As popular as the scriptural study guide A Course In Miracles (and it’s accompanying workbook) is, there is a fair amount of controversy as to whether it is dangerous to the spirituality of Christians. Proponents of the ACIM course of study posting excerpts to social media frequently draw comments warning others to stay away.
So which is it? Does ACIM promote spirituality among Christians or is it pagan (scripturally unChristian) and therefore something to be avoided at all costs?
Why Do Some People Consider ACIM To Be Pagan?
The core teaching in both the course of study and the workbook is most definitely centered around the relationship between the God (The Father), His son Jesus as our saviour and ourselves. The resulting forgiveness and it’s affect on us is central as well.
One teaching pointed to by critics is that of the student coming to “become” the Christ themselves. It is taught much in the same way as Buddhists are taught to “become the Buddha”.
The concept is hardly unscriptural though. Passages in the Greek Scriptures (New Testament) are very common telling Jesus followers to live their lives for him, to use him as an exemplar and other similar teachings.
Is this presumptuously making ourselves equal to “The Christ”?
Accepting the sacrifice that God provided through Jesus death was designed to do just that. Jesus qualified to provide the corresponding ransom for all mankind because he was free of sin. Having done so, if we accept that sacrifice, then we have the same freedom from sin imputed to us.
This means that the entire arrangement is designed to do exactly what critics of ACIM are pointing to. Encourage the student to progress spiritually to the point where they do what Jesus did: To accept Jesus role for themselves.
Does ACIM Provide For Individuality Of Spiritual Path?
Nobody tells you what it’s teachings mean for you personally, in spite of the in depth study of the themes of Jesus role as saviour, forgiveness as it relates to our relationship with God, the rest of humanity and all of creation.
Since each person comes to the course at vastly differing places in their own spiritual path, they cannot help but to gain different things from their experience. This is demonstrably scriptural, as well as Christian. The Greek Scriptures have many examples of how differing perspectives are still valid within the Christian faith structure.
This article purposely refrains from mentioning specific examples so that those wanting to may meditate on the ideas contained here and come to their own conclusions. Individuals wishing to confirm a stance already taken on ACIM will be unable to immediately refute this by citing opposing interpretations of chosen scriptural passages.
Is ACIM Dangerous Or A Vehicle For Growth?
It’s fairly obvious where I weigh in on this, but let me explain why. If we are going to be able to grow spiritually, we have to be able to consider a teaching in relation to what we already know. If we are only exposed to what we already agree with, growth becomes impossible.
In light of these conclusions, ACIM cannot possibly be dangerous even if we end up concluding that it’s teachings are not harmonious with our own spirituality or belief system.
For most people, that won’t be even close to the case.