God Unconsciousness
Tuesday of Epiphany 6
19 February 2019
Perhaps John Cassian was too harsh on the Nestorians against whom he wrote in the fifth century after Christ. He used hyperbole against them to show the ultimate end of their doctrines, perhaps he was going a little bit overboard. It is ironic that in his hyperbole Cassian charged them with heresies that are prevalent in the twenty-first century. While being hyperbolic, he was lamentably prophetic. 

One of the gurus of post-modernity, Deepak Chopra wrote a book in which he gave his take on Jesus, in which he posits "three Jesuses" (can you say that!?); each quite different from the other. Chopra said: "First, there is the historical Jesus, the man who lived more than two thousand years ago and whose teachings are the foundation of Christian theology and thought. Next, there is Jesus the Son of God, who has come to embody an institutional religion with specific dogma, a priesthood, and devout believers. And finally, there is the third Jesus, the cosmic Christ, the spiritual guide whose teaching embraces all humanity, not just the church built in his name. He speaks to the individual who wants to find God as a personal experience, to attain what some might call grace, or God-consciousness, or enlightenment" (The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore)
Where do you begin with this? First, as a modernist, Chopra sees a big difference between the first and the second Jesus. The Bible, of course, portrays Jesus as both God and man in one undivided person. So while Christians might recognize some of the characteristics of the "first" and "second" Jesus, we don't believe that they are different "Jesuses" at all. Ultimately, Chopra is not particularly interested in either the first or the second Jesus, but only the third Jesus, who is a form of theological silly putty. This Jesus is just a form of ourselves with a cosmic Age of Aquarius element thrown in. This Jesus is simply our own consciousness. He is reduced to be a human who is just like me.
What a shame that the One who took our nature that He might redeem us from our sin and death, we have reduced to a mere creature of our nature, or, worse yet, our own "God-consciousness." It seems to me that Chopra is exhibiting something more like god-un-consciousness.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

  John Cassian
"You say that Christ should be termed a form which received God. What you mean is that He should be revered not for His own sake because He is God, but because He received God within Him. In this way you make out that there is no difference between Him and all other holy men. For all holy men have certainly had God within them. For we know well that God was in the patriarchs, and that He spoke in the prophets. In a word we believe that, I do not just say apostles and martyrs, but, all the saints and servants of God have within them the Spirit of God, according to this: 'We are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people"' (2Co 6:16). And again: 'Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?' (1Co 3:16). Thus we are all receivers of God. In this way, you say that all the saints are only like Christ, and equal to God. But away with such a wicked and abominable heresy as that the Creator should be compared to His creatures, the Lord to His servants, the God of things earthly and heavenly, to earthly frailty. And, imagine, out of His very kindnesses this wrong is done to Him; namely, that He who honors man by dwelling in him should therefore be said to be only the same as man." 

John Cassian,
Seven Books on the Incarnation, 5.2
Isaiah 40:21-31

Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble. To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (ESV)
Lord Jesus, You are the God-Man who took our nature that we might receive all the blessings of Your divine work for us men. Rescue us from our self-centered and perverted views that You are just like one of us. Have mercy on us. Do not treat us as our sins deserve. No, You will have mercy as You have promised in Your Word. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Amen.
For Nathan Hunt, who is serving in the US Navy, that the Lord who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep its own appointed limits keep would watch o'er those in peril on the sea
For Rita Sue Rosenfield, who is ill, that the Lord would be merciful to her and grant her health and strength
For all the new members who will join Memorial Lutheran Church, that they might be firm in their confession and faith and rejoice to serve their Lord in the congregation
Art: DAVID, Jacques-Louis Christ on the Cross (1782)

Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2019
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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