An Eyewitness Accoun
|Participants lined up nearly a quarter mile to hear speakers
at the World Parliament of Religions on opening day.
The 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions was held October 15-19 in Salt Lake City, Utah. They estimated over fourteen thousand people attended this New Age (now called “interfaith”) convention at the cost of $500/person. This convention was well advertised for over a year.
Many booths from differing faiths, political interfaith organizations, and seminaries were anxiously handing out their free literature and books to attendee’s as they walked through.
As we made our way through the halls we saw Buddhist/ Hindu shrines and rooms filled with chanters. Tables were selling their t-shirts, books, sandalwood meditation beads, jewelry and pictures of the Dali Lama.
We were subjected to a constant hum of a drum and high pitched sounds ringing throughout the building, with signs hanging overhead that read “The earth is one we are one with the earth.”
Environmental issues were a big topic because they believe we are part of the earth, and if the earth is sick we cannot heal the world.
There were Indians dressed in their headdresses and clothing, seiks, Buddhist monks, Catholic priests, Jewish rabbis and, yes, Christians alike, jamming through halls to attend sessions. Media with their cameras conducted interviews, spiritual dancers in the background chanted, while late speakers were running up escalators to indoctrinate the masses. Most of the participants and speakers were women.
Many of us have read books, or articles about the New Age movement; however, the focus of the New Age has mostly been covert via networking, infiltration, and spiritual indoctrination, especially so far as their goal of uniting the world under a one world religion and one world government.
The Parliament of the World’s Religions has an agenda and they are now very open about it. It is now an outright attack on the Christian church and the Word of God. They have decided they cannot have unity at all cost so they are trying something else: changing the doctrine of the simple Gospel of Jesus and Who He is. I was handed a booklet titled Global Ethic: A Call to our Guiding Institutions that stated: “The Parliament of the world’s religion seeks to promote interreligious harmony, rather than unity.” (p.1)
They are not afraid to say that “an orthodox Bible believing Christian does not fit in our world nor will they be tolerated.” It was in our face. This Parliament is a sort of coming out of the closet for them, as was the Parliament’s in the past such as the one in 2009.
One of the signs that hung in the hall said, “Choose being kind over being right and you’ll be right every time.” Still another displayed, “We are as much alive as we keep the earth alive.” So the truth of the Word is not on their agenda. It is seen as unorthodox and mean-spirited. For example, note the phrase in blue below:
I attended several sessions to get a grasp on the coming agenda of attacks on the Bible-believing church. I attended these sessions reluctantly, biting my tongue, but I noticed several phrases repeated over and over – to the point I stopped attending the third day as I could recite the chant by heart!
The Christian view of “salvation” has the inclusion/exclusion message of “we are in – they are not.” The interfaith movement cites this as an evil. In other words, to say Salvation is by Christ alone, and there is a Hell and there is a Heaven is not accepting of other faiths. It is exclusive, unaccepting of other religions, especially because they believe “God accepts all, God is in all.” The Christian orthodox view of Heaven and Hell will no longer be tolerated as they says it divides humanity.
This was the topic discussed by Rev. Kristen Largen, editor of A Journal of Theology and dean and professor of systematic theology at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. She cited her new book about to come out, What Christians Can Learn from Buddhism: Rethinking Salvation.
“We must not have a you aren’t/we are mentality,” she believes. We must rethink this concept of salvation, which is seen as unloving, not really biblical. When advocating her 2013 book Finding God among Our Neighbors: An Interfaith Systematic Theology the review says that “she confronts Christian misconceptions and problematic issues of other traditions.” So our ideas that other religions such as Hindu or Islam is labeled a “misconception.” But I noticed that she cited Scripture to support her false beliefs and opinions. She said, “There is no definitive doctrine established by the Christian church that mandates one specific explanation of how Jesus saves.” (This is complete heresy!)
Rev. Largen went on to say that “there are many different theories about that and the church endorses all of them.” She said, “The doctrine of the trinity has been established but not the doctrine of salvation…. We must rethink, reimagine the doctrine of salvation and it is quite consistent with the Christian tradition of salvation not a violation of it.” She said, “Salvation has three aspects 1. A person in need 2. A problematic situation 3. A solution to that situation, and one who provides it. Beyond this, much is up for grabs.” She ended up with saying that “the doctrine of the church is called apokatastasis, better known as the doctrine of universal salvation; that everyone is saved, regardless.” In short, universalism. As a side note she did mention Emergent leader Rob Bell’s book Love Wins, another who more or less teaches the Bible is not relevant for today’s society and also redefines Salvation and Hell.
Another session I attended called “Religious Extremism: Effective Responses From Mainstream Religious Communities” with three scholars: Shanta Premawardhana, president of SCUPE; Dr. George Zachariah, co-presenter; and Salih Sayigan, Department of Theology, Georgetown University, who admits he is Christian and said, “Every religion has extremes, but exclusiveness leads to violence when we say you get to go to Heaven and you end in Hell then we have a problem when you exclude you sow seeds of extremism. When you say this is God’s way you create a political environment.” Next, Sayigan gave another example: “Excluding gays from your board your church that is exclusion.” And if you believe you have absolute truth this is said to create blind allegiance.
These three said, as had the other speakers, that “we are all members of the same family, we all belong to God.” A Hindu stood up from the audience dressed in his orange clothes, looking so timid and shy, but went into a rage yelling about evil Christians leaving pamphlets on the temple steps. He said, “Christians told me I was worshiping demons! How dare they!” The speakers nodded their heads, agreeing this was wrong and unacceptable. They then went on to redefine Jihad as they see it. The real Jihad is “a good dad, a good husband.” In essence, as long as there are those who define and have a theology based on the old patriarchal “Christian” perspective, the earth cannot heal and the violence will continue. We as Christians are now responsible for all evil in the world. They believe this.
|Building a New Age/New World Order|
I attended a session on Saturday, called “Roman Catholic Theology and Practice of Interreligious Dialog.” They advocated their journal, Journal of Interreligious Insight. Again I heard the same rhetoric of exclusion/inclusion and noticed that “compassion” was the key buzz word. One young man stood up and angrily said, “I get tired of Christians citing from the Bible. I will not go to Heaven if I don’t see the Gospel as they see it.” Some girl in a weak voice cited a Scripture about Heaven, several clapped, and the young man sat down next to her, smiling. She was praised for her insight by the panel of speakers! I guess he felt relieved he got to say his peace, and of course the speakers agreed.
In essence they believe the old patriarchy is not for today. Our values must change if we are going to heal. New values are the child of the older patriarchy. For example, fairness is good but we need a new fairness. They admit there will be a backlash for which they are ready to defend.