Let there be no mistake. Gul Kripalani's statement that "...unity between Christians and others like Hindus' and Moslems'"--when used in conjunction with "we are all children of the one God"--is not only foreign to the Bible, it smacks with New Age Movement terminology!
But more on that later.
Note that Hinn's immediate response to Kripalani's statement neither corrects Kripalani nor defends the Bible:
"I was amazed last night," Hinn said. "Eighty-five percent [85%] of the audience were non-Christians, as I ministered the gospel, saints. I gave them the clear message of the gospel, and many of them sat there and received."
Well, of course they "received." Unless, that is, they fell asleep during Hinn's message. The question is, What effect did Hinn's message have on the Hindus' and Moslems' in the audience and, Did Benny Hinn really minister a "clear message of the gospel" to his audience? (see Mike Oppenheimer's, "When the Truth becomes a Lie" for a detailed analysis).
Concerning Hinn's message to the New Delhi members of Parliament, business and religious leaders, Brian Flynn, former New Ager and Director of One Truth Ministries, states:
"I am curious in that although many heard the 'gospel' as they state, how many were saved? How many heard a message that without Jesus they will die in their sins? That didn't seem to be part of the program, which is why I believe that his ministry is a failure. If he had true convictions he would have told them that the Christ is the only way and that all others are false and will lead to death" (10/21/04, e-mail correspondence. See "Watch This Is Your Day" for October 11, 2004 at www.bennyhinn.org/broadcast/tiyd.cfm ).
Out of curiosity, a Google search on the term, "we are all children of the one God" netted 146 hits and some surprising statements, many of which pertain specifically to those deeply involved in the New Age movement (hereinafter, NAM). Here are just a few examples (CAUTION! The following quotes are from New Age sources and do not represent Christianity; bold emp. added):
--- Guru Nanak said, ‘There is no Muslim and there is no Hindu. We are all children of the one God’ In the same way there is no Protestant and no Catholic, no Jew and no Christian: we are all children of the same God (The University of Warwick Chaplaincy, "Covenant of re-signing ceremony," www.warwick.ac.uk/chaplaincy/re_signing/ephesians_reflection.html ).
--- We call God by many names and the paths to Him are many but we are all children of the one God. Why should we quarrel about the paths that we choose? You move on the one that suits you and I on the one that suits me. We will meet when we meet God (Hwa Mei Shen, "Elder brother of love and peace," www.sadhuvaswani.org/svm/starart.html ; italics theirs).
--- World peace is possible only if all the religious and political leaders of this globe preach tolerance, recognition and respect for other cultures, traditions, languages, races, nationalities and religions. It is a prime duty of all spiritual and political leaders of this age to guide humanity towards clarity through tolerance and forgiveness, to give others rights, acknowledge them and to preach that we are all children of the one God. We all belong to the one and greatest religion on this earth – HUMANITY ( Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, Initiator of the Conference, International Conference World Peace and the Message of Mahatma Gandhi, 10/5/02, www.worldpeace-conference.net/PressInfoInternational200208.pdf ).
--- Jesus is the only son of God. FALSE. We are all children of the One God except that Jesus Christ is much more highly evolved than we who are still here on earth ("Jesus, the Christ," Inner Quest, www.innerquest.org.ph/messagemadeplain/iq3124lesson2solutions.htm ).
--- The life-giving Spirit is only One, and everything is filled with His glory. There is no difference such as a Sikh Soul, a Christian Soul, a Muslim Soul, a Hindu Soul, a young Soul, an old Soul, a rich Soul, a poor Soul, and so on. There is no such thing as a separate God of Sikhs sitting "up there" in Sachkhand, a different God of Hindus residing "there yonder" in Goloka, a separate God of Christians "up there' in some Kingdom, a different God of Muslims in Heaven "there yonder", and so on. The All permeating Parmaatamaa (Supreme Soul) is One without-a-second. His Reflection is hidden in all objects just as the butter is hidden in the milk, and the fire is hidden in the wood...Ek pita ekas ke ham baarik Toon meraa gurhaayee: The One God is our father; we are the children of the One God; He is our Guru (sggs 611); (T. Singh, "SUPREME REALITY: THE HOMOGENEOUS ONENESS," 7/31/04,! www.gurbani.org/webart19.htm ).
