Focus of Christianity should be God and others, not self

What do you think of Dr. Wayne Dyer's view of Christianity? (Part 1)

During pledge week public television dedicated several hours of programming to the religious teachings of Dr. Wayne Dyer.  I was first introduced to the teachings of Dr. Dyer several years ago when a friend asked me to read his book, "Your Sacred Self." I wondered what would happen if PBS would use an evangelist like Billy Graham to raise money for public television.  I can just imagine the uproar from the community claiming that PBS is biased.  Dyer's evangelism, however, seems to go unchecked even by Christians but this is wrong.  Ephesians 5:11 explains that we are to "expose deeds of darkness" and this is exactly what these teachings are.  Therefore, I will attempt to "expose" them in this column.

As I watched Dyer on television I was overwhelmed by his gentleness and his genuine love balanced with his disgust for orthodox Christianity.  He is an excellent communicator, an easy-to-read writer and is down-to-earth in his demeanor and teachings.  He is someone you cannot dislike and within his teachings are some valuable lessons.  However, within his teachings is also intolerance for Biblical Christianity.  This does not mean that he does not quote the Bible or Jesus or even correctly apply certain biblical principles, because he does.  But again, as he freely quotes Buddha, Mohammad and many Hindu teachers he promotes the heretical and deadly teaching that all the major religions are basically the same as Christianity. 

The Bible cannot be clearer; God hates and does not tolerate such a lie.  The very First Commandment says, "You shall have no other gods before me."  Many like Dyer like to link all these religions to a common ancestor: love.  It is true, God is love but because He is love he hates evil and his wrath will certainly come upon those who reject Him as the true God.  That you love one another is the second greatest of all the commandments and this love cannot be separated from truth.  John writes in 2 John 5 that we are to "love one another."  Then he tells us what this "love for one another" is in verse six: "And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments."

Dyer does not stress "walking according to His commandments" but rather reinterprets the Bible out of context to fit his idea of who God is.  He wrote:  "The first key to higher awareness is also spoken of in the Bible (Deut. 30:14) 'It is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to carry it out.'"  The "It" in this verse refers to the word of God, His commandments and we are obey them, observe them, "carry them out."  The context of this verse is seen in verse 16: "in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments."  We are not given the liberty to choose which of the Ten Commandments we should obey.  If we reject the First Commandment verse 17 describes the consequence: "But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them."  The "other god" established by Dr. Wayne Dyer is you.  He says that you must be "willing to acknowledge yourself as a divine being."

Dyer's teachings and many New Age teachers base their ideas on another verse taken completely out of context.  Dyer wrote "in Philippians 2:5-6: 'Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.'… Paul dispels the notion of God as separate from man.  It seems to me he refutes the accusation of those who believe it is blasphemous to speak of God being within or part of us."  However, if we read this verse in the context of the rest of the chapter we see that "this mind" directly relates to verse three: "…but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself."  The intended meaning of this verse is obviously that we are to be humble as Christ was humble and not that we are a divine being.

Interestingly, just a few verses later is one of the strongest statements in the whole Bible against worship of any god other than Jesus Christ, "Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth." (verses 9-10)

It is crucial that we expose false teachers and in a future column I will examine these teachings further and show a surprising link with these teachings and that of evolution.



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©Tom Carpenter
Originally published in the Rockdale/Newton Citizen