Question: "What is a Christian view of 'A Course in Miracles'?"
Answer: “A Course in Miracles” is a self-study curriculum written by a woman named Helen Schucman (1909—1981), a research psychologist raised by Jewish but non-religious parents. From 1958 through 1976, she was a professor of medical psychology at Columbia University in New York. It is claimed that A Course in Miracles was “scribed” by Schucman between 1965 and 1972 through a process of inner dictation. She experienced the process as one of a distinct and clear dictation from an inner voice, which earlier had identified itself to her as Jesus. After Schucman’s death, the Foundation for A Course in Miracles was begun and is the organization that holds the copyright to A Course in Miracles.
The teachings of the Course—a mixture of the mysticism, Gnosticism, and New Age psycho-babble—run counter to Christian beliefs. The fundamental teaching of A Course in Miracles is the “atonement principle,” which states that separation from God through sin did not happen. The course further teaches that sin is the absence of love and nothing more. It denies that sin is an act against God. The principal purpose of A Course in Miracles is to “restore to one’s awareness the power of one’s mind to choose.”
There is no doubt that whatever “voice” Schucman was hearing, it was not the voice of Jesus Christ. Too much of the Course contradicts what God has already revealed in Scripture, and we know that God does not contradict Himself. Jesus Christ is God incarnate, “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8), and He would never contradict the Truth revealed in the pages of Scripture. The Bible tells us that sin did indeed occur and that it is the source of our separation from God. Sin is described in the Bible, not as the absence of love as the Course states, but as transgression of the law of God (1 John 3:4) and rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7; Joshua 1:18). It goes without saying that demonically driven false religion is eager to convince people that sin does not exist, that they are not separated from God, and that they do not need a Savior to keep them from hell. But the Bible reveals the truth on these issues: “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:21–22).
Furthermore, the idea of restoring to sinful, unredeemed man the “power to choose” is against everything the Bible teaches. The only power in the life of a Christian is the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, of which we are not ashamed (Romans 1:16). The heart and mind of the unregenerate man has no power to choose anything but death. “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). Jeremiah tells us that “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.”
The danger of A Course in Miracles is that it does use Christian vocabulary and attempts to sound Christian. Many churches have been deceived by the sound of the course and have used the material in Sunday school classes and other church-sponsored activities. This damages the Church through the spread of false teachings and exposes the congregants to the lies of the enemy who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Christians need to be wise as serpents and steer clear of A Course in Miracles.
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