--- And, above all, Pastor, what I'm noticing in the last few weeks, unity amongst the various denominations of Christianity, and unity between Christians and others like Hindus' and Moslems', because we are all children of the one God (Gul Kripalani, This Is Your Day! Weekly Review, Tuesday, October 12, 2004; www.bennyhinn.org/broadcast/weeklyreview.cfm , audio-tape on file).
There is more, but the die is cast. One facet of the NAM is unity between religions. In fact, a person could literally worship a tree and fit in with the NAM. Another facet is acceptance and tolerance of religions and belief systems--Christian and non-Christian.
In other words, as long as a person doesn't make waves, rock the boat or share the real Jesus with New Agers, that person will be accepted and tolerated within the NAM superstructure. Indeed, acceptance and tolerance of all religions is a conditioning process that dates-back thousands of years.
And Christians are falling for the conditioning process at an alarming rate.
Yet, Jesus Christ, Himself, set the standard by which all religions are judged: Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6).
The New Age Movement Defined (by a New Ager)
One of the best ways to define the New Age Movement is to go directly to its sources. In this case, the source is from an individual named G Kumar:
"The New Age Movement (NAM) is a revival of spiritual and divine values and can be called as a Divine Regeneration Movement. New Age Philosophy has conquered the West intellectually and Western culture is currently experiencing a phenomenal shift - sociological, spiritual & ideological. It's a secular, multi-cultural, multi-religious synthesis, of the Oriental mystical philosophies, mainly Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism & Western Occultism, emphasizing Holism, the doctrine that Reality is organically One (now taught in American Universities after Einstein's Theory of Relativity)" [ www.eastrovedica.com/html/newage.htm ].
According to his website, Kumar has been a student of Astrology since childhood, a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation and Integral Yoga. In March 1988, he began a Vedic Astrology Centre and Zodiac Computers at Guruvayur, Kerala, India. Kumar also studied Transcendental Meditation under Maharshi Mahesh Yogi.
Kumar states that New Agers believe "...in the essential goodness of Man and the Divine Spark in Man" and that "the New Age movement is not a unified cult system of beliefs and practices, even though its roots derive from Vedic Philosophy" (ibid.).
Concerning the goals of the NAM, Kumar states that: "The major goal of the New Age Movement is to prepare Man for entering the Aquarian Age and to bring world peace in an already bruised world...establish an entirely New World Order in the fields of Economy & Government," and that "The idea of a World Government was proposed by Bernard Shaw earlier and was implemented by Mahesh Yogi and occurs in the writings of the foundational apostle of the New Age Movement, Alice Bailey" (ibid.).
In short, "The New Age Movement is secular & universally diffused over the earth's surface & its basic underlying philosophy emphasises Gnosticism and Occultism" (ibid., italics his).
Bingo! The "basic underlying philosophy" of the NAM "emphasizes Gnosticism and Occultism." These two philosophies are the core of the NAM.
Kumar points out the six main characteristics of New Age thinking: "All is Unity; All is Divine; Humanity is divine; A change in Consciousness; All religions are One; Cosmic Evolutionary optimism" (ibid.).
While Kumar's evaluation is an introduction into the goals, beliefs, characteristics and future of the NAM, Christians must use discernment and compare the teachings of the NAM with God's word, and recognize God's word as their final authority. When this is done, the NAM is revealed as one of the most incredible and subtle deceptions promoted to mankind. It must be avoided at all cost!
For the time being, humanity is free to claim "I am God" and "you are God," but God says they will ...die like men, and fall like one of the princes (Psalms 82:7).
Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God (Isaiah 43:10-12).
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me (Isaiah 46:9).
