The Jesus of The Church Universal and Triumphant
Estimated by some to be "one of the fastest-growing New Age churches in the nation," the Church Universal and Triumphant (CUT), is once again in the news, (Pioneer Press Dispatch, St. Paul, MN, Nov. 7, 1987).
In line with numerous other New Age groups, Elizabeth Clare Prophet, current leader of CUT, espouses a distorted and heretical view of the person and work of Jesus Christ.
In her book, The Lost Years of Jesus, Prophet sets forth an idea which is both unoriginal and historically inaccurate. She writes, "Many Hindus believe that Jesus' Lost Years were, partly at least, spent in India, getting much of his best teaching from the Vedas."
"Didn't he say, `Take my yoga upon you and learn of me, for my yoga is easy?'
"During the course of his travels, Jesus seems to have met with Eastern holy men for a purpose. He prayed, meditated, practiced yoga, studied and taught," (p. 353).
Because of this erroneous premise, Prophet and others have speculated that during the years of Jesus' life about which the Bible is silent (i.e. the Lost Years), He traveled to India, set at the feet of Hindu sages and read the Vedas scriptures, the Hindu holy books.
As a result of her faulty reasoning, Prophet has taught the CUT devotees unscriptural doctrines concerning Jesus.
She proclaims Jesus to be just another "avatar" or Ascended Master, along with such people as Buddha, Enoch and Elijah (The Lost Teachings of Jesus, pp. 57 & 60).
In a most interesting word study, she has demonstrated that matter is, as many New Agers call it, Maya, or illusion.
"The main thing is that we must learn to overcome illusion because it has the word i-l-l in the front of it. You know what i-l-l means? It means ill! The mask is sick! That's why people are sick. Because it's a phony creation!" (Ibid, p. 4).
If everything that is matter is an illusion, then what is real? Man's inner divine righteousness! "But we have to understand that God is in us, Christ in us, is our divine righteousness," (Ibid, p. 113).
In a telephone conversation with Murray Steinman, Director of CUT's Public Relations Department and its official Church Spokesman, this idea was confirmed. "We believe in the Universal Christ and that we can all achieve what Jesus now is."
He continued by explaining, "What Jesus was able to obtain in his personal Christ consciousness, we can all obtain," (conversation with James Walker, WF Texas State Director, March 16, 1990).
In a lengthy passage near the end of her book, Prophet explains how the consciousness of Jesus and Christ and Man all harmonious unite into One.
"Jesus was both the actual and symbolical representative of this Christ Self. Jesus was the example, the one who self-realized the Christ Mind and was at one with it at all times.
"Jesus himself was not the only begotten Son of the Father. The Christ of him was and is the only begotten Son of the Father; and Jesus was the pure vessel of that Universal One. He was the One Sent, chosen from among the Sons of heaven to embody the Christ on earth as the avatar, the exemplar for all to follow for the two-thousand-year Piscean cycle.
"Jesus came to teach us by his example that every child of God has a Holy Christ Self and that the Holy Christ Self is the means to our individualization of the God flame according to the divine plan and free will of our lifestream.
"The Christ Self is the expression of the absolute love of God for each of his children, the very same love bestowed upon Jesus. Otherwise, God would have had a favorite son, Jesus, and all the rest of us would have been defrauded of our sovereign right to his kingdom.
"I used to wonder, as a child, how it could be that God only created Jesus, who I was taught was the only son that was really `begotten' of God. Then Jesus revealed to me the truth. Your Holy Christ Self is begotten of your own I AM Presence in order to mediate between the human and the divine."
"So you become like your elder brother, who was the `Anointed One,' Jesus, `the Christ.'
"If you are to ascend to the heart of God, you must do so by first ascending to the level of your Christ Self," (The Lost Teachings of Jesus, pp. 241-243).
So, in reality, at least according to Elizabeth Clare Prophet and CUT, Jesus was not by His nature, more divine than are all men, He was simply a man who showed the way to achieve the Christ-consciousness.
This fact is reiterated by Prophet when she discusses the works of Jesus. "All this he did and more, not as a god but in fulfillment of a known path of self-mastery, a natural soul-evolution unto the unleashing of the imprisoned splendor within," (The Lost Years of Jesus, p. 354).
Is this the Jesus of the Bible?