Closed Canon or Closed to God?

Both Judaism and Christianity consider their canons to be closed.

biblical canon or canon of scripture is a list of texts (or “books”) which a particular religious community regards as authoritative scripture.

Most … canons … are considered “closed” (i.e., books cannot be added or removed), reflecting a belief that public revelation has ended and thus some person or persons can gather approved inspired texts into a complete and authoritative canon …
-Biblical canaon, Wikipedia

Judaism and Christianity both have closed canons, bearing in mind that both may have sects that differ in some details of what they include their canon (contrast Catholicism vs. Protestantism). Both however believe that revelation of new ideas, principles, or even commandments are ended which is just another way of saying that they would have a difficult time listening to God if it chose to do “a new thing.”

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. -Isaiah 43:19

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. -Revelation 21:5

Believers in these traditional religions often scorn any sort of ideas they consider “New Age” as being an affront to God and based on individuals who are not humble enough to accept what has already been given by God (and if the real truth be known, often distorted and twisted by men).

New revelations add to the old and change the perspective of the past works, but they are not tossed aside. -Joseph J. Dewey, The Sign of Initiation, January 23, 2000

Those on the cutting edge of the age past are often left behind as the new age begins to dawn.
-Joseph J. Dewey, Answers Through Principles Part II, February 20, 1999

It seems to me that declaring communication (revelation) from God as being “closed” speaks more to the act of men closing their minds, than of God choosing to only do “old things.” If it is an affront to God to look for new things isn’t it just as much an affront to presume to tell God to, “Just shut up for now, you’ve already told us enough!”

Being God

It is an article of faith among many spiritual paths today that men and women are in some way part of God, are capable of being God, or a manifestation of God, or have a divine component in their nature. Actress Shirley MacClaine took a lot of flak for stating her belief that, “I am God!” Many New Age paths proclaim that all are God, that all have a divine nature at the core of their being.

So how about you – do you believe it? Do you believe that perhaps there might be something in you a little better than all those things that you did, but would be horrified for anyone to know about?

The Unity Church expresses it this way:

 We are each individual, eternal expressions of God. Our essential nature is divine and therefore inherently good. Our purpose is to express our divine potential as realized and demonstrated by Jesus and other master teachers. The more we awaken to our divine nature, the more fully God expresses in and through our lives.

Religious Science, which like Unity is an offshoot of the New Thought movement, says that:

We believe in God, the living Spirit Almighty; one, indestructible, absolute, and self-existent Cause. … We believe in the individualization of the Spirit in Us, and that all people are individualizations of the One Spirit. We believe in the eternality, the immortality, and the continuity of the individual soul, forever and ever expanding.

United Centers for Spiritual Living, What We Believe

A Course In Miracles (ACIM), a modern book aimed at achieving spiritual transformation, was first published in 1976 and makes no bones about claiming that humanity and God are one and the same:

The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself…

 A Course in Miracles, p. 147

A lot of people today probably see the Mormons or Latter Day Saints (LDS) as being somewhat old fashioned in their beliefs, but their founder Joseph Smith was a lot more New Age than most people realize. In one of the LDS scriptures we read:

The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples;

Doctrines & Covenants 93:35

If that doesn’t sound radical enough to you, then try the following from a sermon given by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1844:

Here then is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God. You have got to learn how to make yourselves Gods in order to save yourselves…

The King Follett Discourse, Joseph Smith, Jr.

One could argue, though most traditionalists would deny this conclusion, that the Christian Bible itself supports the conclusion that man has a divine nature. In the Old Testament:

I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

Psalms 82:6 (KJV)

Jesus in the New Testament seems to grant validity to the above passage in Psalms when he quotes it while arguing that it is not blasphemy for him to claim to be a son of God:

Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

John 10:34-36 (KJV)

The above quote from John is even more clear if the very last line is correctly translated. The definite article “the” does not exist in the original Greek and we should read that Jesus says “I am a son of God,” not the one and only son of God.

The Apostle Paul wrote also

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:

Philippians 2:5-6 (KJV)

These views of the divinity of man or the existence of divinity in man are in strong contrast to traditional Christian beliefs which largely see man as created by God and in no way part of God, or containing any part of God’s nature. Traditionalists mostly see these ideas as arrogance. In order to humble you they might quote from Job in the Old Testament:

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Job 38:4-7  (KJV)

The traditionalist hopes to humble you with this quote. Who do you think you are? But in truth we were there, and before. That which has no end has no beginning. In physical life we forget these things so we can do a new thing.

Author Joseph J. Dewey has a powerful analogy where God is the wave (think of a wave in the ocean) and we are a drop of water in that wave:

A drop of water is insignificant when it is removed from a giant wave, but when it is joined back into the wave and cooperates with it, it then becomes the wave. We are like drops of water that have separated from the Life wave we call God. When we join back in with the God wave we become one with it and we can say with all the other billions of lives: “I am the wave” or “I AM God.”

Gods of the Bible, The Nature of God and Christ, Joseph J. Dewey

We may only be a “drop in the ocean” that is God, but if even only a molecule, we are still of God, and capable of being one with God. We can go with the wave and not fight it. That is the secret of being God.

Is God Perfect?
What Is God?
Who Is God?
What Question Would You Ask God?

Who Is God?

Shirley MacLaine in her book Out On A Limb famously said that “I am God.” Does that make any sense, and if so, could it be true? It largely depends on how you understand her claim.

Mainstream Christians mostly seem offended by this statement. They may see it as enormously egotistical. Those of a more fundamentalist stripe might say something like:

You are not God! You are not the Creator of the Universe! Who do you think you are!

Those a little familiar with New Age thought may not see this as a claim to being the one, the only, and the almighty God in one person incarnate. They see it more as being one with that God. They don’t see it as a claim to be the whole entity that is God, but rather a part of it. Author Joseph J. Dewey put it this way:

A drop of water is insignificant when it is removed from a giant wave, but when it is joined back into the wave and cooperates with it, it then becomes the wave.  We are like drops of water that have separated from the Life wave we call God.  When we join back in with the God wave we become one with it and we can say with all the other billions of lives:  “I am the wave” or “I AM God“.  We have not lost the molecules that have made us the drop.  We still have our identity, but we also have much more.  We are one with something much greater than ourselves (as drops) to the extent we actually become the wave.  We are a wave, yet millions of drops combined.  We are God, yet millions of human drops combined.  No life is separated from the life which is God.

Gods Of The Bible, Joseph J. Dewey

The Christian Apostle Paul alluded to this:

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14

 God is both one, and many. There is only one God but it is composed of many members. And again from Paul:

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: 

Philippians 2:5-6

We are all “in the form” God, like Jesus, and it is not a crime to understand our equality to God in the sense of being part of God.

We are all members in the same body that is God. We are equal as drops in a giant wave. We become one with God when we seek its will. We become one with God when we cooperate with the wave and not resist it.

Is God Perfect?
Being God
What Is God?
What Question Would You Ask God?