The Bible never promised that sharing the gospel and making disciples would be easy. What we are told is that in all ways we should represent Christ with a love for others that doesn’t call into question our integrity or compromise the message. Even further, 1 Peter 3:15 urges each of us to be prepared to give an answer for our faith, but “with gentleness and meekness.” Unfortunately, it’s not always received in the manner it is presented, but despite unintended consequences, telling the truth is, nonetheless, the call of every believer.
Showing the contrast between the historic Christian faith and the secular-friendly spiritualities of today’s world may not go over well with friends and neighbors. In fact, there are many women within the walls of the church who are attracted to the latest wave of talk-show religiosity. These age-old heresies in celebrity attire have a heart-hold on women everywhere, revealing an urgent need for apologetics–a defense of the faith–in women’s ministry.
In the Oprah-endorsed book “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle, truth is redefined as you. Forget that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, or that there are facts about God, life and reality that we can be certain about. All of this is tossed out for the sake of you. Tolle writes:
There is only one absolute Truth, and all other truths emanate from it. When you find that Truth, your actions will be in alignment with it. Human action can reflect that Truth, or it can reflect illusion. Can the Truth be put into words? Yes, but the words are, of course, not it. They only point to it.The Truth is inseparable from who you are. Yes, you are the Truth…Jesus tried to convey that when he said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” These words uttered by Jesus are one of the most powerful and direct pointers to the Truth, if understood correctly. If misinterpreted, however, they become a great obstacle. Jesus speaks of the innermost I am, the essence identity of every man and woman, every life-form, in fact. (p. 71)
This section from “The New Earth” is laden with difficulties. If truth cannot be found in words, but is self-contained in the knower (that’s you), then Scripture has no meaning and there has been no self-disclosure from the God of Scripture. This is a direct assault on the authority of Scripture and the Christian worldview, dangerous to anyone who subjects their mind to this way of thinking. There are eternal ramifications. As well, if there is no truth to be found in words, Tolle has no truth to impart on the matter. The self-refuting nature of his argument is glaring.
The authority of Scripture is only one of Tolle’s challenges to orthodox Christianity. It cannot be suggested that every person, “every life-form,” is the way, and the truth and the life, without holding that these are all God. This is a teaching called pantheism and is a common teaching of Eastern religions, as Tolle himself explains in this book. God cannot be identified with the Universe or the created order as God is the creator of all things.
The search for truth is, I believe, the result of the search for meaning and significance. As women gravitate to the spiritual gurus of self-helpianity trying to get a handle on their place in this world, they need to know that Truth exists and is found in the person and work of Jesus. Someone needs to be ready to give an answer, the only way to peace and contentment is through knowing the God of all creation. The meaning of life is found in Christ.
Sarah Flashing is a freelance writer and speaker in the areas of theology, apologetics and Christian ethics. She is the author of “Preparing Women to Walk Worthy of the Call” and writes at SarahFlashing.com. She has written for The Gospel Coalition, Solid Reasons, Servants of Grace, Christianity Today, and the Christian Apologetics Alliance. Sarah is a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School with an M.A. in Christian Thought (2005).