving, as it uses Christian terminology but gives the words alien meanings. For example, many people may have heard that the Course is "all about forgiveness", but they're most likely not aware, that "forgiveness" according to the Course, means saying to yourself, "since no sin ever occurred, no forgiveness is necessary." (text pg. 548, manual pg.79, and throughout) According to the Course, teaching our brother that he has NOT hurt us, is how we forgive. Another example: the "Atonement" , according to the Course, is: " the acknowledgement that I am NOT in this world", (text, pg. 97) and this "atonement" teaches that: "never having sinned, I have no need of salvation." (Text, pg. 237)
I WAS A DEVOTED STUDENT AND TEACHER OF THE COURSE , before returning to my Catholic Faith, and I've now devoted my life to exposing the very real dangers of A Course in Miracles and other "New Thought" teachings such as Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth", and the Law of Attraction teachings as found in "The Secret" and the books and workshops of Abraham-Hicks. (I formerly taught their material and was known as an "Abraham Ambassador")
I'VE SEEN WITH MY OWN EYES , and have often shared my belief, that the living out of A Course in Miracles lessons, and the like, can, and did, spawn such tragedies as rampant divorce, suicide, mental breakdown, and even murder. I've publicly stated my opinion, that "You cannot study A Course in Miracles without seriously jeopardizing your faith, and putting your mental, physical, and spiritual health at risk."
I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN WHO I WAS DEALING WITH, when I read in the Course, that, after finishing the lessons, mighty companions would walk beside meâ€¦ that, "helpers are given you in many forms. . .their names are LEGION." (Teachers Manual, pg 87) Unfortunately, it was only years later that I would read in the gospels, the story of Jesus healing a man possessed by unclean spirits, and that, when casting out those demons Jesus asked, "What is your name?" and they replied, "WE ARE LEGION, for we are many. " (Mk 5:9 & Luke 8:30)
PERHAPS YOU'VE ASKED YOURSELF THE QUESTION that seems to be on everyone's mind lately: Can I still be a good Catholic and devotedly watch a show like Oprah's which promotes New Thought teachings, study A Course in Miracles, or embrace the lessons of "A New Earth"?
FOR ME, THE ANSWER RESOUNDS IN THE HOLY SCRIPTURES OF OUR CHURCH: The following passages are found in 2nd John chapter 1. I've used the words of the NAB and Douay-Rheims Catholic Bibles, all emphasis is mine.
"If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, (the complete, apostolic doctrine of Jesus Christ and the historical truth about Him), DO NOT RECEIVE HIM INTO YOUR HOUSE, or even greet him, wishing him "God-speed"; for whoever greets him or wishes him "God-speed" shares in his evil works." Verse 10
Douay-Rheims Bible footnotes regarding these and other such verses: " This admonition is in general, to forewarn the faithful of the dangers which may arise from a familiarity with those who have prevaricated and gone from the true faith, and with such as teach false doctrine. BUT, this is NOT forbidding a charity for all men, by which we ought to wish and pray for the eternal salvation of every one, even our enemies."
"For many deceivers have gone out into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh: THIS IS A SEDUCER AND AN ANTICHRIST" Verse 7
"Anyone who is so "progressive" as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God." Verse 9
And from Ephesians chapter 5 ---
"Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient-- SO DO NOT BE ASSOCIATED WITH THEM". Verses 6 & 7
"TAKE NO PART in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention the things done by them in secret..." Verses 11 &12
MORE DEADLY QUOTES FROM: A COURSE IN MIRACLES
Lesson #14 - "The world you see has nothing to do with reality. It is of our own making, and it does not exist."
Lesson # 101 -- "You need the practice periods today. The exercises teach sin is not real, and all that you believe must come from sin will never happen, for it has no causesay: God's Will for me is perfect happiness. There is no sin; it has no consequence."
Text page 158, Line 2 - "The reality of everything is totally harmless, because total harmlessness is the condition of it's' reality."
Text page 96, Line 19 - "The Holy Spirit says you cannot either hurt or be hurt. Your brothers need to hear this. Perceive only this need in them and do not respond to any other."
Text page 474 - "Christ's Vision is to see your brother as sinless -do that and you will be released entirely from all effects of sin."
A Course in Miracles asserts again and again that: A sense of guilt for having done "wrong" is an illusionary invention of our own minds, and is to be downplayed or overlooked as much as possible.
Here is an excerpt taken directly from the text: "When you realize that all guilt is solely an invention of your mind, you also realize that guilt and salvation must be in the same place. In understanding this you are saved. The seeming cost of accepting today's idea is this: It means that nothing outside yourself can save you; nothing outside yourself can give you peace. But it also means that nothing outside yourself can hurt you, or disturb your peace or upset you in any way. Today's idea places you in charge of the universe, where you belong because of what you are. This is not a role that can be partially accepted. And you must surely begin to see that accepting it is salvation." (lesson# 70)
According to the Course, TO FORGIVE means, you: "hold not the proof of sin before your brother's eyes... You must attest his sins have no effect on you to demonstrate they are not real".
The Course teaches, in a thousand ways, its' axiom that: "In our defenselessness our safety lies". While this may sound "spiritually loving", the Course's teaching of this idea goes seriously awry; for, according to the Course, no defense is ever warranted since "in reality" no offence or attack really occurs. The Course teaches that sin and guilt are not real, and therefore, neither are any of their "seeming effects".
Marianne Williamson believes that A Course in Miracles can, and does generate real and lasting peace. Many have rightly pointed out that she will most likely be a key decision-maker in our Government's "U.S. Department of Peace" if she is successful in getting it established. She is the founder of The Peace Alliance , a grassroots campaign group whose goal is to install in our Government, this "Department of Peace", as "a compliment", they say, to our Department of Defense. This group's numbers are growing daily, nationwide, thanks in part, to Oprah's longstanding and enthusiastic promotion of Marianne Williamson.
Marianne has said that the head of the Department of Peace will be VERY influential in our Government's policy making, "having the ear of the President" as it dispenses advice on the art and science of "Peace keeping". Knowing that Marianne Williamson is a world renowned devotee of A Course in Miracles and the channeled spirit who authored it, and knowing full well what the Course teaches, I find myself thinking of a certain passage in Scripture: "And Jesus wept, for they knew not the ways of peace". ---- Luke 19:41 (paraphrase, and emphasis mine)