"In the decade of the 1980's," writes Ray Yungen, "the term New Age movement inspired a sense of dread in many conservative Christians. This fear stemmed from a conviction that something evil and sinister surrounded this movement and that ominous clouds were on the spiritual horizon. In the 1990's, this backlash largely subsided, and most Christians forgot about or ignored what seemed so threatening a few years earlier" (A Time of Departing, 2002, p.17, italics his).
To some, the NAM was not to be taken seriously. To others, the NAM was simply a passing fad. But to many, the NAM was serious business. Now, the subtle New Age cobra has once again reared its hooded-head, and is poised to strike down weak, gullible and undiscerning Christians.
This is why it is imperative for Christians to Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
Yungen continues: "But this movement has not gone away. In fact, it is very much with us and in ways that may surprise many Christians. By the time the new millennium arrived, the New Age had so quietly soaked into our Western culture that many Christians today are literally acclimated and accepting of Gnostic and Eastern spirituality" (ibid., italics his).
'We are all Children of the one God' (according to the Bible)
While Gul Kripalani's application of "We are all children of the one God" is unbiblical, the term, "children of God" is Biblical, and can be summed up with just two verses of Scripture: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:12). For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26).
Once we realize that God loves us (John 3:16); that we have all sinned (Romans 3:23); that we are dead in sin (Romans 6:23); that Jesus Christ died for us (Romans 5:6); that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ--not by works or our own good deeds (Ephesians 2:8), and confess our sins (Romans 10:10; 1 John 1:9), then God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Once this is done, it is then when we become children of the one God, and not until then.
The Christianization of 'You are God'
As pointed out above, one of the basic and most blasphemous teachings of the NAM is realizing that "All is divine" and that "Humanity is divine." Remember Shirley MacLaine, the famous movie star who once stood facing the Pacific Ocean and proclaimed, "I am God! I am God! I am God"? (Out On A Limb, TV mini-series, 1987). Some Christians laughed at her statement, thinking she wasn't serious. Others found no humor in it whatsoever and took it deadly serious.
FACT: if Shirley MacLaine doesn't repent of her sins and receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, all the man-made "gods" and "goddesses" in the universe won't spare her from eternal damnation.
Of herself, MacLaine claimed, "I am God." Sun Myung Moon claims to be the messiah. Mormons claim they can become gods. Sai Baba claimed, believed and taught that "You are God." Most Christians would immediately say this is contrary to Scripture, and rightly so.
However, when world famous evangelists make the very same claim under divine revelation, absolute truth and divine truth, the blasphemous term, You are God, instantly becomes perfectly acceptable to many Christians:
"Now you ready for some real revelation knowledge? ...Kenneth Hagin has a teaching. A lot of people have problems with it. Yet it is absolute truth. Kenneth Copeland has a teaching. Many Christians have put holes in it, but it's divine truth. Hagin and Copeland say, 'You are God. Ye are God'" (Benny Hinn, Our Position In Christ, March 11, 1990, Orlando Christian Center, audio-tape on file).
"For Shirley MacLaine to say 'she' is God is no different than Benny Hinn proclaiming that we are 'gods.' One cannot 'Christianize' the lie that Satan spoke to and deceived Eve with in the garden of Eden, which applies equally to all of humanity (Genesis 3:4-5: And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil)" (Steve Muse, Director, Eastern Regional Watch, 10/17/04, e-mail correspondence).
Needless to say, you cannot claim to be a Christian in one breath, then claim You are God in another breath. That position of divinity is reserved exclusively for the God of the Bible.
After years filled with false prophecies, blasphemous false teachings and controversy, Benny Hinn has finally reached the pinnacle of popularity, because at each step of the way, many Christians compromised, stood by and did nothing to expose his errors.
Yes, Benny Hinn failed miserably to correct Gul Kripalani and defend the faith. But what more should one expect from the most prolific false prophet and false teacher of our day?
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
Is Benny Hinn a Christian? If he is, let him repent...
Special thanks to Brian Flynn, Mike Oppenheimer and Steve Muse for their valuable assistance in the writing of this article.